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.



What are you good at?

Thinking about your personality strengths is a great way to recognise some positives and congratulate yourself for being a wonderful person, but how have you interpreted your character strengths in the past? Have you viewed them as personality flaws? For example, if one of your top strengths is the love of learning have you seen this in the past as a negative, a jack of all trades, master of nothing? Or have you always considered yourself a push-over because you have a forgiving nature? Instead try to think of how you can change the narrative, having a love of learning makes you interesting, curious and worldly and being forgiving is a wonderfully generous aspect of your nature.

Learn to incorporate your strengths in all aspects of your life, really utilising these traits is a great way to get more fulfillment and satisfaction. Doing the things you do well, and the things that you love to do, feels great.

Have a look at this online survey to discover your character strengths and if you’re struggling with negative thoughts about yourself, need help to break a cycle of low self esteem, want to boost your confidence and happiness then hypnotherapy could be the thing that works for you.

Would you have a home birth like Megan Markle?

I didn’t consider a home birth because my new army quarter didn’t really feel like home, although I would have been an excellent candidate as I was healthy and had an uncomplicated pregnancy. 

Being in a comfortable, relaxing environment for birth is beneficial to women and their babies, helping to produce oxytocin and lowering stress hormones, in turn reducing the risk of intervention. For some women giving birth at home may be the environment they need to provide comfort and familiarity. Women who have a fear of hospitals due to previous bad experiences, with the possibility of bringing back painful memories, having a home birth may be the best option. 

For others, who have had pregnancy complications or past birth trauma, a hospital with the fancy equipment and doctors is the right choice… of course, there will be others for whom just the thought of giving birth at home incorporates nightmares of freestyle carpet upholstery and Fenton the dog trying to act the midwife.

Ultimately women should have a choice where to give birth, it is an individual and a personal decision so here are some stats released from NICE (click here) to help you make an informed choice.

Changing negative habits

People are anxious… sometimes we’re not even aware that we are anxious. Without consciously thinking about it we put in place coping mechanisms; sometimes they’re okay, they kind of work but a lot of the time they become negative habits. Who knows someone who comfort eats, someone who procrastinates, or someone who obsesses over details? Maybe we’ve seen that in ourselves, felt it in ourselves. 

Hypnosis can help you to acknowledge the anxiety by accessing these often subconscious negative thoughts. Becoming aware and dealing with the underlying anxiety can set you on the path to replacing negative habits with positive behaviour.

To find out more about how hypnosis could help you or someone you love please get in touch by clicking on the button.