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.
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.
Here are five steps that businesspeople can use to turn their procrastination into a positive force:
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]
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.
So here are 10 mental strategies for weight loss so you can achieve your weight loss goals and think yourself thin.
For more support with losing weight download my eBook 10 Simple Steps To Weight Loss Success.
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.
‘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
‘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
‘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
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:
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]
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.
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:
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.
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:
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]
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
Signs that you fear to fail at things:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once you have conquered your fear of failure, you may actually embrace it! Failure can teach us lots of useful things;
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]
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…
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:
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:
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]
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!
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
Hypnotherapy and Cognitive behaviour therapy can teach you these techniques properly so they become second nature when you do suffer from a panic attack.
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’
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.
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