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How To Stick With Your New Year Resolutions In 2017

 

Did you make any New Year Resolutions this year? Lose weight, stop smoking, get a promotion or start your own business? Whatever your NY resolution is, you may now be feeling the pressure to start or stick with it…

You have tidied the house and all the Xmas decorations have been put away, but its end of January and you have not started using the gym membership or working through the things on your list. With February and March looming, you may feel like you’re struggling to keep up with the resolutions list, and it feels scary how far behind you are.

So did you make the right NY Resolution? If you made a life-changing resolution, a big plan to change direction or do something huge, it may be that the reason you’re now starting to panic is that you’ve taken too much on.

Setting small achievable goals, instead of a big goal that will overwhelm and frustrate you, can help you succeed in your personal life and business life. You also need to ensure that you have addressed those issues that could result in failure. For example, if you’ve tried to lose weight before, what went wrong and how can you improve your chances of success this time?

Often it comes down to confidence and self-belief. If these are already low it can be an uphill struggle to stick with and achieve your resolutions. Low self-confidence can sabotage your chances of success.

If this is an issue for you, consider addressing this first – hypnotherapy for confidence can help – and then with a boost to your self-belief you’ll be in much better shape to achieve those NY resolutions.

Tips For Sticking To Your New Year Resolutions

By taking small actionable steps and prioritising what is important to you, you will be more likely to stick with and succeed in your resolutions.

Here are some key points to remember to help you stick with your New Year resolutions:

  1. Setting out SMART goals Specific, Measurable Achievable Realistic and Timely goals, in the beginning, will set you up to understand what you are trying to achieve this year.
  2. If your goal is to getting on top of your finances, concentrate your motivation and energy on the most important aspect of the debt you have accumulated. In this manner, you will pay off a little of the money you owe at a time and have a strong sense of progress. This will motivate you to continue to keep playing and looking after your finances in a positive manner.
  3. Use whatever resources you have to help, for example – put your gym clothes ready when you wake up so you can immediately get some exercise before you start to make excuses about your exercise regime. Stay away from risky situations if you want to get fit and healthy don’t go to McDonald’s or go near fast foods or junk food. Put reminders in places where you are triggered to follow your healthy choices or behaviours like notes on the fridge, or on the bathroom mirror.
  4. Get organised! Don’t allow other tasks to stop you from achieving your goals – where possible automate them so they don’t distract you. Set out reminders to tasks that you have to do every few weeks time and look to see how you can prioritise some of them. Set out the actions you are going to take to achieve your next goal to keep going.
  5. Be flexible. If you have an all or nothing approach and fail at one of your steps it’s likely you will become disillusioned and not succeed in your overall goal. Instead, give yourself a break if you don’t meet every target, be flexible and realign your steps so you can move forward.
  6. Set yourself a reasonable time limit and if you are unable to keep up with it revisit your goal list and make changes so you can achieve the goals in small chunks.
  7. Don’t give up and keep trying. Create a balanced approach with baby steps that you can act on. Keep yourself motivated by being mindful of what you want and knowing the results you expect that will help you keep going.
  8. Get the support you need, having someone to talk to you will get a different point of view of how you are going to succeed with your goals. This will also help make you accountable and you might get different ideas in order to get results or solutions you desire. Asking and accepting help will strengthen your resolve and manage your anxiety and stress. Also seeking help from a coach or a mentor can help change unhealthy habits and behaviours and address issues you have suffered from in the past, procrastination or emotional issues.

Old habits and behaviours can be hard to change but they are often the key to successfully achieving your goals and resolutions. Once you understand why you respond to certain challenges or pressures in a particular way, it becomes easier to change your habits and behaviours.

Sometimes it can be as simple as changing the way you approach your resolution. Instead of saying, ‘I want to lose weight’ a resolution of ‘I’m going to eat more healthily’ can increase your chances of successfully losing the weight and keeping it off long-term.

Cognitive behaviour therapy with hypnosis is a highly effective way of identifying habits and behaviours that are sabotaging your chances of success, and then replace them with better responses that increase your motivation and drive.

If you’re struggling with your New Year Resolutions and would like to talk through ways of getting back on the programme, I offer a free 30-minute phone consultation for people in West Surrey / Hampshire. Book your appointment here.

Make Improving Your Self-Confidence Your Top New Year’s Resolution!

Every year we make New Years Resolutions and every year by the end January we fail to keep up with them. For your New Years Resolutions to work you need to develop healthy habits, positive thoughts and improve your self-confidence.

Self-confidence is the key to making other NY Resolutions stick.

With great self-confidence, we will believe that we can achieve our goals whether that’s to stop smoking, lose weight, find a new job or run a marathon. Therefore before you set yourself a challenge that could easily result in a relapse, let’s look at improving your self-confidence first.

Relapsing is when your brain defaults to what you do normally – habits and behaviours – and says “oh well, never mind”. Unfortunately, setbacks like this can result in negative feelings and depression. So instead of setting ourselves up for a fall, if we address those deep rooted behaviours and habits first we can build our self-confidence and increase our chances of success.

Self-Confidence Will Help You Achieve Your NY Resolutions

Creating new behaviours and habits to substitute the old ways of thinking will help you take control of your New Years Resolutions.


If you want to explore a therapy to help you boost your self-confidence, hypnotherapy for confidence is a highly effective way to change negative habits and behaviours and thereby increase your chances of achieving all kinds of goals and resolutions.


Here are some self-reflective tips that can give your self-confidence a boost and help you understand how you can succeed with your new year’s goals. Write down your answers on a piece of paper:

  1. What were your best achievements, personal successes or breakthroughs in the last year? Did you step up or into a new opportunity, try something you never tried before that make you fearful or uncomfortable?
  2. What were the challenges you had to overcome? How did you conquer the fear of failure, get up when you got knocked down, overcome the setbacks and find the strength to speak and fight even though you were scared?
  3. Where did you find your supportive network, people that influenced your methods, your motivation and how did you move forward? Where and who do you find your inspiration from and did you use this motivation to clear your space to focus on your goals?

Your brain has a way to re-inventing itself and those positive habits and behaviours you wrote down above can become the default response when you meet other challenges. Instead of relapsing into old habits and behaviours you can have the power and control!

Here are 7 steps for changing the way you think:

  1. Focus your thoughts on being positive – an important aspect of starting the new year with and finding success with your goals
  2. Make a plan and take small steps to work through each task or activity. If you try to tackle your goal as one big project you are more likely to feel stressed and relapse into old habits.
  3. Don’t associate yourself with negative people on social media or elsewhere. Also, list the negative beliefs you have and refute them and set some realistic beliefs about yourself. Being too judgmental about yourself will impede your progress.
  4. Set your goals in a SMART manner – Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-based. Break these down into small steps or you will find that you lose your motivation. The way to achieve success is to take one baby step at a time.
  5. Combine your SMART goals with STRETCH goals (a big dream goal) that mean you are dreaming big and going after your ULTIMATE goals. Both these together are called the WISE goals which are grounded in what steps you are going to take next to achieve success.
  6. Avoid thinking like a perfectionist. We can always do better but a healthier way of thinking is doing our best or ‘just good enough’. Focus on the positive. If we fall short of doing what we want and fail at our aspirations, it’s easy to fall into the negative spiral of thinking. So a healthier method would be to take baby steps and have a realistic / ‘good enough’ approach.
  7. Don’t wait for things to happen or come to you. Learn something new each day and challenge yourself.

By focusing on actionable SMART goals and measuring them with the success you have achieved you will create a positive focus and a feedback loop. This will help motivate you to take the actionable steps week by week and create habits and behaviours long-term.

You will feel motivated, positive as you complete each step, and this will boost your confidence and self-esteem.

Understanding yourself will minimise your weaknesses and strengthen your resolve to stay focused and driven to daily enjoy your accomplishments. Finding a mentor or a therapist to help you to stay motivated, goal focused and on track can also improve your confidence and wellbeing.

An important thing to remember is to be patient with yourself, self-confidence and esteem is a step by step process and practice.

To find out more about hypnotherapy for confidence visit this page.

How To Stay Cool, Calm And Collected During The Holidays!

The difference between getting stressed and staying cool, calm and collected during the holidays is self-caring. With the Christmas upon us, presents to buy and wrap, dinners to cook, families to entertain, and the cold and flu season too, many of us feel so tired that we cannot enjoy the Christmas season like we should.

You feel tired from all the racing around, stressed with the endless ‘to do’ list and are exhausted mentally and physically. During this time stress-related visits to the GP’s increases, and by January you are ready to collapse in a heap and need another break from it all – but have to go back to work.

Self-Care Helps Your Wellbeing And Others

Instead of resigning yourself to feeling stressed at this time of year, how about practicing self-care and still get through your ‘to do’ list?

By looking after your wellbeing you will increase your energy levels, find it much easier to deal with all the stress that Christmas inadvertently throws at us, and also have time to look after others.

Here are some self-care tips to help you:

  1. Don’t forgo your normal exercise routine over the holiday. Try to keep your normal exercise routine (or if you haven’t got one, now is a good time to introduce some regular exercise). Don’t allow that list of jobs put exercise on the back seat. Exercise will boost your energy, improve your mood and make you feel healthier. If you have children and they’re on holiday, encourage them to get out with you: it will elevate boredom, and make them feel better too.
  2. Practice mindfulness or relaxation techniques. It’s such a busy time of year with shopping, preparing your home for Christmas, entertaining, driving around the country to visit people or to collect family members from the airport. No wonder you feel stressed. Maybe it’s the first time you are attempting a festive meal for the whole family, or your mother-in-law is coming to Xmas dinner and you want everything to be perfect. Stay in the moment to stop your mind going in different directions and focus on relieving stress with breathing exercises or mindfulness techniques.
  3. Don’t be a superhero! If you get stuck – ask for help from friends and family. Make a list of all the things that need to get done for the Christmas festive season and delegate to all the member of your family. Kids can write the Xmas cards, tidy the garden, decorate the house ready for the festive season etc.. Your partner can help with buying some presents for his / her family so you can take that stress out of the equation. Learning how to delegate is one self-care practice that will last you a long time in the future.
  4. Watch what you eat and drink. Try not to indulge in too many treats or cakes, drinking too much or other sweet treats that you would not have any other times of the year. It is okay to indulge but in moderation which will be great for self-care. If you indulge in too much sugar, you will begin to feel tired and irritable with the ‘sugar rush’. So balance this by eating well and drink plenty of water during this festive season.
  5. Learn to say ‘no’. Try to schedule your time so you are getting enough rest. If you agree to attend 4 different parties, plan to host a big new year’s party, or agree to bake cakes for a friend’s children’s Xmas party, your stress levels will increase as you have taken more on that you can cope with. Don’t worry about missing out or turning people down. Yes, it can be difficult to say ‘no’ but it is also empowering! Say no when you want quiet days in with your family, or want to have a relaxing bath instead of partying, or have a night in with a glass of wine.

If you still feel like you need to do everything or there’s no time to fit it all in, think about how your stress levels will affect other people. Do your friends really want to spend time with someone who someone who is frazzled and can’t relax? Is it really that important to make your own mince pies if it means you stay up half the night and can’t keep your eyes open the following day?

By practicing self-care you will also ensure that everyone around you gets the benefit of the cool, calm and collected you! I’m sure they will all enjoy this version much more than the stressed one.

If you are struggling with stress, anxiety or overwhelm, hypnotherapy can help. Contact me for a free 30-minute consultation to explore more.

Coping With Christmas: Is It All Too Much?

Christmas can be a stressful time of year for many people. It can put a strain on relationships, bring old grudges and problems to the fore, and also be a very sad and lonely time for some people.

With the expectation that you should be enjoying yourself with friends and family, the expense of gifts and nights out, and the huge amount of work it takes to create a wonderful Christmas for your nearest and dearest, it’s no wonder that many people feel overwhelmed.

For those people who are far from home, lost a loved one, or perhaps have separated in the past year, Christmas can trigger anxiety, stress and feelings of loneliness.

This is perfectly normal and understandable. If Christmas is making you feel depressed or stressed, this is not because you are a modern day Scrooge.

Feeling Depressed At Christmas

Due to the commercialism of Christmas, we’re all under a huge amount of pressure to make everything perfect. The Christmas card perfect family, a stack of presents under the tree, your home looking like a cover shoot for an interiors magazine, a table laden with home cooked Christmas food.

If we can’t meet these expectations it’s no wonder that many people feel depressed and stressed. And some people go into the process of self-reflection and thought about the shortages in life and compare themselves to other people. This brings added pressure and they spend a lot more than they should on presents etc. that they don’t have. This can spiral out of control and get them into debt.

Some people deal with loneliness at Christmas due to loss of a loved one, while some deal with family conflicts, as it is the one time that everyone gets together. It may also be your ‘first’ Christmas after a life-changing event – for example, divorce, the loss of a job, or illness.

These factors can all come to a head over the Christmas period. Below are some of the steps that you can take to manage your stress and your finances:

  • Identify the reason that you are stressed: such as financial pressures. Set a budget and plan the things you can do and eliminate the things you cannot. Money saving tips can be saying to your family and friends that this year you will be buying gifts only for the kids. Or suggest a “secret Santa” for adults so to reduce the financial burden on everyone.
  • Research some cost cutting ways that you can have fun. Don’t let money saving spoil your fun. If you want to socialise organise a BBQ or a house party where all the guests bring a plate of food so that costs are shared.

Family Conflicts And How To Deal With Them

Some families struggle with getting on with one another and there is a lot of power play in the mix. Also, divorce among some of the family members means that unresolved conflicts can trigger stress and anxiety.

  • Be realistic about what will occur at the Xmas celebrations – it might not be perfect. Plan how you will deal with the stress and anxiety if it occurs.
  • If there are children from the different families getting together at Xmas time, be considerate and put the conflicts aside. Focus on having fun and making Xmas a special day for everyone.
  • Remember there can be conflicts but try to stay calm, don’t drink more than you have to and don’t use it to cope or take your frustration out on your loved one.
  • Know what your triggers are if your family argues on a certain topic avoid it.
  • Take baby steps when you are communicating with a member of your family that in the past there has been some friction, don’t bring up the past hurts or be sarcastic but try to improve the relationship by sticking to ‘safe’ subjects.
  • Breathe deeply if you get annoyed and something someone says, remember it’s what happens at Xmas and stay calm as it’s a special day.

Ways To Manage Your Loneliness

If you feel isolated if you have been recently divorced or a recent break-up, or have lost a loved one it can be really tough when everyone else appears to be having a good time. Here are some tips to cope:

  • Be honest and acknowledge that it is going to be difficult. Embracing the sadness will help with dealing with the grief. By doing this, being honest will release the sadness and loss, which will reduce long lasting, issues with blocked emotions.
  • Connect with new people, your friends and family. Call family even if they live far away, keep in touch via phone calls, emails. Also be patient if they take a while to respond as many people do get caught up with their own preparations.
  • Help or volunteer at a charity shop or a local shelter. They need help, especially at Xmas time. You will connect with different people and make friends and feel good.
  • Attend events like Xmas lighting ceremonies, Christmas carol singing, markets. Try to get out and be around people and this will help relieve loneliness.
  • Accept invitations for Xmas day and don’t stay in and feel lonely. Plan your whole day, have breakfast, attend the local church for a service, or take a walk and then have a wonderful meal and watch Xmas movies.

Cognitive behaviour therapy helps to recognise behaviours that will contribute to anxiety and stress during the Xmas period. If you are already feeling panicky about Christmas and think that it’s going to be hard, you could get help now.

CBT can help you to think positively, recognise the triggers that can lead to stress and feelings of depression, and act before they overwhelm you.

Get in touch if you would like to discuss how I can help today.

6 Quick Tips To Reduce Depression And Stress:

  1. Evaluate what your expectations are at Christmas so you are making doable plans.
  2. Be present and available when you are around your family – put cell phones and Facebook away and focus on having fun with them.
  3. Get enough sleep and eat healthy meals so it improves your mood and you don’t get irritable at small things. Also, take the time to exercise, it will relieve stress and pent up emotion.
  4. Delegating tasks and will reduce the overwhelm, also it’s a good opportunity to connect and spend time with each other.
  5. Set aside differences with members of your family, it will make the celebrations more fun, and improve relationships long term.
  6. Stay within your budget and do not allow yourself to compete with other people over expensive Christmas presents.

If you are worried about how you will cope emotionally over Christmas, please do get in touch to explore whether CBT and hypnotherapy can help. Call 0796 715 1790 or email [email protected]

How Can I Communicate Better With My Partner?

Relationships between two people don’t exist in isolation. Past experiences, personal history and expectations all influence a relationship, and often the way we communicate in our relationships is as a result of our past.

If you’re one of the many people who feel that you and your partner do not communicate properly, this post is for you. Here I explore how to open the lines of communication, especially if the relationship is suffering, and help build a stronger union.

Many people find that they are not confident about talking about difficult issues and emotions, even with their partner. They find themselves either getting upset or angry and struggling to really explain how they feel or what’s bothering them. This can be particularly difficult if their partner is not a great communicator either, or if they are super confident and prone to dominate a conversation.

You can get help with confidence issues and this can have a really positive impact on your relationships, helping you communicate better and build deeper relationships. Hypnotherapy for confidence can help, you can find out more about this treatment here.

The Importance Of Good Communications

Communication with your partner is not only talking about everyday topics like ‘how was your day’ or ‘did you have a good day at work?’ It’s about really making the time and effort to listen, be interested, and talk to each other in an open manner.

Couples who have good communication when things are going well will also find it much easier to communicate with each when things are not so good. This provides you with a great foundation for dealing with life’s ups and downs and making your relationship work through thick and thin.

The ways in which you communicate with your partner can make or break a relationship. Below are some tips for communicating when things are difficult. Following these can help you deal with emotions, resentments and relationship issues, and improve your relationship with your partner:

  1. Finding the right time to have a difficult conversation is one of the first things that you can do. If there is a problem or issue it is essential to make time to discuss it calmly in the right environment. Clear a few hours to have that difficult conversation so you’re not rushing. Put all of this in the diary/calendar so that there is no opting out.
  2. Make sure it’s face-to-face. These days there are so many ways to communicate like text messages, Facebook, Skype or emails. But these are not the best way to communicate with your partner about serious issues. Face-to-face, however difficult a conversation is the best way of opening lines of communication.
  3. Choose your words carefully when you are talking to your partner. Sometimes when we are angry and frustrated, the word ‘you’ sounds attacking and can result in your partner to be defensive and not receptive to your message. You can use instead ‘I feel that we had not been talking recently’ instead of the pointy finger ‘you’.
  4. Being honest is important as if you want the relationship to work even if telling the truth to your partner hurts. Every person makes mistakes and admitting and apologising for them is a natural process. This will make the relationship stronger and you will feel better.
  5. Your body language is another important factor. Sit and speak in a calm manner, give your full attention and make eye contact.
  6. There is saying that you should never go to bed angry. So if you or your partner is still hurt by an argument you had, follow the 48-hour rule and have that difficult conversation. Have the conversation about why you/they are angry or upset, and get it out in the open.

Ways To Communicate If There Is Anger

Most couples go through a period where there is anger in the relationship, it is, therefore, important to learn to resolve any conflict that arises in a healthy manner.

  • If you get angry take a deep breath, Stop, calm down and step back. Either go into another room, go for a walk or listen to your favourite music or do some activity that distracts you. Don’t vent the anger, give yourself breathing room to stop and listen to what your partner has to say in the disagreement you both are facing.
  • Think about the reason behind your anger, what was the situation that caused the upset and the words used. Be honest and open with yourself and your partner and don’t let the situation build up so the angry thoughts are swirling and you cannot think straight.
  • Talk in a calm manner to your partner and follow the stop and think first, then breath deeply and gently explains your point of view. Also important at this time is to look at the non-verbal communication signals that your partner is displaying, for example your partners’ body language (folded arms, no eye contact etc.), the tone of both your voices, eye signals and listen patiently to each other’s viewpoint. All these will give you a clue to what is occurring in the discussion and ways to resolve the issues.
  • Listen to your partners’ upset feelings, hurt and give them your full attention. Do this in a safe environment: your relationship deserves an expression of feeling from both partners in a safe environment. Don’t let the anger, hurt and pent up emotion dominate. Break the cycle of not communicating and listen to your partner point of view and say ‘I sometimes don’t hear what you are saying, but now focusing on listening to you’.

The most important part of communicating well with your partner is not letting a discussion turn into an angry argument. Treating each other with respect and keeping the discussion focused on one topic only, and making the time to have that difficult conversation. Sometimes we resort to cheap shots that can get the argument only more heated so by being respectful and stop, think, talk and listen you will then open the lines of communication with your partner in a healthy way.

If you think that hypnotherapy for confidence could help you become a better communicator, or would just like to discuss how it can help, please get in touch. Email [email protected] for a confidential chat about your feelings and the challenges you face.

Can Hypnosis Really Stop Me Smoking For Life?

Many people who have unsuccessfully tried other methods of giving up smoking are naturally sceptical about the effectiveness of hypnosis to stop smoking. I don’t blame you. If you’ve tried other smoking cessation approaches and still found yourself reaching for a packet of cigarettes, you will know that it’s not an easy habit to quit.

So what makes hypnosis effective, where other stop smoking methods fail? Read on to find out how this treatment works and whether it’s right for you.

How Hypnosis Stop You Smoking For Life

Hypnosis is a deep state of relaxation and focused attention, which a person goes in and out every day. This is when your subconscious mind is open to suggestions and ideas.

Health Implications Of Smoking

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, but if you’re smoker those warnings on the side of a cigarette packet only serve to make you feel more helpless about giving up. Let’s face it; it’s easy to not to think about the health implications when you don’t think you have the strength to quit.

During a hypnosis session, the clinical hypnotherapist will remind you that smoking can cause cancer and damage your health long-term. Suggestions and ideas can be reinforced during the session so that when you do read a health warning on a packet of cigarettes, instead of pretending it’s not there your subconscious mind will heighten your awareness and compel you to act.

Replacing The ‘Positive’ Aspects Of Smoking With Something Better

In most cases, smokers view the act of smoking as a positive influence, and this is programmed in your subconscious mind through the repetitive action of smoking.

You may feel smoking helps you:

  • Relieve your anxiety and boredom
  • Give you time-out from work or at home
  • Relax and help you concentrate
  • Feel confident when you are with friends
  • Deal with some uncomfortable thoughts and emotions
  • Helps you to fit in with your friends that smoke
  • Be in control of your weight as you will eat if you smoke
  • Keeps your hands busy
  • Reduces your stress and irritability

Your subconscious mind has become programmed to believe those smoking cigarettes will help make you feel better, reduce stress and any feelings of discomfort. After smoking for many years, smoking has now become this habit that has been repeated many times, reinforcing this positive association.

Hypnosis for smoking cessation works by reprogramming your subconscious mind so that smoking is not associated with positive things. Your therapist will also teach you ways to replace the feeling that smoking creates with healthier and better alternatives, for example by teaching you how to cope with stress or learn relaxation techniques that replace your smoking habit.

When Other Smoking Cessation Methods Have Failed

Typically hypnosis to stop smoking is used as a last resort when nothing else has worked. Often the reason that these methods have failed is because they don’t address the underlying issues of why someone smokes. Such as because they associate smoking with relaxation, or they always have a cigarette when they have a coffee or glass of wine.

Some of the methods people try first are –

  • Their willpower, but as they still think of themselves as smokers they force themselves to ‘stop’. If they ‘enjoy’ their cigarettes, then stopping creates a conflict within themselves which results in more stress and anxiety.
  • Cutting smoking down is another way that people try to quit but your body still has nicotine. So hours or days between cigarettes does not take away the cravings and the withdrawal that you will feel. You will count the hours between cigarettes and will eventually cave in and smoke more and more.
  • Nicotine patches and gum, e-cigarettes and medications do not reduce the nicotine in your body. But the habit and the cravings have not been addressed, and the reasons (emotional aspects of the smoking habit) for smoking also still exist.

With clinical hypnosis and cognitive behaviour therapy, you can change your habits and behaviours, and your unconscious mind will choose healthier options. Most of the time people smoke cigarettes because of the conditioned response to stimulation from their environment or a habit they cannot break.

Some Myths About Your Smoking Habit

And How To Overcome Them With Hypnosis And CBT

Most people believe in the stories or beliefs they tell themselves:

  • Withdrawal is difficult and I can’t cope with the cravings. When you smoke you imagine the pleasure it gives you and when you give up you start to crave that pleasure and don’t want the pain and misery of quitting. During a hypnosis session, you are given tools and techniques to get perspective on the habit and ways you can avoid slipping into the addictive trance state.
  • I cannot give up as I have failed before. Most people try the different methods to quit cigarettes and use hypnosis as their last port of call, but hypnosis helps them re-programme their subconscious thoughts, feelings and beliefs about their smoking habit so they then are in control of their behaviour.
  • I don’t have the willpower. Your motivation and willpower to quit smoking will be enhanced during the therapy session and you will get to know the real reason why you smoke and why you want to quit. You will view your behaviour with a different perspective and awareness of the impact cigarette smoking has had on your health. You will then feel free from the cravings and realise how smoking has affected your life and use the new found freedom to believe in yourself and be a happy and healthy non-smoker.
  • I’ve smoked for too long, it’s too late to give up. You realise that you cannot just stop smoking as you have been smoking for a long time. With the support and help of an experienced and accredited clinical hypnotherapist and cognitive behaviour therapist, you will come to the decision that smoking is harming your body and your subconscious will make changes that are permanent.

Sammy told her friend that her smoking habit was out of control. She was smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 35 years.

“I felt that if I had not given up smoking I would not have gotten over my chronic chest infection and breathlessness. Now I can breathe a little better and even walk up the stairs without stopping. My clothes smell nice and so does my breath. I had tried to give up smoking before but the cravings and the stress always made me smoke again. Now I feel free, it does not worry me if people smoke around me, I have started with some gentle exercise daily and I am saving the money I spent on cigarettes to go away in the summer next year. Hypnosis helped me gain clarity about where my life was and where I wanted to be. I am glad I did try clinical Hypnosis and CBT as I feel better than I ever felt before”

Find out more about using hypnosis to stop smoking here.

Treating Anxiety And Stress: A Case Study

In this study, I share how hypnosis and cognitive behaviour therapy can be used effectively to treat anxiety and stress. Names have been changed but this is a real case study with one of my clients.

Hypnosis For Anxiety And Stress

Tom is a good looking young man in his early 30’s. He was brought up by an overprotective mother and was told that he had to be careful from a very young age. He was anxious about most things and found social situations difficult. He was shy at secondary school and struggled with making and keeping friends. He later married Maria who he met at university, but she was the only girl he dated. He has two daughters ages 6 and 9 and they go to their local village school.

When Tom first came to see me he was nervous, did not give me eye contact and shyly smiled a hello. As we chatted Tom relaxed noticeably and said, “I have been anxious and nervous all my life, even in junior school and secondary school. I struggled with knowing what to say then and now my wife takes all the responsibility at home and I let her so I don’t have to.”

He then admitted that his wife made the appointment to see me; she made all the appointments – to see the dentist, doctor etc. If the children had parent-teacher meetings at school, his wife Maria went. She made all the social engagements and at parties, she was the one that socialised, while he was quiet and talked only when he was asked a question. Even when they had takeaway meals, Maria made the call, as he was too shy and nervous.

Because of Maria, Tom was able to avoid social situations that made him uncomfortable and awkward. However, this problem was starting to affect his work as he had taken on a bigger role in his job, needed to do presentations, go to conferences, and talk to business colleagues socially. When Tom was younger he worked at a small local family company owned by someone in the village, and he never had to put himself in front of other people. However, when the owner sold the company Tom had to move jobs to a bigger company. Initially, he was still able to hide himself away, but he soon got recognised his talent and expertise and was forced to take a bigger role.

At the last business event, he was very nervous, spent a lot of time before the event in the toilet and when he finally spoke to the other people he was panicky and his voice was shaky. He said, “I was able to talk quickly and not give myself away. When I was asked a question, I struggled to get my words out due to my nervousness, when eventually I got my words out it was so very embarrassing as I stuttered”.

After that embarrassing situation and feeling humiliated, he started to panic, even more, could not even pick up the telephone without feeling panicky and he started to worry more. He asked himself – Why was he like this? – shy, timid and fearful of everything. He must be the only one in the world to feel like this; he just cannot seem to shake this off. After he spent his day at work feeling pressurised and anxious, he would get tired, fatigued and disheartened combined with negative thoughts, he wanted to give up work but could not as he was the main income earner at home.

As his wife was sociable and had a lot of friends, she took a lot of the responsibilities on her shoulders. The more she did, the more he would withdraw and let her take charge. He had no real close friends to speak of and their social life consisted of friends of his wife. Even when they were out with friends or had a party at home he never knew what to say and felt uneasy.

His anxiety took over when he was the centre of attention and this became very difficult due to expectations at work. When he knew he had to make important phone calls or do a public presentation his anxiety would overwhelm him and would find an excuse to pass this job to his colleague at work. But he knew that this could not continue, the negative cycle that he was stuck in had to change. It was affecting him both at home and at work, and putting him under a lot of pressure.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy With Hypnosis

Tom started cognitive behaviour therapy with me and used the cognitive strategy sessions to relearn the way he thought and felt about himself. He was ready and willing during therapy and progressed well, did all the homework and practice he was set. He did a number of practical presentations with me and then also went home and practiced with his family.

His family was enthusiastic and supportive because he was talking more, felt happier, and addressed his anxiety during these social and speaking occasions. When he made a mistake or the anxiety took over he was able to inject some humour in the sessions we had together. When he was anxious about his social skills or presentation he saw it for what it was, a chance to try and tell people about the subject he was passionate about.

As he found humour and de-stressed during the situation, he saw his anxiety for what it was, which was not as scary as he thought. He was able to put his fear and anxiety into perspective with my help and developed the chance to build his self-esteem. ‘Everyone makes mistakes so what?’ became his motto.

He started to slowly communicate socially more, taking charge such as speaking on the phone or ordering the family’s takeaway. He realised that in public he was not a centre of attention and he could make mistakes and it was okay. With cognitive behavioural therapy, he felt comfortable speaking at meetings and also started to do be more relaxed at public speaking events. He also took more and more of his own responsibilities at work where before he would shrink away or defer to others, and also at home. His wife Maria is happy and pleased with his metamorphosis, and his marriage is flourishing.

“I am happier and feel confident in myself now”, Tom said. “Whereas in the past I let the anxiety take over and I felt frustrated and angry at myself, I am now enjoying my new found freedom from the stress and negativity. I am giving speeches now and do make mistakes, but laugh at them. I am in control of my life and feel confident in my ability in dealing with any issue as it arises.”

Many people adopt behaviours that help them avoid stressful situations like Tom did by allowing his wife to run the social aspects of their lives. However, you could be missing out on opportunities to enjoy an exciting social life or a rewarding career by letting your anxiety dictate how you live.

Take the first step to getting some support so that you can control your anxiety, nervousness or negative thoughts, and gain confidence in being you. If you would like to speak to me about how cognitive behaviour therapy with hypnosis could help you, please contact me by calling 0796 715 1790 or emailing [email protected]

How Many Hypnosis Sessions Will I Need to Lose Weight?

Generally, when a client comes to me for hypnosis for weight loss, it’s after struggling with diets and exercise plans and not seeing the desired results. While most diets and exercise regimes work in theory, in practice it can be very difficult.

Keeping on a restrictive diet is a challenge, and requires immense amounts of willpower and motivation. Similarly regularly exercising can also be hard to do, especially when there are so many other pressing activities we need get done during the day.

This is why hypnosis for weight loss can be so effective. It doesn’t replace a healthy diet or regular exercise – but it can help change the way you think about food and your body and help you achieve your goals.

I often think that it would be much better if clients came to me first before embarking on their weight loss plan. Then we can deal with those self-sabotaging thoughts, install positive behaviours, and maintain the motivation and energy to lose weight long term, right from the start.

However, whether someone uses hypnosis at the beginning of the weight loss plan, or comes to it after being unsuccessful, here I answer some common questions clients have about hypnosis for weight loss:

What happens during a hypnosis session and what does it feel like?

Every hypnosis session is tailored to the person’s individual needs, so experiences differ from person to person. Some of my clients feel calm and relaxed during our therapy sessions and some have experienced an increased state of awareness. While some daydream and others feel euphoric, still others feel as if they are asleep and wonder where the time went.

Regardless of how someone feels during a hypnosis session, it’s what happens afterwards that really counts! Typically, when a client has completed their first session they experience increased motivation and willpower with regards to their eating behaviours and are in control of their triggers for chocolate, sweets and fatty foods.

So how many hypnosis sessions will I need to lose weight?

Hypnosis works uniquely for each individual. When helping a person to lose weight, first it is important to reprogram the way they think about food, strengthen their resolve to eat healthily and not overeat. Clinical Hypnosis can help an overweight person lose weight by finding out what negative emotions are in play when they overeat. Why are they eating foods that emotional fulfil them, how does this affect their confidence and self-esteem, and how do they feel emotionally when they eat these unhealthy and junk foods? Hypnosis can help with the triggers that cause an individual to overeat, cravings for unhealthy foods, changing they way this person thinks and feels about their bodies and the way they perceive themselves.

The number of Clinical hypnosis sessions varies from person to person and can be determined during the initial assessment session. Normally a client will come each week for the first month to increase their willpower, release any emotional attachments to food and build their motivation to stay on goals to lose the excess weight they feel they have.

These sessions are extremely important at the beginning, then the sessions are tailored to the individual and their progress and goals to reach their desired weight. Often clients will come every alternate week until they have achieved their goals, reinforcing their positive behaviours and increasing motivation levels every time.

The client then moves on to the once a month protocol for support and maintenance to keep themselves focussed on their goals and desires what they want their ideal weight to be. Some group sessions are also provided to share their weight loss goals and have a supportive environment, the shared experience that keeps the motivation and progress going.

Why should you choose clinical hypnosis over other weight loss programs?

Hypnosis is a natural and long-term approach to obtain a healthy body image you desire. It helps you to be in control of what you eat, recognise when you feel emotional, stop you from reaching for those unhealthy foods. If your normal emotional response would have been in the past to eat junk foods when you felt sad, angry, frustrated or emotional, hypnosis will teach you how to manage this response in a healthy way.

When you go on a diet if feels like a chore and the negative effects are that our subconscious mind thinks we are starving and this feels uncomfortable. After a while you will feel under pressure to stay on this diet – it becomes a negative experience. Your body craves foods that will sustain you, especially those that have emotional connotations for you, and eventually, your diet fails. Your mind will trigger your self-preservation mechanism and you will go back to eating things that are not good for your weight loss.

Clinical hypnosis for weight loss is safe, natural, there is no use of medication: extreme dieting that makes you so unhappy or counting calories is not a part of the treatment.

Instead, it uses a combination of clinical hypnosis and CBT that changes the way you think and feel about food.

The focus is always on keeping the weight off long term so that once a client has achieved their weight loss target, or feels that they have the strength to continue on the right course, they don’t need further sessions.

To find out more about how clinical hypnosis can help you lose weight and keep it off, and to get started right away at home – download my eBook 10 Simple Steps To Weight Loss Success here.

If you have any further questions about clinical hypnosis for weight loss, please leave a comment below or contact me directly.

10 Steps to Increase Your Self Esteem and Propel Your Career

How you think and feel about yourself is one of the most important factors in becoming successful in your career and social life.

‘Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending’ Maria Robinson

If you are happy with what you do and who you are then you will find success, but in today’s world love for oneself is the missing link what people miss out on.

Why is the ability to build, maintain and keep your self-esteem so important?

  • Self-sabotaging thoughts – sometimes you can be your own worst enemy. By looking after your needs and keeping the bar raised high you can be motivated enough the things you like and love. And when you achieve your goals you will not self-sabotage.
  • Developing your inner stability – By liking yourself you will not look for attention and validation from other people. Then what other people say and think does affect your stability and you don’t need the recognition to feel good. When they say something nice it’s a bonus!
  • Your relationships and friendships will be healthier – if you display ‘needy’ characteristics or lack the confidence to be yourself, your relationships will not be built on a sound footing. Therefore if you can nurture your self-esteem you will also build better relationships with the people around you.
  • You will feel happier – in my experience when I like and value myself, I am a happier person and I am able to achieve success with my goals.

Here are 10 ways you can start to build your self-esteem today:

  1. Stop being your own internal critic – learn to handle and replace that judgmental voice inside you or you will drag your self-confidence down. What does the negative chatter say – you are not good at doing things and your job or you don’t look so good? When you hear the critical voice in your head replace it by saying STOP, a positive thought, an affirmation, or my favourite saying ‘no, we are not doing that again’. Or you can use your favourite saying or a constructive thought that resonates with you. As long it motivates you to find better ways to move forward rather than listening to the inner critical voice.
  2. Choose healthier habits – motivate yourself with thoughts and actions that will build your self-esteem and you are less likely to listen to the inner critic. You can do this by reminding yourself of the positive benefits using written or recorded motivational quotes or words that you keep somewhere easily accessible for daily reading. Think about what you would really like to do and refocus your energies on your needs and what’s important to you.
  3. Take a 2-minute gratitude break – a simple habit of following is to take a break for a couple of minutes every day to appreciate what you do. Do this exercise by writing down three things you do that you feel good about and appreciate about yourself, such as “I can make people laugh when they are stressed or I can be thoughtful when someone needs my help” etc. It may be for only two minutes but it’s a powerful way to turn off your negative thoughts, boost your self-esteem and fill you with positive energy.
  4. Do the things that will raise your self-esteem – exercise and eat healthy meals will make you feel good about yourself. Keeping that focus is not easy but can make a difference how you think and feel about yourself and get the results you want.
  5. Being perfect is not important – replace the thoughts that are destructive especially about being perfect. To overcome the perfectionist habits – go for the words ‘that is good enough for me’. Buying into the perfect myth in life can hurt your motivation and harm your job, family life and ability to achieve.
  6. Be aware that people make mistakes and look at them positively – fear of failure can stop us from trying to achieve our goals resulting in never fulfilling our potential. If you do struggle – try to relax and stay calm, don’t beat yourself up, find another way to be constructive and achieve your goals.
  7. Be kind towards people – it doesn’t take a lot to be kind and you will be treated like you treat others. Listen when someone has something to say about their problems. Encourage your family or friends to try new things and motivate them. Help someone in a practical manner.
  8. Stop comparing yourself to other people – everyone is different and if you focus on comparing yourself to other people you will have this self-destructive habit that goes nowhere. There are always people who do better than you, so focus on the goals you wish to achieve, not on what other people are doing.
  9. Spend time with motivational people – find someone you admire and emulate them. Also, avoid negative people that drag you down. Being kinder to yourself and to the people that motivate you, will replace the trying to ‘be perfect’ habit, will help you move forward and will give you a fresh perception of the way you want your life to be.
  10. Remember why is it important to build your self-esteem – to keep you motivated and build unstoppable self-confidence. Remembering the reasons why you want to build your self-esteem and making it your priority, this will help you achieve your goals in life.

If lack of self-esteem is preventing you from being successful in your business or personal life, there is help available. Don’t let anxiety and low self-confidence hold you back in your social life and career anymore. Therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can help you tackle low self-esteem, negative thoughts and self-destructive habits. Find out more by calling me for an informal chat about your needs. 07967151790 or [email protected]

Quitting Smoking When You’ve Tried Unsuccessfully Before

In my experience, by the time clients seek help to quit smoking using hypnotherapy they’ve already tried a number of other ways to stop – unsuccessfully. In this post, I’m going to share how one client who had smoked for many years and had tried to quit smoking several times, finally kicked the habit. If you are struggling to stop smoking, I hope that this will inspire you to try again.

Stop Smoking With Hypnotherapy A Case Study

Harry had tried many times over the past 5 years to quit smoking but always started up again when he felt his addiction to cigarettes return. He regularly said to himself ‘I have done damage to myself already so why should I quit smoking now, I won’t be able to cope with the cravings and anxiety I feel when I am not smoking’. But then he had a bout of pneumonia and the doctor warned him that if he continued to smoke he would seriously damage his health. He also has high blood pressure and gastric problems and a combination of these health issues motivated him to take action.

Harry had warnings about his health before but could not keep the cravings at bay and kept going back to his smoking habit. Harry smoked roll-up cigarettes for 25 years since he was 14 years old and as the years went by he was smoking more and more without realising how many he smoked in the day. Due to his addiction to smoking, his wife had started smoking too. He had a dedicated a room outside as his office, in reality, it was his smoking room. He has 3 children and the thing that made him contact me was a small sentence that his 10-year-old son said to him on the way to football practice. He said ‘dad you won’t be there will you when I grow up’ This made him stop and think and he contacted me in desperation as he really wanted to see his son grow up and become an adult.

Harry knew that if he did not change his smoking behaviour he would not be around for his kids, he has 2 younger children as well. He had tried vaping, nicotine patches and gum but none of them worked for him. He spoke about his struggles to a close friend who told about how he had quit using cognitive behaviour therapy and hypnosis. When Harry finally made that call, he had decided that it was the time he changed his habits and behaviours and make a life-changing decision to give up smoking for good. He wanted to get to the root cause of his smoking behaviour long-term and get back in control of his life.

After the first session, Harry was able to throw away all the roll-up cigarettes he had. He cleared his house, turned his ‘office’ into a playroom for his kids and started to spend time with his family that he had not ever done before. He also took an interest in the little odd jobs around the house that had piled up and started to tackle them one by one. He spent the first weekend in years attending to his family needs and having fun.

Making The Decision To Quit

When Harry came to our first session, he smoked 40-50 roll-up cigarettes a day, not noticing how many he was smoking in a day. When he realised what he was doing to his body and health, he made the life-changing decision to stop. His ‘aha’ moment came when his son said ‘you won’t be there dad when I grow up’ this struck a chord with him and he was shocked and surprised about.

After 5 sessions Harry was:

  • Not smoking, and had removed all cigarettes and evidence of smoking from his house and car
  • Was spending more time with his family, and encouraging his wife to stop smoking too
  • Joined a gym and working on getting his health back on track
  • Saving money – by not smoking he was able to book a holiday in the Autumn so he and his family could have some quality time together

“When I met Andrea my goal was to reduce my cigarette smoking as it relieved my stress but with her sessions I learned to cope with my stress and when I was under pressure and focused on quitting for good.” Harry

CBT focuses on the here and now – not what has happened in the past but how you are feeling today. Harry identified his negative thoughts and developed a new way of thinking about his life. He identified his distorted thought patterns and learned to deal with the stress that caused him to smoke. He was able to:

  • Build his self-confidence in his abilities at work
  • Motivate himself to quit smoking for good and never touch another cigarette again
  • Identify the triggers that caused him to smoke and using the techniques I taught him to respond differently in those situations
  • He learned to stay calm, relaxed and resisted the urge to smoke in times of stress
  • He changed his negative thoughts from ‘why am I trying to quit when I never will quit or what’s the point of quitting’ to ‘I feel good that I have quit smoking and I am happier and healthier than before, I will be there for my kids when they grow up’
  • He also replaced negative and destructive thought patterns with positive and healthy thoughts
  • He used the skills and techniques I taught to build a positive self-image without cigarettes
  • He learnt strategies like breathing exercises, mindfulness and importance of healthy eating habits, exercising of mind and body.

Harry said,

“I felt at the end of my tether when I came to Andrea and frustrated as I could not move forward with my life. I felt stuck and thought that if I don’t make changes now I will lose my family. I now feel fantastic. I have quit smoking permanently, choosing a healthy way of living. Identifying what causing me to smoke and keep smoking was the key to my success, it has been one of the best things that has happened to me. I will continue to use the techniques that Andrea has given me and am working on long-term goals.”

I have designed an online ‘Stop Smoking Course’ that can help you quit like Harry, click here for more details. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to me about giving up smoking and the options you have available, please contact me on 0796 715 1790 or email [email protected]