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getting rid of bad habits and choosing a healthy lifestyle. How to break bad habits in 21 days

Tips For Kicking Those Bad Habits That Are Damaging Your Health

getting rid of bad habits and choosing a healthy lifestyle

Most people go through life eating, working, socialising, without thinking much certain about how their actions affect their bodies. We may notice the effects our bad habits are having when we feel under the weather or have problems sleeping; but while we can make some connections between physical symptoms and our habits we are unaware of the real damage to our health and what to do about it.

Read on to see whether you recognise any of the problems and symptoms of these common things that can result in bad habits.

  1. Diet

By eating a healthy diet, you can have a good effect on your body, brain and keep your weight under control. If you are eating a diet low in nutrients or foods that are bad for your body this can have long-term effects on your brain.

When you actively eat foods that damage your health, long-term your brain becomes exposed to cellular inflammation and this damages some cells that can cause development of diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Also food containing sugars and saturated fats like burgers, cakes and french fries can have detrimental effects on your brain. To stop this, you can start eating healthy foods: fruits, whole grains, fish and vegetables which are rich in antioxidants and these will fight damaging effects of inflammation.

  1. Stress

Stress and anxiety such as relationship issues, work commitments, family problems and financial issues can cause you to develop habits that can damage your health. Some stress is good when working hard towards your goals, but excess stress can lead you to eat too much of the bad foods. Stress can trigger a sympathetic nervous response that makes your breathing quicken and heart breath faster releasing cortisol.

After you calm down your parasympathetic nervous response kicks in which leads to you to relax. Chronic stress can make you forget things and be more anxious and perform badly at work. You may revert to bad habits like smoking, overeating or drinking too much. When you feel tense and anxious there are deep relaxation techniques, yoga, mindfulness, meditation and visualisation techniques that can help you get in control of the overwhelm.

  1. Exercise

An active lifestyle can help you not only stay physically fit but also keeping organs like your heart and lungs functioning better and maintaining your optimal weight. Exercise can also help keep you mentally acute and helps your cognitive health too. Movement improves physical and mental health, releases endorphins and keeps you looking young and healthy.

Even just walking for about 20 minutes a day is positive for your brain and can improve your cognitive brain functioning. It will mean making better decisions with your food habits, help you keep focused despite the many distractions around and help with conflicts that may arise.

  1. Sleep

Sleep can also enhance your health and well being. If you struggle with your sleep patterns, you will wake up irritable, tired and not able to concentrate on your work or at your studies. Lack of sleep can interfere with your brain function and you may resort to bad habits, such as eating junk foods to give you energy to work.

If you know that you struggle with sleep then aim to eat healthy foods in the evening – not chocolate or biscuits at night – also avoid caffeine or drinking alcohol before you go to bed.

  1. Willpower

Define the goals and set a time limit that is realistic with what you want to achieve by kicking the bad habits. It can be hard and emotional, but persistence will make you succeed.

If you can acknowledge your bad habits, take active steps with commitment and tailor your attitudes to match them, you will make positive changes to the bad habits that can damage your health.

If you would like help removing bad habits from your life, book a free 30 minute consultation with me to see how clinical hypnosis and cognitive behaviour therapy can help.

Kick Those Bad Habits With These Techniques!

Try a few of these techniques:

  • Recognise what your bad habits are and the reasons for doing the things that you regret later. Are they stress related or are you bored? Do they occur when you are doing a routine or do they occur in certain situations? Understand what your rewards for your vices are, what your triggers are and why your bad habits show up.
  • Replace the habit with a positive habit like replacing junk foods with starting a new exercise class. This will take up less of your mental energy rather than cutting the bad habit out of your life. Willpower is a finite resource, so make it easy by distracting yourself with healthier habits.
  • Don’t try to stop or contain your thoughts. If you are saying in your mind that you should eat that cake then all you will think of is that cake. So take away the temptations and surround yourself with healthy snacks.
  • Change your environment or routines that are related to the bad habits. If you stop to buy a chocolate bar on the way to work, go a different way to avoid passing the shop. If you want a cigarette when you go out with friends, cut down on socialising for a short time to give yourself the best chance of quitting.

Kicking bad habits takes a certain amount of willpower and a good understanding of how your mind works. You need to work with these mental patterns rather than fighting against them.

If you find it hard to make long-term changes to your bad habits, attitudes or behaviours clinical hypnosis with cognitive behaviour therapy can help. It can identify the issues and triggers that cause your bad habits, and make healthier suggestions that will help you improve your health and wellbeing.

Contact me for a chat about your individual situation – click here.

self-confidence, new years resolution, new years resolution ideas

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

self-confidence, new years resolution, new years resolution ideas

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

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

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

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

Self-Confidence Will Help You Achieve Your NY Resolutions

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


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


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

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

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

Here are 7 steps for changing the way you think:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Weight Loss - Think Yourself Thin, hypnosis, hypnotherapy, CBT books

10 Mental Strategies For Weight Loss – Think Yourself Thin

Weight Loss - Think Yourself Thin, hypnosis, hypnotherapy, CBT books

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.

Weight Loss With CBT A Case Study

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.