Wow, there is a lot of excitement in the air today on this, Black Friday, but here is why Black Friday won’t make you happy.
A plethora of good and services
Do you like choice? Or does it confuse and overwhelm you? I know for many of my clients they suffer from overwhelm and feel desperate to declutter and simplify their lives and minds.
When you are surrounded by stuff it will add to feelings of stress and confusion. It also affects the flow of energy in your home which is what Feng Shui is all about. And have you every noticed how well your personal energy flows when your home is clean and tidy? Some decluttering experts such as Mary Kondo will advise you to only have things in your home that you really love and bring you pleasure. This is a lovely concept as it means whatever you use or look at in your home will bring you joy. Bringing joy into your life is a big part of my work with helping clients overcome depression.
So this Black Friday there might be some offers for things you have been thinking of buying for a while, or want to buy as a gift for Christmas like:
But can I suggest that you don’t get sucked into buying things that have no use or you have never considered yourself needing before, as these are likely to be the things that bring short term happiness (if any at all).
Shopping in a pastime enjoyed by many (or even most people). We ‘treat’ ourselves to pretty things, tasty things and things that excite or interest us. Things that we can wear to make us ‘feel good’. Things to make our home ‘look good’ and gadgets to make life ‘easier’.
For some, shopping feels like love.
This is because shopping briefly lights up the ‘reward centre’ of your brain. In simple terms, your brain is designed to seek pleasure or avoid pain.
To satisfy your brains need for pleasure, it works in a cycle of desire, action and satisfaction. An example of this could be wanting positive feedback from someone, doing something for them and getting the feedback which makes you feel good. When you feel good from the feedback your brain lights up its pleasure circuit and this makes you want to do it again. This is called positive reinforcement. Think children and animals here. When you positively reinforce good behaviour they are more likely to do it again.
Shopping lights up most people’s pleasure circuit. But is it enough to make you happy at a deeper level? Or is this happiness short lived? Let’s explore that.
Short term feelings of happiness
Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who created the pyramid below now known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
The pyramid reflects that as complex beings, we need more than just the basics. Yes we need shelter and food. But then we move into the more emotional levels of love, self esteem and our own personal potential and fulfilment.
I see a lot of clients who need help with life direction. Often in their forties or fifties, they’ve worked, raised families, had relationships or marriages and on paper have what look to be successful and fortunate lives. But they are not happy. They don’t know who they are anymore and what the rest of their life will be like. They feel empty, lost and confused. This is to do with not operating in the top of Maslow’s triangle and don’t worry, after 4 sessions and a deep dive into themselves, they are right as rain.
So you see, shopping doesn’t really touch many of the levels of Maslow’s triangle which is why yes it may feels great in the short term, but because it hasn’t fulfilled you on an emotional level, you feel may feel empty and sad still, despite some wonderful Black Friday deals.
Feelings of emptiness
I would suggest that Cyber Monday was created to address the lull and emptiness that Black Friday might create. All that excitement on Black Friday, hunting deals, comparing features, accessing which colour will work best and then it stops. Oh no, all the website timers are at 0 and there are no more deals. But wait! You can do it all again on Cyber Monday and feed your reward centre once more. Hoorah. And then Tuesday comes 🙁
To address feelings of emptiness many people self-medicate with food, cigarettes, sex, alcohol, drugs or other things. Like shopping, these things do not address your emotional needs for satisfaction. You need to go inside and understand what makes you tick, what fulfils and motivates you. When you know these things, you can live a life that has these things in and lights up your pleasure centres. My work with clients is all about this which I call ‘finding your joy’. I know it can seem hard when it’s not happening but it is possible, I promise.
My Black Friday offer
The intention of this post was to show you that ‘stuff’ might not be the answer to your happiness. But can the same be said for experiences? In 2015, I had a whole year of not buying any stuff and spent by money on experiences instead. Wow that was a great year. And I have the photos to prove it lol.
Because I am a Hypnotherapist (I’ve started to say with knobs on because what I do is use a number of techniques to get best outcomes for my clients) what I offer you is life changing. A deep dive into self to overcome issues that hold you back and create the motivation, confidence and direction for your wonderful future.
So this Black Friday I invite you to pick up the phone, call me 07530 890089 and have your free 20 minute consultation. If you decide to book in for some sessions, you might not even notice next Black Friday as you may just be living your dream.
Sending you happy vibes.
If you have ever wondered what the secrets of slim people are, your questions might be answered tonight in a show called ‘The truth about slim people’
The truth about slim people
We will get to see how two people; Anne-Marie and Yemi, manage to stay slim despite it seems eating whatever they like, whenever they like.
It is a true case of nothing being as it seems as I read the article about it.
Anne-Marie is a 42 year old mother of two who was trained as a dancer but now runs a dance classes for kids. She is 9 stone a size 8. Every aspect of her life was filmed for 5 days.
Yemi is a 37 year old father of 2, has a 32 inch waist and weighs 12 stone. His childhood nickname was ‘Dustbin’ because of his large appetite. He did a lot of sport in his younger days.
Neither of them eat ‘healthy’ food and they both at what they like in the quantity they desire. Or so it seems.
As part of the programme they both have medical test and it is found that neither of them have ‘magic metabolisms’.
The findings tell this story (see if you can spot the key ones that I, as a Hypnotherapist, will talk about today):
- They don’t snack in the day
- They fully satisfy themselves at mealtimes by eating what they fancy.
- They both eat enough to feel full until the next meal.
- Neither of them are ‘emotional eaters’.
- They don’t drink much alcohol.
- If they eat a lot one day, they eat less the next day
- They unconsciously seem to balance their calorie intake
- Anne-Marie is found to be a ‘fidgeter’. Never sitting still and using up lots of energy just ‘being her’.
- Yemi walks at a very fast pace
- Both sleep well
- Both have good gut bacteria
- Neither of them are ‘hung-up’ on food
- They are both ‘self-regulated’
- The conclusion from the show was that the secret to staying slim is mindset.
From the list above I am going to talk about the emotional eating aspect today.
So what is an emotional eater?
It’s safe to say that an emotional eater will not see food as fuel only. If you are an emotional eater food is more of a friend that you call on when you need to feel better. When you feel negative emotions you will use food as a way to take your mind off them. Because your mind is distracted by the emotion, it means you don’t recognize when you are hungry or full so eat you fulfill an emotional need rather than a physical one.
Emotional eaters use food as a crutch rather than a source of pleasure to be enjoyed for what it is.
So what emotions might trigger an emotional eater to eat? Well any negative emotion really such as:
- Dislike of yourself
- Feeling unloved
Eating numbs the emotion and therefore feels comforting. But the bad news is after you’ve eaten you will probably feel more negative emotions about yourself like hating yourself for having no control, guilt, not liking your body, feeling fat or ugly or shame (especially if you eat in secret).
If you are unhappy being overweight, you may feel you have to wear make up to ‘hide’ yourself or even feel ugly without it and you may feel the need to behave in a way that distracts from your body which only adds to your feelings of internal discomfort. You may not be happy in your own skin.
Before you beat yourself up for what you crave and eat….
Why is it that certain foods seem to feature highly for emotional eaters? Foods like cake, biscuits, ice cream? Well your cravings can be justified for good reason. The blend of carbohydrates, sugar and fat can be delicious. A multi-sensory and temporarily satisfying experience. The feel in your mouth, the smell, the flavours and the taste exciting your senses and providing a distraction from anything else at that moment. And they are so easily available.
These type of food also provide instant gratification.
But did you know that your brain chemistry actually changes when you eat. “Carbohydrates set off a series of chemical reactions that ultimately lead to a boost in brain serotonin,” says Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., the former director of the Research Program in Women’s Health at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Clinical Research Center. The higher the levels of serotonin, the more content you feel (at least temporarily).
There have also been studies around fatty foods making people feel less sad because fatty acids can induce a signal from your gut to your brain, which may influence emotions.
So how can an emotional eater change?
Keep an emotional food diary
Keeping a food diary to track what you’ve been eating alongside what how you are feeling at the time can help you identify what triggers emotional eating.
I’ve made a food and emotion diary download for you which you can download here
Knowing what these triggers are can help you break the emotional eating habits and deal with triggers instead of turning to food.
How can you deal with emotional triggers?
So if you’ve done your food diary and spotted some emotional triggers for you, you need to know how to do something other than eat when they occur.
Although there are many ways that you could find something other than eat to do, it is a good idea if you try and find something that satisfies your reward centre. What I mean by that is the place in your mind that needs to feel good and satisfied (known as a reward centre). If you don’t do this, you are merely distracting yourself from the thought of wanting to eat (this strategy can work well for some people too).
If you think about how your emotions are soothed and the deep connection they have with food for a minute.
Ice cream at the seaside – this often starts in childhood. There you are having a great time with your family and your treat is an ice cream. Not only is the ice cream delicious in itself, but it anchors those happy feelings of your time at the beach probably with people you like to be with.
Popcorn at the cinema – going to the cinema is a sensory experience. you are going to watch a story that you can be absorbed in undisturbed for a couple of hours. You will see things that might be amazing and open your unconscious mind and emotions right up (think Disney or Hollywood). You then eat some sweet popcorn which anchors the experience.
Candy floss at the funfair – you are surrounded by fun and people laughing. you may have been spun round and round or been taken on a ride up in the air. Everyone there is happy and laughing. There are bright lights and your adrenaline, serotonin and oxytocin which make you excited and happy will all be in full force. The candy floss anchors the experience.
These experiences are bonding tastes and food with experiences. Your brain will want the same feeling if you don’t give it the food it thinks it wants.
So you need to get creative to think of things you can do which may make you feel good. Maybe excited or like you’ve accomplished something. Get thinking about what they might be now. What are you craving and how can you get it another way than eating?
If you need help
If you need help with your emotional eating or weight loss then I can help you by seeing you as a one to one client for 4 sessions. It is 4 sessions because we work on any emotional healing that needs to take place to allow you to move on. We work with the inner voice that damages your self-esteem and I help you to love your body (yes in its current form) so you want to care for it and nourish it. We also work on making better food choices, sugar cravings and confidence. The whole works.
If you want to be part of a group and spend 47 days working on your relationship with food, your relationship with yourself, sharing recipes, participating in challenges and listening to Hypnosis audios to help you, then you can join my next Project 47 group which starts on January 9th 2018. Please email me and I will put you on the waiting list.
Sending you some positive emotions today
A question I am asked a lot is what does Hypnosis feel like? And I answer that it is different for everyone.
How Hypnosis might feel
I remember my first Hypnotic experience during an NLP course some years ago. I closed my eyes and was encouraged to connect with myself inside and I had a light trance. I thought wow, that’s interesting!
I trained as a Hypnotherapist pretty soon after that and as a result had a lot of Hypnosis. Which was great! I noticed that I went into deeper and better trances as I allowed myself to and saw the benefit of it. During the training we had to do 50 hours of practice and I noticed that everyone’s Hypnosis experience was different.
How people say Hypnosis feels
Hypnotic experiences can vary greatly from a light trance where someone relaxes for the first time in ages, to a very deep experience. It’s a different feeling to describe but I will use some of the things that my clients have told me to try and explain it to you.
Hypnosis is becoming more and more widely used. More people are recognising that’s it’s a safe way to improve their life. The most common uses of Hypnosis are to help with anxiety, phobias and weight loss. I’ve been using it to treat depression for a number of years.
Something important for people who feel depressed or anxious is to feel something different. And Hypnosis certainly achieves that. When you have felt something different to how you may have felt for a long time, it feels great!
Feelings of Hypnosis
Hypnosis is not sleep. Even though the word ‘sleep’ is commonly used, you are not asleep. You are in a trance but your subconscious mind is actually very alert.
You will feel relaxation in your body and your mind. But relaxation is not the goal of Hypnosis; change is.
You already go into Hypnosis yourself many times a day. You know when you arrive somewhere in the car and think, how did I get here? During running you can go into a trance, when listening to music, watching TV (you know that because you can talk to your kids while they are watching TV and they don’t hear you!).These all examples of trance.
Other feelings of Hypnosis are:
- Being ‘in the zone’ is a form of Hypnosis.
- Daydreaming is Hypnosis.
- The feeling before you go to sleep and you have thoughts and ideas that you might not be able to put into words is Hypnosis.
- Being intently focused is Hypnosis. Especially if your eyes go a bit ‘foggy’ or glazed.
- Hypnosis is your natural ‘reboot’ and a good healthy thing to have and do.
- Whilst in Hypnosis, you will hear what’s going on around you but it won’t bother or disturb you in anyway. You are focussed on your own ‘inside’, not what’s going on ‘outside’.
- It feels nice!
- It feels natural.
- You are in control. You won’t say or do anything that you don’t want to.
- Some people see colours.
- Some people have wonderful memories.
- Some people feel connect with their ‘higher self’ or ‘inner self’.
As much as I love Hypnosis, I think the best bit is afterwards. You will feel lighter and brighter. You will have let go of things that were troubling you and be ready for better things. Some people clear up or accept issues and pain that have been around for years. You may be able to forgive others and yourself and let go of guilt or shame.
You might still feel relaxed afterwards, not to the point where you can’t function because your Hypnotist will have brought you back to full consciousness. But you might have let some issues or emotional baggage go and that can mean to feel a bit tired.
Or you might feel super energised and ready for action! After a recent deep Hypnosis session I spent a week decluttering and organising. So not only did I feel great internally but had loads of focus and drive to get things done. Hoorah!
So you want to know more or book an appointment?
If you want to chat about Hypnosis or you are ready to make an appointment, please do get in touch. Best way is on my mobile 07530 890089
Self-care is a hot topic and the Spa is a booming industry but I want to explain why self-care is more than a Spa Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love a Spa and once spent a week at Champneys!
But the point I want to make in this blog is that twofold. Firstly, self-care is different things to everyone and secondly, small regular self-care is more beneficial for your mental health and more practical to incorporate into your busy life than a Spa Day..
What my friends said self-care is
I asked my Facebook friends of ways they self-care and here is what they said.
– Recognising the negative voice in your head isn’t you. And disowning it so you can be the real you ❤️
Self-care can be preventing stress
I once read that one of the biggest causes of stress is things that are broken or don’t work around the home. I agree! I’ve had a wobbly kitchen door for a long time and kept screwing it back in but it was never properly fixed and became irritating. Anyway it eventually fell off! So then I had a door-less cupboard which looked a bit strange. I had it fixed and for a couple of days kept admiring it. Who would have thought that a door could bring happiness?
And here are some practical ideas of self-care from me:
- Back up your computer. It can be a real trauma to lose your photos or work
- Store your photos in Dropbox or similar. Protect your treasure memories
- Online shopping – need I say more!
- Organise your wardrobe. Only have things that fir in your wardrobe so you don’t spend ages finding something to wear and feel bad about things that don’t fit right now
- Sort out your finances.
- Dal with letters ASAP
- Keep a calendar/diary
- Unsubscribe from emails that don’t add value to your life
- Subscribe to something that adds value to your life. That’s my FREE 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge
- Batch cook. Freeze some, eat some. Cost effective too.
- Declutter your house, create space
- Declutter your car, enjoy driving
- Declutter your loft, never panic about finding the Halloween stuff again
- Declutter your garage, yes you have 4 bicycle locks already
- Declutter your Facebook friends
- Declutter your Instagram
- Get your books on kindle
- Keep water and snacks in your car so you can always maintain your energy levels
And the best thing about self-care?
Self-care, like rest, is time for you. You enjoy your time and your life. To feed your joy. So it’s important to know how to do that! My theory is that people with a passion in life are very lucky.
I recently went to my favourite bird of prey centre and the passion the handlers have for their birds is amazing. They look them with love and one keeper said to his bird ‘come to daddy’! How wonderful to have an interest you never tire of and you love to bits. Not quite self-care but you get my drift?
When we understand what gives us joy, what makes up feel rested and happy. We can do it as often as we like 🙂
The list of things that gives us joy and makes us happy could be endless and they could be small things. Easy to do. Cheap or free. You’ve just got to experiment and find them. Children as very good at this. They are usually open minded and experimental. They try different clubs and hobbies to see what they enjoy and what they like the most. Children usually go where the fun (for them) is!
Take a little time for self-care today
What are you going to do to nurture and nourish yourself today? I would love to hear about it in the comments or share this blog with someone you care about so they can self-care before their next Spa Day.
So as a Hypnotherapist working with people’s mental health on a regular basis, I had a real choice of things to write about before I settled on this World Mental Health Day 2017 – Help for teenagers title.
I’m not going to bombard you with stats about Mental Health in this post because you will know if your teenager (or you) needs help and support and that is the purpose of this post.
The reason I chose to blog about teenagers for World Mental Health Day
I love teenagers, I was one once lol. And I remember not liking it much and losing my way. I had wonderful parents but I didn’t go to them for help or talk to them about how I felt. It wasn’t their fault and it wasn’t my fault. It just was that way.
In my Corporate life I mentored teenagers to get into the workplace and now I help teenagers to deal with life 🙂
The biggest rise I have seen in my client base over the past year have been teenage girls. I could say it’s because of the rise of social media; Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest (not sure the teenagers use that as much?) because there is a lot of research that suggests that social media is damaging for self-esteem. But fighting social media or helping a teenage girl become more comfortable in her own skin? I know which is the easier option.
So let’s look at how I help teenage girls really get more of a sense of themselves and have more confidence and resilience, so they can deal with life better and be happier.
Issues that teenagers are facing:
- Body image
- Feeling sad
- Hiding from the world
- Being bullied
- Pressure of school
- Academic performance
- Lack of confidence
- Relationships with others
But most of all:
The relationship that they have with themselves
Now I’ve been helping adults on their relationships with themselves for a long time. At the route of most depression is not liking yourself. People live miserable lives for a very long time for 2 main reasons (in my opinion):
- They don’t understand themselves enough to know what their strengths are and to remember why they are amazing as their unique selves
- They have lived a life full of events and sometimes traumas and believe the stories in their head.
What I mean by a story is when things have happened in your life and they give you a particular belief. Let’s take a relationship breakup. You might think that you are not loveable and that is a story that starts to become true for you. When you meet a potential partner or love interest, you (in your head) are living and believing your own story that you are not loveable. This may leak into your body language and the way you communicate and affect this potential relationship. So that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; the relationship is not a success and that backs up your belief that you are not loveable.
The life of a teenager
A teenager has a childhood behind them but during their teenage years they are exploring and discovering life and themselves. So any little chink in their armour, comments, arguments, negative comments or implications (we all know that so much can be implied by just a look) all sink into them. We all pick up tiny subtle movements from each other because we are similar to animals in that way and communicate continuously through body language.
All the while, teenagers are receiving chinks in their armour. Reminds me of one of those soft crabs that needs time for its shell to harden so the birds can’t hurt it. They are finding their way and every chink in their armour hurts them and stops them being as tough as they need to be to face this world of ours. And we all know how tough life can be. Not always, but it has its moments.
All you want for your kid is for them to be able to handle it, be happy and for them to succeed at the things that are important to them. That’s all you want isn’t it.
And so when your kid comes to you (or maybe doesn’t) and tells you that they are not happy and life isn’t going well or maybe even that they hate themselves, that is really heart breaking 🙁
Help available for teenagers
Most teenagers that I see in my Hypnortherapy practice in West Sussex and Worldwide on Skype, have never been taught about positive thinking. Or techniques on how to protect and nurture their mental health. Many (and their parents) won’t like the term mental health, so I am very cautious of the language that I use with teenagers.
Some schools are becoming more aware of the need to educate their students on how to look after mental health and physical health. Things that today’s society are feeling the ill effects of. But schools have ciricculums to stick to and targets to meet, so the time and resources allocated to these matters are limited.
As parents we are often not proficient in the art of managing mental health ourselves. So many adults have stress, anxiety and depression themselves. They are just trying to scrape through life and doing the best they can for their children.
Many families have a working mum and dad and then there are single parent families and there are just so many demands on people’s time and energy. But more so, people just don’t have the skills and techniques to bring these teenagers through it and show them how things can be different.
And often the last person a teenager wants to hear from is their parents or teacher! So there is this huge gap to fill.
How I help teenagers
What I do with teenagers is to focus on the positives. Build them up strong. A teenager has plenty of time to understand their areas of development and flaws. The last thing they need to be brought tot their attention is to focus on their flaws. They need to be rebuilt and taught resilience.
So we focus on the positive and we do lots of positive work. We focus on how to change their state. State is the way we choose to feel at any given time. There is a great big range of emotion from sad to elated and everything inbetween and believe me, teenagers can feel those full range of emotions on what seems like an hourly basis.
The first thing that I teach teenagers are easy techniques so they can discretley manager their own state. From the first session they go out the door knowing that they have tools for life. and these tools are cool! Only 250 practitioners Worldwide are using these skills (separate blog post another day) and they are amazing. Teenagers love them.
I give them skills and tools for life to help them manage how they feel and get out of sticky emotional situations and shift those blue days where everything feels terrible.
I give them a maintenance plan to take with them, so they don’t have to worry about remembering things and it doesn’t feel like homework!
The next sessions I do work are what I call ‘work of the self’. Looking inside at what’s good about them and what’s important to them. And why they need to protect that to make them strong against the storms.
I use Hypnosis too which is perfectly safe on children age 5+. Hypnosis on a teenager is practically the same as an adult but you use language that appeals to a teenager. I use that to introduce a huge feeling of calm into their lives because they are usually so tense and anxious and worried and stressed with all that’s going on. They can just escape all that and float away to relax and find that calm place inside themselves. They can reconnect to that calm place whenever they need to with a recording that I give them.
Another skill for life. How to unwind your mind and take yourself away from the things that are bothering you and come back feeling relaxed and refreshed and ready to roll.
And what about mum and dad?
Supporting teenagers can be testing, tiring and thankless! So if you need help unwinding, keeping your cool or getting creative on strategies to cope. Make your appointment 🙂