Reasons to get outside

At any time of year there are great reasons to get outside! Fresh air, sunshine, exercise, light. In the Spring though, now there’s something special. Why not get out early in the morning, or stay out late at night to really reap the benefits of our beautiful outdoor spaces? This article from the National Trust focuses on woodlands as wonderful places to wind down and be mindful. Why not let me know about your favourite woodlands or forests in the comments below?

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/a-beginners-guide-to-forest-bathing?campid=email_central_Newsletter_02052019_SA2A

Superstition, imagination and reality

It’s Hallowe’en – what does that mean to you? Fun? Terror? Or just another day in the year?

Gut reaction?

Our perception of situations can be coloured by all sorts of things – history; culture; religion; folklore.  The way that we think about things changes the way that we respond mentally and physically. If I ask you to think about something scary, or if you actually witness a scary scene, you probably feel a tightness in your stomach, a catch in your breath or maybe your heartbeat increases a little? These physical responses to an image arise to help protect us against the danger that is perceived – whether it is real or imagined.

Imagined or real?

Our primitive mind doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality. It produces a response regardless. It’s up to our rational mind (the human part of our brain) to decide whether the perceived threat is something we need to do something about. Whilst that part is making up its mind, the primitive part of our brain will have already pushed the buttons for adrenalin and cortisol – readying us for flight or fight. That’s all very well if we have actually seen a ghost, but not so great if we jump out of our skins every time someone says hello!

A useful tool

We can use this trait of the primitive mind to our advantage by ensuring that we give it images of how we want things to be, rather how we don’t want them to be. It’s a very powerful tool that can make us feel strong, confident, calm in situations where we may otherwise have felt powerless.

How I help

I help my clients take full advantage of this in their daily lives by creating a calm, relaxed space where visualisation of their goals becomes easy. The use of skilful solution focused questioning allows my clients to recognise their strengths and to use those strengths to their best advantage. One of the benefits of hypnosis is that it reduces anxiety and stress, which enables our rational brain to take control and see things for what they are, putting them into perspective and dealing with them easily.

Reality

The reality is that sometimes our strength and resilience gets a little lost in the rush and hurry of modern life. We all have everything we need to move our lives forward in a good and positive way, we just occasionally need some help!

Weight Loss – A Mindset Approach

I have joined forces with Lara Lewis to offer this fantastic new course which will give you the confidence and mindset to retake control of your body and your health. Contact us now for more information about the next course starting on the 8th November.

Weight loss flyer 2 (no dates)

Can we push too hard towards our goals?

Push to your goals

On the road to achieving our goals, we will encounter obstacles and difficulties which will often need an extra effort to overcome. Usually this extra push is a good thing. It confirms that we have the capacity to do even better than we thought we could. It also provides us with the chemical boost in our brain that motivates us to take the next step, and may even be the thing that takes us from ‘unwell’ to ‘well’.

So is there ever a time when the extra push is a step too far?

I’ve been asking myself this question during a week when I’ve been nursing an injury I picked up in the gym. I already knew I was tired. Several factors had added to the fatigue over the course of the week, but we’d been working hard in the gym and I was feeling strong. The coach put up a challenging workout, there were others in the same class who I thought I could keep up with – game on! I managed the set – it was tough and my arms were sore, but I’d done it! Endorphins raced through my head and I felt pretty much invincible. Home for a huge protein-filled breakfast, ignoring the tiredness, and on to work.

Fast forward…

Another gym session and one day later, I noticed how sore my left arm was. A few hours later and I couldn’t straighten it. No gym at all now for 3 days and I’m feeling sorry for myself. The swelling is gradually going down, but normal life has been compromised and I’m wondering if the extra push to complete that set was worth it…….

Follow the path that’s right for you

The fact is, that when we set our sights on a goal, we need to work towards it a pace that feels right for us. A pace that allows us to achieve smaller goals along the way. A sense of failure comes with setting the bar so high that it’s unattainable. On the other hand, recognising that there are many routes to your goal can give you the flexibility to occasionally take a wrong path and still know that you will eventually achieve it. It’s all about learning, being kind to ourselves and carrying on. I’ll be back in the gym tomorrow – using the lessons I learnt this week to give me the confidence to know that I’m still heading for my goals. (Handstands next!)

Want help reaching your goals? Contact me.

Daydreaming is always a good idea..

I’m sitting here with half an hour between clients, with ideas and thoughts whizzing around. You know the thing – contemplating the conversation I’ve just had and looking forward to the next one. Thinking about sleep, and trance. Listening to the sound of the construction happening across the road, mingled with the sound of seagulls calling ( the office is a stones throw from the sea). Daydreaming almost.

Multitasking

I’m also mid chat with Ash – a fabulous web designer and social media guru – about his new lower cost video service where they convert blogs into video, that is proving really popular. 

Here’s the link  

It’s exciting and interesting to see new ways of doing things, and it reminded me that I haven’t written a blog for a while, so here I am!

Ideas

The thing is, that daydreaming is a very valuable skill. When we allow our minds to go wandering off, we make all sorts of interesting connections. I was talking about this with my client earlier this afternoon. We were noticing how, once you have an idea that begins to take shape clearly in your mind, you become aware of all sorts of the same things. As a rather daft example, when we first had a dog ( Betty, our lovely Springer Spaniel) I suddenly saw Springer Spaniels everywhere I went! This happens because the part of our brain that stores memories is very good at pattern matching. 

Visualise

Pattern matching is important for making connections, learning and being creative. We can make it even more effective by clearly visualising what we want. When we visualise our goals, our brain knows what we want. It can pattern match so that we become more aware of opportunities and ideas that have something to do with that goal. 

Am I making sense? In a way I’m daydreaming on paper, and that’s no bad thing. The ideas I put down now will crystallise into something later on, and I’ll take those little crystals and turn them into diamonds.  

That’s why daydreaming is always a good idea. Thanks Ash!

Need help crystallising your daydreams? Contact me

 

Decisions, decisions

Isn’t it great to have choice? Choose what to eat for breakfast, what to wear, who to call today? Or big things like applying for a job, choosing where to live. Exciting, huh?

Then again… if you’re anxious, choice can seem overwhelming. What if I make the wrong choice, what if that means this goes wrong, that goes wrong?

Time and again, I see clients for whom choice is a problem, and this is because they have a hyper-alert ‘fight, flight, fear’ mechanism which just loves to flag up all the possible pitfalls of each choice, and send them into a spiral of negative thought and worry.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to just relax and let go of the worries, choosing things because they are right NOW, and not even thinking about what might (or might not) happen in the future (or perhaps what went wrong in the past)?

This is what hypnosis can do – calming that over-vigilant ‘security guard’ and bringing choice back under the control of our rational, sensible brain. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy goes one step further – making sure that it’s the rational brain that’s in charge before hypnosis even begins, so that creativity and new ideas come along almost like magic ( it’s not magic, but it can sometimes seem like it!)

If you’d like to regain this sort of control and put yourself back in charge of your choices, give me a call and arrange a free of charge initial consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sally Potter – 01752894160

alofthypnotherapy@gmail.com

Lets talk onions

How do you find the real you? Does it feel as though you are hidden beneath layers of events, anxiety, trauma? This is how one brilliant client recently described their journey from sleepless anxiety to calm and relaxed happiness. “I feel as though I am at the centre of an onion, and that one by one I am peeling away the layers to get closer to the real me” So how do we do that? How do we come to find the treasure that is the real, authentic us through hypnotherapy?

Anxiety and depression cause the fight flight freeze part of our brain to be on permanent alert – protecting us by keeping us on guard and creating layers of defence whilst at the same time preventing the kind of loose relaxed thought that leads to creativity and calm.

Over the years, the layers build up, until it seems that the person we once knew as us has become hidden and we no longer know how to be the real authentic ‘us’ any more.

Solution Focused work combined with Hypnotherapy allows us to begin peeling away the layers of protection, slowly and gently, until there are glimpses and then real sightings of the person underneath. These exceptions gradually become the norm, until all the layers are gone, and we can begin to live life freely again.

I’m talking in metaphors here, but time and again I see in my therapy room the magic of those layers peeling away. Clients who at one time believed that they would always feel anxious or depressed, seeing themselves once more as happy, secure, positive people with so much to offer.

Our brains are so good at creating the protective layers. Hypnotherapy is so good at removing them. If you would like to find out for yourself, please contact Sally at alofthypnotherapy@gmail.com or call on 01752894160 and leave a message. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

PS Shrek first used the onion analogy. Click here to see him explaining it to Donkey.