Tag Archives: stress relief

Changes…New Ways of Being.


Challenge and changes

Running in the Changes

We are officially through the first 14 days of 2016 –  HAPPY NEW DAY to all my visitors.  Two weeks on and I wonder what it felt like for you to cross the threshold into this New Year?  If ‘ringing in the changes’ for the New Year , was just like slipping into a known and familiar place and you’re really happy with that – great. If, instead, this marks a time of transition into new ways of thinking, tempting you to try out new things, overcome fears or any challenges with work, in your relationships, or maybe your own self-belief, then this could be a very dynamic year for you.

Making changes in your life…

Approaching changes, we could be feeling excited about the possibilities for the future, or just downright nervous and on edge due to life circumstances and fear of the unknown.

If there was a way to feel more in balance, a way to guide yourself forward so there was hardly anything holding you back would it be worthwhile?

As I sat contemplating my next steps for what feels like an unpredictable year, I found my mind leaping forward with worry and concern over the ‘what ifs…’, What if this happens..what if this doesn’t happen”…”What if I can’t…What if I can…”, know what I mean?

As I caught myself doing this I ‘paused’ and dragged myself back to the present, into ‘right now’ and took stock of my surroundings.  What truly mattered in the moment was that everything without over-speculating for the future was fine.

NOW I know changes aren’t always easy, but for me it was interesting to find that when I remembered to allow myself to rest within this very moment, I could find a calm respite.  So with my eyes closed as I followed my breathing, then I could settle into a space where worrying dissipated, because unnecessary worry  just leads to a misuse of the imagination. Getting stuck over things that haven’t happened and may never happen isn’t very productive. So, learning how to create a space that moved me away from that distraction, allowed me to calm everything down.   (Bonus PDF guide for help on the relaxation response follows this blog…)

So I wonder, if you find yourself overly speculating in a negative way, what would be better and work for you?

Peace from the inside out…

Finding some respite from within, where there is a safe place to experience some peace. And wouldn’t that be great?  Any stress that’s being produced can pause, reduce as the body and the mind takes a natural route to the relaxation response, resting in this moment.   New ideas or solutions get a chance to form and breathe when we learn how to access a calmer state.

Some people turn to meditation, others to more creative or active physical pursuits or hobbies.  It’s about finding your groove and if you’re unsure, well there’s always professional guidance to help you let go of your limiting beliefs.  A plug for me or one of my associates as Cognitive Hypnotherapist’s of course 😉

The Power Of Now… by Eckhart Tolle

…is a 191 page turner “intended to be a  guide for day-to-day living, and emphasizing the importance of living in the present moment and avoiding thoughts of the past or future.” This was one of first books I read that continued to grow my awareness of different ways of being in this present moment. The book attracted me because it represented a universal message of hope during difficult times.

It’s really okay to just play with seeing things differently – for the better.  Where small steps are allowed along-side self compassion, self-acceptance, whilst developing the unconscious ability to direct  life towards better solutions on the outside – BECAUSE YOUR WORTH IT.

In the fluctuations of life, remembering to come back to the NOW isn’t always easy.  We’re only human!  

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage”… Anaïs Nin

…whatever brings you peace of mind or a sense of achievement can help as a resource in other parts of one’s life too.

It’s amazing how slowly building more resilience, by doing the simplest of things,  can really help us get through major events which life challenges us to.

* 7/11 breathing is a proven method for bringing the body back to balance by encouraging the natural relaxation response, free document bonus below.

Knowledge is Powerful …connecting to new perspectives at a deeper level creates choices.

Part of the adventure of life could be in finding that space that refuels those resources to reach towards what brings a sense of worth, of being loved and finding joy.

But it’s not just about knowledge, making the connection through meeting our emotional needs is just as important. Something that a lot of us could probably get better at.

“Imagination is as powerful as our present reality”

So if we bring ourselves back to what matters right now, then imagine building a template for the future which is more nurturing and encouraging, in the actions we choose to take from today we find a new and powerful way to encourage changes.  Within Cognitive Hypnotherapy this is know as ‘positive future pacing’.

“When we change the way we look at things the things we look at change”  Wayne Dyer.

Adobe_PDF_file_icon_32x32Free guide for reducing anxiety

Here’s a previous blog on happiness and cultivating resilience


Happy New Year Challenges!

Facing your challenges in the New Year!

Challenges can be invigorating




Do you recall the first chimes of the New Year, was it  like stepping  through a rusty creaking door into the challenges of 2016 or did the door glide freely because it was lubricated (no pun intended!), as you swung with positive expectation into the New Year?



Last year was a mixed bag of emotions for a lot of people, me included.  Life comes with challenges – some may be exhilarating because they involve stretching those boundaries which may take courage and determination.  Challenges can be described as grabbing the bull by the horns in an unpredictable landscape.  Overcoming difficulties or making changes by engaging at a deeper level can mean finding self-acceptance of one’s limiting beliefs. Learning to let go of them by trusting oneself can be a life-changer.

It’s funny how many people have said that it’s the learning to trust in one’s  own instincts that allows them to be more at peace with themselves and as a result more in ‘flow’ in their world.

Finding your own path doesn’t necessarily mean following someone else’s!

When it comes to testing situations, the choices we make and the things we tell ourselves can lead to growth or protection.  If protection causes negative stress, then that can really feel debilitating and exhausting, even lead to destructive behaviours.

If we expect New Year challenges to be like experiencing an uncomfortable roller-coaster ride, – struggling with circumstances ‘outside our control’, that can derail, upset  and cause muddled thinking.

Instead we have a choice to be curious about how we can take action on small things through the year. What can gradually improve our situation to stop feeling responsible for things outside our control?  New ways of thinking can prove to be an emotional game changer and in the bigger picture, a life changer!

Challenges can dissolve old ways of thinking…

With an enquiring mind if we can turn what challenges us into an opportunity for growth, then we’ll be using stress as a positive force, so that what can at first appear difficult can transform into a glimmer of hope for success and well-being.

Hope  can create change.  Determination to pull through can enable us to access a more powerful nurturing resource, through building a personal resilience.

My follow-up blog may encourage you to start that exploration within yourself – opening up to  ‘New Ways of Being’…

Reduce stress; don’t believe this myth…

The one thing that many people do to ‘reduce stress’…

In the lead up to the holidays are you reaching for more cigarettes as a way to combat and reduce stress?

Reduce stress Stop Smoking

You have a choice

Just for one moment STOP SMOKING…step back and READ THIS FIRST…

With stoptober way behind us, and the festive season looming it could be a time when additional stress or anxiety kicks in.  If you’ve been successful at saying bye to the smoking habit due to the NHS drive, well done.  If you find that your teetering on the edge of inhaling that  ciggie-smoke because, it’s the time of year to be jolly (and all my mates are smoking), or your tearing your hair out on the lead up  to the holidays with so much to do and so little time to do it in – and “just one drag from that fag will reduce stress” –  then here’s something that may help you re-consider.

If you can recall that cult classic TV show called the X Files – then you may also remember its main mantra “the truth is out there”.  AND in this instance ‘the truth’ may just surprise you enough to help you stop and think twice before succumbing to a false premise, because what many of the tobacco companies already know is that “cigarettes actually cause MORE stress”, and we’re talking about an accumulation of stress as the toxic fumes from that second smoke hits the back of the throat and rips its way down into the lungs. Now that’s a scary X File…

Trick of the mind:

Reduce stress_stop smoking

Duped again?

There are tricks to help the mind and tricks that delude the mind. The Nicotine trickster falls into the latter of the two.

For today’s blog one myth I’d love to dispel is “cigarettes reduce stress”, and then add in a few tips to help you get past the first 48 hours when cravings can be at their worse.  Old beliefs around the role of nicotine very often leads people to light up again and smoke even more. I believe we need to continue to get the truth out there, which gives you the choice to take back control and not be duped!

Nicotine is a chemical that attaches to the ‘dopamine’ receptors in the brain – this gives a crafty signal that you’ve got to have more nicotine because it HIJACKS the natural survival mechanism in the brain by triggering the release of much higher levels of dopamine. As the nicotine hikes up the dopamine factor then the idea of smoking becomes harder to resist. The trick being that the stress that’s associated with the need for a ciggie is actually CREATED BY THE NICOTINE as it’s withdrawing from the body. Lighting the next cigarette helps to create a balance but then the whole response cycle starts again. The brain in its search for meaning creates a learned association that tells it ‘nicotine relieves stress’ Da…dah… trick accomplished. Unless of course we become wise to that trick, educate ourselves to understand the science and take alternative action…

The first 48 hours: (what’s happening in the body)…  The poisons in tobacco create unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide in the body.

As we decide to break the cycle of the smoking – we may go through a period of craving otherwise known as ‘withdrawal symptoms.’  The good news is that once you’ve hit the 48 hour mark there is no nicotine left in the body.

  • 20 minutes – blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal.
  • 8 hours – Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels reduce by half and oxygen levels return to normal
  • 24 hours – Carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body. The lungs start to clear out mucus and debris.
  • 48 hours – There is no nicotine in the body. People notice an improvement in taste and smell.

So what about some practical ideas to help blast those cravings to smithereens…

Coping in the workplace?

Just time to squash another myth  – “When the stress is high then  I DON’T HAVE THE WILLPOWER.”

Such automatic thinking behind a craving can be more powerful than the craving itself. In reality a craving only last for around 5 minutes. What we now understand is that…

Emotional connections are usually more powerful than physical ones. So what are your thoughts telling you and where is the evidence?  ‘The truth can help to set you free’ and give you back the control to say NO to a cigarette…

If you’ve tried to stop smoking but feel it’s the craving that crushes your will, then here’s some practical alternatives to distract you long enough for the cravings to pass

“It helps me relax –  A cigarette delivers chemicals that heightens stress by lowering oxygen levels by around 20 per cent in the body, adrenaline is dropped into the blood stream and the heart starts to beat faster.  Sucking on a cigarette may have been a false premise to try and bring more oxygen into the body – think about the act of breathing in deeply.  Instead – walking away from your desk, taking a break from work stress by going for a walk to breath in fresher air, taking the stairs instead of the lift means that you’re relieving stress in ways that serves you better in raising oxygen levels whilst also encouraging a healthier endorphin hormonal surge.

What else can help me eliminate the craving?” – Keep sipping, plenty of water hydrates and flushes toxins out of the body. Many tobacco companies also introduce a sugar solution to the cigarette paper – the craving may also be associated with a sugar hit. Help your brain by introducing a trick of your own by sucking on sugar free mints or gum – the unconscious mind will think it’s a supplement for the sugar – which again helps you through those few minutes of craving.

Can I do it!  Can I make smoking a thing of the past?

A lot of people have gone before you and have been permanently successful. Ask yourself why you would want to leave that habit in the past, and then what would that give you in your present. Then using your imagination to explore the consequences of taking this action as a permanent part of your life, with all the positive differences to you and those you care about which brings happiness and a much better quality of life.

Trigger factors:

There are other things that can trigger the smoking – another truth is –  it’s not about will power AND it’s not your fault –  and these are the reasons why finding yourself a therapist who understands these things can really help you become permanently free from the nicotine trickster and the smoking.  So check out your hypnotherapist before you sign up – do they understand how to help you to untangle your unique factors such as:

  • Emotional triggers
  • Environmental triggers
  • Chronic inescapable stress – before you attempt to stop the smoking
  • Depression – severe depression could be an indicator of when not to stop the smoking – or at least not straight away – (yes I did just write that)

Do you have a financial incentive? A real factor if for example you’re saving for a deposit…

Jack is a characterisation – cost is real and based on a packet of 20 branded cigarettes in November 2015

Reduce stress-stop smoking_2

Check out the savings that Jack made!









Ready to stop?  Maybe you had stopped and then you were duped back into the old habit again?  –   Maria is a specialist in ‘The Simmons Method’ (the science behind the addition), for ‘smoking cessation’.  This goes beyond the model of closing your eyes whilst listening to hypnotic inductions.  Clients receive specific attention to break the cycle of the smoking and the connections to their unique triggers.  Taught techniques to really help get permanently free. This includes documentation and an MP3 hypnosis download, that continue to support if ‘the smoking’ ever tries to trick you again.  Treatment is spread across two sessions giving a total of up to 3 hours personal one to one time. The Simmons Method supports you with ‘positive self regard’ for your well being, including the potential of an additional session for an extended period after the initial therapeutic session is over,  with the aim to care and give you the best possible experience of hypnosis and methods of treatment tailored just for you.

Interested in other tips to help reduce stress in your daily life?  Check out my blog:worry less or worry more”,

***Hypnotherapy was proven to be the best method of stopping smoking by a meta analysis of almost 72,000 subjects across USA and Europe conducted at University of Iowa by Viswesvaran & Schmidt (1992), reported in New Scientist (1992 – Volume 136, Issue 1845, Page 6).