Ancient Wisdom


I came across this in a post recently and it made me usefully pause for thought and want me to share it with you too….

Many of the ancient wisdom schools hold the same beliefs and principles for living  at their core.

Whether we’re talking about Ayurvedic Medicine, Amazonian Shamanism, or the powerful healing arts of Ancient China, you will find they’re rooted in the same profound observations.

Many of these understandings about the human spirit and the mysterious patterns of nature have been forgotten in our modern age. It’s time to remember.

The passage below, from the Tao Te Ching, is a powerful universal law that transcends culture, space and time. I hope you enjoy this ancient wisdom as much as I do!

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Verse 8

The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It flows to the low places loathed by all men.
Therefore, it is like the Tao.
Live in accordance with the nature of things.
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling be just.
In action, watch the timing.
No fight: No blame.
One who lives in accordance with nature does not go against the way of things.
They move in harmony with the present moment,

always knowing the truth of just what to do.

Being happy – what brain research can teach us


I came across an intersting article recently which says here’s what brain research says will make you happy:

  • Ask “What am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps.
  • Label those negative emotions. Give it a name and your brain isn’t so bothered by it.
  • Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of “best decision ever made on Earth.”
  • Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch.

So what’s the dead simple way to start that upward spiral of happiness?

Just send someone a thank you email (or text or a card).  If you feel awkward about it, you can send them this post to tell them why.

This really can start an upward spiral of happiness in your life. UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb explains:

Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves your mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety, which improves focus and planning. Focus and planning help with decision making. Decision making further reduces anxiety and improves enjoyment. Enjoyment gives you more to be grateful for, which keeps that loop of the upward spiral going. Enjoyment also makes it more likely you’ll exercise and be social, which, in turn, will make you happier.

So thank you for reading this!

Why is hypnotherapy so effective in helping people to stop smoking?


To smokers, vaping seems to be a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes (though many still vap and smoke!) but in my view, the truth that E-cigarettes are just the latest in a long line of products that take advantage of the fact that smokers are desperate to quit – in fact, a 2011 study from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed: 70% of smokers want to quit…….56% tried to quit……But only a paltry 6% managed to quit!

Why is that? I think it’s because the most used options available – going cold turkey, nicotine gum and patches as well as e-cigarettes – all share the same fundamental flaw, one that as a hypnotherapist I am very much aware of. The problem is none of them address where addiction really lies – the unconscious mind!

Influencing the unconscious mind for the better is what hypnotherapy is all about. That’s why I know that instead of buying expensive and sometimes explosive products in an attempt to quit, a smoker could visit me and quickly untangle the desire to smoke from their unconscious – freeing them to live a healthier, wealthier, longer life.

Want to stop being addicted to nicotine? My highly effective 2 session stop smoking hypnotherapy service now costs just £200.

Anger kills, so learn how to kill it!


I came across a post form the Daily Stoic recently which struck a chord as in my experience anger as a therapist, I see the corrosive impact of anger on people. The post said….

“There are a lot of things that oppose us in this life. Starting with gravity, we are held down by so many things: other people, bad luck, injustice, unfavourable odds, and god only knows what else. We struggle to get ahead. We struggle to realize our potential. We run into so many obstacles.

But in many ways our biggest obstacle, our most dangerous opponent, is anger.

Our own. And other people’s.

Anger, ancient Stoic thinkers said is the ugliest and most savage of all emotions—because “no plague has done more harm to humankind.”  and “it is hard to fight with anger, for whatever it wants, it will pay the price, even at the cost of life itself.”

Anger kills the human spirit. And creates villainy in its place. There is a reason in the first three Star Wars movies that the Emperor is the most hopeful in the fight for Luke Skywalker’s soul when Luke is at his angriest. Anger is what makes people hate each other. It makes us make mistakes from which we cannot recover. Anger is why we hold onto grudges, even when they are holding us back. Anger is why people act impulsively. Anger is why we had trouble sleeping last night. Anger is what makes our heart beat faster, stressing us out, harming our own health.

Anger cares about nothing but its own satisfaction, its own relief. And it’s going to get it from you—from the world—even at the cost of your own life. Anger is a sure fire way to shorten it. So you have to tame your temper. You have to get this under control. It’s your most dangerous opponent. It’ll kill you if you’re not careful.

I think this says it all and is one of the reasons why I find it so rewarding to help people through hypnosis to learn how to tame their anger and redirect their energies in mouch more productive, life enhancing ways for them.

Self Improvement – Some Book recommendations


In response to clients asking for a recommended reading list, I could give a long list but the following are the ones which I think make a magnificent 7:

F**k It by John C Parkin

The Road Less Travelled by M Scott Peck

The 7 habits of highly effective people – Stephen Covey

The Four Agreements by Miguel Luiz

The Obstacle is the way by Ryan holiday

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Fun by Catherine Price

 

Improving Your Emotional Intelligence


Emotional Intelligence (EI) rather IQ is the key to success in life. I really enjoy enabling people to increase their emotional intelligence and enjoy the benefits of doing so. For anyone reading this who prefers a self help approach, here’s a way – Remember RULERR:

  • Recognition:. Ignore your emotions and they’ll stay right here and progressively ruin your life. So regularly check in with yourself and recognise what you are feeling. Become conscious of what emotional state you are in….
  • Understanding: Keep asking yourself “How come I am feeling this way?…what am I doing that is causing me to experience this state?
  • Label: Name it to tame it. Be like a wine connoisseur with your feelings. Label what you are experiencing e.g. I’m feeling angry/anxious/confused /excited/sad/disappointed/down etc etc.  Labelling really helps you to gain control and decide if you want to keep being in that state or just let it go.
  • Express: Open up — but develop “display rules” so it’s safe for you to share what you are feeling (and without blaming someone or something for your emotion). No one can make you mad, sad, glad or whatever unless you let them!
  • Regulate: 3rd person self-talk  –  use your own name or address yourself as “he/she/they” and “him/her/them.” e.g. Does he/she really need to be angry about X right now? rather than Do I need to be angry about X right now? – seems weird but it works!
  • Reframe (look at it in a different, more constructive, useful way).  Be your Best Self.

And how do you make RULERR easier to do and let your emotional intelligence grow? You can do this by just taking better care of yourself – Get enough sleep… eat healthily…exercise… see friends more… love the people you love more…laugh more …engage in activities/pastimes you find enjoyable.

Mindfulness – some thoughts and 12 simple exercises


If you are new to mindfulness practice and are wondering what it is exactly, why bother , when and how to do it, I hope this helps you to make a start. If you have been practicing mindfulness for some time, I hope you find something new to add to your ability to be present.

Click here to download the document containing 12 simple yet wonderful mindfulness exercises I heartily recommend. Bing mindful while you e patient – it may take a minute to download so a chance to practice being mindful while you wait.

What is Mindfulness?  Does it mean I have to meditate?

There is a lot of myths and misconceptions about this thing called “mindfulness” including thinking that to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness you must meditate.  This is not so. While meditation is great, it does not work for everyone. There are many other ways to start practicing everyday mindfulness and you will find several of these on when the pages that follow.

So what is the difference between mindfulness and meditation. Though these two words seem interchangeable, they are not the same.

Mindfulness is a mindset; meditation is a way of  training to achieve it.

Mindfulness is the quality of simply being present — the experience of being open and aware in the moment, without judgment or criticism, focusing your mind on the present rather than wandering. When you are distracted, unaware of what you are doing, the end product suffers. Mindfulness is not just a state of mind — a lack of focus affects the quality of your work or whatever you are doing in that moment. How you do something matters more than what you do – for example, just think back to the last time you did something in a rush or in an angry mood and you get the picture!

But in addition to improving focus, for many the main benefit of being mindful is that it reduces stress and anxiety.  Most anxiety is caused when your mind is in the past or the future. If you are imagining a horrible future, things going wrong, running scary ‘what if’ thoughts, doom and gloom mind projections which grow ever more real as you run them over and over in your minds, you experience that fearful state.

When you ruminate on past failings, past wrongs and times we struggled, when you relive painful events, you relive the painful feelings also. Just like that imagined painful future the past too can be distorted and amplified – where the mind goes the body follows. And as you no doubt know, anxiety and stress significantly impacts our physical health including weakening the immune system, increasing the risk of major health conditions and reducing longevity.

If greater physical well-being and calmness isn’t enough motivation for you, scientific research shows that mindfulness techniques improve self-control, objectivity, tolerance, enhanced flexibility, concentration, and empathy — you gain mental clarity.

Practicing Mindfulness Exercises – a dozen ways you for you…Click this link  for the exercises which start on page 2!

Hypnosis – Rescuing you from emotional hijacking


Human beings in common with all mammals share the same five defensive states, evolved over time to help us respond to danger and keep us alive. But what are these five defensive states? And how can they feel like such stressful burdens to us today?

You’re probably familiar with the first two—Fight and Flight—but there are three more that you may not be aware of, even though you may have experienced them:

  1. Fight: Becoming aggressive in the face of a perceived threat (perception is all!)
  2. Flight: The urge to flee a stressful—or seemingly stressful—situation
  3. Freeze: A reaction that doesn’t feel like a reaction at all; not being able to think or move
  4. Submit: Appeasing others when faced with a threatening situation
  5. Attach: Forming unhealthy bonds after perceived situations of stress

Typically, people react in a conditioned way and so one of the above states can become their predominant response.

When our brains react to real threats and perceived threats—they can override our regulated state. And being in hijacked emotional states like these can lead to much unhappiness, frustration, confusion, and exhaustion. Not to mention the effects it can have on our relationships.

With effective hypnotherapy, you can uncover and learn how to rise above the hold each state can have on you, to see things more clearly and to break free of unhelpful and unnecessary conditioned responses such as high anxiety.

If you are interested in finding out more about how hypnotherapy can help rescue you from emotional hijacking, just give me a call 0n 7976 701223  or request a call back.

SOME THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP REDUCE ANXIETY


Few people will be unaware that a significant and seemingly ever growing number of people are experiencing very debilitating levels of anxiety daily. Many people were suffering with anxiety long before the pandemic struck of course but events since March 2021 have seen that number rise dramatically. these days I estimate that 80% of my clients are suffering from anxiety and its impact in some way – chronic worrying, general anxiety disorder, panic attacks, insomnia, depression, alcohol and other substance abuse.

As a hypnotherapist I can help people overcome anxiety but of course there are ways that people can help themselves  without therapy such as meditating/mindfulness practice, regular physical exercise, connecting with friends and loved ones, being outdoors in nature, only reading and watching things that make you “belly laugh” or feel uplifted in some way.  Here are a few more simple and practical ways that can help reduce anxiety – some may appear strange or  “off the wall” but give theses a go – you never know unless you try and these techniques are often surprisingly effective.

Chewing Gum or Gently biting the tip of your tongue

If you are salivating, it reduces anxiety!  If you do not want to use chewing gum – then simply put the tip of your tongue between your teeth and gently bite it…. you will find your mouth naturally salivates as a result.

Daily Laughing in the Mirror Exercise

Stand in front of a mirror and watch yourself as you laugh out loud for 2 minutes….do this every morning!  Resist any urge to look away or stop …if it feels “daft” that’s good as it can help you to see the funny side and besides, the brain cannot tell the difference between false laughter and real laughter, you get the benefit anyway!  Remember that life is never as serious as your mind can make it out to be.

Tapping

Using four fingers, firmly tap the point at the centre of the top of your head 50 times – do this 3 times a day and it helps to prevent anxiety (and to feel better generally)

Name the feeling

Name it either out loud (if appropriate), internally, or by writing it down. This has been shown to lessen anxiety even in people who thought there was no way it would!

I recommend you write down in a notebook, in some detail, the way you are feeling when you become anxious. You can use as many extreme, even exaggerated, fear words as possible with the assurance that this can help dilute the actual anxiety.

We human beings have an innate need to express ourselves. Putting experience into words can dilute its impact, as we have to use the left prefrontal lobe of the brain to verbalize in this way. Since anxiety is essentially an emotion expressed through the right hemisphere of the brain, this activation of the left hemisphere can reduce the experience of anxiety.

Grade Your Anxiety and then “Breathe you way down”

Grade the anxiety on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being no anxiety at all  and 10 being the most terror you could possibly experience…..then decide what number you would be happy with in this situation and ‘breathe your way down’ to that level using 7/11….bring to mind a picture of you as you would be when you at your target number….(see how you look, feel and act, facial  expressions, energy state , etc – imagine yourself changing before your eyes)   

Discharge it with exercise

Taking regular aerobic exercise is of course a great way to help minimize stress and anxiety.  But you could also make yourself do short intense bursts of exercise when feeling strong anxiety or before a stressful event if it’s practical to do so.  For example, run on the spot as fast as you can for 2 minutes….go for a brisk walk for 12 minutes…do as many press ups or star jumps or squats or sit ups you can in 2 or 3 minutes

Daily Gratitude

In the evening of the day and /or first thing in the morning remind yourself of what you can be grateful for in your life…. but this is not a checklist list making ‘analytical exercise’ but an experiential one, so you need to let yourself feel the gratitude you have or could have.

You can also each evening bring to mind 3 things that were great about the day e.g. what went well, what surprised you delightfully, pleasant moments and again when you think about these ask yourself “and how does that make me feel?” and appreciate the positives no matter how great or small.