Happy Stoptober

This has been by far my best Stoptober to date. I have had to open my Crawley clinic an extra three Sundays to manage the demand for smoking cessation therapy. Well done to all the now non-smokers who committed and broke the habit. The health benefits are very obvious but you are also about to find a sense of freedom that you haven’t had for years. You are no longer a slave to the habit and are going to find out so much about yourself now that you no longer hide behind a puff of smoke. Hypnotherapy seems to be able to help both the ‘sixty-a-dayers’ and the ‘causal weekenders.’ It truly is a remarkable process.

For those of you still on the fence or, for whom cold turkey is just too painful, there is still time left. And if you need any more convincing just imagine this…

The short term effects of giving up happen within hours. Your blood pressure returns to normal, nerve endings regrow and the carbon monoxide levels in your body return to normal.  Within weeks your smell and taste return and breathing can increase by up to one third. Coughs go, gravely voices soften and your energy returns.

Within two to five years you’re really gaining momentum. Excess risk of heart disease is halved as is the lung cancer death rate for the average non -smoker.

Depending on the severity of your habit, you can be a fit and healthy as a non-smoker in ten to fifteen years. If you are middle aged that means you can look forward to a happy and healthy old age…

No more ageing of skin… No stinking clothes, more money, more vitality, no guilt… No formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, ammonia, nicotine… happier relatives… better mental health… Man – the person who invented smoking must have been a real villain!

Keep on trying and happy Stoptober.

Click here to find out more about quitting smoking with hypnotherapy

Click here to book your Stop Smoking session

A Portrait of Anxiety

For anyone is suffering from Anxiety, Panic disorders, Depression or any of the associated consequences, I wanted to share the following diary from one of my clients, Chris. Chris has just revealed to me that he kept a blog about his experiences of anxiety and hypnotherapy which he has agreed that I can share on my website. It acts as both a beautiful testimony for my services (which made me a little choked to read to be honest) but also as a really touching and important story about the effects of anxiety.

Chris has been amazing with me. A truly remarkable story. A year ago crippled, housebound and overwhelmed with a truly horrific case of anxiety, he has progressed amazingly with hypnotherapy having just got married in front of many guests and now just started his own gardening and maintenance business with clients booked up until September – a truly remarkable feat considering his starting point.

Thank you for sharing 

 

Hi I’m Chris, I’m 29 and I live in the South East of England. I have a beautiful wife-to-be and my amazing little boy. I would like to give you an insight into my life living with depression and anxiety. For the past 6 years or so I have been battling with the hells of anxiety and depression, and would like to share my experience with any people that wish to read about it. I will keep you updated with some techniques I use to calm myself; not all of them work but if you have some I can try I am willing to do anything to rid myself of this plague. 

For a long time I wasn’t sure what to make of it. To start with I thought I had a sickness bug as I was constantly feeling sick. I went to the doctors on many an occasion but nobody could tell me what was wrong with me. I was diagnosed with everything from a sickness bug to what they thought could have been diabetes! I know diabetes! 

Thankfully it wasn’t. I went undiagnosed for nearly 3 years before finally someone asked me “How is your head?” FINALLY! The question that started my journey to find out that what I was experiencing was a panic disorder. 

Now to this this day nobody, including myself can find out what the doctors like to call “my trigger” is. It just seems to happen at anytime, anywhere and it’s the most frightening and inconvenient thing I’ve ever experienced. It has cast a really dark shadow over my life for the past 6 years and has caused me to miss out on a lot of stuff with friends and family. 

It can even effected my work. I am on a drug called paroxetine 30mg. Just to get me out of bed in the morning. It helps to an extent but, believe me, I still feel the effects of anxiety every day the medication just helps me to get by day by day. 

Making plans can affect me, long distances, unknown situations, social events… I want to use this as a tool to see if I can pinpoint the triggers of my anxiety and maybe cure myself of this horrible mental illness. 

 Thanks for reading 

 

The bastard monster within me

 

So, Good Morning… It’s 3am and this is where my daily struggle begins every day. For the next three and a half hours I’m going to do battle with this bastard monster within me. Usually until I fall asleep again just in time for my alarm to go off and me to drag my exhausted backside out of bed again. 

Let’s talk about what happens to me. 

For an unknown reason anxiety wakes me up.  “Hey wake up I’m bored and I’m going to f**k with you!” So now I’m semi awake and I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach – a butterfly sensation, if you like, that slowly creeps from my core filling my abdomen. At this point it turns into fire and my body now feels like I’m burning up with a combination of freezing at the same time. My arms and legs tingle to the tips of my fingers and toes and go dead. I can barely move them. I’m frozen with this nightmare going on inside me. Now I’m wide awake. And this feeling can go on for hours nonstop. 

I tell myself I’m going to be ok, over and over, but it doesn’t work. I try breathing exercises. Still nothing. Eventually it disappears for a moment, every now and then coming back with an electric shock sensation. ZAP!!! “I’m still here in the back ground” and all I can do is lay motionless because my body feels like I’ve just had a 3 hour work out. The only way I can describe it is the feeling you get when you have a near miss in the car and your whole body goes dead; heart racing, heavy breathing and tingling. I’m exhausted and I drift into a light sleep then my alarm goes off. ZAP!!! “Wake up it’s time for me to fuck with you again.” I take my medication in the hope that it will end but it takes ages. And I wait for the next unexpected round with this bastard illness as it can creep up on me at any moment. I am living on a knife edge constantly. 

 

My Safe Space

 

I want to talk about my safe space, where I can go to when I’m having a hard day and my anxiety levels are really high.

My safe space is where I can be with my girlfriend, my son and my mum. There is something that sooths me when I am with these people, but I have to stress that this only works for me when I am at home. I have also noticed that I am also calm around our dog Millie. I feel she can sense when I’m not right and she will come and cuddle up with me.

They can remind me that I’m not always alone because anxiety and depression is an extremely lonely place. Even when you are in a room with loads of people you can still be lonely when you can’t get to your safe place.

I use music to help me also, some people say my use of metal music is why I have low moods and anxiety but let me tell you when I can play Alexisonfire, full blast, in my headphones, my fears and worries will melt away and I can lose myself in the bliss of their heavy riffs and the scream of George Pettit that helps me to drown out the constant noise that goes on in my head all the time. My go to song is, and you can all say to yourselves ‘who calls a song that?’, is ‘Boiled frogs or accidents.’ These songs have beautiful lyrics that I can relate to. Anyway, I can go all night telling you about this band but I won’t bore you all to death.

Another great relief for me is meditation. I like to use this regularly to keep me relaxed. Usually I will do 10 mins whenever I am alone to relax my mind and body it takes time to be able to distance yourself from your surroundings but when you get it, its euphoric.

 

This is the time of day I dread the most of all. The run up to going to bed. This is when my anxiety really switches on! It can start as early as 6pm; getting my stuff together for the next day or even cooking dinner can cause me to start thinking about the panic attack I’m going to encounter at some point the next day. Then come the thoughts. What job do I have tomorrow? Where is the job? Is it going to be really far away? People that know me will know that I can’t do long distances or unfamiliar places. 

I can’t remember a time I haven’t gone through this thought process of an evening. I try to fall asleep but the anxiety keeps me up. I try and watch something light on TV to fall asleep to but this doesn’t work. I wish I can remember the last time I had a good nights sleep. I’m like a walking zombie all the time.

I have no enthusiasm in anything or have any pleasure in what I’m doing and this makes me sick. No matter what I do, if it’s working on my car or doing something else I use to really enjoy, my first action is to think about something in far too much depth that then can cause a panic attack. So I use avoidance as a tool to stop this. It usually results in me just not doing what I was going to just so I don’t encounter the anxiety. Fight or flight response, if you like, and 99.9% of the time it’s flight. 

People tell me I need to face the fear and just do it but the anxiety is so disabling that I can’t do it. Then I’m back to feeling like I’ve been used as a punch bag. I’m aching because all my muscles have been tense for so long. And I’m mentally drained that all I want to do is roll up into a little ball and sleep. But it’s a catch- 22; I can’t sleep, I can’t stop thinking, I’m exhausted from it and just wish it could stop. 

 

5 weeks and counting

 

Hi everyone. It’s been a while since I last posted, this is because I have spent the last 5 weeks trying to get over a mental breakdown. A little before Christmas I suffered a huge panic attack at work. Just before that I started to notice signs of it coming on but plodded along regardless. Then came the big one that sent me to pieces. I’ve been to numerous Doctors appointments and been signed off for weeks now. I’ve switched from 30mg of paroxetine to 100mg of sertraline. This process of weening has not been easy.

 

I did a week of 20mg paroxetine, then followed by a week of 10mg paroxetine. The withdrawal was a nightmare. But I was determined to change the medication because paroxetine was no longer working. On day 15 of the weening I had to start on the new drug 50mg of sertraline. I was on this dose for a week and apart from horrific side effects, I didn’t feel much was happening so my doctor put my dose up to 100mg…again this has been crap. No sleep, nausea, headaches, the lot I’m now on day 5 of my 100mg dosage and still fighting the constant anxiety attacks and side effects. 

 

Saturday, I I had my first hypnosis session. I had never really thought about hypnosis before but this breakdown has had me searching for anything that will stop this crushing illness. I was at the beginning of the end especially spending Christmas Day on my own due to the fact I was too scared to leave the house. This massively affected me and my family. Yet another strain for us and something else I have to feel guilty about. Any way hypnotherapy. Wow. Although I’ve been quite sceptical about stuff like this I needed to try anything that was going to help me.

 

I met with a guy called Paul Milham to discuss how hypnosis can help in my road to recovery and this guy was great. He explained how the brain works and how we will proceed with getting results. My Girlfriend came with me as it was probably the first time I left the house since Christmas. When I get anxious my agoraphobia kicks in good and proper and I’m only happy in my safe place as I discussed before. Anyway. I left that meeting feeling hugely optimistic and happy for the first time in weeks. 

 

Fast forward a week. My 1st proper session. Me and Paul sat for a while chatting about what I wanted from my perfect day. This guy really has time to listen and absorbed everything I was telling him. Unlike the GP “Yes, Chris have some drugs next please” I’ve nearly given up with the quacks now. Next the hypnosis started I was pretty much in the room the whole time as in I could hear everything that was being said and going on. When the session ended I felt really relaxed. I got in the car and stared to drive home. I sat in traffic for maybe 30mins, got home and realised that I didn’t panic for the 1st time in years. I sat in traffic without a panic attack. What a huge step forward that was for me. So I’m sold on hypnosis can’t wait to get to my next session. 

 

To book a free initial consultation with Paul, click here

How does Hypnotherapy work?

If you are looking for help to manage anxiety or depression, to conquer a phobia or addiction or to improve your business or sports performance, you may be surprised to know how effective hypnotherapy can be as a solution.

Most people’s first point of reference for hypnotherapy may be a stage hypnotist; a dark and enigmatic character who puts people under their spell for the amusement of audiences. Although this idea can intimidate people, it shouldn’t. Stage hypnotism shows the power of trance and suggestion, but think of Hypnotherapy as a distant cousin. We use trance in a relaxing way that the client is completely in control of and the results can be staggering.

The success is a lot to do with a part of the brain called the ‘Conscious Critical Faculty’ – think of like a gateway to the brain. If we have a belief about something then the conscious critical faculty will block out any information that conflicts with it. This is a logical programme our brains have. If we have a belief that a viper is poisonous, our brains will block out any ideas that say otherwise causing us to back away from it and not to pet it!

But what if some of these beliefs are false or damaging? What if we have beliefs that we are worthless? That we cannot achieve our goals? That we will never be happy?… Then our brains can block out any positive information that might conflict. Hypnotherapy bypasses these systems and allows some of these positive messages through without being blocked by a fear of threat or danger.

The hypnotherapist can play with this communication by encouraging the mind away from limitations and negativity and towards positive goals and success.

But changes in our mind-set are only the start. Scientists are now fully aware of the physiology of our bodies and the interconnectedness of all of our systems. The brain and the body are so closely aligned. Negative emotions are often the root cause of physical symptoms. This is why hypnotherapy can have such an impact on a range of physical conditions – tiredness, memory, focus, digestion, fertility, skin conditions, digestion, sleep… the list seems limitless.

Hypnotherapy, in some form or another, is one of the oldest forms of therapeutic repair, dating back to the days of emerging human awareness. Very few therapies have stood the test of time in quite the same way suggesting that it is one of the most effective treatments that people can use to help support them with a range of goals or conditions.

What to Measure to help manage depression and anxiety

If you are an entrepreneur you measure your success on your financial wealth… If you are a model you measure yourself on your looks… A manager would measure themselves through profit.

But does any of this make us happy? If you want balance, contentment and a sustainable measure of your life’s worth here are the important scales to consider.

Confidence
How confident are you? When we are confident about the decisions we make then we have no need to be anxious about the outcome. When we are not anxious about the outcome we avoid stress and worry which will keep us mentally strong and focused.

Interaction
Humans are sociable creatures and are designed on every level, spiritually, emotionally and physically, to thrive on successfully communicating with others. When we connect with others our lives have purpose because very few people can be truly happy on their own.

Activity
When we exercise we produce serotonin, our body’s natural happy juice. If we are more active, the more of this happy inducing chemical we disperse meaning we have more energy, more vitality and more positivity to give to life.

Thoughts
If we measure the positivity of our thoughts then we effectively measure the resilience of our brains and our ability to stay in the intellectual sections. As our brains are neuroplastic, the more time we spend thinking positively, the bigger those positive resources become.

Strengths
Strengths are the positive features of your personality, your skills… the resources you bring to the table. These are what make you unique and of far greater importance to measure than are ability to generate material wealth

Achievement
Achievement is a relative term. If we measure achievement against a Nobel prize winner we may run up short. We should measure our achievement based upon where we start and where we finish.

Happiness
Isn’t this the end goal for us all? We communicate to be happy, make money to be happy, form relationships to be happy… If all of our daily tasks are undertaken with the end game of fulfilment and happiness, then isn’t this the greatest measure of all?

To book a free hypnotherapy initial consultation in click here

10 Amazing reasons why Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help with Anxiety.

hypnotherapyIf you are suffering from anxiety, stress or depression, the range of therapeutic interventions can be quite mindboggling. From CBT to counselling to Mindfulness, the therapy world is strewn with a myriad of different options.

Many people choose hypnotherapy because it has stood the test of time and that decades of success can vouch for its effectiveness. Now, however, the world of hypnotherapy is splintering even more and one options is a fairly new but highly effective hypnotherapy that is gaining traction. The results that solution focused hypnotherapy are achieving are staggering and here are ten reasons why…

It focuses on the future, not the past

Many people come to a therapist wanting to change their future and not dwell on the reasons why they became anxious in the first place. In fact, Solution Focused Therapists believe that a constant focus on the problem actually reinforces the anxiety that you are trying to banish. A Solution Focused Hypnotherapist doesn’t look at where you are now and how you got there… Instead we look at where you are now and where you want to get to… In this way it is a 100% positive, solution focused and stress free experience.

It measure results

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is one of the few therapies that is daring to measure results on a uniquely developed system. Individual therapists will do this every time they see you so we can collectively average the results we get as a group of therapists nationally. I currently see over 100% improvement in anxiety (true as of date of publish) in just 8 sessions. Incredible progress from my clients and a statistic backed up by facts not obtainable by a lot of other therapies.

It makes you the expert

hypnotherapyIn many therapies, the role of the therapist is to help solve the problem and the therapist has a range of tools to do this. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy puts the client clearly in the driving seat. We work on the premise that ‘you are the expert of you!’ It is your brain that you are in charge of. The unique solution that you have, however, to solve the issue is sometimes hidden behind the clamour and clutter of everyday life. We help focus you on finding the solution that you think will best help you….and this is much more empowering!

It is a smorgasbord of the best

Solution focused hypnotherapy takes the best of what is out there already. It takes the best of traditional hypnotherapy, of CBT, of Psychotherapy, NLP and mindfulness to make one of the most powerful therapies available today. Solution Focused therapists work hard to understand the different approaches which allows them to make the therapeutic approach bespoke to the client suffering with anxiety.

It is incredibly relaxing

For many people, going to a counsellor or a cognitive behavioural specialist is daunting. Why? Because the expectation is for the client to vocalise their inner demons. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy allows the client to work on hitting targets in a trance like state using metaphor, stories and deeply relaxing hypnotic technique. Such a calm and relaxed way of dealing with anxiety!

It is brain-based

The history of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is based in science not magic. The system was developed by looking at how your brain naturally works, how anxiety is processed and mimics the pathways used by your brain to course correct. Time is taken to explain the science behind it to every client so that they understand exactly how the process is working. There is no leap of faith required – this is pure neuroscience!

Results happen quickly

Maybe it is because we are solution focused, maybe it is because we mimic the existing functions of the brain or maybe it is because we are so very passionate about what we do. Whatever the reason, change tends to happen incredibly fast and immediately from the first free initial consultation.

Everyone can do it

A lot of people have a predisposed opinion of whether they can or cannot be hypnotised. The level of trance they are talking about is so deep that only 2-3% of the population can achieve it. In Solution Focused Hypnotherapy the deep, relaxing trance is like a vivid daydream – a voyage of the imagination. As everyone has the ability to daydream, we all have the ability to make change using hypnosis.

It regulates sleep

HypnotherapyAs well as the amazing applications to reduce anxiety, Solution Focused Hypnotherapists understand the relationship between levels of sleep and anxious behaviour. One of the great benefits of our approach is that clients often get much better sleeping patterns as a result… and a rejuvenated person is less likely to suffer from anxiety.

The results are long-lasting

The investment you make in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is an investment in your future. Change happens at such a deep cognitive level that the results can change behaviours, thought processes and patterns of anxieties completely and permanently.

To book your FREE initial consultation in Crawley, click here

To know more about what you can expect from hypnotherapy, click here

7 Things all Sportsmen and Sportswomen should know about Hypnotherapy

Ever wanted to be the best you can be in sports? From golf stars such as Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus to boxers such as Kevin McBride, the top sport performers know the benefits of hypnotherapy in helping them achieve greatness. Here are 7 amazing reasons as to why hypnotherapy can be so beneficial whatever your sports discipline.

 

1)      It turns your reactions into responses

Sports HypnotherapyWe are not born knowing how to drive a golf ball onto the putting green or sink the black ball into the far right pocket. These are skills that our brain has to learn. The more you throw a ball to a child the better they will become at catching. This is because the brain will start to learn from the random reactions of our bodies to make an intricate formula for success. Suddenly our lightning reactions to catch will be mapped out in the neural pathways of our brains making this skill more of a controlled response – this is a process that hypnotherapy encourages.

 

2)      It improves confidence

Buried deep in all of the positive language patterns of a hypnotherapist’s repertoire is the basic framework of building confidence. This is because hypnotherapists know that healthy confidence is the building block of most of human success and progress. Professional sports men and women know that all the skill and expertise is useless without self-belief and confidence. Through guided hypnosis, a hypnotherapist will instil a confidence blueprint in the mind of the athlete and with this winning formula they will be miles ahead of their competitors.

 

3)      It decreases stress

Stress is a ‘low road function.’ When we suffer from stress we spend time in our primitive minds where our only response options are anxiety, depression and anger. These responses are no good in sports that require mental focus, precision and clarity of thought. Hypnotherapy moves our thought patterns into the intellectual mind which eradicates stress and it’s debilitating effects on sports performance.

 

4)      It creates strong visualisation

Ever heard a footballer discuss how he drove home an impossible penalty shot and say that he ‘just imagined it hitting the back of the net’? Ever been told as a child to just visualise the basketball going through the hoop if you want to score a goal? There is a lot of science behind this. All success starts with a strong visualisation of the outcome and this visualisation has to be hardwired into the complex network of the brain and its neural pathways. Hypnotherapy allows for a direct route into the subconscious meaning these successful outcomes can be compounded at the deepest of levels.

 

5)      It acts as an inner rehearsal

In whatever discipline, people at the top of their game know the importance of rehearsal. Many boxers mentally rehearse every left hook right before going out into the ring. Studies have shown that in many cognitive processes the brain cannot distinguish between imagination and reality meaning that a mental rehearsal is as useful as a physical one. Hypnotherapy provides the ultimate mental rehearsal. What’s more is that it is bespoke. The client, in communication with the hypnotherapist, is in complete control of every aspect of the mental training.

 

6)      It helps manage sleep patterns

Sports HypnotherapyWhen we sleep we use a process called REM to change our emotional memories into narrative memories. We empty our metaphorical buckets of stress and give ourselves more spare capacity to deal with the everyday problems of our lives. When we are not doing this efficiently (due to too much stress or the over-burdening of our cognitive functions) our sleep patterns are the first thing to suffer causing us to become emotionally, mentally and physically tired – all potentially catastrophic for a sportsman or woman. Hypnotherapy replicates to important REM patterns which, in turn, helps us to sleep more efficiently giving us bundles of energy for that all important match.

 

7)      It gets you in the ‘Zone.’

Mental focus is incredibly important to a sports performer. No matter how much skill you have accumulated, if you mind isn’t completely focused during the match then you may as well hand it over to your opponent. Sports Hypnotherapy can help eradicate all other concerns, stresses and worries and promotes absolute focus on the match and, more importantly, on winning it!

 

To book a FREE initial consultation to look at how hypnotherapy can help you, click here

 

 

  

The wider benefits of positive thinking

hypnotherapy
How hypnotherapy can relieve stress

The brain is not only one of the most complex organs in our bodies, it is probably one of the most complex creations in the whole universe. It is unlikely that we know 10% of the complexities and capabilities of this organ that we all have and that is in our continuous use, even when we sleep.

Yet one of the things we do know is how binary one of its more basic functions is. Our brains do perceive things as either positive (not a threat) or negative (a danger). If our lives are under threat we know that the primitive mind takes over to save us (usually called flight or fight reactions). In primitive man, these responses would have overridden our intellect if we were being attacked by a lion. In modern times, these can be triggered by a bad day at work.

So what happens when we worry, get anxious or stress out? Those same systems kick in and we have a limited number of built in reactions – aggression, anxiety or depression.

We also know that our brain is neuroplastic and that, over time, it changes shape. Over time, the areas that deal with the responses of anger and anxiety increase in size and become our default mode.

What we focus on, therefore, will literally become our reality.

If all our problems are on the left and all our happy experiences on the right then, just by focusing on the right, we change the wiring of our brain to use this as our default mode, whatever the situation.

This is something that people who have had hypnotherapy know very well. They have had such acute focus on solutions that they no longer tend to see problems whatsoever.

The science is so simple and, when hypnotherapy is no longer seen as a magic trick, we will be able to use it to change our minds magnificently.

To book your session of hypnotherapy, click here

10 Incredible reasons why Hypnotherapy can be the most effective Quit Smoking method

Stop SmokingYou don’t have to look far, nowadays, to learn the benefits of quitting smoking – you can exercise harder, have more energy, less guilt, smell better, have more money, less paranoia, increased lung function… the list goes on and on… Not to mention the dramatic statistical decrease in your chances of getting lung cancer or heart disease.

Despite these overwhelming motivations, many people still struggle to kick the habit and will try numerous methods to quit. Often hypnotherapy is the lowest on the list as people see it as a form of ‘magic.’ But here are ten incredible reasons why hypnotherapy remains the best choice for stopping smoking –

1)      It is the quick and efficient – Whereas nicotine replacement patches can take weeks and months to slowly wean you off the habit, hypnotherapy is powerful and instant. In fact, the full treatment is only a relaxing 2 hours long – you come in a smoker and leave a non-smoker.

2)      It has the excellent success rates – Just 9 years ago the Which? report concluded that of all the methods used to stop smoking, hypnotherapy is the most successful. In my clinic, in the last year, I have not had one report of anyone smoking after working with me to quit.

3)      You can have very few cravings – Most people who have given up through hypnotherapy would conclude that the reason it was so effective was because they didn’t crave cigarettes. People are astounded that, after years of being trapped in a craving cycle, their bodies can so easily go without. Most of my clients report little or no cravings whatsoever!

4)      The relapse rates are low – In research conducted by the hypnotherapists in Clifton Practice in 2003, participants were given the opportunity of a ‘free top up’ if the quit smoking hypnotherapy they were given was unsuccessful. After six months only 8.3% of clients returned for this offer suggesting that relapse rates for this form of hypnotherapy were under 10%.

5)      It is cost effective – Although there is an initial outlay, other forms of stop smoking therapy, such as nicotine replacement patches, will spread a much greater cost over a longer period of time. Often nicotine patches can be around £20 for a week’s supply and this cost can skyrocket if a client is on them for extended periods of time.

6)      It deals with the actual problem – Most nicotine replacement therapies help you quit by gradually reducing the nicotine intake but this is not the route of the problem. Addiction happens in the limbic system of the brain so when we intellectualise the habit most people reject it at a deep level. Other therapies rarely deal with why we smoke and, therefore, never break the cognitive association between pleasure and smoking.

7)      It is incredibly pleasant – Nicotine replacement is a slow process, cold turkey is hard… Hypnotherapy, on the other hand is a process that promotes positivity, relaxation and creativity. Quitting has never been so soothing!

8)      It is based upon science – Hypnotherapy is often misjudged by people that have seen various stage hypnotists performing entertaining routines. The success of hypnotherapy is actually based in pure science rather than faith – once you understand how our brains are wired to want cigarettes it is easy to understand how we can ‘re-wire’ under hypnosis. All my sessions come with a discussion about the neuroscience of smoking… and you will be astounded at how it works.

9)      You are not alone – Most stop smoking therapies can be brought over the counter in a chemist. There is little interaction with others and ‘going it alone’ often leads to failure. When working with a hypnotherapist you have someone ‘on your side’ who truly understands the nature of addiction and how best to support you in giving up

10)   There are other benefits too – When we work together using trance we achieve so much. The focus of stop smoking hypnotherapy will, at the same time as helping you quit the habit, address a number of other important feelings, with many clients reporting increased confidence, self-esteem and happiness after treatment. *

To book your Stop Smoking session click here to contact Paul or call him on 07780 843817

 

**Disclaimer: Please be advised that there is no guarantee of specific results and that results can vary from person to person

How to Manage Anxiety

What would you do if you had a child that came home from school and told you that they were being bullied? What advice would you give them to help them deal with this situation, gain confidence in themselves and eradicate this problem in their lives? Most would agree that the traditional thinking involves standing up for yourself, telling someone and not believing the hurtful words they use.

Beat Anxiety
Anxiety is just a playground bully

Anxiety is a bully. It can make us feel as humiliated, incapable, weak, talentless, afraid and depressed as the biggest bully in the playground. So the advice that we give to our children to help them deal with a bully is equally as relevant to us dealing with anxiety, no matter what the route cause. So what can we learn from the teachings that our parents gave us?

Stand up for yourself

A bully can only feel good about themselves when the balance of power is truly in their favour. A bully is unlikely, therefore, to target someone who is not easy prey and who will confidently stand up for themselves. Similarly, someone in the grip of anxiety needs to come up with a firm ‘No I don’t want to be treated like this… I don’t deserve to be treated like this and I will no longer allow it.’

Stand tall

There is a lot of wisdom in this. When we feel good we stand tall, our posture is sturdy, our facial expression powerful and our demeanour self-assured. If our brain makes such a strong neural link between feeling good and a confident poise then we can use that link to our advantage. Just by changing our physical demeanour we can trick our brains into thinking of a situation much more positively. If we look this fierce we are unlikely to be targeted by either the playground bully or the anxiety bully. Stand tall, smile and walk proud.

Use positive self-talk

If someone is trying to make us feel bad about ourselves then we must counter this with confident affirmations of our strengths. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and so if we have a clear picture of who we are it is harder for us to be shaken by anyone who would try to put us down.

Tell Someone

It is the golden rule of conquering a bully. Tell someone… build your army… Expose them and their bullying ways. At the end of the day, we all know what it is like to suffer feelings of anxiousness. Anxiety is most powerful when we try to deal with it on our own. By telling someone that we are not OK you can get a fresh pair of eyes on the situation, you can share the burden and work with others who care to find the solution.

Remain Positive

Being bullied can be hard and, if we let it, it can consume our lives. With must, therefore, spend as much time in the positive aspects of our lives as well as dealing with the problem. Surround yourself with people, places and things that make you feel good, positive, strong and happy. It is very difficult to feel threatened by a bully when you are surrounded by so much positivity.

For help with anxiety book an appointment with Paul here

What to expect from a Hypnotherapy session

The first visit to a hypnotherapist can be a daunting affair. You may already be suffering from an anxiety related condition and this unknown element can sometimes add to your stress but there is really nothing to fear.

Often, a client’s only point of reference for hypnotherapy is its close cousin of ‘Stage Hypnotherapy.’ This is where the hypnotist places their subjects into such a deep state of hypnotic trance that they are compelled to walk like a chicken, eat onions like apples and perform an array of demeaning tricks for the amusement of the audience. This is a form of somnambulism and bears little resemblance to what goes on in a clinic. For a start, only 3% of the population can get into such a deep state of trance that they are that susceptible to outrageous suggestions and furthermore, the kind of performances they create are suggestible because, deep down, they want to take part… No one can control your mind better than you can!

Hypnotherapy Crawley
Hypnotherapy Crawley

The first visit my clinic will involve an informal chat about your reasons for coming to see a hypnotherapist and the goals you wish to achieve. We may talk in a little detail about your current circumstances but only as much as you are comfortable with. I am a solution focused hypnotherapist which means that it is more beneficial to talk about your potential positive future rather than the worries that brought you here. I will also explain a little bit about how the brain works and how anxiety, depression, phobias, habits and fears are created. Often, this is the most important part and a lot of my clients pinpoint this as the exact moment that recovery began. If you are happy with me and how hypnotherapy works, we will look to book our first session.

Each session of hypnotherapy is similar. We will discuss you targets for the week (which I can use to tailor your hypnotic experience) and review how the brain works. We then do some hypnotic work on the therapy bed in which we motivate your brain to achieve these goals whilst your mind and body are relaxed. Some people can recall every word or this and some sleep through it, others drift in or out but there is no optimum way to experience it. Most people agree that it is highly relaxing and that 40 minutes can feel like five.

Change happens post hypnotically. In Stop Smoking Hypnotherapy the client may be a little confused at first by the thought of smoking and after a couple of hours is adamantly rejecting the habit. Most depression and anxiety sufferers notice change quickly and the rate of change seems enormous in the first few weeks. I have a special computer program that measures change so you can literally see your progress.

The bottom line with hypnotherapy is that you generally ‘get what you want.’ If you genuinely want to be less anxious you will find that this happens pretty quickly. A hypnotherapist can’t make you feel something you don’t want to feel, rather we work as a team: you have the desire and I help to focus that desire in trance and find the way to get it.  At the time of writing this, the statistical change in my clients over 8 sessions was an amazing 98.17% improvement in perceived positive change.

Paul Milham currently works in London, Crawley and West Sussex to support  clients with a range of targets and goals…

Click Here to book your free initial consultation

Click Here to find out more about Anxiety

 

Hypnotherapy Crawley

Hypnotherapy West Sussex

Hypnotherapy Woolwich

Conquer that Fear of Flying

A fear of flying is surprisingly common and very challenging. Whilst our intellectual minds may tell us that there is nothing to fear, our primitive minds can go on thinking the worst. Many will point out that we are a lot more unsafe in a car… That a driver of a car only has to take a basic written and skills test whilst a pilot undergoes years of rigorous training and assessment. Many may point out that statistically air travel is the safest form of transportation yet someone in the grip of a phobia will never hear this logic. Whether you are afraid of take-off, landing, mechanical failure, heights, claustrophobia or pilot error the fear of planes can be, for some, over-whelming. Family holidays are cancelled, holidays with friends discarded and a whole world of travel potential dismissed. This can lead to turmoil, frustration, anger or anxiety… Fortunately, many are shocked at how easy phobias like this are to solve in, sometimes, just 3 hour long sessions – just check out this great testimonial from one of my last phobia clients:

 

Paul’s hypnosis was straightforward and involved no disorientation or feelings of losing control. I still can’t get over how something so life changing could be relaxing and even pleasant! I’m now loving being free from the fear that no longer has any hold on me and feel like I can go anywhere and do anything. Thankyou so much Paul! (David, London)

 

Book now for a free consultation and start to look forward to that winter break with the family.

Where are the Mind Gyms?

So are we a more healthier nation than we were 70 years ago? The 1950s were certainly full of unhealthy habits and messages. We all cooked our bacon, chips and arteries in lard whilst our Doctor’s took part in advertising the glorious health benefits of smoking 20-a-day. We consumed an unvaried diet of meat and two veg and made few connections between our lifestyles and heart disease. We are now, undoubtedly, more knowledgeable about the nutritional value of foods and exercise. We now have choice – the choice to eat organic, to eat multicultural and to eat a range of healthy alternatives. We now consume more fruit and vegetables than we did 70 years ago and frequently access our gyms for weight-training, spin cycle or Zumba.

But does this make us healthier? Changes in technology allow us to work longer hours and maintain our stress levels 24/7. This has led to a rise in convenience food and ‘on the go eating.’ We have the option of 100 burger bars in a 5 mile radius which in the 1950s were still in their infancy. We have microwaves that can zap food rather than prepare with due consideration. We have the option to binge on food as it is made in its abundance in mega-supermarkets; in the 1950s we simply did not have this facility. Food manufacturers compete with each other to create the unhealthiest but tastiest treats knowing that our sugar addicted nation will always choose the sweeter option. Food production spirals, stress levels mount and obesity rises – even the gyms, offering solutions become corporate and profit driven.  

So are we healthier now or then? Healthier or not, we are certainly more educated on our physical health. If we weren’t, we cannot account for the abundance of healthy alternatives available to us.

So is mental health the next revolution? It would seem that it is very much in the psyche of contemporary society. On the 31st July 2017 the Government announced plans for an investment of 21,000 more mental health workers to be recruited over the next five years. This was a development that can be seen foreshadowed by David Cameron in his bid to give £247 million to place mental health services in every hospital emergency department in February 2016.

It saddened me, in a recent day in clinic, that I had 3 new clients come to see my exhibiting high levels of anxiety and each one told me that had been put on a waiting list by the NHS which could take up to a year. One client was even offered ‘CBT via chatroom’ which seemed to me to rank as one of the more impersonal and box ticking solutions. Hypnotherapy gets such great results in supporting anxiety and depression and, in a way, I am glad it is not part of the NHS’s arsenal as it means we can be there to support people when they need it without the queues or frustration.

So perhaps it is now time for the mind gym. A similar monthly paid membership but instead of treadmills and weight benches there would be therapists and healers. Instead of personal trainers we would have life coaches and instead of a protein shake bar we would have a meditation room.

In the 1950’s a gym to maintain our physical fitness was unheard of. Now we look back more enlightened. Maybe by 2050 we will be similarly enlightened about our mental fitness and look back at this decade as the one which shifted our focus to this important aspect of wellbeing.

A gym for the mind is certainly a dream of mine.

Hypnotherapy and Stress

According to Alexa the Earth has been in existence for over 4.5 billion years and humans have only been part of this journey for around 200,000 years. That’s only a mere 0.004% of the Earth’s history which we have enjoyed. In fact, if all of the Earth’s evolution was compressed into one day then, effectively, we have only been alive for a little under six minutes.

And what have we done with those six minutes? Well… Quite a bit as it happens. We evolved all the way from grunting and brutal cavemen wielding sticks and fighting off wild animals to sophisticated, cappuccino drinking, modern men and women with mobile phones and apps that control our central heating.

Yet all of this zip-wire evolution comes at a price. Whilst science may be advanced, our minds and our bodies still harp back to our Stone Age existence.

The Stone Age man and women would have survived on around 7lbs of sugar a day, now it is more like 100lbs. This rapid change in lifestyle has left our caveman bodies struggling to evolve at the same pace, leading to diabetes and heart disease. Our eyes, designed for seeking out food over huge forests and plains, are now being asked to stretch and focus on bright screens for hours at a time.

But we have also inherited good traits from our Stone Age ancestors. We associate food with communication and the ritual of sitting down to share a meal with friends dates back to the Stone Age when cavemen would sit down with other tribes to form communities and alliances.

Now if you look back at the evolution of stress, you will find it has similar roots in Palaeolithic man. The caveman would have felt a great deal of stress when meeting a wild animal. The primitive part of his brain would kick in and he would either fight it or run away. Similarly when we get a speeding fine drop on our welcome mat, the parts of our brain inherited from early man may make us shout and wave our hands…or avoid it entirely.

When the primitive man looked out of the cave and saw danger, he may have become stressed and hid beneath a fur rug. When we sense danger, such as unavoidable conflict, we sometimes do the same. This solution to the problem has simply been evolved into modern day symptoms of depression.

So stress is a hangover of the fact that we have just evolved far too quickly. Hypnotherapy can help by relaxing the part of the brain that acts as our panic button, allowing the logical part of our brains, born through evolution and inventiveness, to make decisions based upon rationality and logic.

I don’t think cavemen were ready for hypnotherapy which is a shame. Maybe if this practice had been stumbled upon at the same time as our ancestors tamed fire, we may all be just that little bit more zen.

Obesity, Stress and Central Heating

It is 9pm at night and I am racing through Youtube typing in different combinations of ‘Weight Loss and neuroscience’… ‘Obesity and the Brain…’ ‘Hypnotherapy and losing weight…’ It isn’t working and I am tired.

But about a week ago I watched an extraordinary video on this topic. A lecture from, if I recall correctly, Edinburgh University that was just fascinating and headlined some of the surprising reasons that modern science has for our obesity crisis in the UK. They were so unbelievably bonkers but, actually fundamentally logical conclusions that I wanted to consider them in this blog. Problem is, I can’t find the video so starting to wonder if I dreamed hearing it. If not, please someone send me the link so that I can credit this University lecturer for a profoundly insightful hour’s viewing.

It was stated that one of the reasons being considered for our country’s rising obesity stats was actually central heating! The professor stated that, as we have become more educated on food, our consumption of fats, sugars and bulky carbs has actually decreased over the years. In fact, the only food group which has seen a rise in consumption in the last 20 years is fruit and veg. So why, as a nation, are we suffering from obesity?

So the theory under the microscope is Central Heating! When we eat, our bodies use the food to fuel our daily movements. If we look at how the body distributes energy then we would find that 10% of the energy produced is used to digest food whilst only 30% is used in daily activity. That leaves 60% which the body uses to… regulate temperature. It seems logical, right? The temperature of our environment changes so rapidly that this must require a huge volume of calories to maintain status quo. In the age of efficient central heating, smart heating and regulated heating our bodies no longer have to work as hard on this process. The result? We don’t burn off the excess and store it as fat!

Could it be that simple? Turn the heat down and we will get thin? I wish I could find that video and re-watch…

Or could it be that stress is more powerful in weight gain than central heating… Again, another logical argument. When we were cavemen / women we were constantly stressed. We, kind of, had to be to ward off wild animals, survive harsh environments and hunt and gather food. And in times of high stress, what do our bodies do? Well, they are so smart that they would prioritise our spare energy. If we had to run away from a grizzly bear our body would redirect all energy towards flight or fight and certainly would not waste energy, at that moment, on digesting food. As we have evolved from primitive man our bodies perform in largely the same way. If we are constantly stressed then our bodies may react by consistently slowing down digestion and, hence, putting on weight. Or, indeed, would our bodies store food as fat so that we had enough reserve energy to ward off the threat of the grizzly bear or, in a more modern analogy, the shoulder-high in-tray of jobs to do at work.

As much as I like the central heating theory, the caveman analogy puts the control of our weight back in our own hands. That by de-stressing we are hindering the evolutionary processes that would cause us to gain weight. I am glad to be practising hypnotherapy, therefore. Having seen my clients lose weight through this process I know that it can be so supportive in this area. To de-stress and lose weight in one treatment is a double bubble. It takes a few weeks but the impact is demonstrable…

If all else fails – turn the heat down…

Thank you to whoever it was for a fine lecture