Affirmations are simply ways of putting into words thoughts and beliefs that can manifest themselves in the form of an “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 is 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”
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.
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 not 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.
If you spend all your time telling yourself negative things such as
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
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!
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.
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 a 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Condition yourself to follow routines that help you sleep. In detail here’s
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.
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!
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)
Do not smoke, exercise heavily, drink caffeinated drinks or take sugary sweets before bed.
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.
What relaxes you? Candles? Incense? Soothing Music? A Bath? A good fiction book? Luxurious bedsheets? A nice pillow and cozy 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.
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.
Learn More about sleep
Some people experience difficulty starting conversations with others, especially when they are strangers. This is not a result of not being interested, interesting or of not having anything to say but it is the result of being scared of rejection.
The degrees of social anxiety vary from person to person. Some people find it hard to talk to people in public while they may be ok one on one. Others find it impossible to do everything when others are around.
Whether you are naturally less trusting of others and have experienced this problem all your life or you only have this problem in specific situations, hypnotherapy can help uncover the cause of this difficulty and clear any subconscious imprinting that may have made a natural predisposition even worse.
When social fear is left untreated it can lead to more serious problems, such as social isolation and eventually, depression or addictions (to relieve the pain of isolation or to numb the fear of rejection). A sense of belonging and personal intimacy are basic needs - just like food and drink - and we all require them to be fulfilled if we are to be happy.
Yes it can. First of all it is important for you to talk in depth about your concerns and specific situation with the hypnotherapist, before any treatment is entered into. Afterwards, when it has become clear what form of anxiety you suffer from the hypnotherapist will use hypnosis to find out what the cause of the anxiety is.
Once the cause has been identified and the feelings associated with the triggering event/s have been released, the situation can be reframed and new behavior can be learnt. This is because when underlying issues that cause social fear are dealt with it is easier to learn new ways of dealing with the fear itself.
Often self hypnosis will be introduced at this point, together with some simple yet effective breathing techniques that will help you remain calm in situations which you previously experienced as threatening. In addition to that it is likely that the hypnotherapist will guide you through future progressions rehearsals where you ll learn how to create what you want rather than what you don't want so that you can explore more positive ways of relating to people.
If then you feel you want additional help you may get involved with psychotherapists that practice social cognitive restructuring, social skills training, symptoms management skills and supportive counselling, which will also require your friends and family getting involved.
Whether you decide to go that way or you find hypnotherapy is enough you'll have to start putting into practice what you've learnt by meeting people and observing how well you can now relate to them. You might need more reinforcement sessions and practice self hypnosis a bit more , but remember that this is a process and it will take the time it takes.
Everybody is different, and while hypnotherapy is one of the most effective techniques there are that can help you get a kickstart, it is you, ultimately that need to put the effort in and push yourself beyond your comfort zone from time to time.
Remember: nothing of great value is ever achieved without great effort, but the effort is well worth the final result : a sense of personal satisfaction, a capacity to create intimacy, new found confidence and a much bigger horizon of possibilities opening up!
There is no better time than now to make that first step. Get in contact with me if you'd like to discuss your issues in more detail or if you wish to make an appointment to tackle your social anxiety once and for all.
Find out more how to help yourself overcome anxiety now with some useful tips.
Some people seem to be natural public speakers: they appear charming, cool and confident; they stay relaxed and calm throughout the entire experience. For a lot of people, it is exactly the opposite: they fear public speaking more than most other endeavors and they find speaking in public a nerve wrecking experience. So what makes someone feel one way and not the other?
Are you born good at speaking in public or can you overcome your fear and become a confident public speaker?
The answer to this question has to do with our brain and its neuroplasticity: that is, the capacity of the brain to change itself. In order to understand how this works, it is useful to know a thing or two about how emotions get processed in our brains and influence the way we behave.
The Amygdala is a very primal part of our brain that is geared for survival. By allowing us to recognise danger and immediately react to it, it makes us more likely to be able to avoid it and thus survive.
There are two parts of the Amygdala: the right side is responsible for registering risk in an immediate, profound and nonverbal way as if it were to say "oh-oh"... pay attention now!
Anything bad that has happened in the past gets registered here and since the amygdala is very alert to changes in the environment when something is seen as dangerous (whether new or related to the past 'bad' event previously registered) it gets activated. When this happens we become scared and as a result, our sympathetic nervous system gets aroused in what we call the fight/freeze or fight response. We experience this as getting a fast heartbeat, sweating, and a general feeling of being 'on edge'.
After the 'panic' physical response has been triggered the information about the event is sent to the Hyppocampus (the part of the brain that deals with the exact details of the experience) and then it all gets sent to the pre-frontal cortex so that we can analyse what happened.
People with panic and high anxiety levels have a bigger Amygdala than most. Whether this is because they were born with it or whether it developed as a result of trauma is not known but what is important to know is that is why these people might feel easily triggered by changes in the environment perceived as threatening.
The good news is that there is another part of the Amygdala whose role is to help us 'un-learn': the left side. This side is responsible for comparing information as if it were to ask "Is what's happening now exactly the same as what happened before?' If the answer is no, it tells the right side to knock the fight or flight response off so that we can get back to normal.
The thing is, sometimes the fear that has been triggered is so high that it over-rides everything and the left side cannot get the message across to the other side. So in order for the right side to register that we are indeed safe, we first need to be able to calm our automatic reaction of 'panic'. How do we do that? Simple: we breathe deeply.
The six fundamental mind hacks for achieving lasting performance success
This works because our autonomic nervous system has two branches: one that causes arousal (sympathetic) and the other that calms us down (parasympathetic). The two cannot be activated simultaneously, so if one is activated the other cannot be. In other words: if we have started the process of calming ourselves down we cannot possibly stay aroused. Conscious deep breathing immediately activates our parasympathetic nervous system. When this happens we gradually become calm enough to allow the left side of the amygdala to 'think us out of the danger zone'.
Identify the initial panic trigger event and compare it with the present. Realise they are not the same. (This can be something as unrelated to public speaking and simple as forgotten experiences of being bullied at school or criticised by a parent. They are often unconscious but as they still affect your present behaviour they need to be identified and reframed first and this can be easily done with hypnotherapy)-Make a decision to consciously breathe deeply for at least one minute (better if five) before the event and if necessary during the presentation
Prepare enough to feel competent (just like musicians or actors you need to warm up and feel prepared before you 'perform' so make sure you know your subject well and are confident with the content of the speech)
Rehearse physically and mentally (mental rehearsal is very successfully done in hypnosis as the brain does not distinguish between fantasy and reality; when done in a hypnotic trance the rehearsal can be as powerful as having experienced a positive imprinting experience of being a good public speaker)
Focus on the interest you have in the subject matter you are discussing to the exclusion of everything else. Self-consciousness is all about worrying about how other people are responding to you. You cannot be self-conscious if you are totally concentrated on something else that actually interest you. (The capacity to focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else can be taught with hypnotherapy and it becomes easier with practice)
Imagine what you want to happen not on what you don't want ! (The subconscious is a goal-striving mechanism that responds to images and it does not understand negatives- if I told you not to think of pink elephants what are you thinking about? - So ask yourself: what is the best most positive outcome you would like from the experience? i.e. being successful, delivering a greatly inspiring speech, feeling elated and excited rather than scared and humiliated )
Above all express perfect confidence in your capacity to change. If you don't believe it, who will? You can change and if you truly want to, you will!
The six fundamental mind hacks for achieving lasting performance success
With how busy we keep ourselves on a day to day basis, it ís no wonder that so many of us suffer from stress. Stress is something that is almost impossible to avoid, because of the way that we are wired. Having said that, stress can be easily dealt with in many ways.
Exercise – We all know how important exercise is. Exercise has the ability to relax both your mind and your body. One of the big advantages that exercise has is that it forces you to get out, and to maintain some balance. If your working a lot, and are having a hard time getting other things done in life, you can easily make a deal with yourself to get out for a walk everyday at lunch time. This will allow you to clear your head and be more focused in your work, and also it will allow you time to relax, spend some time with nature, and remember that a physical wellness has a huge impact on mental wellness
Reward – It is important to reward yourself on a regular basis. Too often we get into patterns where we work too much, sleep to little, and run our body into the ground. To avoid this get into the habit of taking breaks daily, weekly and monthly. Get up during the day from your work, and go for a walk. Take a weekend get away to freshen up your mind from your work. Take a yearly trip to experience something different from the 9-5 grind back home.
Balance – Living a balanced life is very important to maintain limited stress. Balance doesn’t mean trying to do too many things at once. Balance means that you work to live, not live to work. Having fun is just as important as paying attention to your family, friends and hobbies.
Values – Take a moment to think about the things that are the most important for you in your life. Often times when we are living according to other people’s standards and not by our values there is an increase of stress in our days.
Planning – There is also an element of stress in unplanned situations. Unknowns cause us to worry, and to get stressed out about situations that we could have taken a little time to plan ahead for. So plan ahead if you can, unless the idea of the unknown is exciting to you of course!
Most of all remember: whatever happens you have the tools to deal with it. Being relaxed is the key. Nothing is worth stressing out about. In fact, the more you believe that there is nothing you can’t deal with the more you will be effective in resolving life’s challenges. It might be helpful to remember that no matter what may happen the sun will always rise tomorrow and you will be still alive.
Sometimes you may need extra help in reshaping negative thinking patterns around stressful situations. With the help of a hypnotherapist you can learn how to shift your thinking so your mind can work for you rather than against you.