Well, it’s a little later than usual but this has been a festive season that has been quite different from the last few, in that I have been on the go since Christmas Eve and this is the first day I have been able to sit down to attack my "to do" list!
Anyway, as in previous years I have adopted a "Theme" for 2018. Just to refresh your memory, these are not about specific objectives or tasks, as resolutions are, but rather a way of being.
So, 2018 is to be a FAB year!
This stands for;
Finances (manage and review);
Activities (covering my physical health and socialising); and
Business (promoting and expanding its base and my knowledge).
Previous years "themes" were:
2014 "Productive and Creative", both of which I adopted when I went about lots of my activities.
2015 Resolution: Purpose: Direction. As I searched for a new home and lifestyle, I think these words became my mantra to keep me going when things got tough or I felt despondent. They also covered lots of other things in my life too.
2016 ACE: Accept; Consolidate; Enjoy.
Accept covers, physical, emotional and spiritual and not just in relation to me, but that of others, relatives, friends, strangers, clients etc.
Consolidate is about putting down my roots and building on everything I have worked hard to establish over the last few years.
Enjoy speaks for itself
As 2017 approached it was really interesting to see how successful I was in incorporating ACE into my life in 2016. It was definitely a challenging year in many ways and ACE certainly kept me focussed!
2017 was FLCR
F is for any Failure and Disappointments - learn from them then let them go!
L was Look Forward - keep my head up, look to the horizon and not at my feet.
C was Change - know that the only certainty in life is it WILL change.
R was Revel - in any successes, and celebrate the joys in my life.
I hope this post wasn't too long for you all and it gives you ideas to shape and keep focussed when "life" gets challenging. My Hypnotherapy is useful in helping me to relax and focus on what I need to do in my life, this compliments it. It works for me!!!
I had an unexpected Christmas bonus that really underpinned my celebrations. I got call from the mother of a wee boy of 11 who, from being wet every morning is now dry and is very pleased with himself. And well he should be as he has waited a long time for this control.
If you think about it, it isn't something he can share with his friends or extended family, so I am fortunate to be trusted with helping him overcome this problem. Two sessions of Hypnotherapy gave everyone in the family the release from the stress caused by his condition.
That's why I say - I love my work.
I've loved working with kids over the years and now I am more committed than ever!
I recently formalised my working with a Diploma in Paediatric Hypnotherapy and the updating of my disclosure certification from Disclosure Scotland. This I hope will give the families I work with the reassurance they deserve.
As for the kids, they do the work themselves but to be able to help them on their journey is brilliant. I've seen kids, for example, who pulled their hair out, had panic attacks when their parents went out, didn't want to go to school etc and put simply, something had happened or was happening to them and they felt out of control. Their behaviour was simply a demonstration of that feeling.
After listening to their fears and with a few simple interventions, they have felt back in control and become the happy children they used to be.
Kids know what is bothering them. Sometimes they tell me, sometimes they don't but it doesn't matter. I just take them to a place where they can work on the problem and take back control.
After listening to their fears and with a few simple interventions, they have felt back in control and become the happy children they used to be.
Such a rewarding profession and I feel very happy to be a member of it.
I've thought for a while that the addiction to smoking is not helped by switching to "Vaporing". I have seen people at functions and on the street who are inhaling more often than they would on a cigarette. Now we all know the dangers of smoking but there are a couple of recent articles that prove the point that many of the risks associated with smoking are just replaced by vaporing. ( I've pasted links to them at the bottom of this )
I know I'm seeing less people coming to get help to quit smoking but I truly believe that Hypnotherapy can stop the habit, without threats to your general health or DNA, causing cancerous changes in cells. Don't Vape - QUIT.
I came across an article in a Sunday supplement ( S Magazine 15 may 2016 ) I thought worth sharing. It was about the use of Hypnosis and giving birth. I thought would be of interest to expectant Mums and Dads, prospective parents and not to forget the Grandparents!
It was a Q&A of a celebrity and Catherine Tyldseyley was being interviewed. Some of you may recognise her from Coronation Street. The Question was "The Best Day of My Life, and she answered .... when my son was born, although it wasn't what I'd imagined. I thought I was going to have a really easy time of it - like you see in films. But I'd been using hypno-birthing and despite the long labour, my Mum said when she walked into the room it was like walking into a bubble of serenity. Nobody was speaking and the baby didn't cry - he just started breast-feeding straight away. It was just perfect and seeing Tom hold him was amazing. The memory of that day will stay with me for ever."
That is the impression so many women and men who use hypno-birthing pass back and on to others. Even when one of my clients had an emergency section, she said that her hypno work gave both herself and her husband a calm outlook and she wasn't frightened or concerned. They were able to work with all concerned to see her son born safely.
This being the season of Exam stress, I found this really interesting article on Exam Stress and how Hypnotherapy can help you pass those important exams without unnecessary stress hindering your performance! Get back to me if you want support on this
Many people will suffer moments of stress and often feel overwhelmed when having to sit an exam. Many of us will also be able to recall how nerve-racking it can be to take a test. Weeks before the exam, we can experience the sensation of butterflies in our stomach. Our palms get sweaty, our hearts race and we fear our memory will let us down.
Feeling stressed and anxious before an exam is expected and feeling nervous is a natural emotion. Lots of people will find these feelings a motivator and a way to focus on the task, but some of us will find the pressure overwhelming. When these feelings become intense, they can threaten performance. Sometimes the stress can cause a person to achieve below their true potential.
On this page
There is a great emphasis in today’s society to use exams to measure a person’s ability (for example, to drive a car, to study or for a certain job). We may expect it, but the pressure can be overwhelming. When nerves become out of control, they can lead to anxiety attacks and stress. If a person does not know how to cope with these feelings, they can create a vicious circle of more intense emotions. Over time, this can have a negative impact on the unconscious mind and result in more general, longer term performance-based anxiety.
Preparing for an exam and successfully completing it is not just about how knowledgeable you are, but also your state of mind. Feeling calm, relaxed, focused and confident when studying and sitting the exam means you will be much more likely to achieve your full potential. While accessing this state of mind is a skill, it can often be learned by implementing new ways of thinking.
How hypnotherapy can help you cope with exam stress:
Hypnotherapy is a common method used for helping control exam nerves as it can help boost confidence and reduce feelings of anxiety. It can help you develop the ability to access the calm state of mind needed to sit an exam, or cope with a potentially overwhelming situation.
The power of suggestion and visualisation techniques can encourage an individual to clear their racing mind and approach the exam with a cool, focused head. Your mind knows the information you need to pass the exam, but when experiencing exam stress or anxiety, your ability to focus and concentrate will suffer. Hypnotherapy will help you recall the information easily and correctly, as well as help restore your self-belief.
What to expect from a session
Hypnotherapy has proven effective for many people dealing with anxiety and fear. This is why many of those suffering with exam nerves consider the idea of hypnosis as a form of treatment. While all hypnotherapists will differ in their approach, generally, the treatment will begin with an initial consultation. This is often a short telephone conversation or meeting before booking a session.
After the initial consultation, your hypnotherapist will begin by helping you to enter a relaxed state of mind. The hypnotherapist may then ask you to focus on the exam. You may also be asked to focus on the physical sensations you feel when stressed, anxious or under pressure. Once you have recognised these feelings, the hypnotherapist will offer calming words and ‘suggestions’. These suggestions will differ for your individual needs and situation. For example, if your mind goes blank when you enter an exam room, the suggestion may be, “You are in control, you know the information and you can do it.” Or if you are experiencing exam stress during a driving test, the suggestion may be a way of coping, such as “slow your breathing, remain calm and focus.”
The idea behind the suggestion method is that when you start to feel under pressure, overwhelmed or stressed about an upcoming exam, the suggestions and visualisations will enter your conscious mind and help you cope. You may also be taught valuable techniques that can help you relax and remain calm when you start to feel worried.
Hypnotherapy can also be used to overcome fear of failure. It can encourage you to focus, believe in yourself, increase motivation and boost concentration.
You may find that one session if enough to help you overcome your exam nerves and stress, or you may feel you need more. You will be able to discuss this with your hypnotherapist and work together to decide what techniques and how many sessions will be most effective for you. The hypnotherapist may also offer self-hypnosis techniques for you to practise at home.
An important part of hypnotherapy for exam stress is knowing how to remain calm and relaxed, even when the pressure is building. A little bit of stress is good for us and can give us the boost we need, but too much stress can hinder our abilities.
Alongside your hypnotherapy sessions and self-hypnosis techniques, it is important to remain healthy. In order for your mind and body to function properly and cope with the nerves that come with exams, you need to be well rested, continue to eat a balanced diet and remain hydrated. Stress can affect us at any point in our lives. It can sometimes appear unexpectedly, causing us to lose sleep, lose our appetite and forget to take care of ourselves. If you feel your exam stress is affecting your daily life, hypnotherapy can also be effective for sleep disorders such as insomnia, panic attacks and relaxation.
My new website has given me some “food for thought” on what I am doing as a Hypnotherapist and this was something that ran through my mind the other day, which I decided to share.
Stress and Anxiety are amongst the most common reasons people call and ask me for help. Everyone thinks that it will be so difficult to relax and get to grips with managing their stress or anxiety. However, they never fail to be surprised when I show then something we do automatically that will become their greatest ally. Its simply breathing!
Taking back control and managing their stress or anxiety starts with learning to breathe using a proper, abdominal, relaxing breath. So many times we are instructed to just “take a deep breath and relax”. Hypnotherapists often use this phrase when we start our sessions with clients. However, when I have asked people to do this I have observed several things. Firstly they throw out their chest, suck in lots of air, clench their jaw and tighten up the muscles in the neck and shoulders and suddenly their shoulders become best friends with their ears. This is definitely anything but a relaxing breath.
When we take a breath like that, it automatically makes us push out our chest, tighten up our stomach muscles and this then tightens our neck and shoulder muscles.
Breathing like this causes our diaphragm (the sheet of muscle separating your chest cavity from your stomach cavity) to be pushed upward into our chest cavity and squeezes our lungs. This means that the size of the two lower lobes of the lungs get smaller as the upper lobes of the lungs expand. ( see the ear connection? )
The problem with this is that less oxygen can enter the lower lobes of the lungs and that causes a deficit of oxygen. That’s because the two lower lobes of the lungs are actually the larger part of the lungs and have many more blood vessels and more alveoli (little air sacks) than the upper lobes. Therefore, less healing and relaxing oxygen is getting into our lungs and from there into the bloodstream and our body.
This type of breathing therefore causes more tension to develop in the neck, shoulders and the jaw, less oxygen to circulate and results in more overall tension and stress. So the first thing we usually do together is to learn how to breathe, easily and deeply.
Simple things are often the most effective!
Exciting news hit my email box today, so wanted to share it. Here is the news for anyone who wants to use Hypnotherapy but through their NHS Board.
Scottish Government updates guidance on complementary and alternative medicine
The Scottish Government has updated its guidance about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The revised guidance provides information to all NHS Boards, Special Boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships in Scotland about the Professional Standards Authority’s accredited registers programme.
The new guidance (DL (2016) 06) was issued to update the earlier Health Department Letter (HDL) (2005) 37 and states: “the Scottish Government recognises that complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) may offer some relief to some people living with a wide variety of long term health conditions.”
It also makes clear that use of accredited registers such as CNHC’s: “can have a number of benefits for practitioners, patients, contracting organisations and employers; providing reassurance that professionals are subject to a level of appropriate scrutiny.” More information about accredited registers is available on the Professional Standards Authority web site at
The update follows a meeting held in December 2014 between representatives of CNHC and the Scottish Government where the update of the HDL was discussed.
Maybe you’ve been struggling with anxiety and panic and you’ve tried everything: medication, progressive relaxation, meditation, exercise, deep breathing, herbs, watching TV till your eyes glaze over—and still you’re feeling nervous, irritable, unable to focus, panicky, and tense.
It could be you are simply suffering from lack of sleep.
Studies show sleep deprivation to be one of the primary contributors to anxiety problems,depression, and other psychiatric disorders. Sleep appears to be very important for emotional regulation and processing.
Experiments with sleep deprivation in humans showed that without sleep, the brain reverts back to more primitive patterns of activity. People then become less able to put emotional events into context and respond appropriately.
The amygdala is the part of the brain that prepares the body to protect itself when it perceives danger. When it senses danger, it sends a message to the prefrontal cortex, which then interprets and assesses the situation and decides whether to activate the fight, flight or freeze response.
Under normal circumstances, the amygdala and prefrontal cortex work together to respond appropriately to danger, while also keeping people from overreacting to emotional experiences. Under conditions of sleep deprivation, subjects’ amygdales and prefrontal cortexes stopped working together. Emotional centers were 60% more active, resulting in slower reflexes, increased irritation, problems with focus and concentration, and higher feelings of anxiety.
Other studies suggest that lack of REM sleep causes or worsens psychological problems. REM sleep, also known as the dreaming phase of sleep, is very important for processing emotions and memories, clearing the mind of the stressful events of the day, and dreaming. During this stage of sleep, the areas of the brain used in learning and developing new skills are stimulated. About 70 to 90 minutes after falling asleep, the first REM cycle occurs. Ideally, you will experience three to five REM episodes per night. Getting more and better REM sleep has been shown to boost people’s moods during the day. Fortunately, improving the quantity and quality of REM sleep you get is relatively easy.
Many experts recommend getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night, although some say that the quality of sleep is more important than quantity. Getting six hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep is more beneficial than eight hours of restless, interrupted sleep. You can immediately improve the quality of your sleep by making two important changes: change what you put into your body and what you do with your body, both during the day and when getting ready for sleep.
CHANGE WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY
Hypnotherapy is a variety of alternative therapy that occurs when the patient under the influence of hypnosis. Hypnosis has gathered a myriad of fabrications in recent years; being hypnotised never allows someone to take control of you, and stage hypnotists only work through mild trance, sleight of hand and social compliance from their participant. I am a highly qualified hypnotherapist, having attained a HPD from the UK Academy of Therapeutic Arts & Sciences. My hypnotherapy treatment, based in Kirknewton, West Lothian can help you with a variety of problems, I offer help with quitting smoking, weight control and eating issues, phobias, panic attacks, child birth and many more psychological ailments that is any problems not started by a physical problem.
My hypnotherapy is induced by talking to you, through which you will fall into what can be called a trance, you will not feel hypnotised and can walk away at any moment. The trance is no different to what most people feel every day, the moments when you are daydreaming on a bus, or watching a TV show you are not truly watching. The trance is a natural state of mind when you are slightly ‘spaced out’ and relaxed. It is while your mind is in such a relaxed state; tensions can be released and deep breathing help ease all worries. Through this stage I will talk to you about whatever problem you want to cure, talking to your sub conscious can deeply change the way you think about your habits, it helps you release all the bad habits. People were not born feeling the need to over eat or self conscious, you have gained this through experiences and through changing the way you think can help you break these habits.
I compliment all of my sessions with an MP3 to help you practice and reaffirm these relaxation techniques at home to help underpin the work done in my sessions. I strive to make you feel as comfortable as possible throughout your sessions and can tailor any session to your needs.