Why life coaching? Well, if you’re thinking about making progress in life with a clear strategy, the answer may already be obvious. Basically, it’s not easy to simultaneously hold a vision, map out a path, walk that path and measure your own progress all by yourself.
Clarity out of confusion
If you’ve ever embarked on a major project of any kind will recognise the sense of overwhelm that can sometimes take some of the excitement away from proceeding with your vision. I experienced this myself when I began as a musician. As I thought about the kinds of problems I faced, I came to understand and accept that it would always be difficult to have both an overarching view of my long-term goals, a cogent understanding of my near-term strategies, and a confident and simple approach to walking my daily path. The reason was clear: each of these activities requires that I adopt a different perspective. And it’s hard to be in more than one place at a time. Often I would be conducting one activity from the perspective of another. So no wonder I occasionally felt confused and overwhelmed.
Life coaching offers a solution by providing objective recognition, validation and reinforcement. A life coach helps you to clarify your goals, test your plans against your resources and your intentions, and measure your progress. A coach also asks you to live up to standards you set together. I think of the kind of business coaching and life coaching that I practice as motivating. It’s about advising, focusing, and encouraging my clients to find solutions to their problems. From there, they can achieve personal growth and a way of being in the world that flows organically and authentically from who they really are.
Becoming your true self
Life coaching can introduce you to the self you were meant to be. The time you invest in the coaching process will be amply repaid by your greater ability to recognise, nurture and evoke that self. Discovering your passion and purpose is vital to your joy and well-being. In our society, we tend to ignore our special talents, and choose a career hoping for a sense of security. But too often, what makes us feel safe does not fulfil us at a deeper level.
It may not always be possible to change your work immediately to something you love. But if you follow your passion, it will often lead you there. And even when you have to earn money in ways that might not utilise your talents, you can seek volunteer opportunities and hobbies to express who you are. And these can lead to the work that you will eventually do. There is a deep desire within you to express yourself in ways that give you joy. It is your job to discover what that is and to bring it about.
I am a qualified life coach and hypnotherapist, experienced in coaching clients to help them make the changes they want in their lives (see my success stories). And I can help you move forward too, whether you seek career coaching or support in a new venture altogether. I am based in Canterbury, Kent and Peckham, London SE15; and also offer online sessions, wherever in the world you may be. Please feel welcome to call me on 07947 475721 for a free no-obligation 15 minute phone consultation to see how I can help.
Alcohol dependence is a killer. 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 that 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?
Alcohol dependence: the physical and mental toll
A number of my clients admit that they drink more than they should, usually in response to stressful life conditions. Alcohol becomes indelibly associated with relaxing after work, and eventually the habit turns into a dependency. That this is a socially accepted norm doesn’t help.
However, excess alcohol can 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. 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. More serious problems such as depression can ensue, compounded by alcohol being a depressant to begin with.
Like most other addictions, alcohol dependence can create a warped reality where those affected no longer have any control. Alcohol can rip apart families, end careers – and as the stats now show, increasingly end lives. There are many medical downsides associated with alcohol, and the social implications can be equally serious. Without help, alcohol dependence can run rampant to the point where someone loses everything that is precious to them. They drink in response to their problems – but as drinking causes more problems, they have to drink more to keep reality at bay. It really is a vicious cycle, leaving people feeling that a way out is impossible.
Finding a permanent solution through hypnotherapy
However, this is an illusion, which a change of mindset can reveal. And this is where hypnotherapy can help. Having worked with people with different addictions, I’ve found that what they often needed was simply someone to help them overhaul their thinking. From there, we worked on learning healthier coping mechanisms and resolving unmet needs. In this way, hypnotherapy can offer a permanent solution.
If you feel as though 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 hypnotherapy. You really have nothing to lose, and everything to gain – and you can even make a start right now with this download. I am a qualified hypnotherapist, experienced in supporting clients to make the changes they want in their lives (see my success stories). I am based in Canterbury, Kent and Peckham, London SE15; and also offer online sessions, wherever in the world you may be. Please feel welcome to call me on 07947 475721 for a free no-obligation 15 minute phone consultation to see how I can help.
You’re probably aware of the uses of hypnotherapy in areas like stopping smoking, treating phobias, or for weight loss. But there are some things that hypnosis can help with do that might surprise you…
7 unusual uses of hypnotherapy
Learn a new skill, or enhance an existing one. It all starts in the mind. Athletes and performers 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. So visualising yourself employing your chosen skill can forge a strong subconscious path to start you on your way.
Enjoy different foods. So you know that greens are healthy, and wholegrain bread is better for you – but what if you just don’t like the taste? A little hypnosis could change this, and change your eating habits for the better.
End cravings or addictions. Conversely, hypnotherapy can help you turn down the brownies, stop drinking so much, or even say goodbye to unhealthy relationships.
Enjoy public speaking. Being an effective speaker can boost your career in your company, your industry, and beyond. Once-shy 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.
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.
Attract a partner. You think finding the person of your dreams is about mesmerising him or her? Not at all: it’s about starting with yourself. Hypnosis for confidence gives you a powerful feeling, and that confident sense of self can be very appealing to others.
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.
Breaking old habits and creating better new ones
One of the most common uses of hypnotherapy is creating or breaking habits. These might be habits of action, or habits of thought. Grabbing a biscuit, and another, and another – perhaps without really noticing – is a habit of action. But that action may have been due to a habit of thought. Perhaps you were dwelling on a painful, sad, or angry thought, or an unfulfilled desire and wanted to distract yourself. And you found that eating did that for you temporarily. You may not realise why you’re reaching for the biscuits again. You might think ‘I’m just peckish’. But it’s often connected with an unconscious habit of mind.
Hypnosis is ideal for working for working with the subconscious mind. The process of hypnosis is pleasant, relaxing, and empowering. Clients often say they feel deeply refreshed, more alive, and committed to their lives after a session. They are amazed at feeling so rested and optimistic after just an hour.
Why not see how hypnotherapy can help you? Whether you want to break old habits, create new ones, gain confidence, or be more productive, it might just be the answer. I am a qualified hypnotherapist, experienced in supporting clients to help them make the changes they want in their lives (see my success stories). I am based in Canterbury, Kent and Peckham, London SE15; and also undertake online sessions, wherever in the world you may be. I offer a free no-obligation 15 minute phone consultation, so call me on 07947 475721 and prepare to be surprised at what hypnotherapy 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 by competitive sports, and sportsmen and women can become legendary figures and icons for future generations. But what is it that makes these individuals so unbeatable? How do they turn in one winning performance after another? And is it possible for anyone to get the same winning streak? Actually yes: the average human being can still develop sporting prowess through hypnotherapy for sports performance.
Hypnotherapy for sports performance: training the mind
While professional sportspeople undertake continual rigorous physical training of course, it’s less well-known that hypnotherapy is a much-favoured coaching technique. Hypnotherapy mentally helps a player to winning performances in several ways. Firstly, it can improve concentration. Hypnotherapy for sports performance is all about increasing a player’s ability to focus. Through methods such as 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.
Secondly, 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.
Also, hypnotherapy also uses the technique of visualisation to help players improve their strategy. In this way, they can break down their best techniques to the smallest parts and replay them in their minds over and over again. For example, a cricket player can go over a shot repeatedly to memorise every move in his body while he makes it. And this will enable him to perform the same shot to perfection in the future. Hypnotherapy for sports performance also helps players to anticipate an opponent’s moves, and to plan strategies to counter them.
Want to up your game?
Hypnotherapy for sports performance is useful in a variety of fields, from teams sports to individual competition. It has the potential to hone your technique and performance effectively, by harnessing the power of the mind. I have dealt with a number of clients looking to improve their focus and sporting performance in my career, and the effects of hypnotherapy are striking. Gone are the mental blocks that held them back, once they become more confident in themselves. And nothing supplies the winning quality more than self-belief! Why not test it out right now, with this hypnosis download?
I am a qualified life coach and hypnotherapist, experienced in coaching clients to help them make the changes they want in their lives (see my success stories). And I can help you move forward too. I am based in Canterbury, Kent and Peckham, London SE15; and also offer online sessions, wherever in the world you may be. Please feel welcome to call me on 07947 475721 for a free no-obligation 15 minute phone consultation to see how I can help.
School holidays can be a testing time for families. Parents try to find new ways to keep children and teens occupied, while young people themselves may be missing school friends. They may try to assert their own independence. Or they may simply be bored, no matter what activities are available. But what if problems are a symptom of something more concerning?
Many people wonder if depression in young people is real. 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 depression in young people?
As in adults, depression in young people 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, 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 parents’ relationship difficulties, 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. The same goes for 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.
This age group is considered particularly prone to depression, possibly due in part to the hormonal upheavals of the teenage 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. And realising one’s sexuality and then facing the prospect of coming out is an additional and potentially enormous minefield for those affected. (This download might help in this instance.)
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.
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. Parents should be wary both of potentially depressing subject matter, and of 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
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. Non-mainstream interests can be a positive indication of independent thinking and inner confidence.
Other signs may include:
Weight loss or gain
Binge eating and/or obsessive dieting
Angry outbursts/yelling at parents
Withdrawal from social activities and family
How can hypnotherapy help?
If your child shows some of these signs over a period of time, consider whether they would be open to seeing someone who could help them. Hypnotherapy can be an extremely effective way of working with depression in young people on a number of levels. In particular, it’s significant that in hypnotherapy they don’t have to talk about their issues if they don’t want to, or feel able to. But, like adults, they appreciate the deeply calming relaxation involved in hypnotherapy. And this can help them gain perspective and develop control over their issues, and then work towards clarity and understanding. If they want to give it a quick try, this download might be a good starting point.
I am a qualified hypnotherapist, experienced in working with depression (see my success stories). I’ve completed the acclaimed Uncommon Knowledge course ‘How To Lift Depression Fast’. And I have good experience in with working with young people, including treating depression. I am based in Canterbury, Kent and Peckham, London SE15; and also undertake online sessions, wherever in the world you may be. I offer a free no-obligation 15 minute phone consultation, so please do get in touch on 07947 475721 if depression affects you or your child – I can help.
If a tool was available to you to help improve memory and concentration, would you be interested in learning how to use it? The good news is that there is such a tool which can do just that, and much more: hypnotherapy. Many people complain of having poor memory and concentration for one reason or another. Forgetting birthdays, anniversaries, important facts, and so on is frustrating and sometimes, embarrassing. Poor concentration can cause problems in learning and at work. You can turn this around by working with a qualified hypnotherapist.
Memory and concentration explained
Memory is the capacity to record information. A number of things can affect someone’s ability to remember, include lack of sleep, stress, poor diet, and the natural ageing process. On the other hand, concentration is the ability to recall information successfully. Interestingly, any type of heightened emotional state can improve concentration. For instance, most people can tell you exactly where they heard the news of the World Trade Centre attack on September 11th – or the assassination of John F. Kennedy, for a previous generation. But although you probably recall major events, if I asked what you ate yesterday, you’d probably have to stop and think.
To develop a solid memory, certain factors must be in place. This includes attention, or intending to remember. Then, there is interest. So if you have a genuine interest in the subject, this creates the heightened emotional state that increases concentration and memory.
Next, the subconscious mind works more effectively with images and feelings than it does with numbers and words. Repetition is another key factor. Through repeated exposure, information will eventually become ingrained in 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 always telling yourself how forgetful or unfocused you are, try filling your mind instead with positive reinforcement about your powers of recall.
How hypnotherapy can improve memory and concentration
Hypnotherapy is a tool that can take all of the above factors and enhance them. This means that the result of enhancing memory and concentration is much more effective. A hypnotherapist can teach you to focus, develop, and use your permanent memory, and sharpen your mind. Hypnosis reaches deep into the subconscious, which is the source of your memory. By learning how to use the subconscious mind, you will 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. People sometimes have the misconception that hypnosis means losing control. Actually, this could not be further from the truth. Instead, you will find yourself in an enjoyable peaceful place, more like staying in bed on a lazy Sunday morning. Typically, hypnosis involves feeling pleasantly like being half-awake and half-asleep. Your mind is still sharp and aware, but your subconscious receives suggestions more. And these are what help your mind become more effective.
If you want to discover the benefits of enhanced memory and concentration, why not give it a quick try now and see for yourself? But don’t stop there – hypnotherapy can also reduce your stress levels; improve your sense of self-esteem and confidence; and overall, increase your desire for a healthy lifestyle (see my clients’ success stories). I am based in Canterbury, Kent and Peckham, London SE15; and also offer online sessions, wherever in the world you may be. Please feel welcome to call me on 07947 475721 for a free no-obligation 15 minute phone consultation to see how I can help.
Just think how much easier life will be once you stop losing things, forgetting names, missing deadlines, and being hindered by with poor memory and concentration. With help from hypnotherapy, you can make a real change in your life for the better.
Fancy heading off somewhere nice on holiday, but held back by a fear of flying? This phobia keeps many people going where want or need to be. It’s something that can afflict someone for years, with often no rhyme or reason to it. It is simply a mental block that keeps people from thinking rationally about travelling by plane.
Fear of flying: don’t let it hold you back
This can be a particular problem for people working in international companies, as flying is often an unavoidable aspect of that world. Perhaps you have family or friends abroad who you want to visit. Or perhaps you just want to travel for the sheer pleasure of seeing the world. Whatever the case may be, a fear of flying shouldn’t hold you back.
Fear of flying is common – in fact, many people feel anxiety about travelling by plane. But the problem occurs when that turns into such anxiety that it’s impossible to function normally while in a plane. You might even decide to back out and stay at home. This anxiety can be readily fixed; it just takes a change in thinking to banish the fear of flying.
How can hypnotherapy help?
A change in mindset about flying and planes is something that can be achieved through hypnotherapy. As a hypnotherapist, I help people overcome different mentally-based problems. Fears and phobias can be treated effectively with hypnotherapy, including fear of flying. Why not give it a try with this download right now?
Hypnotherapy enables you to replace unhelpful thoughts and feelings with positive ones. It creates a state of deep relaxation and taps into the power of the subconscious mind to make these changes, and this has lasting effects. If you are struggling with fear of flying, then do consider hypnotherapy. I am a qualified life coach and hypnotherapist, experienced in coaching clients to help them make the changes they want in their lives (see my success stories). And I can help you move forward too. I am based in Canterbury, Kent and Peckham, London SE15; and also offer online sessions, wherever in the world you may be. Please feel welcome to call me on 07947 475721, for a free no-obligation 15 minute phone consultation to see how I can help you spread your wings! Where will you go next?
Being overweight in the summer heat is no fun. In fact, for people carrying excess weight, summer can be a time of great discomfort and embarrassment. So let’s look at some effective weight loss strategies to 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, like the type of programme that promises ‘a fast effortless way to reduce weight’. In my experience, crash diets don’t work. Also, the medical evidence is quite clear: the maximum rate of sustainable weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week, perhaps a little more if you are obese. So don’t waste time and money on weight loss methods that make extravagant promises of rapid weight loss.
A three-month summer weight loss plan
You can’t lose much weight in a week or two. It takes about three months to see significant changes in your body shape. Remember, the human body is interested in survival, not cosmetic appearances. And since rapid weight loss is a 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 people to experience noticeable health improvements as well as a leaner body. And by reducing your weight gradually in this manner, you have far less chance of weight regain. So you can continue losing more weight, if you choose, with less danger of hitting a weight loss plateau or other obstacle.
You need a motive
If you want to change your eating and exercise habits, you need a strong motive; something to keep you on course and focused. Whatever motive you choose, it must be something more powerful than the urge to eat 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 a beach holiday, or buy some gorgeous clothes to fit the body you want to have at the end of your weight loss programme. These investments require you to succeed, and therefore provide constant motivation along the way.
Be positive about short term sacrifices
Whether your goal is weight loss or any other achievement, an important piece of the motivational jigsaw is the ability to be positive about making short term sacrifices. The choice is fairly simple. You can focus on the “deprivation” aspect of giving up certain foods, or you can focus on the benefits of not eating these foods. If you focus on feeling deprived, you will see your weight loss programme as a burden, which makes you more likely to quit. If you want to succeed, avoid this trap and remind yourself frequently of the longer term benefits from 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. And the average modern diet is loaded with sugar, fat and sodium, all of which condition us to want more of these items. If you can reduce your intake of these ingredients even for 2-3 weeks, you’ll notice a difference in your tastes.
Which brings me to healthy eating…
Think healthy eating, not weight loss
One of the most effective weight loss strategies is to focus on healthy eating. It’s 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.
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, mayonnaise, sour cream etc 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 great indirect benefits
Exercise burns calories and therefore helps to widen your calorie deficit. But its direct effect on weight loss is typically quite small. In fact, it’s not uncommon to gain weight when you start exercising, as muscle increases. The real weight loss benefits of exercise are indirect ones. It raises the metabolic rate, helping you burn calories faster. It also improves mood, which can reduce comfort eating. However, don’t overdo your exercise workouts. Ideally, start with 45 minutes a day of any physical activity you can easily manage, and gradually increase the duration and intensity. Listen to your body at all times, and be sure to warm up beforehand and warm 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 your weight loss programme. Visualise yourself walking along a beach, or lying by the pool, looking leaner and healthier. 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.
Very overweight? Visualise the benefits
If you’re very overweight, you may feel that losing a couple of stone in three months isn’t much of a goal. If so, ask yourself: what’s the alternative? Whatever method you choose, you won’t lose weight any faster. So it’s really a question of when you start and how long it’s going to take. If you were looking to lose, say, 7 stone (about 45 kg or 100 pounds), this would take about a year. This is nothing. Just visualise yourself walking down the street (or strolling along the beach) 100 pounds lighter, and ask yourself if eating healthily for a year is too high a price to pay for such a wonderful prospect.
Your first priority: get support
If you’re serious about a weight loss programme for the summer and beyond, your first priority is to find support. When difficulties arise, the support of real people can make all the difference. You might consider joining a support group, a fitness class or walking group, or online forums. Losing weight on your own is perfectly possible, providing things go well and your scales keep saying nice things – and if you want to continue down this road, you might find this download helpful.
I have had fantastic success using hypnotherapy for weight loss with my clients – see my ‘success stories’ for one recent testimonial. Why not see how hypnotherapy can help you? It’s very effective in breaking old habits, create new ones, and improving motivation, and a proven success for weight loss. I am based in Canterbury, Kent and Peckham, London SE15; and also offer online sessions, wherever in the world you may be. Please feel welcome to call me on 07947 475721 for a free no-obligation 15 minute phone consultation to see how I can help.
Why do we have emotions? Wouldn’t life be simpler without them? No, like everything else in human makeup, emotions exist to keep us safe and alive, and able to thrive. Contained in the word “emotion” is the word “motion”. And emotions get us to move, either towards something or away from it. OK, but what does this have to do social anxiety?
Well, we all have the same basic human needs – warmth, security, love, connection, food and shelter. We also have further needs for status, significance, attention, stimulation, creativity and so on. Some emotions draw us to things we feel will meet these needs, and continue our survival. And other emotions drive us away from experiences or situations which, we feel, would do the opposite.
But sometimes our feelings direct us the wrong way. Our emotions mainly get it right and drive us toward what’s good for us and away from the bad. But not always.
Your basic human needs draw you towards social contact – but social anxiety drives you away
Someone with social anxiety both wants and doesn’t want social contact. Their feelings are pulling and pushing them in different directions. A socially anxious person instinctively knows, as we all do, that they need social contact, but at the same time they fear and avoid it. We avoid what we fear – but we then start to fear what we avoid.
Furthermore, the more you avoid something, the greater the fear becomes. It’s as if your ’emotional brain’ looks at your behaviour and thinks: “We’re avoiding this situation so much that it must be really dangerous. So I’d better ramp up the fear some more, to quite make sure we keep avoiding it.” So we avoid what we fear, but we can also come to fear something just because we avoid it so much.
To complicate matters further, you can fully believe something is good for you but still flee from it. Likewise, you can fully believe something (or someone) is bad for you but it, or they, continue to attract you. It’s primal emotional conditioning geared towards survival that drives our fears, rather than ‘faulty thinking’. So they don’t respond much to reasoning. It’s more effective instead to access and modify these primitive drivers through hypnosis.
Social anxiety treatment with hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy offers a safe and relaxed way for someone to experience a situation they would normally avoid. For someone with social anxiety, a party would be a typical example.
If you can experience what it would be like to feel relaxed and spontaneous at a party a few times while in hypnosis, this is a sufficiently strong indication to your emotional brain that this situation isn’t dangerous. This kind of social event can now be reclassified as one you can go safely towards, it decides – before you’ve even been to an actual party. Likewise, someone who hasn’t left their house for years can, under hypnosis, “experience” going outside before they walk out of the door in real life. The process is under their fully control, in sync with a relaxed mind and body. And when they then leave the house or go to a party for real, it will already feel familiar, and therefore safer.
When I work with someone with social anxiety it’s generally apparent the fears have gone the moment they open their eyes. They know the experience in hypnosis of the feared situation wasn’t “real”, of course. Nonetheless, their subconscious now has a positive new blueprint for responding calmly to social situations in future. And then being socially relaxed becomes the new normal.
The new 10 steps to overcome social anxiety course has a hypnotic download for each step of the way. This is partly to develop and hone social skills during hypnotic rehearsal, and also so people experience hypnotic “safe” social experiences before they go into these situations for real. In this way the being driven away from feelings of fear can gently be replaced with the happier drawn towards feelings of pleasure and positive expectation when it comes to socialising and meeting new people.
I am a qualified life coach and hypnotherapist, experienced in coaching clients to help them make the changes they want in their lives (see my success stories). And I can help you move forward too. I am based in Canterbury, Kent and Peckham, London SE15; and also offer online sessions, wherever in the world you may be. Please feel welcome to call me on 07947 475721 for a free no-obligation 15 minute phone consultation if social anxiety affects you or a loved one – I can help.
I gave a talk at a local business networking group a couple of weeks ago, and the conversation turned to self-care. Everyone there was running a small businesses – all women, many bringing up children at the same time. Some commented that the brief guided visualisation I conducted as part of the session was the first time they had relaxed in months. Not unusually, some of them felt guilty when they took time out for themselves. I replied that if they didn’t care for themselves, would they be giving the best service possible to their clients?
Unfortunately we live in a culture that fetishises hard work, with predictable consequences. Burn-out is endemic, people spend less time with their loved ones, and everyone suffers. It’s not selfish to take time each day to nurture yourself. By that I mean things like taking time to cook a nutritious meal instead of grabbing a take-away. Or spending quality time with people – preferably with phones off! Maybe taking a walk in nature. Or meditating: there are plenty of guided visualisations on Youtube if you’re not sure where to start. Basically anything that gets you to slow down, breathe, and reconnect with the world around you. Do you ever notice how much calmer you feel around someone who is calm themselves? Well, you can be that person! And you can try for yourself right now, if you like – check out this download and see how refreshed you feel after fifteen minutes.
Self-care: you don’t have to go it alone
If you need some support and encouragement along the way, there are many therapists – including myself of course – ready to help. Therapy centres often run open days so why not try some different therapies and see what feels best for you? Many therapists, again including myself, offer free consultations, so you can decide whether they offer what you need. I am based in Canterbury, Kent and Peckham, London SE15; and also offer online sessions, wherever in the world you may be. Please feel welcome to call me on 07947 475721 for a free no-obligation 15 minute phone consultation to see how I can help.
Some people find the potential cost off-putting. Consider it an investment rather than an expense. Besides, a session with someone providing meaningful support costs about the same as a night in the pub. And a good therapist doesn’t just help you work through the issues holding you back. They will also teach you skills and strategies to take away and use to better the rest of your life. Who can put a price on that?