Responsibility Versus Blame…….Let The Race Begin

Responsibility and blame line up at the start of the race – both look on top form and both have their own band of supporters. They are on the starting blocks………..and then they are off. Blame gets off to a good start, with responsibility close behind. It’s a close battle at the beginning of the race and blame,fueled by anger and self pity, steams forward inching away from responsibility, however responsibility has maintained an even pace and manages to overtake and surpass blame, sprinting towards the finish and with a clear vision of success in mind, crosses the line and takes first place. A race well run with the only true contender winning.

As a therapist I deal with many people who suffer from a myriad of issues ranging from lack of self esteem to bad habits to excessive eating and before I can help any of them, they need to accept responsibility for there issue and for any subsequent changes. This does not mean that they are to ‘blame’  for their issues it simply means they need to acknowledge that in order to change they have to accept that they can not keep on going the way they are going.

For example, I often hear from clients who are overweight that it is because of ‘hormonal issues’ or ‘it’s in their genes’ or that they ‘love food’ or ‘they kids love this food’ but they do not acknowledge that it is anything that they are doing that is causing them to be overweight (research also shows that that very few people have what is often referred to as the ‘fat’ gene). So how can I help someone who blames their genes or the fact that they love food and don’t wish to change their eating habits? I can’t!

However if an overweight client comes in and admits that they have several issues with food that they wish to address then I can certainly help them and they can help themselves too because they have admitted responsibility for their weight. They have chosen to overeat or to eat unhealthily, and it may well have been something they were ‘taught’ as a child, but as an adult they can choose to change or continue to blame someone else for their being overweight. It is a choice. We can take responsibility for who we are and who we wish to become and we can acknowledge that what we do is not working therefore we need to change something to make it work.

Taking responsibility for our lives is incredibly empowering and instead of blaming God, the kids, your parents etc for what is wrong in your life, isn’t it about time you took responsibility for how you behave? Of course you may well suffer from anxiety or low self esteem if you lived with domineering or critical parents, but is you continue to blame your parents for your low self esteem you stay in victim mode and you maintain your low self esteem. So does blame really improve your life in anyway or does it give you the easy option of staying where you are and avoiding change?

Yes your parents could have contributed to your low self esteem however as an adult you have to accept responsibility for yourself for who you are now. That may mean that you can acknowledge that events or people in your past contributed towards your lack of confidence or anxiety etc however as an adult you now have the choice whether to continue blaming the past or move forward qand improve your future.

Responsibility features very much is all adult relationships too and I quite often see clients who wish to increase confidence or feel  better about themselves after years in an abusive or controlling relationship.  In any adult relationship be it love, work or friendship you have to accept 50% of the responsibility for that relationship.

Yes it may be that your partner is physically and emotionally abusive and he/she may be the ‘bad’ one in the relationship, but by staying in the abusive or controlling relationship and allowing your partner to continue the abuse you are just as responsible as they are for the state of your relationship. Both parties are equally responsible however for the victim it is very important that they realize that they have a choice. They can either allow the abuse to continue and blame the perpetrator for their awful life or they can  refuse to allow the abuse to continue and either leave or get help and thus accept responsibility for their life and their well being.

Whilst you can change who you are you can not change other people unless they accept your help and in order to do this they need to accept responsibility for where they are in their lives too.

Anger is another great excuse for people to play the blame game and I have come across many angry people in my life! (I too have given in to anger but at least I can see who is to blame!). Anger masks another emotion, usually fear, and  is used as a defense mechanism to protect against emotional hurt and in some cases too, to avoid the individual acknowledging that they are unhappy in their lives. How many times do you hear people blame others for losing control? ‘It’s your fault that I am angry!’ they shout but is it the other persons fault that you lost control? Absolutely not!

We control how we feel and if we chose to let someone upset us then we are to ‘blame’. We can either ignore hurtful words or respond to them angrily, either way it is our choice how we react. We can stay in control or we can let the other person take control by responding negatively.

If you suffer from depression, anxiety, anger, negativity, worry – then take responsibility for how you are feeling today and tomorrow you can change your life by changing how you feel. Your thoughts make you who you are and only you (with some help if you require it) can change your thoughts. Stop blaming your mum or partner or siblings or work colleagues and take the initiative to take back responsibility and change your life. You will feel so much better! It may take time but believe you me, it is well worth it!

 

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Relax……….and take a deep breath…

Hypnosis, relaxation, mediation, daydreaming all allow us to go into a deeper level of our mind where we benefit, not only from being ‘relaxed’ and ‘switched off’ from the outside world, but also from a state of mind that is open to positive suggestion!

When we meditate or relax or enter ‘trance’ we go into the alpha brain state – which is the most beneficial state to be in for learning, for retrieving lost information (how many times have you tried to remember a name only to remember it just before you drift off at night whilst relaxed?) and also to make changes to habits and behaviors. Even if we just relaxed – we would still benefit over time as our mind became calmer and more focused.

So how can you enter this  alpha state of mind and make use of it? Simple, by taking time to relax! 5 or 10 minutes a day is sufficient to make great changes and any changes made at the alpha level automatically become a permanent part of your life as they are accepted into your unconscious mind – that part of your mind where your habits and behaviors lie.

So how do we get to alpha? Well with a little patience and a little time you will easily be able to reach this rejuvenating level of mind and here’s how.

Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down and make this place your ‘relaxation’ place. Your mind builds up associations quickly so it will associate this place with relaxation so will automatically expect to relax so you will find that you relax so much more quickly too! When you are comfortable, close your eyes and take 3 diaphragmatic breaths, i.e. breath in slowly through your nose, hold the breath and then release slowly through the mouth, and then begin to count down from 10 to 0 and tell yourself that with each descending number you will become more and more relaxed.

Whilst you count down slowly from 10 to 0, imagine every part of your body from the very top of your head to the very tips of your toes, relaxing. Start with the top of your head on 10 and imagine the relaxation flowing down into your eyelids, perhaps you can feel them becoming very heavy, and with each descending number imagine this relaxation flowing down through your body until you reach your toes and the number zero. Pay attention to every part of your body as you relax – notice how your shoulders feel as you begin to relax them, how every part of your body feels as you let go of any tensions and relax. And when you are at zero tell yourself that you are fully relaxed from the very top of your head to the very tips of your toes.

You may notice that you do feel relaxed after your first attempt which is brilliant, however remember the more you do this exercise the more your mind will associate relaxation with this process, so the more quickly relaxed you will become. If you suffer from anxiety it may take you a while longer to relax and that’s ok, so if you find this the case then count down from 20 or even 50 (you can always shorted the count down as you become more relaxed) . Any form of relaxation is excellent for relieving anxiety, however by using self hypnosis whilst relaxed you can further improve your results.

Like anything – if you want this process to work then you need to do this exercise every day and possibly twice a day. The best times are morning and just before you go to sleep at night, as you are usually more relaxed then. It will take you a good few weeks to get to a relaxed state of mind but remember the more you do the more relaxed you will become and the quicker you will achieve results!

When you are fully relaxed, you can then give yourself positive suggestions for change. Remember these must be stated in the positive i.e. I will be slim and healthy or I will remain calm and in control in any and every situation. Do not state these suggestions negatively as your unconscious mind will not hear the ‘not’ but will respond the the rest of the suggestion! So if you say ‘I will not be anxious anymore’ all your unconscious minds hears is ‘ I will be anxious’!  Try not to think about a pink elephant – in order to ‘not’ think about it you have to imagine it first to not think about it!

Using visualization is also very effective – so instead of telling yourself what you want – you visualize yourself with what you want. So of you want to be slim then see yourself slim and healthy. If you want to feel more confident talking in public, then see yourself talking  confidently. The more positive emotion you can attach to your visualizations the more readily accepted they will be, as your unconscious mind responds well to pleasure. When you visualize, really get into the picture – see yourself clearly with the outcome you want and feel how fabulous you will feel – see how differently people are responding to you – make the image as compelling as you could possibly make it and notice how much more motivated you feel!

Visualization is perhaps more powerful than suggestions but both are effective at bringing about change if done over a period of time. So keep practicing  and you will reap your rewards.

Take care and speak soon!

 

Take Back Control Of Your Mind

If you suffer from anxiety, panic attacks or phobias then you are probably well aware of how your mind can be ‘hijacked’ in certain situations and as someone who used to suffer from panic attacks, I know only too well how it feels to lose control!

Unfortunately for the anxiety sufferer not only does their disorder leave them feeling cursed in some way but also, add in the anxiety of worrying about whether you are going to have an anxiety or panic attack out of the blue. So not only does the sufferer dread the attack itself – which is never pleasant – but they also learn to dread the possibility of having an attack too and this usually escalates over time and with the increased frequency of the attacks.

Now anxiety is a disorder which many never talk about let alone to admit too. ‘Mental’ disorders are still a subject that leaves many feeling uncomfortable – their issue – and it does not have to be yours! If you suffer from anxiety read up about it – find out what you can and the more information you have the better you will feel. You almost certainly are not going mad! Knowledge is power and as a hypnotherapist specializing in the resolution of anxiety, I am always amazed at how little sufferers know about their anxiety.

Anxiety can most certainly ruin your life it you let it but it can not kill you. The more you ‘dread’ the attack the more anxious you will feel unfortunately. I used to dread going into busy areas and would feel anxious before the event because I had already gone through an embarrassing episode in my mind, of having a major attack and feeling embarrassed and humiliated in front of all these people. My no wonder I felt so anxious an no wonder I was more than likely to have an attack!!

Realistically even if I did have a panic attack in public – who would actually be aware? And if some people were then it’s my choice whether I wish to feel embarrassed by it or not. And if I am not going to die from having a panic attack – then bring it on! It was only as I became a therapist that I became aware that I was programming my mind for more anxiety by the way I was ‘dealing’ with my plight.

So if you suffer from anxiety or panic, then how do you  begin to take back control? How do you  begin to feel ‘normal’ again? The first thing is to read up about anxiety, what it is, the causes, how to manage it and how it affects your mentally and physically. Yes an attack feel hideous but like a naughty child, the more attention and control you give it, the worse it will be.

One of the most effective ways you can loosen the grip of anxiety on your life is to re-write what you tell yourself in your mind. I am sure you have heard the saying that ‘what you focus on in life you will get’ and that is very true. Anxiety exists because you are NOT focusing on what you want. So by simply focusing on what you want – to remain calm and in control – you can change how you respond to trigger situations.

So as soon as you become aware of those ‘what if” thoughts or anxious thoughts, acknowledge them but do not get ‘involved’ in them and then immediately visualize yourself calm, in control and feeling really relaxed and happy and what this does is start to reprogram your mind. Instead, over time (usually 3 – 4 weeks)  of ‘what if I have an attack’  followed by all the other anxious thoughts………..you will notice you will start with the ‘what if” thoughts followed by a sense of inner calm and your unconscious mind ‘sees’ the image of you calm, relaxed and at ease. So what the mind can see the mind will achieve – simple!’

This visualization technique is powerful and can change how you feel dramatically and in order for it to be effective you need to do this exercise every time you become aware of those anxious thoughts. Also if you have a specific event that you feel anxious about, by visualizing a positive outcome, you are instructing your unconscious mind on how to respond in that situation. And if you run through this several times your mind will begin to see the picture and you may be pleasantly surprised by the results you obtain!

The more you use this visualization the quicker and more noticeable the changes you experience will be. When you do this visualization exercise, really get into what you see, hear and feel when you are calm and in control. If there are other people there then perhaps see how well they respond to you, how they enjoy listening to what you have to say – create the ideal situation and outcome -do not focus on anything negative – because not only are you telling your mind to focus on the negative but you will feel worse to. So always focus on how great you look and feel and how well the situation goes for you and you will begin to feel more and more confident too and less and less anxious! Its a great feeling believe me!

If you struggle with time constraints then ask yourself why is it that you don’t want to let go of your anxiety because ‘never having the time’ is resistance, so you will need to ask yourself what your anxiety is getting for you or what is it keeping your from – i.e. is it ensuring that you don’t feel judged when you go out, is it keeping you from a higher position of responsibility at work? Understanding how your anxiety is ‘helping’ you can be key to letting it go. If you feel judged or not good enough then focus on this when doing the visualization and remember you have a right to feel in control of your life – it is your life.

If you have severe anxiety, OCD (pure) then you may benefit from a course of hypnotherapy. Analytical hypnotherapy is a potent therapy for anxiety as it enables you to understand why it exists in the first place and this gives you the ability to resolve the issues surrounding the initial cause to enable you to let go permanently of your anxiety symptoms.

If you would like any more info on anxiety hypnosis then drop me a line!

 

 

Your Future Is Bright……With Visualization

Visualization is an incredibly powerful, yet simple technique which anyone can use to help change an area of their life.

So what is visualization?

Visualization is a process where by you visualize yourself performing at your optimum. When you visualize your optimum performance you literally imagine yourself performing what ever it is that you want to do better, whether that be excellent presentation skills or ensuring that you get your dance moves spot on!

During visualization you see yourself doing what ever it is that you wish to achieve – and doing it perfectly. So you hear what you would be hearing, see what you would be seeing and feeling how you would be feeling when you visualize the future event.

How Does Visualization Work?

Visualization works on a number of different levels and that’s what makes it so powerful.

Firstly it helps you to maintain a positive focus i.e. focusing on the positive outcome.

Secondly it helps you to feel more motivated to achieve your outcome by ensuring that you feel so much more positive and certain that you can achieve the result you want.

Thirdly, you are visually practising the event before hand so you can make any adjustments that you need to make to your performance BEFORE the event itself.

And lastly and most importantly you are programming your unconscious mind for success. As you are focusing on the positive outcome you are ‘telling’ your mind what you want to happen, as opposed to what you don’t want to happen. It’s no surprise that if you keep telling yourself and imagining yourself failing that you actually fail. So it should come as no surprise either that if you focus on the positive outcome, the actual outcome will be positive.

Your unconscious mind likes to know what it has to do so by visualizing your positive outcome it has clear instructions on how to perform. Your unconscious mind also wants to make you feel good so it will be more likely to implement an action if it knows that you feel good doing it. That is why it is very important that when you visualize your outcome you add as much positive emotion to it as possible.

And of course the more you visualize the more likely the outcome will be reached, especially as mentioned before, when you attach strong positive emotions to the outcome.

So if you want to quit smoking then see you as a non smoker feeling absolutely fantastic that you have succeeded, perhaps you can see how healthy you look and smell how much better you smell! If you want to be slimmer then focus on the slimmer sensational new you – visualize how great you will look, how well clothes fit you, hear all those compliments, and really feel how fabulous you feel when you are slim and healthy and notice how much better you begin to feel and how much more motivated you become to reach your ideal weight and shape!

Give visualization a go and see how much brighter your future looks!

Postive Thinking, Hypnosis And The Power Of Your Mind

Thoughts determine how you feel and feelings determine how we act and behave.

Now it is estimated that we have around 65,000 thougths a day so realistically it would be impossible to monitor every single thought we have however we can make a major impact on them!

Positive thinking is very much in the media and one of those ‘buzz’ phrases however whilst most of us profess to thinking positively not many of us do! But we can change how we think and therefore how we feel and in the case of the depressive, thinking is very much the cause of their condition, so it is important to realise that our thoughts DO affect how we feel and if we change our thoughts we CAN change how we feel.

If you suffer from depression or feelling down most days then you need to start monitoring your thoughts. Depression is an illness which CAN be overcome by changing how you think. If you think about it logically, if you continually focus on how negative events in the past, on how useless you are or how bad you are, how much better everyone elses life is – then guess what? You will feel depressed – who wouldnt?

If you focus on the good things in your life and happy times in the past you will feel better. Dont believe me? Then close your eyes and think of a time in the past when something went well for you – a time when you felt really good. Really get into the memory – who was there, what you heard, what you saw and how you felt at that time and what you will begin to notice is that you actually start to feel better! Tell yourself how great you are too and you will feel evern better. And why because your train of thought was positive. Now how good did that feel?

So how can you begin to change your thinking? Well there is  a simple method to help you although it may take a while to get into the habit of actually doing it and that is where hypnosis comes into it!

1. Monitor your thoughts on a day to day basis.

2. When you notice negative or limiting thoughts – question them. Are you really ‘stupid’ because you dropped your toast on the floor or was it merely an accident?

3. Cancel that negative thought by simply saying ‘CANCEL’ in your mind.

4. Then think of an alternative positive thought to replace the original negative one. So instead of ‘stupid’ you could tell yoursel ‘it as just an accident and I will be more mindful of what I am doing in future. Notice how much better you feel when you state your positive thought.

5 Continue to monitor your thoughs and change them the moment you become aware that you are thinking negatively.

Now the above process will take some time for you to get into however if you use self hyposis you will find that not only do you benefit from the relaxing nature of the hypnosis itself but you can also give yourself positive suggestions to help you overcome negative thinking. “My thinking is becoming more and more positive each and every day”, “Each and every day I am becoming better and better in each and every way”. State your suggestions in the POSITIVE and not the negative i.e. “I am not thinking negative thoughts anymore” is a negative suggestion as you are still focusing on the negaive ‘negative thoughts’ and not the positive outcome ‘positive thinking’!

For self hypnosis – take 3 deep breaths in and slowly count down from 10 to 0 relaxing each part of your body from your head to your toes as you count down. The more you practice this the quicker you will become relaxed and enter hypnosis. When you reach 0 you begin to give youself positive suggestions – I am good enough, I think positively at all times etc… Repeat each suggestion 3 times and when you have finished count yourself out of hypnosis by counting from 1 to 5 and when you reach 5 open your eyes and you will be fully awake and feeling better than you did before!

Practice self hypnosis for atleast 2 weeks and you may be pleasantly surprised at how much more positive you are feeling! And when ever you catch that negative thought – then carry out the process above and soon you may notice how different you feel!