Control your drinking with hypnotherapy

champagne flutes

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.

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8 surprising things you can do through hypnosis – and why you’d want to

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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.

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How to be a winner – hypnotherapy for sports performance

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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!

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Young people and depression

teenager with sad face mask

The school holidays can be a testing time for families – parents trying to find new ways to keep children and teens occupied; while young people themselves may be missing school friends, or trying to assert their own independence, or simply bored no matter what activities are suggested. But what if problems are a symptom of something more concerning?

Many people wonder if children and teens can really suffer depression. In the case of teens, adults may attribute symptoms of depression to normal teen emotional swings. But experts and paediatricians point out that children and teens really can get depressed, and may be afflicted with the true illness of depression.

What Causes Young People to Succumb to Depression?

As in adults, depression may have multiple causes or one cause that varies among individuals. There are some factors that are unique to certain stages of life, however.

Children

Children, like adults, may become depressed because of genetics. They may have inherited a tendency toward depression, and perhaps there was a trigger that caused it to surface. Children may become depressed due to divorce, as they are uniquely affected by their immediate family’s dynamic.

Bullying at school is also something children may have to face that is not a factor for adults – not to mention cyber bullying, which can have devastating consequences. Low self-esteem can also develop through comparing themselves to peers on social media.

A child with a tendency toward perfectionism may be more prone to depression as well. Children with this tendency may ‘beat themselves up’ unnecessarily over failures or perceived failures.

Teens

This age group is considered particularly prone to depression. This may be due in part to the hormonal upheavals that occur during the teen years. But be careful – it’s easy for adults to take this information and think ‘it’s just hormones’ and therefore think the depression does not need to be addressed. Experts agree that depression, regardless of its cause, is something that should be addressed and treated.

Teens may also be dealing with the bullying/self-esteem issues mentioned above, or even just ‘harmless’ teasing. They may be experiencing their first crush; or rejection from the opposite sex, or indeed same sex – realising one’s sexuality and then facing the prospect of coming out is an additional and potentially enormous minefield for those affected. Other causes may be purely physiological; maybe nothing is particularly wrong in the teen’s life, but his or her brain just seems to run in a depressed mode.

What Are the Signs?

Here are some warning signs of depression in young people.

Children

Parents should be vigilant for any talk about suicide or morbid fascination with death. Other sources point out that television and films should be carefully monitored, both for potentially depressing subject matter and for the psychological effects of TV viewing in general (studies show that children who watch six or more hours of TV a day are more prone to depression).

– Sleep disturbances or changes in sleep habits
– Sudden increase or decrease in appetite
– Angry outbursts and/or irritability
– Lack of interest in social activities or friends
– ‘Touchy’ about perceived rejection

Teens

Some of the signs of depression in teens are like those in children; some are different. As with children, parents of teens should be keenly aware of any indications of suicidal thoughts. Music, films, and television are also sources of potentially depressing images and subject matter – although it’s important to emphasise that an attraction to these may be a symptom rather than a cause. Also, many teens attracted to ‘alternative’ subcultures can find solace and support there; and non-mainstream interests can be a positive indication of free thinking and independence.

Other signs may include:

– Weight loss or gain
– Over-exercise and/or obsessive dieting
– Binge eating
– Angry outbursts/yelling at parents
– Withdrawal from social activities and family

If your child is showing some of these signs over a period of time, you may wish to consider seeing whether they would be open to seeing a therapist who could help them. Hypnotherapy can be an extremely effective way of working with young people on a number of levels – a significant one being that they don’t have to talk about their issues if they don’t want to, or don’t feel able to. Like adults, they appreciate the deep calming relaxation involved in hypnotherapy, which can help them gain perspective on and control over their issues, and work towards clarity and understanding.

I am a qualified hypnotherapist, experienced with working with depression (see my ‘success stories’) who has successfully completed the Uncommon Knowledge course ‘How To Lift Depression Fast’. I am also experienced with working with young people, and offer a free 15 minute phone consultation (07947 475721). I am based in London, UK but can work remotely wherever in the world you may be; so please do get in touch if you or your child are affected by depression – I can help.

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Enhancing memory and concentration with hypnosis

man at work concentrating

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.

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Cure your fear of flying with hypnosis

view of sky and mountains through plane window

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?

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All about mental health

woman alone on bus with distorted reflections in windows

I’ve been focusing strongly on mental health so far this year – including starting a NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems – and just wanted to update on a couple of events I’ve recently attended. Firstly, it is such a positive sign that such discussions are even taking place, and people are feeling increasingly emboldened to be open about their struggles. I’m no fan of celebrity culture, but upon seeing Mariah Carey reveal her struggle with bipolar disorder yesterday I applauded her bravery. This – and similar revelations by those in the public eye – will bring courage to many who may have struggled with the same symptoms but not known what to do about them…or possibly even that there was a name for them. For far too long sufferers have been ridiculed in the media due to ignorance, and such attitudes have prevailed. This has resulted all too often in sufferers receiving advice along the lines of ‘pull yourself together’ or ‘move on’ – hardly helpful to those already struggling to manage their symptoms, which are often down to factors outside their control in the first place.

So it’s especially encouraging to see the business world starting to grasp the nettle, given that I’m increasingly seeing executives seeking treatment as they start to buckle under the strain of a culture where being a workaholic is seen as some kind of positive attribute. In reality, it inevitably puts strain on their relationships with their families and other loved ones – especially if they resort to coping mechanisms such as drugs, alcohol, or gambling. So it was with interest that I ventured to the recent Minds@Work event – in their own words, ‘a community of like-minded professionals coming together to break the stigma of depression and anxiety in the working world.’ Handily they have put all the talks up on their website, including stories from two gentlemen whose mental health had impacted upon their careers – and how they had overcome this adversity. There was also an excellent demonstration of best practice from insurance firm Legal & General who not only employ 60 Mental Health First Aiders, but have a great campaign underway called ‘Not A Red Card Offence’, engaging famous sportspeople to help shift the stigma (the power of celebrity again). Impressive!

The next event was close to my heart: a Mental Health Workshop run by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA). As a professional musician myself, I have seen firsthand the impacts of a lifestyle which is often romanticised by the media. Long days composing, rehearsing, or touring – followed by longer nights performing – take their toll upon health and relationships; not to mention the near impossibility of earning any reasonable income from one’s talents (did you know a band/artist earns only 0.001p from each play on Spotify, for example?) So this event was intended to provide a taster of skills based on neuroscience and cognitive behavioural psychology to empower musicians as they progress against such unfavourable odds, courtesy of Music for Mental Wealth. It was good to see some of the techniques I use with my own clients gaining wider traction; and I’m optimistic that increasingly these sorts of conversations are becoming not exactly easy to have, but at least less difficult.

So if you or anyone you are close to is feeling the strain of a mental health issue, please know you are not alone. Practical help is available from a number of local sources and support groups, and your GP should be able to advise in the first instance. Although medication works for some people, it shouldn’t really be seen as a long-term solution – a qualified therapist can help you get to the root of the issue and teach you coping mechanisms as appropriate. In some instances this may entail making some lifestyle changes, but we’ve all heard the old adage – no-one on their deathbed wishes they’d spent more time at work.

If you’d like to see whether hypnotherapy or coaching is right for you in response to these (or any other) issues, I offer a free no-obligation 15 minute phone consultation – see my main page for details. And if you are fortunate enough to work for an employer who runs well-being events, I also undertake corporate sessions – feel free to put me in touch with your HR department. In the meantime, thanks for reading; and let’s all do our best to support anyone we know – or suspect – may be struggling with their mental health.

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