teddy bear on a cold winter day.Most people have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the condition that is believed to occur during the months of short days, when we are less exposed to vitamin D and this, in consequence, results in low mood or even depression in the Winter months. It’s a definite thing and there are various ways you can help yourself if you have this condition – daylight lamps, vitamin supplements, or just going away to somewhere sunny (I personally would advocate the last of these if you can afford it!).

There are lots of reasons why we can feel more down and less motivated in the Winter however, and while I wouldn’t rule out SAD, I do think that the awareness of this condition can steal some of our power. There are several very common influences on our mood that tend to occur more commonly at this time of year:Read more »

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A positive meme

Mean memes seem to be the thing of the moment as I write this blog. The disgusting practice of posting pictures of supposedly unattractive people on social media and encouraging ‘tagging’ others as some sort of joke or insult, has thankfully come under fire.

Stories of people such as Lizzie Velasquez, a motivational speaker and author, with a rare congenital disease that prevents her from accumulating body fat, have been covered in the Metro and other papers, have helped to shame some of these bullies. It may be that the practice will decline, or, such is the perversity of our society, it may increase them.

One of the things that strikes me about some of the pictures that I have seen used for this purpose, is that many of those depicted are actually looking pretty happy!  The people who postRead more »

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Girl craving alcohol and smoking a cigarette
FreeImages.com/Katherine Evans

In this month when so many people are aiming to become smoke-free, you may well have moments of weakness. While not everyone has cravings, they are a factor to be considered whenever you are ending a habit. So the things I write here can also apply to things like binge eating, compulsive habits and any inappropriate behaviour.

The great thing about this is that it is ONLY applicable if you have already had an experience where you gave in to temptation previously!

So if you have lapsed, it’s a good thing.

Here is the process. I suggest you read through it a few times before you do it.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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There are varying degrees of anxiety, it’s true, and worrying about an event in the future can be a very stressful experience. You may have found yourself lying awake at night thinking about that meeting you have to go to, or that difficult conversation you know you are going to have. There is an endless list of things to be anxious about.

In fact for some people, anxiety can take over their lives to such a degree that it prevents them doing the things most people take for granted. Often my clients have got to the point where they cannot travel, or leave a certain area, or go to public events.

Whatever level of anxiety you experience though, there are some very effective, but easy to use, NLP techniques that can have an immediate effect in enabling you to cope with worrying about a specific event that is coming up.

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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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At the time I picked up ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ I had not particularly heard of Tony Robbins. I certainly wasn’t aware of his huge status as a ‘guru’, speaking to thousands at a time, changing lives on the fly and being a coach to some of the most famous people in the world such as Jimmy Carter and Oprah Winfrey.

The great thing about that is that the book serves as a bit of an autobiography as it recounts in quite a personal way how the changes that Tony made through NLP techniques created the life that he now has. Tony Robbins is the classic case of someone going from homeless person to multi-millionaire.  I urge you to catch some of his videos online – maybe his Ted Talk or some of his stuff on ‘Strategic Intervention‘.Read more »

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discarded cigaretteWe all know that there are a plethora of solutions and approaches to smoking cessation – from smoke aversion to nicotine replacement, from hypnosis to acupuncture.  Naturally the scientific world, Government health organisations and charities are very keen to study the various approaches and pin down exactly which ones are the most effective.

There are a host of studies, and the outcomes vary slightly from one to another. Hypnosis, which is my favoured approach, (although I combine it with cognitive behavioural therapy and neurolinguistic programming) comes out quite well overall, usually significantly higher than nicotine replacement for example.

But I have to admit that there is something that consistently out-performs all the other techniques!
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Love strategiesSometimes when you meet a person for the very first time it can really feel like you are a great match. As you improve your relationship you may notice how much you have in common. You:

  • like the same films
  • come from the same town
  • have the same dark sense of humour
  • both like running, or knitting, or bottle collecting, …etc

It’s a frequent pattern in forming relationships that we delight in our connections and our similarities.  There will be many differences to add excitement, interest and imagination to the mix of course. In many relationships the focus is still on how similar, or how in tune we are.

As you get to know that person better you begin to realise that while there are many things about them that match your own experience, there are many significant differences at a deeper level.Read more »

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Thumbs Down Have you ever had that awkward moment when you meet a friend for a night out and you think the outfit they are wearing is hideous? Or have you had a colleague at work ask you to look over their precious report and you really don’t think it’s that great? Perhaps your young son has done some homework that he’s proud of, but you know that it is not going to make the grade. How do you criticise someone without hurting their feelings? Read more »

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