Sweet and sour
The other day I heard some children talking about peoples’ reactions when they played their game of sweet and sour.
Apparently sweet and sour game is where you sit in the back of a Volvo and wave at strangers in others cars. If they wave back they are sweet and if they don’t they are sour! I heard about how one man had showed them a doughnut and another man did a salute. They thought this was great. Children find lots of ways to have fun for free.
Adults can have fun for free too. You might get some funny looks if you play sweet and sour but here are some ideas of things you can do for free.
- Go to the sea
- Take a course, there are free courses available at future learn
- Cook something or invent a new dish
- Cloud watch…….. Oh sorry I’m back. I just got distracted by some clouds!
- Put some of your favourite photos in a collage
- Read. Even if you hate reading there must be a book that you would enjoy. There are sites that find books you might like. Try whatshouldireadnext
- Music changes your mood in 3 seconds. Choose a belter and sing your heart out. These girls are funny!
- Be a tourist in your own city. I did this recently in Brighton and had a lot of fun
- Make your Family tree. Free at most libraries
- Walk in nature
- Go window shopping to see what you don’t need to buy!
- Create something. A scarf, pen pot, book, shed
- Find a group near you on Meet Up. If you can think of it, there’s a group for it!
- Watch inspiring Ted talks
- Look at some art to inspire you or make you wonder what it is!
- Explore. On foot. On a bike. In the car
- Try creative writing or even a blog
- Create a new outfit out of your existing clothes
- Watch animals
- Learn a new skill
- Try some adult colouring
- Create a mission for yourself – maybe see all the Royal Parks or local parks in your area? Visit all the libraries? Find the local markets?
- Help someone else – Radio 1 have a great thing at the moment where you can give an hour to help others
- Grow something
You will notice that most of these you can do alone. This is because if you make your own fun and happiness first, you become self-sufficient in your happiness and rarely bored and lonely.
I would love to hear your ideas of free things to do. Please add them to the comments and share them!
Here’s the plan:
- Read your gratitude list often
- Make sure Mind COP is on patrol
- Pick one list from the list, do it and see how you feel
- Feel free to share this post on facebook or twitter!
- Like me on facebook
Happy hug 🙂
Is this your Mind COP?
Yesterday you met your own mind COP by imagining what you mind COP looked like, sounds like, wears…
Maybe one of these?
Today we are going to look at how your mind COP will catch those criminal negative thoughts and keep your mind safe. For the past week you have been keeping a note of your negative mind chatter in your notebook. Now is the time to have a good look at what you have written and start working on making some changes to how that chatter might make you feel bad.
Let’s see mind COP in action.
Catch them: You’ve been catching mind chatter for nearly a week. You should have a pretty good idea of what yours is saying to you and who your criminals are.
Own them: These are your thoughts. You created them. You can acknowledge them. Consider them and choose whether to discard them or whether to arrest them.
Protect yourself: You protect yourself by arresting the negative thoughts, examining the evidence and deciding whether to charge them or give them a warning.
Here’s an example based on the losing your job example negative thoughts we looked at yesterday. Read each thought from left to right to see how Mind COP works.
|‘I should have worked harder’
||I did work hard though
||Maybe they didn’t really appreciate me?
|‘Why didn’t I take that course to learn more’
||I did a lot of development in that role
||This is a chance to learn something new
|‘I’m no good’
||Is everything I’ve ever done no good?
||I’ve achieved a lot
||With those that love me?
||I matter to the people that matter to me
||I was one of 10
||I will find a better fit
|‘I’m not clever’
||I was the problem solver
||I need a new challenge
|‘I’ll never get another job’
||Have you tried?
||I wonder what job I will love?
You can see how Mind COP is examining each thought and looking at it in a different way. One thought does not make a truth. One thought may seek evidence from the subconscious to support it, but Mind COP doesn’t fall for this.
Mind COP is objective and realizes that thoughts tell stories but their alibi is weak when questioned. Mind COP wants to hear from the witnesses and sort out those criminal negative thoughts.
You tell fibs
You see when you tell think a negative thought it’s probably not true and your Mind Cop might make this face!
So the next time those pesky criminal negative thoughts are doing a ‘wrong un’ in your mind, just see them scarper when Mind COP comes along and bangs them to rights.
Your time is precious, don’t waste it
How much of your precious life are you going to spend thinking negatively?
Think about it, how much time are you going to think about negative situations, obsess about the things that went wrong it your life, worry about things that happen or might never happen? Two hours a day? Which is 14 hours a week. Which is 60 hours a month. Which is 730 hours a year. Which is 30 DAYS A YEAR of feeling bad. What could you do in 30 days? A lot! In our example of losing the job, that is 30 days of enjoying the freedom of not working and exploring options for a new career whilst feeling happier.
Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs and change. By learning to manage your thoughts you will be more resilient in the tough times and happier on the whole. You are not your past, your current situation or what people say about you. You are so much more than that and you can shine.
- Write your own table of negative mind chatter in the same format as above and set your mind COP to work
- Read your gratitude list often
- See you tomorrow
Happy hug 🙂
I know the title ‘Why National Stress Awareness Day’ could save your life sounds dramatic, but it is true.
Stress is called the silent killer
According to the World Health Organisation Of the 56.4 million deaths worldwide in 2015, more than half (54%) were due to the top 10 causes. And the top 2 causes for the past 15 years have been Ischaemic heart disease and stroke. Stress is often a feature of these two causes.
Have you accepted stress as part of your life?
Society has really changed hasn’t it. More families with both parents working, single parent families, caring responsibilities. Expensive houses to pay for, images and expectations to live up to and of course social media to keep up with.
There’s children’s education, clubs, hobbies, social events and physical and emotional needs to attend to.
You might choose to study. Maybe while working, running a home and raising a family at the same time.
Then there is convienience food and spending a lot of time sitting in jobs that require computer work. And a competitive environment for well paid work.
Wow, it’s stressful even writing all that.
Everyone seems to be in such a rush and has accepted that as normal. Have you?
Hence the popularity of retreats!
What impact is this stress having on your life?
You know the drill. Work as hard as possible do everything as listed above. But you are not too worried because yes! You have a holiday to look forward to. Maybe even all inclusive. Everything done for you. You can really enjoy this time to relax and unwind and just ‘be’. You arrive on the holiday and spend the first few days in a vegetated state. Or even worse… ill! You can’t believe it. Where is your energy? And your joy? They seemed to have gone on a different holiday!
This is so common for people who are living in a stressed state most of the time. The body gets a glimpse of ‘stopping’ and it makes the most of it.
Things you may not have noticed as signs of stress
Thing is, when stress creeps up gradually, you don’t always notice it. You take on more and more. Do more and more. And you are so busy you don’t notice some of the symptoms of stress are upon you like:
- Muscular pain in our neck, shoulders or back
- Fatigue and low energy levels
- Raised blood pressure
- Increased pain thresholds
- Poor sleep patterns
- Poor breathing
- Suppressed immune system and increased susceptibility to infections
- Increases in blood sugar and cholesterol levels
Don’t ignore the signs
Left ignored these symptoms can build into bigger problems like burnout, depression and anxiety. It is your body and mind’s way of rebelling against the pressure it’s under.
Once you suffer from these they may affect:
- Your relationships with family or friends
- Your hobbies, interests and leisure time
- Your performance at work, school or college
This is the most important point in this blog:
Noticing yourself is the answer to good health. Noticing how you feel. Noticing your energy levels. Your mood. Your interactions with others. How your body feels.
Imagine you had a leaking tap in your bathroom? And you didn’t notice. And it kept dripping and started creating a small flow of water that needed to escape. So it finds a way through a crack in the tiles. And it keeps leaking and leaking. And then there is a funny smell. And you notice but don’t address it. And before you know it you have a damp issue and a big problem to fix. It’s important to notice.
So all I would encourage you to do as a first step is to notice how you feel.
Notice what might cause you stress and then you can work on a plan to reduce the stress in your life. I will be writing a couple of blogs around relaxation which will really help you reduce stress.
Take an easy step to reducing stress and relaxing by joining my free 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge
It is called a challenge but it’s easy! I promise you will feel less stressed at the end. Sign up now!
How to relax without a holiday
This is meant to be the peak time of year when people book holidays. Maybe it’s the January blues or just the desire to go somewhere warmer! One of the main things that people want to do when they go on holiday is to relax. To ‘escape from it all’. But what if you could could ‘escape from it all’ anytime you wanted to?
So what ways do you currently relax? With a glass of wine or a beer at the end of the day? With a bubble bath? With yoga? Everyone’s techniques and strategies are different.
There is physical relaxation and mental relaxation. They are interlinked and often relaxing one, relaxes the other. For example, if you’ve ever had a massage you might notice that when you lie on the massage table you are still thinking about the day’s work, or your kids, or your partner or your mile long to do list but as the treatment progresses, those things seem to ease and you are able to enjoy lovely ‘floaty’ feelings.
Build relaxation into your mindset
But what if you didn’t need to get to the point where you feel desperate for the need to relax on holiday or to unwind with a massage? As a Hypnotherapist, I spend most of my life in a relaxed state (don’t worry, I still get lots done). So much so that when I go on holiday I have plenty of energy for sightseeing and exploring! Because I have built relaxation into my mindset and make it a priority and you can too.
A lot of my clients say ‘they think too much’ or they ‘can’t switch off’ and then they have Hypnotherapy and say ‘wow!’ because it is a truly deeply relaxing state like no other. A state where you can just be and have lovely thoughts and visions in your subconcious (like meditating but better). Once you have connected to this deeply relaxed state, you will want to do it again! I give my clients recordings to listen to at home.
Do you have 12 minutes spare to relax?
Just share from this box and you’ll be able to download a fantastic audio that will help you relax. I’ve been told that this is a really easy way to switch off and relax because all you have to do is lie down and listen!
You can listen to a free relaxing download by me here
So how else can you relax?
The benefits of relaxation include lowered blood pressure and reduction in the thickening of the artery walls. Also slower age related memory loss and brain-cell deterioration. Being relaxed also improves your digestive process.
- Improve your breathing, Breathing is our life-force and we take it for granted! Just try this. close your eyes and monitor your breathing for a couple of minutes. Then slow it down slightly and notice any difference. “Learn how to exhale, the inhale will take care of itself” – Carla Melucci Ardito
- Progressive muscle relaxation. Lie down. Work from up to down your body or down to up. Tense the muscles in your feet and then relax them, then do the same for your legs, your buttocks, your stomach, your arms, your hands and lastly your face.
- Yoga. There is a 30 minute yoga flow here
- Try sitting quietly and focusing on your heart. When you have settled, place your hand on your heart and take slow and considered breathes and really connect with your heart.
- Shake your legs and hands for one minute. When you finish you will feel relaxed.
- Take a nap.
- Play some relaxing music.
- Use aromatherapy oils around your house. Lavender, neroli and ylang ylang are relaxing.
- Make a space in your home where you can relax.
Add your ideas for ways to relax in the comments. We would love to hear them.
The important thing is once you build relaxation into your life, it becomes a habit. You mind understands what is required and does it for you more easily. It will soon be second nature:)
This blog is one in a 30 day series about self-development and practical lists we will be making to enhance our lives. I’m using these blogs to provide coaching and advice in my capacity as a qualified coach and Hypnotherapist working locally in West Sussex and Worldwide on Skype.
Quick review of your tenth list list:
Your tenth list was about judgements you might hold. Were there any surprises on that list for you?
Your eleventh list:
Your eleventh list is simply to make a list of ways you can personally relax. Choose things that appeal to you, that fit into your life. Even if you were to relax for 2 minutes every day you would feel benefits in a week.
See you tomorrow.
Do you know what to put on your stress list?
Life is busy isn’t it? Home, work, relationships, children, money and all the other stuff. But being busy doesn’t always equate to stress. Being being can actually give you energy, especially if you are enjoying the things you are doing.
When a task becomes too much to handle, that can cause stress. Targets you can’t reach, a workload you couldn’t finish if you worked 24/7 or a house so untidy you feel like you just want to empty it all into a skip and start again.
You see stress is just the symptom of something else. Stress is a blanket term we used when we are:
- Out of control
- Out of line with our values
- In conflict
But stress is a biggy because it can make you feel like life is too difficult to cope with and really take the wind out of your sails. It can make the most capable people feel weak and vunerable. It can be difficult to see a way out or to muster the strength to pull through. Triggers for stress are different for everyone but include:
- Caring for parents
- Relationship problems with partner
- Problems with friendships
- Problems at work
- Health issues
- Money problems
- The past
- Lack of direction
Quick review of yesterday’s list:
Yesterday you wrote a list of things you could do to like your job more. How did that work out for you? Can you see how the things on your list could make a difference?
Or maybe you didn’t write that list because you love your job!
Your fourth list:
The fourth list you are going to write is your ‘things I feel stressed about’ list. Make a list of things that make you feel stressed out. The answers might surprise you. just get them all out of your head. Once you have your list try to label the things that stress you with how they make you feel. It might look something like this:
|Cause of stress
||Makes me feel
|Arguments with partner
|Unrealistic deadline at work
|Travel for work
You will see from the example that the main feeling is angry. Anger puts the body under strain. Your energy is likely to suffer and you will probably be less productive and achieve less. The feelings of anger will ripple throughout your life. Anger can be built up over time but the good news is it can be eased and make a massive difference to your whole life once you have learned how to control it.
You are not alone. A lot of people feel like this but with help you can learn strategies to feel different. As a Hypnotherapist, I can help you understand your feelings and alleviate any feelings of anger, sadness, depression or anxiety.
See you tomorrow.
Why would a Worthing based Hypnotherapist that usually helps people with stop smoking, anxiety, weight loss, stress and depression blog about lists?
This is a great question 🙂 I use a blend of therapies to help my clients including Hypnotherapy, NLP, tapping, Reiki and life coaching. I work at a deep level with my specialism of depression. I use different techniques to suit each individual because people are so different.
Words have such power and often come from our subconscious. Writing things down and labelling things with words can really help us shift the past and get excited about the future. This means we are healing, growing and goal setting all at the same time 🙂
The power of words never ceases to amaze me. Kind words can change lives, giving words to our thoughts and feelings can help us understand ourselves, changing the words that we thought were true can create new possibilities. Words can connect us to ourselves and to others.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness?
In October I was at two Mind, Body, Spirit events speaking about Hypnotherapy and delivering a Hypnosis workshop. Both times I Hypnotised about 40 people and help them let some worry go and feel good about themselves. The feedback was good and I met some lovely people and bought a lovely Tibetan singing bowl (which I will write about separately another time).
One question that came up several times was how is Hypnotherapy different to Mindfulness, so I thought it would be good to answer that in full. Hopefully this table will allow you to compare the two therapies.
||Hypnotherapy is delivered by qualified Hypnotherapist who will use language and other techniques to relax your conscious mind and communicate with your unconscious.
||A mindfulness practitioner or audio recording will use language to bring your attention to the present and think less about other things.
|Can you do it yourself
||A good Hypnotherapist will teach you self-hypnosis. I use the example of a Hypnobirth client who has to know how to deeply relax when the need arises!
||Yes, lots of people do it themselves but lots can’t or don’t make the time to.
|Where did it originate
||In the 18th Century, an Austrian named Frank Anton Mezmer was credited with the discovery of hypnosis. Mezmer would hold large healing ceremonies at his estate.
In 1840 a physician named James Braid made hypnosis accessible to the medical community and many other physicians began to incorporate hypnosis into their practice. Dr. James Esdaile was one such physician, he performed over 2500 surgeries in Calcutta, India using hypnosis for anesthesia.
In 1950, both the British and American Medical Associations declared hypnosis to be a useful therapeutic tool.
|Mindfulness has its origins in ancient meditation practices.
It originated in India.
The founder of modern day Mindfulness is Jon Kabat-Zinn who founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the late 1970’s.
|Who offers it
|What does it feel like
||Deeply relaxing in the mind and body with long lasting connection to your ‘calm place’. You will be able to move but you probably won’t want to. You are not asleep and can even have your eyes open during hypnosis.
||Relaxing in the mind and body with connection to your ‘calm place’. You will probably have your eyes closed but are not asleep.
|What are the benefits
Connect to unconscious mind
Make long lasting changes
Own your mental state
Connect to unconscious mind
Be aware of the present
Connection to self
Own your mental state
|How much does it cost
||Between £65 and £100 a session with between 2 and 4 sessions required.
||Between £10 and £25 a session with the average course lasting 6 to 8 sessions.
|Where does it take place?
||In Hypnotherapist’s therapy room or on Skype.
||Widely available and usually in a group in a therapy practice or local hall.
|Is it safe for children?
||Yes, but I would recommend that the Hypnotherapist has special training to deal with children
||Yes, mindfulness has been introduced to many schools with fabulous results
|What it is
||A mental state where the conscious mind is relaxed and the unconscious is present. A relaxing feeling where different solutions can be found to problems and issues to make permanent changes for the better.
||A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
|What is isn’t
||A mechanism for making pyschological and behavioural changes
|What’s good about it
||Hypnosis accesses the unconscious mind where everything is stored, including our past experiences that affect our behaviour and emotions. If you have negative behaviours or thought patterns they will be because of something stored in your unconscious mind.
||For people looking for a way to relax, it is a superb practice. It can ease stress and give you a better sense of yourself. It also helps with worry as it focuses your mind on the present.
|What’s not good about it
||Some people are worried that Hypnotherapy will make them do something they don’t want to do, reveal secrets or control their mind. None of this is true. Stage Hypnosis is very different to Hypnotherapy.
||It doesn’t make changes in the unconscious to help with unwanted behaviours.
There are mindfulness books, videos, audios and online courses to help you gain the knowledge, skills and techniques to boost your mental wellbeing and make mindfulness part of your overall approach to life.
|What can it help you with?
||Relaxation and finding inner calm
Finding inner calm
Living in the present
|Is it approved?
||Hypnotherapeutic treatment has been approved by the BMA (British Medical Association) as a form of ‘orthodox’ practice (as opposed to complementary or alternative medicine) for over 70 years.
||Widely supported by the BMA and NHS.
|Where can I find out more information?
||Call me on 07530 890089 or email me for a free consultation. We can discuss your issue or requirements. To experience relaxation go to my free relaxing recording here.
||There’s a nice 2 minute video on mindfulness here
So what is it that you are looking for?
I hope the comparison of Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness is useful and gives you an insight into both practices. It might be that you are reading this because you want to manage your own mental state better. I just want you to know that there are lots of ways you can manage your own mental state and it is important for you to do so. You help prevent or help depression or anxiety Yes, really!
I’m currently doing daily videos on how to manage your own mental state over on my Facebook page. It would be lovely to see you there 🙂
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