Category: life changes

Spring Clean Your Mind

Spring Clean Your Mind

Spring is definitely here. I have even packed away my winter woollies and snow boots and dug out all my t-shirts! It is at this time of the year that we often spring clean our houses and clear the clutter. However, what about our minds and emotions? Aren’t they also due for a good clear out? April is Stress Awareness Month, here are a just few ways you can clear the clutter from your mind and reduce your stress levels at the same time.

Forgive and Forget

Are you holding onto anger or upset from a past relationship? Maybe you just cannot forgive someone for something they said or did. Have you ever thought about who you are hurting most, though? Holding onto resentment can leave us feeling stressed. Anger is a very negative emotion and effects our bodies in all sorts of ways, leading to headaches, digestion problems, insomnia, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, skin problems, even heart attacks and strokes. So, maybe it is time you let it go for your own sake.

Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean that you are condoning the other person’s behaviour, you are just looking after yourself by not carrying that pain around any longer. So, make a list of those that have hurt you and be the better person. Decide today on ways you can show forgiveness and start clearing out that negativity.

Buddha, hypnotherapy, relaxation, anger, forgiveness

 “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Buddha

Let Go of Stress

Make a list of all that negative clutter. What is worrying you? What is making you anxious? Split that list into two; those that you can change and those that you can’t. If you have no control over it, there is no point in worrying. Have faith that things will turn out for the best, whatever that might be. Be comfortable with the unknown and let life take its course. Burn or shred that list of worries that cannot be controlled and LET IT GO!

Now look at the list of things that you could do something about. Prioritise it and start working your way through it, crossing them off one by one. Even if you just tackle one a day, you will feel as though you are taking control and getting those anxieties out of your mind. Now that it is on paper, put it to one side as you don’t need to carry it around with you day after day.

It is also worth spending some time each day on relaxing both physically and mentally. Listen to the free mp3 on my website (sign up here) to give both your mind and body that time it needs each day to wind down.

yoga, meditation, hypnotherapy, mindfulness, visualisation, relaxation, stress relief

Focus on Future Goals

What were your resolutions in January? Have you managed to stick to them? If not, don’t worry. Spring is a time of regrowth and renewal and a great time to start again. Tomorrow is a new day; a new start.

Spend some time relaxing and visualising yourself achieving all those things that you planned for the future, whatever that might be. It could be health related, such as giving up smoking. If so, see yourself as the non-smoker you want to become and set that goal firmly in your mind. Maybe you want to lose weight? If so, visualise yourself as the slimmer version of you, wearing the clothes that you dream of wearing. How will you move? How will you feel?

Perhaps your goal is work-related? Are you starting your own business or hoping for that great promotion? See it in your mind and act as though it will happen. Maybe write a page on the person you will be by the end of this year. Write it as though you are in December, looking back on 2017. Where are you? How did you get here? What steps did you take to achieve your dream?

writing, write a list, planning, ambition, goals

Whatever your goal, see yourself achieving it and do this daily as a great meditation exercise.

Mind Massage

If you would like any extra help with relaxation, please think about coming to one of my mind massage sessions. It is a great way to experience hypnotherapy for the first time and give your mind a little mini-holiday while de-cluttering and putting everything back into perspective.

calm, hypnotherapy, mind massage, Laura Culley Hypnotherapy, directions, sign post

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What is Hypnotherapy?

What is Hypnotherapy?

There is a lot of mystery and confusion surrounding hypnosis which puts a lot of people off. This is a shame as hypnotherapy is such an effective tool for dealing with so many issues. What do you think of when you hear the word “hypnosis”? Do you see a mysterious man waving a pocket watch in front of your face, repeating the phrase, “You are feeling very sleepy!” Maybe your mind turns straight to the stage hypnotists who appear to control the minds of their subjects and get them clucking like chickens every time they hear a bell ring?

So, What is Hypnosis?

There is no question as to whether or not hypnosis works, the problem is that science still can’t decide how it actually works, which makes it very difficult to explain!

The British Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis states:

“In therapy, hypnosis usually involves the person experiencing a sense of deep relaxation with their attention narrowed down, and focused on appropriate suggestions made by the therapist.”

These suggestions are often enough for a person to begin making amazing changes deep within themselves.

The following four extracts are taken from a book by  Dr Hilary Jones’, called “Doctor, What’s the Alternative? He explains hypnotherapy really well, in simple terms that are easy to understand.

Definition of hypnotherapy

“Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not a state of deep sleep.  It does involve the induction of a trance-like condition, but when in it, the patient is actually in an enhanced state of awareness, concentrating entirely on the hypnotist’s voice.  In this state, the conscious mind is suppressed and the subconscious mind is revealed.

The therapist is able to suggest ideas, concepts and lifestyle adaptations to the patient, the seeds of which become firmly planted.

The practice of promoting healing or positive development in any way is known as hypnotherapy.  As such, hypnotherapy is a kind of psychotherapy.  Hypnotherapy aims to re-programme patterns of behaviour within the mind, enabling irrational fears, phobias, negative thoughts and suppressed emotions to be overcome. As the body is released from conscious control during the relaxed trance-like state of hypnosis, breathing becomes slower and deeper, the pulse rate drops and the metabolic rate falls. Similar changes along nervous pathways and hormonal channels enable the sensation of pain to become less acute, and the awareness of unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea or indigestion, to be alleviated.”

How does it work?

“Hypnosis is thought to work by altering our state of consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is turned off, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert.  The conscious control of the mind is inhibited, and the subconscious mind awoken.  Since the subconscious mind is a deeper-seated, more instinctive force than the conscious mind, this is the part which has to change for the patient’s behaviour and physical state to alter.

For example, a patient who consciously wants to overcome their fear of spiders may try everything they consciously can to do it, but will still fail as long as their subconscious mind retains this terror and prevents the patient from succeeding.  Progress can only be made by reprogramming the subconscious so that deep-seated instincts and beliefs are abolished or altered.”

What form might the treatment take?

“Firstly, any misconceptions a potential patient may have about hypnosis should be dispelled.  The technique does not involve the patient being put into a deep sleep, and the patient cannot be made to do anything they would not ordinarily do. They remain fully aware of their surroundings and situation, and are not vulnerable to every given command of the therapist.  The important thing is that the patient wants to change some behavioural habit or addiction and is highly motivated to do so.  They have to want the treatment to work and must establish a good clinical rapport with the therapist in order for it to do so.

The readiness and ability of patients to be hypnotised varies considerably and hypnotherapy generally requires several sessions in order to achieve meaningful results.  However the patient can learn the technique of self-hypnosis which can be practiced at home, to reinforce the usefulness of formal sessions with the therapist.  This can help counter distress and anxiety-related conditions.”

What problems can be treated by hypnotherapy?

“Hypnotherapy can be applied to many psychological, emotional and physical disorders.  It is used to relieve pain in surgery and dentistry and has proved to be of benefit in obstetrics.  It can shorten the delivery stage of labour and reduce the need for painkillers.  It can ease the suffering of the disabled and those facing terminal illness, and it has been shown to help people to overcome addictions such as smoking and alcoholism, and to help with bulimia.  Children are generally easy to hypnotise and can be helped with nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) and chronic asthma, whilst teenagers can conquer stammering or blushing problems which can otherwise make their lives miserable.

Phobias of all kinds lend themselves well to hypnotherapy, and anyone suffering from panic attacks or obsessional compulsive behaviour, and stress-related problems like insomnia, may benefit.  Conditions exacerbated by tension, such as irritable bowel syndrome, psoriasis and eczema, and excessive sweating, respond well, and even tinnitus and clicky jaws (tempero-mandibular joint dysfunction) can be treated by these techniques.”

If you would like to know more about hypnotherapy, please contact me for your free half-hour consultation.

How to Keep a New Year’s Resolution

How to Keep a New Year’s Resolution

Do you remember your resolutions from last January? Did you stick to them? If you did, then very well done. If not, you are by no means alone. By January 17th (actually known as ‘Ditch New Year Resolutions Day’ by the way) only around one in ten of us will have stuck to our resolution. So, where are we going wrong?

Well, firstly, we tend to make a list of completely unrealistic goals with no real plan of how we will achieve them. Very often they involve denying ourselves something we really enjoy without thinking about how we will replace it. Also, as humans, we find big changes very difficult to handle, especially when we are feeling particularly emotional or have other problems that need our attention. It all becomes too much to handle and we tend to fall back on old habits such as smoking, drinking or comfort eating as a way of coping. The other problem is that the small part of our brain responsible for willpower (the pre-frontal cortex) has a lot going on. This is the part of our brain that determines our personality and holds our short term memories. It is constantly busy solving problems, planning our day and deciding how we interact with others. Burdening it with other responsibilities is sometimes just too much, especially without the help of the rest of the brain, which is often fighting against it. As much as the rational, pre-frontal cortex is saying, “No, you shouldn’t eat that chocolate cake,” the rest of the mind (around the other 90%) is telling us how much we REALLY want it and linking back to old memories of how good it tastes. You know what I mean. We’ve all been there!

So, with all this going on in our heads, is it ever possible to keep a resolution? Well, yes, I think it is. After all, some people do manage it. It just takes a little planning. Here are my top tips on achieving a successful New Year’s Resolution.

1. Only Make One Goal

Decide what you really want from life this year. What is most important to you? It has to be something you really want, or you are doomed to fail before you even start. Also, it has to come from you. If it is something you are doing for another person, then you may as well not bother. Focus on just one thing at a time. Saying that you are going to give up smoking, lose weight and start going to the gym twice a week is just not achievable. Start with the one that you think is most important. You can always make more changes later on.

Goal setting, succeed, jigsaw, think, plan, act
Set a Clear Goal

2. Break It Down Into Smaller Steps

Decide how you are going to achieve your goal and take it one step at a time. Going cold turkey might not always be the best way. Perhaps you need to cut down slowly. So, make a plan and write it down.

3. Reward Yourself

If you are doing well, reward yourself with something you enjoy. Often, our resolutions involve giving up something we love. That is very difficult to do. So, when you have had a good day, treat yourself. It is important that we don’t feel we are denying ourselves, so think of ways of replacing the unwanted habit with something healthier. Make a list of other things you enjoy and make the time and effort to do them instead. It could be to buy something new with any money you have saved. Instead of a packet of cigarettes, buy yourself a favourite magazine, for example. It may be a massage or a luxurious hot bubble bath at the end of the day.

4. Set up Coping Strategies

When are your weakest moments? How are you going to get through them? You might arrange to call a friend or loved one to talk to when you are feeling that you need a little extra support. Perhaps you could try mindfulness exercises and practise just being in the moment. Often, a craving will pass if we just take some deep breaths and give it time.

call someone, telephone, mobile, call a friend
Ask for help when you need it

5. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

If you have a bad day, it doesn’t matter. All is not lost! Just put it behind you and start again tomorrow.

sunset, sunrise, success
Tomorrow is another day to start afresh

How can Hypnotherapy Help?

The unconscious mind is responsible for so much, including habits and cravings. Somewhere, deep down, your mind has learned to associated the unwanted habits with pleasure and comfort and it has made you believe that you need these things in your life in order to survive or to be happy. Hypnotherapy helps by reaching deep into your unconscious and using suggestions to bring the rest of your mind in line with your conscious wishes and your rational thoughts. It means that you are not using just willpower alone. Of course, it isn’t a magic cure. You still have to really want the changes and put in the effort, but it can make your resolutions much easier to stick to. I can also teach you some NLP techniques to keep up your sleeve for those really tricky times!

If you would like to discuss how hypnotherapy and NLP can help you, please send me a message and we can arrange a free half-hour chat. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Happy New Year and Good Luck for 2017!

Happy New Year, 2017,