7 Ways of Getting What you Want

February 3, 2013

goals1: Think of what you want, not what you don’t want

We all know what we don’t want: we don’t want to get fat, smoke, be unfit, be lonely, ill, stressed poor or unattractive. But when we focus our attention onto what we don’t want we create a mental image of what we are trying to get away from and actually end up attracting exactly that which we are trying to avoid.

This is because our subconscious does not understand “negative” language. The classic example is someone asking you not to think of pink elephants. What are you thinking about? Our society is based on negative language. We tell our kids not to touch this or that, we tell them not to do this or that and what do they do? exactly that very thing.  This is because our subconscious is a goal striving mechanism: tell it what to do and it will get you there somehow, so instead of telling it what you don’t want, tell it what you do!

Because we are not used to doing this, you can start with what you don’t want, then ask yourself : what do I want instead of this ?

2: Set your own goals

If your parents always wanted you to be a doctor and you are going through with your studies because you want to make them proud or you don’t want to disappoint them you are not going to be truly engaged with your goal and sooner or later you are going to become unmotivated.

In other words: if you are trying to live up to another person’s expectation or idea of you, you are going to subconsciously resist  this in some way and you will eventually sabotage yourself because you don’t really want what you think you want.

It is important therefore that you examine in detail what is truly important to you, quite apart from what others may want for you or think you should be. If you do not do this your goals will be influenced by their opinions, be that your peers’ your family’s your spouse’s the media or such things.

You need to care enough about your goal in order to have enough energy to push through the inevitable challenges along the way. Let’s face it: nothing is easy and every goal requires determination in the face of difficulties. So why waste energy ‘trying to’ be or get something you don’t truly want just when you would have much more energy putting all your efforts towards achieving something that truly gets you excited?

3: Engage your Imagination

If you want to build a house you first need to imagine what it looks like. Then you need to make a drawing of it and only later will the details come in. If you can’t  picture the house you cannot build it. The same is true for other goals.

If you are one of those who believe you have no imagination think again: everyone can daydream; you did it throughout your childhood whenever a boring teacher went on about something you didn’t care about .  Talking about what you want with a friend or writing about it will help you ‘see’ it more clearly in your ‘mind’s eye’. When you do this, use the present tense, as if the goal has already been achieved and think of how you will feel when you do, as if you already did: this will make you connect to the emotion behind it which will be the motivating motor behind your actions.

Be specific: specify what you will see, hear and feel when your goal is achieved. The more vividly you can do this the more compelling and possible your goal will be. This is because the imagination is the language of the subconscious and images speak louder than a thousand words. When you imagine the desirable things your want as if you already have them this will give you positive feelings about your goal and it will provide you with an emotional pull to achieve it. If you are vague your actions will be vague and you won’t get anywhere.

Don’t say something like “I want to be happy” . That is not a goal, it’s a feeling and you are already in charge of how you feel if you accept responsibility for how you respond to what happens to you. Instead think about a specific and measurable goal in terms of what will be in place when you achieve it because this will give you an indication of when you have achieved it and it will help you notice any aspects of the goal that need to be adjusted.

After you have done the above and you are feeling really good about it, step out of it and think about the first step you need to take to begin the process of making your goal come true.

 4: Put a date on the goal

If you don’t put a specific date on your goal you will be more likely to put if off and deal with something “more urgent”. Don’t be vague and say “next year” or you will be telling your subconscious that your goal will always be a year in the future. Instead use an actual date so that as time goes on you will be able to see yourself getting closer to it and it will motivate you to put in the effort to make it come true.

5: Think about the consequences of getting what you want

They say : be careful what you ask for in case you get it! So think about what comes with what you want. If you want to set up your own business are you aware of all the time you will need to put in, in order to make it successful ? You need to be aware of all the consequences of achieving your goal such as the effects on your health, your relationships and the wider community so you can make the changes necessary to avoid unwanted side effects.

Your unconscious is better aware  than your conscious mind about possible pitfalls that may stand in your way and since its language is emotion rather than reason ask yourself  how you feel when you think about your goal : do you feel energized and excited or discouraged and tired ?

If you don’t feel a hundred per cent about it there is probably something you have consciously overlooked or ignored so pay closer attention and be honest about what you find.

 6: Take One Step at a time

If you feel overwhelmed by how big your goal is you need to ‘break it down’ to achievable chunks otherwise you’ll get discouraged and are more likely to give up. If this has already happened you probably have lost a bit of motivation. If this is the case first shift your attention fro what you need to do to get there to how great it will be when you have achieved it. Then break down the goal into smaller steps. Each step is a mini-goal in itself and you can feel good when you complete it. Celebrate every small victory and give yourself a small reward every time you achieve a mini-goal.

If you are unsure of what the next steps need to be first imagine the goal as if you already had achieved it. Then ask yourself: what conditions need to be in place in order for this be able to happen ? Work your way back through time until you get back to the first step you need to take. Put the work in: the more you put in the more you get out of this process . Get started now.

7: Find out what you want

Most people don’t know what they really want and so they avoid setting goals altogether. But think about it: If you don’t put in the time and  effort to find out what you really want you will never get anywhere. When you don’t set any goals you’ll just drift reacting to what life throws at you. Or even worse others will set goals for you and you’ll just go along with them. This is a recipe for feeling unfulfilled, vulnerable and lost.

If you don’t know what you want you can try either one of the following approaches:

1) Ask a friend to ask you : what’s important to me in a career? what’s important to me in a relationship? continue for each area of your life. Tell your friend to keep on asking you even when you think you have discovered what you value the most, because often the most motivating values you have are the most unconscious or least obvious.

2) Experiment and try out different experiences. Pay attention to  what you enjoy and what you don’t . Ask yourself what it is about each experience that you really liked. This will give you an idea of what you really value, what excites and motivates you and who you really are.

Persist and remember: there is no failure until you give up!

Tips to help yourself overcome anxiety

November 26, 2012

What is Anxiety ?

While anxiety is a common human reaction to stressful situations, when it begins to have an impact on how we live our lives to the point where we avoid people, places and situations that seem to trigger it, it is time to do something about it.

Anxiety is when we go over things again and again in our mind in a way that does not actually help resolve the  perceived problem. This in turn affects our emotions.  Typically an anxious person will do any or all of the following:

  • worry about something that happened in the past or something that might happen in the future
  • avoid situations that trigger the anxiety
  • become over dependent on others to look after them or provide answers
  • put on a brave face for fear of being judged
  • use caffeine, drugs, cigarettes or alcohol to cope 

Common symptoms of anxiety are:

  • tense muscles causing headaches
  • a dry mouth
  • dizziness caused by shallow breathing
  • indigestion, butterflies in the stomach, constipation and diarrhea caused by the adrenaline taking blood away from the heart and muscles
  • fast heartbeat
  • panic attacks caused by the flight / fight / freeze adrenalin response
  • difficulty concentrating and remembering
  • feeling overly emotional , thinking negatively
  • difficulty sleeping

Overtime these symptoms can feed fears, phobias, hopelessness and  lead to depression.

What Causes Anxiety ?

Anxiety is caused by the way we react to stressful situations in our lives. Whether it is losing a job, moving house, having  trouble with a relationship, experiencing an illness , a bereavement, childbirth or simply having too many commitments, major upheavals are common triggers.

What is important to remember however is that it is not the event that causes the anxiety but the way you perceive and respond to it. Often we become set in a way of looking at the world that confirms our worst fears and feeds our anxieties so if we are to combat anxiety we have to be prepared to test our assumptions and have a good look at our ‘map’ of the world to see if it’s making things worse.

Caffeine and energy drinks also contribute to anxiety , as well as cocaine and amphetamines so if you are a user and you suffer form anxiety you would be better off drastically reducing the amount you take .

Tips to Overcome Anxiety

At first it may be that even tackling anxiety could make you anxious. This will decrease with time so be patient with yourself.  While there is no magic cure for anxiety there are ways you can help yourself:

  1. Concentrate on the here and now. Focus on the present. Anxiety cannot exist in the present so stay clear of ‘what ifs” and tell yourself you’ll cross that bridge when you come to it
  2. Avoid becoming too dependent on others and asking them to solve your problems for you.
  3. If  there are situations that trigger you work towards overcoming them in time: set easily achievable targets, make a step by step plan and go at your own pace (never rush!)
  4. Learn relaxation techniques such as self hypnosis and meditation  (especially mindfulness practices)
  5. Give yourself time off. Do something you enjoy that you haven’t done in a while.
  6. Take a step back and have a good look at your life:  what is more important? shed the rest
  7. If someone is making too many demands on you work out a way to talk to them without laying blame
  8. Exercise! Even if it’s just walking, exercise helps relieve tension
  9. Stop smoking, reduce caffeine and alcohol
  10. Become aware of your negative thinking patterns: identify and challenge exaggerated worries and pessimistic thoughts
  11. Talk to a trusted friend about how you feel or see a professional such as a counsellor / psychotherapist / hypnotherapist
  12. Start working on your anxiety now by asking yourself the following questions

 

Am I looking at the entire picture? Are there any more useful ways I could look at the situation?

Do I apply the same standards to myself as I do to others?

What would I say to a friend / a loved one who said the same things I say?

Would I talk to others the same way I talk to myself?

If I wasn’t feeling like this what would I say about the situation?

Am I interpreting the situation this way because of my feelings about it rather then the bare facts?

What would I say about this looking back six months from now?

Is what I am telling myself helping me feel better ? If not, what would ?

The above techniques are very effective in learning how to cope with your anxiety. The more you practice them the more results you will get. If you need extra help and support implementing these changes feel free to contact me for a no obligation consultation now. Call 075 44247800 or email me to book an appointment.

Find out more how hypnotherapy and NLP can help you overcome your anxiety.

Four easy steps to find your life’s purpose

November 26, 2012

It is all well and good when we know what we want but what if we don’t ? What then ? Are we to just accept a directionless life, hoping to find our way in the dark with no help whatsoever? The simple answer is no. There are ways to help you figure out what you want and if you put a bit of effort into it you shall be rewarded with probably surprising and exciting answers.

One way to approach this common problem is to ‘take time out’. Our inner, wiser voice is a subtle one and cannot be heard over the clamor of everyday life. An option would be to go on a four day ‘retreat’, somewhere you can be alone and away from all distractions or to simply take time off work and use this time to meditate alone.

If at this point you find yourself saying to yourself “well I couldn’t possibly do that! I’m too busy! then perhaps it is time to ask yourself how much you value your own happiness; after all, If you do not change anything , nothing will ever change.

Remember that time out doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. You could just stay home or simply not go to work or stop doing the things you normally do just as if you were physically sick. Take a few mental health days off before you really need them.  Even if you do not go anywhere you can still use this quiet time to meditate or go see an hypnotherapist who can help you with the process.

Let us then assume you have taken the time off. What now? FIrst of all, make sure you avoid all media (yes, that includes your phone!) and be as silent and relaxed as possible.

On the first day of your retreat /  meditation / session with the hypnotherapist concentrate on the story of your entire life, from the first thing you can remember to the present. Try to visualize this story as clearly as possible so you get a feel for it  and remember to enjoy the process: this is not a time to judge yourself but rather to observe.

On the second day of your retreat / meditation / hypnotherapy session tune in to the wiser part of yourself. This is the part of yourself that knows what is best for you. For some this could be God / The Goddess / a guardian angel / your Higher self / Source Energy. Whatever you identify it with , this is the highest source of wisdom and love you can gain access to. Simply ask for its assistance. The following questions should be asked:

  • “What does my heart desire more than anything else?”
  • “In what way can I realize what I came here for?”
  • “How can I serve others in the most suitable way for me?’
  • “what path will allow my inner self to learn the most ?”
  • ‘What do I need to change in my life in order to get what I want, realize my life’s mission and learn the most?”
  • “What attitude and influences do I need to get rid of in order to accomplish this?’

On the third day / meditation / session write down a statement about what you want to achieve before you die and then write down 10 steps necessary to get there. For help with this you could research people that have ‘made it’ and model their behavior and attitudes.

On the fourth day visualize being showered in a white light of love and creative energy. Imagine the life force and the entire universe conspiring to make your dream come true, helping you manifest what you need , giving you all the loving support necessary for you to accomplish your goal and while welcoming this energy be grateful for all its gifts.

Expect success and take your first step. Remember that every day you are getting closer to your goal! Get excited about it and imagine yourself already having achieved it. This will give you the emotional motivation to keep going in the face of adversity, should there be any. Remember, there is no failure until you quit!

If you rather do this with the help of a qualified professional who will support you all the way through please call me today. The process can be sped up with the help of hypnosis because while you are in a trance you are more likely to be relaxed and in touch with your inner self.

Call me today on 075 44247800 or contact me via email for a no obligation consultation.

Practical NLP – Fundamental principles

What is Neuro Linguistic Programming?

NLP could be described as ‘the owner’s manual for the brain”: it can help you understand yourself better and as you learn to manage yourself more effectively new horizons will open up for you and you’ll achieve your full potential more easily.

What results you get depend on how much you use what you learn. The more you take action and use the tools of NLP the more you will get out of it.

The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. No one can do it for you, but if you truly want to use these powerful tools the results may well surprise you.

Who is driving the bus ?

If one event is consistently followed by another we believe the first causes the second. This is the law of cause and effect. While this law is very effective in describing the behaviour of inanimate objects, it is not so good when it comes down to humans. If I kick a ball at a certain velocity I can predict where it will land but if I were to kick you what would happen ? It depends on what you want. This is because you have free will and a ball doesn’t.

If you put yourself at the cause end of the cause-effect equation you place the locus of control within you: you believe that you can make a difference in the world around you and that you are responsible for how you think and feel. When you are at cause  not only you have the response-ability to make thing happen but also to respond rather than react to things outside of yourself.

If on the other hand if you put yourself at the effect end of the equation you carry the belief that other people (and not you) are responsible for how you feel and act. This idea is built in the English language in expressions such as “he made me angry, she made me feel… this car is winding me up”.

This idea leads to believing that emotions are things that happen to you and it will make you act as if you have no responsibilityfor what you feel and for how you react. On the other hand people that put themselves at effect also tend to believe that even though other people are responsible for what they do, they themselves are responsible for other people’s emotions.

This way of thinking leads to giving your power away and to feeling of guilt whenever others wittingly or unwittingly manipulate us by telling us “you upset me”.

So the answer to “who is driving the bus” is you ! unless of course you want to suffer the consequences of believing otherwise.

 

Do you drive in automatic or manual mode ?

Let’s stretch the driving metaphor a little more: when you drive in automatic you allow no space between what triggers you and your emotional response. Let’s say that someone says something that you interpret in the light of your existing belief system as being offensive or upsetting. You tell yourself or label the incoming information as inappropriate insensitive etc. and then you respond accordingly by becoming upset / angry etc.

The process is unconscious and it happens very fast; so fast that it can look like the trigger is the cause and your emotional response is the effect. The truth is that there is a space in between the trigger and the response, and in that space lies the power of choice to choose your response: this power is what gives you freedom and makes growth possible ; this is what makes you drive in manual.

 

How do you deal with life’s blows ?

When you are at effect and something doesn’t go your way you are likely to ask questions such as “why ?” “why does this always happen to me?”  This question tends to lay blame on yourself or others and focuses your attention on the past. By doing this it does not help you solve the situation or feel good about it.

When you are at cause the question tends to be more something like “What’s going on here”? “How’s this come about?” “What can I do to change things?” “What do I want instead of this?” These questions focus on the now, and on solutions, rather than the details of problems. If you approach problems this way you are more likely to deal more effectively with difficulties and things won’t bring you down as much.

 

The map is NOT the territory – The world you perceive is NOT reality

To make sense of the world around us we need to filter the information we receive from our senses at all times. If we didn’t we would be overwhelmed and would not be able to function because we would be lost in an overload of sensory information.Drugs such as LSD temporarily suspend our filtering system and that is why someone on the drug can be lost in mystical contemplation of a leaf for hours on end.

Our filters make it easier for us to function effectively in the world but sometimes they can also lead us astray. What are these filters?

 

  • deletion

we don’t notice what we’re not interested in

  • generalization

we see patterns even where there aren’t any. what we expect to happen is influenced by our perception of previous events. e.g. if we win twice on roulette we believe we’re on a winning streak

  • distortion is divided in four types:

 

  1. Confirmation bias (we pay more attention to what confirms our beliefs and downplay or ignore what contradicts them)
  2. Bandwagon effect (we’re more likely to do or believe in something when we see many others do or believe in it)
  3. The illusion of control (we believe we can control or influence the outcome of something even when we can’t)
  4. The Halo effect (if we like one quality or trait of a person we tend to view their other qualities or traits more favorably)

 

How do you deceive yourself?

 

While we use these cognitive shortcuts to help us with our daily tasks so that we don’t have to think all the time about everything we do the negative effects of these shortcuts can be that

  • we jump to conclusions (generalization)
  • we miss relevant information (deletion)
  • we view people through the lens of prejudice (distortion)

and therefore we end up with an internal representation of reality that is misleading and not useful.

 

Seeing that we are constantly filtering the world through the lens of our perception the world we perceive is NOT reality but only a filtered representation of reality : a distorted, deleted, reduced and generalized reality.

The map (our filtered representation of reality) is not the territory (reality). Some people would then argue: if that is the case then how can we know reality ? The simple answer is that we can’t but that doesn’t matter.

 

What matters is not that the map is true but that it is useful.

The implications of these principle are varied:

  • what you experience is NOT reality
  • A good map is one that is useful
  • yours is not the only ‘truth”

 

How to make NLP work for you:

 

1) See other peoples’ point of view: put yourself in their shoes and see the world and yourself from their point of view

2) Remember that your intuitions are just guesses: to avoid the cognitive error of mind reading (that is, acting as if you knew exactly what the other person is feeling and thinking)  always check your intuitions against what others say they feel.

3) Start from what makes sense to others:when influencing others  build bridges to where you want them to be, rather trying to convince them that you are right.

4) Explore the boundaries of your map: Ask yourself “where are my limits?”

5) Actively look for examples where your limiting beliefs aren’t true. Limiting beliefs are beliefs that are holding you back or not serving you.

6) Ask yourself : what would happen if you did the very thing you think you can’t do but would like to do ?

7) Actively look for counter examples to your generalizations.

 

Perception is often projection.

Expectations are how you expect yourself, other people and situations to be. Our  expectations shape our reality: we project them onto our perception of the world by

  • downgrading information that contradicts our expectations and
  • playing up information that confirms our expectations

 

How you feel and act is a response to how you perceive the world to be, not the world itself, and other peoples response to you is based on their perception of their own behavior.  For example: if you are worried about calling someone because you expect to be rejected chances are you will act in a way that will get you rejected. This is what a self-fulfilling prophecy is.

 

What it takes to be successful

If you want to be successful you need to change your expectations.

Ask  yourself :

  • What are you projecting out into the world that’s getting in the way of your success (or of achieving your goals)?
  • What do you want to project instead?

 

If you believe nothing you can do can make a difference you will feel a sense of helplessness in everything you do and you will inevitably fail at everything you attempt. If you have had this limiting belief for a long time you will have collected supporting evidence to corroborate your belief and you will have filtered out the opposite. Typically you will have downplayed or discounted your inner resources. To get you thinking on a different level ask yourself:

What could you do to make things worse?If you can make things worse you can also make things better, so explore what you could do to improve things, even if just a little bit.

People who are successful believe that what they do can make a difference. They have a sense of agency.

So ask yourself what you want ( If you don’t know, set yourself the goal to find out ) and expect to achieve it!

 

Set goals for yourself !

If you set a goal for yourself you start paying attention to the environment around you differently. You notice bits of information and opportunities that help you move closer to your goal and you get a better sense of who you are and of whether you are moving in the right direction.

Whether you want better relationships, a raise at work or you’d like to shed a few extra pounds NLP can help you achieve your goals by showing you how to use your mind positively and effectively.

I integrate NLP principles with Hypnotherapy and Coaching to support you throughout the process of change necessary to be successful in your chosen goal.

If you want to learn more about NLP I would suggest you listen to Andy Smith’s Practical NLP podcasts, otherwise why not call me for a no-obligation consultation today and find out how we can work together to get you closer to what your heart desires?

Email me or call me now on 075 – 4424 7800

Most of the  information presented in this article is taken from Andy Smith’s podcasts.  You can  find and download them for free here:  PRACTICAL NLP PODCAST.

 


EFT Emotional Freedom Technique

What is EFT ? How do I use EFT ? Is EFT really effective ?

Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as EFT is a self help technique combining tapping on specific points of the Chinese Medicine Meridians (used widely in acupuncture) while focussing on the problem or issue at hand and repeating specific sentences tailored to the problem which aim to neutralize its effects. The type of sentences used are tailored to the issue and include principles of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) as well as Thought Field Therapy.

It is not yet known exactly why this technique works but I have found it very effective with most of my clients. It is a technique you can use at home whenever you want and I use it as a very powerful adjunct to my other specialities.  Before you do anything else you need to know which ones are the points to tap and in what order:

  • KC : Karate Chop
  • AE : Above the eye
  • SE: Side of the eye
  • UE: Under the eye
  • UN: Under the nose
  • CH: Chin
  • CB: Collarbone
  • UA: Under the arm
  • TH: Top of the head

There are also other points that you can tap but the above are the main ones.For a detailed video of where and how to tap watch the video below.

Here’s a detailed description on what to do:

  1. Focus on an issue / problem you want to resolve or a feeling of discomfort you want to overcome. ie. obsessive jealousy, insecurity, obsessive anxiety
  2. Measure on a subjective scale from 1 to 10 how intensely you feel about the issue or how intense the discomfort / pain is. 
  3. Begin by tapping on the Karate Chop point  and say 3 times: “Even though…. (the problem) I deeply and completely accept myself as I am”  i.e. KC: Even though I am obsessively anxious and worried about my boyfriend I deeply and completely accept myself as I am
  4. Now focus on the issue / pain / problem / discomfort and tap on the remaining points while saying how the problem makes you feel. i.e. AE: I feel so anxious about my boyfriend going out when Im not around, SE: I am worried he will find another woman UE: I am not good enough to be loved UN: he’ll find another woman and leave me CH: I am so scared of being alone CB: I cannot live without him UA: I’m so scared of being abandoned TH: Ill never find anyone else  (do this until you feel you have fully explored the negative feelings associated with the issue. If need be go back to the start and repeat the cycle using the same or similar sentences until you are satisfied)
  5. Now focus on the solution of the issue / problem discomfort and tap on the points again using positive sentences that neutralize the negative ones and emphasize choice. Ie. AE I choose to release this anxiety. SE: I choose to trust everything will be ok UE: I am lovable and I deserve love UN: I love myself and I am loved CH: I ask source energy to heal me CB: I want to let go of this worry and anxiety UA: I forgive myself and my past loves for all the pain caused TH: I choose to allow myself to start letting go of this obsession (again, feel free to go round several times, until you find words that work for you. Remember that what matters is not the words in themselves but the intention behind them
  6. Repeat step 4 and 5 until you feel you’ve worked through something
  7. Take a deep breath
  8. Measure on a scale of 1 to 10 how intense the feeling is now.
  9. Repeat the exercise until you reach 0 or a number that satisfies you.

If you do not feel you’re going down chances are you are resisting this technique. Do you feel silly tapping ? Tap on your resistance and you’ll find out what bothers you i.e. KC ‘Even though I feel silly tapping and this is stupid I deeply and completely accept myself’ etc

Remember the most important thing is the intention behind the words. Feel the words, don’t just say them. Believe them and make them yours. 

Another example about insomnia:

  1. i.e. KC: Even though I am obsessively anxious and worried about not sleeping I deeply and completely accept myself as I am anyway
  2. i.e. AE: I feel so anxious about not sleeping, SE: I am worried I ‘ll never be able to sleep UE: I hate going to bed at night in case I don’t sleep UN: what if I can’t sleep ever again?  CH: I am so scared of how tired Ill be tomorrow CB: I am so frustrated and angry about this UA: it’s not fair ! Why me? TH:I am too tired to deal with this!  
  3. Ie. AE I choose to release this anxiety. SE: I choose to trust everything will be ok  UE: I choose to relax and let go of this obsession UN: I begin to let go of this worry CH: I ask source energy to heal me CB: I need help letting go of this frustration and anger UA: I forgive myself and my body for putting me through this TH: I choose to allow myself to stop caring so much about sleeping so I can relax 

If you do not feel confident using this technique on your own I can help you by giving you a demonstration and guiding you through it on one of our sessions together. Afterwards I can provide you with a recording to use at home until you become familiar with it.

In addition to this I will provide you with audio recordings and worksheets if necessary in order for you to get a grip of what to say to resolve your specific issue. I have used this technique very effectively for clients with insomnia as well as anxiety.
 

Parts Therapy

Parts Therapy

is a method pioneered by Charles Tebbetts and based on the Psychosythesis Approach which was originally developed by Roberto Assagioli M.D . and which was then used extensively by  Roy Hunter. This technique uses hypnosis to identify conflicting parts that are damaging the well being of clients, then helps those parts negotiate with each other through the therapist to bring about a resolution. The focus is to achieve a synthesis, a coming together, of the various parts of an individual’s personality into a more cohesive self.

Another major aspect is its affirmation of the spiritual dimension of the person, i.e. the “higher”, “deeper”, or “transpersonal” self. This higher self is seen as a source of wisdom, inspiration, unconditional love, and the will to meaning in our lives.

This method is used during a hypnotic session of some depth, usually after a couple of initial sessions during which other methods are used to strengthen self esteem and develop trust with the hypnotherapist. This technique is most effective when there is an inner conflict that prevents a client from achieving a goal they consciously want to achieve but which seems to elude them.

If the client feels like they ve tried everything but they seem to be defeated by forces almost ‘outside of themselves’ it is an indication that there may be a subconscious part of them who is resisting change. The way to deal with this part is not to destroy it or deny it but to understand it fully. Usually these “parts’ of ourselves have been created for our own good at some stage in our lives. At the time they served us well to help us cope. They are natural part of our defense mechanisms. However, as situations change and we develop new agreements have to be made and old agreements revised.

To understand how these ‘parts’ are created take the example of “Mary”. Something happened to ‘Mary’ when, as an attractive young teen, she was  assaulted by a drunk stranger in the street after a night out. The stranger tried to get her to go home with him against her will. When she rejected him he lifted her up and tried to carry her home until he fell down. She was then able to escape. The experience scared her and  made her feel vulnerable and without defense. As a consequence she ‘told herself’ she would put on weight. This way she would never be considered attractive enough to be bothered by strange men and could never be ‘carried away’ by anyone. Many years have passed and now Mary is overweight and although she wants to reduce her excess weight she cannot do so, because the ‘part’ of herself that protected her against harm by letting her gain weight is now preventing her from achieving her goal.

We all have parts or ourselves that want different things from us. The part of me that wants to ‘just have fun’ may want me to stay up all night and dance with my friends on a week night while the part of me that is concerned about me doing well at work wants me to stay home and get an early night. There is nothing strange having different parts wanting different things. It’s only when we cannot resolve inner conflicts or when one part seems to sabotage us without us being aware of its motives that we might need expert help to try and shed light on the conflict in order to resolve it.

If you’d like to know more about parts therapy consider reading the book by Roy Hunter “Hypnosis for inner conflict resolution‘. This is a book intended for trained hypnotherapists.

Positive Affirmations for Sleep

What are affirmations?

Affirmations are simply ways of putting into words thoughts and beliefs that can manifest themselves under the form of a “internal voice”. You use affirmations all the time. The problem is they often are negative. For example

“There is no point trying. I’ll never succeed. I’ll fail no matter what”

This type of affirmation negatively hypnotizes you into failing and not trying. An opposite affirmation could be something like

“I choose to let go and overcome what worries me. I choose to relax. I can do this and I will do this”

If you resist change you stay stuck in your negative affirmations and nothing changes.  It is not a matter of saying affirmations that are true. It’s a matter of using affirmations that you can believe in and that you believe that are going to be beneficial for you. Believe in what you want to feel and you’ll begin to feel the way you believe .

The placebo effect works in much the same way. For example if you believe that sleeping pills are the only way for you to sleep that will be the case, not because they actually work but because you believe they do. If on the other hand you firmly believe they will never work on you they won’t. The mind is much more powerful than you think it is.

You can use affirmations by reading them, listening to them under the form of an MP3 or by remembering and recalling them during the day while you wait or you do the dishes or such like activity. Affirmations are used under the form of suggestions under hypnosis or in subliminal audio.

The important thing is to fully internalize what you say. Make it yours. Visualize it as clearly as possible. Notice how it makes you feel. Make it real for you and practice it until it feels real.

If you choose to create your own affirmations make sure to put them in the present tense (not the future) and make them positive. Make them about what you want. The subconscious doesn’t understand negatives so don’t use “don’ts”. Instead of saying “I don’t have insomnia” say “I sleep soundly and deeply all night long”

Affirmations for sleeping well

  1. I sleep all night long
  2. I release insomnia now once and for all
  3. I wake up feeling rested and refreshed
  4. As soon as I wake up in the morning I get up and feel completely alert
  5. I look forward to a wonderful deep refreshing sleep every night
  6. My bedroom is relaxing, comfortable and soothing
  7. Every night I enjoy a deep restful perfect sleep and I wake up the next morning revitalized
  8. As I lay down on my bed my thoughts drain away from my body and dissolve from my mind. I leave the day behind and trust the night will bring me good counsel
  9. My bed is a place of deep relaxation. I know sleep is a natural process that takes place as soon as I close my eyes
  10. I feel wide awake during the day and at night my body’s natural sleep cycle lulls me gently into relaxation and sleep
  11. I choose to leave all my worries behind. I ensure my routine is filled with beneficial habits that help me  relax and sleep naturally every night
  12. I deeply and completely accept myself as I am no matter what. I choose to let go of any physical or emotional tension I may have and relax into who I am right now.

 

 

 

The Sleeping Mindset

How do you reduce your stress and anxiety ?

The right mindset is what distinguishes  a natural sleeper from an insomniac. Given the same circumstances (say, an important meeting or a job interview tomorrow morning) the natural sleeper goes to bed relaxed and slowly drifts off to sleep waking up refreshed the next day while the insomniac goes to bed tense obsessing about what needs to be done or what could go wrong and only falls asleep when exhaustion has been reached, waking up grumpy and anxious the day after.

The good news is it is possible for anyone with an insomnia mindset (the worrier) to switch and get back to a natural sleeping mindset (the relaxed person). This doesn’t mean it will happen overnight, but if you are patient with yourself and focus on changing the negative habit of worrying before bed you shall succeed.

EFT is a very easy way to reduce anxiety and it can be invaluable if you feel you cannot seem to stop your obsessive thoughts. However, there are a few simple things you can also do now to help yourself now.

Can’t sleep ? Say “F**k it” to it.

Worrying about sleeping or not sleeping is what actually keeps you awake. Worrying makes you tense and tension is the opposite of relaxation. Relaxation is what is needed for you to sleep naturally. You don’t have to try to sleep. It just happens when you stop trying to make it happen.

One way to deal with this is to use reverse psychology and try to keep awake instead of trying to sleep. That will reduce the stress associated with trying to sleep and paradoxically you will be able to sleep. Alternatively a very good way to lose your attachment and therefore your anxiety is to  just say “F**k it” to it. This is the equivalent of the eastern concept of ‘acceptance” but we in the west understand it more easily this way.

When you say “f**k” it to anything you let it go, you stop caring and you relax. You have survived sleeping before, you will survive again. It’s not the end of the world. A watched pot never boils. What you resist persist. So just stop watching the pot, stop resisting, stop trying so hard and give in to whatever is now. Perhaps you could do something else for a while. Eventually you will naturally fall asleep, if you stop wanting it so much. Consider buying this book “f**k it, the ultimate spiritual way’ by John C.parkin.

 Use positive Language and Imagination

If you spend all your time telling yourself negative things such as

  • What if I can’t sleep?”
  • “I’ll never be able to sleep again”
  • “This is useless”
  • “If I can’t sleep tonight tomorrow will be a disaster”
  • “I have to sleep 8 hours or I won’t be able to function”
  • “I’m scared of going to bed in case I don’t sleep”

what you are effectively doing is hypnotizing yourself into not sleeping. Your subconscious follows your orders no matter what you say to it, so it will do what you imagine and think.

So imagine how much better it would be to choose to hypnotize yourself into sleeping well by saying to yourself more beneficial things such as

  • “I am looking forward to relaxing in bed”
  • “I love the feeling of relaxation I get when I am in bed”
  • “No matter what happens Ill be ok” “I am going to have a wonderful relaxing sleep and Ill wake up refreshed in the morning”
  • “I am safe and secure”
  • “sleeping is such a peaceful and nourishing experience”
  • “I relax easily and naturally in bed”
  • “I get all the sleep I need each and every night”
  • “every noise I hear helps me relax more as I feel safe in my cacoon of warmth while the world goes on outside” etc

Remember that what you imagine tends to come true so if you cannot change what is accept it and reframe it in your mind in a way that makes you feel better ! The same way you make yourself feel bad you can make yourself feel good. The choice is yours!

Keep a Journal

If you have thoughts that keep you awake consider writing them down on a journal before bed. Write down your feelings, your problems, your solutions, your tasks, your to do list. See it as a way to store them safely in ‘hibernate mode’ until you wake up again. This way you can let go of them confident that they will be there for you to ‘resolve’ if you wish tomorrow.

Listen to Soothing Music or a Hypnotic Tape.

An easy way to distract your mind is to focus it on something other than your thoughts. It is easy to hear your chattering mind when all is quiet, so introduce some soothing music in your environment or listen to an hypnotic tape. You could use binaural beats or subliminal tapes. Whatever you do make it enjoyable, not just another chore and try to let go of ‘results’. This is just for you to enjoy no matter whether it makes you fall asleep or not.

Put your life on hold

If you use your bedtime to plan your day or solve problems you will keep yourself awake by not allowing your brain to calm down enough to sleep as well as  creating an association between bed and conscious thinking rather than sleeping. It has now been proven that ‘sleeping on it’ makes people make important decisions 40% quicker than if they don’t. This is not due to conscious thinking but to subconscious processing (which takes place during sleep).  So if you have an important decision to make, write it down, ‘put it to sleep’ and pick it up tomorrow morning. You could even ask your subconscious to give you a dream that will give you valuable insights on it.

Throw the clock away.

Watching the clock will only make you more anxious thinking of all the time you have wasted keeping awake and worrying about how little sleep you are getting. Get rid of it. Use a mobile phone to wake you up or some kind of clock that doesn’t make a sound or emit light. Alternatively get a clock that emits a more relaxing light such as blue rather than red.

 

 


 

Help with Sleep

Do you need help with sleep now?

When it comes down to sleep problems there are three areas that need to be addressed if you want to learn how to get a better night’s sleep.

  • CHANGE YOUR MINDSET

You need to learn to relax your mind and stop worrying about sleep. The more you obsess about sleeping or not sleeping the more difficult it will be to sleep. Accept where you are and how you feel and focus on relaxing instead. Think of what you want instead of what you fear or don’t want. Expect the best and accept the rest.

  • LEARN HOW TO RELAX YOUR BODY

If your body is relaxed, your mind will soon follow. You need to give your body the message it is time to wind down.  Avoid activities that stimulate your body before sleep and train yourself in self hypnosis or meditation or use hypnotic tapes to relax .Get enough exercise during the day so that you are tired when you go to sleep.

  • KEEP HEALTHY SLEEPING HABITS

Condition yourself to follow routines that help you sleep. In detail here’s

A few tips to help you sleep better tonight:

 

  • Do not drink alcohol before going to sleep

Alcohol might seem like a good idea before sleep because it makes you feel relaxed. However although you may fall asleep faster you will also be more likely to wake up when the alcohol leaves your body and your sleep quality will also be poorer because alcohol increases the amount of REM sleep you get to the detriment of deep sleep.

  • Do not use your bed for anything  except sleep and sex

Mental associations are vital to how well you sleep. If you work on your bed or you watch TV on it your mind will not associate it with sleep and therefore will not automatically relax when you are in it!

  • Dim your lights before sleep – and expose yourself to bright light in the morning

Your body releases melatonin when it is dark and it suppresses it when it is light. When melatonin is in your body you feel more drowsy and when it is suppressed you feel more awake. So dim your lights before bed and open the curtains as soon as you get up. If you get up when it’s dark consider buying a light-box (they simulate daylight)

  • Avoid Stimulants before sleep

Do not smoke, exercise heavily, drink caffeinated drinks or take sugary sweets before bed.

  • Get Regular Exercise

If you exercise during the day your muscles will relax and they will remain so when you sleep so you are less likely to move a lot in bed. Also exercise is a good way to release anxiety and stress, and it also helps ease depression. You don’t need to go to a gym to exercise. Walk everywhere and you will already feel the benefits.

  • Create a Relaxing Atmosphere

What relaxes you? Candles? Incense? Soothing Music? A Bath? A good fiction book? Luxurious bedsheets? A nice pillow and cosy cushions? A comfortable bed? Beautiful curtains? Consider coloring your room a nice relaxing soft blue or purple, or whatever you find relaxing. Use lavender oil or amethyst crystals , candles and whatever else makes you feel relaxed. Switch the phone off, shut the computer down and enjoy the calmness for its own sake.

  • Listen to a relaxation tape

There are lots of relaxation tapes available over the internet. If you are looking for relaxing Music, positive affirmations, hypnotherapy for relaxation, to reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep and self esteem you will find an excellent one here: 
Relaxation Music, Sleep Music, Relaxing Music for Stress Relief

If you feel none of these works for you it doesn’t mean hypnosis is not for you. It just means you need a more personalized approach.  Call me on 075 4424 7800 and not only I will address your specific issues when it comes to sleep but I will also record  a personalized tape for you tailored to your personal  needs and requirements.

 

Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea ?

This is a sleep disorder that happens when as your throat muscles relax during sleep the airways become obstructed and you find it hard to breathe. When this happens your body wakes you up so that the muscles in your throat can start to work again , the airways are cleared and you are able to breathe once again.

This problem is usually caused by

  • Low muscle tone – especially with the onset of old age your throat muscles can be weakened and so that they cannot keep your airways open when the throat relaxes.
  • Obesity – being overweight can mean that fat stored in your neck is so heavy that the muscles in your throat cannot handle it effectively. When this happens your airways get blocked.
  • Physical Abnormality – if you have enlarged tonsils these might cause your airways to become blocked therefore making it hard for you to breathe. It could also be that your airways are naturally smaller than other peoples’. This increases your chances to develop sleep apnea.

How do I know if I have Sleep Apnea ?

The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Loud snoring (irregular)
  • Headaches (in the morning)
  • Daytime sleepiness

Continue reading