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………..

 

 

 

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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.

Overcoming Anxiety Versus Anxiety Management

I am a registered Analytical Hypnotherapist and it is my job to help clients overcome almost any problems that they are experiencing from anxiety to bad habits to insomnia. However the major difference between Analytical Hypnotherapy and almost any other therapy including clinical hypnotherapy and counselling, is the ability to uncover the ’cause’ of the problem (effect).

Analytical Hypnotherapy is based on the ’cause and effect’ theory which states that for every effect (illness) there is a cause, which means there is a reason why symptoms or problems exist in our lives.

To explain this issue further I will talk about anxiety which is a common issue that I treat. Sufferers will vary in symptoms and severity – from mild (nervousness before public speaking ) to full blown panic (the thought of flying or being in a crowded place). Anxiety if left untreated can unfortunately get worse and can begin to affect most areas for the sufferers life and yes, relaxation, visualization, CBT and other therapies can help ease the symptoms but they do NOT resolve the anxiety or get rid of the symptoms.

No amount of talking or analyzing your symptoms or how you think you may have developed your anxiety will help you in any way, in fact it  can make the symptoms worse. Think about it – if you suffer from anxiety and you spend hours wondering about how you got it, how you can get rid of it, why you have it and whether you will have an attack when you next go out, you are bound to feel more anxious and a lot more fed up!

When I see clients who suffer from anxiety I will inform them that I am working to RESOLVE their anxiety i.e. get rid of the symptoms permanently. I will also explain that during the treatment (I have been through this myself and can vouch for this!) you may get days where you feel a lot better or a lot worse and that’s normal, as we are dealing with issues from the past. I will also explain that this is not about making them feel better in the short term (although I do give all my clients methods to control symptoms and lessen the effects of panic until their issues have been resolved) but about feeling better permanently!

So how does analyticial hypnotherapy banish anxiety permanently? Well anxiety is based on cause and effect which means that something in the sufferers life, has caused them to feel fearful and distressed and as a way to avoid similar situations, the individual will feel anxious next time they are in a similar situation i.e. anxiety is acting as a warning!  Now they may not experience the anxiety for many years after the first event however stress or another distressing event in their lives can then bring on the symptoms of anxiety.

For example, a person may develop anxiety after a ‘traumatic’ experience as a child and I use the word traumatic rather loosely and I will explain why. A child has less resources available to cope with some situations in life and under the age of 7 our ability to reason or question or use logic is very limited, so an incident which is funny to us an adult (because we can make sense of it and use reasoning) may be traumatic to a child.

For example, if an adult got locked in a car, the first thing they would do would try the locks and if that didn’t work they would shout for help or if they had their mobile, phone for help and they would probably laugh about the experience later – but they knew they could get out.  Now imagine a very young child getting locked in a car, they would not have the same skills as an adult and perhaps wouldn’t even realise there are locks on the doors. So they panic. They keep trying the doors and they won’t open and they try again and again and each time they get more and more upset because they don’t use logic – they don’t know someone will probably come along in a while see where they are or what the commotion is – so they panic.

Eventually mum comes out and rescues the child and calms the child down and all is well. Next time they get in the car they may feel a little anxious but because their parents are with them they feel safe. And they continue to feel safe through their childhood and teens and then one day they decide to take driving lessons and they pass and start to drive. One day they get in the car and as they begin to drive, they feel panicky, without really knowing why and then another day they have a full blown panic attack in the car – it comes totally out of the blue. They have no idea why they experienced the attack – but we can guess as to why they did.

Your subconscious mind remembers everything about your life and is there to protect you so it will remember that time all the way back when you were 2 or 3 and got locked in that car and how upset you were and because it doesn’t want you to experience that upset again – you develop anxiety. So that child felt anxious for a while in the car after but because her parents were always with her in the car, she felt safer and the anxiety ‘went away’. Until she was an adult and in the car on her own and because the adult has no recollection of her early experience they believe they have anxiety about driving – NOT being locked in a car. And then one day they get in a lift and it ‘feels’ the same as being locked in a car, so they have another panic attacks, so they avoid lifts in the future.

So anxiety acts as a warning – it creates a fear of being in similar situation as to the one which caused the upset – hence feeling anxious about being in the car on your own. Now analytical hypnotherapy works by taking the client back to the initial event that caused the anxiety i.e. being locked in the car and then works with the client to ‘resolve’ the fear around the situation. The subconscious mind will not let go of the anxiety until it knows that you can handle yourself in a similar situation in the future (and of course you can as you are an adult now- but you have to resolve the original source of fear to do that!)  So when I take a client back to the original event I will ask them how they would do things differently now, with the knowledge they have as an adult, as opposed to what they did then.

Once you have learned from the experience and your subconscious mind can see that you are able to protect yourself from any similar incidents in the future, it will let go of the anxiety,  because you don’t need to be ‘warned’ anymore as you now know what to do. Results are more or less immediate after resolution of their anxiety and clients find it incredible that their anxiety literally disappears, as did I when I went through my therapy for anxiety.

Analytical Hypnotherapy is very powerful as it releases symptoms permanently – it may take several weeks but the results last a lifetime! So if you want long term or permanent release from your symptoms the most cost and time effective way is analytical hypnotherapy! You could pay for 3 or 4 sessions of clinical hypnotherapy where you will feel a little better for a while, but your anxiety will soon return and sometime with avengeance!  So if you want total release from anxiety then you know what you need to do!

Take care and speak soon

What makes our bad habits hard to give up?

How many bad habits do you have? And how many have you tried to give up? How many have you successfully overcome? Difficult isnt it?

So what makes a bad habit hard to give up?

I am sure there are many of you that have tried to overcome addictions or annoying bad habits – and no matter how hard you try – the addiction or habit remains. What you have to understand that more often than not – a habit has an unconscious positive intention. However annoying or bad for us the habit is – we generally learnt if for a reason!

For all those smokers out there – how bad was your first cigarette? If you are like me – it was disgusting.  So what makes us continue to smoke? The positive benefit we get from smoking is the reason we ‘learn’ the habit and maintain it and it is this same positive intention that makes it almost impossible to give up smoking or bad habits.

If you are struggling to give up something which you know is harming you in some way – either financially, health or relationship wise – consider what benefits you are getting from the habit. I used to pull out my hair and went for hypnotherapy to help me overcome it, however the hypnotherapist only addressed the bad habit and not what the habit was doing for me – so needless to say the habit remained!

Most habits and addictions provide us with something positive such as stess release, a way to reduce emotional distress or anxiey or even relieve boredom. So the pain that we associate with them may be high but the pleasure (or benefits) are even higher and until we replace these benefits with another more positive ‘habit’  such as relaxation, exercise etc – the bad habit will remain.

So in order to successfully overcome your bad habit – address the benefits you gain from it (these may be unconscious but with some investigation are easy to discover!) and then chose a more positive and constructive habit to replace the old one. It you associate more pleasure with the new habit then you will easily replace the old bad habit.

If you are finding it hard to overcome an addiction or habit – give me a call – I am always willing to help. Been there – done it and often wore the T-Shirt!