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An ongoing series of informational entries

Self -Image

May 31, 2019

Do you believe that your fortunes in life are set in stone, that you are the way you are and that is that? some people are born confident, some appear calm and relaxed and some are very talented and it’s all down to the genes?


Research has discovered that although genetics play a part in your make up, a far bigger influencing factor is your environment.


The environment you grew up in determined what you were told about yourself, how you see and think about yourself and your capabilities. How you think about yourself was ‘programmed’ into you at an early age. From birth to around 7 years old the mind is open to suggestion and it is at this time where most of our beliefs about ourselves are formed and those beliefs determine your results in life – what you can and can’t do.  Some people believe (think) they are unconfident and as a result act this way. So, what is so different about a confident person, what makes them confident? The simple answer is how they THINK about themselves. They were most likely brought up to believe and trust in themselves and to think and talk to themselves in a positive way. This behaviour of positive thinking is at a subconscious level and it is why people struggle and fail when they use their conscious mind and will power to change their fortunes.


Around 94 – 98% of all your behaviour is automatic, it happens without you thinking about it, without your conscious awareness, it is subconscious. Once you have learned a task it is committed to your subconscious. You walk, drive, dress etc. without thinking about it.


If you think of losing weight, it seems straight forward – eat less and healthier and maybe add some exercise and the weight will drop off right? It seems simple, but why then do so many people fail? They may succeed for a while but ultimately fall back into old ways. This is because they haven’t changed how they think and feel about themselves at a subconscious level. They still have the same beliefs about themselves. How you see and feel about yourself dictates your behaviour. You can consciously override this for a short period of time through will power, but eventually your subconscious program will kick back in. 


Think of an automatic central heating system and the temperature being set at 25 deg. C. The system will maintain that temperature no matter what. If a door is left open and the temperature drops, the heating system will kick in and take the temperature back to 25 deg. C before shutting off. The heating system has been programmed to maintain the 25 deg. C temperature, just like your mind has been programmed to maintain your behaviour and results.


The good news is, you can change this programming and therefore your habits, behaviour and results. How do you do this?  Visualisation and repetition. 


Visualise yourself doing and being how you want to be and repeat, repeat and repeat. You imagine yourself the way you want to be until it takes root. It might seem difficult to begin with, after all you have many years of thinking of yourself negatively, but it will get easier. Visualisation is a powerful way of re-programming yourself and it is used by many successful people to improve their performance and self-image. 


Research shows that the mind cannot tell the difference between something vividly imagined and something real. Therefore, visualising an outcome will be more effective than simply saying it or wishing it. When you perform an act, neural pathways are being stimulated and the same physiological changes happen when you visualize yourself performing that act.


Use your imagination to see yourself being the way you want to be and get emotionally involved with the images - as if you were actually experiencing the act. 


Your subconscious mind accepts the images and thoughts that you repeatedly practice, and over time it will change your mindset accordingly. Do it for 90 days consecutively, without missing a day. This will create new neural pathways and new circuits in your brain.


Visualisation can be done at any time but can be more beneficial last thing at night or first thing in the morning, but you can practice it at any time.


It may not be as quick a fix as hypnotherapy and does require commitment, but remember, you have constantly programmed yourself negatively for years, so change will take time. As with most things in life, it requires practice and repetition.


And, if you encounter a setback, it doesn’t mean that you have failed and you must give up, it means you are human. We all encounter problems, it’s how we respond to them that counts.  Instead, notice all the little successes you are making and nurture them to even bigger successes. After all, it took time to learn to ride a bike and we had to fall off a few times along the way. 


I am happy to answer any questions or comments you may have.


Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

Anxiety

March 28, 2019

Anxiety is an emotion that we all experience from time to time and can occur before a public performance, an exam, an interview or can be related to money worries. However, the problem is when anxiety takes over your everyday life and affects how you behave. There are many different types of anxiety, amongst them are social anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and these conditions can have an effect day to day. 


What are the signs and symptoms?

Symptoms like feeling agitated, panic attacks, having trouble concentrating or sleeping, sweating, shortness of breath, dizziness and heart palpitations are all associated with stress and anxiety. Events and situations can appear extreme and very difficult to cope with, often debilitating when suffering from anxiety. This can have a severe affect on how you live your life and what you feel you are able to do. Unfortunately, anxiety in the modern world is becoming more and more commonplace.


What can you do?

The causes of anxiety are varied, it can be down to a major emotional impact or due to modern fast-paced living with all the associated pressures and worries that build up over time. These stresses, if left to their own devices, can become a big problem, a problem that needs addressed. 


Change the pace of your life so it’s not so hectic. Get away from your stressors. Take a break from study. Take a break in the country or at the beach and enjoy the calm. Walk. Take regular exercise. Spend time in the company of people who care for you (and not those who put you down and criticise you). Do what you enjoy and makes you feel good. Do what makes you happy, smile and laugh. Take time for yourself.  These can all help to give you downtime and address issues before they get out of control.


Diet can have an affect also, simply changing to a healthier diet can have an influence on the way you think and feel. Reducing your caffeine intake and reducing or cutting out alcohol all together can have a great affect. Alcohol is a depressant and although it may give you some relief while you are drinking, afterwards the anxiety can become much worse and your thinking more negative therefore compounding the problem. To find out more about diet you can contact a dietician or your GP.


Meditation and yoga can be a great help with stress and anxiety. Do it for a while as part of a regular practice and your mind and body can experience the benefits. And, you don’t have to practice them for hours at a time, a mere 10 minutes a day can have a great impact in helping you to slow down your mind and to allow your thoughts to come and go instead of spending too much attention on them. 


You can check out a local group, buy a book on the subject, there are even apps these days to get you started. Commit to the practice for a few weeks before you make your mind up as it can take a bit of practice to fully experience the benefits. 


But anxiety disorders such as GAD, PTSD and panic can be linked to a big emotional impact (such as the death of a loved one or being witness to a disturbing event) or sustained long term thinking patterns and can be harder to shift and can require help to deal with them. The way you think about your problem can lead to crippling and debilitating feelings and these feelings drive your behaviour and can cause you to stop doing the things you used to enjoy, to shut yourself off from everyone or become angry and agitated. These thoughts and feelings can be deeply ingrained and part of your belief system, and they can be difficult to change.


What can Hypnosis do?

This is where hypnosis can come in and it has been found to be very successful and can be relatively quick in dealing with anxiety, by getting to the root of your problem – your subconscious thoughts and feelings. Whereas people normally tend to try and deal with these at a conscious level using will power, hypnotherapy deals with your subconscious mind.


The Subconscious is where things such as beliefs, behaviours, emotions, feelings and habits are stored. The subconscious mind is  larger and more powerful than the conscious mind. The subconscious allows you to walk, tie shoelaces and any other habit without your conscious  attention so you can focus on what needs your attention. All habits operate in the same way - at the subconscious level. Change at the subconscious level happens faster and uses the phenomenal power of your mind to create the change you want in your life.


I am happy to answer any questions or comments you may have.