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More Blogs #01

Boredom

Boredom is a state of mind, a sense of waiting, craving, and looking outside yourself for the answer. It’s a rejection of the present in the hope that something better will come along. Boredom is an expression of some need, a nudge from your unconscious mind telling you that what you are doing is not fulfilling. It is urging you to do something different. You could look at it as an opportunity to use your creative mind to come up with some ideas.

People who feel bored usually look for instant gratification:

  • Eating/bingeing/shopping
  • Complaining/arguing/fighting
  • Gambling/smoking/drinking
  • Other addictions

    How do we fill the void?

    People who are bored are often fighting an inner battle, they can become anxious or stressed without really identifying the real reason behind it. Boredom and happiness are mutually exclusive. If you are happy you can’t be bored, if you are bored you can’t be happy. Tell tale signs can bubble up from within and come out when you least expect it and so you search out something to fill the void.

    The opposite of boredom is entertainment. In our current society we expect to be entertained and the entertainment industry thrives on boredom. We go out to the theatre, the cinema, play or watch sport, there is always something to do. For those who prefer to stay indoors, the computer fills the boredom gap, social media is constantly updating us on what our friends are doing. This can bring its own problems and hours can be wasted. After a time the boredom creeps back.

    When we are focussed, in the “zone” and doing something purposeful and worthwhile we can’t be bored. Time flies when we are having fun. When we enjoy what we are doing and are fully present in the moment there is no space for boredom.

    If boredom is a recurrent theme in your life, now is the time to have a real look at what’s going on. Dig deep and find the reason behind the boredom so you can eliminate it.

    An eco-check looks at the different aspects of your life

    Are you happy in your job? If not, what specifically are you unhappy about? What would you like to change? If you could do any job in the world, what would you choose to do and where would you like to do it? What is stopping you from making changes?

    Are you happy in your relationships with friends/family/work colleagues? If not, is there something you would like to change? Could it be you who needs to change the way you think about things? Have some relationships become stale or past their sell-by date?

    Are you happy with your health? Are you eating healthily, taking regular exercise, sleeping well? If not what is stopping you? Do you need to visit a doctor for a check up or just follow a healthy food and exercise regime?

    Do you have enough of the things you need? What do you really need and what could you do without? Do you fill your life with meaningless friendships or things that don’t have any real value? Could you de-clutter you life and make things simple – making more time for what matters.

    Do you feel appreciated by those you love and those you work with? Do you appreciate yourself? If not, where does your sense of worth come from? Could you give your self esteem a boost?

    Are you grateful for what you do have, or do you take things for granted? It’s often when we lose things that we realise how important they were. Could you be more appreciative of the good things in your life?

    These questions may provide you with some ideas of where to make important changes.

    Two Common Boredom Traps

    "I’m stuck in a dead end job, I feel bored most days so I eat chocolate or cake to “sweeten” up the day. What could I do differently?"

    Comfort eating is not the answer. It might be a quick fix but it won’t change the boredom in the long run.

  • Make your job more interesting; imagine that every person you speak to is a celebrity/wise person/hero. Do your best to make that person feel special and learn something from them.

  • Go for a brisk walk at lunchtime to get your metabolism going, either on your own or enlist some others to join you; you will find the afternoon goes more quickly.

  • Take your own healthy snacks with you for times when you know you will have a slump of energy. Try fruit or oat crackers instead of chocolate. You won’t get that slump afterwards.

  • Talk to your boss, if appropriate, about getting involved in other projects, or learning some other skills that would make your job more interesting;

  • Make your life outside of work more exciting and rewarding so you have things to look forward to once you leave the job at the end of the day;

  • Identify your favourite part of the job and excel in that area. Be a specialist in whatever you do, this will give you more job satisfaction and your expertise will inspire others.

  • If you think you are hungry, ask yourself are you really hungry or are you just bored? Become aware of how your thoughts control you.

  • If you can't get excited about your job, look for another one.

    "It’s Thursday and I have had a hard week. I’ll just sit in front of the TV, eat some nice food and have a few drinks." If you ae bored with the same old routine, do something different.

    Slobbing out in front of the TV can be quite stressful if you sit there for the whole evening. If you eat or drink whilst watching the TV you could end up consuming a lot more than you realise.

  • Take some time for yourself to relax properly;
  • Go for a walk after dinner to help your digestion and de-stress.
  • Watch TV consciously; only watch the things that really interest you;
  • If your needs clash with other people’s needs talk about it and come to a compromise;
  • Take up a hobby that you can do in your spare time or practice meditation;
  • Experiment with cooking different and exotic dishes and make meal time special;
  • Keep a journal; make a note of all the good things that happen to you in the day;
  • Read an interesting book; it can transport your imagination;
  • Do some research on a topic that excites you – it could lead you to places unknown;
  • Do some D.I.Y or decorating – make your home your palace;
  • Come up with a list of things that excite you and be imaginative.

    Finally...
    Imagine it is the end of your life and you are sitting in a big old rocking chair looking back in time. Ask yourself what you could have done in those times when you felt bored, what would have been useful or helpful in your life at the time. Could you have appreciated some time to rest and recharge your batteries? Could you have just been happy to “be” and not “do”?



  • More Blogs #02

    First Networking Talk to "Mum's The Boss"

    This week, I went to Milton Keynes to do my first talk to a networking group called “Mum’s The Boss”. This is a group that helps women with all aspects of setting up their own business, run by the charity Women & Work. I was invited by the Charity to talk about my journey and what I did to achieve my success. I told the story about how I got to where I am today, having been in their shoes three years ago, at that same networking meeting, when I lived in Milton Keynes. In that time I got my qualifications, built my own website, started my own business and am now working full time doing what I love to do. The talk went well and I met some wonderful people, all in the process of setting up or running their own businesses. I was grateful to be able to give something back to the charity that helped me. I was really delighted to receive some very encouraging feedback from one business owner in the group:

    “I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for coming all the way to Milton Keynes to speak to us today. It was so inspiring to hear your story and your energy filled the whole floor! You’d never have guessed that it was the first time that you’d spoken to a group. I came back to the office today feeling re-inspired. Thank you!
    Clare Wildman - Clare Wildman Coaching



    More Blogs #03

    Lose Weight By Proxy

    Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat! Or should that be, Christmas is coming and my BUM has gotten fat? Maybe just a little bit too fat to fit into that little black dress. Squeezing into the LBD is a bit demoralising if you have put on weight since last time you wore it. So, with only a couple of weeks to go, it’s manic, no more eating, go to the gym every day, I swear that I will lose those extra pounds in time… building up more and more disappointment when it doesn’t work.

    There are too many Christmas parties, lunches, and dinners to be able to cut back – and what about all those sweets going around the office? how on earth can one expect to remain untouched by temptation. Ah go on, it’s only once a year! The little voice sounds so inviting.

    Well, I did fit into the dress last year and I can’t now…………what went terribly wrong? Could it be my hormones, could it be genetics… or do I just eat too much? No, I eat sensibly, three meals a day and a Soya Latte occasionally at Costa. We always share a cake – that way it doesn’t notice. But how on earth could I have put on half a stone in one year? let’s have a rewind, let’s do a bit of reverse engineering. What was the process of getting fat? If I wanted to tell someone how to easily put on half a stone in a year, what would I say? Is there a pattern there somewhere?

    OK – winding the clock back 12 months, thinking back to this time last year, I might have said to myself, “I am definitely going to lose weight in the New Year”. New Year’s Resolution No. 1 – lose weight. This gives rise to a few more mince pies, a few extra roast potatoes cooked in goose fat, piling on the cream on that luxurious Xmas Pudding…………..oh, and a few extra glasses of wine or champagne won’t notice. Does this sound familiar?

    Along comes 1st of January, it all starts well, you buy the book or join the gym, get the gear - new trainers, new gym clothes – it’s so exciting! And then you start, all goes well for a few weeks and then BANG – pull a muscle, get fed up, no one to exercise with, it’s dark, it’s raining……..excuses, excuses, excuses. The book had really good ideas, the trainers still look new, the gym clothes have only been worn a few times and already motivation has dwindled……………and it’s only the middle of January.

    Oh well, wait for the Spring, some might say, wait until the days are getting brighter and longer, it will be easier then. Spring comes, the daffodils shoot up heralding the joys of Spring – work is so busy, there just isn’t enough time in the day for exercise, perhaps I’ll go for a walk at lunchtime in those trainers I bought at Christmas. Many people are out jogging, it makes me feel fit and healthy to look at them.

    And suddenly people in the office are booking up to go abroad - summer holidays already! I need to fit into that swimsuit, what!! it’s too tight!! Quick, crash diet again, no more eating, I am never eating another piece of chocolate – ever! In fact I am going to cut out breakfast and lunch and just eat a salad for dinner – two weeks and I’ll be fine. The DODO Diet – eat all I like for 5 days and fast for two. Yippee I lost 4 lbs!

    They keep changing how the sizing works in these swimsuits, funnily enough I had to buy a bigger size, even thought I lost 4lbs. It’s not me, really, it’s just the way it’s made. Sun, sea sand and more eating and drinking, the joys of an all-inclusive. Holiday food puts it all back on, plus a few more pounds.

    When I think about my parents, they weren’t skinny – my dad used to say, as he devoured a big bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk every night in front of the telly “I’ll be a skeleton long enough!” Ha ha, that made me laugh so much.

    Along comes the winter coughs and colds, it’s far too cold to go out, I’ll catch my death…. the lack of sunshine makes me feel a bit flat - comfort food is the answer, Hot Chocolate, Shepherd’s Pie, roast dinners, apple crumbles. Hang on a minute – it’s nearly Christmas!!!!! How on earth am I going to get into that LBD?

    So there we have it – a year of yo-yo dieting. A year of getting fit and healthy by proxy – watching other people jogging.

    Perhaps it’s the wrong mindset or maybe it’s a belief that it’s a family thing. Or could it be a pattern of procrastination, lack of self discipline or self sabotage?

    Someone once said, the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    If your car ran on petrol, you would make sure you put the right fuel in it, wouldn’t you? Diesel would make the engine seize up, wouldn’t it? Our bodies are just the same, we need to give them the right fuel and keep up with regular maintenance.

    If any of the above sounds familiar, if this sounds a bit like you, it might be time to do something different, something that works. Explore what goes on inside your mind with hypnotherapy. Don’t waste another year. Go on, treat yourself to a really good Christmas present. Book now for a really good start to the New Year. For more information about the Inner Space Weight Loss Programme contact me now

    To read more about how hypnotherapy can help read more



    More Blogs #04

    IMAGINATION - FRIEND OR FOE?

    Many people come to me with an imagination that is out of control. They fear the worst, anticipate stress and make themselves ill with worry. Some of the things they imagine are as extreme as disaster movies or as insignificant as what other people think about them. The resulting symptoms can range from anxiety or stress to full blown panic attacks or depression.

    Imagination comes from the act of imagining, the way we perceive images or sensations. Our mind’s eye has the ability to create or reproduce experiences vividly, not through the five external senses, but on an internal screen inside our minds. We can replicate our external senses and produce internal short films in our minds that either go really well or really badly, depending on the frame of mind we are in.

    Imagination is a powerful thing and can be used as a tool for success. However, people who are prone to negative or pessimistic thinking, often imagine the worst outcome happening and get themselves more stressed than they need to be. For example, someone who has a fear of flying already has a well developed vivid imagination. They might be running a movie that sees them freaking out or panicking on the plane, they might see the plane crashing into the sea and them being eaten by sharks. This is then creating the actual physical symptoms of fear and panic that release stress hormones into the bloodstream which reinforces the belief that going on an airplane is dangerous, stressful and life threatening, and to be avoided at all costs. The fight or flight hormones of Reptilian Brain become activated when there is a belief that danger is imminent. It’s no wonder they won’t go anywhere near an airport.

    The Law of Dominant Thought says that whatever we think about on a consistent basis is what we move towards in reality. If we are always thinking and imagining things turning out negatively, we are more likely to find ourselves in situations that are not to our liking. People often say to me, “That’s the way I am” or “I can’t help it”. Well the good news is, you can learn to help it. You can change the way you think and make your imagination work for you, bringing more positive experiences into your life. This doesn’t mean that you can think about something once in a positive light and expect everything will then be perfect. It means that if you give every situation a positive meaning and habitually imagine things turning out well you are more likely to have more positive experiences more often. To get the changes you really want, you must take full control and think positively with the anticipation of getting positive results in every instance. Imagining something vividly with all your senses brings about the feelings that accompany the real situation. It’s the feelings that create your experience.

    Situations that occur are usually neutral in meaning, they only have the meaning you give them. Take the above example of going on a flight – it could be viewed through a positive imagination. What if that person were to vividly imagine being totally relaxed and stress free, enjoying the flight with time for themselves to become absorbed in a good book, having plenty of time to listen to music, or catch up on sleep. They could create an internal movie that sees them getting excited about the upcoming flight with everything going smoothly, the time passing by quickly and the plane landing safely. This is far more likely to produce relaxing hormones in the bloodstream that allow them to remain calm and composed for real.

    Consistent positive imagination produces positive experiences. Hypnosis helps you to become more absorbed and focussed on things that are going on inside your mind, establishing new creative pathways in the brain which help you to move towards your goals. Let hypnotherapy help you to create an empowering imagination that is your best friend.



    More Blogs #05

    Confirmation Bias

    It's been a while since I blogged. I hope you all had a wonderful summer. It was certainly hot in Essex and my garden was in full bloom. The woods behind my house were teaming with wildlife. We have the beautiful big green and red Woodpeckers enjoying the ants they find in the grass; the squirrels are constantly chattering in the trees while foxes, deer and other wildlife get on with their own lives at the other side of the garden gate. I won't mention the badgers as they are not welcome in my garden, having dug up most of it last winter. If you have any tips for keeping them out, please get in touch! Now it's back to school and, for me, and back to writing.

    I have a very special guest on my Blog today called Samantha Davey, telling us about a thing called “Confirmation Bias”. I’m sure you will be as interested as I was to read her post. I feel privileged to call Sam a friend, having known her for a number of years and seen the amazing results she gets in her work, in her home county of Devon, near Exeter. Her highly professional and friendly service has changed many lives for the better. Some people in this world seem to drain your energy, and we all know someone who makes us feel tired; Sam is someone who gives, and makes others feel wonderful.

    Over to you Sam........

    Confirmation bias, also known as myside bias, is a curious feature of human thinking that’s important to be aware of especially if you’re beginning hypnotherapy, or indeed any type of therapy.

    While we all like to think that our beliefs are rational, logical and objective, the truth is that we all have a natural tendency to seek out and focus on information that confirms our preconceptions and existing beliefs and ignore, or discount, information that goes against this.
    Research demonstrates that people tend to give excessive value to information that supports our beliefs – perhaps because it’s easier to see how information supports a position than it is to see how it may count against it. One example is the smoker who is adamant that smoking isn’t harmful to their health. This smoker will tell you of their auntie who lived to her 90’s despite smoking her whole adult life, and of a friend who died of lung cancer yet never smoked. They ignore or discount all the other evidence that clearly indicates that smoking causes cancer.

    Another typical example is someone who believes “I’m a failure.” On a particular day they get up on time, shower, dress, get to work safely and on time, but during the course of the morning their supervisor points out a major mistake they’ve made. This becomes confirmation of their belief while the success of getting to work safely, on time, looking presentable and other work completed successfully during the course of the morning, is all completely discounted.

    So how is this relevant to hypnotherapy? A while ago I worked with a man who had sleep problems – every week he came to see me he told me he still wasn’t sleeping well, despite the fact that his sleep diary indicated he was only waking twice in the night instead of 4-5 times, and that he was sleeping for longer periods. However he was fixated on what was staying the same - he still wasn’t getting 7 hours sleep a night - instead of noticing differences. This confirmed his belief “I’m a poor sleeper”.

    When beginning a course of therapy I encourage you to actively seek out evidence of change, however small. Start to focus your attention on what’s different, rather than what’s staying the same. For example, if you’re receiving therapy for pain management – is your pain a 5, rather than 7/10? Is it a throbbing pain, rather than a cutting pain? Do you have longer periods between flare ups? Focusing on difference, rather than sameness, will give you confidence, faith and belief in the process, more motivation and the excitement of knowing that change is possible, and this will drive further change. Keeping a diary can really help with this – as we do have a tendency to forget, or discount progress. I hope this has given you some insight and helps with your journey. Enjoy the video below on confirmation bias.

    Video on Confirmation Bias

    Sam makes a very good point and it will certainly make me feel grateful when someone offers a different viewpoint to my own, rather than feeling comfortable when my opinion is confirmed. Thank you Sam!

    If you want to find out more about Sam and her work visit Samantha Davey Hypnotherapy

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    More Blogs #06

    Raise your Love Levels on Valentines Day, or any day!

    Some people love it, some people hate it, Valentines Day can bring happiness or disappointment. As expectations build for couples, the pressure can make or break a relationship in the early stages. Roses, chocolates, meals out and marriage proposals are some of the good things, disappointment and feelings of low self esteem are some of the bad things. And for those who are alone, Valentines Day highlights the fact that they don’t have a partner and insecurities and anxiety can be magnified. Equally, some people don’t participate at all - it’s easy to say “Every Day is Valentines Day” or “I don’t buy into that commercialism” but secretly, most people would be delighted to receive a card or a present. How about self love? Valentine’s Day could be about loving yourself unconditionally. I help all my clients to love themselves more, and in turn express more love to those around them.

    One of the neurochemicals involved in feeling love is Oxytocin. Levels of oxytocin are increased second by second, by positive social interactions, increasing empathy and compassion. It also decreases cardiovascular stress and increases the immune system. It helps us to connect and care about others in ways that are meaningful and heartfelt. It helps us to feel amazing.

    Research shows that the more you release oxytocin, the easier it is to do so.

    11 Ways To Boost The Natural Love Drug And Feel Wonderful

  • Listen with your eyes. This really means to pay attention, to look at someone and be present, in the moment, communicating non-verbally that you appreciate and respect the person you are talking with.

  • Give a gift. Giving a gift can open up your heart, but the secret is to not expect one in return.

  • Enjoy a meal with another person – this is calming and helps us to bond with others.

  • Practice a type of meditation called “Metta” which focuses on sending loving kindness to the person you are with.

  • Enjoy a lovely hot bath; this is relaxing, calming and you can enjoy loving thoughts and feelings as you soak in the warm water; or even better, share a bath with someone you love.

  • Social media can help to form connections with people, thereby increasing oxytocin levels, keep in touch regularly with friends, but don’t let this replace real interaction with friends which has even more benefits.

  • Ride a roller coaster or jump out of an airplane. Many activities that are slightly stressful, done with another person or a group, have shown a 200% increase in oxytocin in some people!

  • Stroke a cat or pet a dog. Studies show that people who regularly enjoy physical stroking have increased feelings of wellbeing and some people feel their hearts opening up in love.

  • Love more people in your life. This can include colleagues, friends and animals as well as your partner/spouse/children. It not only makes them feel good, it increases your levels of oxytocin especially if you tell them you love them.

  • Hug more people. Touch raises levels of oxytocin so hug more people; perhaps instead of a handshake you could give the gift of a hug.

  • And last but not least, clinical hypnosis has been shown to increase oxytocin levels. According to the International Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis 2014, there may be “a link between clinical hypnosis and a neurobiological factor such as oxytocin”. This is based on the therapeutic relationship. Every good hypnotherapist will help the client to access internal resources of trust, love and safety.

    References:
    http://mentalhealthsciences.com/publications/pdf/hypnosis_2014.pdf
    The Moral Molecule by Paul Zac (2013

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