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Are we losing our patience?

Last night we had sausages and mash for our evening meal.

The kids wanted the obligatory side order of ketchup to dunk their bangers in. There were two, almost empty, bottles on the table and they weren’t happy.

There was one plastic bottle of ketchup that was emptier than the other. They stood it upturned in an attempt to get the sauce moving; squeezing wasn’t working. While waiting they moved onto the glass bottle. (In an attempt to move away from single use plastic we have more glass and tins at home.)

The unhappiness turned to frustration, and then anger as they banged the bottle, shook it about (nearly without the lid on) and waggled a knife inside its neck to speed up this tiresome process.

As parents, we relished in the story of ‘back in our day we had to wait for the ketchup. When we were kids there were only glass bottles, you know!’

 

This incident got me thinking.

It’s not only the kids who lack patience. I know that my patience can be short outside of the therapy room. My husband would tell you that. He’d blame, in part, the first smart phone I got as a present from him.

Once upon a time, as a society, we all had to wait for stuff; for life to happen. I remember when I first worked in magazines how they were put together with tweezered words stuck down to create the spreads. No last-minute changes were possible even if the editor decided the article on Quick Evening Suppers was a bad choice.

These days, when do we wait? Maybe for a train or for the kettle to boil. But do we truly wait? We tend to fill that time with something, all too often technology. Even the technology itself has us being impatient. If a website is slow to load we ditch it and get our information from a different online platform or we impatiently retreat to shop elsewhere. We don’t want to wait for stuff to happen. We think we haven’t got time for that.

All this technology was meant to give us more free time. Though many of us feel we have less free time than ever before. We do things at short notice and we don’t even have to hold information in our brains as we can find out the capital of Bahrain at the call of ‘Alexa’ or her rival ‘Siri’.

We are not spending time with ourselves or our thoughts. Being bored is a thing of the past. The skill to be quiet, without productivity or purpose and to be patient is one that is fast disappearing. We want to be satisfied now and we all to often fill any given time.

 

What does all this demand for instant gratification mean for us?

Are we more impatient than ever before? Well, sadly yes, we have become used to fulfilment at the drop of a hat (or the squeeze of a bottle).

Don’t most of us go around the twist when the wifi is slow. Children act as if they will burst if they need to wait for Fortnite to load. They are desperate for the latest update. They have grown up in a world where everything is at their fingertips whether that be a bar of chocolate at every shop they enter or being able to find out exactly where their mate is at any given time via the latest app. Convenience and accessibility becomes the norm and both children and adults then expect it. The brain gets a lovely hit of dopamine as our pleasure sensors are activated and then we are looking for continual dopamine rushes to satisfy us. And we want it now. We are becoming so much less content in waiting for a long-term goal to please us.

Kids’ brains, and ours for that matter, have become wired to this way of being and the pleasure of that dopamine rush that instant gratification brings. The neuroplasticity of our brains means that we can learn new ways of doing things and these may be positive or negative. The urge to grab a tablet to watch the latest kitten video on Facebook or standing at an Apple store because we ‘need’ the new Iphone that will be launched at midnight are learnt behaviours. Therefore, we can unlearn them.

But, why should we? When we look for instant gratification it can ultimately lead to a lack of fulfilment when we are unable to achieve something immediately. Some things take time and effort; learning a new language, passing grade 2 trumpet, saving up for a deposit for a home. Lack of patience means we are become less good at being prepared to put in the waiting time or the commitment to get a reward and reach our truly valued goals.

We want the reward for nothing. Thoughts that fleetingly pass through our brains without conscious recognition such as – ‘I want that Mars bar because I’ll feel good now. I can’t be bothered to wait to be slim – I deserve fun now’ do not help us to be satisfied in the long term. Instant gratification over time leads to many negative outcomes such as anger, frustration, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, a lack of self-belief and even addiction.

 

Maybe it is time we begin to help ourselves.

There is already evidence of a backlash against the time swallowing technology with meditation apps, for example, being more popular than ever.

Gradually we can retrain our brains. We can learn to practice self-control if we want to. Set goals for ourselves that have various smaller steps to get there and acknowledge each step we take along the way.

Ask yourself next time you go for the instant gratification. Was it helpful to your mood? Was it ultimately better than waiting? Honestly more pleasurable? Helpful? What are the long-term consequences of your actions?

Be your own best friend by being accountable to your actions and this may mean including some planning. What do you need to actually do to get to where you want? You may want to set some firm off limit boundaries such as never checking your emails after 8pm. What are you going to choose to do?  You may want to have a buddy so you can support one another with your longer-term goals. Look at the obstacles that could prevent you from making changes such as thoughts that justify unhelpful actions. Create a vision board or signs with reminders of your current intentions. Perhaps now is the time to delete your social media account or give up the box set binge and go back to once weekly episodes watching; even if it is to see how it feels and to give the space to do something different. Even a few moments of bringing your awareness to your breath is a useful tool to help bring calm to the present moment.

When we take back the power over instant gratification which will lead us to feel a greater sense of control over our life and ultimately a higher sense of fulfillment. Rarely people look back on their life and wish they hadn’t done things but instead you are more likely to regret what they didn’t do. What is happening in your life that impatience is preventing you from doing that is truly fulfilling?

So personally, for me, it is time to delete Facebook again, and take some time to practice that yoga headstand that’s on my goal list. And more importantly, In our family, the glass bottle of Tommy K remains because as Heinz said back in the 80’s: ‘Good things come to those who wait’.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and the patience to get the end. If you need support breaking habits, increasing self-discipline, changing your behaviours or thoughts then contact me at The Power of Your Mind Clinical Hypnotherapy, in Skipton and I will gladly work with you to help you reach your personal goals.

Stay in control of the chocolate excess this Easter.

A long public holiday is on the horizon… Yes, Easter is almost upon us. A chance to catch up with family and friends, a time to relax, go for long walks, enjoy a delicious spring roast and often the time to sit and eat lots of chocolate, egg shaped chocolate, that is.

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Aviophobia – fear of flying

The most common fear I see clients for is fear of flying. Otherwise known as aviophobia.

There are different reasons, as with any phobia, that seem to be the root cause of this which can include a previous claustrophobic incident, lack of control, lack of trust and a vicarious phobia – ‘caught’ from someone else.

Aviophobia Fear of flying

Many seem to say to justify this fear , saying that it makes sense to have this phobia…” Of course there is a chance that the plane may crash so therefore it is sort of rational”. Which will make sense to some. However, I have never had someone, as yet at least, who also has a fear of car travel, which statistically is more dangerous. Also, based on the rational argument we should have a fear of beds (where death is most common) and bathrooms ( where accidents are most common).

I enable my clients to feel free from their phobias.

As I do with all issues or goals that I see I aim to best understand what is going on now, what has happened in the past and what they want for their future. This is so the hypnotherapy can be the best tailored solution for them.

 

 

Saccharophobia – fear of sugar

Phobia Friday

Today, the phobia of sugar.

Phobias are acquired and hypnotherapy is a great way to move on from them. It is worth seeking help especially if your phobia prevents you from living the life you want. Contact me for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom from Facebook

I feel free; one month on I feel a sense of freedom and relief.

I stopped using Facebook on January 1st, even for work. It was a new year’s resolution that I committed to for the month. And I’ll tell you why.

The following reasons:

  • To make space for my family who felt I was on Facebook all the time. I didn’t think that.
  • To prove to my family I didn’t need to be on it all the time. They thought I wouldn’t stop.
  • Too much time on my phone looking at nonsense posts.
  • Feeling the need to report ‘news’ to Facebook friends on an almost daily basis.
  • Checking phone morning and night for something that I might need to know about someone else’s life.
  • Checking for ‘likes’ and comments on a post.
  • The overall lack of fulfillment it was bringing me.
  • An increase in negative and unhelpful thoughts.
  • To make space and time for more meaningful things.
  • Something needed to change. Something didn’t fell right.

I have to be honest, it felt like I had lost my arm at first. It felt very odd. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with that newly gained time at first. I wanted more space but what was I meant to do with it? I did take some time to look at what things make me feel good. I added them in and it flowed sort of natually.

  • Daily affirmations on waking ( which I already did before but now for longer)
  • Daily gratitude statements
  • Morning yoga
  • More time with the family
  • Home cooking
  • Sitting and having a cup of tea in peace
  • Talking to those who matter to me
  • Interacting with friends in a more personal way
  • And the best thing, a calmer and more positive state of mind

What I have learnt:

  • Who I actually want to be around and those who I actually want to share my life’s up and downs with.
  • That interactions with some people who really matter to me had reduced to social media. This is not what a friendship is for me.
  • I sleep better sleep quality – I sleep well but that blue light, as I explain to those with sleep disorders, is going to impact melatonin levels.
  • That I can live happily without knowing that a friend has had a cappacino and a blueberry muffin for breakfast, even if it has got a comical face of Donald Trump in the foam. And they, I am sure, don’t need to know that about me either.
  • That I make sure I share anything important enough with those that matter to me anyway, but in a more personal manner. Remember phonecalls? I like phonecalls.
  • That anything important enough is shared with me by those that I matter to anyway.
  • That I can take photos just for me and for my family.
  • That being on Facebook had actually become quite dominating , more than I realised anyway. But clearly my family already knew this.
  • That my family were right!
  • That spending time with friends on social media and interacting via a thumbs-up symbol just doesn’t cut it for me.
  • I am more acceptance.
  • A feeling of freedom- yes, be off with you Facebook.

Finally, I’m not going back – at least for personal use. I will dictate the terms and use it for work. In fact you may even be reading this via social media yourself. I take back control over and it can be so very amazing what happens when you face up to the reality of a situation, can’t it?

 

What I thought of The Speakmans

Anyone who has seen The Speakmans will get that they are great at what they do. They are fab on TV too but are they as good as they seem?

Well, I recently attended an event of theirs in Elstree, Hertfordshire; ‘How to be happy in 2017’. I was basically going along as a nosey therapist to see what they do, how they do it, see how their techniques differ from mine and learn some new tips. (It’s always good to keep learning.) The event was aimed at the general public, those who have something they want to change. It’s not aimed at therapists though they were fully aware that they are always some at their seminars.

Nik and Eva Speakman were so lovely and friendly to everyone, so very humble and genuine towards each and every person they spoke to. They took time during the day, that ran from 9 until 5.30, at every break to talk to the attendees. There were people queuing, in any free time, for their autographs, photos and to have their help with their issue and Nik and Eva took their time to be there for everyone. Even at the end they were still there helping attendees. We squeezed a photo in, here’s a colleague, hypnotherapist Heather Bond from Potters Bar, with Nik, Eva and me.

I am guessing they were bushed by the end but you would never have thought it. They maintained their glamour and energetic enthusiasm throughout. Even this I found inspiring. Bring a therapist is tiring and intense at times, and running the slick event they put on must also be. I wondered if they sling off their outfits and put on their pjs the moment they walk in the door at night

Some people at the seminar clearly had big difficulties and issues in their lives and even just listening to Nik and Eva’s own life troubles must have been a inspiration in terms of how things can be transformed. The fact they showed their own vulnerability was a way of connecting with their audience and creating a warmth and rapport within the room; they are actually normal people, with real personal success refusing to be defined by their pasts. They were candid about their family and their lives and that was endearing.

The day had emotional moments and I was surprised how emotional I felt listening to The Speakmans and their attendees’ stories. I am able to separate myself from my clients’ issues as a hypnotherapist. It is an essential part of the job.

The seminar included various topics along with phobias and phobic responses, PTSD, OCD, lack of self esteem, labelling and over use of medication for mental health in 21st Century.

The ‘medication bit’ for me was really interesting. I agreed that, mostly, the use of medicating mental health issues doesn’t resolve the root cause but instead works on removing the symptoms. I find that in my private practice I see many people who are on medication but don’t want to be or feel that when they have reduced or come off it the symptoms return – I can’t imagine why? (Sarcasm alert!).

If you have a broken bone and you take a painkiller the pain may go away, or it might not, or you might have some new symptoms that might need to be treated to ( maybe from the medication or maybe as a side effect of not treating the broken bone). Ultimately if you stop the painkillers the bone won’t be better. Hmmm! Resolve the cause of the issue and remove the symptoms.

The real examples of helping people live included Nik and Eva’s intuitive questioning. They used NLP (Neuro Lingustic Programming) and some hypnotic techniques. One great example of what they helped on the day was one woman’s snake phobia. Since visiting a dark reptile house as a toddler the phobia had been present for what was probably around 40 years. It transpired it had originated as a phobia of the dark which had mutated. She had never considered the dark tunnel as being the issue but instead was blaming the snake for her having been scared. You could visibly see the relief in the woman when she realised that snakes are fine.

So, if you have the opportunity to see The Speakmans in action do go.

And, if you have a particular issue you want to resolve find a therapist. As all TV therapists, they have a very long waiting list but I’d recommend hypnotherapy, of course, which can help many issues. Ring around and find someone qualified and insured. Look at a professional hypnotherapy body such as the General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR). And, importantly, someone you feel comfortable with, someone you trust. You can relieve yourself of the past to live your life more positively today.

Contact Amy Brown for more information about her Hypnotherapy services.

What mindfulness means to me

So, Mindfulness, what is it? Well, following Lisa Milnor of Shaping Clarity’s course this is my interpretation. Firstly, we often think that the things we think are true. Not so. We do actually have a choice:

  • Believe these thoughts and except their consequences
  • Challenge these thoughts and alter the consequences.
  • Face our thoughts, let them be and see what happens.

Mindfulness is living in the moment, being aware of this moment. It’s all we have. We don’t truly have the past or the present. However, our thoughts can be affected by the past or the future, and that is something we allow to happen. With practice, we can learn to realise that our thoughts are simply that, thoughts. They are not the truth and therefore we do not need to hang on to them. In fact we can turn to them, face them and learn to let them go. Accept them as they are, without judging them or analysing them and instead bring ourselves to the now. A simple way to do this is through our breath. The next breath you are about to take is the only time this breath will be taken, never again. Take a moment now to be with your next 3 breathes now – allowing any thoughts to fade away.

 

As a hypnotherapist I am fully aware of how powerful our minds are. We are capable of so much yet we can limit ourselves to things being the way they are. As I sometimes explain to my clients, even if you have a thought more than once it doesn’t mean it’s the truth, no more than the first time you thought it. Actually if we want to change what’s going on there are various ways. Mindfulness and Hypnotherapy are two of those ways and they happen to compliment each other well.

Mindfulness is a conscious way of being; we are human beings not human doings, though as Lisa pointed out this can be a more appropriate term a lot of the time. Hypnotherapy, meanwhile, works on the subconscious mind altering unwanted beliefs so they fit with conscious desires and goals. Together they are a wonder. I sometimes recommend Lisa’s courses to clients, when appropriate, a great way to compound and build on the subconscious mind and whatever they have already achieved through hypnotherapy.

At the moment I am enjoying the book ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhartt Toll which describes the link between or subconscious minds and our conscious minds. We hook onto the conscious thoughts about the past or present that have come from our subconscious minds protection instincts. If we can separate ourselves off from these, be the onlooker as it were, we can be in the now. We can disconnect ourselves from our subconscious’ protection that is based on the unknown future and, therefore, it’s made up concerns or thoughts. Equally unrest or fears which are based on the past are not actually relevant here and now. That past is gone.

What I feel I have learnt about mindfulness, or, at least, how I see it, is that it is a conscious mind activity ( or a lack of activity) that enables the art of acceptance. This is done by placing our attention on now, right now, here, now and without judgement or criticism but instead with compassion, care and kindness to ourselves and to others.

I also have discovered the best revelation of all, turning and facing our feelings and thoughts, what is here now, can transform those feelings into something unexpected. I have found on a number of occasions that strong disruptive emotions just fade away once they are looked at face on, accepted without judgement. They are there, so are we. Be here, be with them, where is it, what does it look and feel like; then see what happens.

For more information on Lisa’s courses look for Shaping clarity and Mindfulness in Skipton.

5 more weight management tips for a new you

Simple changes for weight management this new year – part 2. ( See part 1 first.)

Here are 5 more tips to start your weight loss journey ( maybe even another 5 to come in February):

  1. What have you discovered about you inner voice? Write it down and be aware of what things come up regularly. What is your main aim right now? Is it to be slim or is it more important to reward yourself or to fit in with your friends by eating like them perhaps?
  2. When do you eat? When you are famished or bloated? It is good to maintain your blood sugar levels and by eating when slightly hungry and stopping as soon as you are pleasantly satisfied you help yourself to become used to appropriate levels of hunger.
  3. Write down (or photograph) everything you eat. Being honest is the key here. Who are you fooling if you lie because it certainly isn’t your waist line?
  4. Eat your food on a small plate while sat at the table. Food eaten here is recognised as an eaten meal compared to when eating on your lap in front of the TV or grazing as you wander about the kitchen.
  5. Enjoy your food. Chew slowly, placing your cutlery down between mouthfuls. Chew each mouthful 30 – 35 times; you will eat far less this way. Be mindful and focus upon each mouthful of food. What are the flavours and the textures? Allow yourself to really enjoy the mouthful of food you are currently eating – how can you enjoy food if your focus is on the next mouthful.

Hypnotherapy is the perfect support mechanism. With tailored suggestions for your subconscious mind, based on your lifestyle, you drastically improve the chance of your weight management being maintained. I have clients past and present whose lives have been and are being transformed as I write this. See testimonials for more information. Weight management hypnotherapy programmes are available for you to book now. Contact Amy for more information.

Weight management through change not chance

Weight loss is the biggest New Year’s resolution. So how are you going to make sure the weight drops off this 2017 and importantly that it is maintained? Is it going to be about chance?  Or is going to be through proper change?

Watch out for your inner voice – ‘I deserve it, it’s Christmas’.

Simple changes for weight management this new year

Here are 5 tips to start your weight loss journey ( 5 more to come in January):

  1. Do not starve yourself, eat enough. Eat 3 meals a day, every day. A small, healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner, (or tea, or supper, depending what you call it).
  2. Use a side plate. This helps to control portion size. Psychologically a full small plate is more of a meal than a half empty large plate.
  3. Drink water. A large glass of water drunk before you eat anything can satiate hunger, drink it and then wait- thirst is often mistaken for hunger.
  4. Teach yourself to be in tune with your hunger levels. Do you know what hunger or a feeling of satisfaction really feels like? Learn to listen to your body.
  5. Be your own judge or referee. Begin by watching and listening to your inner voice. Are you justifying that ‘snack’? Perhaps as a reward, a break time, a boredom reliever, appreciation for another person or a part of celebration, for example. Maybe your inner voice justifies that mince pie with ‘I’ve worked hard today and it is Christmas after all. I deserve it’. You can think a thought and choose not to act on it, it is not the truth.

Look out for 5 more tips in early January.

Hypnotherapy is the perfect support mechanism. With tailored suggestions for your subconscious mind, based on your lifestyle, you drastically improve the chance of your weight management being maintained. Some people have already been proactive and booked their initial hypnotherapy for January – great planning and commitment for their life. Contact Amy for more information.

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas to you!