Are you suffering from health anxiety?

We all worry about our health from time to time and most of us will have given ourselves a scare by internet doctoring but for some people this can turn into a cycle of crippling anxiety.

Health anxiety or hypochondria can take over people’s life. They spend hours ruminating and worrying about minor symptoms such as aches and pains, skin blemishes or a tickly throat. Others focus on a particular body part or illness; they are terrified their heart is not beating properly and constantly monitor their heartbeat. Or they are worried about a particular cancer and spend hours looking for lumps. Getting the all clear from the doctors gives them a temporary reprieve but the cycle soon starts again with the constant worry, hours on the internet and frequent trips to the doctors. It can become consuming, obsessive and exhausting and as the fear grows so do the limitations on life.  

When we focus internally and constantly scan our bodies for any pain or twinges, we will start to notice these symptoms more often. The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon or frequency illusion is when ‘something’ is brought to our attention and our brains begin to notice this ‘something’ even more. This reinforces our belief that there is a health issue and in turn increases the anxiety. It would be rather like becoming interested in a car, and all of a sudden you then begin to notice that model everywhere you go. 

Health anxiety, in its severe form, has overlapping symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. For some people it can start because of a health-related traumatic event such as a loved one or themselves having an illness. Or the death of a friend or family member. It can be triggered by the birth of a child and the fear of not being able to look after that child, if something happens to you. For others the cause is unknown.

Once any serious medical condition has been ruled out, for those suffering from health anxiety, shedding the belief that there is something wrong with them can be extremely difficult. However, it is not impossible. If this type of anxiety is taking over your life, there are things you can do. All anxiety is exacerbated in times of stress and addressing any underlying causes of stress can begin the process of overcoming health anxiety. Usually our feelings are trying to protect us or make us happy: ask yourself ‘what is the anxiety trying to do for me?’

Once you have addressed any root causes of stress, learning some relaxation techniques to combat the anxiety, such as self-hypnosis, breathing exercises, using calming scents like lavender, listening to music or walking, will all help. Find something that suits you and persevere with it: for some it can take quite a bit of time and practice to learn to relax, and for others it comes more swiftly and easily.

Relaxation not only calms the body and therefore the mind, but it also offers distraction. If you find that you spend hours ruminating, finding an array of things that can distract you will help. I understand that this is easier said than done and I have had clients whose daily lives are ruled by this anxiety even though they are busy people. It takes a strict and firm mind to really move away from these obsessive worrying thoughts and you may need to get some help. 

It can be hard and frustrating for those who are close to you to understand what you are going through, but their reassurance can really help. Explain to them that you are struggling with health anxiety and ask them for the kind of reassurance that would suit you best. Some examples if reassuring gestures could be a cuddle, a pep talk, motivation, or an internet ban. It is important that whatever you decide it is something that gives you the reassurance you want. If you can give them the answers and resources to help you, they will no longer feel like a helpless bystander and you will not feel so alone.

Make up a mantra: if you say it enough times, you’ll start to believe it. Every morning whilst you brush your teeth you could repeat to yourself three times, ‘my body is strong, I am ok,’ or choose something that resonates with you and be strict with yourself. It may feel silly at first but eventually you will start to believe it.

Think about what this anxiety is causing you to lose: is it time, energy, friendships, trips away? Once you realise how damaging it is to your life, you can refocus and think about what you do want. Is it to go out more, get a better night’s sleep, be able to concentrate at work? Think about the gains you can make to your life, make them goals and focus on the positive improvement. Break the goals down to make them easier to achieve and begin slowly, for example you could have the goal that you will not go on the internet for an hour before bed and fill that loss with something new and relaxing. Or tell yourself that you will have one hour each day at work where you will not worry about your health. You can then gradually increase this until your anxiety is a distant memory. It takes real strength to change habits and learn to think about something else, but we all have the resources to do it.

If you would like help to overcome health anxiety, please see my contact page.


Are you a neophile?

A neophile is a personality type with a strong affinity to novelty. Neophiles hate repetition, routine and tradition. They become bored easily and may have a dislike of commitment. We all know people a bit like this, they’re really hard to pin down and appear to lead exciting lives moving from one adventure to the next. The neophile is the extreme sports enthusiast who can’t sit still or the person who works in a dangerous job that takes them around the world. Whilst they might be annoying because you can’t get them to come for dinner, it is these people who have discovered new lands, invented machines and taken humans into space. However, it’s not all glory. The neophile could find it hard to be in a long-term relationship missing out on the joy of deep and meaningful companionship. They may be attracted to a life of danger and engage in criminal activities and they have a higher tendency for substance abuse.

On the other end of the spectrum is the neophobe: someone who fears change, who thrives in routine, dislikes meeting new people and will not step outside their own comfort zone. They are dependable, sensitive and organised. However, the neophobe, without challenge and change, will fail to grow and develop. Without pushing their boundaries their internal walls become closer and closer. We can see this in people with social anxiety, agoraphobia and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Most of us don’t sit on an extreme end but you might identify with some of the traits. Humans can naturally be resistant to change for very good reasons. We don’t like change that harms us, or if there is no benefit to us, especially if it involves more work. For example, the collective eye roll at work when talk of restructure is in the air, which will quite probably mean more work for less pay. Most of us do however like positive change and variety. Overeating at a buffet is a common trait because of the variety of choice, and moving into your first home can bring great feelings of achievement and pride.

Unfortunately, life inevitably involves positive and negative changes and unless you are a full blown neophile this can sometimes be hard to cope with, especially if you err towards the other end of the spectrum. If you like life rigidly ordered and struggle to cope with change you will become frustrated. The world will not meet your expectations and people will not play by your rules. This is where developing your ability to think flexibly can help.

Flexible thinking is a cognitive ability that is a result of both nature and nurture. It is the ability of the brain to transition from one concept to another, to overcome responses that have become habitual and to adapt to new situations.

Learning to think flexibly will help you in social settings, make you a better problem-solver and keep you cool in times of change, allowing you to go with the flow and adjust to new situations. Trying new things and attempting to understand other people’s perspectives will help you to develop. Essentially, improving flexible thinking means stepping outside your comfort zone, for example accepting a party invitation, breathing deeply when someone messes with your ordered cupboard and reading a different genre of book. By not resisting new ways of doing things you will gain a new perspective on change. Remember practice makes progress.

Sometimes it can be hard to push ourselves. If you would like help to step outside your comfort zone, hypnotherapy can help you to push yourself gently in a direction that will enable you to grow.

Are you emotionally resilient?

Do you adapt well in times of stress and recover swiftly from adverse situations? Do you accept problems and calmly look for solutions? I expect for most people the answer to these questions is ‘sometimes.’ At other times you may react by withdrawing inside, becoming anxious and depressed or being angry and blaming others for your stressful situation.

Resilience means the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and implies a certain toughness and grit. It means overcoming whatever life throws at you. However, realistically it can often be a battle to return to your previous state, rather than a bouncing back action. The perseverance to get there shows resilience.

Imagine a bendy ruler; you can cause it stress by bending it. Resilience is not the ability to tolerate this bending without breaking, but rather to bend with the stress and return to a natural position. Unlike a ruler, this action can mean we become stronger, increasing our resilience with each battle won.

Human beings are on the whole resilient; we wouldn’t have survived on earth for millions of years otherwise. However, we all encounter situations where we find it hard to be resilient, some more than others.

With most of my clients, if not all, one of my main aims is to find their own inner resources which can help them with their problem. For example, with someone who is struggling to be confident at work, we look for other areas in their life where they have shown confidence and transfer these confident feelings to their workplace. All of us have the resources to solve our problems, but often fear and self-doubt takes over. These resources or inner strengths are our resilience. They are within us but sometimes we need help to find them.

I also help my clients to look for past occasions where they have overcome great difficulty. 

We discuss how they found the strength and perseverance to get through that difficulty, proving that they have applied resilience in the past. Getting through a problem and coming out the other side, showing that you didn’t fall to pieces but learnt from the experience, builds our resilience.

Hypnotherapy can also help with perspective. If we see something as insurmountable, out of our control and without hope, (all characteristics of depression), it is much harder to be resilient. If you believe that getting through a problem is possible, you’re more than likely halfway there. Hypnosis is an effective way to gain optimism again, giving you the opportunity to express doubts and fears and challenging negative thought patterns. Our thoughts influence our actions and physical health.

Some of us are born more sensitive to stress and uncertainty than others. Of course, there are many benefits to this sensitivity, such as greater empathy and depth of feeling However, we can all prepare for adversity, stress and uncertainty just like any sensible business does, and by doing so we develop our resilience.

Creating social networks and building bonds with family and friends will mean you have support when you need it most. Humans are social creatures, most of us cannot survive without these social ties. Not only do others pick us up when we’re down but spending time with loved ones is what often what makes us truly happy.

Other ways to increase our resilience include saving money so you have a cushion in hard times. Making goals and breaking them down so you have purpose. Being assertive in your actions; people who come to see me show resilience just by making the decision to try to solve their problem. Look after your body by eating, sleep and exercising well as you will need the energy and strength in times of difficulty. Learn to find humour in the darkest hours; laughter is good for our mind and bodies. Don’t let the small things get you down. They will wear you out so that when the big stuff happens, you’re too exhausted to deal with it.

If you would like help to deal with a problem in your life and would like to try hypnotherapy, please get in contact via my contact page.

How to help your staff manage stress

It seems as if more and more companies are striving to offer their employees better packages with extra perks. Tech companies appear to be leading the way with longer maternity/paternity leave, restaurant vouchers, gym membership, yoga classes, free pic-n-mix  and an abundance of table tennis tables. 

However, it’s not only the material stuff that counts. Implementing management structures that seek to nurture and value their staff, creates a workplace with high moral and low staff turnover. It motivates employee’s innovation and work ethic, consequently achieving better customer satisfaction. Not only do these perks and management structures enable a better workplace but they gain the advantage that potential employees will seek them out for employment, leading to a pool of applicants from which employers can take the cream.

Although, they don’t just offer the fun stuff, many companies recognize that providing staff access to services that look after their mental health will also benefit, through schemes such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which provides counselling. After all, according to the HSE, 57% of sick days were taken in 2017/2018 due to stress, depression and anxiety. 

But we don’t all connect with the same methods of help. How often have you read somewhere that doing this or that will reduce stress, anxiety or depression? Gardening, walking, having a pet are all common suggestions. However, some people couldn’t think of anything worse than getting on the ground to dig up weeds and for others having a dog to look after could send them over the edge. One size doesn’t fit all, and it can be hard to figure out what size does fit. Providing your staff with access to options for coping with stress is a great idea as hopefully they will find something that does work for them. That gym membership, yoga at lunch time or the photography club you are subsidising could be the answer to help some of your staff de-stress. Hypnosis is a great one to add to the wealth of options out there. 

Hypnotherapy is a proven method for dealing with stress. In 2002 the British Medical Association recommended that hypnotherapy should be classified as ‘integrative’ medicine rather than alternative. There is evidence to show that people have been using hypnosis as early as the ancient Egyptians in 1550bc, but unfortunately and unjustifiably more recently it has gained a reputation for entertainment and mind control. In my Group Sessions in the Workplace I offer instant stress relief and I teach techniques for managing stress. These can be one- off’s or run over a number of sessions.

They are voluntary: they are NOT interactive, and I do NOT make anyone do anything silly. I have a variety of off-the-shelf sessions including relaxation before work, consisting of a half  hour session to get your staff ready for the day and/or an hour one-off session that will help your staff leave their work at work and be better able to enjoy their down time. Thus making them more efficient and productive while they are in work.

I find that hypnotherapy really resonates with many people and from one Hypnotherapy in the Workplace Session they then seek it out privately. It provides staff with an awareness of what’s out there to help manage stress and anxiety and is another option to show your staff that you value them.

What is allostatic load?

You may be aware of some of the physical illnesses and diseases that stress can cause the body; migraine, insomnia, IBS, psoriasis, and heart disease to name a few. The emerging field of psychoimmunology continues to uncover more and more data to show the interactions between the nervous system and immune system and the impact this has on our health. 

When something stressful happens, our body reacts with the production of hormones, changes to our nervous system and to our immune system. This enables us to cope with the stress and keep us safe, it is our body’s way of protecting us. The term ‘allostasis’ devised by McEwen and Stellar in 1993, describes this adaptive process that our body’s go through, in order to maintain a steady internal condition, or homeostasis. This is the case for animals about to go into hibernation, they begin to store fat and homeostasis can be sustained whilst they hide away. However, when we are under prolonged stress this system begins to cause us damage, this is called the ‘allostatic load,’ the wear and tear on our bodies caused by stress. We can produce excessive amounts of cortisol, have consistently high blood pressure causing damage to our arteries and lasting changes can happen in our brains.

So, these stress responses our bodies produce can be protective and damaging. Just as stress helps us to mentally grow, like when we step outside of our comfort zone, it can also cause destruction. Good and bad stress is relative to the person, some can endure lots, some think they are coping because they don’t recognise stress, and others are highly sensitive to unpredictability.

Lifestyle can also increase the allostatic overload, eating too much, not using our energy stores, smoking, and pollution. Smoking, eating doughnuts and being stressed would be a triple whammy if that behaviour was consistent.

In terms of our health, there are lots of things out of our control, you could break your neck tripping over the dog tomorrow, but we can control our response to stress. One of the ways to do this is to make sure we are incorporating relaxation into our lives. Just like carbon offsetting we need to offset the stress, give our bodies a break so we are not under prolonged strain.

The important thing here is education, an awareness of the positive and negative sides of the allostatic load, how this manifests in you as an individual and what you do to maintain a healthy balance. If this has got you thinking and you’re not sure you are in harmony, then maybe hypnotherapy can help.

Hypnosis has been proven to reduce stress and could be an effective method for you, it is certainly relaxing. It is also useful in giving up any bad habits that cause our bodies more stress, or for motivation to create new healthy habits like exercising.

If you would like a relaxing session of hypnosis to give your body a break or need help to change your lifestyle, please get in contact via my contact page.

What part do you play in your story?

Are you the main character? The stunt man or the love interest?

Composing your life into a story, either verbally or written can be a wonderfully therapeutic thing to do. Going back through your childhood and past history, really examining the stories and discovering what you’ve learnt and gained, the mistakes you’ve made and the risks you’ve taken. To put a label on this practice we could call it Narrative Therapy. Created by Michael White and David Epston and introduced in a book they published in 1990, Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends.

Not only does Narrative Therapy seek to understand people by the story they tell it also views people as separate from their problems. For example, depression is something they have, but does not define who they are. This separation allows clients to explore the impact of their problems in their lives and, by externalising the sensitive subject, a client can analyse and reframe it.

In hypnosis we use “Parts Therapy” which similarly separates us from the part that is the problem. Emotions are usually trying to protect us or make us happy, so during a parts therapy session and under hypnosis, I will always ask the client ‘what is that part/emotion trying to do for you?’

For example, if I am seeing someone for weight loss, the answer may be, that the part of them that is binge eating is trying to provide comfort. This is a simple example, and I would say most people recognise when they are comfort eating but often the answer to this question has not been previously accepted in their conscious minds. This is just the start of what can be a very emotional and insightful process.

As well as tackling any problems you may be having such as weight loss, telling your personal story can highlight how you perceive yourself. You may look back at a period in your life with negativity, and for some a strong hatred of yourself. Perhaps you failed a course or underperformed in a job. We can be very hard on ourselves and not look back with kind eyes, if the only story we tell is a personality attack, this will not be helping our self-esteem. Narrative Therapy and Hypnotherapy can help you to identify a narrative of the past, that is much more helpful to you, one that sees the positives, accepts the mistakes and addresses the learning outcomes.

Both Narrative therapy and Hypnotherapy seek to find the clients inner resources and use these to really help alleviate any suffering. I have not come across anyone yet who does not have the resources to overcome their issues.

Not only do we look backwards for the story, but we also look to the future. Having a plan will guide you, it will allow you to take control of your life story and will give you goals to work towards. Of course, plans can always change, and they probably will, but they can help you figure out the next step. It’s not just the practical things to plan for but what parts of your personality do you want to work on?

So, if you recognise that you’re playing a bit part and it’s time to take centre stage and create your own story, you could make a start by writing the past and then writing a future plan.

If you would like hypnotherapy to help you identify your part then please get in touch via my contact page.

When to take a break?

Some of us have two conflicting internal messages when it comes to managing something we are finding difficult. We must try our hardest, do our best, and never give up, but we also know that we should ease off the gas, take a break and ask for help if we are cracking under the pressure. Continuing under too much strain can become paralysing, cause anxiety and lead to stress related illnesses.


But how do we know if we just need to try a bit harder, or put something on hold and take a moment for recuperation? When the answer is the need to slow down, it often it takes someone close to point out that perhaps we should take a break. It’s generally difficult advice to listen to and we can be resistant to it.

The old cliché, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,’ is something that we can all recall, but we’ve also heard ‘don’t beat your head against a brick wall.’ 

Deciding that you need a break or finally accepting your loved ones’ advice can lead to feelings of guilt. Guilt that we haven’t been able to cope, that we are giving up and that we are weak. Telling ourselves that ‘everyone else can manage, why can’t I?’ This internal pressure and negative self-talk makes the break hardly a rest at all.

Having the confidence and belief in the choice to ease off the gas when the pressure gets too much and not critique ourselves for our inability to cope can be difficult. Even though this is often advice we so easily repeat to friends. We know that pressure gets to people, yet for someone reason when it gets to ourselves it’s unacceptable not to be strong enough to deal with it. So, we persevere until our bodies give us a signal. 

I see many clients who come to me for issues relating to prolonged stress, such as panic attacks and procrastination. They have got to the stage where they need help, either because they can’t identify what their stressors are, or they refuse to accept them.

Taking a guilt free break, finding a work life balance and truly switching off from life’s stressors regularly are vitally important to mental wellbeing. According to the HSE 57% of work days lost were due to stress and anxiety. Finding that balance between perseverance and burnout is perhaps a learning curve, trial and error and hopefully something we can all get to understand about ourselves.

If you would like help coping with stress and anxiety, please get in touch via my contact page.


Hypnosis is misunderstood.

Hypnosis is synonymous with stage hypnotist shows starting in the 18thcentury by a man called Dr Franz Mesmer. He is often given the credit for inventing hypnosis, but research shows that it has been utilised for centuries. He can, however, take the credit for giving it a bad reputation, claiming he could cure illness, andhe was subsequentlydenounced as a charlatan and a fraud. Demonstrating his technique all over Europe, dressed eccentrically, wearing a long silk gown and using a wand, his patients reported that they were captivated by his piercing stare, he certainly used showmanship to good effect.

Although it can be argued that he was trying to promote his magnetism theory for the development of science, modern stage hypnotists’ use hypnosis purely for entertainment. They inducethe audience to believe that they have control over their volunteer subjects and can make them do anything they desire, preferably something stupid like forgetting their own name or believing that they are naked for the humour of the audience.

It’s the performance, the entertainment and the showmanship, not hypnosis, that has power over their subjects. First of all, these people have offered to go on stage and want to participate in the inevitable humiliation, andthey are confident enough to stand up in front of a large number of people. The volunteers will usually have been through a series of suggestibility tests with the hypnotist to assess one thing – are they willing to do exactly what the hypnotist asks them to do. If they fail this test, they’re removed from the group. If they are there to prove they cannot be hypnotised, then they will be deselected. What is left on stage is a group of people who are willing, andthe hypnotist simply allows their extreme behaviour.

In film, hypnosis is a useful plot device. For example it can be employed by the evil baddy to manipulate their victim to commit acrime or even to seduce an unwitting woman. Again, films portray hypnosis as the hypnotist having absolute control over their subjects.

In the 1956 film the She Creature, a woman is hypnotised back to a past life as a prehistoric humanoid form of sea life. She then goes on to revert back to this state unpredictably, committing crimes with an ensuing reign of terror.

More recently in the film Get Out(2017), a man ishypnotised by his girlfriend’s mother who extracts information from him, and then goes on to hypnotise him against his will in order to put the brain of a white person into his body and leave his consciousness in some kind of trapped hypnosis. It’s obviously quite far-fetched but reaffirms the idea that you can control someone under hypnosis and hypnotise them against their will. 

The attitude of the client is the most important factor in hypnosis, if they do not want to be hypnotised there is absolutely no way they can be.

Flash Gordan’s(1936) love interest, Dale, is captured by baddy Ming, whothen hypnotizes her so they can marry. Obviously Flash comes to the rescue and, thankfully, her so-called ‘hypnosis’ wears off. 

Hypnosis does not wear off; it is not like taking a drug which begins to decline in potency. At any point in a session, if a client wishes to they can get up and walk out: if they decide they are not hypnotised, then they are not.

Hypnosis is often associated with superstition and evil and some fundamental Christians still believe now that thisis the case. They believe that you are opening your mind up, which can allow evil to come in. I’ve even heard of a hypnobirthing class in a church hall being asked to leave because of the supernatural connotations.

Other than film and TV causing hypnosis to be misunderstood, another contributing factor is that there is a lack of standard definition and practices, making it difficult to counter the negative ideas around hypnosis. In the last three decades, it has received interest by the scientific community who are trying to understand it better, however, at the moment, this has had conflicting results. 

There are some things that people agree on. One such agreement is that hypnosis is simply highly focused concentration, enabling you to ponder on an image or idea. You are aware of your surroundings, but they become unimportant to you. You won’t feel different under hypnosis, although I like to give my clients lots of relaxation suggestions because it feels nice and gives the body a chance to rest

If your critical and analytical voice is constantly questioning what your hypnotherapist is saying, then you won’t be hypnotised. On the other hand if you arerelaxed, going with the flow, trusting your hypnotherapist, then the messages go direct to your sub-conscious and be accepted. You will become open to suggestions that will benefit you and can simply disregard any that don’t.

If you would like to know more about how hypnotherapy can alleviate symptoms, reduce anxiety and cure phobia, please get in touch.

It is important to be creative. 

Creativity comes naturally to children. If you gather a group of them, give them 50 wooden skewers and tell them to come up with different ways of using them, they’ll give you 50 different answers. Try the same game with a group of adults and you’ll get half the amount of ideas. Most of us will have heard of the cliché that children prefer to play with the empty cardboard box than the new toy that it contained, creatively using it as a doll’s house or den and playing imagination games for hours. We are born creative and imaginative but somehow, for a lot of us, this skill decreases. There are many positive reasons why we need to encourage our creative minds.

It has been suggested that in a world of increasing AI and technology what will set us apart from the machines is our creativity. We can all access knowledge at the touch of a button but how we use it will determine our employability. We are perhaps entering a new age of creativity. We need to harness this skill as without it we will have no innovation. 

So, just as we encourage children with crayons, imagination games and music lessons to enhance their creativity, we should also be encouraging ourselves as well. Not only will it help us at work, but it will also helpus in our personal lives as it has been shown to increase positive mental wellbeing.

We often feel guilty about taking time out for hobbies but identifying the areas in your life that are creative andencouraging them by spending more time pursuing these activities are the first steps to re-engaging our creative minds.

They can be anything from fashion, gardening, cooking, playing sport, reading, or DIY. Through engaging in tasks that require creative problem solving or simply expressing ourselves usingart or writing, we can begin to re-ignite our creative brains.

Not only do we encounter problems at work that need creatively solving, from the shop assistant using creative language to help a customer, to a builder practically problem solving and computer techs innovating new products, but we alsoencounter many problems in our personal lives that require creative thinking. The more imaginative we are, the better able we will beto think around our issues, and use our ingenuity to deal with the uncertainty that life throws at us. 

Creativity is linked to empathy. It helpsus to see problems from different perspectives whichagain helpswith problem solving. When reading, not only do we imaginatively visualise but we get into the minds of the characters, boosting our empathy skills. All too often weget in a fixed mindset putting up mental barriers to success, but creativity allows us to imagine something better, something different and a new goal to strive towards.

When we participate in a creative task, not only does being absorbed in something creative quieten our minds, butwe can enjoy a flow state (see previous blog), or inadvertently mindfulness, banishing any anxiety and distracting ourselves from our problems. Our body releases the chemical dopamine, an anti-depressant, helping us to achieve a way of life that is more satisfying to us. 

Switching off from our phones and computers, giving ourselves a digital quiet space, allows our minds to creatively wonder, to concentrate on the simple things in life, which in turn gives us freedom to concentrate fully on a creative task. Just going for a walk without interrupting techcan allow our brains time to creatively think around problems. It means that when we get back to our emails and diary’s, we can be really productive and concentrate better.

But being creative can be risky because you have to be willing to fail. Your creative work may never see the light of day or your ideas may be laughed at, or theymay even fail. However,the positive you gain is that you will continue to grow. Without the failures, you remain stagnant: once we view failure as survivable, we can be encouraged to express our creativity. We grow because we are continuing to learn and stretch ourselves.

Self-hypnosis allows our subconscious mind to problem solve. It develops our imagination as we practice using imagery, and if you don’t consider yourself a visual person then you have four other senses to use: your brain can conjure the smell of coffee, the taste of lemons, the feel of silk or the noise of waves rolling onto a beach. You imagine it and your body will physically react, for example, if you find the feeling of soft cotton sheets relaxing then imagine that sensation on your skin or perhaps it’s the sun on your face. You can use your senses to exercise your creative mind and, when your body feels relaxed, your mind can wonder or ponder on a problem. If you would like to learn how to do self-hypnosis please get in touch.

Why should I learn to incorporate deep breathing into my daily life?

It’s no coincidence that ancient philosophies and current wellness practices have controlled breathing techniques in common, Taoism, yoga, pilates, Thai Chi, and karate, to name a few. These were perhaps influenced by religious practices such as Buddhist meditation, Hindu Yoga, and even Christianity has an ancient practice called Hesychasm. So, the rise of conscious breathing is actually just a resurgence, we are relearning, and you have a wealth of options to do this, including yoga, pilates, meditation, self-hypnosis or you can even attend a breathing workshop. 

But seriously, are breathing exercises just another thing you need to add to your daily ‘to do’ list, essentially causing you more stress? The science says that you should. As these techniques have gained in popularity, deep slow breathing has been investigated and numerous studies claim to have uncovered significant benefits.

Have a think about how your body responds to negative stress, your heartbeat may increase, some people get headaches or backache, they may sweat excessively, or have a nervous feeling in their tummy. Rapid breathing is another symptom of stress, diarrhoea, insomnia and the list goes on, these are physical reactions to stress, and we know that continued stress on the body has long term health consequences. 

Stress causes our automatic nervous system to go into fight or flight mode, releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. In turn, relaxation has a positive effect on our body; when we relax our parasympathetic nervous system takes over and switches off that fight or flight mode. Stress and relaxation are intuitive, they are part of us, we need stress to motivate us and we need relaxation to counter the effects of stress in our bodies, to repair ourselves and keep our bodies in balance. Many people live lives of constant low-level stress, we must be mindful that our bodies need to redress the balance and reset the nervous system.

Deep conscious breathing from our diaphragms induces the parasympathetic nervous system to switch on and physically relax our bodies. It is a signal to the body that now it time for relaxation. 

Not only does the science show these effects on the nervous system, it has also been shown to aid our cardiovascular and respiratory systems giving us benefits such as decreased blood pressure, relaxed brain waves, reduction of inflammation, better blood flow and positive effects on our immune systems.

So, it seems incorporating some conscious deep breathing into our lives has many health benefits. Hypnotherapy is another practice that utilizes the breath and extols the virtues. Many people come to me stressed and overwhelmed with their feelings, and I want to treat them to a session of deep relaxation, this starts with some conscious breathing. I remain aware of their breaths throughout the session, using my voice to pace their breathing and make sure they are feeling relaxed. Imagine an hour to yourself just to physically relax the body and switch off from the world, it can be thoroughly rejuvenating. The effects don’t last forever but most report back that for a least the rest of that day they felt extremely relaxed, rested and almost as if they were floating. I also teach many of my client’s self-hypnosis which uses controlled breathing to aid trance and allow you some time to relax or focus on problem solving. 

If you would like to experience deep relaxation to destress and rejuvenate please contact me for a hypnotherapy session and if you wish to learn to practice at home, I can teach you self-hypnosis. Alternatively try the 4-7-8 method, breathe out completely then take a breath in through you nose for 4 seconds, hold in for 7 seconds, next breathe out to the count of 8 seconds through your mouth. 

What does it mean to regulate your emotions?

Emotional regulation sounds wonderful. To completely control your reaction to life’s curve balls would be so valuable, for example, to switch off jealousy when your partner gets a hot new friend, or remain calm in the face of rudeness from a customer service worker, but is it really possible and does it deny your feelings?

Whether we realise or not we use some forms of emotional regulation all the time, and a lot of it is about social acceptance. For example, even if your not upset that your Uncle Colin has died, you would probably still act in a mournful way at his funeral and just because an annoying driver has just dangerously undertaken you, hopefully you won’t take a baseball bat to their windscreen. According to a recent Telegraph article more than half of people have fantasised about killing someone they know, fortunately our murder rate doesn’t reflect this. Society certainly dictates our actions to some extent, and because of this we learn to control and regulate our emotions.

We also have our own personal goals. You may want to control your emotional reactions at work in order to be more professional, or hide the fact that your terrified of spiders in front of your children so you don’t pass on the phobia.

Indeed, dealing with children is a great example of emotional regulation. When your beloved toddler is winding you up with a tantrum, remaining calm and explaining to them why they can’t wear their sandals out in the snow takes great personal control.

However, we don’t always regulate our emotions in a positive and helpful way, this is called emotional dysregulation. Denying our emotions is a common example of this which only tends to intensify feelings and cause them to pop up at inopportune moments. Other examples of emotional dysregulation are avoidance, procrastination and rumination. These can lead to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, OCD, substance abuse and relationship problems. 

So other than behaving mournfully at a funeral and not murdering someone, what better ways are there to emotionally regulate? Changing your perspective and reframing an emotion or situation can benefit your mindset positively and increases resilience. Being empathetic and trying to understand what someone might be going through in order to see things from a different perspective can allow us to take a step back from the situation think about how we may want to react. Reframing an emotion can help to add a positive spin and even if we don’t believe in the reframe, we can work towards that mindset. For example, Jo is sad about her daughter travelling for a year because she’ll worry about her and miss her, but she is trying to remember that her daughter will have a fantastic time and will learn a lot. Even simply acknowledging there is a positive spin is better than dwelling solely on the negative. 

For those of you who have worked in front line services you will know that humour is often a way of getting through the worst. Distraction is another wise move. This is particularly useful with children as they can then learn that emotions are transient, especially if you explain after the event, yes you were angry your sister broke your Lego, but you played in the bath for a bit and got over it. Talking to a friend, sharing problems and asking for help are wonderful ways to control emotions that feel overwhelming.

We must, however, remember it is very important to accept our feelings and doing this has been shown to decrease negative emotions. Owning up to how we feel, showing our weaknesses but knowing we have the power to regulate it, if we should choose to do so, is an ideal to aspire to. This can be difficult as many of our feelings and actions are not conscious, they are subconscious reactions that we have acquired throughout our lives. Think about your childhood: what did you learn about how you deal with your emotions? A hypnotherapist can communicate with your subconscious mind helping you to understand how you emotionally dysregulate, often this behaviour is a protective measure, such as suppression of emotion to protect from conflict. Hypnotherapy can help you to understand your behaviours and help you to change your reactions using a number of techniques. Please get in touch if you are finding your emotions are overwhelming and need help to change unhelpful behaviours. 

So next time you watch a comedy to cheer yourself up or force a smile to regcognise a friend even though you are feeling sad inside, remember you are able to control many of your emotions and that control can be applied to any area of your life. It’s a transferable skill.

How hypnosis can help manage stress in the workplace

Many private clients arrive at my door because they are overwhelmed by their responsibilities at work and at home. They come because they have IBS, relationship problems, panic attacks or insomnia, the list of symptoms is extensive, but the common underlying denominator is almost always stress. We all know that if a high level of stress continues, it leads to more serious consequences that can affect mental and physical health.

Others come because they want to stop the bad habits they have adopted to cope with stress, such as smoking, drinking and comfort eating. These habits have usually begun to have an impact on their lives, and a feeling of not being in control persists, reinforcing the stress and therefore the negative behaviours. 

Of course, pressure in the workplace is unavoidable and we all need healthy stress, it is a great motivator, but my clients have gotten beyond that stage. They have tried various methods to cope and they come to me as a last resort, often citing that they are feeling overwhelmed. I believe that it would be better if employers could get to the root cause of the problem before it gets too serious so I have developed a series of group hypnotherapy sessions, delivered in the workplace, to show people that there is an alternative way to manage their stress and anxiety. There is no group work or team building involved, each individual has their own personal experience. This provides people with a new, alternative way to approach problems and is perhaps something they have never considered before.

One in four people in the UK will have a mental health problem at some point and according to the Health and Safety Executive 15.4 million working days were lost in 2017/18 because of work-related stress, depression or anxiety. So, if stress is one of the biggest hazards in the workplace, employers have to continuously be aware of what mechanisms they can put in place to ease the situation not only for the health and wellbeing of staff but to increase production, staff retention and to lower unnecessary costs. 

When it comes down to it, most people just want to feel valued and appreciated at work. Group hypnotherapy in the workplace is something different, cost effective and is an effectual way to combat stress. It shows your employees that you value them and could potentially improve their lives dramatically.

If you want to read more about the workshops I provide, please see my group sessions page on the website.

What is the secret to happiness?

I often ask my clients what makes them happy and I always get similar responses, “spending quality time with loved ones” is the most common answer.

Many research studies consistently suggest that positive relationships with people we care about is the highest predictor of happiness, something my anecdotal evidence backs up.

Of course, this is an oversimplification and happiness is an individual concept, but we get confused by messages from the media. We are told that beauty, money, cars, private jets and trainers will make us happy. It’s really important not to let someone else dictate what will make you happy, you need to identify your own happiness makers and then incorporate more of them in your life. 

Unfortunately, we often don’t do this very simple process of identification and implementation because it comes at a cost. Something is holding us back; we want the reward without the pain. The second most common response from my happiness question is, “doing something for themselves”, a hobby, such as playing the guitar, watching live sport, or horse riding but justifying the time or expense is a challenge. We know exercising more and sleeping better will increase our happiness but for some reason we continue to get to bed late and keep inventing brilliant excuses not to go for a run. 

However, we mustn’t fall into the trap of a checklist, if I just get a bigger house, just lose a stone, or get the right job, I would be happy. There are tons of motivational quotes out there to remind us that it’s all about the journey.

Psychologists, Brickman and Campbell proposed the concept of the Hedonic Treadmill in 1971. Their theory suggests that we have a default happiness setting and external influences can only change that setting temporarily. When someone wins the lottery, they feel very happy indeed – for a while! Then they revert back to their default setting. The same effect is shown when something negative happens, they feel sad for a while and then get back to their “normal”.

However, this underestimates the complex beasts that we are and is sadly negatively deterministic. Like the old adage ‘once a smoker, always a smoker’, I dislike that kind of fatalistic approach. More recent studies have shown that lasting change can happen. We can move our baseline and we may even have more than one baseline.

Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book, “The How of Happiness,” says that 50% is predetermined by your genes, 40% is your thoughts, actions and attitudes and 10% is external circumstances. A more positive theory and, therefore, what we need to change to have the biggest impact on our happiness levels is our interpretation of life, our attitude to trying new things, our resilience to negative external influences and the view we have of ourselves. Not easy stuff and not a quick process, but achievable none the less.

Making an effort to spend more time with those you love and nurturing them is one thing we can all do with perhaps little cost, it could be the first step to improving your overall mood. If you would like to go a step further and receive help to banish excuses, gain motivation, sleep better or get a more positive interpretation of life please get in touch via my contact page. 




Do you want to stop ruminating?

We need worry in our lives, it helps us to foresee potential problems and overcome them. We worry about people and we show our concerns with love and care. Our worry time is productive, problem solving time that helps us grow.

Unfortunately we know that this is not always the case, sometimes our worrying thoughts whirl round and round in our heads and no matter what we try, they keeping coming back. We brood, fret and agonise over things.

So what can we do to stop rumination? Telling yourself to stop doesn’t work, If you are told, “Don’t think about a panda, don’t think about a panda,” you are going to think about a panda.

Firstly we need to figure out what the real problem is. Often we ruminate about something that is a few steps away from the root problem. For example Fred may spend many hours worrying about his partner leaving him, catastrophizing and planning for every eventuality. Not because Fred’s partner has ever displayed any evidence to suggest this, but because Fred is insecure. The cause of his insecurity maybe a past event which he then reaffirms with negative bias over the years. Often explaining your worrying thoughts to friends can help you get to the bottom of the problem by re-examining what you are telling yourself.

Which leads us nicely on to logic. Are your ruminating thoughts logical? How likely is the “worry” to happen? Could you have misunderstood something? We are sometimes inclined to think the worst or grasp the negative when actually if you look at the facts or the statistics it’s quite likely that what you are worrying about is so unlikely to come to pass or perhaps it may not even be true. Question the logic and ask yourself if you have a negative bias.

Distraction is a great way to get out of your head, seeing friends, going for a walk, doing a crossword, but make sure it’s a healthy distraction, if you are really worrying about something it might not be the right time to have a drink.

The opposite to this is to truly embracing the emotion, welcome the in the pain, open the door to your feelings, put on a sad song, curl up and let the feelings wash over you. Like the tides emotions will go down but they also come up. Remember, all emotions are temporary, maybe you really need to feel like this now before you are ready to let it go.

Rumination is often linked to depression and it can often be an early warning sign. People who are depressed find it harder to reason and think logically. When in that depressive state we find it particularly difficult to remember that feelings aren’t permanent. Depression stops our brains from problem solving, from being flexible which, in turn, reinforces the depression. Rumination is a symptom and therefore the depression needs to be treated first.

Our imagination is a wonderful thing. Albert Einstein once said, "imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." Spending too much time imagining the worst is a negative way to use this powerful tool, we have to remember what is, and what isn’t, worthy of our time to worry about.

If you are having problems with recurring negative thoughts and would like help to eliminate them from your life please get in touch via my contact page.

What are your early anxiety symptoms?

Sweaty palms, butterflies in your stomach or insomnia? Anxiety is your body’s warning system to tell you that something isn’t right. When we recognise anxiety, it is a useful feeling. It enables us to asses our situation, scan our environment for threats and make the changes necessary to keep us safe.

If only it was always that simple. Quite often anxiety is subtle, sometimes we don’t even notice it creep upon us until it becomes debilitating. Sufferers can be bed-ridden or house-bound, unable to communicate with loved ones and unsure how they even got into the state they are in.

Others learnt at a young age to ignore the early warning signs of anxiety, and as adults do not consciously acknowledge anxiety’s presence. Our bodies need to express our discomfort but rather than doing it overtly we create maladaptive behaviours like comfort eating or hair pulling, these later become habits.

Staying up till the early hours watching Netflix and ruining a good day ahead, being grumpy with your spouse or furiously hoovering; everyone has different symptoms. Acknowledging and sharing them can often help us not to continue down that self-destructive path.

Once you’ve identified your signals, you will notice they can happen before you have consciously recognised that you’re anxious about something. I have a friend who finds himself worrying about death. When he recognises this he then knows there is something wrong, something he is not addressing or acknowledging. Fear of his own death is his signal and comes from an early childhood trauma. He has now learnt to confront what is causing his anxiety as soon as the question of death pops into his mind, stopping many unnecessary exhausting hours of worry.

If you are having trouble coping with anxiety and it is hindering your life, reach out to friends or family. Often just sharing your symptoms can help you figure out where the issue lies. If you need more help, hypnotherapy can assist you in finding the cause, in creating new habits and behaviours, and offers many techniques so that anxiety doesn’t overwhelm you.

Remember that anxiety has protected us, it has kept us safe and has catalysed our growth.

Do you get into a Flow State regularly?

Flow state is when you are utterly absorbed in your task, the outside world is forgotten and you can achieve a great deal. It’s the end of writers block, a time to pour out your creativity or finish that piece of work. A sense of space and time can disappear, perhaps you are so into your task you forget to eat. When you are in this state you are highly focused and concentrated with great insight and clarity. It feels fantastic, you are on top of your game and have an outlet for all that wonderful creative energy.

Flow state was coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in 1975, although many religions and philosophies describe the same thing, such as Dhyana in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Csikszentmihalyi states that in order to get into this zone you must have a sense of personal agency or control over the activity and begin with a clear set of goals. The task must have immediate feedback, and you must have confidence in your ability. Your skills need to be tested to reduce boredom, but the task can’t be so hard it induces anxiety.

Athletes often call this being ‘in the zone’ and sports psychologists use various techniques such as NLP, visualisation and hypnosis to get their clients to fall naturally into the flow state. Top tennis players can’t be thinking about what they are having for dinner whilst playing at Wimbledon. They must be highly focused.

Ayrton Senna describes his mental state during the 1988 Monaco Grand Prix.

“That day I suddenly realised that I was no longer driving it conscious, and I was in a different dimension for me. The circuit for me was a tunnel, which I was just going, going going…and I realised I was well beyond my conscious understanding.”

Artists and musicians similarly describe the same feelings, but we all achieve it at some point in our life. Perhaps when you go running you get into a zone, or when writing an essay, or working a busy shift. It can lead to better performance, improve your skills and is very pleasurable.

In his book Finding Flow, Csíkszentmihályi explains that individuals should seek out activities that meet some of the factors of flow, like playing chess, playing a logic game or puzzle like Sudoku, participating in sports, engaging in a meaningful project at work or at school, drawing, or writing. That’s because it’s pleasurable and we are at our happiest.

Sometimes it’s hard to get into flow. Our mind starts to wander and it doesn’t settle. It can be really frustrating when we are trying to work, and our thoughts go to what we need to buy at the supermarket or a conversation you had with your friend the day before. Your daughter needs new shoes and you’ve forgotten to book your car in for a service. Boredom, apathy and anxiety are the enemy of flow state.

When you need to get something done and you’re struggling to get down to it, have a think about the conditions you are creating to get into that zone. Can you really hone in on that task and define your goal? Do you believe you can achieve it, have you got the confidence and self belief?

Some people have a set of rituals they use to let their bodies know it’s time to get into flow, for example they listen to the same piece of music before they go into a the arena or they always sit at the same spot when they want to draw. These become associations or anchors to the right mind set.

It appears that there is crossover with trance, some even call flow state hypnotic, and hypnotherapy can certainly help to get you in the right mindset for flow state by using various techniques such as visualisation and anchoring. Hypnosis is also great at eliminating any negative self talk, boosting confidence and getting rid of those mental blocks.

Please get in touch via my contact page if you’d like to experience hypnosis, just like flow state, it feels fantastic and can help you achieve more flow in your life.

Priority Reshuffle

If you or your partner are pregnant with your first child, your priorities in life may have subtlety shifted. Perhaps you’re thinking about saving more money and this has become a higher priority than buying clothes, or maybe you are trying to eat more healthily and are starting to spend more time cooking. Has your home become a nest that you’re furiously trying to organise and clean instead of relaxing on the sofa?

For many couples, this is a journey they are skipping along, excitedly preparing for the birth of their precious bump. However, with the impact of the baby’s arrival, which has been likened to ‘throwing a hand grenade into a relationship’, your priority reshuffle may be more like a big shake up.

Somewhere in the top three priorities, will be sleep. That seems to be universal. Other than this I don’t want to make too many generalisations. Perhaps personal hygiene slips to number nine on your list, sleep moves to number two, and baby takes first place. Or maybe you will be eagerly working extra hours to give your family a better future, moving work to your priority hotspot and sliding everything else down. Will sex even make it in the top ten anymore? And will caring about your appearance be demoted after your baby vomits on you for the second time in a morning.

For many women this reshuffle can be bigger than a man’s. The physical changes on your body alone can have a huge impact. It’s really important to communicate how you’re feeling and it’s vital you both have patience with each other as you go through this. If you’re feeling particularly exhausted and sleep is all you want to do, it’s understandable and it’s ok to ask for that support. Likewise, if sex has drifted way down on your list and your partner is feeling unloved it’s ok to acknowledge this. Being open about stuff has got to be better than pretending everything is fine.

In the first months and years of your baby’s life it’s easy to feel like you’ve lost your identity. However, maybe it’s not as serious as that, perhaps it’s just a priority reshuffle that needs to happen. The change can take a while to settle, to organise itself, and as sleep goes back to its original place, so other things will move around. You’ll have become a person with more responsibility, a busier schedule, you will have grown, and you’ll have so much more love in your life. The reshuffle can be tough, however it is worth it.

Hypnobirthing prepares you for the birth of your baby and some of these stress management skills will stick with you throughout parenthood. Many hypnobirthers continue to use the visualisation and relaxation techniques they’ve learnt through hypnobirthing.

If you’d like some help to prepare for your baby’s birth, or help coping with stress now that your baby has arrived, please get in touch via my contact page.

Are You Hypnotisable?

About 10 - 15% of the population is highly hypnotisable and about the same is not, with the rest falling somewhere on the spectrum in between. But what makes one person more hypnotisable than the next?

The origins of hypnosis go back millennia but in our more recent history it has garnered a dodgy reputation. The entertainment industry has fuelled this macabre unreality with horror films and stage shows, depicting people acting against their will coerced by a tyrannical hypnotist or humiliated for a cheap joke.

The reality couldn’t be more different. A hypnotherapist cannot make you do something against your will. Firstly, to be hypnotised you have to want to do it, no one can hypnotise you against your will and no hypnotherapist can make you do anything you don’t want to do. Besides from consent and a willingness to attempt hypnosis the science behind it is still contested. However, studies show that there is something going on in the brain when people are hypnotised, and that people who are highly hypnotisable have different stuff going on with their brain to those who are less hypnotisable.

A theory by psychologist Auke Tellegen proposed that people who have a High Absorption Personality trait are more susceptible to hypnosis and he developed a test called the Tellegen Absorption Scale. People with this trait are able to go deep into their imagination where they can fantasise and relive memories. They get sucked into watching films and forget about their surrounds. People with this trait are more likely to be open minded. If you want to find out where you are on the Tellegen Absorption Scale you can take the simple questionnaire here.

However hypnosis can not be explained simply by personality, there may be other behavioural phenomenon, biological, cognitive and social components. Back to the science tests then…

Data from MRI scans showed how areas of the brain associated with executive control and attention tend to have less activity in people who cannot be put into a hypnotic trance, whereas highly hypnotisable participants showed greater co-activation between components of the executive-control network and the salience network.

In my own opinion the most important starting point is to consider that hypnosis can work… and it really can. If you’d like to find out more about how it could help you then please click on the contact button.

What are you afraid of?

The dark? Needles? Clowns? People are afraid of a wide and astonishing variety of things. First time parents often develop new phobias as they become aware of their own mortality, such as the fear of flying. Grown men, all of a sudden and for no apparent reason known to them, can no longer get on a tube, and people spend their whole lives avoiding outside spaces because of a phobia of birds. When fears become obstacles and prevent you living your life to its fullest, you can get help.

We’ve all heard the theory of ‘facing our fears’ and there is definitely some truth to this, but it can be a hard thing to do: support can make all the difference. Say, for example, you are afraid of spiders, some zoos will allow you to go and hold the spiders to help you get over your fear. This should desensitise you, as the more you interact with the spiders without getting hurt, the less afraid you will be. Although maybe just standing next to the reptile house is as far as you can get in your first trip, so that you can gradually build yourself up to actually touching a spider. However instead of multiple trips to the zoo, you can do all this in hypnosis, like a form of virtual reality. You can be relaxing on a comfy sofa, with a caring therapist guiding you through a vivid experience in your own imagination. At all times the therapist will be aware of your comfort levels, and seeking to keep you as relaxed and calm as possible. If you’re getting too anxious you will be taken further away from what you fear and helped to relax until you are ready to move forward.

Imagination is a powerful thing, we can summon emotion just picturing something in our minds. Most people have woken up from a dream that was terrifyingly real, we were actually scared: the images were imagined but the emotions were real.

Hypnosis can use your imagination to desensitise you to the cause of your fear. However that’s not the only tool in the box, there are many other techniques that a good hypnotherapist can use to help you.

Have a look at this article which explains how hypnosis helped to overcome a fear of driving, and if you want to get rid of an obstacle in your life please get in touch via my contact page.

Hypnobirthing and Changing Perspectives

Have you had the pleasure of being regaled with stomach churning horror birth stories? Has the bad press increased on the announcement of your pregnancy? One theory to explain why these these negative stories stick in our minds is that our brains are hard wired to remember danger. Our ancestors needed to know about the monstrous creature living in the cave that might eat them in order to survive.

We as human beings are more interested in the bad news, we’ve all heard the phrase referring to the newspapers “If it bleeds, it leads,” and that’s because our brains react more strongly to negative stories.

Not only do we more easily recall the grim stories, we are also bombarded with negative messages about birth. Have a think about the messages you have received since you were a child… How does TV and film picture childbirth? What do you think is realistic? A screaming woman on her back? Have you heard a man being told “try shi**ing a bowling ball?” Have you seen a baby with a head the size of a bowling ball? There is a lot of misinformation out there which slowly filters into our brain and forms a perception about birth.

Hypnobirthing by no means suggests birth is easy, but going into it with fear is not going to help you have the best birth you can. Fear causes panic, tension and stress, tightening your muscles and releasing unhelpful hormones. Ideally you want to go into birth feeling empowered not terrified, be informed by the reality not the fear and to know you have choices.

Hypnobirthing can help you change your perspectives on birth, helping you to become calm, confident and in control. You can have a positive birth experience. 

Have a look at what Deliciously Ella recently posted about her pregnancy and hypnobirthing.