It’s now officially estimated that 5% of all deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol – that’s 1 in every 20 people, enough to sober anyone up. If you feel like you’d like to have greater control over your drinking, good news – it’s currently Go Sober for October, where you can raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support as well as giving your body a significant health boost. But what if you know that you’ll just go straight back to your old ways with a large one once midnight strikes on November 1st?
A number of my clients admit that they drink more than they would like, usually as a response to stressful life conditions. That this is a socially accepted norm makes matters worse in some respects – it can become a habit to the extent that a glass (or more) of wine becomes indelibly associated with winding down after work, and eventually becomes a nightly fixture. However, this can quickly lead to problems which not only affect you physically, but mentally too. For example, did you know the impact that drinking has on your sleep? Many think that alcohol helps them drop off more quickly – but while this may seem to be the case, the actual quality of sleep is poor. Alcohol affects the REM sleep cycle – when we most commonly dream – which in turn affects learning, memory, and mood. This can lead to more serious issues such as depression – compounded by the fact that alcohol is a depressant to begin with.
Like most other addictions, alcohol dependency has the ability to warp reality to the point where those affected no longer have any control. Alcoholism is a problem that can rip apart families, end careers – and as the stats now show, increasingly end lives. There are many medical downfalls associated with alcohol, and some of the social implications are just as serious. Without help, alcoholism is something that can run rampant to the point where someone loses everything that is precious to them. They see their drinking as a solution to their problems – but as it causes more problems, they have to drink more in order to keep themselves from reality. It really is a vicious cycle, leaving people feeling like a solution is impossible. This is an illusion however, which a change of mindset can reveal – and this is where hypnotherapy can help.
I have worked with people who suffer from different addictions, and find that many of these people simply need someone to help them overhaul their thinking. Learning healthier coping mechanisms and resolving unmet needs are further strategies, ensuring that hypnotherapy is a permanent solution where other efforts may have failed. If you feel like you might never be free of the urge to reach for the bottle, whether to celebrate a good day or console yourself after a bad one, consider hypnosis – it could be the decision that changes your life. I offer a free 15 minute telephone consultation (07947 475721) so you really have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
You’re probably aware of the power of hypnotherapy for stopping smoking, or for weight loss. Maybe you’ve heard how hypnosis can even help you explore past lives, but there are some things hypnosis can help you do that might surprise you…
1. Learn a new skill – or enhance an existing one. It all starts in the mind; and athletes and performers alike know the power of mental practice to help with motivation, self-confidence, and reducing competitive anxiety. What the mind can believe the mind can achieve – and visualising yourself undertaking your chosen skill can forge a strong subconscious path to start you on your way.
2. Enjoy foods you avoid. Greens are healthy, and wholegrain bread is better for you than white. But what if you just don’t like the taste? A little hypnosis might change this, though if your resistance persists, check for an allergy. Sometimes your body just knows.
3. End cravings or addictions. The reverse of #2, this helps you turn down brownies, stop drinking so much, or even say goodbye to unhealthy relationships.
4. Enjoy public speaking. Being an effective speaker can boost your career in your company, your industry, and beyond. Once reticent clients are surprised at the changes in themselves – and the benefits they reap. As quitting smoking stops you draining money, becoming a good speaker puts money in the bank.
5. Exercise longer, stronger, and more efficiently. Hypnosis can help turn your lack of enthusiasm for working out into get up and go. Ask yourself: ‘What would exercising give me? What would it make possible in my life?’ A powerful motivational story for your subconscious can make it so desirable that you can’t wait to shop for running shoes.
6. Attract your life partner. You think finding the person of your dreams is about mesmerising him or her? Not at all – start with yourself. Hypnosis for confidence, sex appeal, or immediate rapport gives you a feeling you’ve never had before; and that sense of self is very appealing to others. Try it out.
7. Get more done in less time. It’s not all about organising your files or upgrading your technology. Productivity, effectiveness, and enjoying what you do all start in the mind. And specifically, in your subconscious mind.
8. Locate lost objects. If you were the one who put something away, or you witnessed it being put away, hypnosis might help – even if the incident was years ago. Try it and see what happens.
Hypnosis, in a clinical setting (as opposed to stage hypnosis for entertainment) is usually used to create or break habits. These are habits of thought or action. Grabbing the next crisp, and the next, and the next – without even noticing you’re doing it – is a habit of action. But that action may have been due to a habit of thought. Perhaps you were focusing on a painful, sad, or angry thought or an unfulfilled desire and wanted to distract yourself. And you found that a tasty food could do that for you temporarily.
A conscious motive? Maybe. But it’s often unconscious. You may not realize why you’re reaching for the crisps. You’d probably say ‘I like the taste’ or ‘I’m just hungry and I can’t take a break now.’
Hypnosis is ideal for working for working with the subconscious mind. The process of being hypnotised is a very pleasant, relaxing, and empowering one. Clients often say they feel healthier, more alive, and committed to their lives after a session. They can’t believe they could alter their minds to be so rested and optimistic after merely sitting on a chair for an hour, listening to someone say some words to them.
If you have an issue you think can be addressed by hypnosis, I offer a free 15 minute phone consultation. Give me a call on 07947 475721 to sample this ancient art and science, and see what it can do for you.
The Premiership football season started this weekend (I am an Arsenal supporter, for my sins) – and whether you follow it or not, chances are you’ll be hearing about its ups and downs over the next 9 months. Humans have always been fascinated with sports, and over the years we have had sportsmen and women who have become legends in their own right. Consistent in their performance, with unmoving dedication and perseverance, these sports stars have become icons for future generations. What is it that makes these players so unbeatable? How is it that they can turn in one winning performance after the other in their preferred sport? And is it possible for you to get the winning streak, much like your revered player? The truth is that it is entirely possible for normal human beings to develop sporting genius through an ingenious process known as hypnotherapy for sports performance.
Sport is a very competitive field, and in today’s world it means big business. It is important for a player’s success that he or she is in top form all through their careers, but it is not always possible to maintain a steady performance: health problems, lack of confidence, or deviating concentration can lead to a player’s downfall. Even sporting greats like Maradona have faced problems due to dealing with the pressure of being a star sportsman. There is a lot of money being pumped into the business of sports, and most of the competing teams and players go through rigorous training and counselling before a big series. Little is known about the fact that hypnotherapy for sports performance is one of the much favoured coaching techniques which contribute to a player’s winning performance. Though hypnotherapy comes in handy while improving a player’s concentration and focus, it is not much talked about due to the misleading taboo attached to hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy for sports performance is all about increasing a player’s ability to concentrate and focus on the techniques of their game. Through various methods such autosuggestion, visualisation, and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP); hypnotherapy works on a subconscious level to help a player be calm in the face of tension, and give 100% concentration to their game without being distracted. The ultimate goal for any player is to win the game, and hypnotherapy for sports performance gives them the required edge. Hypnotherapy relieves stress through helping players to relax. When a person is calm their mind is clear, and they are able to focus more effectively. This allows the player to concentrate on the ultimate goal of winning. Hypnotherapy also uses the technique of visualisation to help players improve their strategy; it allows them to break their winning stroke down to the smallest part and helps them replay it in their minds over and over again. For example, a cricket player can go over his sweep shot repeatedly to memorise every move in his body while he makes it. This will enable him to perform the same shot to perfection in the future games. Hypnotherapy for sports management also helps players to anticipate beforehand the moves made by the opponent’s team, so that they can devise new strategies to handle these situations.
Hypnotherapy for sports management is useful in a variety of games – from golf to cricket, from baseball to tennis; it has the ability to hone your sporting technique effectively. I have dealt with a number of players in my career, and the effects of hypnotherapy on them are striking. Gone are the mental blocks that once held them back, now that they are more confident of themselves and their game. And nothing could provide a person with the X factor required for winning a game, than a belief in oneself that they can do it!
If you want to take your game to the next level, I offer a free 15 minute phone consultation (07947 475721). I am based in London UK, but can work with you wherever in the world you may be. Let me help you be the best!
If you had a tool to help enhance memory and concentration, would you be interested in learning more? The good news is that you do have tool that can do just that and much more – hypnosis. People around the world complain of having poor memory and concentration for one reason or another. Forgetting dates, important facts, anniversaries, and so on is frustrating and sometimes, embarrassing. You can turn this around by working with a qualified hypnotherapist.
Memory is the ability to recall information. In life, a number of things can affect the way in which a person remembers to include lack of sleep, stress, poor diet, and even the natural aging process. On the other hand, concentration is the ability to recall information successfully. An interesting fact about concentration is that when there is any type of heightened emotional state, you will have greater concentration. For instance, most people can tell you exactly where they were on the day the Twin Towers were hit on 09/11 or when John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Although you might have the ability to recall those major events, if you were asked what you ate yesterday or wore, you would have to pause and think. To develop a solid memory, certain factors must be in place. This would include attention or intending to remember. Then, there is interest, which means you develop a genuine interest in the subject, which in turn creates the heightened emotional state that increases concentration and memory.
Next, imagery is a way in which the subconscious mind works more effectively with images and feelings than it does with numbers and words. Repetition is yet another factor. By experiencing repeated exposure, the information will eventually become a permanent part of your mind. Next is relaxation, which is essential for you to recall information. The bottom line is that the subconscious mind needs to be relaxed to function optimally. Finally, you need to believe you have a solid memory. Rather than tell yourself how forgetful or distracted you are you need to be filling the mind with positive statements.
Now, when it comes to hypnosis, this tool can take all of the above factors and enhance them so the result of enhancing memory and concentration is much more effective. With hypnosis, you will learn how to focus, develop, and use your permanent memory, and sharpen your mind. What happens is that hypnosis reaches deep into the subconscious mind, accessing powers, which is the source of your memory. By learning how to use the subconscious mind, you will begin to notice that you remember more often and more details, while having the ability to focus and concentrate much better.
During the hypnotic state, you will reach a wonderful level of relaxation although you will still be completely aware of your situation. Most people have the misnomer that being hypnotised means losing control, which could not be further from the truth. Instead, you will find yourself in an enjoyable place similar to staying in bed on a lazy Sunday morning. Typically, being hypnotised means feeling as if being half-awake and half-asleep. However, the mind is still sharp and aware but the subconscious mind receives suggestions, which are what help the mind become stronger in the areas of memory and concentration.
In addition to the benefits of enhanced memory and concentration, hypnosis will reduce your stress level, improve your sense of self-esteem and confidence, and overall, increase your desire for a healthy lifestyle. Hypnosis provides you with the proper tools for reinforcing concentration and information recall – so feel free to get in touch, as I offer a free 15 minute no obligation phone consultation (07947 475721). Just think how much easier life will be once you stop losing things, forgetting names, missing deadlines, and struggling with your memory. With the use of hypnosis, you can make a complete change in your life for the better.
Wanting to head off somewhere nice for summer, but a fear of flying is stopping you? This phobia keeps people from getting onto airplanes and heading where they need to be. It is something that can afflict a person for many years and usually there is no rhyme or reason to why it impacts a certain person. It is simply a mental block that keeps people from rationally thinking about flying in an airplane. This can be a particularly devastating problem for people who are in business, as flying across the world has become a very important part of the business landscape. Maybe you need to head across the ocean to close a business deal. Maybe you must travel a long distance to see a sick family member. Whatever the case may be, it is always nice to have the option of flying.
Fear of flying is common – in fact, many people suffer from anxiety when it comes to flying in an airplane. The problem occurs when that bit of anxiety turns into a lot of anxiety and you can no longer function while flying in an airplane. At that point, fear can occur when a person goes to get on a plane or it might even cause them to stay home. This is something that can be fixed, but it takes some mental conditioning. It takes a change in thinking in order to achieve the goal of chasing away the fear of flying.
As with most mental problems, it is easy to get rid of the problem if you can change your thinking. A complete change in mindset about flying and airplanes is something that can be achieved through hypnosis. As a practicing hypnotherapist, I have seen my share of people overcome different mentally based problems. Things like smoking, alcoholism, and gambling addiction can be cured with hypnosis and so can a fear of flying.
Many people think that hypnosis is simply something you see out on a stage in Las Vegas. This is short-changing the process considerably. Though it might seem like magic, hypnotherapy is actually a mental treatment that enables people to calm down and let good thoughts replace those ill thoughts. You would be surprised with the number of things that hypnosis can cure. If you are struggling with fear of flying and you see no other solution to cure this fear, then consider hypnosis. Get all of the information that you can find and make a decision about whether hypnosis is right for you. And if you prefer to chat before committing to a session either in person or online, I offer a free 15 minute consultation. Where will you go next?
Being overweight in the summer heat is no fun. In fact, for people carrying excess weight, summer can be an unpleasant trial involving countless opportunities for embarrassment and discomfort. So let’s take a look at how you can reduce some of your fat and make summer a happier experience. But first, a warning.
The summer weight loss trap
One guaranteed way to fail is to look for a “short cut” weight loss method or diet, such as the type of program that promises ‘a fast effortless way to reduce weight’. In my experience, none of these diets or pills actually work, and the medical evidence is quite clear: the maximum rate of sustainable fat loss is between 1 and 2 pounds per week, perhaps a little more if you are obese. Besides, if a brilliant scientist did manage to concoct a formula for rapid effortless weight reduction, overnight he would be more famous than Einstein. He certainly wouldn’t be peddling his program in 30 second TV infommercials or mail-order advertisements. So for the sake of your sanity as well as your financial health, don’t waste time on weight loss methods that make extravagant claims. If you don’t believe this, think of any of your overweight friends who favour the short-term “lose 20 pounds in two weeks” type of approach, and ask yourself why they are still overweight.
Three-month summer diet plan
You can’t lose much weight in a week or two. You need about three months to make a significant impact on your body shape. Remember, the human body is interested in survival, not cosmetic appearances, and since rapid weight loss is a prima facie symptom of disease not good health, the only guaranteed way to improve your body shape is to adopt a gradual approach of healthy eating and increased exercise. In three months, you can lose about 26 pounds – more than enough for most overweight people to experience noticeable health improvements as well as a much leaner body. And by reducing your weight gradually in this manner, you have far less chance of weight regain, so if necessary you can continue losing more with less danger of incurring a weight loss plateau or other obstacle.
You need a motive
No one likes to change their habits. So if you want to change your eating and exercise habits, you need a strong motive – something to keep you dieting and exercising when boredom sets in. Whatever motive you choose, it must be something more powerful than the urge to eat tasty high calorie foods in front of the TV! Anything that commits you in advance to achieving your weight loss goal, makes a great motive. So be bold. Book an expensive beach holiday, or buy some gorgeous clothes to fit the body you want to have at the end of your diet program. Both these actions require you to succeed, and therefore provide constant motivation along the way.
Be positive about short term sacrifices
Whether you’re trying to lose weight for the summer, save money or pass exams, an important piece of the motivational jigsaw is your ability to be positive about making short term sacrifices. The choice is fairly simple: you can focus on the “deprivation” involved in giving up certain foods, or you can focus on the benefits you will get by not eating these foods. Sadly, many dieters focus on feeling deprived. After a while they see their diet as a burden, a bore, an evil necessity. This is why so many of them quit. They can’t “see” the benefits that weight loss will bring them. If you want to improve your body shape for the summer, you must avoid this trap and appreciate the longer term benefits you will receive by making short-term adjustments to your lifestyle.
The good news about improving your diet
Many of our tastes, food cravings, and general attitudes to food are strongly influenced by what we eat and drink. Point is, the average modern diet is loaded with sugar, fat and sodium, all of which condition us to want more of these items. But if you can break out of this dependence on junk ingredients for even 2-3 weeks, you’ll notice a huge difference in your tastes. Which brings me to healthy eating.
Think healthy eating, not weight loss
In my experience, one of the most effective weight loss strategies is to focus on healthy eating. I’m not saying you shouldn’t stand on your weighing scales, just don’t measure progress exclusively by what the scales say. Be aware that it’s just as important to enjoy your food and feel good about your change of eating habits. And any diet you hate is guaranteed to fail, no matter how much weight you lose, because as soon as you achieve your goal, you will revert to your old eating habits and regain every pound lost.
The top 10 healthy eating habits
In a nutshell, a healthy diet involves:
More home-cooked food, less eating out.
More fresh fruit as snacks.
More fresh vegetables as snacks and with meals.
More beans as sides or in stews.
More dense chewy bread, less refined white breads and bread snacks.
Less red meat. A vegetarian or vegan diet has none of the growth hormones or antibiotics injected into factory farmed animals.
Smaller servings of meat if you eat it, larger servings of vegetables.
Eating low fat dairy foods, if you eat them. There are many tasty non-dairy alternatives.
Adding less fat in the form of butter, mayo, sour cream, to the food on your plate. This is a huge source of excessive calories.
Stocking up with healthy snack foods to keep hunger at bay. If you fill up with healthy nutritious calories, you won’t want the junk foods that hunger makes you eat. As far as weight management goes, hunger remains Public Enemy Number One.
Exercise provides wonderful indirect benefits
Exercise does burn extra calories and therefore does help to widen your calorie deficit. But it’s direct effect on weight loss is typically quite small. In fact, it’s not uncommon to gain weight when you start exercising. The real weight reduction benefits of exercise are indirect ones. It raises our metabolic rate, helping us to burn calories at a slightly faster rate, and improves our mood, which typically reduces our need for comfort-eating. However, don’t overdo your exercise workouts. I’ve lost count of the number of dieters who started exercising too vigorously and burnt out within 3 weeks. Ideally, start with 45 minutes/day of any physical activity you can easily manage, and very gradually increase the duration and intensity. Listen to your body at all times, and be sure to loosen up beforehand and wind down afterwards.
See yourself as you want to be
If your goal is a waistline you can proudly display in the sun, then don’t wait until it happens to “see” it. Visualise it from the moment you start dieting. Visualise yourself walking along a beach, or lying next to the pool with a perfectly flat stomach. Whatever your ambition for your weight or body, get used to visualising it in the greatest possible detail. Because “seeing it” is the first step to making it come true. As they say, one picture is worth a thousand words.
Very overweight? Just visualise the benefits
If you have a lot of weight to lose (100 pounds+), you may not think that losing 26 pounds in three months is particularly worthwhile. If so, ask yourself this question. What’s the alternative? No matter what method you choose, you won’t lose weight any faster, so it’s only a question of when you start and how long it’s going to take. I can answer the last question right now. Losing 100 pounds takes about a year – typically a little longer to allow for disasters along the way. Fifteen months would be a more realistic time span to reduce weight by this amount. This is nothing. Just visualise yourself walking down the street 100 pounds lighter, and tell me that eating healthily for 15 months is too high a price to pay for such a wonderful prospect.
Your first priority – get support
If you really want to lose weight for the summer, your first priority is to find support. I have had fantastic success with using hypnosis with my weight loss clients – see my ‘success stories’ for one recent testimonial. You can also join a diet group at work, a fitness class, go to weight loss meetings, or join an online forum. Losing weight on your own is perfectly possible, providing things go well and your scales keep saying nice things. But when difficulties arise, as they surely will, having the support of real people can make all the difference between success and failure.
How can hypnotherapy help with arguably one of the greatest challenges facing us as a society in modern times?
It’s important first of all to put in perspective – some stress can be good in terms of a motivating factor. It can help us overcome challenges, keeping us on our toes and ensuring that we meet our responsibilities. After all, it serves an evolutionary purpose – the fight/flight mechanism helped our ancestors survive when encountering predators. However, our brain has not evolved nearly as fast as our way of living has, meaning that the same response is triggered in response to a traffic jam as to a sabre-toothed tiger! So we need to learn ways of managing this.
Breathing techniques are the most immediate tools to learn, enabling us to activate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system – the body’s natural calming down mechanism. We can also practise self-hypnosis. This is important for several reasons – not only does it make us make time to relax, but the more the mind and body get to practise relaxation, the better they get at it. Our neural networks work in much the same way as our physical bodies do – they automatically take the most familiar route, so let’s make it a good one!
It’s also important to identify any fundamental human needs that may be being neglected – obvious ones like sleep, nutrition, and exercise to socialising and play (yes, play!) As stress tends to come from different directions it’s not always easy to identify a single cause, but this process can still help people take a step back and look at their life in a fresh perspective.
Hypnotherapy can also help people return to the source of their stress, as it often originates from an early age. Trying to meet the expectations of parents and other significant people in a person’s childhood is a common cause – and these stress responses have magnified in later life with an increase in responsibilities. Breaking patterns formed in childhood can, however, improve how a person responds to stress in the here and now.
Hypnotherapy is deeply relaxing in itself – some people say afterwards it is the most relaxed they have ever felt in their lives. As the festive season approaches, it may well be the perfect time to see just how much ease and calmness it can bring.
Stoptober runs each October, encouraging participants to stop smoking. The premise is based on evidence showing that after 28 days without a cigarette, smokers are up to five times more likely to give up smoking for good. With this growing campaign providing external support, now is the perfect time to take the plunge and explore how hypnotherapy can help.
A successful smoking cessation programme must tackle not only the obvious elements such as busting cravings and adopting new healthier habits, but potentially more tricky areas – such as those relating to triggers like stress, or taking a break at work. Smoking can also be perceived as part of a person’s identity, and this may require some gentle disentangling.
Smoking is not a nicotine addiction, it is a habit – hence why nicotine patches and nicotine gum are successful in less than 10% of those who use them. Once a person stops seeing themselves as a slave to addiction, they are more likely to be able to come up with positive solutions and ways they can help themselves effectively break free of this habit. This can be one of the most transformative moments in a hypnotherapy session as the former smoker starts to realise their own empowerment, breaking free of both the conscious and unconscious ties that bound them to cigarettes.
Many smokers worry that they will put on weight by replacing the smoking habit with eating, so it is important to ensure that such concerns are addressed and dealt with. Replacement behaviours can be safely tested and reinforced as part of a hypnotherapy session, reassuring the former smoker that they really have quit the habit for good.
Smokers are rarely short of reasons why they want to give up the cigs, and a qualified hypnotherapist will reinforce these incentives whilst giving them hope and practical tools to beat the habit. The cost of a smoking cessation programme is small in proportion to the outlay on cigarettes, so those looking to quit now really have nothing to lose – and everything to gain.
It’s that time of year when teenagers across the country are feeling the heat… and I’m not talking about the arrival of British summer. The pressure on young people to excel at exams as the stakes increase is reflected in an ‘A star or bust’ approach, where students feel a failure if they cannot gain top marks across the board – and indeed, this can impact upon their university placements in such a competitive academic environment. While the temptation can be to cram, it has been proven that a ‘spacing’ strategy is considerably more effective; and a bite-size approach to revision has become increasingly recognised as the best way to work with the brain’s natural capacity to learn.
This has the added benefit of ensuring that other vital needs can be incorporated into a programme of study. It can be all too easy for meal times, exercise, social interaction, and a sensible sleep pattern to go out of the window once students feel they must study 24/7 – especially as anxiety can further impact upon all of these elements. As students are used to timetabling lessons throughout their academic lives, it may be useful to maintain this continuity by designing timetables for study periods with them to ensure that these human needs are not neglected, helping them to stay mentally and physically healthy throughout this pivotal time. This also helps them retain a sense of control as the pressure rises and exam time approaches.
However as anxiety is complex, there can still be a sense of overwhelm, resulting in ‘brain fade’ – or simply blind panic. This is where hypnotherapy can be incredibly beneficial, teaching students self-calming techniques and other practical means of coping. Using hypnosis to encourage students to visualise a calm and confident persona right up to the moment that they leave the examination room can help them face and overcome their fears. Many young people respond extremely well to using their fertile imaginations to see themselves in this way; thus starting the process of helping them overcome their limiting beliefs, feel positive about their skills and knowledge – and making success a reality for them.