Anyone who has ever struggled with their weight will no doubt also have been told by well meaning friends or relatives “all you need to do is eat less and exercise more”. Simples, right?
Yes in theory, weight gain and loss is a simple matter of balancing calories ingested (via food) and calories expended (via physical exercise).
However in practice the goal of weight loss remains elusive and frustrating for many clients.
Do any of these seem familiar to you:
You go on a diet, lose weight initially and then weight loss slows down.
You go on a diet but then “fall off the wagon” and can’t seem to get motivated again.
You tend to be “all or nothing” in your weight loss attempts.
You can lose weight but almost always put it right back on again and often end up heavier then when you started.
When you’re on a diet you seem obsessed by food and constantly hungry.
Frustrating isn’t it?
Psychology has a very important role to play of course. Our relationship with food is complex, and sometimes emotional issues such as stress can get in the way of our desire to eat more healthily. In these cases attempts to control weight purely by dieting are unlikely to be successful until these underlying factors are resolved.
As a hypnotherapist and BWRT (Brain Working Recursive Therapy) practitioner there is a great deal I can do to support you in your weight loss journey, for example helping you to deal with cravings, and helping to resolve any long standing emotional problems.
However, it is obvious to me that the psychology of weight loss is only a part of the puzzle. After all, weight loss is primarily a physiological process.
In fact the process of weight management is incredibly complex. It involves many different bodily functions, hormones and organs, all orchestrated by the brain. It most definitely is not just as simple as calories out calories in.
I have been doing a lot of research into this area lately as I have been looking at developing a way of working with the mind/body connection to influence weight loss, focussing on metabolism, appetite, energy, and wellbeing. I am currently testing something out which is looking promising, but in the meantime I thought I would share some of my insights with you.
What has been most mind blowing for me is the realisation that the human body is actually designed to resist weight loss. Yes I’ll say that again, the human body is designed to resist weight loss.
So does that mean that all diets are doomed to fail and you may as well just eat that 12 pack of doughnuts? No it doesn’t, but what it does mean is that to lose weight we need to learn to work with both our psychology AND our physiology to be successful in the longer term.
So what is the reason for all this - why is it so hard to lose weight?!
Firstly, human beings are “hardwired” to seek out calorie dense food, such as those that are high in fat or sugar. If you think about this in evolutionary terms this makes a lot of sense as those foods give the highest return in terms of effort needed to acquire them versus energy derived from them.
Clearly for early hunter gatherers where food was scarce, this can be seen as a useful mechanism, less so in modern times when we are surrounded by easily available and high calorie food.
Our brains help to ensure we continue to seek out these foods by providing a “reward” when we eat them. This reward comes in the form of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which is produced in a part of the brain known as the “pleasure centre”. Foods that combine high fat with sugar or salt such as crisps, or cake give us a double whammy in terms of dopamine. (Interestingly, so do highly addictive drugs such as cocaine). No wonder we find them so hard to resist!
So even if you consciously know that to lose weight you should avoid these sorts of foods, it can be tricky because you may continue to crave them even when you are not physically hungry. Just the sight or smell of these foods may trigger an intense desire to eat them. (Biscuit, anyone?)
The other important problem is that biologically our brains are programmed to try to maintain body fat levels. This is a survival mechanism, as historically low levels of body fat would have been associated with starvation. Unfortunately, when somebody who is obese tries to lose weight by reducing calorie intake, the body resists this process in the same way that it would if an extremely slim person was to try to lose weight. This may seem depressing, but there are ways to help overcome this natural process, which we will get onto in a little while.
Another factor worth considering is stress. It may surprise you to know that simply being under stress can make it hard to lose weight. When we are experiencing a lot of stress, such as being in a job we hate, financial pressures, relationship issues, and so on, our body produces cortisol. Cortisol has been linked to weight gain, in particular “belly fat” which is known to be harmful for our cardiovascular health. Again the hormonal processes underlying this are complex but it is worth being aware of.
Other physical factors which may be linked to weight gain can include autoimmune conditions such as poor thyroid function, insomnia, changes around the menopause, and many more.
So….what can we do about all of this? Well, here are my suggestions, based on the research I have been doing:
Be aware that being “on a diet” is not necessarily a good idea. Low calorie diets do cause weight loss, but also reduce basal metabolic rate, which is the “starvation” response. This can lead to weight gain which is actually the last thing you want.
Psychologically too, the idea of being “on” a diet can lead us to restrict certain foods, and put ourselves under enormous pressure. When we “fall off the wagon” there can be an immediate sense of guilt, disappointment and a feeling that it has all been a waste of time, often accompanied by bingeing.
Far better to think in terms of long term weight management, balanced eating, and lifestyle. If you are not “on” a diet in the first place then you can’t be “off” it either!
Look at the foods you eat
As a therapist working with psychological issues I am not able to advise on specific diets or nutrition plans. If you are unsure about what to eat, I would always suggest you consult a qualified nutritionist. However, what does seem to be interesting is the idea that the type of food we eat can help or hinder weight loss.
The whole issue of high fat/low fat and high carb/low carb is controversial and I don’t wish to start any fights!
However it is known that eating foods high in fast release energy in the form of carbohydrates (such as white bread, pasta, cakes, etc) leads to a blood sugar surge. This can then be followed by a rapid fall in blood sugar which leads to hunger, feeling faint, and triggers cravings.
It seems that focussing on eating more lean protein and ensuring that your diet has enough “good” fats such as those found in avodaco or nuts will help to balance blood sugar levels and keep your energy and mood more stable through the day.
Basing most of your meals around natural unprocessed foods such as salads, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, and so on also helps to ensure you are getting a good balance of vitamins and minerals so important for a sense of energy and wellbeing.
Choose your exercise carefully
Exercise is also important, although more and more the evidence seems to suggest that simply spending hours on the treadmill will not really help with weight loss.
If you are not a “gym bunny” type of person then simply increasing your activity levels by walking, gardening, swimming etc can be helpful in improving your mood and boosting your metabolism. However again this is not likely to result in much weight loss.
By far and away the best way to exercise for weight loss seems to be building lean muscle tissue through weight training. Not only does this tone and firm the body but it increases basal metabolic rate – essentially meaning that you are burning more calories even when you not exercising. Women may worry that they will get “muscly” but our physiology means that is not likely to be a problem with normal healthy exercise.
There is also a lot of evidence that exercise, and in particular weight training, can help to boost self esteem and counteract depression.
Again, if you are not sure, I would advise you to consult a properly qualified personal trainer.
Yes it can be tempting to go in search of rapid weight loss. There is nothing like the thrill of seeing those numbers on the scales going down!
However be aware that there will be a period of three to twelve months when weight loss will trigger an increased desire to eat because of hormonal changes in the body. Yes that’s right, you will feel more hungry just because you are losing weight.
It seems that when somebody becomes obese their body adjusts what it believes to be their “normal” weight. It will then make every effort to make sure that they maintain this new higher setpoint weight.
It seems that being consistent and losing weight gradually over a period of one to two years will help the body to establish a new “normal” and avoid the yo yo pattern of weight gain and loss that is so frustrating.
In the meantime filling up with healthy foods such as soups, salads, nuts in moderation, lean protein and so on will help to manage that increased appetite.
Some experts also suggest that intermittent fasting (increasing the amount of time between meals) can be a helpful weight loss strategy and helps to stabilise blood sugar levels. I think this is a very interesting area but one where I need to do more research.
Be gut aware
There is some evidence that inflammation in the body can negatively affect the hormones governing appetite and metabolism. A major cause of inflammation in the body originates in the gut.
In a healthy gut, there are beneficial bacteria in the gut. These healthy bacteria not only form part of the immune system but also help to produce some vitamins and neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Normally the gut barrier excludes this bacteria from the bloodstream.
However if a diet high in fat, high in carbs and processed food is eaten, an inflammatory response is triggered in the cells lining the gut. The bacteria and other substances such as gluten from wheat are then able to travel through the gut lining into the bloodstream. This is known as “leaky gut” – intestinal permeability. There are currently no mainstream medical tests for “leaky gut” syndrome, and the whole subject is controversial. Symptoms can be vague and easily confused with other medical issues, for example food sensitivities and allergies.
It could well be that paying attention to gut health may help with both weight loss and other physiological problems in the body linked to inflammation (e.g autoimmune disorders).
Again, a qualified nutritionist would be able to advise, and there is also help that I can offer, for example looking at ways to help manage stress and relieve the symptoms of gut disturbance such as IBS.
Take good care of yourself
There is a great deal that you can do to take care of yourself during the process of weight loss.
Managing and reducing stress, improving sleep patterns, and looking at lifestyle are all important parts of your weight loss journey.
We all lead such busy lives that it can be difficult to find time to shop, prepare food, and eat well. Similarly exercise often gets pushed down the priority list. It’s so tempting to grab a ready meal or sandwich, eating on the hoof or in front of the TV and probably getting indigestion into the bargain.
Perhaps we all need to learn to slow down, enjoy our food, and allow our digestive systems to do the job they are supposed to do.
Taking time to exercise, and take care of ourselves is not self indulgent it is important preventative medicine, and so valuable for our own sense of self worth and wellbeing.
Finally…get help from a professional
If you’re struggling to lose weight, why not consider getting some help from someone that can help you?
If you’re not sure who to speak to, feel free to ask me for some recommendations.
If you feel that you need help addressing your own emotional or psychological issues then do please get in touch. Anxiety, depression, food cravings, bingeing, all of these and more are issues that I can offer support with.
So perhaps weight loss is not easy, but it is achieveable. If you have made it all the way through this article, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.
I am contiuning to work hard to put these insights to good use as I continue to work on my own weight loss goals. In the meantime I would love to hear your views as to what weight loss strategies you have found most helpful, feel free to comment below!
There are lots of hypnobirthing teachers out there. In fact there are some fabulous antenatal courses and options available. I think it's great that women wanting to prepare for the birth of their baby have so many choices. So why choose me?
As a hypnotherapist, I am often asked about weight loss and healthy eating. For nutritional advice I often refer clients to my colleague Claire Butler, clinical nutritionist. Claire also refers clients to me where they are struggling with issues such as emotional eating.
As a result, the "two Claire's" have decided to combine our skills and experience and launch the second tranche of our joint programme "Six Weeks to Wonderful" starting on Monday 12th June 2017. Places are very limited but we still have room for one or two more if you are interested!
The last group did amazingly well, reporting weight loss of up to 15lbs, increased energy, and a reduction in symptoms such as bloating, headaches and skin problems.
What is it?
This six unique week programme is designed to kickstart your healthy eating and weight loss plan, helping you look and feel great for Summer.
Do you want to...
Then this programme is for you. This is nothing like traditional slimming clubs….it’s not a diet, but a new way of life. There is no weighing or measuring, no hard selling of supplements or diet products, just information and support.
How does it work?
Taking place over six weeks, places on each programme are strictly limited to ensure that group numbers are small. Group meetings will take place weekly on Mondays at 7.30pm. Participants are expected to attend each of the six meetings in the programme and to complete "homework" inbetween.
Who is it for?
The programme is for women of all ages aged 18 and over. It is suitable for women wanting to lose weight, but because of the emphasis on health and wellbeing it is also suitable for anyone who wants to adopt a healthier way of life, even if weight is not a concern.
What is included?
Detailed health and wellbeing questionnaire with individual feedback
Eating habits questionnaire to identify any psychological or lifestyle issues
Supervised “12 day detox” designed to help you control your blood sugar, deal with cravings, and reduce inflammation. By the end of the 12 days you should already be feeling more energetic, less hungry, and may even have lost weight (individual results will vary but potentially up to a stone).
Comprehensive support materials, including shopping lists, menus and eating plans
Weight loss hypnosis to help you stay motivated and focussed
Practical tools and techniques to help you overcome cravings and tackle emotional eating
How much does it cost?
Our special price for June is just £120 over a six week period. This includes all all group meetings, materials, and refreshments plus access to a private Facebook group and email support. Pariticipants will also be offered opportunities for follow up meetings and online support.
Give me a call or drop me an email if you are interested. Or just click on the button below to book your place!
(If you book and pay before the end of May quote the code "WONDERFUL" for a 10% discount)
As 2017 gets well underway, I have made a decision to refocus my therapy and coaching business on the unique needs of women. Over the coming months you will see this reflected more and more in my website, marketing materials, and services offered. So why this change of focus?
Firstly, being a woman myself I can relate to many of the problems and concerns my clients come to see me about. Not only that, but before becoming a hypnotherapist I have worked with and supported many women through pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood.
It goes without saying that there are a number of issues and concerns that are unique to women, for example pregnancy, childbirth, and the menopause.
However did you know that there are a number of physical and emotional problems that are more common to women than men, or that women experience in a different way?
One area of concern for many of my clients is anxiety and depression. A number of studies suggest that depression is not only more common in women than men, but women may experience it more severely and for longer periods. Similarly, women seem to suffer from anxiety related disorders more commonly than men, including social anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder, health anxiety, and phobias such as agrophobia.
More surprisingly perhaps it seems that women are much more likely than men to suffer from autoimmune disorders, including lupus, Hashimotos disease, fibromyalgia, and some types of arthritis. There are also other conditions that are more commonly reported in women, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The psychological impact of living with these conditions is often underestimated and has an enormous effect on quality of life and family wellbeing.
With all this in mind, I am taking the opportunity going forward to focus much more on women’s mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
I am very excited about this new direction for my business, which gives me a greater sense of clarity and focus. Not only does this help me to meet the specific needs of my clients, it also gives me a focal point for keeping on top of the latest research and developments that might be of interest to them.
Does this mean I will no longer work with male clients? Absolutely not! If you are a man with a problem such as anxiety, depression, or addiction then I am more than happy to see you. And of course if you are a partner of a women experiencing infertility, expecting a baby, or who has recently given birth then I would be delighted to support you as a couple.
I am also more than happy to continue to work with children and teenagers who may be experiencing anxiety related problems, including social anxiety, school anxiety, or phobias.
Over the next few weeks I will be updating my website and marketing materials to reflect this new direction, and watch out too for some special offers and brand new services for the coming months.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my clients both past and present a very Happy New Year. For new and future clients, I am very much looking forward to working with you.
“One woman can make a difference, but together we can change the world”
One of the key therapies that I offer my clients is BWRT®, which stands for Brain Working Recursive Therapy. In fact although I am a fully trained hypnotherapist, I am increasingly using BWRT® as my "first line" therapy for a wide range of issues, including anxiety, phobias, unwanted habits, traumatic memories, procrastination, depression, addictions, and more. I am getting great feedback from my clients, and what's more it is quick...often getting good results in just a few sessions (and sometimes in just one session!)
It is true that BWRT® is a relatively new therapy but word is spreading! Many people ask me if BWRT is "a bit like....." other therapies they might have heard of, such as CBT, NLP, counselling, or hypnosis. The answer is no, BWRT truly is not like any other form of therapy and has to be experienced for this to be appreciated. Of course saying it is "not like" other things rather begs the question of what exactly it is like!
I totally understand that as a client you would like to know what you are letting yourself in for. The first time I meet a client for a BWRT® session I will spend time explaining exactly how BWRT works so that you have a good understanding of the science behind it. This can be as simple or as detailed as you would like it to be.
The actual therapy part of BWRT is best experienced to fully appreciate it. Essentially it consists of me guiding you through a structured conversation. For the most part I will be doing the talking and you will be following along in your thoughts. I will ask you to close your eyes some of the time but this is purely to enhance concentration. You will be totally wide awake and conscious, all that you will be doing is focussing your attention on the process.
Although I will be asking you to think about or imagine various things, you don't need to worry if you are not particularly imaginative or visual, the vast majority of people are more than capable of working with BWRT®. In fact it might interest you to know that it has been used succesfully with people of all ages and backgrounds, including teenagers and children, and people on the autistic spectrum.
At the end of the session I will ask you to rate how you feel compared to how you felt at the beginning. Most people do notice an immediate difference, but the full benefit is often not noticed until later....for example a client with a fear of heights finds themselves happily going up to the top of a very high building without even thinking about it.
Depending on how the first session goes, we might need to meet again to fine tune the work that has been done, but sometimes this is not even necessary. Once something is "fixed" with BWRT it stays fixed, so there should be no need for follow ups.
BWRT sounds simple but there is a variety of ways it can be used, depending on the problem. It can even be used for issues like procrastination, fear of failure, and worrying about the future. BWRT can also help with Generalised Anxiety Disorder where there are multiple triggers for the anxiety.
For some more complex issues, such as depression, the therapy process is a little more involved and takes place over several sessions. There is also homework in the form of worksheets which you would need to complete between sessions. However essentially the process is that same in that you will be doing the thinking, and I will be guiding you through the steps.
Unlike analytical hypnotherapy, counselling or even CBT, BWRT is a relatively quick therapy. There is no need to commit to a lengthy schedule of sessions, which makes it much more affordable for most people. It can even be done via Skype which makes it great for people who find it difficult to travel or make daytime appointments.
It is probably true to say that BWRT is not necessarily a relaxing process for the client, it does involve a certain amount of concentration and requires your full attention. However most people tell me that they have enjoyed the sessions. There can also be a sense of release, especially when letting go of long standing problems.
It really is as simple as that...no hypnosis, no tapping, nothing mystical or spiritual. You don't have to "believe" in BWRT®, it just is.
It might reassure you to know that as an advanced BWRT® practitioner I have undergone thorough training and must also keep up to date with regular mentoring and further training to maintain my membership of the Institute.
If you are curious about BWRT® and would like to know more, why not contact me to arrange a free, no obligation discussion? If you are local to me I will happily meet you in person, if you are further afield we can talk on the phone or via Skype. All my contact details are on this website or you can visit my main BWRT website which is www.bwrtcotswolds.com.
I was discussing this potentially life changing therapy with a client this week, and she was puzzled because she had never heard of it. "What is it again?" she asked, "Brain Washing Therapy?"
Well, I am happy to report that absolutely no brain washing is involved! However, Brain Working Recursive Therapy or BWRT® for short, does have the capacity to be absolutely game changing, because it literally changes the way your brain works.
Have you ever done something and then thought "why did I do that?". Or is there something that you keep doing over and over even when you would prefer to stop? Maybe there is something that you are afraid of, but you don't know why? Or perhaps you have experienced something stressful which just keeps going round and round in your mind afterwards.
Well, in all these cases BWRT® has the potential to make real changes in the way you think, to literally break the recursive loop that keeps these old patterns of behavior repeating themselves again and again. Just imagine how great it could feel to break free from these old habits and ways of thinking?
Part of the problem is that our brains work very quickly. In fact the instinctive part of our brain works so much more quickly than the logical/rational part. So the problem is that no matter how hard we try think about something differently, or how much willpower we try to use, the inner core part of our brain has already taken us off down a different route. BWRT® works within that core part of the brain to replace an old unwanted way of thinking or behaving with a new one.
The change can be so fundamental that you may not even notice, until you find yourself back in the situation which used to cause you a problem. For example a client who had a fear of spiders suddenly finds themselves calmly picking up a spider and putting it out of the window...and only afterwards notices what she did, with a sense of amazement!
One of the most interesting aspects of BWRT® is that if there is something you find difficult to talk about, or would rather keep secret, that is absolutely fine. The therapy can still be carried out "content free". BWRT® can also be carried out via phone or Skype, which means that anyone can access it from anywhere in the world.
BWRT® is not hypnosis, counselling, or CBT. It does not involve any physical contact, tapping, energy work or anything similar. All that you need to know is what you want to change and how you would like things to be different. As your therapist I will guide you through the whole process.
BWRT® is fast becoming my "therapy of choice" for any anxiety based problem. I have also recently completed the advanced level BWRT training which means I can now use BWRT® to help clients with an even wider range of problems, including
Anxiety including Social Anxiety and Generalised Anxiety Disorder
Fears and Phobias
Addictions (alcohol, gambling, pornography)
Yes, it is true to say that BWRT is a relatively new form of therapy although more and more people are starting to hear of it. It was created in 2011 by Terence Watts, a therapist, author of many books and training courses and principal of the Essex Institute in Essex, UK. Since then a growing number of therapists around the world have been trained in the technique, including me, and it is now being used in the UK, Europe, South Africa, Asia, Canada, the USA and Australia.
BWRT ® has been approved by the British Psychological Society for Continuous Professional Development, and all BWRT ® therapists must be members of the Institute of BWRT® . To become designated as an "institute" an organisation must meet certain stringent criteria. All of this gives you confidence that BWRT® is scientific, valid, and evidence based.
I'm really excited to be part of this exciting new development in therapy. What's more I am currently the only therapist in the whole of Gloucestershire trained to advanced level.
If you would like to know more, why not take a look at my other website www.bwrtcotswolds.com? You can also link up with me on Facebook or email me at email@example.com. Of course you can also call me on 0772 0887205.
Happiness is a topic of discussion that often crops up in my conversations with clients. Of course it is easy to say we all want to be happy, but what does happiness mean? How do you know when you have it?
What is very clear is that happiness means different things to different people. Some people think of happiness as something like a good mood, feeling positive and upbeat as they go about their daily lives. Other people think more in terms of their happiness as something more along the lines of life satisfaction, having a deeper sense of meaning or purpose. Either way it is certainly a complex issue, and what makes one person feel happy may leave another feeling cold!
I personally find the subject of happiness such a fascinating area, and for that reason I am absolutely delighted to be working with my friend and colleague Meidi Goodson on a new venture, Positive Therapy Workshops. Together we are planning to deliver a series of interactive and fun personal development workshops, beginning with the subject of "Happiness".
Our first workshop is taking place in my home town (village?) of Bourton on the Water in the heart of the Cotswolds on 14th May 2016. Some participants are making a weekend of it and combining the workshop with a relaxing stay in one of the many hotels or B&B's in the area.
If you would like to know more take a look at our website www.positivetherapyworkshops.com or drop me an email. I
#1 I can only hypnotise you if you want me to
The process of hypnosis is a two way partnership between me as the hypnotherapist and you as the client. I will only work with you if you have come willingly to therapy and are interested in getting results. Yes of course you can resist the process, but that will only make it more difficult for me to help you. If you have any questions or concerns please let me know so that we can discuss them and set your mind at rest.
#2 Hypnosis is not mind control
Despite what you might have seen on TV, there is no way for me as a hypnotherapist to see into your mind, read your thoughts, or access your deepest secrets, unless of course you want to share them. Hypnosis cannot be used to force someone to tell the truth, or to make someone do something that they do not want to do.
#3 Hypnosis is not like being asleep
Hypnosis feels different for everyone, although most people find it a relaxing experience. However unlike when you are asleep, you are still aware of your surroundings, and can choose to come out of hypnosis at any time (should you wish to). When the session ends, the hypnosis ends – there is no way for you to stay “trapped” in a hypnotic state.
#5 Hypnosis gets easier with practice
Some clients find that the first time they experience hypnosis, it feels a little strange. Sometimes they might feel a little self conscious or anxious about what might happen. I can assure you that hypnosis is something that becomes easier the more you experience it. I will also often suggest to clients that they practise at home between sessions, perhaps with the use of a CD, and this certainly seems to help.
#6 You might not be able to tell when you are in hypnosis
Because hypnosis is such a normal and natural state, it can sometimes be hard to tell when you are in hypnosis. Afterwards you might wonder if what you experienced was “really” hypnosis at all. However even if your mind is wandering or you are finding it hard to relax, the session can still be effective. What’s more, I can generally tell from your body language and facial expression what depth of hypnosis a client has reached and can change my approach accordingly to make sure that you get the most out of the session.
#6 I will never say “look into my eyes”…
Unlike hypnotists on TV I do not hypnotise people just by having them stare into my eyes! Nor do I use a pendulum or pocket watch. I will help you go into hypnosis simply by talking to you and asking you to think about various things. All that you need to do is listen, and be prepared to give me your full attention.
#7 Hypnosis is usually a pleasant experience
Most people find hypnosis a pleasant and relaxing experience. It is very common for clients to tell me they didn’t want the session to end. Afterwards most people feel relaxed and refreshed, and ready to go about their day.
#8 but….sometimes can be challenging
There can be times when hypnosis involves thinking about experiences that have been uncomfortable, or exploring inner conflicts or beliefs. Depending on the issue we are working on, it is not uncommon for clients to feel emotions such as anger or sadness at times during a session. However be assured that these feelings are a normal and healthy part of the process and I will support you through this.
#9 Hypnosis is a powerful tool for personal change
Hypnotherapy has helped many people to make extraordinary changes in their lives. It is a very safe therapy which almost anyone can benefit from, whatever their age, gender, or background. Hypnotherapy can be very useful in understanding why you might do certain things, and identifying what might be stopping you from achieving your goals. Hypnotherapy can also help to increase motivation, reduce stress, and help you focus on your goals. Hypnotherapy can be useful for a very wide range of issues and concerns.
#10 Hypnosis is not a magic bullet
Hypnosis can achieve some great results but at the end of the day it can only work if you really want it to. If you don’t really want to stop smoking, then no amount of hypnotherapy can make you stop. If you want to lose weight, then realistically you will need to change the way you eat and take appropriate exercise. Put simply, hypnotherapy is a partnership and your participation and commitment is a vital part of the process.
In working with you I promise to bring all of my professional skills, experience, and training to the party, and to provide you with an individualised course of therapy to help you meet your goals.
In return I ask you to come with an open mind and a willingness to work with me. Together we can do amazing things!
To find out more about how hypnosis can help you, why not give me a call on 0772 0887205 or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every year it seems as if Christmas comes earlier and earlier. For some weeks now the shops have been full of Christmas decorations, Christmas food, Christmas decorations, even Christmas jumpers. Even for those who do not celebrate Christmas as a religious festival it seems there is no escaping the madness of the holiday season.
Magazines and TV advertisements paint a highly idealised picture of the "perfect" Christmas to which we should all aspire, a perfectly decorated home, an array of luxurious gifts beneath a beautiful tree, a smiling and beautifully dressed family enjoying a delicious and stylish Christmas dinner together. The pressure is on!
Of course here in the real world Christmas may not quite work out like that - the children are overtired and supercharged on sugar, the cat climbs the tree and destroys the decorations, the turkey turns out dry, nobody wants to play games, and there is nothing good on the telly.
Yes Christmas can be a magical time and has the potential to be full of joy, but for many it can be a stressful experience. Existing pressures such as financial insecurity or family tensions can seem even more intense at this time of year. Spare a thought too for those struggling with additional problems such as bereavement, caring for elderly or sick relatives, coping with depression, anxiety, or health issues.
So how can we avoid feeling overwhelmed? Here are my top 5 tips for how to maintain a sense of perspective, and have a calm and happy Christmas.
#1 Let go of Your Expectations
If we set ourselves unattainable goals, we are leaving ourselves open to disappointment. Try to let go of your expectations about what the "perfect" or "ideal" Christmas is. Ignore the Facebook photos showing everyone having a great time and remember the reality is heavily edited for public consumption! So what if the decorations on our tree are not perfectly colour co-ordinated. So what if we don't have the perfect free range organic three bird roast with handmade stuffing. Letting go of the need for perfection can be so liberating.
#2 Don't be Afraid to be Selfish
Find time among the festivities for the things that really make you feel good and nourish the spirit. Remember that you can't take care of others unless you take care of yourself. Taking 5 or 10 minutes away from the madness to practice some deep breathing or do some stretches can really help recharge the batteries. Even better, find the time for a hot bath or encourage everyone to go out for a walk in the fresh air.
#3 Do It Your Way
Don't like a roast dinner? Make a curry instead. Don't want to have drinks with the neighbours? Don't go. Prefer a hot chocolate to a mulled wine? Feel free. There is no law that says Christmas must be done a certain way, or that New Years Eve must involve a party. In fact it can be fun to create your own family traditions and ways of doing things that mean something to you.
#4 Give the Gift of Your Attention
Instead of getting stressed trawling the shops for that perfect gift, think of spending your time rather than your money. Your children won't care if they don't have new pyjamas and a matching Christmas duvet, but they will care if you are stressed out of your mind and unable to relax on Christmas Eve. Remember that your attention is more valuable than any gift. Spend an afternoon with your children making wonky home made mince pies. Visit a friend for a cup of tea and a chat. Help out at a local homeless shelter or dog rescue. None of these things cost money but they have enormous value and will be remembered longer than the most expensive present.
#5 Count your blessings - this may be a cliche but it really does work. Taking time to be grateful for what you have, however modest. Sometimes helping others can put our own troubles into perspective. Christmas can be a good time to think about giving something to the community, perhaps even more so if you will be alone at Christmas or do not celebrate it yourself.
#6 Be Kind to Yourself - okay so I lied, there are 6 points and not 5 but I feel this one is actually the most important. Be kind to yourself. This is even more true if you are struggling with a personal issue such as depression which can seem even more of a burden than normal. Resolve to cut yourself some slack over the holiday period, and when Christmas is over perhaps consider seeking some professional help to help you get the New Year off to a more positive start.
In the meantime, wherever you, and whatever your personal or spiritual beliefs, I wish you a calm, and happy Christmas and a very Happy New Year.