Tag Archives for " cognitive behaviour therapy "

Hypnosis For Personal Development: Is This What You Need?

personal development, hypnotherapy, cognitive behaviour therapy

Personal development is a lifelong process of working on our individual qualities, behaviours and feelings to help us achieve our goals and live the life we desire. For some of us this is an easy process but for others, it is difficult to find what is ‘missing’ in our lives. We may find it difficult to recognise the patterns of habits and behaviours that stop us from achieving our goals.

Many of us have self-destructive behaviours that undermine our ability to achieve our goals. They are learnt over time and are often associated with negative thoughts about ourselves. They may make us feel low and unmotivated, they may represent  that voice in your head saying, ‘I can’t do it.’

Personal development is important. It doesn’t have to be about progressing in your career or running a successful business; it can just as easily be about obtaining balance in your life, having healthy positive relationships, or having the strength to create a new life for yourself.

If you are struggling with personal development and want to break the cycle of negative thoughts that may be sabotaging your efforts, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and hypnosis is a great way to be focused and formulate your goals while changing negative thought patterns.

How Does CBT And Hypnosis Work?

Generally, we all believe that achieving success in life is difficult, and failure is easy. Our language confirms this belief – we strive for success, we climb mountains, we believe that achieving our goals is a challenge.

If we already have this belief when we embark on personal development, is it any wonder that it feels so easy to fail?

Of course, some things are difficult. Quitting smoking, losing weight, breaking habits and behaviours that have become embedded over time. Failure can also become a habit, those self-destructive thoughts that say, ‘I will never quit smoking because I’m addicted’ or ‘I will never lose weight because I comfort eat.’

Therefore before we even give ourselves a chance at success, our subconscious is already doing its best to make us fail.

So if you are serious about personal development, you need to break the habits that set you up for failure, recognise when those behaviours are sabotaging your plans, and then focus on positive and achievable goals that will help you view success as easy.

This is where CBT with hypnosis can be a powerful tool to help change the way you think, feel, and behave. It can help you understand when those past negative thoughts and patterns are affecting you NOW, and teach you how to get rid of these feelings and focus on positive thoughts instead.

CBT and clinical hypnosis are highly effective at with personal development in the following key areas:

  • Confidence building
  • Fears and phobias
  • Breaking bad habits
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Weight loss
  • Panic attacks and overcoming anxiety
  • Boosting self-confidence
  • Emotional upset
  • Relationship advice
  • Personal and career development
  • Goal setting and achievement

Clinical hypnosis programmes are tailored to suit the individual, their needs and goals, and the issues they are struggling with. It has been proven to help people remove the restraints that are holding them back and motivate them to find the success that they desire, and motivate them even further to live their life in a positive and constructive manner.

It is more than important in today’s world to learn more about yourself, know how your emotions work and manage them in everyday settings. Changeable times and rapid developing circumstances have created a cascade of emotional issues. There has been an increase in anxiety disorders, panic attacks, depression, anger issues and stress related problems. These emotional difficulties have made presenting psychological support and information the appropriate way very valuable.

Personal development is something all of us can embrace; just make sure that you provide yourself with the right conditions to make it a success.

If you would like to talk through your thoughts and feelings about personal development, book a free 30 minute consultation with me here.

How Many Hypnosis Sessions Will I Need to Lose Weight?

How Many Hypnosis Sessions Will I Need to Lose Weight, weight loss solutionsGenerally, 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.

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

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.

 

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

Learning To Keep The Weight Off, weight loss goalsHave 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

self-hypnosis, anxiety attacks, anxiety hypnotherapyWe 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

 

What To Do If You Think Your Partner Is Suffering From Stress

What To Do If You Think Your Partner Is Suffering From Stress, anxiety hypnosisStress caused by issues at work, worries about money, concerns about family members or health problems, can have a big impact on relationships. It can create a disconnection between a couple leading to communication issues; all at a time when a partner needs more support, not less, from their other half.

All of this can be prevented if you are aware of the subtle changes when your partner is stressed. Being vigilant about each other’s mental health as well as physical health is important, but often it can be difficult to address because symptoms of stress are misdiagnosed, or hidden by the person suffering.

Being proactive about supporting your partner when they get stressed can bring you closer to each other and develop a new level of intimacy.

Stress: Supporting Your Partner

What help can you provide to support your partner if they are suffering from stress?

  • Become aware of the signs and symptoms of stress: everyday life is busy and hectic and it’s easy to get wrapped in your own world. If your partner is stressed and not communicating enough about his/her feelings you will miss the signs. So make an effort to recognise these signs early when you see your partner struggling. How are they coping, are they eating healthily, are they sleeping well, what are their mood and energy levels like?
  • Be vigilant: women tend to get more stressed than men but hide their anxiety really well and don’t talk about their feelings. By staying vigilant, talking to your partner, providing love and support so when they are struggling you are present and this will strengthen your partnership.
  • Being compassionate: when you see that your partner is stressed and they withdraw and are agitated, help by showing them kindness. Show them that you care, even if they are difficult to empathise with. Don’t get cross because they feel stressed give them some space, and show compassion for yourself and for them too. In these circumstances, self-care is an important too as you need to be strong to support your partner and anchor your relationship.
  • Get your partner to talk to you: Communicate with your partner by asking them what is wrong. Say “You seem to find things difficult, are you OK? How can I help?” Let your partner know that you are there to talk and listen. They will feel supported when they are stressed, be present without judgements or irritation. This will require you to be patient with them and listen to their worries and concerns.

Understanding Our Differences

If you’re in a heterosexual relationship it is important to understand that your partner’s response to stress will be different to yours. Women and men have distinct reactions when they are stressed.

When a person is stressed the body releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which bind together. This causes raised blood pressure and higher levels of blood sugar. Then there is a release of oxytocin from the brain opposing the release of adrenalin and cortisol by relaxing the persons’ body.

When men get stressed less oxytocin is released than in women and therefore they react to adrenaline and cortisol more strongly. This results in a ‘flight or fight response’ that may cause them to be angry, or to repress their feelings and become withdrawn. Typically men care more about competing and their performance in the tasks they are involved in. They like being appreciated, are open to new ideas, like to push themselves to the limit and will accept assistance if they need to.

Women on the other hand, because of higher oxytocin levels, handle stress by nurturing their loved ones; this creates a desire to protect their family, particularly young children. Women’s feelings of competency in relationships are closely linked to their self-esteem and individuality. They like to feel wanted, cared for and like their partner to appreciate them and voice these expressions openly so that they feel good.

Getting Help For Stress

So how do you deal with stress that your partner is experiencing?

Every day as a part of daily life we deal with stress. When you are in a relationship, even if both you and your partner are connecting effectively, there will be some situations when one or the other is continuing to work but has no energy left. The love and support are all you both need to keep going. Keep your positive frame of mind even if you find it difficult and produce resources mentally and emotionally to assist your partner.

This will generate a healthy foundation and solid base for your relationship and build on the good feeling and connection between both of you. Create stress reducing habits and set up a system that both of you have to check in if there is anything you need support with. Do an activity together like a new gym class or Pilates to renew your relationship.

As the person closest to them, you’re also the person who might suggest that they need help from an outside source. This could be something you do together, such as taking a course in meditation and deep breathing, or you might want your partner to see a therapist to get one-on-one support.

It can be difficult to broach the subject of ‘needing help’, but it’s a conversation that you must have if you feel your partner is not able to manage their stress. Research suitable options that your partner is most likely to be receptive to, like cognitive behaviour therapy, and explain why you think they should seek help. Remember to be supportive, loving and share your concerns for their health. Sometimes a ‘do it for me’ approach will allow those people who are trying to hide stress or keep a stiff upper lip, open up and accept help.

Finally, remember to get support for yourself too. It can be very hard living with someone who is suffering from stress or depression, especially when you need to be the ‘strong one’. It may help to talk to trusted friends or just to get some time to yourself by going to the gym or other activities. It may also help to talk to a therapist who can help you look after your mental health, and support your partner at the same time.


If you would like to discuss any of the above with me please get in touch. Contact me on +44 (0)796 715 1790 or email [email protected]

 

5 Powerful Ways To Build Self-Confidence

ways to build self-confidence, confidence issues, confidence coaching“Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered–just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.” – Barrie Davenport

Self-confidence is described as an important aspect that works in every area of a person’s life and some of us struggle with it. It is a known fact that people who lack in self-confidence, find success in what they do difficult to achieve.

Self-confidence is a state of an individual’s mind that can be improved through positive thought, language, learning and practice which will help boost your levels of confidence. Self-confidence comes from feeling good about yourself, accepting and believing in yourself (self-esteem), believing in your skills, knowledge and experience which in turn help improve your confidence and self-esteem.

The Difference Between Self-Confidence And Self-Esteem

Not many people know that there is a difference between confidence and self-esteem, they’re often confused as the same thing. Self-esteem is described as the way we look and feel about ourselves – our feeling of self-worth or whether we feel valued amongst our friends and society. Confidence is described as our capability to carry out our roles and tasks successfully in a manner so we can achieve our goals. Some people who have low self-esteem can have low self-confidence as well.

Here are 5 powerful ways you can build self-confidence:

  1. Plan and prepare when you think you will face a difficult situation: For example, when you have an interview for a new job you will have to practice and prepare intensively so you gain knowledge and can feel confident, you can do the same for other situations too. Whether this is walking into a new fitness class, delivering a presentation at work, meeting a prospective client, or meeting your partner’s family for the first time – build your confidence in your ability to cope with these situations by preparing in advance.
  1. Teach yourself, or get support, in learning some valuable skills like decision-making and problem solving that can help when dealing with unusual or new situations. When you feel insecure about your task the knowledge you have acquired and experience will help with building confidence.

For example, if you are having your first baby and are nervous about how you will cope. You will do a lot of reading, join NCT groups and learn all you can to deal with this new adventure and gain knowledge.

  1. Create a positive motivational state through the power of positive thoughts.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller

Positive affirmations, working on your strengths and by feeling good about your successes you can achieve your goals. Learning from your mistakes, not dwelling on past mistakes and by not making these to be bigger than they are, you will be able to highlight the things you are good at. Negative thoughts can damage your confidence and inhibits your ability to move forward.

  1. Improve your self-belief and confidence: Condition your mind to believe in yourself and don’t dwell on your mistakes. Learn to take control, praise yourself, challenge any negative thoughts and learn to relax. Try to take any criticism as a learning experience, gain perspective, be assertive with the things you like to do, and try not to react or be defensive as this will knock your self-esteem.
  1. Develop and learn mental toughness as this will build resilience: build strong self-belief, persevere through the challenges that life throws at you and respond to difficult situations with the perspective that you can learn from.

“Being positive does not mean that you don’t have negative thoughts. It means you don’t let those thoughts control your life.” Anon

Deep breathing and training your mind to stay calm and focus on what causes you stress and anxiety. Persist and change the things you can, and embrace new challenges.

These powerful strategies to increase your self-confidence can be enhanced with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. This form of therapy will help you focus on positive thoughts, and put those negative ones in perspective. If you find that negative thoughts undermine your self-confidence and ability to perform at your best, CBT can really help to change the way you think.

Building self-confidence is a skill that has to be mastered and learned like any other skill.


For a confidential chat about your concerns and to explore further how CBT can help you with confidence issues, please contact me on 07967 151790 or email:[email protected]

Is Cold Turkey The Best Way To Quit Smoking?

Is Cold Turkey The Best Way To Quit Smoking?, hypnosis, hypnotherapy

If you’re exploring different ways to stop smoking, you may be wondering whether cold turkey is the best way to quit. Many of us will know of people who have made this decision and stopped smoking overnight, and might admire their strength of character, strong will, and ability to quit like this.

Going cold turkey is also the most effective way to stop smoking according to the British Heart Foundation. In a study involving half of the study group using the cold turkey method, and the other half using nicotine replacement therapies, they found that going cold turkey was 25% more successful.

However, it’s still a difficult process to go through, not least because of the withdrawal symptoms you may experience, and the temptation to have just one cigarette and then resume the cold turkey approach again.

Support For Smokers Going Cold Turkey

One of the key reasons some people are more successful than others at quitting smoking is the decision to stop in the first place. Many smokers will be under pressure to quit from friends and family, who are worried about their health. However, unless you have a deep desire to quit, you’ll find it more difficult whichever smoking cessation method you choose.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! Instead before you set a date to quit you can prepare yourself mentally be addressing the reasons you smoke; the triggers than cause you to reach for a cigarette, pipe or cigar; any concerns you have about quitting such as withdrawal symptoms or not having a way to relax and de-stress; or anxiety about failing; as well as the reason you want to quit.

Once you understand your smoking habit: why you smoke, whom you smoke with, when you smoke, your reason for quitting you will be able to put things into perspective. Then you will be able to work out how to actually say ‘no’ to cigarettes, understand the effects nicotine has on your body, work through your issues, get anxiety/stress relief techniques, so you’re able to quit for good.

Coping With Withdrawal

Whether you decide to quit cold turkey or use nicotine replacement therapies, you will have withdrawal symptoms. Usually the first week after quitting is the hardest for most smokers, and if you’re going cold turkey it will be harder as your nicotine levels will plummet. However, your reliance on nicotine is an important feeling to break and the first step to staying on the course of stop smoking.

It is likely that you will feel irritable, grumpy and anxious and take these feeling out on your closest family. You may feel very hungry and worry that you’ll put on weight, and you’ll miss the feeling of smoking a cigarette – not just the sensation when the nicotine enters your bloodstream but having something in your hands or mouth. For those using the cold turkey method, rather than vaping, this feeling will be acuter. Headaches are also another common side effect.

On top of all of this will be a constant craving for a cigarette, however, this will ease after a few days making it a critical period to get through if you want to successfully quit smoking.

Here are some tips to distract yourself from the cravings:

  • Get your friends and family to support you, lean on a friend to distract yourself,
  • Deep breathing and relaxation techniques or meditation,
  • Go for a walk or a run or join an exercise class,
  • Write down why you have decided to quit the cigarettes,
  • Listen to some music or read to distract yourself,
  • Drink some water,
  • Stay motivated and positive with your reasons for giving up the cigarettes,
  • Chew some gum,
  • Try Behaviour therapy or counselling.

For some people, it can be helpful to change your routine completely during the first week or so. For example, book a holiday that takes you away from the normal triggers that make you reach for a cigarette, such as the smoking break at work, going out with friends who smoke, or other situations where you normally smoke. I’ve met ex-smokers who’ve taken themselves off on a walking or mountain-biking holiday to quit, providing themselves with new distractions, exercise and activity to get through those initial tough days.

Once you’re into your second week the withdrawal symptoms should start to ease, and this will help motivate you further. However, there will be situations that you can’t avoid forever and so now is the time to dig deep and manage these without cigarettes.

While quitting cold turkey may be more effective than gradual smoking cessation methods, it is a personal choice and you need to decide which method is best for you. Whatever your plan is, the starting point that is worth celebrating is that you have made the decision to quit smoking. Let’s celebrate that!

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can help you change the negative way of thinking, feeling and your behaviour (your smoking habit) that follows. The CBT therapist can help you find the triggers for your smoking habit, support you during the withdrawals and assist you in choosing the best method to quit that works for you.

To find out if Hypnotherapy can help you to Quit Smoking for good, Book a free 30 minutes consultation with me and finally get control of your habit and cravings.

Where To Get Weight Loss Help In West Surrey

Where To Get Weight Loss Help In West Surrey

When it come to weight loss and fitness, people differ genetically, physically and mentally. A certain method that works for one person may not work for others. This means that you may have to explore several different options before finding the best method for you, and this trial and error approach can be disheartening.

There’s plenty of different weight loss support available in West Surrey and other areas of the country, but perhaps the first place to go is your own personal support network: your family and friends.

Finding Weight Loss Support

A few kind words of encouragement from your support network, people to share those proud moments when you achieve milestones/goals, and a team that will help motivate you again when you’re finding it tough, can really make a difference. Positive feedback and affirmations will help move you upwards and forwards and reach for new goals in all aspects of your life.

With a strong supportive team behind you, it’s time to explore different ways to lose weight. Below are some of the local groups and therapists available in West Surrey:

  1. Slimming World,
  2. Weight Watchers,
  3. Get support – help from friends and family, encouragement, reminding not nagging,
  4. Support from a friend who wants to lose weight and you motivate each other to keep going with your goal to lose weight,
  5. NHS weight loss support,
  6. Goal setting and a physical activity plan: Local gyms can provide personal trainers to have one-to-one help or a schedule for different activities that you are interested in: Zumba, Yoga, Spin classes etc.
  7. Try a dietician or nutritionist for advice on a healthy diet plan and support.
  8. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy together with Clinical hypnosis can help you gain perspective and teach you to lose weight naturally.

Changing The Way You Think Around Food And Exercise

Many people feel very alone and unhappy about their efforts to lose weight. Perhaps your family are struggling with their own personal challenges and you don’t have the support at home. Or you may think your friends won’t understand how difficult it is to lose weight, or you don’t want to show them how vulnerable you’re feeling. While it’s definitely a big help to have someone to lean on for support many of the groups above can provide this, and so too can changing the way you think about food.

If the illustration below is something you recognise, you may find Cognitive Behaviour Therapy an effective way to change this mindset:

You wake up in the morning and feel it’s no point being on this yo-yo diet, I feel FAT (Thoughts) 

cognitive, negative thoughts, break bad habits, hypnosis, hypnotherapy help

Behaviour- Decide to eat last nights leftovers and some cake and forget the diet you are on.

Feelings– you feel tired and depressed and cannot be bothered with the difficult diet anymore.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy works on the premis that each client is an individual and this means that it provides a rational for which technique works for your eating issues. Also, clients’ learned responses, thoughts, feelings and behaviours are the focus of the treatment process. This leads to the client learning how to deal with his/her issues and utilising behavioural or cognitive techniques to make changes necessary to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

CBT will give you an insight into your mindset about your food choices and lifestyle. You will be aware of what you eat, acknowledge your unhealthy eating habits and why do you sometimes emotionally overeat. This therapy will give you control of your cravings, teach you mindfulness techniques and behaviour techniques. This will, in turn, improve you improve your relationship with food and be in total control of your eating habits.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy includes the following techniques:

Mindfulness techniques will teach you to: Give your cravings a special name, and say ‘no’ to eating ‘bad foods’. Don’t cave into the temptation of eating that packet of crisps, keep an eye on your ultimate weight loss goal and imagine your future eating good foods and feel healthy.

Behaviour techniques: will help you change your habits and behaviours and not going near the ‘bad’ foods. Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques and keep yourself distracted away from foods that are unhealthy.

  • Identify habit associated behaviour
  • Increase positive habit behaviours
  • Identify habit prone situation – write a list
  • Exercise regularly as when you eat healthy meals, you feel good too.
  • Seek opportunities to display improvement in situations (activities) that challenge you
  • Practice, practice & practice

CBT can be used in combination with other weight loss help, tackling what’s going on in your head as well as the changes you want to make to your physical appearance.

If you would like to discuss your weight loss goals with me, please contact me on +44 (0)796 715 1790 or [email protected]