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Is Fear Of Failure Damaging Your Career Or Business Opportunities?

Lack of confidence or a fear of failure is a common issue that many business owners and professionals suffer from. It can cause problems with your health and personal life and could damage your career. This fear of failing is conditioned in us and is caused by mistakes made in the past or our childhood experiences. To advance in life and stop things that will remove you from the world of opportunity, you can make a choice to overcome this fear and improve your self-confidence.

  • Do you find it difficult to finish a project because you’re doubtful of the results?
  • Do you, in front of strangers, avoid making a stand on issues you are passionate about?
  • Do you hide away from networking for your business with strangers even if it’s important?
  • Do you avoid pitching to new clients or applying for new jobs because you think you might not get it – even when you have the right experience and expertise?

If any of the above questions resonate with you then you should know that you are not alone. People hate to fail, failure presents itself as a threat to their motivation to be successful and they would do anything to avoid this threat. But fear of failure could actually be more damaging than failure itself, stopping you grasping new opportunities or taking risks that could result in career development or business success.

Fear Of Failure, Self-Confidence And Self-Esteem

Signs that you fear to fail at things:

  • Hesitation in trying something new or getting involved in a project that challenges you.
  • Anxious thoughts and procrastination that damage your self-esteem, and telling yourself that you are unable to complete your goals.
  • Low self-confidence reinforced by your negative thoughts.
  • Limiting yourself by only attempting challenges that you can finish perfectly, or you don’t try at all.

As you can see if you are risk-averse and always try to avoid doing things that you might potentially fail at, you limit your opportunities and also damage your self-esteem. However, if you view these perceived failures as opportunities to grow, learn, adapt to new things, and make positive changes, you can use failure as a tool to help you achieve more than if you didn’t try to start with.

  • Are you risk-adverse? If you fail at something you can learn from your mistakes and the next time it will be better. How you perceive this failure and use this as a stepping-stone towards managing these setbacks can be seen as a secret towards your success.
  • Do you give up really easily? Your career and ambition is important and there will be challenges ahead, some will be easy and some are difficult. Don’t give up too quickly or you might regret it and it will damage your future.
  • Do you have expectations that are unrealistic? When you make your goals make them SMART (Simple Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely) and accept that you can only do this within your limitations. In order to achieve success take your first challenge and then the next and next one after.

You can be successful if you are realistic, expect to face a few failures, obstacles and problems; acknowledge them, deal with them and never give up. Ask yourself ‘How much further would I be in my career if I could gain control over the fear of failure?’

“Failure is simply an opportunity to being again, this time more intelligently” Henry Ford.

How To Overcome The Fear Of Failure

The first step is to acknowledge that with the choices and decisions we make there is always a chance we can fail. Face the challenge that you have in front of you and embrace it.

  • Evaluate all potential outcomes: If you have a clear idea of possible outcomes, good and bad, you will be in control and this is has a positive effect on self-esteem.
  • Stop thinking negatively: It’s normal for you to fear failure but if it’s preventing you from achieving what you want out of life, it’s time to take control and get help.
  • Think positively: An incredibly powerful way to build your self-confidence is by eliminating all self-sabotaging thoughts and focus on positive thinking.
  • Have a plan for unforeseen circumstances: When you know what you will do if things don’t work out, you will be able to move forward and build confidence in yourself.

Goal setting is another important aspect. Important for self-confidence and for defining how you want to progress in your career. Experts recommend a tool called visualisation, where you can imagine your life having achieved your goals and this will keep you moving forward positively. You can start with taking small goals first and this will help build your self-confidence and prevent you from getting overwhelmed. With growing self-confidence, it will be possible to tackle the bigger goals when you’re ready.

Why Failure Can Be Positive

Once you have conquered your fear of failure, you may actually embrace it! Failure can teach us lots of useful things;

  • How to do these better or differently in the future,
  • How small fails are often insignificant when we look at the big picture,
  • How resilient and innovative you can be when things go wrong.

These experiences help us to become less risk-averse when faced with new opportunities or challenges, and this, in turn, means you are more likely to succeed and achieve your goals.

Changing the way you think about failure, your self-esteem and self-confidence can be difficult, especially if your fear of failure has become entrenched. However the benefits of overcoming this fear are infinite – potentially opening up an exciting new career trajectory, business growth, wealth or job satisfaction.


If this is something you struggle with and would like help for, contact me for an informal chat and to see whether a few sessions of hypnotherapy for confidence could help you.

07967151790 or astarandrea@gmail.com

Insomnia: Why Can’t I Sleep At Night?

Do you struggle to get to sleep no matter how tired you are? Or do you wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours, anxiously watching the clock?

Insomnia is the inability to get the amount of sleep you need to wake up feeling rested and refreshed. Because different people need different amounts of sleep, insomnia is defined by the quality of your sleep and how you feel after sleeping—not the number of hours you sleep or how quickly you doze off. Even if you’re spending eight hours a night in bed, if you feel drowsy and fatigued during the day, you may be experiencing insomnia.

Read on for my tips for getting to sleep, and getting back to sleep if you wake in the middle of the night…

Stop Insomnia Without Medication

Sleeplessness is a common problem that takes a toll on your energy, mood, health, and ability to function during the day. Fortunately, you don’t have to resign yourself to sleepless nights. Simple changes to your lifestyle and daily habits can put a stop to sleeplessness without the need for medication.

Symptoms of not sleeping well include:

  • difficulty in falling asleep despite being tired,
  • having trouble getting back to sleep when waking in the middle of the night,
  • waking up too early in the morning,
  • relying on sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep,
  • feeling tired even after a nights sleep,
  • daytime drowsiness, fatigue or irritability,
  • difficulty concentrating during the day.

8 Tips For Dropping Of To Sleep: 

  1. Wind-down for at least 30 minutes before you go to bed with a warm drink (caffeine free) or by reading a book. Switch off the bright lights and don’t do anything that keeps you alert,
  2. Switch off all your electronic devices like computers and phones as the illuminated screens on these devices can keep you alert and makes it harder for your brain to switch off,
  3. Keep a notepad by your bedside to write a list of things that are going through your mind that is keeping you up at night,
  4. If you go to bed at night and don’t fall asleep for 20- 30 minutes, go to the living room and read or listen to some relaxing music. There is no point lying in bed as it can build an unhealthy connection between your wakefulness and sleeping. Use your bed for sleeping so your brain associates it to going to sleep,
  5. Try to go bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time as well. This creates a routine and it will adjust your body clock accordingly,
  6. Stressful activity like reading a report or trying to sort a work issue can keep you up, so create a routine that you will stop work at a specific time at night,
  7. Try to avoid late meals before going to bed. Foods rich in fat are difficult to digest and spicy or acidic foods can give you heartburn that will keep you awake at night,
  8. Exercising regularly can help with your insomnia symptoms, promoting activity during the day, but not near your bedtime.

5 Tips For Going Back To Sleep When You Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night:

  1. Avoid drinking coffee after a certain time at night as it promotes wakefulness,
  2. Get some blackout blinds as that your environment around bedtime is dark and quiet. Block out all sounds that can disturb your sleep routine,
  3. Practice a deep breathing technique,
  4. If you still cannot fall asleep for 20 – 30 minutes, get out of bed and read in another room until you feel tired again and then go to bed,
  5. Write down everything that is worrying you and keeping you awake to deal with in the morning.

Relaxation and mindfulness techniques can harness the body’s natural relaxation response and help when you feel wound up and tense, feeling unable to let go of stress and anxious thoughts at the end of the day. These techniques will help to calm and quieten your mind, relieve your stress and tension in your body. This will help you get to sleep quicker and if you wake up at night you will be able to fall back to sleep.

Try some of these breathing techniques to help with your sleep routine:

  • Abdominal breathing: Close your eyes and take a deep breath in, not only through your chest but also your abdomen, ribcage and lower back. Make sure each breath is slow, breath deeply in through the nose and breath out slowly through the mouth.
  • Mindfulness and meditation: Sit down quietly and focus your attention on your breathing and how you feel at that moment. Allow all your emotions and thoughts to flow naturally without stopping them or judging them and when your attention drifts away to bring your focus back to your breath.
  • Muscle relaxation: Start from the top of your head and progressively tense your muscles to the count of ten and relax to the count of ten, relaxing all your muscles from the head down to the tips of your toes. Do this for all your muscle groups in the body so that you feel relaxed and calm before going to bed.

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can also break the cycle of sleeplessness. Regular practice of the above techniques together with CBT can relieve stress and anxiety. This practice becomes a part of your routine and you are able to relax when you go to bed and fall asleep easily, also when you wake up in the middle of the night.

If you would like to explore how hypnotherapy can help you sleep better at night, click here. To speak to me in confidence about any issues that are worrying you, please call 0796 715 1790 or email info@formindssake.com

Learning To Keep The Weight Off And Change The Way You Think About Food

Have you had trouble with losing weight? Learning to keep the weight off is difficult, isn’t it? Does it sometimes feel like your weight fluctuates more than the stock market? Do you feel you could write a ‘diet’ book all by yourself but for some reason, even though you ‘know’ what to do, you just don’t do it?

The effects of ‘diet quick fixes’ are not long lasting as many of us have tried dieting to lose weight and failed. Sometimes we see short-term successes, but let’s face it, more often than not the diet fails, lowering our self-esteem and making us feel like failures.

Whether you have a few pounds or a few stones to lose or just want to cut out junk food, you need to make long-term changes and stick to them. When it comes to losing weight, the good news is this needn’t be difficult!

Keep The Weight Off By Changing Habits

Beating yourself up about being lazy and calling yourself harsh names is not motivating, and actually makes losing weight harder. Note-to-self: You are none of these things, you are worth it, and you are beautiful!

So why isn’t your diet working? Changing your diet is necessary but sometimes it’s not enough on its own. The basic formula of ‘eat better + exercise more = weight loss’ is correct, but the problem is the psychological aspect of changing unhelpful patterns that we may have got stuck in.

Tips for keeping the weight off:

  • Start with a healthy eating plan: a protein-rich meal will keep you feeling fuller for longer and you will snack less between meals. This will help maintain your weight loss;
  • Make a weekly meal plan and shop accordingly. Even if you go out or have a change of routine such as holidays, keep to your plan and stick with it;
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. You can control your weight if you are eating regularly and don’t snack, so start the day as you mean to go on;
  • Exercise and stay active. Build your exercise slowly by doing a gentle jog or more vigorous walk, and then increase the amount and intensity gradually. Build your activity slowly and keep at it;
  • Get your friends and family to support you so that you stay on your plan to eat healthily and keep you activity plan;
  • Try different things so if you get bored you don’t slip back in the old unhealthy eating pattern. Buy a new cookbook or do a cooking course with your diet in mind and try a new exercise class that is fun and motivating;
  • Set some SMART (simple, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) goals and motivate yourself to not give up.

Why Does Hypnotherapy And CBT For Weight Loss Work So Well?

Hypnotherapy with CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) can expose hidden reasons that you have not previously been able to lose weight. This process allows a person to break through the barrier that makes it difficult for her/him to achieve their weight loss goals. During the session, you will go into a state of deep relaxation and you are able to link what you think and feel with your actions, to put things into perspective. When the mind and body are in the relaxed state, you are given suggestions that will help you with your weight problems and change your way of thinking about food. After a series of sessions, you can be successful in achieving your weight loss objectives and regain your self-confidence again.

Ever heard your mind thinking and saying, “I just can’t stop eating. The more I try the harder it is?”  This is because the ‘unconscious’ is still making you think about food, making the battle of Mind vs. Food – Food: 1, Mind: 0.

Also, if you have the wrong diet your body may lack the right nutrients and so be driving you to eat more food in an urgent attempt to meet its nutritional needs. When you have a healthy natural diet, there is much less need for willpower because your body stops craving sugary foods.

In combination with eating healthier, the therapy works with the unconscious mind, changing your inner feelings and thoughts towards food. By resolving conflict, the ‘unconscious’ becomes aligned with the conscious, to bring about change on all levels.

You will come to learn how powerful your thoughts are and then harness that power to focus on what you want. Your unconscious mind will direct you to the healthier outcomes you desire and will change your behaviours to reach your goal, making permanent weight loss a reality!

Hypnotherapy and CBT help by:

  • Removing your desire to eat sugary foods or overeat.
  • Forming a positive self-image, using visualisation techniques.
  • Producing a more robust feeling of determination and strength.
  • Providing you with the motivation to exercise and lead a healthier lifestyle.
  • Improving your confidence, self-esteem and positive thinking.
  • Giving you tools and techniques to cope with the stress.
  • Resolving any past events which may be connected to weight gain

Hypnotherapy together with CBT is a safe and effective method of embedding the habits that will allow you to lose weight. Through this process, you will feel in control of yourself, your weight and your life.  Why wait any longer for the weight to drop off and live the fulfilled life you wish for?

For a chat about how you can learn to keep the weight off, contact me on 07967 151790 for a free consultation.

How to Use Self Hypnosis to Stop Anxiety Attacks

We all suffer from anxiety attacks from time to time, it’s perfectly normal. But when those feelings of panic and anxiety are a regular occurrence and threaten to overwhelm you, it’s time to get help.

Unfortunately, often the things that might trigger an anxiety attack are unavoidable. For example, a deadline at work, a significant upheaval in your personal or work life, or anxiety about a forthcoming event such as moving home, a wedding, holiday or Christmas. Fortunately, there are ways to manage these panicky feelings before they escalate into a full blown anxiety attack, and self-hypnosis is an effective way to do this.

How Self Hypnosis Works

Self-hypnosis works on your subconscious mind and helps you to control the triggers that start a panic attack. The aim of self-hypnosis is to allow your mind to go into a trance-like state, which in turn allows you to be calm and relaxed and be in control of your anxiety.

You can teach yourself self-hypnosis, but most people find it quicker and easier to be taught by a trained clinical hypnotherapist who can guide you through the technique and find the most effective method for you.

Below is a simple effective technique called eye-fixation method used in self-hypnosis. This will be more effective in a quiet room and all the distractions should be put away like the phone, Facebook, computer, Snapchat etc. Before starting you should make a list of positive statements designed to elevate your anxiety. This is something you can do with your therapist, choosing the most appropriate statements to use, that resonate with you fully.

  1. Make yourself comfortable on a sofa or a comfy chair. Stretch your legs in front of you and keep your legs uncrossed. Avoid doing self-hypnosis if you are feeling bloated or are physically uncomfortable in any way.
  2. Pick a point on the ceiling and look upwards by fixing your gaze on it. Breathe in and out (3 to 4 times) and let your body slowly relax down into the chair you are sitting on. Let your thoughts drift away and repeat to yourself ‘I feel tired and my eyes are heavy’. Then relax and close your eyes in a comfortable position. Say the words in your mind in a gentle soothing and calm manner.
  3. Allow your muscles to relax and then count yourself down from 10 to 1. Say in your mind ‘with each number I count down I am relaxing more and more’. Focus on your breathing in and out and become aware that you are drifting into a calm relaxed state without letting anything bother or disturb you. Let any uncomfortable thoughts drift away.
  4. You can now think of the positive suggestions that you have prepared and repeat them in your mind and tell yourself ‘I feel calm and my anxious thoughts are just drifting away and my stress is greatly reduced. I am going to be positive about how I perceive myself and will develop new skills to stay stress-free’.
  5. Just before you wake up fully give yourself an action or response, it is called a post-hypnotic response. These suggestions will be positive goals that you want to achieve. You are in a heightened state of suggestibility and will be able to let the words/ goals sink deep into your unconscious mind and make the changes you desire. You can say these confidently and as you mean it and be in the present tense, the words are phrased positively. ‘I can be relaxed or I feel calm and know when the anxiety thoughts are returning’.
  6. Work on one issue or goal at a time and be realistic about what is troubling you now. If you are able to repeat these suggestions while practicing self-hypnosis, this will be most effective for making a positive change.
  7. Try using imagery in your self-hypnosis practice by visualising the stressful situation and the action you need to take to be in control of it. Utilise all your senses hearing, smell and touch. You can use positive images from your past experiences and visualise your goal as a ‘crystal clear’ image as if you are watching a movie of your life and how you are overcoming your anxiety.
  8. When you are ready to count yourself back to wake up from 1 to 5. Once you’ve repeated this method at least 3 or 4 times on separate occasions, you will find that you will be able to go deeper and achieve a deep state of hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy and Cognitive behaviour therapy can teach you these techniques properly so they become second nature when you do suffer from a panic attack.

Here is a little script that you can use to release the anxiety and panic attacks:

Self-hypnosis can be used by most people when you want to be relaxed in order to deal with issues of daily living. It can help to change your thoughts, behaviours, improve your self-esteem and help you make positive steps toward your goals. It can be a stress reliever, can reduce your anxiety and you can be in control of your emotions and symptoms.

Imagine yourself that you have some helium balloons tied to a string and a basket. Put all anxieties and worries in this basket which is weighed down by a rock. You are then placing all the fears and issues attached to the anxiety in the basket. When you have released the balloons by taking away the rock the basket will lift up in the air and start to rise. This will then start to make you feel lighter and lighter and your fear is lifted and the weight is also lifted from your shoulders. Feel the sense of relief and relaxing feeling and say to yourself ‘ I feel relaxed and calm and have let go of my anxieties and stress’

Understanding your signs and symptoms of anxiety and how to deal with them quickly:

It is good to know and understand your panic attacks and anxious thoughts that you suffer from. This can be related to the acute fear and rapid discomfort you feel at the moment. This manifests itself very quickly and within minutes you will start to have increased breathing, sweating and shaking and panic with the fear that is going through you.

  • Understanding and distinguishing whether you are having a panic attack or whether it’s a heart attack, which many people say that symptoms feel like of anxiety attacks feel like.
  • Calm your body and breath in and out slowly. But if you feel its anything other than an anxiety attack or are worried and not sure please seek help from a Doctor.
  • Getting help from a Cognitive behaviour therapist and hypnotherapist to work through your anxieties and help to be in control and recognise your triggers. The therapist will teach you self-hypnosis and how imagery can help with moving forward from the anxiety and panic attacks. Through self-hypnosis practice and vivid imagery, you can visualise reacting the way you desire when you feel anxious and achieve your goal of being in control of the panic attacks.

To find out more about clinical hypnotherapy and to get support with anxiety and panic attacks, click on this link or contact me directly – +44 (0)796 715 1790

 

Giving Up Smoking: Tips For Managing Bad Days

We all know that giving up smoking is tough; that your craving won’t go away overnight and even when you’ve quit smoking for a considerable amount of time, that desire for a cigarette, cigar, pipe etc. may suddenly catch you unawares.

One of the most effective ways to manage the bad days is to understand what the triggers are that make you want to smoke. While sometimes they may be to do with social situations, the really strong cravings are more likely to be as a result of stress.

What are your triggers to re-start you smoking habit after you have quit smoking for a period of time?

  • Stress?
  • Anxiety?
  • Irritability?
  • Boredom?
  • Tiredness?
  • Anger?

These triggers can be difficult to overcome when you are on this smoking cessation journey. In general, people think that smoking can calm you down in stressful situations, which is why this is the main trigger for so many people.

Smoking Increases Stress

The action of inhaling and exhaling can help reduce your stress levels, it’s not dissimilar to taking a calming breath, and many smokers report feeling calmer once they have a cigarette. However, nicotine has been proven to exacerbate stress, with studies showing that smokers have higher levels of stress than non-smokers, and that smoking only normalises their stress levels temporarily, which then increase in between cigarettes.

Once you understand what factors trigger your craving, you can then start to control them and find alternative ways of managing stress, boredom or anger.

Managing Cravings – Giving Up Smoking For Good

There are tools and techniques you can utilise to be in control of your triggers. This starts with understanding what’s happening to your body and mind and preparing in advance to fight those cravings.

Managing your withdrawal from your nicotine addiction

Physically your body is reacting to withdrawal from chemicals that are present in the brand of cigarettes you have smoked. It is a stressful process and you must be prepared mentally and physically to cope with it. Have an awareness that you will need be strong to deal with some of the discomforts and to manage and cope with your symptoms of withdrawal.

Fortunately, this does not last very long. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms peak at around day 2 or 3, so you should feel better by the end of week 1. However, it can take up to 3 months for the withdrawal symptoms to be completely gone.

Managing your smoking habits and behaviours

Healing yourself from the habits and behaviours that are linked to the smoking is an important aspect as well. This will take shape when you learn to manage your cravings and feelings. Take it one step at a time and allow this recovery process to unravel by being patient about these struggles you will face.

Unfortunately, nicotine withdrawal can cause the type of symptoms that would normally be a trigger to have a cigarette – irritability, anxiety etc. – but if you understand why you’re feeling like this and have prepared for it, you will have a better chance of managing those triggers and cravings.

These thoughts and feelings together with your smoking cravings can be changed by CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) techniques and you will put them into perspective about how smoking will damage your body.

Tips for managing the bad days:

  1. Make healthy choices:
  • Choose healthy choices with your meals daily. By removing the toxins out of your body you will be moving towards a healthy mind and body routine.
  • Drink plenty of water. As the stress of quitting will dehydrate your body and water is the best way you can keep hydrated. This will reduce the cravings and flush any remaining nicotine toxins from your body.
  • Take some vitamins daily. Your body will get a boost from these vitamins you need to get through your withdrawal process faster. The nutrients from your body are also depleted due to cigarette smoking and these vitamins will boost your immune system.
  1. Reduce your caffeine intake: By cutting your intake of caffeine (either coffee or cola) will calm your nerves. This will also help you to sleep at night as caffeine make you feel energised and you need to be relaxed when you go to bed.
  2. Relax in a warm bath: de-stress in a bath with some scented candles and bath salts.
  3. Calm yourself with a massage: this will relax you and get the tension out of your muscles.
  4. Try to get plenty of sleep: Stress can cause your mind to overthink things and worrying about issues that will cause stress. Allowing your body to rest and your energy levels will return.
  5. Choose some form of exercise to do regularly even if it is a 20-minute walk at least 3 times a week. This reduces the edginess you feel when you are stressed and boosts circulation. Your ‘feel great’ hormone endorphin is released when you exercise or go for a quick walk. You will feel refreshed and this is a great way to de-stress.
  6. Imagine being calm and relaxed. Create a picture in your mind of a place where you felt calm and relaxed, focus on that image. Every time you feel stressed think about this place and imagine being there again.
  7. Deep breathing technique: A quick way to relax when you feel stressed and calm your edgy nerves. Breath into a count to three through the nose and by exhaling with your mouth to another count of five. Do this 4 to 5 times and you will your body relax and let the tension drift away.
  8. Taking one day at a time: Focus on each day as it comes you can feel a sense of pride that you have been without cigarettes for today. Let tomorrow be another day and be positive in your ability to give up smoking for good.
  9. Don’t give up, giving up: you might have some bad days where it will be a struggle not to start smoking again and take it one step at a time. Try to keep your mind away from small or big issues that might cause you to have a bad mood. Look after yourself and give yourself a treat or two and be grateful for every day you are smoke-free.

Triggers, such as stress and anger, are one of the biggest reasons that people are unsuccessful in their attempts to give up smoking. How we respond to these triggers and the habits and behaviours we have formed around them, are often very deep-rooted and hard to overcome. This is why a supportive programme of cognitive behaviour therapy is so effective a breaking the cycle of this behaviour and instilling within you new, healthier, ways to manage and cope with stress.

Find out more about my Stop Smoking Course here.

What To Do If You Think Your Partner Is Suffering From Stress

Stress caused by issues at work, worries about money, concerns about family members or health problems, can have a big impact on relationships. It can create a disconnection between a couple leading to communication issues; all at a time when a partner needs more support, not less, from their other half.

All of this can be prevented if you are aware of the subtle changes when your partner is stressed. Being vigilant about each other’s mental health as well as physical health is important, but often it can be difficult to address because symptoms of stress are misdiagnosed, or hidden by the person suffering.

Being proactive about supporting your partner when they get stressed can bring you closer to each other and develop a new level of intimacy.

Stress: Supporting Your Partner

What help can you provide to support your partner if they are suffering from stress?

  • Become aware of the signs and symptoms of stress: everyday life is busy and hectic and it’s easy to get wrapped in your own world. If your partner is stressed and not communicating enough about his/her feelings you will miss the signs. So make an effort to recognise these signs early when you see your partner struggling. How are they coping, are they eating healthily, are they sleeping well, what are their mood and energy levels like?
  • Be vigilant: women tend to get more stressed than men but hide their anxiety really well and don’t talk about their feelings. By staying vigilant, talking to your partner, providing love and support so when they are struggling you are present and this will strengthen your partnership.
  • Being compassionate: when you see that your partner is stressed and they withdraw and are agitated, help by showing them kindness. Show them that you care, even if they are difficult to empathise with. Don’t get cross because they feel stressed give them some space, and show compassion for yourself and for them too. In these circumstances, self-care is an important too as you need to be strong to support your partner and anchor your relationship.
  • Get your partner to talk to you: Communicate with your partner by asking them what is wrong. Say “You seem to find things difficult, are you OK? How can I help?” Let your partner know that you are there to talk and listen. They will feel supported when they are stressed, be present without judgements or irritation. This will require you to be patient with them and listen to their worries and concerns.

Understanding Our Differences

If you’re in a heterosexual relationship it is important to understand that your partner’s response to stress will be different to yours. Women and men have distinct reactions when they are stressed.

When a person is stressed the body releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which bind together. This causes raised blood pressure and higher levels of blood sugar. Then there is a release of oxytocin from the brain opposing the release of adrenalin and cortisol by relaxing the persons’ body.

When men get stressed less oxytocin is released than in women and therefore they react to adrenaline and cortisol more strongly. This results in a ‘flight or fight response’ that may cause them to be angry, or to repress their feelings and become withdrawn. Typically men care more about competing and their performance in the tasks they are involved in. They like being appreciated, are open to new ideas, like to push themselves to the limit and will accept assistance if they need to.

Women on the other hand, because of higher oxytocin levels, handle stress by nurturing their loved ones; this creates a desire to protect their family, particularly young children. Women’s feelings of competency in relationships are closely linked to their self-esteem and individuality. They like to feel wanted, cared for and like their partner to appreciate them and voice these expressions openly so that they feel good.

Getting Help For Stress

So how do you deal with stress that your partner is experiencing?

Every day as a part of daily life we deal with stress. When you are in a relationship, even if both you and your partner are connecting effectively, there will be some situations when one or the other is continuing to work but has no energy left. The love and support are all you both need to keep going. Keep your positive frame of mind even if you find it difficult and produce resources mentally and emotionally to assist your partner.

This will generate a healthy foundation and solid base for your relationship and build on the good feeling and connection between both of you. Create stress reducing habits and set up a system that both of you have to check in if there is anything you need support with. Do an activity together like a new gym class or Pilates to renew your relationship.

As the person closest to them, you’re also the person who might suggest that they need help from an outside source. This could be something you do together, such as taking a course in meditation and deep breathing, or you might want your partner to see a therapist to get one-on-one support.

It can be difficult to broach the subject of ‘needing help’, but it’s a conversation that you must have if you feel your partner is not able to manage their stress. Research suitable options that your partner is most likely to be receptive to, like cognitive behaviour therapy, and explain why you think they should seek help. Remember to be supportive, loving and share your concerns for their health. Sometimes a ‘do it for me’ approach will allow those people who are trying to hide stress or keep a stiff upper lip, open up and accept help.

Finally, remember to get support for yourself too. It can be very hard living with someone who is suffering from stress or depression, especially when you need to be the ‘strong one’. It may help to talk to trusted friends or just to get some time to yourself by going to the gym or other activities. It may also help to talk to a therapist who can help you look after your mental health, and support your partner at the same time.


If you would like to discuss any of the above with me please get in touch. Contact me on +44 (0)796 715 1790 or email info@formindssake.com

 

Losing weight: Men vs. Women (The Difference Hormones Make)

The differences between male and female bodies are obvious in one glance. Along with having different body shapes, there are other differences that impact on weight loss, such as men generally enjoying high-protein foods such as meat, while women love to eat carbohydrates. These important differences are often ignored in information about healthy eating and weight loss, but there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for men and women, both sexes need a weight loss plan designed just for them.

Generally, when people get into their thirties and then forties, they struggle to keep off the pounds – the middle-aged spread. Women especially have difficulty with weight loss, and this is because of the difference between how men and women store fat – and the hormones that influence this.

Women store their fat in their breasts, thighs and hips. The hormone oestrogen causing the storage of fat in a woman’s thighs and hips and there is an impact on a woman’s breasts due to both the hormones progesterone and oestrogen. Men tend to store fat around the middle of their bodies due to the hormone testosterone and have lean arms and legs. Women have a monthly cycle (menstrual cycle), which fluctuates their hormones and there is an impact on how they function during this phase: how they look, feel and this can cause them to overeat. This then determines their fat storage and whether their bodies lose weight or gain weight.

How Hormones Affect Weight Loss

Hormones – oestrogen and progesterone work in conjunction with each other and influences a woman’s ability to burn fat and the areas that this fat will be taken from. This fat storage is not an intake of calories but a hormonal balance issue.

There is a myth that a diet with low-calorie foods and exercise will cause a woman to lose weight but stress is an important factor too in weight loss. This is due to a high oestrogen level as it increases storage of fat in a woman around thighs and hips. Progesterone combined with oestrogen stops the storage of fat, but if you are in a high-stress situation there is less progesterone action.

Testosterone is an important hormone that helps men with the fat loss, muscle building, bone density and tone of their skin. When men are at their peak they tend to lose weight easily. Many men have to just cut back on what they eat and they tend to gradually drop their weight while women find this process harder. However as the testosterone levels in men decreases, weight loss gets harder and their bone density lowers, this can also impact on mood and may cause feelings of depression.

Weight Loss For Men And Women

Instead of prescribing a diet, exercise plan and weight loss tips for both men and women, we must take into account the unique action of hormones each sex. Here are my individual healthy eating tips for women and men:

Women, you should.

  • Try to eat healthier and smaller portions,
  • Exercise consistently and regularly; include weight training (3 – 5 times a week),
  • Sleep well, eat foods with a good source of protein,
  • Try and cut back on the coffee, carbonated drinks like coke, sprite,
  • Eat green vegetables, increase fibre foods,
  • Take supplements (Vitamin D, fish oil and calcium),
  • Lower intake of dairy and grain foods,
  • Drink plenty of water, green tea.

Men should…

  • An exercise regime designed to strengthen muscle mass and strength. They should do some weight training,
  • Eat plenty of protein rich foods and healthy foods,
  • Reduce their stress levels that increase a hormone cortisol (which is important for fight or flight response) in their system but lowers their testosterone level,
  • Sleep well every night 8 -10 hours,
  • Try to cut back on the alcohol consumption.

Psychological Impact On Weight Loss

Apart from the physiological differences, psychologically men and women are different too. Generally, men don’t see their obesity as a problem and refuse to view themselves as overweight even if they are. They are not dissatisfied by their bodies and weight like women are. They tend not to see their weight issues and assume if they really wanted to they could achieve their desired weight.

On the other hand, women turn to food for comfort and eat due to emotional reasons. They have cravings and their mood with stress triggers them to overeat. If a woman is happy about her shape and size/weight she will feel confident about herself and achieve her goals. A woman will plan a healthy eating programme, shop according to that and will be strict with her weight loss and exercise regularly.

One of the most common reasons that men and woman are different is a woman needs a lot of support from friends and family (social support) and psychological support. While men don’t seem to need the same kind of support, they have a simple plan and will stay on the weight loss programme longer than a woman.

If you are a woman of 40 years and want help with your goals to lose the weight you are struggling with Download my free: 10 Simple Steps To Weight Loss Success.

I also offer a free 30 min free consultation to identify the barriers you have to lose the weight you desire. Contact me on +44 (0)796 715 1790 or email info@formindssake.com

5 Powerful Ways To Build Self-Confidence

“Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered–just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.” – Barrie Davenport

Self-confidence is described as an important aspect that works in every area of a person’s life and some of us struggle with it. It is a known fact that people who lack in self-confidence, find success in what they do difficult to achieve.

Self-confidence is a state of an individual’s mind that can be improved through positive thought, language, learning and practice which will help boost your levels of confidence. Self-confidence comes from feeling good about yourself, accepting and believing in yourself (self-esteem), believing in your skills, knowledge and experience which in turn help improve your confidence and self-esteem.

The Difference Between Self-Confidence And Self-Esteem

Not many people know that there is a difference between confidence and self-esteem, they’re often confused as the same thing. Self-esteem is described as the way we look and feel about ourselves – our feeling of self-worth or whether we feel valued amongst our friends and society. Confidence is described as our capability to carry out our roles and tasks successfully in a manner so we can achieve our goals. Some people who have low self-esteem can have low self-confidence as well.

Here are 5 powerful ways you can build self-confidence:

  1. Plan and prepare when you think you will face a difficult situation: For example, when you have an interview for a new job you will have to practice and prepare intensively so you gain knowledge and can feel confident, you can do the same for other situations too. Whether this is walking into a new fitness class, delivering a presentation at work, meeting a prospective client, or meeting your partner’s family for the first time – build your confidence in your ability to cope with these situations by preparing in advance.
  1. Teach yourself, or get support, in learning some valuable skills like decision-making and problem solving that can help when dealing with unusual or new situations. When you feel insecure about your task the knowledge you have acquired and experience will help with building confidence.

For example, if you are having your first baby and are nervous about how you will cope. You will do a lot of reading, join NCT groups and learn all you can to deal with this new adventure and gain knowledge.

  1. Create a positive motivational state through the power of positive thoughts.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller

Positive affirmations, working on your strengths and by feeling good about your successes you can achieve your goals. Learning from your mistakes, not dwelling on past mistakes and by not making these to be bigger than they are, you will be able to highlight the things you are good at. Negative thoughts can damage your confidence and inhibits your ability to move forward.

  1. Improve your self-belief and confidence: Condition your mind to believe in yourself and don’t dwell on your mistakes. Learn to take control, praise yourself, challenge any negative thoughts and learn to relax. Try to take any criticism as a learning experience, gain perspective, be assertive with the things you like to do, and try not to react or be defensive as this will knock your self-esteem.
  1. Develop and learn mental toughness as this will build resilience: build strong self-belief, persevere through the challenges that life throws at you and respond to difficult situations with the perspective that you can learn from.

“Being positive does not mean that you don’t have negative thoughts. It means you don’t let those thoughts control your life.” Anon

Deep breathing and training your mind to stay calm and focus on what causes you stress and anxiety. Persist and change the things you can, and embrace new challenges.

These powerful strategies to increase your self-confidence can be enhanced with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. This form of therapy will help you focus on positive thoughts, and put those negative ones in perspective. If you find that negative thoughts undermine your self-confidence and ability to perform at your best, CBT can really help to change the way you think.

Building self-confidence is a skill that has to be mastered and learned like any other skill.


For a confidential chat about your concerns and to explore further how CBT can help you with confidence issues, please contact me on 07967 151790 or email:info@formindssake.com

How Can Hypnotherapy Help Me Stop Smoking?

If you want to find out how effective hypnotherapy for giving up smoking is, congratulations you’ve come to the right place! But more importantly, if you’ve made the decision to stop smoking for good, you’ve taken the first step to success.

However much pressure you may be under to give up smoking from family and friends if you’re not ready to quit you’ll find it very difficult. Once you’ve made that decision for yourself to give up, you increase your chances of success dramatically.

Hypnotherapy For Giving Up Smoking

I know that if you’re exploring hypnosis to give up smoking, you’ve already come to that decision and are probably exploring the various methods available. Broadly speaking there are two smoking cessation methods used: gradual smoking cessation, perhaps using nicotine replacement therapy, and cold turkey (more on this in this post on Is Cold Turkey The Best Way To Quit Smoking?).

However, neither method tackles the behaviours and habits you’ve formed around smoking; the reason you reach for the cigarettes when you feel stressed, or the associations you may have between smoking and doing other things like having a drink with friends, or a midmorning coffee. These habits and behaviours are just as controlling as your nicotine addiction and this is where hypnotherapy can really help; changing the thoughts and feelings you have that trigger a desire to smoke, helping you take control of your responses to these and increasing the chance of giving up smoking for good.

How Does Hypnosis For Smoking Work?

Hypnosis is described as a state of altered consciousness; when you are hypnotised you are in a state of deep relaxation and can make changes you desire.

Hypnosis is used in the treatment for various psychological issues such as giving up smoking, weight loss, panic attacks, low self-esteem etc. The collaboration between the client and therapist helps to create change in the client’s habits and behaviours through hypnosis when the mind is open to positive suggestions. At no time do you lose control of your actions during clinical hypnotherapy, instead you will have a sense of being in complete control and able to make good decisions for yourself and your health?

Hypnotherapy is a popular and effective treatment for stopping smoking. Typically a course of hypnotherapy for giving up smoking will include:

  • Identifying the triggers that cause you to smoke that might be emotional, environmental, or social,
  • Support dealing with these triggers so they can be managed in a less self-destructive way,
  • Help controlling cravings,
  • Breaking unhelpful thoughts or unconscious beliefs that smoking is beneficial in some way – for example if you feel you need to smoke to be creative or to help with problem-solving etc.
  • Help you to get to understand your addiction and specifically what it is doing to your body,
  • Work with you on your internal conflict about your smoking habit and replace it with positive and empowering thoughts,
  • Deep breathing techniques and 7:11 breathing
  • Teaching self-hypnosis,
  • Cognitive behaviour techniques.

Hypnosis for smoking helps clients with their unhelpful thoughts and put the smoking habit into perspective. They are encouraged to see the damage to their health that smoking causes and the long-term consequences of their habit.

Some of us are unaware that our bodies will start repairing the damage after quitting smoking very quickly:

  • After the first 8 hours of no smoking, the collection of carbon monoxide exits your body,
  • In 5 days – one week the nicotine will not be in present in your body and your sense of smell and taste will improve,
  • In three months time your lungs with function better,
  • And one years time you will have saved money and your risk from suffering from a stroke is greatly reduced.

While these physical improvements and health benefits are greatly desired, the habits that you have developed from smoking over time can still be very hard to break.

Next Steps…

Hypnotherapy for giving up smoking can be used alongside a gradual smoking cessation therapy such as nicotine patches, or if you wish to go cold turkey. Whichever smoking cessation method you plan to use it’s advisable to talk to a clinical hypnotherapist early on so they can help support you through the process. This may mean addressing key issues that are underlying your smoking habit, and resolving these so that you have a much better chance of successfully quitting for good.

Many people come to a hypnotherapy thinking it is a quick or a magic fix treatment for their smoking habit. For some people, just one session is enough to quit smoking but others need a few sessions to achieve success from the harmful effects of smoking.

The ultimate goal of hypnotherapy is you taking the control back from your smoking habit or addiction.

If you have any questions about hypnosis for smoking or would like to speak to me about your specific issues, either leave a comment below or you can email me on info@formindssake.com or call +44 (0)796 715 1790.


“After three sessions I have successfully stopped smoking after 27 years. Through the combination of hypnotherapy and NLP that Andrea specialises in I now have effective coping strategies in place for the difficult moments and situations that inevitably arise. I feel confident to refer to myself now as a non-smoker, which was something I would have never even contemplated in the past. You have to want to stop smoking but when you are really ready this is a really effective way to do it.” – Miranda B

Hypnosis As A Treatment For Anxiety

Most people ask what is hypnosis and how does it work? Hypnosis can be described as a natural state of mind (at an unconscious level) that alternates between the person’s alertness and wakefulness. Everything that has occurred in a person’s life is present in the unconscious mind, whether it is real or imagined. You can be in an everyday trance state or hypnotic state when you are driving a car on your familiar route to work or when you relaxing listening to a lovely piece of music or just before you drift off to sleep.

What Does Hypnosis Involve?

To answer the question what hypnotherapy involves, it uses different techniques for therapeutic reasons and works at the unconscious level of a person’s mind where the individual’s desires, decisions and long-term habits are located. Trusting and being present with the person who is your therapist giving you hypnotherapy is one of the factors required for the therapeutic session to be successful. The hypnosis state is a deep state of mental relaxation, similar to being in a meditative state, in which the client becomes aware of their own inner world more than in their normal conscious or waking state.

People fear the unknown and for this reason, some people worry that during hypnotherapy the therapist will control their mind, and perhaps make them do things they don’t want to. This is a myth that comes from watching hypnotherapists on TV or entertaining an audience at an event, it’s not the same thing but I can understand why you may be worried about it. Instead with Cognitive Behaviour Hypnotherapy, there is a collaboration between the therapist and the client, this brings a level of trust and enhances the therapy session. It is this deep state of relaxation where you are most responsive to suggestions and hence you can make changes to your habits and behaviours that may be causing your problems.

I have people ask me regularly whether I am going to make them ‘cluck like a chicken’ or ‘dance around the room’. Stage hypnotists like Darren Brown do get receptive people do ridiculous things but the people that step on the stage are willing to partake in these activities. All hypnosis is ‘self”- hypnosis and the hypnotherapist is a guide to your inner mind and the rest of the responsibility is on the client who wishes to be hypnotised as it is a collaborative process. Clinical hypnotherapy will not make you do what you don’t want to do and you are in total control of yourself during the sessions.

Does the idea that all your secrets will come out during these sessions fill you with fear? You are in control of your mind during the sessions and if you are asked a question that you wish not to answer just “say no”.

Does Hypnotherapy Still Work If I Fall Asleep?

If you do feel as if you have fallen asleep during the therapy session, don’t worry your subconscious mind is still hearing my suggestions and you are able to make the changes in your habits and behaviours. Each and every person has the insight and knowledge within themselves to recognise their issues and with the therapist support they go deeper within and find the root causes of these issues/problems. You will discover techniques and develop skills to access your subconscious mind and change habits and behaviours that cause the problem. Together with positive suggestions and strategies to stay in control you can change how you perceive the problems and let go of the hold the cause of this issue has over you.

Does Hypnosis Work And Can Everyone Be Hypnotised?

Hypnosis requires the cooperation and motivation on the part of the client, and this cooperation enhances the client’s experience in their unconscious mind level. Hence Hypnosis/hypnotherapy has been effective in the treatment of anxiety. The following techniques for coping with anxiety can be greatly enhanced when a client has undergone hypnosis sessions:

  • Stop or pause when you feel anxious
  • Focus your attention on the part of your body that is affected by your anxiety reaction, as well as your feelings associated with this.
  • Learn mindfulness where you notice to focus your attention on.
  • Learn to mindfulness breathing
  • Challenge your anxiety thoughts: are these thoughts your opinion or facts.
  • Do things differently by checking with yourself what you are worried about or anxious about and as you do it several times a day you will start to reduce the checking over time.
  • Avoid situations and things or people that cause you to be anxious.
  • Get support from friends and family
  • Ask yourself what else I can do (like going for a walk or doing an activity) that will stop yourself from reacting to these anxious thoughts.

Hypnosis can help you change your response to situations that cause you anxiety so that you cope with them better and they affect you less. Understandably you may be concerned about using this type of therapy to treat your anxiety, but because it addresses the way you respond to stressful situations rather than only the symptoms of your anxiety, it can be a very powerful tool.

If you like to talk to me in confidence about your anxiety, how hypnosis may be able to help and to get an idea of whether you feel that we can build a trusting client/therapist relationship, please get in touch. +44 (0)796 715 1790 or info@formindssake.com