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.

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wet floor sign as a metaphor for anxiety response

Have you ever tripped over a wet floor sign? I know I have. I guess I need to pay more attention to where I am going. I do think I have tripped over more wet floor signs than I have ever slipped on wet floors.

Really, there ought to be a sign – to warn you about the sign. A ‘caution wet floor sign’ sign!

Now there’s an idea for a new product.

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towards/away fromIs your map of the world (see my blog “I finally get getting there”) a generally positive one, or typically erring on the side of negativity?

How we respond to our world, as I’ve said many times before, can totally colour our view of life. Two people viewing the same event can have completely different experiences and interpretations, based on how they filter the information they receive through their senses. There are a range of these filters available to us. For instance we may filter our experience to favour certain senses – focusing on the visual, or on the sounds that are present. We may filter through our values – we may judge easy going people more harshly, for example if one of our highest values is consistency, or achievement.Read more »

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As we go through life, stuff just happens. It can feel like we are being carried on a wave and there just isn’t time to properly focus on what is happening and what we are feeling. But moods and states change constantly through the day as we all know.

Even the most depressed people have moments of feeling calmer and more positive. Even the most anxious people can forget to worry in a particular moment.  The best state of all can often be the one we haven’t even noticed. That state of being in ‘The Zone’, so focused that you have forgotten where you are, all sounds become a background buzz and your attention is solely on the task in hand.Read more »

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man singing on stageStage-fright on some level, is pretty much a given with many of the performers and speakers that I work with.

On one level it is completely understandable. Few of us like the idea of standing up there in front of an audience of hundreds, maybe even thousands and singing, dancing or even just speaking.

At the same time, many of my clients are hugely talented people.As one successful client put it ‘I beat myself up over being so nervous. I should be used to it by now.’

The thing that frustrates many performers is that they know that having this fear over performing can mean that they actually perform less well. Read more »

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questions-1151886-640x480 stock exchange freeWhen you first enter my office in Haywards Heath I always ask you two important questions.

Whether you are seeing me for a free appointment, or an intensive one-day breakthrough session, or even if you have begun a series of regular sessions, the first is:

‘Why are you here?’.

It’s not a surprising question in itself, and probably likely to glean more useful information to me as a therapist and coach than ‘What’s your shoe size?’

Usually, though not always, my client will tell me Read more »

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AeroplaneFew things recharge your batteries more than a holiday There are many wonderful places to visit in the UK, but the sometimes unreliable weather means that many of us choose to spend some time abroad.  It can be wonderful to relax by the sea in a sunny location, or take part in exotic and thrilling activities such as water sports, climbing, ski-ing or just exploring the culture and traditions of a new place.

For many though, the attraction of the holiday is jaded by the prospect of the journey there. So many people suffer to a greater or lesser extend with fears and phobias around travel, and probably a fear of flying is the most common.Read more »

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Woman sleeping naturally

One of the most common side effects I come across when I deal with clients, whether over the phone, or face-to-face, is that many of them are really struggling to get a deep natural sleep every night.

I completely get it, because I used to have that problem myself.

You know how it feels when you Read more »

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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!

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