Are you afraid of heights, open or enclosed spaces, snakes, bugs, spiders or water? Well, you are not alone. Our prehistoric ancestors had the same fears which is mainly how they survived! So what are some of the most common fears that we have today? Strangely they are very similar - heights, confined spaces, snakes, bugs/spiders and water. Our environment has changed dramatically, but our minds have not!
Let’s imagine for one moment that you had to program our prehistoric ancestors to keep them safe. How are you going to design a human who can survive in a primitive environment where there are tigers, lions, wolves, and poisonous snakes and bugs? What could you build into the software of the primitive brain? How about FEAR?!
By being afraid of heights it would stop them falling off cliffs, fear of water would stop them drowning, fear of snakes & bugs would stop them being bitten and fear of open spaces (out in the open savannahs alone) or enclosed spaces (caves or burrows) would stop them being eaten by that sabre tooth tiger in areas that they would be in danger!! These fears would keep them safe in a ‘dog eat dog’ environment. However we still have the same fears in the modern world!
We are actually born with only two fears, the fear of loud noises & the fear of falling. Therefore it is believed that fears are learnt behaviours from family members/close friends as we grow up. This is why we find that people who have parents who have a fear of spiders usually develop a fear of spiders too. We can also learn to be fearful of a situation or items if something happens to us that we become frightened of it. For example if a child is walking along & a big dog comes running up to them as they are pleased to see them, but the dog is over excited & knocks them down. The child may miss read the situation & feel threatened & in danger. This could make the child fearful of not just that dog, but all dogs going forward.
Fear is not nice to deal with as it is highly emotive, it drives us away from something that is perceived will put us in danger. When you suffer with a fear it feels very real, however it helps to look at the actual facts instead of how you are feeling. It also helps to talk to someone who can help you see the situation differently. Think about your fears as prehistoric responses to a modern situation. What most people fear does not put us in danger. It’s like you are using outdated software in your brain. We do not need to be on high alert all of the time in our modern society!
Our fears can turn into a phobia. A phobia is similar to a fear with one key difference: the anxiety they experience is so much stronger. Also a phobia interferes with your quality of life and/or ability to function. So what can we do to deal with fears & phobias? The main thing is to acknowledge that the fear is not in proportion to the threat as we do not live in prehistoric times where what we fear is more than likely to kill us. Also our mind is trying to protect us, however it does too much of a good job & therefore instead of protecting us it causes us anxiety. A way of reducing your fear is to face the fear for short periods of time. This will help the unfamiliar fearful event becomes a more familiar event & eventually become easier to deal with. The more you do something, the more it becomes the norm & therefore not a threat.
However with a phobia, the emotion is an automatic reaction. Therefore looking at it in a logical way doesn’t always help. People think their phobia is strange & feel they are stupid to feel the way they do. However there are more than 8,000 different listed phobias in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Due to a phobia being an automatic response, hypnotherapy can help eliminate phobias & allow sufferers to live their lives normally when dealing with the situation or object that triggers the phobia. If you are suffering with a fear or phobia & would like to talk about how hypnotherapy can help you, please call me or arrange via email or my website a time convenient to you when I can call you to discuss your fear or phobia.
Woolhampton 19th February 2020 - 7pm
Newbury 3rd March 2020 - 7.30pm
It is near to the end of the year and it is often a time to reflect back on the year and forward to the New Year ahead. Both of these activities are really good things to do if we do it in a positive way! Unfortunately if we don't, we can get our brain stuck in an endless cycle of negativity by focusing on the wrong things and the happy task of reflecting can become an unhappy one.
December is always a busy month! Trying to fit everything in before taking time off for Christmas can be a struggle. There seems to be a lot more to do than a normal month and the strict deadline to get it all done for Christmas Day can be very stressful. Also having or not having family around us can create more tension and unhappiness.
When we’re stressed our primitive brain can take over from our more rational, sensible brain. Our primitive brain isn’t really very clever at all and it mistakes the stresses of a busy festive season for more primitive threats, like a sabre tooth tiger! I know, it seems daft but our primitive brain is exactly that – primitive. It doesn’t understand our modern lives so it views our December stresses in the only way it can – as threatening situations that it needs to either run away from or stand and fight.
The problem when we’re in this part of our brain is that any reflection we do on the past year or plans we’re trying to make for next year will get sabotaged by a very negative way of thinking. Once our primitive brain has taken over it is only interested in checking out any potential dangers. If it isn’t a potential danger, it’s not interested, which means that when we scan back over the past year our brain is more likely to pick up on all the things that went wrong rather than remembering the good bits.
Any plans we are trying to make for the following year will clouded by negative ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I’m not good enough’ or the dreaded ‘What if’s’. ‘What if this goes wrong, what if I’m not good enough, what if, what if, what if….’ When our primitive brain is in charge it’s very much like watching the news - it is only reporting on the bad things that are happening and we end up with a very unrealistic view of our lives. Suddenly it seems like the whole year was a tough one with lots of things going wrong, and we have forgotten time with our family, the days out, the weekends away and the fun night out with friends. Therefore it’s very important for us to make sure we’re in the right part of our brain when we are reflecting and planning, because when we are it’s a totally different experience!
When we’re calm and relaxed and not feeling overwhelmed our more sensible, rational, intellectual brain is in charge. This part of our brain has a much more balanced view of our lives. It will see the good and the bad and weigh them up together. This then might allow us to acknowledge that we’ve had a challenging year, but we’ll reflect on how well we dealt with it alongside remembering the fun, happy times. We’ll learn from our experiences, decide what we’d do differently and be on the lookout for opportunities to replicate positive experiences and avoid negative ones. We might recognise that we’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal for the year ahead but we’ll see that, with some hard work we’ll be able to achieve it and we find ourselves taking actions to help ourselves.
Now the rush of Christmas is finally over and we’re sitting back and relaxing, it is so much easier to reflect in a calm and positive way. However, the negative thoughts can start creeping in about what’s waiting for you when the New Year starts, going back to work, all the things you need to do, the bills, the things that you need to do on the house, what you’ve got planned…
I know as a hypnotherapist that taking back control from that kind of thinking can be simple, but I also know that simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy! That’s why I want to share with you a few tips that will help you gain back control and shift your minds focus away from the negatives towards the more realistic, balanced view where reflecting on the past and looking ahead to the future filled with optimism and excitement rather than negativity and feeling overwhelmed.
1) Remember your mind is there to protect you, not to make you happy (that’s your job). Unfortunately your mind goes a little too far and creates fear over the things that it is trying to protect you from. Therefore question how you feel, put it into prospective. Most things around us is not the threat your primitive brain thinks it is!
2) You cannot control what thought comes into your mind, but you can control what you do with it. When you are really busy and a thought comes into your mind about what you need to buy for dinner you just push it to one side and continue with what you are doing. Therefore you can push a thought that comes into you mind that you do not want! Whether it is an unhelpful thought or overthinking that is driving you mad, you can push it away. The best way to do this is when it comes into your mind shout ‘stop’ loudly in your mind the say something like ‘I am enough’ or ‘thank you for telling me’ or ‘thank you, but no thank you’. You might feel you do this a lot to start with, but your unhelpful thoughts will start to reduce dramatically or stop totally.
3) Reflecting over the past year and planning what you are going to do over the next year is required for development and growth. We learn from our failures and our achievements. Also we need a plan of what we want in our lives so we know what we need to do and where to go. You wouldn’t just get into a car and drive! You would either know where you are going or you have it mapped out. Saying that, the main focus of our mind to give us the greatest happiness in our lives is ‘living in the now’. If you are going for a walk don't allow your mind to be troubled by the past, or you keep mulling over the future, or your head is in your phone. See the true beauty in front of you, the sun shining, the wonderful view, the person you are with, the connection to nature and your companion. The now is the only thing that really exists! The past and present are just thoughts.
4) Remember you are your actions, your thoughts and your words. Look at how you act, think and talk as they create your world. Everything only has the meaning you give it. Be the person you need to be to create and attract the life you want and desire.
Enjoy the last few days of 2019!
Are you struggling with the symptoms of the menopause?
Are you worried about moving into the next chapter of your life?
Are finding you are gaining weight in areas you never used to?
Are you having hot flushes and sleep issues?
Do you not feel like you anymore?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions or you simply want to feel physically and mentally healthier whilst going through the change, then this book is for you!
Like many women, I suffered with the symptoms of the menopause, as well as struggling with feelings of being older and just not feeling like me anymore. I felt frustrated as I could not find anything that really helped me deal with the symptoms of the menopause and how I was feeling. Therefore I decided that I needed to take action. By adapting the techniques and therapies that I use to help my clients, I formulated a plan that would help me to deal with the symptoms of the menopause. The results were amazing, I felt back in control of my body and my life. I then started to share my knowledge with other menopausal women, who also had the same amazing results.
This helpful informative guide is a straightforward look at the menopause and how it can be managed. There is practical advice on diet, exercise, relaxation and sleep, which will help create a new you. It also includes a free hypnosis audio, 'How to beat the menopause’ which will help you to feel relaxed and control the symptoms of the menopause.
At the moment there is a lot in the media about how awful it is when going through the menopause. I am a strong believer in the fact that you get what you focus on. Women have always had to deal with the menopause and in some cultures they do not even have a word for menopause! These culture see being an older woman as an honour and a privilege. Discover now that with the right knowledge, taking action and listening to ‘How to beat the menopause’ you will experience positive changes in your life. This is the beginning of a new chapter in your life, grab it with both hands and embrace it!
For a FREE 'Introduction to relaxation' hypnosis audio follow me on Facebook
Do you struggle getting to sleep?
Do you find it hard to sleep through the night?
Do you find it difficult to get the recommended 7-9 hours sleep per night?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you are not alone! More and more people are finding they can not get the sleep they need and due to this their health is suffering.
I have helped many clients overcome problems of not being able to get a good night’s sleep. We all have the odd night that we can’t sleep or have periods in our lives that sleep is more difficult (i.e. a new baby). However some people just don’t know what it's like to fall asleep when their head hits the pillow and have 8 hours sleep! Also many people find they can initially get to sleep, but wake up in the middle of the night and just can't get back to sleep.
Sleep is really important to functioning properly and feeling ourselves. The effects of sleep deprivation can be:
• Fatigue, lethargy, and lack of motivation
• Moodiness and irritability
• Inability to cope with stress
• Reduced immunity; frequent colds and infections
• Concentration and memory problems
• Weight gain
• Impaired motor skills and increased risk of accidents
• Difficulty making decisions
• Increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems
Hypnotherapy can help you relax and have a good night’s sleep you yearn for. Especially if you are stressed or your mind works overtime as soon as your head hits the pillow.
Nevertheless there are things you can do to help yourself get a good night's sleep:
1. Stick to a schedule. Sticking to a schedule allows your body to set its internal rhythm so your body knows it time to sleep and you consistently get enough sleep every night. Also, make sure you try to keep the same schedule on weekends too; otherwise it will disrupt your internal rhythm.
2. Sleep only at night. Avoid daytime sleep if possible. Daytime naps steal hours from nighttime slumber. If you need to take a nap limit daytime sleep to a 20-minute power nap.
3. Exercise. It’s well known that exercise helps you sleep better. Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise every day can help you sleep, but be sure not to exercise too late in the evening. Exercise stimulates the body and aerobic activity before bedtime may make falling asleep more difficult.
4. Taking a hot shower or bath before bed helps bring on sleep because they can relax tense muscles.
5. Avoid eating just before bed. Give yourself at least 2 hours from when you eat to when you sleep. This allows digestion to happen (or at least start) well before you go to sleep so your body can rest well during the night, rather than churning away your food.
6. Avoid caffeine. It keeps you awake and that’s not what you want for a good nights sleep. Also if you drink alcohol, keep it to one drink. As one relaxes you, more will stimulate your system and keep you awake.
7. Read a book. It takes you to a whole new world if you really get into a really good book. Then you can take some time to ponder over the book as you fall asleep.
8. Have your bedroom slightly cooler. Do not have your room too warm as this encourages you to wake. Our inner clock wakes when it’s warmer and lighter (i.e. morning).
9. De-clutter your bedroom. Your bedroom should be clutter free and a calming environment. Your bedroom is for sleeping, so no phones, upbeat music or TV.
10. If you can’t sleep don’t worry about it. If you are just lying in bed tossing and turning, don’t get annoyed with yourself. Try getting up for a little while, then going back to bed. Maybe the time you go to bed is too early for you. Some people are larks and others are owls. If you can’t sleep and you may be going to bed earlier and earlier as you are tired. However if you are a night owl this will make it even harder to go to sleep.
One of the important things is not to label yourself as a person who has problems sleeping, the more you do this the more your conscious and unconscious will believe it. Remember you are what you think! Also you used to sleep, so there is no reason why you can't sleep through the night again. You need to relax and not worry about not sleeping.
Hypnotherapy is total relaxation of the mind and body, therefore it is extremely helpful with aiding sleep. I also teach my clients self hypnosis, which is a great tool if you are prone to waking during the night.
If you would like to find out more about how hypnotherapy can help you get the night's sleep you can only dream of or to arrange a free initial consultation please contact me on 07875 652338. Alternatively email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
How often do you hear or say the following?
‘If I only had more money’
‘If I had a better job'
‘If I was thinner’
‘If I had more friends’
‘If I met someone who really loved me’
‘If I lived in a better house’
‘If I had a better car’
‘If I had more time’
'Then I would be happier and life would be better'!
We would all like to have more money, a better job, be thinner etc. However, having more in our lives does not make us happier and definitely does not give us more time. Time is one thing that is equal for all of us - we all have 24 hours in a day!
How we feel and what actions we take are related to our world within. The truth is if we change the world around us it might make us happy for a while; however to have true long term happiness we need to change our life within first. By changing your mentality it will impact on your habits and your actions.
I hear you say, 'Yes that is all well and good, but how do I do that?' It's not just about how do I change? I'm afraid change is not easy, otherwise we would all change for the better. We are creatures of habit, even if that habit does not serve us anymore or is painful. However if you follow some simple rules, change within is completely possible. The rewards of changing our inside world is feeling happier and more fulfilled.
5 simple rules to change your world within
1) Look at who you believe you are. How do you define yourself? As we all act consistently with who we believe we are. If you define yourself as a smoker or shy, then that's the way you will act. We define who we are over the years and then do not question it. Let's say you believe you are a shy person. When did you define yourself as that? When did you put that limitation on yourself? Does that still serve you. Our beliefs are like a glass ceiling above us that we can't see, but we do not believe we can break through it! We are who we think we are, so isn't it time to redefine yourself?
2) Look at the language you use. How often do you tell yourself that you can't do something or that someone else is better than you? Really look at the language you use to yourself? Would it be acceptable to talk to someone else the way you talk to yourself? I guess not!?! Firstly you need to stop your internal voice doing the following: criticising, catastrophising, being negative and dwelling on past events. An easy exercise that is really beneficial in stoping unhelpful self talk is to shout 'stop' really loud in your mind every time this happens. Then say to yourself 'I am enough'. You may find at first you are doing this a lot to start with! However as the days go by you will find that you need to do this less and less. It's like your mind realises you will not tolerate unhelpful self talk so it stops doing it. Remember you are what you think.
3) To be different, we need to act differently. As I said, humans are creatures of habit. We like to sit in the same seats, use the same locker at the gym, put our feet in our shoes in the same order. Just try putting the other foot in first for a change and see how strange it feels! We don't seem to notice that if you break down every day to day details like how we put on our clothes, clean our teeth, make our breakfast for example, how much of a day is exactly the same as yesterday and the day before and the day before? They say that at least 80% of each day is repeated daily. No wonder we want change so much and can't understand why it doesn't happen. Albert Einstein said that insanity was 'doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results'. Unfortunately that's how many people live their lives. Think about what you want in your life and take action. You only have to change a few small things and it can make a great difference in your life and how you feel.
4) Raise you standards. If someone has high standards in a part of their life, they have great results. For example, if someone has a toned body and were in great shape, then their standards would be to workout and eat healthily. Remember wants in life do not get met consistently, your needs will! If you want to lose weight or stop smoking then chances are you won't. However if you need to lose weight or stop smoking you will find a way by raising your standards. If you see it as a goal - 'I want to lose weight' it can feel like hard work and negative. However is you see it as a vision - 'I am going to be healthy, energised and fitter than I've ever been. It feels more positive and that you are gaining something that is worthwhile. You feel like something inside has changed as you are taking control of you from within
5) Stop making excuses. It is so easy to say 'I'll do it tomorrow' or 'I can't be bothered' or 'I'm too tired' or 'I haven't enough time'. Just remember the more you do something, the quicker it becomes a new habit. I know you are fighting change with every fibre of your mind and body. However you are what you think! If you make what you want to change a priority, you will find a way and the time - schedule it into your day so it's a must.
'Your thoughts become your words, your words become your behaviour, your behaviour becomes your habits, your habits become your values and your values before your destiny' - Mahatma Gandhi.
Therefore instead of thinking, 'if only my life was different then I could have the life I want', look at changing within as that is where real change happens.
I hope you have found this blog interesting and if I can help in anyway please contact me.
Believe in yourself
I've been a full time hypnotherapist and mind coach for over 10 years. My unique approach to therapy is client centred and I aim to educate and empower my clients to enable them to make positive choices and changes in their lives.