Next time you go into a conversation with someone with the intention of coming out with an agreement think about your ‘buts’ and ‘ands’.

When ever someone is presenting an argument or fighting their case they will ultimately use the word ‘but’ to signify something that they disagree with or are not happy with and it’s something we have learnt to expect over the years. As soon as I say ‘but’ to my son he switches of automatically or gets frustrated because he’s expecting a rejection or a negative response.

Just as the word ‘and’ suggests that there is something else to expect doesn’t it and you would be right wouldn’t you? So choose your words wisely whenever you are seeking an agreement from another party. If you wish to negate the other person’s argument avoid the ‘but’!

Consider the two statements below.

‘I feel very strongly about this issue and I appreciate how you feel too and that is why it’s important to get this right’

‘I feel very strongly about this issue but I don’t think that you do so how are we going to come to any agreement?’

Which statement is letting the other person know you ‘hear’ them and want to work towards a compromise? Which one is more likely to open up the other person to your ideas too?

Likewise consider how each of the statements below would impact on the receiver.

‘I know I ask you to work late some nights but that’s why you got the job in the first place and why you’re still here’

‘I know I ask you to work late and I really appreciate all your efforts but without your valuable contribution we may fail to hit our target’

At the first but (in the first statement) the person is waiting for the negative and they get it so it really doesn’t matter what you say after that as the person has already got the ‘but’ and switched off!

However in the second statement the ‘but’ is qualified by a positive statement (your valuable contribution) and as a result is a more persuasive argument.

The ‘and’ works in the second statement too as it suggests something other than the expected ‘but’ and it allows us to add in a supporting and positive (persuasive) statement too before ending on the ‘but’, which takes the persuasion up another notch.

So yes you can use the ‘but’ but ensure you follow it up with a positive and persuasive argument and use the ‘and’ to negate their argument in a more positive and inclusive way.


It’s just a thought

Thoughts are amazing aren’t they? They rule our lives without a second thought (pardon the pun) from us.

Thoughts make us who we are. They drive our beliefs, our moods, our choices and even what we have for dinner. So why is that we give so little attention to what is actually going on in our heads? Why do we not question our thoughts more often? Perhaps because we are unaware of the thousands of thoughts we have everyday!

It is estimated that we have around 50,000 thoughts per day and that 70 – 80% of those are negative (Wow, no wonder we feel so bad most of the time!) So as you can see it’s virtually impossible to keep on top of every thought we have however we can begin to notice those repetitive negative thoughts that lie behind limiting habits, behaviours and feelings.

Awareness is key to change, so it’s important to become more aware of your thoughts. So choose one area in your life that you would like to change say weight loss for example or anxiety. So when you notice those cravings or the need to overeat, ask yourself ‘what am I thinking right now?’ and focus on your thoughts. You shouldn’t be surprised that they will be based on either food, feeling better or the desire to do what you want (eat excessively).

Make a note to be aware of your thoughts surrounding your cravings etc for a couple of days. Each time you have the urge to overeat – ask yourself ‘what am I thinking right now’ and make a note of any thoughts on your mind. This will give you an insight as to what drives your cravings and motivates you to overeat. Perhaps you may notice that you feeling sad or lonely, maybe it’s a voice telling you how much you like chocolate or it may even be a thought telling you that you have a right to eat what you like, but listen to these thoughts and write them down.

As you become more aware of what drives your overeating you are better able to successfully tackle the issue. Also REMEMBER a thought is just that. It’s a thought. It has no impact on you what so ever – only if you let it – so realise firstly that these thoughts are just habitual thought patterns that you are ‘used to’ and which you respond to without question.

When you are aware of your thought patterns – question them!  Yes chocolate tastes nice but surely nothing tastes as good as thin feels? You have every right to eat what you want but you choose to be healthy and slim instead don’t you?. Once you are aware of these thoughts it’s easier to question their validity and then change the negative thoughts to more positive and motivating ones instead and you can do this by using something known as a Pattern Interrupt.  A pattern interrupt is an NLP technique which  is incredibly simple yet can blow apart those negative thought patterns easily and quickly and replace them with ones that are more beneficial for you.

Basically you stop the negative thoughts as soon as you become aware of them by saying STOP in your head (or CANCEL) and then you immediately introduce a positive more motivating thought pattern instead (click here to watch a video on how to carry out this pattern interrupt). I use this technique all the time which is great however the most powerful change for me is that I now realize that a thought is just that – it’s a thought and as such I can listen to it, ignore it or change it. It holds no power over me. How incredibly liberating!

If you have OCD and upsetting negative thoughts then it’s worthwhile to remember that your thoughts are just thoughts. They only control you if you let them so if you want to take back control of your OCD then STOP those thought patterns by using the pattern interrupt. OCD is repetitive negative thoughts so this Stop! Pattern is an excellent way for you to take back control of your thoughts, your life and your emotions too. So give it a go and if you need any further help then give me a ring today on 07532 110457.

Try this Stop! Pattern out – but remember – a thought is just a thought………..




Stop! Pattern – Pattern Interupt

Break any habit or negative thought pattern easily with this simple NLP technique! Re-write your thoughts and habits and change how you think, feel and act yourself. Perseverance is key here however the more you do this the more positive your life will become! Good luck.

The Butterfly Hug

Recently I have mentioned the Butterfly Hug which is a really simple yet powerful way to release negative emotions such as grief, anxiety, depression and trauma and this is an excellent tool to help kids who suffer from anxiety due to Aspergers, Autism, ADHD etc as it’s something they can use themselves easily once taught.

Change the movie

Grief is a painful experience isn’t it and one which differs from culture to culture?  The east celebrate the life of a loved one where we in the west mourn the death of a lost one. Even the language is completely different!

Grief is a process which we are led to believe goes through several stages from anger to guilt to sadness etc but do we have to be burdened with the pain of grief or can we change the movie we run in our mind?

I lost my brother to cancer years ago and was devastated. Not only was he one of my best friends but I was living out of the country and never had the chance to say goodbye. However on reflection I was never sure whether I was glad or not for this because my last memory of my brother was a ‘good’ one (he was still healthy and alive and smiling), however the movie I ran in my mind over and over again, when I  thought of him after his death, was his hearse coming into view. This was the moment when his death became earth-shatteringly real to me.

Each and every time I thought of my brother this image would come into my mind and attached to this was the intense pain I felt at that moment. So what if I changed the picture I associated with my brother to one where he was very much  alive, would that change how I felt? And if it would, would I really want to feel less pain because surely that would mean I didn’t love him enough?

Unfortunately for those who have lost a loved one the movie we tend to play in our minds is one from the final weeks where they suffered  or their actual death (a ‘bad’ image) and we replay this scene over and over again and of course, attached to that movie are all those painful feelings too, so it’s no wonder we feel awful each and every time we remember this person.

Now I know there are many of you who would feel cheated if they did’nt hang onto the pain of loss however ask yourself if this is what your loved one would have wanted? Probably not and you know what, isn’t it more respectful to remember your loved one when they were alive, healthy and well because that was the ‘real’ them wasn’t it?

So next time you remember your loved one and you find yourself focusing on a ‘bad’ memory just say CANCEL in your mind and instantly bring to mind a cherished memory. Not only will this make you feel better in that moment but over time it will become an automatic process that when you think of your lost loved one the first thing you recall is a ‘good’ memory.

If the grief is still very raw and overwhelming then try out the butterfly hug which is specifically designed for trauma and grief. Not only is it quick but it’s comforting too ( For more information on how to do this check  out yesterdays blog here ). Or give EFT a go – I use this with my clients and even after one session the pain has dramatically reduced and the ‘bad’ image they see has moved further away and becpes less focused too which means that your mind is beginning to process and release the grief (when the’ bad’ image is quite literally in your face as your recall it the pain associated will be worse however if you push the picture away from you on your mental screen the pain lessons).

So if you are ready to leave the pain of grief behind and smile when you remember the person your lost, then change the movie in your mind. When you become aware you’re focusing on a ‘bad’ memory say CANCEL in your mind and immediately bring in an image of the person when they were alive and healthy and preferably smiling too.

It’s okay to let go of the pain because you can always hold onto the love that you had and keep your loved one close at hand at all times in that special place in your heart. So remember your loved one for who they were and celebrate their life and yes you may still have a good cry at times and that’s only human but the raw pain will be a thing of the past.

Anxiety and Aspergers….helping your child

I have recently become involved with a group locally who have formed a support group for parents with kids who have Aspergers or Autism and it it’s refreshing to know that I am not alone out there, struggling to cope with the needs of a ‘special’ child.

It became apparent during our meeting that one thing many parents were worried about, as well as many other issues,  was their kids anxiety levels. I could certainly relate to this as my son can get anxious about any changes in his routine and depending on the circumstances his anxiety can be that severe that he loses feeling in his body and feels ‘weird’ as he would say.  Not only does anxiety impair already tenuous social interaction and performance in kids with Aspergers and Autism but if left unchecked  can and has lead to depression too.

However there is a simple, yet extremely powerful and proven technique that these kids can learn (or parents) to help them relieve their anxiety about a specific event, memory or just the anxiety they are feeling at the moment and it’s such a lovely and comforting tool too!

This technique is know as the ‘Butterfly Hug’ and is based on EMDR which is a powerful tool recognised by the Medical profession for it’s ability to resolve trauma and anxiety and was developed by Francine Shapiro.  It’s based on something known as bi-lateral stimulation which simply means you stimulate either side of your body simultaneously. You can, for example tap each thigh, right, left, right, left etc or you can move your eyes, whilst keeping your head still, from right to left several times too.

I’m not going to go into the how this technique works however, what I will tell you is that this works! I use this technique in my practice with amazing results and for children it is such a lovely soothing technique to use!

You can teach this technique to your child in order that they can learn to self soothe or you can do this for them by taping alternative shoulders/tops of arms for them. However if your kid needs to release his anxiety at school say, they could tap on alternative  thighs as this is more discreet.

The Technique:

1. To do the butterfly hug, cross your arms across your chest, as if you were holding yourself, with your right hand resting on your left upper arm and your left hand on your right upper arm.

2. Then, as you experience whatever anxiety or fear you may have, tap alternately – left, right, left, right – at whatever speed you find comfortable (usually two taps each second). The important thing is that you alternate the taps – one side, then the other.

3. After tapping for a while, stop, take a breath, and notice how you’re feeling. You may be surprised to discover that you’re feeling somewhat calmer.

4. Continue to tap until your anxiety diminishes or reduces.

5. If your level of anxiety or fear doesn’t change at all, give yourself some more time with the butterfly hug and see what happens.

6. You can do the butterfly hug for as much or little time as you find comfortable, and as many times a day as you feel a need to settle yourself.

Such a simple technique but incredibly powerful and a simple way to help you child take control of their own anxiety. And as a result the will notice their general level of anxiety will fall as a result!

So happy tapping and if you need any further advice on how to help your child with anxiety give me a ring on 07532 110457 or drop me a line at mairead@mcrhypnotherapy.com

For further information on the Trafford Aspergers support group visit traffordaspergers@yahoo.co.uk.

Or read the article below.


Is there a better way?

Having read an article today that states around 85% of us suffer from low self esteem I was somewhat surprised at to realize that so many people were suffering!

Low self esteem is directly related to past experiences and if you were brought up in a house where ridicule and negativity were par for the course then you will undoubtedly suffer from low self esteem.  Likewise a tyrant teacher may leave a mark on your self esteem too.

So how can we overcome this feeling of inferiority? How can we improve our game so to speak?

Well by simply changing what we focus we can dramatically improve our self esteem. People with low self esteem tend to focus on the negative because that backs up their belief that they are in some way not good enough and inferior to others, so they tend to filter out any positive feedback that they get as this doesn’t ‘fit’ with who they are.

So if someone were to say to them that they look great/performed well etc their usual response would be ‘yeah right……’ said with a somewhat sarcastic tone, however if they were told that they were useless they are more than likely going to accept this as fact because it fits in with their belief system, whether it’s actually true or not!

So change your focus! Focus on everything that you do well and focus on how much better you will feel when you do things well too . It may well feel strange at first but keep at it as it will ultimately make you feel better and the more you focus on what you do well, the more your mind begins to accept that you are good enough.

So next time you find yourself focusing on something negative about yourself say ‘CANCEL’ in your mind and immediately follow up the negative statement with a positive one and focus on how great it feels too. The more positive emotion you attach to these positive statements the more quickly and powerful the results will be as your mind wants to take you towards pleasure and away from pain.

So make a note in your diary to practice this simple exercise daily for a month focusing on the positive things in life and those things that you do well. Simply say the word CANCEL or STOP in your mind whenever you become aware that you are thinking negatively and immediately follow that up with a positive statement (in your mind if you are out and about!) said with feeling.

The more you do this the stronger the neural pathways will be to a more positive you and as a result you will notice you begin to feel better and better and your self esteem will improve!