Comments Off on What value should be placed on Business Awards?
We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch – so is there such a thing as free PR?
Recently I was contacted by an unfamiliar business publication familiar who said I’d been nominated for an award and had already reached the short listing stage of the competition. How exciting I thought – wondering who had been kind enough to nominate me and what had they said about me to beat off my some of my competitors!
I duly followed the instructions in the email and completed all the necessary information to go forward to the judges. This took a couple of hours, ensuring I included evidence of the quality of my work.
Within a few days a received a congratulatory email telling me I’d won! I was the Hypnotherapist of the Year – Tyne and Wear. The subsequent emails let me know how I could publicise this amazing achievement in their publication for a variety of costs. As a winner of this prestigious award I would get a free press release which could be used on my website which included links to their publication and a logo I could use should I wish to do so.
I sought advice from a close friend, who happens to be a marketing professional who has won awards from both the CIM and the CIPR. To say she was surprised by this approach from a publication would be an understatement. “It’s paid for advertising” she said, “pop it on Twitter if you must and let’s get on with growing the business!”
The emails kept coming from the aforesaid publication offering reduced advertising rates to promote my achievement in their competition for their publication – offers I did not take up. I felt a bit disappointed after my hopes had been raised by the nomination and, of course, winning the award. I never found out who had nominated me despite asking for this information, as I would liked to have thanked them personally.
Then, as if to restore my faith in the media, I receive an email from one of the many websites my companies are registered with telling me that through client feedback I am now rated one of the TOP 3 in Newcastle. Not to be taken in again I do my research this time and sure enough there is evidence that my clients have been so pleased with the outcomes of the work we have done together that they have taken the time to give their feedback completely unprompted by me! I’m given access to some hints and tips on how to use this latest accolade and a free logo I can use on my website – RESULT J
So the next time I receive an email telling me I’ve won something I knew nothing about I will treat it with caution and do my research before I spend an afternoon completing forms which in the end is only going to cost me money and time that would be better spent doing something else.
Comments Off on Sexual Abuse – and how to deal with it in a positive way
The recent allegations of sexual abuse in the media have highlighted an endemic practice which goes back decades and not just linked to football, or sport in general c04pbcr. We’ve witnessed the emotional impact of this illegal behaviour demonstrated many times over the last few weeks on TV by the brave footballers who cannot keep silent any longer and have brought to the notice of the public and the statutory bodies and we must all now take note.
In my experience of supporting the victims of abuse, at my private clinic in Jesmond, it is clear that this appalling behaviour has catastrophic and long term impact. In the case of footballers these perpetrators literally stole their dreams!
The impact of this touches every aspect of their lives; because the physical, mental and emotional abuse affects future relationships. In general, those abused often display both anger and trust issues in their everyday behaviour. They can also have the burden of guilt and shame compounded by feelings of worthlessness.
The challenges that the recent allegations have highlighted in terms of the bravery shown by these men cannot be under estimated. They have, however, taken the first and biggest step on the road to recovery in seeking help. The journey to recovery is individual and therefore the approach, tools and techniques I use reflect this. First and foremost it is key for me to establish trust.
As a professional working with a supporting people who have been abused I was asked by BBC Radio Newcastle take part in a discussion about this matter as more stories unfold and more men are being brave enough to come forward and speak about their experiences
Professional help is available and if this applies to you or someone you know I urge you to take action.
Professional help is available and if this applies to you or someone you know I urge you to take action.
Comments Off on Realistic goals invigorate. Unrealistic expectations demotivate.
We all nurture fantasies about the future and how it might be. Which teenager hasn’t imagined themselves being a famous popstar or actor with a crowd of fans queuing to get their autograph? More topically, as Rio 2016 ends some young people will imagine what life would be like as an international sports stars like Mo Farah or Laura Trott.
It’s vital to have dreams and goals, but by the same token, we have to be careful to ensure they are realistic and specific. Think some of the talentless numpties on X-Factor who believe they can sing. You may well ask how did they get the idea they had a skill worth flaunting. Before we set goals for ourselves we have to recognise our limitations as well as talents and strengths. Just to say ‘anything is possible’ is a woolly belief if you haven’t got the raw materials to start with. Sacrifice, time and energy are required to build a foundation to launch your goals.
That’s what this week’s blog is about. To act as an encouragement to those with specific goals and to help nurture ambitionand drive in others who currently lack direction.
Anything is possible
Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Drive and determination create achievement and results. Some people have wild dreams that are not achievable because action doesn’t start when the dreaming stops. Conversely, others harbour limiting beliefs and their lack of confidence keeps them fixed. If your dreams are too small just raise the bar and give yourself something more ambitious to aim at – something your subconscious mind can latch on to.
The Olympic Mindset
Consider the Olympics. Winning gold means you are better than anyone else in the world at your game which requires believe in your ability to achieve this level of sporting achievement. I call this the Olympic Mindset and it can keep you on point and raise your bar higher, especially on those days when you feel like you are wrestling jelly. To a medal winner, four years of dedicated slog for those glorious minutes at the Olympics is totally worth it. Your goal may not be an Olympic medal, but it could be a unique achievement for you, even when it is a challenge to attain.
There’s real benefit in developing an Olympic Mindset. Having a winning mentality is foundational to being successful in your endeavours and you can easily attain it if you are prepared to put in the effort.
Inspired by Roger
Back in the 1950s a young Englishman, Roger Bannister, had a belief he could run a mile in under four minutes, in spite of a common belief it was physically impossible (for thousands of years people had tried and failed). Then on May 6, 1954, Bannister ran the distance in 3:59.4. As part of his training, he visualised this achievement which created a sense of certainty in his mind and body.
Within a year after Bannister’s achievement, someone else ran a mile in under 4 minutes. Then others followed, and now it’s routine because the barrier had been broken.
What do you need to succeed?
Like Roger, you need vision, tenacity, focus and energy to achieve your goal. If you have a clearly-defined purpose you can build towards achieving it and when you dedicate yourself to the certainty of accomplishing your vision, you’ll more than likely achieve it. Even if you fail trying, you still gain knowledge, strength and understanding in the pursuit. People achieve things by working hard at them, taking risks, and learning from the results. Research shows that if you expect to fail, you will have a higher chance of it becoming your reality.
Hypnotherapy help for motivation
In my Newcastle hypnotherapy practice, many clients come to me for help in getting their mojo back, especially after one of life’s big confidence knocks – relationship problems; divorce; redundancy or ill health. Often there are additional issues to contend with too such as weight gain, low self-esteem and addiction problems. That’s when things can get a bit overwhelming and I help them reach specific goals by slicing their vision for success down into bite size chunks.
Sometimes a client may feel directionless and need help in regaining a vision of success for their life. If motivation wanes, I help them revisit their goal and reconnect them with the original emotions and feelings that gave them that passion and drive to do it in the first place.
Make it real
Do you have a goal? Write it down and be very specific to make it a tangible goal you can work towards. The more you can hang your hat on it the more real your vision becomes. It’s motivationalto announce your goal to friends and family. Sharing your vision of – losing weight, getting fit, stopping smoking, running a marathon is powerful, because the incentive is set to not let them or yourself down, especially on the tough days.
If you need a encouragement, just imagine what your vision will be like when you achieve it. Step into that vision and experience the feeling of accomplishment; the taste of success, the celebrations! In NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) we call this future pacing and it helps to keep you on track of your goals when the going gets tough.
Those bite sized chunks I talked about earlier can also be bite-sized rewards as you make steady progress towards your goal. A pamper-day, a meal out, a new item of clothing, a weekend away. I believe in giving yourself rewards for achieving certain milestones in your vision. This way, your final goal becomes more manageable.
Steer your own course
Life isn’t always fair and the sooner you expect that, the sooner you can take actions that will actually make a difference. If you are lacking motivation and need help getting that Olympic Mindset, contact me. With a wee bit of assistance you can turn opportunity into reality. Put in the hard work, and reap your reward.
Remember to sign up to the bottom right for my FREE weekly blog. Totally spam-free guaranteed. Carol xx
Comments Off on Hypnotherapy and The Change. Taking the Crisis out of Mid-Life.
Men and women both experience physical and psychological changes in mid-life. In my Newcastle hypnotherapy practice the enquiries I receive demonstrate this crisis is an event common to both sexes. While The ‘Change’ or female menopause is much discussed, the male menopause is rarely mentioned and can even be viewed as a bit of a joke.
Male menopause or ‘The Mano-Porsche’ has been the butt of many a joke from the sudden appearance of moobs to dad’s impulsive purchase of a sports car when he hits the Big-50. This, in combination with an interest in hair dye, a new wardrobe and sudden mood or behaviour changes has often led to the mocking of the male menopause.
Actually, for many men and women, the andropause and menopause as they are respectively known are no joke. New statistics have shown suicide rates are the highest for middle aged men; and when you also consider how many people you know who have suddenly gone off the rails in their 40s to 50s, with affairs, divorces and family break ups, it’s no laughing matter to think that much of this turmoil could be hormone-related.
Whatever form your menopausal signs and symptoms may take, when you hit a mid-life crisis there are some very positive steps you can take and tools available without resorting to drug or hormone replacement therapy or other drug protocols.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is often seen as a panacea for the more serious symptoms of female menopause including hot flushes, sleeplessness, osteoporosis, reduced libido, headaches, dry skin, joint pains and weight gain. Unlike female menopause which usually has a rapid onset, male menopause can take decades with symptoms often so mild, they are barely noticeable or disregarded. However, for some men and women the physical symptoms and psychological side effects (similar for both sexes) can be life-changing in a negative way.
Male andropause is caused by a decline in testosterone and rise in oestrogen levels which all men experience. Plastics in food packaging and the environment are known culprits in playing serious havoc with male and female endocrine systems because of xeno-oestrogens leaching into the food and water supply. Testosterone replacement therapy, like HRT for women is being prescribed for men displaying more serious problems with the physical effects of andropause. With women, it is oestrogen and progestogen which decline leading to physical, emotional, and psychological changes.
Challenges at this time can cause the following:
Lethargy and decline in motivation and self-confidence
Inability to concentrate and forgetfulness
Poor quality sleep
Irritability and nervousness
For men: Erectile dysfunction, breast enlargement, weight gain
For women: Irregular periods, night sweats and hot flushes, weight gain
Hypnotherapy can help
I receive many enquiries for help with this challenging time. Whereas some people sail through middle age easily, there are others who realise that they can’t dine out on youth anymore, and they can’t eat and drink what they want without serious payback. You wouldn’t put diesel in a Ferrari, nor can you shovel takeaways, pizzas and alcohol in your body and hope for a healthy outcome. Your body will reward you with weight gain because you can’t metabolise sugar and fat as effectively, and more intense hangovers will prove your tolerance and ability to process alcohol has dipped.
If you haven’t got your health you haven’t got your life
The mind and body are closely linked and the menopause can trigger wide ranging physical and psychological issues from increased heart rate, palpitations, migraines, to stress and even panic attacks. Research also shows a link between severe sleep deprivation and low hormone levels during menopause can create a cocktail of problems.
A positive outlook
If you can look after your diet and discipline yourself to exercise, this time can be one of the best times of your life. Losing weight, healthy eating and regular exercise are the key effective lifestyle changes I recommend, which in turn helps create a positive mindset and a new, improved version of you.
Moderate hormone imbalances such as low testosterone react very favorably to even the smallest lifestyle changes.
If you have confidence issues and you need help I can help you make small tweaks to your lifestyle to get you back on track. What’s more I can help give you the motivation to maintain results long-term. My approach is client focused. Working together we make small emotional, mental and physical changes, developing a positive mind-set towards healthy choices to transform how you feel and think.
Make a new start now
If you haven’t looked after your body it’s a perfect time to reverse the bad habits. There’s no excuse to be washed up and washed out. It’s time to start looking holistically at your life to examine which pieces of the jigsaw are missing. I can help you find them.
Crisis? What Crisis?
You may wake up with another new chin-twig, or perhaps a rogue eyebrow hair but you can become adept at facial topiary and embrace this stage as an extension of your youth by living it to the max.
Comments Off on Relationships and Hypnotherapy: Friends, Family and Forgiveness
It’s Friendship Day and Sister’s Day this week. The two events celebrate the joy of friendship and of course, sisters! Thankfully, I’m blessed to have a sister who is also my best friend as well as being my sibling. I also have best friends who, because of their loyalty and trust over the years have become members of my extended family!
Man is not an island
All of us need someone we can trust and talk to. Someone we can share our secrets with, discuss our emotions; concerns and worries with, as well as someone to celebrate our successes and joys. There is a saying which goes: “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light” and I would have to agree with that. A special friend we are close to becomes a member of our family even though they don’t share the same blood; and a sibling who is a best friend too, is priceless because he or she will share a deep familial bond as well as being a go to resource for those collective family memories from childhood that no-one else can share.
Most of us will have many acquaintances and friendly relationships on our journey through life, but we know the difference between an acquaintance and a best friend – we feel the difference. We can sit in a room for hours with a best friend without communicating, yet saying everything.
When family members fall out it’s always best to find a way to heal the rift quickly. Forgiveness pays real dividends.
Helping each other through life’s ups and downs
I believe that when friends share trust and affection there is a mutual exchange of emotions which really strengthens us and makes for a more colourful life. The importance of having a close support group as you move through life and the significance of interacting with others for positivity, mental health, personal growth and having a reliable source of help when you need it is vital.
When friendships break down or sibling rivalry becomes a problem it can be heart-rending creating tension, stress, unhappiness and pain. Brothers, sisters and best friends can fall-out over the smallest thing which can then develop into a full blown rift. People who love each other might argue sometimes, but too much fighting is unpleasant for everyone and can cause long-term relationship problems. If left unaddressed, grudges can turn into bitterness which can eat away at a person internally and lead to mental and physical healthproblems.
Anger Management and Relationship Issues
In my hypnotherapy practice, relationship problems and holding on to bitterness are common issues some clients have to deal with before they can move on to a new and positive future.Holding on to bitterness and unforgiveness creates anger, frustration and contributes to serious health issues.
Hypnotherapy and healing
Addressing relationship issues is a major component of my work with some clients, whether it’s a problem they have with a close family member, friend, partner or work colleague. Being brave enough to initiate the process of healing is a huge step forward. Helping clients to find solutions to these problems, whether it’s healing a friendship or relinquishing an unhealthy relationship is very rewarding.
If you think you need to find a way to forgive or want help to reconcile with a friend or sibling please contact me. Together we can figure out ways to help you to heal and move on.
Just look at the benefits forgiveness can bring to both the forgiver and the forgiven:
Lower anxiety and less stress
Better and healthier relationships
Peace of mind through release of hostility
Greater positivity and happiness
Less likelihood of depression
Lower blood pressure
Healthier immune system and improved fitness
A final thought…The most memorable people in life are the friends who loved you when you weren’t very loveable. That is true for all of us from time to time, and it certainly has been for me. We are all perfectly imperfect, so it’s time to celebrate friends and family relationships.
And don’t forget to sign up for my weekly blog by clicking the button below right. Carol xx
It was ‘National All or Nothing Day’ this Wednesday, which is a day celebrated each year on July 26th when people throw caution to the wind and simply ‘go for it’, doing that thing they’ve always wanted to do, but were too fearful or hesitant to even start.
The ‘Ferris Bueller’ Concept
The upbeat 1986 film ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ tells the story of a bored, high school student, Ferris Bueller, who decided to wag off school and enjoy some fun and adventure, persuading a couple of friends to do the same with extremely funny and ultimately, positive consequences.
It’s a concept I wholeheartedly agree with. Having been a risk-taker for most of my life. I recognise the importance of taking the initiative to make change happen, because life rarely does it for us. The ‘Ferris Bueller’ concept is one of the tools I recommend to clients who find themselves lacking motivation or needing a boost in their life.
Whether it’s wine and chocs, plus a luxury pamper, or a day enjoying skydiving thrills, the ‘All or Nothing Day’ or ‘Ferris Bueller Day Off’ concept is something we all need to embrace from time to time for self-refreshment, and it needn’t be expensive.
I walk the talk
Many years ago after working too hard for too long to build my business, I realised I was neglecting myself. I was tired, jaded and was in danger of becoming my company’s biggest weakness. I truly needed time out and decided to do a Ferris Bueller myself!
I left my office in Shakespeare Street, Newcastle, and took an afternoon off, adapting the Ferris concept to my own circumstances, so that I could refresh and revitalise my flagging energy.
Firstly I treated myself at M&S to a great meal, selected my favourite bottle of wine and a small box of chocolates. Then I visited the flower stall right outside and chose the flowers personally to reflect what the colours meant to me, for example red for passion, yellow for sunshine, orange for fun, green for healing, blue for calm and white for the spiritual aspects of life. Finally, I bought a chick flick on the way home where I filled a deep, fragrant bath, poured a glass of wine, played some favourite music and just relaxed while my dinner cooked.
The experience was total pleasure from start to finish – a full rebalance – where I was able to really reflect on things without the phone ringing, emails pinging, or the office door opening every two minutes. I was ‘nurturing me’ for a change and I returned to work the next day recharged, rejuvenated and ready for business.
Time flashes by at a fast rate of knots and the seasons seem to fly by quicker every year. It helps to slow time down for a period of meditation.
Taking time-out like Ferris helps us ponder those questions we usually don’t find the time to answer like, ‘Why am I doing this? Am I still on course? What were the reasons I started this job/relationship/hobby/course/career route etc. for originally?’ Contemplation helps you get back on track and find answers when you have time to stand back and engage with a dose of honest self-examination.
Make it your own
Everyone has their own idea of their perfect Ferris Bueller day off, to be enjoyed alone or with others, whether it’s a long walk in the park, a pizza with a pal, a game of golf, an old fashioned picnic in the country, reading a book in the sun, going to a movie or theatre.
Whatever you choose to do, it’s a relaxing and pleasurable memory you can store, download and replay in your mind time and again. Make the day uniquely yours; your moment, whether it’s a total chillax, a day at the races or a skydiving escapade; a day’s self-nurturing is something we all need as it feeds the soul.
Making a positive change in your life.
Do you have a particular desire to do something different and want some help discovering the benefits of change in your life? Today is the day to take that first step and make it happen, and very often that first step involves taking the time to relax, refocus and reshuffle your priorities.
No one wants to end up old and unfulfilled, regretting they didn’t try that new idea, new job, new hobby. If you’re finding it difficult to make the first move, my Personal Development Coachingand Motivational Coursesare designed to help you make a positive change in those areas that are important to you, whether it’s career development, personal development, achieving a weight or fitness goal (nutrition, sports, educational, hobbies), or helping you in relationships, using a range of interventions such as hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and personal coaching.
Please contact me for more details and don’t forget to sign up for my weekly SPAM free blog, by clicking the button below right. Carol xxx.
Taking work home or using your house as a home ‘office’ has become for many, the new norm. Home-working is no longer just the domain of the self-employed, as employers are recognising the cost benefits of remote and flexible working practices including enhanced productivity, greater reliability and increased staff loyalty.
I run coaching courses and offer bespoke career development for individuals and businesses where they are looking to set up homeworkers.
In these challenging times, businesses are looking for ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Supporting home enterprise makes sense because it delivers both by decreasing the office space overhead, whilst increasing employee output who, research suggests, have a better work-life balance, waste less time and money on travel, are more productive and also ‘greener’.
As always however, there are risks as well as benefits. If you’re familiar with working from home, from being self-employed or telecommuting, you’ll also be familiar with the temptations of procrastination or getting side tracked. Self-motivation is underestimated and many people simply aren’t suited to remote-working, as they find the loneliness a challenge and miss the buzz and camaraderie of an office environment.
I have learned over the years how best to operate from home and now run coaching courses and offer bespoke career developmentfor individuals and businesses across a range of sectors where they are looking to set up homeworkers. Here are my tips for staying motivated and making sure you really keep that professional image intact when ‘home alone’.
Separate Work from Play
Where possible, it’s best to have a room or space dedicated to working which means you create an inner-sanctum purely for business and leave the rest of the house as your home environment. This is not always possible, especially for those living in smaller studio size apartments or flats, but you can still dedicate the corner of a room for business by screening it off or setting up a small workstation.
Ditch the Sloppies
I’m a firm believer in dressing right for work, because it sets your intention for the day ahead and creates the right mind set. Being properly dressed mentally prepares you and success is 100% a mental state. Although your customers can’t see you it makes a massive difference when you look the part – to how you relate, to your communication, to your performance, and therefore the outcome.
Schedule it right
Setting a good work routine is vital because it offers an activity framework detailing the vital ingredients essential for success. Keep it simple and disciplined because a lack of discipline creates a downward spiral of wasted energy, wasted opportunity, inactivity and guilt about that extra hour in bed/trip to supermarket/hour watching TV….
Exercise early to kick start your metabolism then have a healthy breakfast as you mentally plan your day.
Drink a few pints of filtered water a day or herbal tea to stay hydrated and energised.
Ditch the distractions
Music, TV, the radio, all these are distractions and will influence your mood. Personally I don’t have a TV anywhere near my work zone, though some instrumental or background music without lyrics can be inspiring and lift your mood so it’s all about personal preferences.
Create an inspiring environment
Decorate your zone! Flowers, pictures, family portraits, calendars. Add a mood board with quotes and images that inspire. Essential oils can have a positive effect on mood and can even lower stress on the days when you feel as though you are trying to “knit fog”. Keep your work area tidy and organise your desk every night before finishing, so a clear space greets you the next day.
Manage your posture
You will spend a lot of time at your workstation, so pay attention to how it is set up, as slouching can damage your posture and even create long term damage. It’s worth spending money on a decent chair and table, or even investing in one of those stand-up workstations. I’ve used a standing desk for almost two years now and find it so much more energising.
Find a mentor
Having someone to speak to other than the cat or goldfish when you feel a tad uninspired is crucial. Find someone who is upbeat and positive and you’ll breathe in their inspiration. I think two mentors are required, a business mentor and also a personal mentor to help give you a new perspective when the going gets tough or when you are plagued with lack of motivation or self-doubt.
On that note, if you can’t find a mentor, be sure to get out of your zone and speak to new people, through networking (preferably face to face, not just online). There’s usually bags of networking events in your area as well as online networking groups (LinkedIn, Facebook, Skype etc.). Contacts are king and it’s always brilliant when someone else recommends your service.
It’s not the time you spend at your desk that counts, it’s how productive you are while you are there. Make sure to pencil in a mini break or two, for a mental declutter, or walk to the local shop or, have a bite of lunch and get some Vitamin D from the sun (Geordie summer permitting). You’d be amazed how refreshed you feel after a short break. This also gives you the opportunity to talk to others to avoid that sense of isolation which home-working can produce. Take a short 15 minute break whenever you get writer’s block, do something different as a ‘pattern interrupt’ then return full of vim and vigour.
Know when to stop
Set defined times when you’re going to work, and then, stop. When you close the office door at night mentally close the work door in your mind to prevent work dominating your life. If you work more than 5 or 6 hours on the trot you will lose focus, get restless and then your work quality and your output suffer. Change can sometimes be as good as a rest, so attack some admin tasks or accounts if you get a bit stuck on your main project.
Be grateful you are privileged enough not to have to do the daily commute or work in some clock-watching cubicle or cheerless office somewhere. Gratitude will motivate you to work harder, so you can continue to work from home.
Ready for success? Get the right tools before you start…
If you are an individual or an organisation considering the economic benefits of staff home-working, my ‘Enterprise Fitness Programme for Home Workers’ will get you or your staff ready for the leap into homeworking or self-employment. The change from working as part of a team surrounded by others, to establishing and building a self-motivating work ethic at home, in an environment normally used for relaxation and pleasure is both challenging and daunting.
My Business Gym packageoffers motivational training specifically geared to navigating and understanding the differences between the two working environments, including understanding the behavioural aspects of the journey and breaking down the barriers to change.
The packed content reviews how aspirations become reality, how the highs and lows FEEL rather than focusing solely on the more formal process of business planning and operation. This ensures a higher degree of confidence, satisfaction, tenacity and ultimately success.
The whole approach represents a step change in the introduction of small business enterprise, since the focus is on the person. It will inform, involve and inspire those who attend.
Three core elements are covered:-
1. Group workshops
2. Regular Webinar – punchy and motivational
3. One to One Coaching (initially monthly then at quarterly intervals to maintain support)
For more information pleasecontact mefor a comprehensive itinerary and costs. Individual and group rates apply.
Remember to sign up for my FREE weekly blog by clicking the button bottom right. Carol x
Comments Off on Sports Performance Hypnotherapy Newcastle
Didn’t the UK do well last week! Four titles in Wimbledon including ‘the big one’; Wales reaching the semi-finals of the Euros; three Britons winning stages in the Tour de France, one of whom wears the yellow jersey; and at Silverstone Lewis Hamilton raced to triumph. Things are looking rosy for British sport.
Don’t just train your body but your mind too: Whatever your sport and level of fitness, sports hypnotherapy can really help you improve your game.
Of course, it’s no fluke, since 1996 Lottery and Exchequer funding for both equipment, facilities and training has increased massively, and sportsmen and women in Britain have never had it so good financially. Money and the ability for rising stars in sport to be nurtured by full time professional coaches has put the UK on much more of a level-playing field (forgive the pun), with other heavily funded sports nations like the USA, Russia, France and Germany.
But it’s not just money.
The whole psychology of sport and training has changed. These days our teams (by and large) go out expecting to win and not just hoping for the best. There has been a marked change in sports psychology in recent years for the better and that includes sports hypnotherapy. Athletes have used many forms of scientific technology to improve their performance including equipment, training advances and nutrition and in the last decade, sports psychology including focusing and visualisation techniques.
The internal battle for the mind can be bigger than any competitor challenge
You are what you think you are, and you become what you see yourself becoming. Sports Hypnosis is very effective at achieving rapid performance improvements and works with behaviour and the subconscious mind to improve success, far more effectively than any drugs!
Managing the mind as well as the body
A great sportsman or woman can have their career seriously undermined if they concentrate purely on the physical fitness and technical skills and ignore the mental aspect of their sport.
Confidence issues and negative thinking are important issues to address. Poor psychology can repeatedly undermine an otherwise highly promising career, for example, consider the goalkeeper terrified of scrutiny during penalty shoot-outs because of a previous notable failure; the cyclist or racing car driver who goes to pieces with rain on the track because a previous mishap ignited a fear of injury; the tennis player terrified of the humiliation of a shoddy serve in a public arena. It often is simply the loss of mojo, or a memory of a poor performance and the associated fear of repeating it again. It is this fear which is the greatest enemy.
As a qualified business coach and hypnotherapist, I use a range of hypnotherapy techniques and work with sportsmen and women, helping them control their subconscious mind, actions and behaviours, so changes are affected quickly. This is especially important for individuals who find that they fall to pieces during competitions. I have, for example worked with athletes who are outstanding during practice, but totally ‘lose it’ when the starting gun fires. When competing in the public eye these nerves akin to stage-fright and can ruin an otherwise excellent performance.
I recently worked with a Paralympian and a golfer, who both found the noise of the crowd on competition day a challenge. I helped them to focus on their performance and ignore the background din by using a combination of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Integral Eye Movement Techniques (IEMT) as well as a range of other techniques. My approach is client centered, so it’s right on track for each person; from snooker players who need focus and breathing techniques for pre match stress, gymnasts who needed confidence; to footballers who need improved motivation and techniques to change negative beliefs to winning ‘can do’ mind set.
Creating the Olympic mind set
Many sports people form limiting beliefs about themselves and their performance, which lead them to expect failure rather than success. An excellent technique I use is ‘future pacing’ where an individual is taken through every aspect of competition day and given positive thinking techniques connected to each aspect of their performance to envisage a successful outcome. This includes the physical, emotional and mental aspects leading up to the ‘big event’ to reframe the vehicle their fear hangs its hat on, transforming negative thoughts and emotions into positive ones, even to the extent of imagining holding the winner’s trophy aloft at the end of the event. I call this the Olympic mindset.
Think successfully and master your sport
If you are a sportsperson struggling with self-belief or having problems with past injury or failure, my hypnotherapy service recognises the importance of treating you as an individual with specifically tailored sports performance tools, because one size doesn’t fit all. A good sports performance hypnotherapist has to be flexible, client focused and have enough weapons in their armoury to try another approach if one approach doesn’t achieve the desired result.
Comments Off on Hypnotherapy & Life’s Battles: Stress, Shock and PTSD.
It’s the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme this month which was the bloodiest battle of the First World War which started on 1st July 1916 and lasted until November of that year. Shockingly on the first day of the battle 19,240 British soldiers were massacred and 38,231 injured; mown down predominantly by German machine gun fire and Howitzer shelling. So many casualties were young Newcastle, Durham and North East infantrymen.
The Great War and the Battle of the Somme is remembered this month. Many of the psychological disorders arising from battle stress mirror the stress problems people face today.
When the war started in July 1914, there was great excitement. Young British men and women were carried away by the optimistic patriotism of the day, seizing the opportunity to find adventure away from their humdrum lives, poor wages and unemployment to join their pals fighting for glory just over the Channel, with the belief they’d ‘be home by Christmas’.
Just imagine how terrified they were as the realities of trench warfare unravelled around them. What we now classify as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was uncategorised back then, although accounts of psychological distress following military trauma date back to ancient times.
In The Great War, symptoms of PTSD were defined as “shell shock” because panic attacks, anxietyand sleep problemswere seen as a reaction to the explosion of artillery shells and were thought to be caused by physical damage to the brain from shockwaves. It was only when soldiers and non-combatants far distant from the frontlines had similar symptoms, that people realised this was a psychological condition.
Stress is ‘Slow-Motion’ Shock
Exposure to traumatic experiences has always been a fact of life. From Stone Age battles to 21st Century terrorist attacks, psychological shock to survivors of trauma is a very serious condition which can actually cause death.
There are sudden shocks and more lingering, drawn out shocks which can link to stress causing major damage to the body over a longer period.
Unwelcome or sudden change like divorce, death, redundancy and recession can be a massive shock to the system, flipping stability and threatening the very foundation of our lives. Since the 2008 recession began, I’ve seen a huge increase in people attending my Newcastle hypnotherapy practiceto enquire about coping with changeand managing stress. As the downturn dragged on, and uncertain times extended some experienced a sudden loss of control over a previously manageable situation and struggled with the mental and physical aspects of long term stress as they battled to keep their job or businesses afloat and pay the bills.
Coping with the unknown
Brexit last week was another big shock. Thanks to mainstream-media messaging even the ‘Leave’ voters thought Bremain was a certainty to wake up to the next morning. Whichever way you voted we will all be confronted with a huge programme of changewhich will prove stressful for many.
I predict the same for the EU transition. There are many unknowns and knock-on effects which will be both positive and challenging for the country and individuals as events unfold. There will also be casualties, because the situation is no less a battle than recession or war, where words and actions become the bullets. I anticipate many more stress related consultations for hypnotherapy supportand addictionsover the coming months. The specialist techniques and tools I use and teach offer new approaches and powerful coping strategies for both individuals and groups.
Comments Off on 6 Reasons Why Change is Better than a Rest. Can Hypnotherapy Help?
From Newcastle to New York, Sunderland to San Francisco, we hear the mantra of ‘Change’ chanted so often by disingenuous politicians that we’ve come to view the word with distrust as most policies remain ‘unchanged’ in spite of pre-election promises.
When you start to view change as a positive thing, it ceases to be scary and instead opens doors to exciting new ventures and possibilities
Change is about how you cope
There are many good people who are terrified of change, preferring the status quo even where the alternative is likely to prove beneficial; then there are others prepared to adapt to and embrace change positively.
Be the change you want to see in the world
It’s a sad fact but some people want others to make their decisions for them. They would rather be told it’s safer to remain with the devil they know. The status quo is a place to hide.
Weaning a toddler off a dummy may initially cause a tantrum, but a caring parent knows their child can’t remain forever locked in infancy. It’s the same scenario at work. Whether you’re employed or self-employed, change often transports you from your comfort zone into a position of uncertainty, however, refusing or resisting can prove to be more damaging and limiting in the long run.
What are the consequences of not embracing change?
Often pride can prevent us benefiting from change. Sometimes we say to ourselves “I am not going down that route because it would mean accepting my first decision was wrong.” The exasperation borne of a stubborn refusal to change even when we know we should, can create internal resistance and imbalance leading to stress and ill health exacerbated by frustration, self-doubt and anger.
What are the benefits of change?
In a word? Newness. I say flip the old negative and embrace a new positive!
The good news is that embracing change is a skill you can learn, and planning for change is really useful.
You start by looking at change as a good thing and you’ll be amazed at some of the benefits that follow. Here are six reasons why embracing change can be a rewarding routine to adopt.
1. Change is important for personal development
Adapting to new things, people, and places, helps us in unexpected ways, offering a new perspective even if it’s initially painful, like pruning a rose bush it helps you grow stronger. Learning a new skill at work makes you more valuable to your employer.
2. Change makes you more versatile
Just like a brisk wind clears the dead leaves from a tree, change can blow you out of a rut. Embracing the new instead of grimly hanging on to the status quo helps you to be more flexible in life, less set in your ways and offers increased energy and positivity.
3. Change helps you develop values and beliefs
Learning a new thing, or finding out something is different to your original perceptions may involve re-assessment of your belief system.
Being open to new thinking and new ways to approach difficulties will always deliver knowledge, even if that knowledge simply reaffirms your existing belief system. A win win situation.
4. Change can help you discover new aspects of yourself
Change helps us find an inner strength we didn’t realise we had, and may be a helpful catalyst in self-discovery, including finding a new talent, ability or hobby.
5. Change challenges your comfort zone, and helps you break bad habits
Being too comfortable in your own situation can be damaging. A change can shake you up and force you to do something much more interesting with your life.
While some habits are positive such as regular exercise and healthy eating, other routines like sleeping too much, addictionand gamblingcan leave you in depressed, anxious and stressed.
Conversely, keeping your body and mind active supported by positive thinkingare great habits to embrace.
6. Change opens doors
Simply changing one or two bad habits to good ones even in a small way can have a massively positive outcome. A lonely person for example, may decide to join a local club or hobbyist group and just this one small thing may open up vistas of new opportunities; from meeting new people and making new friends to discovering a passion for something different, ultimately creating a more fulfilling and authentic life.
Of course, embracing change takes practice and sometimes we need a little extra help. I have a range of highly effective hypnotherapyinterventions which can help motivate you to manage change effectively.
If you need a bit of a push or a guiding hand, please contact me.
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