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Why Are You Procrastinating? Positive Steps For Business People

Is procrastinating about things you have to do or must do, a good or a bad thing? Being negative about your delaying habits is not good for your self-esteem – you feel guilty about being lazy, feel unmotivated, and your list of to-do things gets longer and longer and you feel anxious and stressed. However sometimes procrastinators are very creative, and once they get to work on a project they can be more productive and create better results. If the consequence of this that other stuff doesn’t get done – dirty laundry and dishes, invoicing put off for another week – that can be OK.

What’s Going On When We Procrastinate?

When you delay doing a task that means your unconscious mind is working on the task and you are not ready to showcase your final project. So when finding other things to do such as cleaning the house, updating your social media profiles, or doing less important activities, you are letting your ideas percolate and giving your creativity and brain time to get a feel of the project. If you want to find a creative way to finish your project, procrastination happens when you are planning in your mind, letting the different pieces of information sink in and when you sit to start the job it synthesises it all in.

Daydreaming and procrastination also allow for your stress for the deadline to build and increases your motivation. There is an invisible relationship between your performance and the stress you feel and you can harness this together proactively. You can use this as your strategy to be more productive without allowing the feelings of overwhelming to build. Most people think that things need to be done a certain way but changing things up and letting your creativity flow is the smart thing to do. For example, if you had to start a report today, rushed to complete it but made lots of mistakes because you have not thought it through, you may find it surprising beneficial to spend some time procrastinating and then rework the project.

How To Procrastinate Proactively

Here are five steps that businesspeople can use to turn their procrastination into a positive force:

  1. Intentionally procrastinate: do this so you can percolate your ideas, giving yourself the time to be sure and think. Allow some time to procrastinate when setting yourself deadlines.
  2. Find out why you are procrastinating and what is the reason you are stalling from doing the job you need to. Maybe the reason you’re procrastinating is because you’re not actually ready to see through your ideas? Perhaps you don’t believe your plan is a good one, or that a product or service is really ready to launch. These uncertainties may be causing your subconscious to put the breaks on while you think things through. Or are you delaying because it’s against your values and principles? Do you fear failure? If you can find out the answers to all these questions then you will be able to move on.
  3. Don’t let your guilt about procrastinating stop you from moving forward with your business idea or product. If you start to have negative thoughts you will let your mind get into a negative spin of procrastination and be self-critical about your ideas. Don’t beat yourself up about procrastinating, instead see it as a positive that can actually help you long term.
  4. Solving the problem that causes you to procrastinate. If you’re putting off doing something because it’s daunting, find a way to break it down into smaller chunks. You may think you’re procrastinating because of the ‘big challenge’ but you may find it’s actually because of a single element of the overall challenge. For example, perhaps you need to have a difficult conversation to push the project through, or there’s a task involved that you don’t enjoy doing. You may find that tackling these head on will release your productivity.
  5. Make your business colleague or a friend help you be accountable – team up with this friend in order to share deadlines, achieve your goals and share ideas or suggestions that will make sure you meet your deadlines. You can both help stay accountable and on track by collaborating and talking or planning together to figure how to best achieve your goal.

If you find that your productivity and success if hampered by procrastinating and you’re struggling to turn it from a negative into a positive, cognitive behaviour therapy can help. For a free consultation or chat about the challenges you’re facing, contact me to see whether CBT could help you focus on what’s important.

Call 07967 151790 or email [email protected]

10 Mental Strategies For Weight Loss – Think Yourself Thin

One of the most common issues I help clients with is weight loss. Generally, when someone comes to see me it’s after several attempts to lose weight. They’ve tried various diets, exercise regimes and weight loss plans but haven’t been able to keep up with them and the weight has crept back.

The reason for this is often a combination of unrealistic expectations, unsustainable weight loss plans, and entrenched self-defeating habits and behaviours that make losing weight and keeping it off even harder.

In modern day society, people like to feel instantly gratified and tend to lose interest if losing weight takes too long. But most people lose weight slowly and keeping to a diet plan is a difficult and a lengthy process. Normally it is advisable to lose 1-2 pounds of weight per week and if we lose weight fast we lose lean tissue and water but not fat.

Keeping to a weight loss plan over time is hard. This is why it is really important to address what’s going on in your head, as much as what’s happening to the rest of your body. If you can change those self-defeating habits, how you view food and install some positive behaviours that will help you stick to your plan; you’ll have much better chance of losing the weight for good.

Weight Loss Strategies: Install Positive Habits And Behaviours

So here are 10 mental strategies for weight loss so you can achieve your weight loss goals and think yourself thin.

  1. Imagine yourself thin. Visualise yourself being thin 3 – 6 months in the future and how great you look wearing the clothes you want to wear. Find photos of you when you were your thinner self and this help motivate to achieve your ideal goal weight. Make a list of the different ways you can incorporate this into your life. Think or imagine you are eating less and not indulging in unhealthy foods.
  2. Break your old habits and see a positive image of yourself. Choose activities like a new yoga or Zumba class that will distract you and give you a new focus and a new you.
  3. Have realistic expectations. When setting your weight loss goals make sure they’re realistic and achievable. Losing a lot of weight quickly is not healthy and is often incompatible with daily life. If your exercise and diet plan does not fit in with your lifestyle, you’re more likely to fail. Of course, any weight loss plan involves making adjustments and compromises to your unhealthy lifestyle, but a balance needs to be achieved to ensure you can stick to it.
  4. Set small goals that are (SMART) specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Make a list of these smart and small goals that would improve your health and lifestyle and change your attitude to weight loss completely. Eating healthier meals with fruits and vegetables, getting 30 minutes of exercise per day, drinking less alcohol, eating healthy snacks, eating a salad instead of potato chips will help you to succeed in your goals.
  5. Accept support from your family and friends. Enlist friends and family to support your weight loss plan and help make you accountable. Even better lose weight with a friend so you can both motivate and support each other. Alternatively get an app that will send motivational messages and keep you on track when you have cravings. If you do have a day where you have indulged in a naughty treat then don’t beat yourself up but think of it as an off day and start again. Make this your one splurge of the week.
  6. Setting your action plan in motion. Create a programme for your exercise regime and a weekly healthy meal plan and you will see results. Make this a priority so can start building healthy behaviours from the offset so these become second nature.
  7. Give yourself a reward. A massage, a day at the spa, movie with a dear friend, this will help you feel good and grow your confidence. Reward yourself for accomplishing your goals you will feel good about your weight and celebrate your healthier self.
  8. Get rid of old habits of eating junk food if you want to succeed in losing weight. Identify the times when you are most likely to eat unhealthy foods such as cakes, biscuits and crisps. Swap them for healthy alternatives like a glass of water, fruit or nuts. Clear out the unhealthy snacks and replace them with better choices so you have less temptation to reach for the things that will cause you to put on weight.
  9. Keep a record of meals and snacks. Make a note of when and what you eat so that you can see how well you’re doing and also spot any triggers that cause you to eat unhealthily. For example, you may notice that if you haven’t eaten a proper meal at lunchtime you end up snacking on unhealthy food later in the day. With this information, you can plan your meals better, and avoid those unhealthy habits. By keeping a record you will also stay accountable so you less likely to go off track.
  10. Visualise you have a magic pause button inside you that stops you from reaching for the junk foods. If you feel like indulging in naughty foods ‘Pause and Think’ for at least 5-10 minutes before you make that decision to eat the chocolate bar. By not immediately giving in to your cravings you will realise that you do have the willpower to take control of your diet and weight.

For more support with losing weight download my eBook 10 Simple Steps To Weight Loss Success.

The Biggest Barrier To Success Is Self-Limiting Belief

What you believe in reflects what you experience in your life. How strong your self-belief is measured in terms of your success.

Many people do not have a clear idea about what is that they want, and what it is that they don’t want. Often we have made our goals a long time ago and never looked at them again or re-evaluated them. If you want to succeed it is time you set SMART (Simple Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely) goals and make them visible so they can be fresh and present in your mind and not hide in a drawer somewhere.

In this post, I will share some ways to overcome self-limiting beliefs that may be affecting your career or ability to make a success of your business.

How To Achieve Your Goals 

‘Building a successful business is not embracing someone else’s philosophy, but staying true to your own beliefs about the world and learning from the mistakes you make along the way.’ – Ben Parr

  • Being curious and learning as much as possible about how you can achieve your goal can be your first step in your journey. Start with researching online courses, reading books and listening to people who are successful – this will give you a benchmark about what you need to do to achieve your goals. Finding someone you respect and admire to mentor you is an excellent way to get the knowledge you desire, as well as support from someone who has ‘been there’. Don’t be afraid to approach someone about whether they would be prepared to help. Many successful business leaders want to contribute and help others succeed.

‘My beliefs will run through everything I do. My beliefs, and my values are my anchor when people try to drag me down, as I know they will, it is to that sense of right and wrong, that sense of whom I am and what I believe, to which I will always hold.’ – Ed Miliband

  • Use the different ideas you have learnt to create something unique and tailored to what you want to achieve is another step in your journey. Take risks, be brave and dare to be different. Concentrate on your end result and list all the things you need to do get the outcome you want. Try not to be distracted by what others are doing. When you try to be competitive you will focus on other people, so just try to succeed at your own pace but with determination. Believe in your mind that you can do it and you will use all your energy and commitment to achieve success.

‘People have a lot of different beliefs, and at the end of the day, we all have deeply held beliefs that probably don’t make sense to anyone.’ – Trey Parker

  • Think positively about your goals, and do not look at obstacles before you even start. Being positive and believing in your ability to achieve your goals will get you where you need to be. If you tend to be influenced by negative people then you will find it difficult to succeed. Fuel your desire for success with strong positive affirmations, don’t be afraid to fail as you will learn from your mistakes, face difficult challenges and view yourself without the self-limiting beliefs and negativity. Make a commitment to yourself to work hard and let nothing stand in your way to achieving the success you want.

Every business owner has to overcome their self-limiting beliefs before they grow and succeed in business. You might have buried these limiting beliefs or your fear of failure has stopped you from taking risks, but they will stop you from achieving your full potential.

The key to your success is growing, learning and development of a mindset that takes action and conquers doubt.

Here’s how to deal with five common self-limiting beliefs:

  1. Not feeling confident about what you say – it’s very common for business owners to question whether what they say about their business is good enough. The feedback that you receive from your prospective clients will tell if your content is good. Are emails that you have sent out being opened, have people been engaging on your social media posts, are people commenting on your blogs and visiting your website? Are you making sales? If you want to succeed don’t second-guess yourself and think that your efforts aren’t good enough. Look for evidence from other people about whether you’re getting it right. Don’t let this become a belief that is self-limiting to your success.
  2. Pricing your services correctly – people find money a difficult topic especially when you ask for payment. If you charge a fair price, your clients will value your services and you will give them your best. As you are offering to help your clients with their biggest struggles, base your charges on the value you provide.
  3. Competition – even if there are a lot of people providing the same service, you are unique and embrace that. Most people try to follow influencers in their field and mimic them, blend in and they don’t try to be different due to their self-limiting beliefs. Believe in yourself and infuse that in your business and you will be successful.
  4. Lack of confidence in your credentials – as a business entrepreneur your knowledge and confidence come from years of learning your subject and experience. While in some fields qualifications are essential, in others experience and natural ability are more important. Focus on building your credentials by delivering an excellent service to the clients you are helping.
  5. Not enough money and resources – most businesses require a financial contribution to get them off the ground, and without investment, it may hold them back. Don’t let money become a self-limiting belief that prevents you from growing your business. There are a lot of free resources out there, so learn and build your business step-by-step.

Changing your negative mindset that tells you that ‘you can’t do it’ or that you’re not good enough’ is vital if you want to succeed in business. Acknowledging that you have these thoughts is the first step; the next is to overcome them with more positive thoughts and beliefs. If you are struggling to overcome your limiting self-beliefs, you may find that cognitive behaviour therapy can help, providing you with the opportunity, to be frank with yourself, rationalise these thoughts, and change your attitudes and entrenched views.

From a business perspective getting help with this early could enable you to fast track your business success and achieve your goals sooner.

If you would like to chat about any of the issues explored in this post and find out more about my services and how I’ve to help business owners overcome their self-limiting beliefs, please get in touch. Call 0796 715 1790 or email [email protected]

Frightened Of Spiders? How To Overcome Your Fear Phobia

 

It’s the beginning of September and the spiders are out in force, coming indoors at this time of the year as the weather changes. Fear of spiders is called Arachnophobia and it is a very common phobia. So how to cope with your spider phobia?

I recently helped Wendy who had a long-term fear of spiders. With just one session of hypnotherapy, we were able to cure this phobia allowing her to deal with these eight-legged creatures in a much more controlled way.

How To Overcome Your Fear Of Spiders

As Wendy says, when faced with a spider her anxiety was so high that she once jumped on the dining table to wait for her husband to come home and deal with it. Her flight or fight response naturally kicked in to help her with her anxiety levels. Her heart rate, breathing rate and adrenaline levels increased.

If you have a similar response to spiders or other phobias you will know that someone telling you to calm down is not very helpful. Instead, a good method is to learn to control your breathing and stay calm, with the understanding that the spider or other fear will not actually hurt you.

Generally, when we are stressed our breathing quickens and when we are relaxed and calm we take deep slow breaths. By reversing your panic and anxiety symptoms when confronted by a spider, reducing hyperventilation and guiding your body towards being calmer, you will be in control. Also by mentally relaxing your mind and slowing your breathing rate, you will feel strong and in control of your fear.

Deep breathing techniques are powerful and can be used to:

  • To calm anxiety and panic attacks
  • Reduces your breathing when you hyperventilate
  • To calm your emotional arousal when you are in the presence of a spider
  • To relax and be in control of your mind and body

During her hypnotherapy session, I helped Wendy learn how to control her response when she sees a spider, giving her time to use relaxation techniques before her anxiety has a chance to escalate.

Here’s how to teach yourself deep breathing techniques that you can then use when confronted by your fears.

Deep Breathing For Fears And Phobias

Sit in a quiet place on your couch or lie on your bed and make your body comfortable (this might be difficult when you are anxious due to the presence of a spider but try to sit somewhere where you can relax).

Notice where you are tense and anxious and where you hold it in your body – tighten your muscles and relax them. Place both hands on your tummy and take deep long breaths – gently breath in and out, fill your lungs and then let go. You will feel your tummy inflating and falling with each in-breath and out-breath and not your chest. Notice how each in-breath feels and how it feels on the out-breath. Focus on your tummy as you breath out.

To get the best benefit in order to gain control over your overall breathing patterns always practice this at least 4 -5 times a day.

How to cope with your fear of spiders or other phobias: A practical technique:

  1. On a scale of 0 to 10 (with 10 the most scared) rate, your anxiety or nervousness with regards the fear you feel,
  2. Relax your mind and keep your eyes closed,
  3. Visualise the situation or imagine (first image) what it is like when you see a spider or experience your phobia. See what you see and hear what you would hear when you are in this situation and observe the tension, anxiety, panic and nervousness,
  4. Now imagine another image (second image) inside your first image, but this time virtualise yourself being calm and confident. Create a big image of yourself fighting this fear and winning, use previous experiences of being successful at something to help you recreate how this feels,
  5. Bring in the first image of that fearful situation, looking and hearing what you would when you are faced with seeing the spider, feeling scared and anxious,
  6. Quickly squash this fear your second image – calm and confident, breathing gently notice everything around you and the way you feel and behave,
  7. Focus on the calm image for about five seconds,
  8. Then open and quickly close your eyes,
  9. Now repeat your steps 4 till 8 for another 9 repetitions (repeating it for a total 10 times),
  10. Check if your nervousness and anxiety has come down between on a 0 to 10 scale
  11. If you still feel stressed repeat steps 4 to 8 for another 10 repetitions until you feel comfortable.

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) uses systematic desensitisation and exposure therapy involving restructuring the way you think about spiders.

CBT helps by restructuring the way you feel (fear) and think about spiders and your action or behaviour of avoiding spiders. CBT helps by challenging and replacing your automatic thoughts, for example by replacing “I am scared and spiders will hurt me” to “Spiders are ok and are just small animals that run away when approached”.

When you get overwhelmed with your fears and phobias and you consciously scan your environment constantly for possible threats; a way to feel better is to reduce your general anxiety and stress. Generally, if your anxiety is high, perhaps because of other issues such work-related stress, relationship difficulties and low self-confidence, you can start to obsess about certain things. Your underlying anxiety is down to these issues, but it manifests most strongly in your fear of spiders or another phobia.

The benefits of reducing your anxiety will quieten your mind so you don’t obsess about things. By practicing deep breathing techniques, mindfulness, self-hypnosis, meditation and yoga you can achieve a calm and happier lifestyle.

If you have a spider phobia or any other fears that are making you unhappy, please contact me to discuss how cognitive behaviour therapy can help. Call 07967 151790 or email [email protected]

Why Do Men Find It Easier To Give Up Smoking Than Women?

Samantha says, ‘I have been trying to give up smoking for years. I have managed 3 times for a short time but always find myself starting again. I have tried really hard but find myself hopelessly addicted. My husband was trying to quit the same time as me and has given up for 3 weeks now.’

She’s not alone. Many women have similar stories of finding giving up smoking much harder than their male friends and family. So, why do men find it easier to give up smoking than women?

Generally, men find it easier to quit smoking than women because of the different ways our brains respond to nicotine addiction. Cigarette smoking tends to be a more of an emotional attachment to women, than physical. This is why addressing the emotional satisfaction and associations with the act of smoking, before the physical cravings, is so important for women to successful quit smoking for good.

Nicotine Receptors And Giving Up Smoking

Researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine in the US conducted a study that found that men had more nicotine receptors compared to men that did not smoke. Conversely, women who smoked had an equal number of nicotine receptors to the woman that did not smoke.

“When you look at it by gender, you see this big difference,” said study researcher Kelly Cosgrove, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.

These findings are important because it suggests that addressing nicotine addiction is not as important for women, as for men. While men may benefit from smoking cessation treatments such as nicotine patches and gum, women need to take a different approach. The researchers in the study suggest that women benefit more from cognitive behaviour therapies that help to address the emotional and cultural reasons they smoke. Relaxation and deep breathing exercises may also help more than using nicotine replacement therapies.

Emotional Reasons For Smoking

For women, smoking can often be associated with emotional triggers such as having coffee with a friend, occupying themselves when feeling insecure or the tactile sensation of having a cigarette between their fingers.

Here are some of the reasons why women find it difficult to give up cigarettes:

  1. Women often find when they are stressed and anxious they relapse because they equate smoking with relaxation,
  2. Women may find withdrawal symptoms harder to manage because they are not just fighting their nicotine addiction but also the sensation or act of smoking,
  3. Aids like nicotine replacement – gums and patches are not as effective with women due to how nicotine affects their brain,
  4. Women may also be apprehensive about putting on weight, it’s a popular belief that they replace cigarettes with junk food, and may justify smoking for weight control,
  5. Hormones fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can make quitting harder as women may also have to contend with emotions that cause them fall back into the smoking habit.

How Women Can Increase Their Chances Of Quitting For Good

If you really want to stop smoking you need to learn to cope with difficult feelings or situations. This may mean finding alternative ways of dealing stress.

For many, smoking is seen as a stress reliever (although it actually increases stress) so deep breathing exercises that mimic the habit of cigarette puffing, can really help. In fact, deep breathing exercises can not only provide a substitute for smoking but effectively reduce stress levels, unlike cigarettes.

Motivating and building self-confidence can also play an important role in quit smoking.

  1. Identify triggers to your smoking habit: when are you likely to feel like smoking? Recognise your patterns and understanding what your triggers to smoking are,
  2. Identify the reasons that you keep smoking. What causes you to have low mood and self-esteem, be anxious, get stressed etc.?
  3. Do things differently. Don’t try to do quit using the same approach as your male friends and relatives. Get support from a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist; try mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, and ask for support from family and friends and the people closest to you,
  4. Set goals: SMART- simple, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely goals: Set a date, time and clear all the cigarettes from your home, desk and car,
  5. Drink plenty of water at least 6-8 glasses per day,
  6. Start a plan to exercise regularly and keep the momentum going,
  7. Avoid situation that will cause you to smoke again – social situations, friends that smoke, going to the pub. Don’t worry it’s only a temporary measure, once you’ve taken control of your smoking you can start to do these things again!
  8. Get a new hobby to replace your addictive habit,
  9. Use positive self-talk that will motivate and distract you from smoking. Many women find that delaying smoking a cigarette is an effective way to reduce the amount you smoke over time. For example, instead of having your first cigarette on the way to work, decide to have it later in the day and gradually extend this period of time. The feeling of empowerment can be very motivating – taking control – in fact, you might then decide to delay that first cigarette for good.
  10. Your nicotine craving will last only for 20 minutes so tell yourself, ‘it will pass, I can get through it.’

Women need to develop the confidence to find the best way to give up smoking for them. Instead of being influenced by what works for other people, particularly men, or what manufacturers of nicotine replacement products advocate, women need to understand what techniques will be effective for them.

In my opinion, the first step is to understand why you smoke. Forget about nicotine addiction, but focus on the emotional reasons you crave cigarettes and address these first.

If you would like to find out more about cognitive behaviour therapy and how this can be used to uncover those emotional triggers and teach you healthier ways to manage these, and give up smoking, contact me for an informal chat.

You may also like to take advantage of a free 30 minute consultation to chat through any issues you currently face.

Weight Loss With CBT: A Case Study

A wake-up call from his doctor warning that he was pre-diabetic and on a slippery slope to becoming morbidly obese; was the catalyst that resulted in him contacting me.

Toby knew that he needed to change his behaviour and habits around food. Slimming products were not having the desired effect as he was overeating and not exercising. Having found out about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and clinical hypnotherapy, he decided that this was the way to turn his life around.

In just 6 sessions Toby was able to:

  • Gain control over his excessive eating and take control over what he eats,
  • Start an exercise regimen to suit his schedule and has now been going to the gym for the last two months,
  • Lose his target weight of 1 and a half stone in the 2 months since he has been to therapy with me.

Overweight And Miserable

When Toby came to me he was 42, four stone overweight, and living with his mother. He was increasingly finding that his weight was affecting his health, he found it difficult to get around and a blood test had shown his blood sugar levels were too high. His doctor had spelt out the prognosis, ‘lose the weight or you’ll become diabetic’ – diabetes and obesity can lead to other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease.

As well as the impact on his physical health he was also feeling unhappy, self-conscious, anxious and lacked self-confidence because of his weight. This meant that he didn’t socialise and spent most of his free time playing computer games and watching old movies with his mum.

Bad Habits

When he first contacted me Toby said, ‘I snack a lot after my main meals, eating bread, chocolate, fatty foods and fizzy drinks. My mum cooks huge meals and I don’t want to hurt her feelings so I eat even when I am not hungry. I struggle with anxiety and panic attacks and eating makes me feel better, but that has meant I’ve withdrawn from the outside world and I’ve been hiding at home with mum’.

As his weight has increased Toby has found exercising difficult. He’s self-conscious of his body fat and his low mood has prevented him from feeling motivated and strong enough to go to the gym or to the pool for a swim.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy And Clinical Hypnotherapy

‘From the minute I met Andrea I know that she understood exactly how I felt and she immediately put me at ease. The sessions were relaxed, informative and I learnt calming and relaxation techniques that I will take away for the rest of my life’.

The warning from his doctor came at the right time and Toby decided it was the time he took charge of his weight and life too. He thought clinical hypnotherapy would give him the motivation to change his thoughts and feelings about his image, and also his behaviour towards food. He wanted to eat less and exercise more. He wanted to start eating healthy meals, cut back on the snacks and find the motivation to exercise to tone his body. As a result, he would feel confident to go out with a few people at work and make friends. He thought that this would also give him the courage to move out and then start to cook and look after his own dietary needs. He was right!

I worked with Toby over 6 sessions and during this time he made some significant changes.

Initially, we worked on his self-esteem and his negative and self-critical feelings – ‘I am useless, worthless, unattractive, not worth loving’. We also changed his focus on food and the thoughts he had around eating – ‘if I start eating I cannot stop – I am really out of control’.

Instead, we found a new focus revolving around exercise, healthy eating and mindfulness. Taking control over his diet and food consumption has radically changed the negative emotions he had around food, and this has improved his self-esteem.

At the same time, Toby has made some changes at home and in his social life. He now cooks his own meals to ensure that they are healthy and for portion control, and he has started to socialise with a few people at work. As well as swimming once a week, he has also renewed an old hobby (bowling), which also gives him an opportunity to meet new people.

The stand out feature of this therapy was that it has changed him and his eating habits for good. He felt better that he had ever felt in his life. He also felt confident and asked his boss for a promotion and started doing a course on weekends and online so he could work towards this. CBT and clinical hypnotherapy has given him a new lease of life, and one new friendship he has made has the potential to become more serious.

‘After 6 sessions I was able to change my habits and behaviours with CBT’.

Now two months on from starting CBT and clinical hypnotherapy, he no longer has any sessions but is continuing to achieve his goals.

Toby now exercises four times a week and has lost 1 and a half stone. He feels confident that he now has the right mindset to continue this good work and lose the rest of the weight in a healthy and sensible way.

He has also moved into his own home.

Toby says, ‘In my opinion, CBT and clinical hypnotherapy is a healthier way to lose weight as it has dealt with the negative emotions and behaviours I had about food and my body image. Andrea has gently guided me towards a healthier way of living, giving me the tools to continue working towards my goals.’


If you would like to talk in confidence about your relationship with food, weight loss, body image, anxiety or any other issue that Toby’s story highlights, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation. You can call 07967 151 790, email [email protected] or book a consultation here.

 

Is Fear Of Failure Damaging Your Career Or Business Opportunities?

Lack of confidence or a fear of failure is a common issue that many business owners and professionals suffer from. It can cause problems with your health and personal life and could damage your career. This fear of failing is conditioned in us and is caused by mistakes made in the past or our childhood experiences. To advance in life and stop things that will remove you from the world of opportunity, you can make a choice to overcome this fear and improve your self-confidence.

  • Do you find it difficult to finish a project because you’re doubtful of the results?
  • Do you, in front of strangers, avoid making a stand on issues you are passionate about?
  • Do you hide away from networking for your business with strangers even if it’s important?
  • Do you avoid pitching to new clients or applying for new jobs because you think you might not get it – even when you have the right experience and expertise?

If any of the above questions resonate with you then you should know that you are not alone. People hate to fail, failure presents itself as a threat to their motivation to be successful and they would do anything to avoid this threat. But fear of failure could actually be more damaging than failure itself, stopping you grasping new opportunities or taking risks that could result in career development or business success.

Fear Of Failure, Self-Confidence And Self-Esteem

Signs that you fear to fail at things:

  • Hesitation in trying something new or getting involved in a project that challenges you.
  • Anxious thoughts and procrastination that damage your self-esteem, and telling yourself that you are unable to complete your goals.
  • Low self-confidence reinforced by your negative thoughts.
  • Limiting yourself by only attempting challenges that you can finish perfectly, or you don’t try at all.

As you can see if you are risk-averse and always try to avoid doing things that you might potentially fail at, you limit your opportunities and also damage your self-esteem. However, if you view these perceived failures as opportunities to grow, learn, adapt to new things, and make positive changes, you can use failure as a tool to help you achieve more than if you didn’t try to start with.

  • Are you risk-adverse? If you fail at something you can learn from your mistakes and the next time it will be better. How you perceive this failure and use this as a stepping-stone towards managing these setbacks can be seen as a secret towards your success.
  • Do you give up really easily? Your career and ambition is important and there will be challenges ahead, some will be easy and some are difficult. Don’t give up too quickly or you might regret it and it will damage your future.
  • Do you have expectations that are unrealistic? When you make your goals make them SMART (Simple Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely) and accept that you can only do this within your limitations. In order to achieve success take your first challenge and then the next and next one after.

You can be successful if you are realistic, expect to face a few failures, obstacles and problems; acknowledge them, deal with them and never give up. Ask yourself ‘How much further would I be in my career if I could gain control over the fear of failure?’

“Failure is simply an opportunity to being again, this time more intelligently” Henry Ford.

How To Overcome The Fear Of Failure

The first step is to acknowledge that with the choices and decisions we make there is always a chance we can fail. Face the challenge that you have in front of you and embrace it.

  • Evaluate all potential outcomes: If you have a clear idea of possible outcomes, good and bad, you will be in control and this is has a positive effect on self-esteem.
  • Stop thinking negatively: It’s normal for you to fear failure but if it’s preventing you from achieving what you want out of life, it’s time to take control and get help.
  • Think positively: An incredibly powerful way to build your self-confidence is by eliminating all self-sabotaging thoughts and focus on positive thinking.
  • Have a plan for unforeseen circumstances: When you know what you will do if things don’t work out, you will be able to move forward and build confidence in yourself.

Goal setting is another important aspect. Important for self-confidence and for defining how you want to progress in your career. Experts recommend a tool called visualisation, where you can imagine your life having achieved your goals and this will keep you moving forward positively. You can start with taking small goals first and this will help build your self-confidence and prevent you from getting overwhelmed. With growing self-confidence, it will be possible to tackle the bigger goals when you’re ready.

Why Failure Can Be Positive

Once you have conquered your fear of failure, you may actually embrace it! Failure can teach us lots of useful things;

  • How to do these better or differently in the future,
  • How small fails are often insignificant when we look at the big picture,
  • How resilient and innovative you can be when things go wrong.

These experiences help us to become less risk-averse when faced with new opportunities or challenges, and this, in turn, means you are more likely to succeed and achieve your goals.

Changing the way you think about failure, your self-esteem and self-confidence can be difficult, especially if your fear of failure has become entrenched. However the benefits of overcoming this fear are infinite – potentially opening up an exciting new career trajectory, business growth, wealth or job satisfaction.


If this is something you struggle with and would like help for, contact me for an informal chat and to see whether a few sessions of hypnotherapy for confidence could help you.

07967151790 or [email protected]

Insomnia: Why Can’t I Sleep At Night?

Do you struggle to get to sleep no matter how tired you are? Or do you wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours, anxiously watching the clock?

Insomnia is the inability to get the amount of sleep you need to wake up feeling rested and refreshed. Because different people need different amounts of sleep, insomnia is defined by the quality of your sleep and how you feel after sleeping—not the number of hours you sleep or how quickly you doze off. Even if you’re spending eight hours a night in bed, if you feel drowsy and fatigued during the day, you may be experiencing insomnia.

Read on for my tips for getting to sleep, and getting back to sleep if you wake in the middle of the night…

Stop Insomnia Without Medication

Sleeplessness is a common problem that takes a toll on your energy, mood, health, and ability to function during the day. Fortunately, you don’t have to resign yourself to sleepless nights. Simple changes to your lifestyle and daily habits can put a stop to sleeplessness without the need for medication.

Symptoms of not sleeping well include:

  • difficulty in falling asleep despite being tired,
  • having trouble getting back to sleep when waking in the middle of the night,
  • waking up too early in the morning,
  • relying on sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep,
  • feeling tired even after a nights sleep,
  • daytime drowsiness, fatigue or irritability,
  • difficulty concentrating during the day.

8 Tips For Dropping Of To Sleep: 

  1. Wind-down for at least 30 minutes before you go to bed with a warm drink (caffeine free) or by reading a book. Switch off the bright lights and don’t do anything that keeps you alert,
  2. Switch off all your electronic devices like computers and phones as the illuminated screens on these devices can keep you alert and makes it harder for your brain to switch off,
  3. Keep a notepad by your bedside to write a list of things that are going through your mind that is keeping you up at night,
  4. If you go to bed at night and don’t fall asleep for 20- 30 minutes, go to the living room and read or listen to some relaxing music. There is no point lying in bed as it can build an unhealthy connection between your wakefulness and sleeping. Use your bed for sleeping so your brain associates it to going to sleep,
  5. Try to go bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time as well. This creates a routine and it will adjust your body clock accordingly,
  6. Stressful activity like reading a report or trying to sort a work issue can keep you up, so create a routine that you will stop work at a specific time at night,
  7. Try to avoid late meals before going to bed. Foods rich in fat are difficult to digest and spicy or acidic foods can give you heartburn that will keep you awake at night,
  8. Exercising regularly can help with your insomnia symptoms, promoting activity during the day, but not near your bedtime.

5 Tips For Going Back To Sleep When You Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night:

  1. Avoid drinking coffee after a certain time at night as it promotes wakefulness,
  2. Get some blackout blinds as that your environment around bedtime is dark and quiet. Block out all sounds that can disturb your sleep routine,
  3. Practice a deep breathing technique,
  4. If you still cannot fall asleep for 20 – 30 minutes, get out of bed and read in another room until you feel tired again and then go to bed,
  5. Write down everything that is worrying you and keeping you awake to deal with in the morning.

Relaxation and mindfulness techniques can harness the body’s natural relaxation response and help when you feel wound up and tense, feeling unable to let go of stress and anxious thoughts at the end of the day. These techniques will help to calm and quieten your mind, relieve your stress and tension in your body. This will help you get to sleep quicker and if you wake up at night you will be able to fall back to sleep.

Try some of these breathing techniques to help with your sleep routine:

  • Abdominal breathing: Close your eyes and take a deep breath in, not only through your chest but also your abdomen, ribcage and lower back. Make sure each breath is slow, breath deeply in through the nose and breath out slowly through the mouth.
  • Mindfulness and meditation: Sit down quietly and focus your attention on your breathing and how you feel at that moment. Allow all your emotions and thoughts to flow naturally without stopping them or judging them and when your attention drifts away to bring your focus back to your breath.
  • Muscle relaxation: Start from the top of your head and progressively tense your muscles to the count of ten and relax to the count of ten, relaxing all your muscles from the head down to the tips of your toes. Do this for all your muscle groups in the body so that you feel relaxed and calm before going to bed.

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can also break the cycle of sleeplessness. Regular practice of the above techniques together with CBT can relieve stress and anxiety. This practice becomes a part of your routine and you are able to relax when you go to bed and fall asleep easily, also when you wake up in the middle of the night.

If you would like to explore how hypnotherapy can help you sleep better at night, click here. To speak to me in confidence about any issues that are worrying you, please call 0796 715 1790 or email [email protected]

Learning To Keep The Weight Off And Change The Way You Think About Food

Have you had trouble with losing weight? Learning to keep the weight off is difficult, isn’t it? Does it sometimes feel like your weight fluctuates more than the stock market? Do you feel you could write a ‘diet’ book all by yourself but for some reason, even though you ‘know’ what to do, you just don’t do it?

The effects of ‘diet quick fixes’ are not long lasting as many of us have tried dieting to lose weight and failed. Sometimes we see short-term successes, but let’s face it, more often than not the diet fails, lowering our self-esteem and making us feel like failures.

Whether you have a few pounds or a few stones to lose or just want to cut out junk food, you need to make long-term changes and stick to them. When it comes to losing weight, the good news is this needn’t be difficult!

Keep The Weight Off By Changing Habits

Beating yourself up about being lazy and calling yourself harsh names is not motivating, and actually makes losing weight harder. Note-to-self: You are none of these things, you are worth it, and you are beautiful!

So why isn’t your diet working? Changing your diet is necessary but sometimes it’s not enough on its own. The basic formula of ‘eat better + exercise more = weight loss’ is correct, but the problem is the psychological aspect of changing unhelpful patterns that we may have got stuck in.

Tips for keeping the weight off:

  • Start with a healthy eating plan: a protein-rich meal will keep you feeling fuller for longer and you will snack less between meals. This will help maintain your weight loss;
  • Make a weekly meal plan and shop accordingly. Even if you go out or have a change of routine such as holidays, keep to your plan and stick with it;
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. You can control your weight if you are eating regularly and don’t snack, so start the day as you mean to go on;
  • Exercise and stay active. Build your exercise slowly by doing a gentle jog or more vigorous walk, and then increase the amount and intensity gradually. Build your activity slowly and keep at it;
  • Get your friends and family to support you so that you stay on your plan to eat healthily and keep you activity plan;
  • Try different things so if you get bored you don’t slip back in the old unhealthy eating pattern. Buy a new cookbook or do a cooking course with your diet in mind and try a new exercise class that is fun and motivating;
  • Set some SMART (simple, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) goals and motivate yourself to not give up.

Why Does Hypnotherapy And CBT For Weight Loss Work So Well?

Hypnotherapy with CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) can expose hidden reasons that you have not previously been able to lose weight. This process allows a person to break through the barrier that makes it difficult for her/him to achieve their weight loss goals. During the session, you will go into a state of deep relaxation and you are able to link what you think and feel with your actions, to put things into perspective. When the mind and body are in the relaxed state, you are given suggestions that will help you with your weight problems and change your way of thinking about food. After a series of sessions, you can be successful in achieving your weight loss objectives and regain your self-confidence again.

Ever heard your mind thinking and saying, “I just can’t stop eating. The more I try the harder it is?”  This is because the ‘unconscious’ is still making you think about food, making the battle of Mind vs. Food – Food: 1, Mind: 0.

Also, if you have the wrong diet your body may lack the right nutrients and so be driving you to eat more food in an urgent attempt to meet its nutritional needs. When you have a healthy natural diet, there is much less need for willpower because your body stops craving sugary foods.

In combination with eating healthier, the therapy works with the unconscious mind, changing your inner feelings and thoughts towards food. By resolving conflict, the ‘unconscious’ becomes aligned with the conscious, to bring about change on all levels.

You will come to learn how powerful your thoughts are and then harness that power to focus on what you want. Your unconscious mind will direct you to the healthier outcomes you desire and will change your behaviours to reach your goal, making permanent weight loss a reality!

Hypnotherapy and CBT help by:

  • Removing your desire to eat sugary foods or overeat.
  • Forming a positive self-image, using visualisation techniques.
  • Producing a more robust feeling of determination and strength.
  • Providing you with the motivation to exercise and lead a healthier lifestyle.
  • Improving your confidence, self-esteem and positive thinking.
  • Giving you tools and techniques to cope with the stress.
  • Resolving any past events which may be connected to weight gain

Hypnotherapy together with CBT is a safe and effective method of embedding the habits that will allow you to lose weight. Through this process, you will feel in control of yourself, your weight and your life.  Why wait any longer for the weight to drop off and live the fulfilled life you wish for?

For a chat about how you can learn to keep the weight off, contact me on 07967 151790 for a free consultation.

How to Use Self Hypnosis to Stop Anxiety Attacks

We all suffer from anxiety attacks from time to time, it’s perfectly normal. But when those feelings of panic and anxiety are a regular occurrence and threaten to overwhelm you, it’s time to get help.

Unfortunately, often the things that might trigger an anxiety attack are unavoidable. For example, a deadline at work, a significant upheaval in your personal or work life, or anxiety about a forthcoming event such as moving home, a wedding, holiday or Christmas. Fortunately, there are ways to manage these panicky feelings before they escalate into a full blown anxiety attack, and self-hypnosis is an effective way to do this.

How Self Hypnosis Works

Self-hypnosis works on your subconscious mind and helps you to control the triggers that start a panic attack. The aim of self-hypnosis is to allow your mind to go into a trance-like state, which in turn allows you to be calm and relaxed and be in control of your anxiety.

You can teach yourself self-hypnosis, but most people find it quicker and easier to be taught by a trained clinical hypnotherapist who can guide you through the technique and find the most effective method for you.

Below is a simple effective technique called eye-fixation method used in self-hypnosis. This will be more effective in a quiet room and all the distractions should be put away like the phone, Facebook, computer, Snapchat etc. Before starting you should make a list of positive statements designed to elevate your anxiety. This is something you can do with your therapist, choosing the most appropriate statements to use, that resonate with you fully.

  1. Make yourself comfortable on a sofa or a comfy chair. Stretch your legs in front of you and keep your legs uncrossed. Avoid doing self-hypnosis if you are feeling bloated or are physically uncomfortable in any way.
  2. Pick a point on the ceiling and look upwards by fixing your gaze on it. Breathe in and out (3 to 4 times) and let your body slowly relax down into the chair you are sitting on. Let your thoughts drift away and repeat to yourself ‘I feel tired and my eyes are heavy’. Then relax and close your eyes in a comfortable position. Say the words in your mind in a gentle soothing and calm manner.
  3. Allow your muscles to relax and then count yourself down from 10 to 1. Say in your mind ‘with each number I count down I am relaxing more and more’. Focus on your breathing in and out and become aware that you are drifting into a calm relaxed state without letting anything bother or disturb you. Let any uncomfortable thoughts drift away.
  4. You can now think of the positive suggestions that you have prepared and repeat them in your mind and tell yourself ‘I feel calm and my anxious thoughts are just drifting away and my stress is greatly reduced. I am going to be positive about how I perceive myself and will develop new skills to stay stress-free’.
  5. Just before you wake up fully give yourself an action or response, it is called a post-hypnotic response. These suggestions will be positive goals that you want to achieve. You are in a heightened state of suggestibility and will be able to let the words/ goals sink deep into your unconscious mind and make the changes you desire. You can say these confidently and as you mean it and be in the present tense, the words are phrased positively. ‘I can be relaxed or I feel calm and know when the anxiety thoughts are returning’.
  6. Work on one issue or goal at a time and be realistic about what is troubling you now. If you are able to repeat these suggestions while practicing self-hypnosis, this will be most effective for making a positive change.
  7. Try using imagery in your self-hypnosis practice by visualising the stressful situation and the action you need to take to be in control of it. Utilise all your senses hearing, smell and touch. You can use positive images from your past experiences and visualise your goal as a ‘crystal clear’ image as if you are watching a movie of your life and how you are overcoming your anxiety.
  8. When you are ready to count yourself back to wake up from 1 to 5. Once you’ve repeated this method at least 3 or 4 times on separate occasions, you will find that you will be able to go deeper and achieve a deep state of hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy and Cognitive behaviour therapy can teach you these techniques properly so they become second nature when you do suffer from a panic attack.

Here is a little script that you can use to release the anxiety and panic attacks:

Self-hypnosis can be used by most people when you want to be relaxed in order to deal with issues of daily living. It can help to change your thoughts, behaviours, improve your self-esteem and help you make positive steps toward your goals. It can be a stress reliever, can reduce your anxiety and you can be in control of your emotions and symptoms.

Imagine yourself that you have some helium balloons tied to a string and a basket. Put all anxieties and worries in this basket which is weighed down by a rock. You are then placing all the fears and issues attached to the anxiety in the basket. When you have released the balloons by taking away the rock the basket will lift up in the air and start to rise. This will then start to make you feel lighter and lighter and your fear is lifted and the weight is also lifted from your shoulders. Feel the sense of relief and relaxing feeling and say to yourself ‘ I feel relaxed and calm and have let go of my anxieties and stress’

Understanding your signs and symptoms of anxiety and how to deal with them quickly:

It is good to know and understand your panic attacks and anxious thoughts that you suffer from. This can be related to the acute fear and rapid discomfort you feel at the moment. This manifests itself very quickly and within minutes you will start to have increased breathing, sweating and shaking and panic with the fear that is going through you.

  • Understanding and distinguishing whether you are having a panic attack or whether it’s a heart attack, which many people say that symptoms feel like of anxiety attacks feel like.
  • Calm your body and breath in and out slowly. But if you feel its anything other than an anxiety attack or are worried and not sure please seek help from a Doctor.
  • Getting help from a Cognitive behaviour therapist and hypnotherapist to work through your anxieties and help to be in control and recognise your triggers. The therapist will teach you self-hypnosis and how imagery can help with moving forward from the anxiety and panic attacks. Through self-hypnosis practice and vivid imagery, you can visualise reacting the way you desire when you feel anxious and achieve your goal of being in control of the panic attacks.

To find out more about clinical hypnotherapy and to get support with anxiety and panic attacks, click on this link or contact me directly – +44 (0)796 715 1790