What’s Really Causing Your Anxiety & How Hypnotherapy Can Solve It

Anxiety has a habit of engulfing us. Unlike the nagging pain of a headache or cut, anxiety paralyzes us to our very core. Naturally, we want rid of it. Whatever stops you from performing daily tasks or being your authentic self should be thrown off.

Unfortunately, anxiety likes to hang around. It sticks to us and prefers to snowball. When we’re worried, we isolate. And when we isolate, our thoughts get to us. We begin to stress, lose confidence, and before we know it – there’s a panic attack on the way.

If this resonates with you, know that you’re not alone.

Anxiety on a global scale

5% of the U.K. population are believed to suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) at any one time. That’s about 3.3 million people. Even more, striking yet is that it’s believed  275 million people worldwide are struggling with the same affliction.

Why is anxiety so prevalent?

Among them, there are certainly varying reasons why they feel this way. It all ties back to one simple fact: our brains are naturally wired to be anxious.

Perhaps we’re not alone in the wild like our ancestors were, but our brains haven’t gotten the memo yet.

According to your brain, a threat is a threat. At the most basic and rudimentary level, it doesn’t know the difference between a job interview and a ready-to-pounce lion.

So, while you’re tucked away in your office panicking, your mid-brain is somewhere in mid-Africa circa 50,000 B.C. The same neural pathways that fire under attack during a hunt also fire under stress from a business meeting.

In one case, you’re trying to save your job; in the other, your life. So, this is pretty serious stuff. Plus, we’re living more fast-paced and connected lives than ever, both catalysts for an overwhelmed mind.

How anxiety can manifest

Your  fight or flight response is continuously stimulated, leading to fatigue, chronic stress, psychosomatic ailments (aches & pains,) and several anxiety disorders. Panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), just to name a few.

The hormones and neural pathways that cause anxiety

This is all down to two pesky hormones: Adrenaline and Cortisol. Yes, that’s right. Whether you can pinpoint the cause of your anxiety or have a list as long as your arm of reasons – it’s still all down to two chemicals. Neurotransmitters, to be exact.

Progesterone has even been put forward as a potential causative hormone as it’s been shown to enhance amygdala activity – the part of your brain where your moods are regulated.

As you probably know, adrenaline kicks in under mild-to-extreme circumstances. Whether you’re jumping out of a plane or took a tumble on the sidewalk, this hormone is instantly emitted from the adrenal glands just above your kidneys.

From here, it gets to work raising your blood pressure, increasing your heart rate, expanding your pupils, altering the body’s metabolism, and even expanding your airways. Sound familiar? Of course, some of those are the direct causes of the common anxiety symptoms. Out-of-control beating heart, nausea, extreme alertness, shortness of breath – it’s all explained by a simple hormone.

Produced alongside adrenaline in the adrenal glands is cortisol. A steroid hormone that essentially amplifies all of adrenaline’s anxiety-inducing work. However, cortisol is also known as the primary stress hormone.

Why does this happen?

But if you’re in the midst of a panic attack, you’re not worrying about what’s flowing about your body; you might, on the other hand, be wondering what caused it.

The neurological missteps behind anxiety

As mentioned before, anxiety comes from the primary emotional centres of your brain contained within the limbic system. The limbic system is incapable of independent thought. It directly reacts to any signals it receives from the mind or body.

This tiny system is found in your brain stem and is usually tightly connected with the prefrontal cortex – the part of your brain that can reason.

In numerous studies, neurologists have noted that the link between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex appears to be weakened in patients with anxiety.

This suggests that any perceived-threat or stressor will be processed solely by the limbic system, which will alert the adrenal glands to start firing adrenaline and cortisol.

Whereas, had the information been sufficiently passed between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex – the stressor could have been calmed with a rational and logical response.

Anxiety can be overcome in many ways

While this may seem like all hope is lost, the opposite is the case. The brain is notorious for its plasticity. If a natural pathway or connection is weakened, it can easily be reinforced and strengthened over time.

While many coping mechanisms such as exercise, eating healthy, and keeping to a routine are great for boosting confidence and keeping you busy, what they’re really doing is keeping your mindset healthy. And when we’re thinking positively, our brain follows suit!

However, i’s believed to take between 18 and 254 days for a habit to form  and around 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic. It’s within these periods that some people revert back to anxiety-inducing habits and our old thinking patterns – just what we don’t want.

However,  research has shown that setting time-based goals can increase motivation, self-confidence, and chances of eventual success. So, it’s believed that having a timeframe in mind before achieving significant mental changes can be helpful to those struggling with anxiety.

Either way, it’s essential that the thoughts and behaviours causing the body to have anxious reactions be changed for the better. Through this, the neural pathways can be remedied and corrected over time.

However, some people simply do not have the time to make significant changes to their lifestyle or mindset. Moreover, the triggering factor for anxiety is often deep-set, often developing in childhood or teenage years.

While the general mechanism and patterns for anxiety remain the same in these people, they may just need a little extra help. For this group, more extensive treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Behavioural Therapy, and certain medication can be of help.

Could hypnotherapy be the answer to your anxiety and stress?

However, a lesser-known and often less invasive form of combatting chronic anxiety is hypnotherapy. Long known for its ability to reach into the depth of our minds and subconsciously rearrange our thinking patterns, it’s clear to see how hypnotherapy can benefit chronic anxiety sufferers. Research  has even proven its efficacy, showing it to be equal in therapeutic abilities to CBT, if not more effective.

By tapping into your mind and subconsciously gradually rewiring your brain through positive mantras, hypnotherapy can reduce instances of stress and panic attacks. Moreover, you’ll receive the confidence boost that comes naturally with feeling in control of your thoughts again.

So, why not release control of your thoughts for just one moment to claim them back forever? By booking  an appointment with a professional hypnotherapist, you stand to release tension and pain while breaking down mental blocks with ease. The natural result of this is a boost in self-esteem, peace-of-mind, and a steady foundation of confidence.

Hypnotherapy is gentle on the mind while getting to work deep within your brain. Everyone’s anxiety and stress has a different solution, perhaps hypnotherapy is the one for you.









How the Coronavirus Pandemic is Changing the Way We Live

This month’s blog has been kindly written for me by Jennifer Scott of spiritfinder.org. 

Thanks Jennifer for your contribution


COVID-19 has had far-reaching effects on people and their well-being around the world, changing our lives in several ways. But not all these changes are bad! The pandemic created numerous temporary and long-term challenges that have encouraged people to adopt new behaviours and habits—many of which have benefits for our physical health, mental well-being, and financial security. Here are some great ways people and businesses are adapting to life during the coronavirus.

Buying and Selling Homes

Since house hunters are hesitant about attending an open day or visiting homes for showings, selling a home can be challenging right now. Thankfully, estate agents are offering all kinds of tech-savvy solutions to encourage buyers to continue searching for homes during the pandemic. Virtual tours, video-chat walkthroughs, 3D home modelling, and virtual staging can help you show your home to buyers without risking an in-person showing. These tools can help homeowners streamline the selling process and enjoy faster sales!

Opportunities for Remote Work

Technology is also playing an important role in how we work. Thanks to online collaboration and communication tools, many businesses have been able to shift their employees to remote work without compromising on productivity. The lockdown forced many businesses to test remote work on their teams and perfect their work-from-home policies. Employers are finding that their employees are just as productive—if not more—when they are given the option to work remotely.

In fact, many employees are hoping to continue working from home when the pandemic is over. If you’re enjoying remote work and your employer wants you to return to the office, this may be a good time to explore new career opportunities. There are many companies looking for remote workers! Alternatively, you could try starting your own business or working as a freelancer. Thanks to job boards that can help you connect with potential clients and employers, you can begin finding work with relative ease.

Nutrition and Physical Fitness

Since the shutdown of restaurants, gyms, recreation centres, and wellness studios, people have been taking their diet and fitness into their own hands. For example, many people have been forced to replace their regular restaurant outings with home cooking. Cooking your own meals is a great way to save money and incorporate more nutrition into your diet. You can find endless resources online to help you out with anything from mastering basic knife skills to baking sourdough bread!

Similarly, gym-goers are realizing that they can stay fit at home without commuting to the gym or paying for expensive memberships. There are plenty of free apps and exercise videos out there that can help you get in shape and stay motivated. If you’re missing your regular gym equipment, you can build an at-home gym or settle for some inexpensive alternatives, like dumbbells and a jump rope. Whatever adaptations you end up making to your nutrition and fitness journey, the health and financial benefits are bound to stick around for the long term!

Mental Health Care

The pandemic has also encouraged people to pay more attention to their mental health. The long days stuck inside under lockdown can be hard on our mental well-being, especially for the extroverts among us. Staving off loneliness and filling empty days with productive activities is imperative. To overcome these challenges, many people have adopted pets and started hobbies like gardening, playing instruments, or doing yoga. Online guides and video tutorials make it easy to pick up nearly any skill from home. Trying new activities and challenging your brain with new hobbies is a fantastic way to support your mental health during the pandemic and beyond!

It’s safe to say that the coronavirus pandemic is one of the biggest life events that many of us have ever been through. Adjusting to hasn’t been easy, but we’re all finding ways to survive—and thrive! Many of the coping habits and healthy behaviours that we develop during the pandemic will continue to benefit us long after the pandemic ends.


To perform to the best of your potential and rid yourself of crippling unwanted habits, addictions, stresses, anxieties, depressions, and phobias, connect with expert hypnotherapist Paul Milham today!

Can hypnosis help with depression?

A beautiful metaphor to show how hypnotherapy works.

I wanted to share a story with you about one of my clients. I often use this story in my clinic to impress upon people how powerful hypnotherapy can be. Please be assured I have sought the client’s permission to publish this story as anything discussed in the clinic is always confidential. This is such an inspiring metaphor that my client was keen for me to share it with others. For anonymity, I will refer to her as ‘Diane.’

Diane’s story

Diane came to see me a couple of years ago.

She had lost her husband to a sudden illness just before they were due to retire. She had worked for an accountancy firm all of her life and was looking forward to enjoying a holiday-filled retirement with her husband before life dealt her this cruel blow.

She was now three years into her retirement, and life had stood still. All of her plans were gone. She was 65 and felt desperately depressed. A lot of days she didn’t even get dressed. She watched TV, had few hobbies and rarely left the house.

Diane came to see me to help with her motivation, find a purpose in her life, and move on from her husband’s death. As with all clients, I spent time listening to her goals and explaining how the brain works and how negative patterns of thinking can cause depression, lack of sleep, and a lonely cycle that can be difficult to break.

As part of the hypnotherapy, we always come up with a goal every week. We ask clients to visualise what they would like life to look like if their problems were gone, and then we make steps towards it.

Diane struggled with this part. She said she couldn’t imagine life being any better and certainly couldn’t see anything positive that she could do to help the situation. But as we explored this further, Diane told me an interesting detail. When she had retired, she had packed up all of her possessions from her desk and put them in a cardboard box. She had sealed the box with parcel tape and left it in her living room at home. She planned to unpack it immediately, but days had turned into months, and months into years. The box had remained in her living room as a constant reminder of how life used to be.

“I would really like to clear the box,” Diane told me, “but I am afraid it will upset me too much, you know, to see the possessions of the woman I used to be. I don’t think I can do it!”

“So, what could you do towards that goal?” I asked her.

Diane looked at me a little confused. “Well, I guess I could take off the parcel tape!” she said, almost laughing at how trivial a goal it would be – how could taking a bit of parcel tape off a box change her life?

But it didn’t matter. Diane had a goal and something that she could achieve this week. The size of the goal didn’t matter, but the forward momentum did. We did a good, robust and powerful trance session on the back of this first step forward.

The next week, when Diane returned, was unbelievable.

Diane came to my clinic, bright and early. She had a massive grin on her face and her dark clothes had been replaced with a bright, flowery dress. She sat down and told me what had happened.

“So I took off the parcel tape as we planned,” she explained, “and, you know what, curiosity just got the better of me. I couldn’t help but take a peek inside, and the first thing I saw was a photograph of myself and a friend that I used to have on my desk. I’d forgotten about her and we had lost touch. Seeing that photo prompted me to get in contact. We’re going out for a meal this Saturday…”

Diane was sitting upright. Full of confidence and quite remarkably different.

“I also found a certificate in the box. It was for a course I went on to do with accountancy. I used to love learning skills with numbers. I miss that skill. So I found a course starting in the Summer that I may go on and maybe even get a few private clients.”

Diane took a sip of water, and then before I could interrupt, she said:

“At the bottom of the box was a pen. My husband bought it for me for my first day of work. It never ran out! I felt happy to have been reminded of his kindness. I felt like he was with me when I found this pen.”

It was such an exciting moment in my clinic and testament to the fact that if the brain wants to change, then change can happen rapidly. Only a week ago, Diane had been depressed and directionless. Here she was, arranging social events, re-training, re-entering the workplace and recalling happy memories.

But more importantly, this story demonstrates such a vital part of the hypnotherapy process. Change begins small but multiplies.

In one week, all of this happened to Diane. Yet her goal was simply to rip some tape off a box. Look at the forward momentum it created for her.

In the clinic, I tell this story and ask the clients, “What is going to be your ‘parcel tape’ moment this week!”

Change can be small but the impact can be huge!


To book a FREE initial consultation, click here.

How to deal with a panic attack


Anxiety is something that we all experience at various points in our life. Although it is an uncomfortable and, for some, terrifying experience, anxiety actually has an essential function – to keep us safe.

Years ago, when we were primitive men and women, our brains’ primary function was to protect us from danger, such as predators and wild animals. If we encountered such a threat, our brain’s ‘Amygdala,’ the panic alarm, kicked in. It flushed our bodies and tensed our muscles in preparation to run. This ‘flight’ mode was beneficial, and it still is useful in modern times when facing danger. It is not so helpful, however, when you suffer from long term stress and anxiety. It is not useful when there is actually no real danger to face. This prolonged hyper-alert mode can be stressful for both the body and the brain.

Panic Attacks

When anxiety occurs in a situation when there is no danger, and the symptoms begin to escalate, this can lead to a panic attack. A panic attack is a very frightening experience, characterised by:


  • Immense fear or terror that often begins with no, or little, warning.
  • A period of about five to ten minutes of very intense feelings, leaving the sufferer to feel drained afterward.
  • Physical symptoms including feelings of suffocation, faintness and nausea. Often these feelings can be similar to that of a heart attack. Often these feelings lead to more considerable panic.


But panic attacks are actually quite common. It is estimated that one in ten of us will experience a panic attack in our lives.

If you are suffering from panic attacks, here are some ways to help reduce, limit, and, even, eradicate these symptoms once and for all.


1 – Logic away your thoughts

Often, when you suffer from a panic attack, you get yourself stuck in a loop. The negativity and catastrophic feelings create physical sensations, such as difficulty breathing or chest pains. When we experience these physical sensations, it can often cause fear, terror and more catastrophic feelings that keep the cycle of panic going.

If we can change our thought patterns, we can break this cycle. For example, if you feel like you are having a heart attack, ask yourself, ‘Did I have a heart attack the last time I felt like this?’ If you feel like you are going to vomit, ask yourself, ‘Did I vomit before?’ By taking a step back from your feelings, and applying logic to the thoughts that you are having, you can quickly break the cycle and reduce the escalation of symptoms.

2 – Distract yourself

When you suffer from a panic attack, you can become so obsessed with anxiety that you become consumed by it. This can contribute to an escalation of the physical sensations. Rather than focus on the negative thoughts and feelings, stop for a second… look around you. Look at what is going on around you? Notice your senses. What do you see? Or smell? Or hear?

During a panic attack, your mind is in tunnel vision. Paying attention to the experience of all five senses can help remove you from that negative state and distract your anxious brain.

3 – Control your breathing

When suffering from a panic attack, try to sit down somewhere, calmly, and focus on your breathing. Nothing else, but your breath… in and out. Do and achieve nice, long, five-second breaths in, and then out. Place your hands on your chest and stomach to really focus your mind. Imagine your lungs and stomach filling with air. Breathing is one of the constants that we have. It centralises our bodies. It is rhythmic and calming. It is tough to panic when you are focused on something so tranquil, like your breath.

4 – Gentle exposure

If you suffer a stressful panic attacks, it can be a natural instinct to avoid the place and situation in which it happened. You may be worried that it may happen again. Although there will now be triggers in that situation, by avoiding it altogether, you are reinforcing a belief that this situation is ‘scary.’ You strengthen the associations you have of panic and stress.

To avoid this, you can gently expose yourself to that situation again. For example, if you always suffer panic attacks in the supermarket, start by sitting outside the supermarket in your car. Use techniques 1 to 3 to reduce your anxiety. Try to stay as long as possible so that any fear symptoms gradually subside. Maybe in the next couple of days, you could try this technique again, but this time, go up to the entrance or into the coffee shop.

Over time, you are training your brain that there is, actually, nothing really to be afraid of as you become more and more accustomed to that, once, scary situation.


How hypnotherapy can help


Hypnotherapy can be a powerful therapeutic tool that can assist in breaking the cycle of panic attacks. This is because:


  • The repetition of weekly ‘trance’ sessions help to train your body to relax more easily.
  • Hypnotherapy helps to empty your ‘stress bucket.’ This gives you more spare capacity to cope with the problems of everyday life. In turn, this can reduce the need for your brain to panic.
  • Hypnotherapy trains your brain to work in the intellectual rather than the anxiety-creating primitive emotional mind where panic attacks emanate.


If you would like to find out more, I offer a free initial consultation (either via zoom or in-person). Please click for information.


Online hypnotherapy – A guide

Hypnotherapy was a model of therapy that was working online before the Covid 19 crisis. With longer time spent in lockdown, anxiety and stress levels can increase, and the need to stop smoking can be more intense. Many are finding the experience of online hypnotherapy to be extremely valuable.

Online also offers some unique advantages over working in a clinic:

  • As there is no travel time, clients are saving time and travel costs.
  • Trance at home can be even more potent as surrounded by your own environment, the mind will feel safe and secure
  • The technology allows the sharing of ideas and resources in a way not possible in the clinic, thanks to the interactive elements of zoom technology.

However, for those of you looking to book your first session, here are some tips on how to enhance the experience.

Sound Quality

To make the sound quality as clear as possible, I have invested in a home sound kit, including a microphone and pop filter. Although I can do my best to create the sound as clearly as I can at my end, there are things you can do to enhance the experience. Try and pick a quiet room with minimal background noise. If possible, close the curtains. This helps reduce background noise as well as softening the light.

Many of my clients use headsets, which can be a great way of further reducing background noise to create crisp sound and purer reception. I would also recommend that, during the trancework, you mute your microphone as the zoom platform may interrupt my voice if there is a sound disturbance through it (such as a dog barking or traffic moving past).


It is generally recommended that you are lying flat and on you back during the trance part of our session. However, you will likely find the online session even more relaxing than live in the clinic and may fall into a deeper trance or even asleep. This is because you will be at home and in your own safe surroundings, so your mind is already cued to relax. I recommend that you recline in a slightly seated position on a bed or spacious sofa. If possible, drape a light blanket over yourself. The ‘covered up’ sensation is a good cue for your body to relax.


Pick a room that is tranquil and serene. Your bedroom will most likely be the most suitable room for hypnotherapy as your mind already has strong associations for relaxation and calmness. Before the session, sit in silence and check for background sounds that could be reduced (such as the gurgle of radiators or the television’s noise downstairs). Where possible, take steps to minimise this. If this isn’t possible, however, please don’t worry. The relaxed brain will block out any familiar and non-threatening background disturbances.

Try and arrange your session at a time when you can minimise the likelihood of disturbance. Maybe your partner could take the dogs out on a walk or you, the kids are in bed, and the postman is not likely to knock. Of course, there may be unexpected surprises but try to minimise these as much as possible.


Your brain is very receptive to different qualities of light. Our circadian rhythm is finely tuned to different light conditions. The slightest variations can have an impact on our relaxation levels. The best quality of light is in a dim room with the curtains closed and a warm, halogen lamp close by to create some atmosphere. LED lighting can produce a harsher blue light that can tell your brain to remain alert. This can slow the ease in which you go into a trance.

Communicate with the hypnotherapist

In the clinic, it is straightforward for me to control the variables to ensure the best experience. When doing live hypnotherapy, I am using lots of cues from your body (including breathing, REM and biofeedback). This is different online as you will have a practical role to play to feel comfortable and relaxed. If there are issues, such as connection speeds, sound quality, etc let me know. The most essential consideration in hypnotherapy is that you are comfortable. We can work together to ensure this is the case.

What will be will be

Hypnotherapy is a beautiful model of therapy that can work online as well as in a clinical setting. However, with these new variables comes a range of challenges and opportunities; the doorbell sounds, a dog barks outside, the telephone rings… In reality, the only problems that stop hypnotherapy working are the problems we create ourselves. If we don’t see these disturbances as problems, merely as something that adds to this new, online dynamic, your body will relax, and it won’t be a problem for our progress.

If you would like to find out more, I still offer a free initial consultation – to book please click here

You can also find more information, including costs here

Free webinar – For parents of Teenagers

Home-schooling and teenage stress

When: Tuesday 12th May 2020 at 8pm – 9pm

Cost: FREE

For: Parents of teenagers


Many parents are finding the stresses of home-schooling challenging. They are finding it impossible to motivate and stimulate their teenagers. On top of that, the anxieties of young people are heightened, they exist in their primitive minds. They are more likely to be accessing their flight, fight and freeze responses. Understanding a little of how the brain operates and how best to motivate them could turn things around.


I am a qualified hypnotherapist with over 2000 hours of experience helping people manage stress. I have clinics in both Crawley and London (at least, I usually do). I have also had over a decade’s worth of educational experience, having been a teacher of Media Studies, a department lead and a Head of Year.


I have created this webinar to help support parents trying to juggle the above goals. Completely free and hopefully an opportunity to build a little community.


In this webinar, I will be discussing:


  • How the brain works and how to get teenagers into their intellectual minds (increasing motivation and positivity, decreasing stress and anxiety).
  • How schools will cope with managing the catch-up post lockdown.
  •  The shared ideas of participants

If you would like to take part, please email me at info@paulmilhamhypnotherapy.co.uk or use the ‘Contact Me’ form and I will send you a zoom invite.

Stress, Anxiety and Cortisol

Are you feeling stressed? Feelings of burnout, anxiety, stress and depression can be scientifically monitored by the amount of various hormones present in the brain. Understanding how these stress hormones (in this case ‘cortisol’) contribute to these feelings can be the first step in empowering clients to better manage their stress levels and wellbeing.

What is cortisol?

Cortisol is one of the body’s main stress hormones. It helps to fuel the brain’s alarm system; the amygdala (often referred to as the ‘flight’ or ‘fight’ centre). Therefore, when we are met with a stressful situation, the influx of this hormone can support in activating our survival responses; we run away or fight off the danger.

Cortisol has a number of other positive benefits to the body, including increasing blood sugar, regulating blood pressure and controlling the sleep / wake cycle.

It is therefore an extremely useful hormone for our bodies and our survival.

When the stressful situation has subsided, however, the body should calm down and the flow of this hormone (and other stress related hormones, such as noradrenaline) should become more regulated.

So what happens when we are always stressed?

If we are in a constant state of stress, when in demanding jobs, sleep deprived, debt or intense domestic situations, the body can react with a number of detrimental conditions. These can include anxiety and depression, digestive issues, heart disease, weight gain or memory and concentration issues.

In these situations, when in a constant state of high alert, the cortisol levels can be much higher and can alter or shut down functions that get in the way. This can include the immune system, the digestive system or even our reproductive system.

A lot of people see stress as only an emotional issue and yet the physical ramifications of long term stress can be just as detrimental.

How does Hypnotherapy help?

Hypnotherapy helps to solve this issue on many levels. At its most basic the client is in a state of deep relaxation for a sustained amount of time allowing the body to manage this bombardment of stress chemicals.

Hypnotherapy also fires up the imagination. For certain parts of the brain, visualising situations in a positive way (either through metaphor or directly) is equal to experiencing it in real time. This helps to produce feel good chemicals (such as serotonin) and reduce stress hormones (cortisol).

Without the high levels of cortisol, the amygdala (our brain’s alarm system) is suppressed which allows other parts of our brains to form new neural connections, solving problems in abstract ways and therefore, reducing stress longer term.

The more time we spend doing this, the better our brain becomes at managing positive neural connections and stress hormone levels (hence why every client I see is given access to a hypnotherapy track which helps to manage these systems daily).

How you can reduce cortisol levels at home?

Don’t dwell on the problem

As mentioned, visualising situations in either positive or negative ways can be as real for the brain as experiencing it first-hand. Therefore, if you have had a row with a friend and you go home and ‘stew’ on it, your brain is reliving that disagreement over and over again with the same amount of stress hormones attached. As a therapy, Solution focused hypnotherapy understands this and therefore only looks at the solutions rather than problems. It is important, however, that you also maintain your own positive thinking, interaction and action at home. Rather than dwell on a fight, solve it or, if that is not possible, engage in some other alternative activity that is positive and feel good.


As well as producing feel good hormones in abundance, such as serotonin, exercise can improve our rapid response to stress. As exercise exerts some stress on our bodies, the adrenal glands will release a tiny amount of cortisol during times of exercise. Think of it like a vaccine – if we are exposed to tiny amounts, our bodies will build up a better immunity to it. Those who exercise regularly are more likely to recover from stress more rapidly.


Studies have shown that eating food with a high glycemic index at breakfast (high in sugar or carbohydrate) can increase cortisol levels. Breakfast is a perfect time to eat fruit and low sugar cereals rather than bread and potatoes and this will help minimise the cortisol throughout the day.

Mood is infectious

If you are surrounding yourself with other stressed-out individuals then you are likely to experience higher levels of stress yourself. Companies know this as often the negative mood of a team leader can have detrimental effects on the culture of the whole company as the bad vibe spreads. It is difficult to remain stressed when you surround yourself with calm and happy people.

If you would like to know more about how hypnotherapy can help to manage stress, I offer a free initial consultation. Click here to book now!

Little known facts about weight loss

ThinWe are all very familiar with the traditional methods and theories around weight loss – eat healthy, five portions of fruit and veg a day, cook using low-fat processes, keep portion sizes to tennis ball size, exercise for 20 minutes each day… the list goes on and on. There are countless weight loss programmes that assist in this and the Leisure Database Industry estimate that the UK weight loss and fitness industry is worth £4.3 billion.

But buried in the ever-developing and cutting edge neuroscience are new and exciting revelations that explore how shifts in our habits can result in dramatic changes in our weight loss and body shape. This is the science that hypnotherapists master because, outside of healthy eating and exercise, our minds can create the perfect environment to kick-start and maintain weight loss.

How stress can create body fat

In the book ‘Spark: How exercise will improve the performance of your brain’, Dr John J. Ratey and Eric Hagerman discuss the wide ranging effect that chronic stress can have on your body including its relationship to weight gain. In times of stress, the brain will attempt to fuel the muscles in order to ensure their rapid response (run away, fight etc). The hormone cortisol (the stress hormone) is released which signals for the liver to make more glucose to power those batteries whilst blocking insulin receptors at non-essential tissues and organs – this ensures that fuel flows only to the areas important to flight or fight. This is a good response in times of tension, however, when we have chronic stress for long periods of times, the action of this cortisol creates a surplus fuel supply around the stomach in the form of belly fat.

This is one of the reasons hypnosis can be so beneficial to weight loss as the REM replicating hypnotic trance state created in a hypnotherapy session has been proven to process stress, reduce anxiety and, therefore, create conditions more conducive to weight loss.

Sleep better, eat better

Over the last 30 years, Dr Eve Van Cauter at the University of Chicago has conducted many studies which attempt to explore the relationship between sleep deprivation and weight gain. These studies have been outlined in the book ‘Why we sleep’ by Matthew Walker. Participants in one of these studies were split into two groups with each group being monitored over a period of four days. One group were allowed to sleep for 8.5 hours (the recommended amount) and the other for only 4.5 (considered very sleep deprived). Every day, the participants were given free access to food and were measured on the type and quantity of food that they ate.

Van Cauter discovered that that those with short sleep consistently ate 300 calories more per day than those on 8.5 hours sleep. Over time, this would equate to 70,000 extra calories or an extra 10 – 15 pounds of weight gain per year.

Van Cauter also discovered that the processing of leptin and ghrelin (the hormones responsible for feelings of fullness and hunger respectively) were significantly hindered by shorter sleep patterns

Hypnotherapy encourages longer periods of unbroken sleep as it empties the stress bucket usually responsible for waking us up. Therefore the weight control benefits of better sleep patterns can be greatly enhanced by the work conducted by hypnotherapists.

Your home temperature and weight

One of the surprising links between obesity and the environment is the temperature of our homes. It stands to reason. One of the biggest consumers of energy in our bodies is body temperature regulation. This can be higher than the fuel needed to exercise or consume food. In the modern age, with sophisticated heating systems, our bodies don’t need to burn as much fuel in order to maintain optimum body temperature. Therefore this fuel is stored as fat. One Japanese study found that people experienced a drop in body fat after spending two hours a day for six weeks at a temperature of about 63 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you want to lose weight, turn down that thermostat.

Or alternatively, you could book in some time with a hypnotherapist! Click here to book a free initial consultation.

Sleep, Hypnotherapy and REM

In hypnotherapy, one of the most engaging systems, processes and phenomena in the human brain is REM (or Rapid Eye Movement). This is the stage of sleep where we dream and process information. Similar to this and, also running concurrently, is another stage called NREM. NREM is a very similar sleep process; although it tends to not involve the imaginative visual theatre of dreaming that we associate with true REM.

When we are awake our brains act like a video recorder. It is recording information from our five senses, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. These memories are stored in the hippocampus region in the form of short term memories. In order for us to update our behaviours, during sleep, they must be moved to the cortex area which has substantially more capacity for organising, prioritising and storing this information. All the time the information remains in the hippocampus it is fragile and susceptible to being replaced my new, more important information.

During the NREM stages of our sleep our brains are doing what can be described as a clear out. Organising our already existing files to make room for the updated files that have been recorded during the day. During the REM stage, our brains incorporate the new information learnt that day (whilst in conscious recording mode) and we link this new information to already existing models in our brains. Therefore, we have a viewpoint on the world which is adjusted and refined every night during those precious hours of sleep.

Think of it using this metaphor. During the day we go to the shops and buy lots of new things. When we go to sleep at night our NREM stage of sleep rearranges the items we already have in our bedrooms to make room for the new purchases and the REM stage incorporates these new purchases into our, now tidy, bedrooms. If we don’t do this process every night, our bedrooms will just keep on getting messier and messier.

A good sleep is considered to be between 7-9 hours. Any less and we are in sleep deprivation which, scientists believe, is as damaging to our bodies as a day of junk food and no exercise.

Interestingly, a healthy sleep should consist of 5 cycles (of around 90 minutes each in length). Each cycle should be composed of light sleep, deep sleep, REM and NREM forms of sleep. NREM (the clearing out of file systems) seems to be generous in the first few cycles and less prevalent in the latter cycles of sleep and REM appears to do the opposite.

This becomes very problematic if you are getting under seven hours of sleep a night because the last cycles of sleep (in the 7th and 8th hour) are rich in the information processing power of REM. This is when our minds process stress, enhance creativity, problem solve and prioritise the learning of our brains.

When people say that they ‘don’t need more than five hours sleep a night’ they are only fooling themselves. Yes we can function, hold down jobs and interact but the learning and stress management systems are dramatically impaired. There is now a wealth of evidence linking the loss of the REM rich stages of sleep to many neurological disorders such as memory loss, depression, anxiety and anger. Moreover, this starvation can often lead the hippocampus to come up with coping strategies for the stress caused by our ‘messy bedrooms’ such as weight gain, addictions, obsessions, compulsions and paranoia.

One of the simple functions of hypnotherapy is this – we create a trance like state similar to REM, firing up the imagination and processing the information which is lost by the lack of eight hours sleep.

It always frustrates me when people tell me that they either ‘believe’ or ‘don’t believe’ in hypnotherapy. It isn’t a religion… It’s neuroscience.

If you would like to find out more about hypnotherapy click here

To book a free initial consultation, click here

New Year Neuroscience

A recent study by Strava (the social network for athletes) concluded that most people begin to struggle with their New Year’s resolutions on January 12th and ‘give up’ by January 17th. According U.S. News & World report, the rate of failure for New Year’s resolutions is around 80%.

It might be that you are struggling to keep up the momentum of losing weight, getting fit, stopping a bad habit or saving money. It is certainly hard to achieve a rapid change in behaviour when the impetus of that change is just a calendar date; an event very external to the systems of our minds.

Hypnotherapy, whilst helping to hardwire these changes at a deeper level, can also offer an insight into the neurology of the brain and how we can use our brains own neural learning systems to keep the change alive.

So here is a boost for those who are struggling to maintain the positive change. Some little tips and the science behind them:

Keep stimuli front of mind

Have you ever noticed how companies like Nike and Apple use very minimalist advertising? They don’t include long copy about the benefits of their products and often the logo is enough to sell the brand. This is because the aim of the advert is to keep their products ‘front of mind’ so that when we need a new pair of trainers or mobile phone, we are likely to recall their company as a provider.

This technique is very powerful in advertising and can be used to help us maintain momentum in our resolutions. For example, you could leave reminders around the house of the new lifestyle you are trying to adopt. If you are trying to be more healthier, you could leave a fruit bowl in the kitchen to remind you of your options when you feel like a snack or your gym bag near the front door to keep exercise a ‘front of mind’ decision.

Keeping stimuli in constantly visited locations will act as a sure fire way of keeping the change that you want a priority in your life.

Make breaking your resolutions hard

Our minds are a mass of neural networks (roughly 100 billion neurons to be precise). Neurons are the cells that are responsible for collecting information from the outside world and sending commands to all of the systems in our bodies, both consciously and subconsciously. At every given moment our brains are using these complex systems to make decisions about what actions we should take. It will constantly be weighing up the reward gained versus the effort given. Too much effort to gain the reward and the brain is likely to decide not to bother.

Therefore, always make what you want to achieve easy (i.e the fridge stocked with healthy food) and what you want to avoid, difficult (and never have the bad food in the cupboards).

Attach your habits to already existing ones

Our brains take between 21 to 45 days to learn a new habit. This is because your brain has to do something consciously for a number of times before this repetition in hardwired in the subconscious. It is more likely, then, to become an automated habit. It is difficult, therefore, in the early days, to ‘remember’ to drink 2 litres of water a day until the habit has be repeated several times over.

But we have so many habits that are already repeated throughout our day; getting up, that first morning coffee, jumping in the shower, checking the post. Why not attach a habit that you want to do to a habit that you already do. Therefore, if your resolution is to drink more water, you could decide to have a glass when you get out of the shower or when you open the post in the morning. Doing this will help you both remember and hardwire the new change of behaviour that you desire.

Stay positive

The phrase ‘stay positive’ is such a buzzword and not easy to do. However, we can learn a lot from our ancestors who knew that it is easier to be positive when we interact and act in positive ways. Exercise, social interaction, laughing, reading, hobbies and interests all help to create that feel good neurotransmitter ‘serotonin’ associated with feelings of wellbeing and happiness. By creating this chemical in abundance we are more likely to remain in our intellectual minds and not in the limbic systems of our brains which promote bad behaviours and negative solutions.


I am proud to be a Solution Focused hypnotherapist as everything we do is based upon using brain science, not magic, to create positive change. If you would like to find out more about how to make you positive changes permanent then please get in touch here.

Why Stop Smoking?


People tend to smoke because of the belief systems (or narratives) that they have built up around the habit over time; that it helps calm them down, it gives them something to do with their hands or it helps them digest a meal. Often these belief systems are so deep rooted that they go unchallenged by our conscious brains and allow us to carry on smoking. This is why hypnotherapy can help as it works with our thinking patterns at a much deeper level.


One of the stories I hear many a time in my clinic is that ‘my Uncle Bob smoked 50 a day since he was 13 and lived until he was 90.’ Smokers will clutch onto stories like so as to convince themselves that the harmful effects of cigarettes are false and overblown.


This would also suggest, however, that the main incentive to giving up smoking is about mortality. Though the links with COPD and Lung Cancer are undeniable, the consequences of smoking stretch out much further than life versus death.


If mortality isn’t a big enough incentive – try looking at some of these:


For the body


Cigarettes actually contain 30 different chemicals that actively cause cancer. The chemicals can also give rise to poor circulation and cold hands and feet.


Death rates


Every hour in the UK, 14 people die from smoking related causes. This is six times higher than the total deaths from car accidents, murder, manslaughter, poisoning and HIV combined. The BMA reports that 16% of all deaths are related to smoking


For the Lungs


As well as the links to lung cancer, smoking can cause and exacerbate asthma.


For the Heart


Smoking is one of the primary causes of the hardening of the arteries – this is known as COPD which is evident in 20% of smokers. About 26,000 people die of COPD each year and death is usually drawn out and painful.


For Reproduction


Smoking can cause infertility. It is thought that infertility can also be passed down to the children of smokers as well. In men, smoking over a long time can lead to impotence and erectile dysfunction. The BMA estimates that 120,000 are impotent through smoking. Smoking can lower sperm count and sperm mobility.


For the ego


As blood vessels are constricted through smoking, smokers become very pale and ‘grey’ looking. The chemicals in cigarettes also destroy blood vitamins (particularly C and A, both vital for healthy skin). Smoking can also give eyes a more bloodshot look as well as causing premature wrinkling, especially around the lips and eyes. Circulation issues can also affect gums with many smokers losing their teeth in middle to old age.


For the Mind


Smoking is linked to many psychiatric diagnosis such as anxiety and depression, agoraphobia, panic disorders and dementia.


Hypnotherapy can be a positive and powerful way of giving up smoking. The treatment is quick at only one two hour session.

Click here to book your session

Click here to find out more about why you should choose hypnotherapy to stop smoking


The myths around Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy can be a very effective way to deal with a number of concerns. Whether you are looking to manage feelings of anxiety, anger or depression or have a habit, obsession or addiction as a result, hypnotherapy can be a very positive and powerful way of moving forward. Some people look to hypnotherapy to increase performance at work or in sport. Some people use it to manage nerves before an exam or performance. Hypnotherapy can be a rapid method of stopping smoking.

However, a lot of people may not consider hypnotherapy as a viable treatment because of the myths that surround it. In is inevitable that such an enigmatic intervention could be viewed in such a sceptical way so, in this blog, I will explain away so of the misconceptions, mysteries and concerns that seem to surround this form of therapy. *


It isn’t really real, is it? How could a hypnotist get people to do all of that crazy stuff? Is that what will happen in the therapy room?

From the beginning of the stage presentation, the stage hypnotist will use certain tests to pick subjects that are going to be the most impressive subjects to hypnotise. These people are generally those who don’t need much of a reason to partake and perform. Hypnosis is good for lowering inhibition… Alcohol does this as well. These outgoing subjects are most likely to go along with the hypnotist’s suggestions. They are happy to perform. It is, therefore, likely, that someone who is naturally more reserved, would be less inclined to accept the hypnotist’s suggestions in a trance like state.

Generally, in clinical hypnotherapy, the clients are open to suggestions about change (i.e. feeling more confident, motivated, rejecting phobias etc) as this is the reason why they have come. The sample is self-selective. They have not come to perform or ‘dance like a chicken’ so that is really not possible in a clinical setting. A hypnotherapist cannot make you do anything against your moral code or that you are opposed to.


I have heard that not everyone can be hypnotised so it may not work for me.

Hypnotherapy induces a state similar to REM sleep. Since everyone sleeps, everyone can generally enter this state quite easily. Deeper trance states can be more hit and miss but these states are not used nor needed in therapeutic hypnotherapy.


I have never been hypnotised before. I don’t know what to expect

Most of us enter a hypnotic trance regularly, in fact, several times during a day. It is unlikely that when you drove to the shops you remember or even focused on every turn and traffic signal. This is because you were on autopilot or, indeed, trance. Trance feels similar to an intense daydream but it is different for everyone.


Can a hypnotist retrieve memories?

Not at all. Hypnotherapy will fire up the imagination using relaxation and suggestibility. Any experience recalled through this is likely to be less reliable than fully conscious memory.


What does hypnotherapy feel like?

Hypnosis is a highly subjective experience. Generally speaking the ideal state to work with a client within the middle ground between awake and asleep although, in reality, clients drift  round from one to another in one session. It has a lot in common with REM (Rapid Eye Movement) which is one of the initial stages of sleep and feels like a state of intense focus and imagination (a dream of daydream). A lot of clients have an expectation that they will be in a mesmerised state which will take them to another dimension. The reality is that clients are generally much more ‘in the room’ than that. The most frequent description is that clients feel awake, conscious but in a state of deep relaxation where they don’t want to move and can let their imagination take the lead.


I am too mentally strong to be hypnotised

Some people will describe all hypnosis as self-hypnosis and therefore about the focus of the client not the mental weakness. Sports people will often use hypnosis techniques to increase performance which would suggest an association with mental strength not weakness. This myth seems to be a hangover from the days when hypnosis was seen to be about the strength and wizardry of the hypnotist when, in fact, they are just ‘read the map’ whilst the subject ‘drives the car’.  


Am I under the control of the hypnotist?

Absolutely not. You always have full control or your body and your mind. As you are in a state on semi-consciousness you always have the final say. In fact, your focus is more intense as you lose more control of your automatic reactions (flight or fight) so that you intellectual mind can take over.   


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

Why Hypnotherapy is becoming so popular?

When we think of hypnotism, a lot of people will conjure up the image of the mysterious, suited magician who casts a spell over his victims making them chow down on an onion like it was an apple or dance like a chicken. People define themselves as either a ‘believer’ or a ‘non-believer’ as if this phenomenon was a Bigfoot or a Loch Ness monster.

Actually, the routes of hypnotism lie in science, not in magic. The hypnotist just plays on some of the quirky wiring of our brains to create a trance like state of suggestibility. It sometimes seems as if it is magic but this really isn’t the case.

Hypnotherapy Crawley
Hypnotherapy Crawley

But did you know that hypnotherapy uses this phenomenon in an equally powerful way? People have reported stopping smoking without any craving or pain, they had ridded themselves of crippling phobias and achieved life changing levels of self-confidence and self-belief. Results are generally pretty quick also. This is because one of the first things that hypnotherapy looks at is sleep. In my clinic I have seen people go from 2 hours sleep a night to 7 hours in just two weeks. Sleep is our body’s big regulator and, when this improves, the impact on our lives can be unbelievable.

But what it isn’t is mind control. A hypnotherapist cannot change you unless you want to change and the results are highest when the client has a belief that this will work for them. This is why the free initial consultation that I do is so important. It demystifies the process and lets the client know exactly how and why hypnotherapy works.

Some of the changes that I have seen in my clinic have been incredible and I have the best job in the world to help bring about these changes. The solution focused approach also adds a further dynamic. We don’t focus on problems but solutions. You don’t come to my clinic to discuss what is making you sad! My job is to focus on what makes you happy. A lot of people are private, they don’t want to discuss the problems of the past. Anything with the word ‘therapy’ in it seems threatening and intrusive. Solution focused hypnotherapy, therefore, is a blessed relief – happy, positive, fun and forward looking.

So if you have anxiety, depression, anger, sleep issues, phobias or any related concerns, join the thousands of people finding this quick, efficient and relaxing therapy to be the best way forward.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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

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.

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


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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

Get in Touch 07780 843817