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There has been much written about mindfulness and it can appear to be quite difficult to apply to our everyday lives. Often it gets confused with meditation and people think they have to set aside time every day to be mindful.
Mindfulness actually means paying attention in a particular way. It means focusing on what we are doing and not worrying about the past or future. Mindfulness doesn’t conflict with any beliefs or traditions, whether religious, cultural or scientific.
We might go out into the garden and think the flowerbeds need weeding or the grass needs cutting. A young child will call out “Hey, I’ve found a caterpillar”. We don’t take time to notice the roses in bloom or the daisies turning their heads to the sun in that over long lawn.
Mindfulness is simply noticing what we don’t normally notice because we are so busy with our lives. Being mindful helps to focus our attention, and when we chose what we focus on then we are living mindfully.
Mindfulness can relate to our everyday lives. When we are washing dishes we are often thinking about what other tasks we have to do, perhaps even being cross or annoyed at the everyday task. But if this becomes a mindful activity we begin to notice the water temperature, the texture of the bubbles, even the rainbows in the soap bubbles before they pop. We notice the sounds the water makes as we move the cups and plates around. We begin to notice many things that normally pass us by.
Mindful walking brings many pleasures. Rather than worrying about the past or the future for a short time we can look around and notice what we see and hear – flowers in front gardens, moss in the cracks of the pavement, the changing seasons even if we live in towns. Recently on a morning walk in Leatherhead I saw a wren on the brambles. Such a tiny bird. I stood and watched it for a short time before it flew off about its own business.
We can notice the movement of our arms and legs, the sensations created by walking on different surfaces. We can also pay attention to the sound of our feet on a gravel path or the feeling of a sharp stone through the soles of our shoes. Perhaps we hear the snap of a twig underfoot.
The more we practise, the more we notice how intrusive thoughts force their way into our mind and that’s okay. The only aim of our mindful activity is to keep bringing our thoughts back to the activity and to be mindful of it.
Mindfulness is not meditation or hypnosis but here at my clinic in Leatherhead I often find that helping people to become mindful in their everyday life can be a great benefit especially for those who suffer from anxiety and overthinking.
Are your summer holidays ruined because you are afraid to fly, is your choice of holiday destination limited because of your phobia. Here at Leatherhead hypnotherapy in Surrey I see many clients who have a flying phobia.
This can vary in severity, some clients’ just panic and can only catch their flight if they take medication or self medicate on alcohol. On one occasion the fear was so severe that the client had refused to get on the plane and turned back at the airport, losing all of their holiday money.
Fear of flying can have its roots in the memory of a bad flight with turbulence etc or from learned behaviour if as a child their parents were afraid to fly. The newspapers and TV reports of plain crashes can add to people’s fear and we have all seen the images of 9/11 many times. Even films can add to people’s fear.
One of my clients who came here to Leatherhead could remember a very bumpy flight when she was aged 10, on the plane next to her was a nun who spent the whole flight praying and saying her rosary, this added to the young child’s fear.
Now as an adult she could only get on the plane after several large drinks and spends the first day of her holiday recovering from a hangover and repeats this pattern on her return journey. After just one session of hypnotherapy she flew with her family on a day trip to Lapland.
Recently a client came to me here in Surrey, her husband had booked an amazing trip to Mexico for their 25th wedding anniversary, not only did she dread the flight but was extremely afraid of the animals they may see in the hot climate.
She only had two weeks before her holiday, so we worked on her fear of flying and also did some work on the fear of animals. She came to see me again last week. She had recovered from her fear of flying enough to actually enjoy the flight and had even slept on the way home. During her amazing trip she had been photographed holding a parrot and had actually stroked a snake. She still has a residual fear of dogs, which we are working on.
Many clients come for treatment when they have to fly alone for the first time. Hypnotherapy can help them reduce the fear and put them in control of the situation.
Why let fear of flying top you enjoying your holiday. Contact me today to find out how hypnotherapy can help you overcome that fear, so that the journey comes an enjoyable part of the holiday.
The weather here in Leatherhead has been very cold and snowy. Many activities have been cancelled and schools closed. This is just the type of unusual event that can throw us of track with our resolutions.
Whether we plan to get fit or lose weight, even stop smoking can be derailed by unexpected events often outside of our control. If we are stranded at the train station on our way home from work or our journey on the motorway takes three times longer than planned, the pie, pasty or chocolate bar is more tempting than usual.
The visit to the gym is cancelled because of the snow or our daily walk is cut short because the paths and pavements are so icy. It is very easy at this point to give up. Maybe your weight loss has stopped or even crept back up a pound or two. The motivation to exercise can be harder to kick-start after an enforced break.
Here at Leatherhead hypnotherapy I tell my clients to see that these events are not a failure in their new lifestyle or plan but a chance to kick start the process again.
Using hypnosis we can reprogram the subconscious to see a set back not as something that has ruined everything so that we have now failed but an opportunity to remind ourselves of our long term goals and how important being fit and healthy is to us.
Weight loss in particular can be a series of pit falls. No sooner have we eaten all of the Christmas chocolate than along comes Valentine’s Day, followed by Mothering Sunday quickly followed by the chocolate festival that is Easter. However much we tell our families not to buy us chocolate and sweets some of them still arrive, accompanied by such goodies as Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, Simnel cake. The list is endless.
If we are going to lose weight and keep it off then we have to learn to deal with these pitfalls. One piece of cake, a chocolate or a piece of Easter egg is not going to cause us to put all the weight back on that we have lost. Eat it and enjoy it then give the rest away. Share it with friends, family and work colleagues but enjoy a small indulgence yourself. Denying yourself any treats will turn you into a martyr and eventually you will break out and over indulge. Then you will decide that you are hopeless and give up all together.
I don’t tell my clients here at Leatherhead hypnotherapy that they can eat cake and chocolate every day, after all a treat is not a treat if we have it every day, but once in a while take the cake or chocolate sit down in peace and quiet and savour the flavour. You will find it easier to carry on eating healthily, and get back into the routine of doing your favourite exercise when the cold and the snow have gone.
Contact me to see how hypnotherapy can help you.
Clients who come to my clinic in Leatherhead for hypnotherapy suffer from a variety of painful conditions. They may come to lose weight for example because the doctor has advised this will help relieve their arthritis or to stop smoking again on doctor’s advice.
One question they often ask is “can hypnosis relieve pain?” The simple answer is ‘yes’ sometimes. When a client is stressed or anxious then pain is often worse. If a client is in pain this may cause them to tense their bodies and muscles and therefore the pain increases.
The client can take home a recording of the technique they have been taught in the session to use at home. A client can also learn a simple self-hypnosis technique which will enable them to find relief quickly.
If the client has a visual modality then they can turn the pain into an object or a shape and visualise it shrinking and getting smaller. The client can do this between appointments when using self-hypnosis.
Another technique for reducing pain can be asking the client to imagine they are in the control centre of the brain and finding a dial that they can turn down to reduce the pain. A simple lock on the dial can keep the pain at a lower level for some time.
One of the techniques I have used successfully at my Leatherhead clinic is to ask the client to visualise the site of the pain and imagine what it looks like. For example an arthritic knee could look red and inflamed inside. If the client has a good visual imagination they can imagine soothing the joint with cream and lubrication. One of my clients who learned this technique was able to use it on a regular basis. A car journey of three hours, which had become six hours because of the need for frequent stops to move the painful joints, was reduced back to three and a half hours when the client as a passenger used this technique.
As a therapist I am always careful to leave a residue of pain. For example if the client scored his pain at nine or ten on a scale of one to ten, this could be reduced to two or three to make it more bearable but still remind the client that the injury or disease was still there and they wouldn’t try to over do things. Pain is nature’s way of telling us that all is not well and we should take care.
Happy New Year from Leatherhead hypnotherapy. May 2018 be a good year for everyone.
How many times have we decided that this is the year we are going to change our live? This could mean giving up smoking, losing weight, changing our job or just being more motivated. Any of these and more are the making of our New Year Resolutions.
Some last a day or two before they fall by the wayside. Many never make it past the list in the front of the diary. Why, we ask ourselves? Why don’t we have more willpower? After all, any of these changes would improve our lives.
The answer lies in our subconscious mind. We have all heard the quotation ‘Don’t think of elephants’ or something similar at some time in our lives. When we put an idea into our subconscious then the subconscious acts on that idea.
New Year resolutions tend to be negative, ‘I will stop drinking, I will never eat chocolate again, etc’. The subconscious reacts to this by focusing our mind on what we don’t want. We therefore begin to crave the very things we are trying to avoid.
Far better that we phrase our resolutions in a more positive way. For example ‘I will eat one more piece of fruit every day’ or ‘I will walk for ten minutes in my lunch break.’ Small steps we can begin to incorporate in our lives to make gradual changes rather than trying to change everything on January 1st. Taking time to plan our changes in this way means we are far more likely to succeed in turning our new behaviour into a habit.
Here at Leatherhead hypnotherapy we do our best to help people reprogram their subconscious mind to enable them to lose weight and eat more healthily. Hypnotherapy can help you stop smoking in just one session and replace the cigarettes with a new behaviour more beneficial to you. The money saved could mean you can have a holiday or buy something you have always wanted.
Hypnotherapy can help you keep your New Year resolutions in 2018.
Clients who come to my Leatherhead hypnotherapy clinic come for a wide variety of reasons. They may be suffering from stress, anxiety or they may want to lose weight, stop smoking or it may be a phobia that is affecting their lives. Many of these clients also complain of insomnia.
Lack of sleep can affect every area of our lives according popular newspapers and magazines it seems that there is an epidemic of insomnia in recent years. Many articles are written about the need to keep electronic gadgets out of the bedroom, how important it is to go to bed at the same time, keeping the bedroom to the right temperature, excluding light from the outside. The advice is endless and then there are the remedies, lavender spray, sleep tea, herbal tablets. The list goes on and on. Doctors are reluctant to prescribe sleeping tablets because they become addictive over a time. Sometimes clients feel nothing will help them.
Sleep deprivation is used as a torture because of the effect on both the mind and the body. Severe insomnia over a period of time can affect a person’s mental and physical health.
Insomnia has two distinct patterns. There are those people who cannot fall asleep and lie awake staring at the ceiling. The second group are those who fall easily asleep and wake at two or three in the morning and then lie awake unable to go back to sleep.
Hypnotherapy can help with sleep as it can retrain the subconscious to enable us to fall asleep and to stay asleep. Visualising ourselves asleep when in hypnosis watching ourselves asleep as if on a television screen ourselves asleep gives the subconscious a strong message that we can sleep throughout the night.
Everyone is born with the ability to sleep. If we can reprogram the subconscious in hypnosis to regain that facility, then in very short time insomnia becomes a thing of the past.
One method of stopping the brain churning over the day’s events or worrying about the future is to turn your eyes up to the ceiling and begin counting backwards from five hundred. Between each number blink and mentally say the word “calm”. Very quickly the eyes become tired and the mind slows down allowing you to fall asleep.
Years ago the suggestion was to count sheep. Maybe this wasn’t a silly idea. Anything that stops the mind’s chatter will help you to fall asleep. Perhaps granny had the right idea after all.
There is a great deal of talk in the media at the moment about Stoptober. It is a fact that if you can stop smoking for 28 days then you are more likely to stop for good.
Here at my Leatherhead hypnotherapy clinic I have treated many smokers who have stopped for good. The first few days when someone stops smoking they are dealing with the addiction. Nicotine is very addictive but after 48 hours when all the traces of nicotine have left the body the addiction fades.
Why then is stopping smoking an ongoing struggle? This is because smoking is also an addiction of the mind, a habit in the same way a gambling addict is addicted to gambling, without putting a substance into their body. A smoker is addicted to the action of smoking.
A smoker has many key times when they smoke. This can range throughout the day from first thing in the morning to the last cigarette before bed. These times are frequently attached to other behaviours for example when having a cup of coffee or a break from work, after a meal and usually when relaxing especially with an alcoholic drink. Many people use smoking as both an incentive and a reward. For example they will reward themselves with a cigarette when a task has been completed or will use a cigarette as a motivator: ‘When I have had this cigarette I will ….’
Many people who come to me in Leatherhead have given up smoking for weeks, months or even years then they give in to the temptation of just one cigarette and find in a very short time they are back up to their old level of smoking. Once you have stopped smoking there is no going back. Just like an alcoholic who can never have just one drink, the smoker can never have just one cigarette.
Stoptober is a good incentive to take that first step. Hypnotherapy can help to make that habit easier to break permanently. Fill out my contact form, or give me a ring to find out how it can help you.
Here in Leatherhead summer is becoming a fading memory, the nights draw in and the leaves slowly begin to change colour. Autumn is upon us. With the coming of autumn the spiders arrive.
Many people share an irrational fear of spiders. In the United Kingdom we don’t have poisonous spiders. There are one or two spiders that can bite and cause a reaction but unlike other countries we have no dangerous spiders.
Someone who suffers from a spider phobia has an irrational fear of spiders and will run in fear from the tiniest specimen. In the autumn when the large house spiders are seeking a place to hide, life can become a nightmare.
Here at Leatherhead hypnotherapy we have treated many clients with a simple hypnotherapy technique that reduces and even completely removes that irrational fear.
A phobia can begin to take over someone’s life and stop them doing normal everyday things. One client who was sent to me by her Aunty was about to refuse her place at Cambridge because of the fear that she would find a spider in her room and have no one to call upon to deal with it. After one session of hypnosis she was happy to ignore any spider that she saw and went on to have a brilliant career in law.
Another client was refusing the chance of a trip to visit her daughter in Australia because of her fear of spiders; again after one session she booked her flight and had the trip of a lifetime.
Phobias can seem trivial if you are not affected but any phobia that takes over someone’s life becomes important. One client who had a snake phobia couldn’t visit her friend even though the snake was in a glass tank. After one session the photo she sent me of herself leaning against the tank has pride of place in my office.
If you suffer from a phobia however trivial one session of hypnotherapy may be all that you need. However, the client who always called on the good-looking young man from the flat across the landing to rescue her was more reluctant than most to give up her spider phobia!
Hypnotherapy can help people not only to lose weight but to keep it off. One of the ways that this can be achieved is to join a Weight Workshop.
Unlike the usual weekly weight loss programmes which focus on calorie counting and dieting, a five-week course of weigh loss by hypnotherapy will help to redefine the way you think about food.
Leatherhead hypnotherapy periodically runs a five-week weight loss course that covers all aspects of losing weight with hypnotherapy. In a small group of no more than about 12 people the weight loss programme uses a combination of hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and visualisations to help you understand why you eat the wrong foods, eat too much food and eat for the wrong reasons.
During the five weekly sessions you will learn about relaxation, how to visualise the wrong foods and how to replace them with healthy eating. In the final session you will learn how to do self-hypnosis to enable you to continue controlling your weight until a target weight is achieved. Self-hypnois will also help you maintain that target weight in the future.
This is not a diet. Hypnosis for weight loss works with the subconscious mind to discover where and when eating patterns were formed. For example if we are given sweets as children to comfort us and to stop us crying, when we are grown ups and something goes wrong the subconscious kicks in and we reach for the chocolate.
Over the five weeks we will produce a whole picture to help you lose weight and keep it off.
Many clients come to my hypnotherapy clinic here in Leatherhead to lose weight. In the summer when the weather is ideal for salads and fresh fruit then we may feel losing weight should be easier. But on hot days the temptation to reach for an ice cream or cold drink can be a source of excess calories.
Here in Leatherhead over the last few days we have had a heatwave with temperatures not reached since 1976. The local supermarket had sold out of many popular ice creams and sales of fizzy drinks have soared. Sales of Pimms and Gin are also at record levels.
Ice Cream is a treat on a hot day but it should be instead of our usual treat of a biscuit, cake or even that packet of crisps. Even fruit juice is full of sugar and can sabotage our attempts at weight loss in hot weather.
Many clients who have come to me here at my Leatherhead clinic say it has been too hot to eat but when they felt hungry later in the evening they have then snacked on biscuit, crackers and crisps. A light meal with chicken or fish and salad with be healthier more nutritious and easy to prepare. If the kitchen is too hot to switch on the cooker buying ready cooked chicken from the supermarket is not being lazy when the sun is blazing down. The evening barbecue can be a meal loaded with fat if the regular barbecue favourites of sausages and burgers become a staple in hot weather. Replacing these with chicken or fish, even vegetable kebabs are a tasty alternative.
Weight loss with hypnotherapy is not about going on a diet and saying no to treats and ice cream. It is about making the right choice where food is concerned. It’s about remembering that a treat is not a treat if you have it everyday. Hypnotherapy can help reprogram your subconscious mind to eat more slowly to choose the right food. It can also help you to eat in smaller quantities and to savour the flavour. After all a meal is not a race to the finish but an enjoyable experience.