You need to stop doing these 3 things if you want better sleep

You need to stop doing these 3 things if you want better sleep

 

How good is your sleep recently? There seems to be an epidemic of bad sleep going round! Many of my clients report poor sleep as an issue.

A lack of sleep can affect:

  • Your memory
  • Your immune system
  • Your cardiovascular system
  • Your chances of getting dementia in later life
  • Your fertility

 

If you’re someone who doesn’t find getting to sleep at night easy, you’re not alone – insomnia is one of the UK’s biggest googled health worries. 

I believe that sleep is one of the cornerstones of health and wellbeing. Even one or two nights of poor sleep can really make you feel low, agitated and sluggish.

So often people focus on what they should be doing and they aim to do it perfectly This can causes stress in itself. So, for this blog I thought I would reverse it and focus on the three main things that you could not do that would make the biggest difference to your sleep.

The three things are simply:

  • Stop shallow breathing. Try some diaphragmatic breathing which is amazing for deeply relaxing
  • Try not to use anything digital in the hour before bed as it stimulates your brain
  • Don’t go to bed at random times. Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day when possible


Let’s look at them one by one.

1 – Stop shallow breathing

woman deep breathing

Just take a moment now and notice how you are breathing. Is your breath high in your chest or from low? Are your breathes shallow or deep? Fast or slow? Are you breathing through your nose or your mouth? We mostly take the breath for granted. It is taken care of by our unconscious mind which operates our breathing and all the systems and organs in the body to keep us alive. But you can really relax by breathing in a different way and although there are many techniques and even classes for breathing, diaphragmatic breathing is a good one to master because it really relaxes your and puts you in control. Many of my clients I help with anxiety and stress find it very beneficial and it’s a great one to do in bed to prepare for sleep.

 

2 – Try not to use anything digital in the hour before bed

Now without getting all scientific here about the reward receptors in your brain and how they love a bit of Facebook and Instagram, think about this for a moment. You are looking at a bright screen, your eyes are focused on small items and words and you might be toggling between apps, internet, text and calls. Does that sound like a peaceful bedtime wind down time?! I think not. I actually read yesterday that our brains don’t know the difference between work emails and personal emails, Your brain jumps into ‘work’ mode whenever it sees an email and this creates cortisol (a stress hormone) in your body. Not what you want at bedtime. So stay away from the Digital gadgets at bedtime and choose a more soothing and relaxing wind down activity. You will absolutely notice a difference.

 

3 – Don’t go to bed at random times

We are creatures of habit really. We do well with routines and we have to sleep every night so might as well try and make it a routine that your body will like. We put children to bed at the same time each night mostly but not ourselves? Your body will love a routine for sleep, just as it loves regular mealtimes. It knows what to expect and can manage its energy accordingly.


Because sleep is so important to your health and maybe an issue for you, you might like to try the things on this list and let me know which is your favourite. Or maybe you have a ‘stop doing’ tip of your own that you can share in the comments of this blog? We would love to hear it, you might help someone sleep better tonight.  

 

Sign up for my free Wellbeing Challenge to have better sleep, more energy and feel more relaxed

If you want more sleep advice, sign up for my free 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge which focuses on helping you feel great by looking at your 5 ‘pillars’ of Wellness:
•Sleep
•Hydration
•Nutrition
•Exercise
•Relaxation

 

 

30 days to a happier you – Day 8 – You have the power of arrest

30 days to a happier you – Day 8 – You have the power of arrest

mind powerYour mind power is the most powerful thing you own.

In fact so powerful, you even have two! The conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind helps you operate in the ‘now’ and makes rationale decisions. The subconscious operates at a deeper level and looks to protect us in all we do. You can read more about your two minds here

You’ve got more rabbit than Sainsburys!

On Day 2 we started to look at mind chatter. Many of my clients spend more than 50% of their day thinking negatively or hearing negative mind chatter. If you watched sad films for that amount of time, they would probably lower your mood. But the good news is, if you spent the same amount of time watching positive films this would no doubt lift your mood.

Now this isn’t saying you shouldn’t watch sad films or feel negative emotions because we are human beings. We need to feel the whole range of emotions to have a complete human experience. This is about being aware that when a negative thought comes into our mind, it may not be the truth and maybe we shouldn’t spend time dwelling on it or believing it if it makes us feel bad.

Negative thoughts are like criminals in your mind

Say you lost your job. This is a serious life affecting event and can have a huge effect on people. Now say you spent much of your time thinking about:

  • ‘I should have worked harder’
  • ‘Why didn’t I take that course so I would be better’
  • ‘I’m no good’
  • ‘I’m unpopular’
  • ‘Why me’
  • ‘I’m not clever’
  • ‘I’ll never get another job’

These thoughts are like criminals in your mind.

You might spend a few hours a day thinking about these things. These thoughts may run concurrently in your mind and feel like a cloud around your head, stifling you. When your friends and family are talking to you, you might not be listening to what they are saying because you are so wrapped up in what you are thinking. You can’t really read or watch TV properly because you are thinking about the ‘bad stuff’. It starts affecting your sleep. You lose enthusiasm for things you used to enjoy. All because of these thoughts. These thoughts are affecting your enjoyment of life, your relationships and opportunities. You might find it harder to get another job because your self-esteem is low and everything becomes much more difficult.

You need mind COP ne naw ne naw

Mind COP is a good COP. He (or she!) is there, patrolling in your head, looking out for negative thoughts and helping you to; Catch them. Own them. Protect yourself.

Tomorrow I will be showing you mind how COP will protect you against those criminal negative thoughts in your mind. And yes, you really do have the power of arrest (in real life, it’s a citizens arrest ). We will look at how mind COP will help you make arrests and bang the baddies to rights.

Now all this talk about mind COP and criminal negative thoughts is using our imagination. This is the beauty of the mind. It’s imaginative (which is a problem when it creates negative thoughts, phobias and anxiety) but wonderful when it creates excitement, possibility and power.

So let’s imagine mind COP now…. close your eyes (but read this first!). Can you see mind COP? What can you see? Does mind COP have a voice? A uniform? A face? How big is mind COP? How will mind COP help you?

You create your own thoughts you see. With your amazing, powerful, imaginative mind.

Here’s the plan:

  • Keep noting your mind chatter in your notebook
  • Read your gratitude list often
  • Come back tomorrow and I will show you Mind COP in action catching those criminals and keeping your mind safe

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

30 days to a happier you – Day 7 – 1 week complete

30 days to a happier you – Day 7 – 1 week complete

week-one-doneCongratulations

You’ve completed your first week of 30 days to a happier you. I wonder what you’ve noticed about your thoughts and the feelings they generate? And maybe you feel that you have a lot more control over your happiness than you think…..

 

 

 

 

 

You are the owner of your happiness

Here’s a reminder of what you’ve been up to over the past week in your mission to be a happier you.

Day 1 – you gave yourself a current happiness score out of 10 to see how happy you currently are.

Day 2 – you started to catch negative mind chatter going on in your head and made a note of it in your notebook.

Day 3 – you tried to make friends with your mind.

Day 4 – you became a mind COP by realising how much time you spend thinking negatively. You are now  focused on catching those negative thoughts as they come in, owning the thought and protect yourself by realising it might not be true.

Day 5 – you did the shake N vac and  started to freshen your mind with gratitude.

Day 6 – you wrote a really good gratitude list that means something to you.

Wow, what a great start! Well done you 🙂

Why wait any longer to be a happier you?

don;t postpone happiness

If you haven’t done all the exercises, or you have just found this blog series, no problem! It is never too late to start.

Just go back on the blogs and pick up from there. You just need  a notebook and pen, to read my blogs each day and dedicate a small amount of time each day to do the exercises. This is not meant to be another thing on your ‘to do list’. It is raising your awareness to things that affect your happiness and helping you train your brain to be happier.

 

 

You are not alone

If you are finding this difficult to do on your own, no problem, because I can help you. I offer 4 session packages in person in West Sussex or on Skype round the world! In 4 sessions people have significiant insights and shifts. If you  have an electrical problem, you call an electrician. You probably don’t service your own car. And I doubt you do your own dental check up or eye test!

So if you need help with your mind or issues that you can’t solve alone, seek the help of a professional. Your mental health is a critical part of your wellbeing. 1 in 3 adults will have a mental health issue at some point in their lives and there is lots of help available.

Here’s the plan:

  • Refresh yourself on anything you’ve missed
  • Come back tomorrow

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

If you fancy blogging and a bit of a challenge, there is no better place to be than Sarah Arrow’s blogging challenge

30 days to a happier you – Day 6 – A good gratitude list

30 days to a happier you – Day 6 – A good gratitude list

gratitude-barry-neil-kaufman-quotes-sayings-pictures

Gratitude lists are talked about a lot now. But rarely are we shown how to write a meaningful one that works.

A gratitude list is a powerful thing. If you capture the things that you are grateful for and they have real meaning to you, it can help you build happiness and can be a source of comfort in difficult times.

 

 

 

 

 

Have a go right now!

It helps if your list has a good variety of things and you understand why you are grateful for what you have written. A bit like ‘I’m grateful for x because it means ‘y’. You might need a few goes before you get the finished article, but along the way you are thinking in a grateful way and a positive way. This is great because you are looking on the world as a good place.  And the even better news is when you look for the good, it lifts you and then you see and feel better. When you have a gratitude list you are happy with, don’t stick it in a cupboard. It’s a living document with a purpose. Stick in somewhere you can see it. Carry a pretty copy on you or in the car. Have it on your phone/computer/hairdryer/xbox.

So what makes a good gratitude list?

gratitude list

 

 

 

 

 

Many people find it hard to write a gratitude list. Here are some examples to help you on your way:

  • Clean water available everywhere I go. Water is the most beneficial drink for my mind and body and quenches my thirst.
  • For being able to read so I can enjoy stories and information abundantly
  • For the sun shining on my face and making me feel good
  • For the rain that cleanses the earth and nourishes the plants and crops
  • The kindness of people and the kindness they show me
  • Trees for giving us oxygen
  • Wind for flying kites and wind farms
  • My sense of humour for seeing the funny side in most things
  • My honesty which makes me a trusted person
  • My baking skills which helps me make lovely things for people
  • Air for every wonderful breath
  • Sleep for renewing my body and making me feel rested and ready for the day
  • Chickens for laying eggs which make many nutritious meals
  • Colours which light up my life and give me pleasure
  • Light for bringing different dimensions to all I see
  • The sea where I can swim, play and fish
  • Animals for their cuteness, their comedy and their companionship
  • My wobbly tummy for giving me babies
  • Teachers of all sorts of lessons which have helped me grow, think differently and exercise in different ways
  • Music for giving my ears pleasure and firing my emotions
  • Food for the pleasure it gives and the nourishment it provides
  • Campfires for their feeling of freedom and wilderness and not forgetting smores
  • Touch so I feel my loved ones skin and stroke their hair
  • Freezer for making ice cubes and my kettle for making cups of tea
  • Yeast for making dough rise for bread
  • My voice so I can read stories to my children and make people laugh
  • My ears which let me hear the tone in someone’s voice which tells me how they feel and the waves crashing on the beach
  • My nose to smell flowers and perfume and also smells to avoid
  • My courage that gets me through difficult times

If you are stuck at what to put on your gratitude list consider nature, animals, the human body or people.

The highest level of gratitude is the gratitude for existence itself.

A negative can make a positive

ebay_logoYou can get things for your gratitude list from negative situations. This is called ‘reframing’. Basically finding the positive in a negative situation. Ebay do it beautifully when they say ‘you’ve won’ the item when you’ve bought it! But ‘winning’ is a feel good word.

 

 

You can find gratitude in most ‘life lessons’ for example if you don’t like someone’s behaviour, you can be grateful that you know how to behave better or that you have the freedom to not be around them.

What’s interesting about gratitude is that it is not about comparing yourself to those less fortunate. People often fall into this trap. We will come to comparing to others in a later blog. It won’t make you feel better to have something that someone else doesn’t have. Gratitude is about noticing and being grateful for things yourself.

Here’s the plan

  • Continue to catch your negative mind chatter – are you noticing a key theme or time it occurs yet?
  • Continue to acknowledge that when a thought comes in, it may not be true 🙂
  • Become a mind COP. Catch it, own it, protect yourself.
  • Do the shake and vac and put the freshness back by making an awesome gratitude list

Work with me

I’m a Hypnotherapist and NLP Master Practitioner that specializes in helping people ‘reset’ in difficult times. We will work through confusion and find confidence and joy in your life. You can email me with any questions or for a free 20 minute consultation. I am on Facebook which I’m very grateful for obvs!

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

 

30 days to a happier you – Day 5 – do the shake N vac

Do the shake N vac and put the freshness back

Yesterday I wrote about your mind being like a room that you want to be clean and tidy so you feel good. Today we are going to start the work to make your mind a happier place. Like shake ‘n’ vac, we are going to put some freshness back! (If you are under 40 you might want to think of Febreeze instead because shake ‘n’ vac was an eighties advert but still watch the video as the tune is rather catchy).

Freshen up your mind!

Let’s continue to think of your mind as a room that we want to look nice so you want to spend time in because it’s a nice place to be. First of all it needs to be clean. A lot of the cleaning up will come from the work we have been doing with mind chatter and we are not done with that yet so please continue to catch that and write it in your notebook. But as important as getting the negative out of your mind is the putting positive in. The good news is there are so many way to put positives in but today we are going to look at gratitude.

Is gratitude a load of codswallap?

Gratitude has been found by to be an integral part of health, wholeness and wellbeing by Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology, University of California

Gratitude increases positive emotions and keeps them. This was proved in a study where groups wrote about:

  • things they were grateful for
  • daily irritations or things that had displeased them
  • events that had affected them

After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives.

The fact is that life isn’t always kind or nice but by having grateful thoughts and other techniques, it helps us believe and feel that the world is a good place and want to be part of it.

Get your gratitude right

This isn’t new. Just as mindfulness isn’t new. But I still get lots of clients who find it hard to write a gratitude list or to practice mindfulness on their own. Some people get caught in a material trap of writing: house, job, car. True gratitude that feeds the soul and increases our satisfaction levels and happiness is about values, qualities and so on, not so much about material goods. Yes we are in 2016 in one of the richest countries in the world and material goods are part of our life, but they are not true factors of intrinsic happiness for most people.

Why specifically are you grateful for that?

Eyesight

You can be grateful for anything. It’s not so much about being grateful for what you have but ‘noticing’ the things you are grateful for. Say you said you were grateful for ‘eyesight’. What is it about that makes you so grateful. Is it that you can read, see the colours of flowers, watch your children play. By appreciating the things we take for granted and the small stuff, we feel increased awareness of positive things in our lives.

When you become unwell. You feel more grateful for when you were well. More grateful for being able to breathe through your nose, walk on that foot (and in some cases wear a shoe), to not have to run for the toilet! You get my drift. By practicing gratitude before you are ill you can be grateful for your legs that carry you where you need to get to, those arms that help you feed your loved ones, that mind which is creative and produces amazing things.

I’m grateful that you read my post! Tomorrow I will be giving you some more ideas on gratitude and we will come up with an amazing gratitude list for you!

Here’s the plan:

  • Continue to catch your negative mind chatter – are you noticing a key theme or time it occurs yet?
  • Continue to acknowledge that when a thought comes in, it may not be true 🙂
  • Become a mind COP. Catch it, own it, protect yourself.
  • Do the shake and vac and put the freshness back by starting a gratitude list

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

 

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