Hypnotherapy for sports performance: how to be a winner

Hypnotherapy for sports performance: how to be a winner

woman athlete smiling

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.

Depression in young people

Depression in young people

teenager with sad face mask

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

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.

Teens

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.

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. 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
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. Non-mainstream interests can be a positive indication of independent thinking and inner confidence.

Other signs may include:

  • Weight loss or gain
  • Over-exercise
  • 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.

Memory and concentration improvement with hypnotherapy

Memory and concentration improvement with hypnotherapy

man at work concentrating

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.

Fear of flying: hypnotherapy could be the answer

Fear of flying: hypnotherapy could be the answer

fear of flying

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?

Lose weight for summer

Lose weight for summer

woman with tape measure around waist

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:

  1. More home-cooked food, less eating out.
  2. More fresh fruit as snacks.
  3. More fresh vegetables as snacks and with meals.
  4. More beans as sides or in stews.
  5. More dense chewy bread, less refined white breads and bread snacks.
  6. Less red meat. A vegetarian or vegan diet has none of the growth hormones or antibiotics injected into factory farmed animals.
  7. Smaller servings of meat if you eat it, larger servings of vegetables.
  8. Eating low fat dairy foods, if you eat them. There are many tasty non-dairy alternatives.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

How hypnosis can cure social anxiety

How hypnosis can cure social anxiety

man sitting alone in crowd

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.

Next steps

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.

The importance of self-care

The importance of self-care

woman in yoga pose on rock above lake

Self-care: you can’t pour from an empty cup

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?

All about mental health

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. I also attended a couple of good events that I’d like to discuss.

Before I do, it’s such a positive sign that these discussions are even taking place. People are increasingly open about their mental health struggles. I’m no fan of celebrity culture, but I applauded Mariah Carey’s bravery in revealing her bipolar disorder recently. This – and similar revelations by those in the public eye – will give courage to many who have struggled with the same symptoms but not known what to do. Or not even realised that there was a name for them. For far too long the media has ridiculed sufferers, and ignorant attitudes have prevailed. All too often sufferers are told ‘pull yourself together’, ‘man up’ or ‘move on’. None of which helps those struggling to manage their symptoms, which often result from factors outside their control in the first place.

Mental health in the workplace

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. They not only employ sixty 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!

It’s encouraging to see the business world starting to grasp the nettle. In fact, I’m increasingly seeing executives seeking treatment. People start to buckle under the strain of a culture where being a workaholic is seen as a positive attribute. In reality, it inevitably strains relationships with their families and other loved ones – especially if they resort to coping mechanisms such as drugs, alcohol, or gambling.

Mental health in the music industry

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 that’s often over-romanticised. Long days composing, rehearsing, or touring, with longer nights performing, take their toll on health and relationships. The near impossibility of earning any reasonable income from one’s talents doesn’t help. (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 these sorts of conversations are becoming more common.

Find the help you need

So if you or anyone close to you is feeling the strain of a mental health issue, remember you’re not alone. You can get help from a number of local sources and support groups. Ask your GP for advice in the first instance too. Although medication works for some people, it doesn’t really represent a long-term solution. A qualified therapist can help you get to the root of the issue and teach you coping mechanisms as appropriate. This may entail making some lifestyle and work-life balance changes. But as the old adage says, no-one on their deathbed wishes they’d spent more time at work. If you need to take action on this front immediately, I recommend this download.

Hypnotherapy or coaching might be right for you regarding these (or any other) issues. 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. And if you work for an employer who runs staff 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 do our best to support anyone we know – or suspect – who may be struggling with their mental health.

I’m interviewed on Radio Sydenham!

I did a live radio interview about hypnotherapy on Radio Sydenham today. This is great little community radio station operating from the depths of Sydenham Library. I did some myth-busting about hypnotherapy, and talked about the process and the benefits. You can hear the interview in full here (I’m on at the start of the show, for about 15 minutes).

Time for life changes? Make them a success!

Time for life changes? Make them a success!

fireworks

Raise the subject of new year’s resolutions in January, and you’re likely to get some mixed reactions – from guilty admissions of falling off the wagon, or finding the prospect too daunting to even try. So how can we tackle making life changes that stick, new year or not? Fortunately, there are some ways we can make getting off the starting blocks easier.

One step at a time

First of all, there’s the bite-size approach, where the elements of a goal are broken down into manageable chunks. Let’s take the example of writing a book. Once you’ve defined the subject or storyline, how will you fill those empty pages? A sensible approach would be to break it down into chapters. Maybe then you might outline each chapter structure. Perhaps then you’d work out how many words a day you can realistically get down. Of course you need to take your other commitments into account. And you might have to sacrifice something else to make time – watch less TV perhaps – to reach your goal. But if your aim is realistic to begin with, once you’ve made a start, you’re well on your way to making the life changes you want!

Which leads me onto the next crucial element: turning something into a habit. Research shows that we are far more likely to succeed at something once we incorporate it into our daily routine. Basically this sidesteps our brain’s tendency to question it. Even if you can only make a little time each day, the important thing is to do it regularly. ‘Little and often’ make the process easier, and helps it become part of the natural rhythm of your life.

Work smarter

And to enhance that natural process, we can use a little extra cleverness. If you’re a morning person, it makes sense to work with your early bird tendencies. So set the alarm half an hour earlier, rather than try and incorporate your new habit later in the day when you may be more tired. And if you really want to give yourself an extra push, take advantage of moments in the day when you can visualise yourself going through elements of your task – and succeeding. Your brain will respond accordingly!

Finally, the best bit: reward yourself. Track your progress, set yourself achievable milestones along the way, and be sure to celebrate once they’re achieved – perhaps with friends or family who are supporting you. For many, sharing their achievements is a magic ingredient of motivation. But if you’re flying solo, give yourself an extra reward for your strength and determination. Above all, cut yourself some slack and don’t give up if you hit a setback. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep your eyes on the prize. And if you need a little motivation boost, I recommend this download.

A qualified hypnotherapist or life coach can help you achieve your desired life changes if you need a little extra support on your journey. 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 – and check my success stories to read about clients who I’ve helped to make changes in their lives. Good luck!

(Published on The Hypnotherapy Directory, 3 January 2018)