Brick in the all

You are NOT just another brick in the wall. If you look are any brick wall you will see that each brick is in fact unique - just as you are unique from all those around you. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, wants, needs, hopes and dreams. To turn anyone’s depression into expression, sadness into happiness, fearfulness into bravery, worry into “it will be alright” does take a change of mindset. It needs an ego-boost, and an appreciation of their value and of the value of each and every individual – each separate brick in the wall. If you know of anyone my hypnotherapy, and changing mindset, can help they can call me on 01304 3380787.

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Laughing is important

Get in touch with your inner clown.  Ensure you laugh every day.

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you; cry and you increase your chances of a heart attack.  Well, at least that is the general conclusion from research examining laughter and relaxation.  People who spontaneously use humour to cope with stress have particularly healthy immune systems, are 40 per cent less likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes, experience less pain during dental surgery and live 4.5 years longer than average.  In 2005, Michael Mill and his colleagues from the University of Maryland showed people scenes from films that were likely to make them feel anxious (such as the opening 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan) or laugh (such as the orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally).  Participants’ blood flow dropped by about 35 per cent after watching the stress-inducing films but rose by 22 per cent following the more humourous material.  On the basis of the result the researchers recommend that people laugh for at least 15 minutes each day

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Does it need to be said?

There are three things you must always ask yourself before you say anything.

  • Does this need to be said?
  • Does this need to be said by me?
  • Does this need to be said by me now?

Before you dismiss this method as simplistic, think about how many antagonistic comments this would eliminate from social media. Or, we can take it a step further and consider how it might apply at work: Let's say you're a manager, and you've been working hard to improve the relationships with certain individuals on your team. One day, you witness someone doing something great at work, and you take advantage of the opportunity to commend them. Great job! (Sincere, authentic, and timely praise goes a long way in motivating employees.)

But suddenly, you remember how they messed something up a few weeks ago. "I should bring that to their attention, too," you reason. "Let me tell them before I forget..."  No! Stop! Ask yourself: Does this need to be said? Does it need to be said by me? Does it need to be said by me now?

True, constructive criticism is best delivered soon after a mistake. But you've already missed that boat. If you give that negative feedback now, it will completely destroy whatever goodwill you built with your praise and commendation. The person will think: "So, essentially you just told me something nice to soften the blow of what you really wanted to say. Jerk."

 

When you ask yourself the three questions, you'll probably conclude one of the following: You know, the criticism I wanted to share wasn't so important after all. My opinion may even be changing on this.  It might be better if I speak to their team leader first. Maybe what I saw a few weeks ago wasn't really the whole picture. I definitely still need to talk to them about the problem I saw. But now's not the right time. Let me set a reminder to schedule an appointment with the person after I'm better prepared.

See how well it works?

This is just one scenario, but practicing these three questions will help you in various situations. Imagine if everyone did it: We would see far fewer (and shorter) emails, shorter meetings, and fewer employee complaints about others' inappropriate remarks...and yes, maybe even a few saved romances.

Keeping It Balanced

Of course, I'm not discouraging speaking up when appropriate. I strongly believe in honest and direct communication, and there are times when the answer to all three questions will be a resounding yes--even when what we need to say isn't comfortable for us or the recipient.  When those times come, the three question method will help you speak with confidence--and learn to be assertive when it counts.

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Mindfullness pause

A meditation teacher's 4 tips for calming down and refocusing in just 30 seconds.

A mindful pause is meditation but not in a scary, "Oh my god, how can I wipe my mind clear for 30 minutes" kind of way. Studies show that meditation can reduce stress and anxiety, and even in 30 seconds, the mindful pause lets you experience that firsthand. One study even found that meditation shrinks the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for stress, anxiety, and fear.

Here’s how it works:

1. Take a deep breath. Take a slow inhale, filling your lungs from bottom to top. Inhale into your lower belly and then fill upward through your mid-torso and chest. This will help you take advantage of the well-documented connection between breath and mood. By slowing and deepening your breathing, you can actually create feelings of relaxation and calm.

2. Turn toward your body. Open your attention to the sensations in your body. Let yourself notice whatever comes up: warmth, coolness, tingling, pressure, or the touch of clothing. There's no need to evaluate the sensations as "good" or "bad." Itching is simply itching. Coolness is simply coolness.

If you notice a complex array of sensations: perfect. If all you notice is the feeling of your butt on the chair: also perfect.

If you notice sensations that seem connected to stress or anxiety, those are especially good to pay attention to. Maybe it's a twisting in your gut or tightness in your chest or warmth on your face. If you can stay with these bodily sensations and watch them, rather than taking the bait of anxious thoughts, you can let tough emotions pass without taking too much heat. It's like playing in the ocean: When a wave is coming, and you try to plant your feet and resist, you get knocked over. Then everyone points and laughs. But if you dive straight through the wave, it's no problem.

3. Rest your attention on your breath. Pay attention to the sensation of air touching your nostrils as you breathe. With gentle curiosity, watch the flow of changing sensations at the nostrils. These sensations anchor you in the present moment. In this step, there's no need to deepen or slow your breath at all; just let your body breathe however it wants to. And just like the previous step, this step can be as short as one in-breath or one out-breath. You might feel like staying with it longer, but that’s up to you.

4. Carry on with your life! The last step of the mindful pause is to simply re-engage with the world, without hurry. Open your eyes if you closed them ... and carry on with your day. But see if you can maintain that calm feeling and groundedness you just created.. If you can, take a few seconds just sitting or standing there quietly, and then move at a more leisurely pace.

The hardest part isn’t actually completing the mindful pause itself; it’s remembering to do it in the first place. Remember mindful pauses by linking them to specific moments that occur on a daily basis: such as to first sit down every morning or before turning a computer.

Don’t fall into the trap of using the mindful pause as a way to resist anxiety. Don’t do the four steps then think to myself, "What the hell? My anxiety is still here! The stupid thing didn't work."

The trick is to accept that tough feelings, like anxiety, will come and go. When they’re here, they’re here, but that doesn’t need to be a problem. By turning toward our emotions and watching them, even for 30 seconds, we can find real relief.

 

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Stoicism

I am sure we have all at one time been told to be Stoic. Have a stiff upper lip, face the challenge,be brave etc. Stoicism is an interesting philosophy with some good ideas. Here is a link to a short Youtube video on the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius - as animated book review on Stoicism. Only takes about 6 minutes to watch. Please have a look an let me know what you think.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM6OtqGzlNA 

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Calm down.

Do you know someone who needs to stay calm in stressful situations?  Once a reputation is made for temper tantrums it can be very difficult to lose.  People will often avoid those who are unpredictable and will not be willing to have open and frank conversations with them.  Hypnotherapy can help create change and be effective in controlling an explosive temper.  Currently I am still doing the "bogof" offer to help as many as I can.  Call me if I can be of help.

 

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Stress levels at Christmas

Christmas is coming. A happy time for you? A stressful time? Feeling the pressure of family and friends wanting or needing too much of you? Here is a quick fix that can help you. When times get bad, take a deep breath in but pause before breathing out. Breathe out and pause again before breathing in. Do this several times. It is the pause that makes difference. It gives the brain time to think “I will remain calm.” If it helps, print this picture and stick it on your fridge.

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Life is (is not) fair

Life should be fair

We’ve all been told a million times (and likely told other people) that life isn’t fair, but in spite of what we know about the intricacies of injustice, it’s a concept that doesn’t quite sink-in in practice. A surprising number of us subconsciously expect life to be fair, and we believe that any unfairness that we experience will somehow be balanced out, even if we don’t do anything about it. If you’re stuck in that mindset, it’s time to get over it. When something “unfair” happens, don’t rely on outside forces to get you back on your feet. Sometimes there isn’t any consolation prize, and the sooner you stop expecting there to be, the sooner you can take actions that will actually make a difference.  Hypnosis can help you change your mind-set.  

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Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves

This is a very good lecture, by Dr. Lissa Rankin, about the body's ability to heal itself when given the right conditions and the right mindset. Hypnotherapy is great for creating that mindset.

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