Past hurt, couple scowling

Past hurt is inevitable. It is almost impossible to go through life without conflict. There are always going to be people in our lives with whom we don’t see eye to eye.

Marriage break-ups cause more rifts than just those between spouses. Children are swept up in drama, families take sides and friends are forced into awkward situations.

Sometimes there are feuds over money issues, and some people can even bare a grudge for years over a misplaced word or a throwaway sentence.

In an ideal world, perhaps, we would confront these people in our lives. We might sit down and talk it out with them. There might be a row to clear the air. We could seek forgiveness or agree to put the past behind us. These are mature ways to deal with conflict that can and do work for many.

Read more »
Tagged with: , , , , , ,

anger issues - a picture of the incredible hulkAnger issues are among the most common themes that come up when working with neurolinguistic programming (NLP) clients.  Often when I meet someone for the first time, clients will be concerned that they are having angry outbursts or feel pent-up feelings of anger. They can’t understand why this is happening. Small things, which you would not normally find more than slightly  irritating, take on an inappropriate level of emotion.  The tendency to lose your temper can lead to difficulties in your relationships, social life, and also at work. Clients have found themselves Read more »

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Christmas treeThe endless pattern of life repeats itself, year on year, and here we are again with Christmas approaching inexorably.  For me it is still a wonderful time and no matter how aware you are of the commercialism and the hype, you can’t help but feel excited. It is a time of reconnecting with loved ones; a time of peace, and a time of fun and humour.

Why then, oh why, does it have to be so blooming stressful?

Like so many things in life we get tied up with a few things.  For example:

  • Habits
  • Details
  • Past experiences
  • Expectations

So here are some tips that might help make Christmas a smoother, more enjoyable experience for you and your loved ones.Read more »

Tagged with: , , , , ,

There are an expanding number of products, programmes and processes on the market which seek in various ways to ‘detox’ your body. I think the idea of purging your body of toxins from time-to-time is probably very sound. We are exposed in so many ways on a daily basis, to a bubbling cauldron of mysterious chemicals, hormones, and other substances. Sometimes we just need to give our bodies a good clean-out:

  • eat only fruit and vegetable
  • drink green tea
  • exfoliate
  • exercise
  • sauna

These are just a few popular ways people choose to do this.
What if we were to do the same thing to our minds? Maybe we should even be thinking about the mental detox first. With a clear, clean mind we are in the right place mentally to embrace the same process in our bodies.

Symptoms that might suggest we need a mental detox

  • Overload
    In every day life our minds are racing with a hundred things. We’re mult-tasking – or at least we think we are. Really we are flitting rapidly back and fore between multiple projects, emotions and ideas very quickly and erratically, putting our conscious minds into constant overload even at those times when we think we are at our most relaxed. Do you watch TV and flick through your phone or Facebook. Do you browse the internet while typing a letter or working on a project? Do you start one job, then go and do something else for a while, then come back to it and feel less motivated to complete it? These are just a few signs of overload.
  • Toxic thoughts
    Sometimes we allow negative and disruptive thoughts to poison our minds and bring us down. Many people have one or more voices in their head that tell them things like – ‘it’s too difficult, I won’t bother’, ‘nobody really cares for me’, ‘I will never get a better job’, ‘I always put weight back on after I diet’. When you say ‘I can’t’ you make things unattainable. When you say ‘I can’ you make them possible and you give yourself the choice to pursue them.
  • Looking at others instead of ourselves
    It can be very easy to be drawn in to gossip and criticism of other people. Often we do this to our loved ones, to our friends, and to those who seem to be very well-off or successful. We chat to our friends and sometimes it can be interesting and satisfying to complain about other shared acquaintances. The things we say are often perfectly true, and we use that as a justification, but it can leave you feeling uncomfortable about yourself. You may be anxious that the comments get back to the wrong person. You may just feel that you have let yourself down. Most common of all, if you gossip about others you are likely to be mistrusted by the people you gossip with! Can you really trust them?
  • Decisions
    Often we can end up moving down a particular path in life because of certain decisions we have made in the past. It can feel very difficult to change paths, particularly if we have made promises or commitments along the way, or if others have made commitments to us. It is very important to be consistent and to keep our promises, but sometimes we are just wrong, and we may have to let go, gently and with compassion. First though, we need to detox our minds so that we can see clearly what is the right decision and what is wrong. Until then, make no more promises, not even small ones, unless you are absolutely sure you will keep them.

Sometimes we all need a bit of a detox. Even if it is just to take some time out for ourselves, alone, to think things through. Most people need something a little more structured, and the help of somebody who knows how to work with them to bring things into alignment. This is where a life-coach or an NLP practitioner can be really effective. It can be so much easier to see things clearly if you have someone committed to supporting and helping you make choices wisely and painlessly.
Many people are willing to devote some time to detoxing their bodies, isn’t it only right that they spend a similar amount of effort and time clearing out their minds?

Sign-up for my 5 email weight-loss series

Add your details here to get 5 emails over 5 days giving insights on how you can change your thinking on losing weight and getting in shape.

Thanks for subscribing, you will get your first email soon!

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

With just a few weeks at best before the final exams for GCSEs, A levels and University Degrees, there are quite a number of us who are feeling rather stressed. The exam season is stressful for everyone and anxiety can really making the whole process more painful.
Some of us can take heart that a small amount of exam anxiety may actually contribute to better results. In a recent session I did with a group of 15-16 year-olds some were incredibly blasé about their upcoming exams. Would these pupils really give their best on the day with that attitude? During the run-up to the exam day it helps to have that little bit of fear, telling you to make the best of the remaining time. If you were completely laid back about your results you would be inclined to work less hard, revise less and therefore perform poorly and get lower marks.
Stress and worry are there for a reason, they are among the body’s natural warning systems and they can help us perform better.
But at the other end of the scale, for some, the stress of exams can be debilitating. Sufferers talk of their mind going ‘blank’ as they turn the page to start the test. Others suffer sleepless nights, sweating, nausea and headaches. None of these symptoms are going to help that person get the best from themselves on the day.
For these people it is really important to learn and practice some of the well tried techniques for reducing stress that are available online and elsewhere. There are lots of simple, straightforward things you can do to help reduce the anxiety. For example:

  • Eat regularly and sensibly.
  • Take breaks.
  • Exercise or go for walks.
  • Practice breathing deeply and regularly.
  • Don’t compete with friends on how nervous you are!
  • Make plans of things you will do after the exams are over.
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol and other chemical methods of calming yourself down.

Above all, being organised and clear about what you need to know will help in the early days.
When time is short and if exam stress is a real problem for you, then you may want to seek some help from experts. Your doctor may be able to advise you on some calming techniques or refer you to a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and the NHS do a fact-file on this issue that is easy to find on the internet.
You can also get help from a hypnotherapist, or NLP practitioner who can help you access a more effective state during the exam session itself and at any time when the nerves are kicking in and making it difficult to function. Many of the pupils I have worked with have really taken on-board the simple techniques I taught them to feel better on the day.
With NLP you can instantly overcome your fears by allowing your unconscious mind to switch into a positive, relaxed and empowered state. These techniques can often be done incredibly quickly so that even a few weeks before your exam, or during the exam season itself, you can feel better in just one or two sessions.
At the very least it may be worth purchasing a hypnotherapy CD or downloading a recording to listen to at night or earlier on the day of the exam. There are lots of these on the market and they are often quite effective, although nothing beats a one-to-one hypnotherapy session tailored to you.
Just remember, it’s not too late to change. In the mean time I wish you the one thing a therapist can’t promise to provide – Good Luck!
Oh, and May the 4th go with you!

Tagged with: , , , , ,