Category Archives: Anxiety

Christmas Countdown

OMG, we’re into the Christmas countdown?

Abridged Audio duration 02.59  Reading duration 04.00 average.

Important warning: When listening to any audio content please ensure you’re not concentrating on anything else like driving a vehicle or operating machinery! With your safety in mind.

Keep calm on the Christmas countdownWe all find ways to handle the festive season. These can range from organising heightened excitement and frivolities, like good times sharing with family or friends. Maybe there is the compulsory work do (‘party-on’) and in some cases don’ts!  Whatever you have planned this year, and where ever you are placing your attention, one commonality is the amount of stress that can build up in the rush or the financial worry.


Every Monday and Tuesday over the next three weeks, I’m going to add some Christmas de-stress tips one or two of which may just be right in helping you to keep the levels of stress down around the holiday season.  Alternatively, these tips could get you thinking of ways that would work better for you, so it’s a win/win!

We’ll be taking a snapshot of:

  1. Expectation and experience
  2. Loneliness (put in Christmas community initiatives)
  3. Dealing with difficult people like relatives or friends
  4. Making it Fun
  5. Overindulgence
  6. What happens if you splash the cash?

What are your seasonal stress triggers?

Expectations and experience: 

Christmas countdown

Extroverts delight party Christmas

For those of us who are extroverts, the Christmas experience as a big social event may be just the fuel that powers your enjoyment.  Fantastic, get ‘stuck-in’!

That’s not me! 

Psychology Today reviewed the research from Myers Briggs studies in the USA which determined that approximately 16 to 50 percent of the population had characteristics of an introvert.

The complete opposite of the extrovert nature means that rather than being energised by partying they’d prefer to have a nice meal in the quiet of their home.

Does this sound like you?

Then you need to find a simple way to recharge your energies through the day which will help you to cope better and let go of the fears that used to undermine your Christmas experience.


Christmas CountdownConsider planning some time whereby you can give attention to your own needs and feelings.

In the days before Christmas, where would it be possible to create a little time for yourself and by yourself?

5 to 10 minutes of private meditation, or relaxation breathing, sign up and click here if you would like a guide for one of the best ways to do this and let go of anxiety or frustration.

Listing to a favourite tune or nipping out for a short walk around the block or through the park.

You may find a mindful moment when taking a stroll and taking in the view of the daytime winter sky.  Or if you prefer the twinkle of the stars at night.

In Tomorrow’s blog, we’ll take a snapshot of what some people fear the most about Christmas ‘Loneliness’.

And create some choices that you could make to break that limiting spell.

While at the opposite end there are people who feel guilty because they WANT to be alone. We discover what’s right about that?

Christmas countdown

Contact for Maria Richards Cognitive Hypnotherapist

Whether it’s stress, anxiety or building your confidence in finding your life purpose, I’m here to help. Click on my image to find my contact me page.

Ocean of Thoughts

Anxiety constant worrying

Thoughts are just thoughts





Audio Duration 5:40   Average reading time 6:00

Important warning: When listening to any audio content please ensure you’re not concentrating on anything else like driving a vehicle or operating machinery!

With your safety in mind.

Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so”… The Bard

Anxiety with constant worrying.

When a client came to me for help, he expressed how the anxiety was made worse by his experience of persistent negative thoughts.

He hoped that Cognitive Hypnotherapy could help him to break that cycle.

It made me wonder about the nature of thought and why it can have such a hold on us?

“If I don’t worry about it then it will get worse…”, I just can’t cope… “I’m afraid to make the wrong decision”…    because, because, because.

For many people who are suffering from anxiety, it can feel as if those unwanted thoughts are tumbling around like old clothes with no escape from a locked spin dryer.

* “Personal well-being provides an important insight into people’s thoughts and feelings about their quality of life.” 

The National Office of Statistics details research in the understanding of how different age groups rate their well-being differently.

By influencing policy makers, it’s hoped to help those specific age groups most in need.

Who or what holds power to release independent anxious thinking?

– what do you need to believe to let the negative consequences you’re imagining, go?

The thing is that the unconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is in your reality and what you believe for your future as a consequence of an anxious thought.

“If I screw this up again I’ll lose my job and then…” fill in the imaginary blank”.

These internal emotions bring to mind a set of rules based on fear, not only are they genuinely felt they can leave people in a quagmire of rumination.   Such thoughts have a minimal basis in present reality, but they can disturb sleep, mess with your appetite and cloud any clarity of thought.

The clarity you need which, allows you to be creative because a peaceful mind can very often surprise us with levels of perception and the ability to suss out progressive steps.

Get real!

The thing is if you woke in the morning with the thought “ I don’t want to be thinking that negative thought today” –  oh-oh to late you’ve already considered it.

You see, what we bring to mind, comes to mind and in order not to bring it up in your mind – the brain will hunt for that very thing.  (Here’s an experiment; ’don’t think of a blue tree’ – what just happened?).

Broadly speaking thoughts can be ‘bound’ (literally) by our perception of reality which for some becomes limited by our past experiences.  Once we step outside our ‘safety zone’  the mind may seek to protect us.

So what if we could reduce levels of anxiety by enjoying the thrill of becoming better versions of ourselves.

Lifting the curtain on the magic trick

The thought is an illusion especially if it hasn’t happened yet. Sometimes we need to learn how to let that thought go, and this can begin through acceptance and action of a different kind.

When a client felt burdened by worries at work then he became caught in a cycle of anxiety and depression, he lost sleep, increased his daily amount of alcohol and couldn’t think clearly.

He saw his life as swirling down the plughole while he imagined losing his family.  By looking for the solution to his ‘problems’ through fear it built up his anxiety.

He found that learning things like self-hypnosis and relaxation, plus experiencing other therapeutic techniques, got him to the point where he could switch his focus. Let unhelpful thinking go, and be open to better solutions.

He felt enabled to do more to strengthen his and his families emotional needs.

The Mind/Body connection

For him that meant also getting fitter, healthier, finding a creative hobby and spending quality time in having fun with his wife and children.

This helped him to step out of the old unhelpful cycle. By seeking a progressive way to deal with ‘real’ issues he stepped towards ‘real’ solutions in his present. He even considered a change in his career.

To his surprise, ‘all was not lost ‘just because he decided to relegate any unhelpful thoughts.

He turned more towards growth, and with patience, he learned that

‘thought is harmless unless you believe it’,  it was the attachment to the negative thought that caused his suffering in the first place.”

Gradually realising how a more balanced outlook can lead to improvements in confidence and self-esteem in many delightful ways.

If you were offered a golden key, with the opportunity to release that old pattern of thinking by letting it go, choosing a fresh perspective, would you take it?

Ready to take that first step?

Anxiety worry everything

Contact Maria Cognitive Hypnotherapy

Source: GB Office of National Statistics February 2016 – article source. An analysis of personal well-being data. Search for –

Measuring national well-being ‘At what age is personal well-being at its highest’ Michael Steel

UK study: Collected over a period of 3 years, 2012-1015 with a sample of over 300,000 adults.