MindHealth by Sara Stevens
By Sara Stevens
A podcast of the MindHealth Blogs written by Sara Stevens. Each weekly blog focuses on a different topic surrounding mental health. The blog will open you up to a whole new view of how we think, feel and operate. With anything in life, if we don’t understand it, we can often fear it, so this journey will enable you to not only understand yourself better but also allow you to become more empowered and in control of your mind.
Only about a year or so ago I had a Reiki session, and I thought this is a great thing to do alongside what I do already. I have been able to blend it into my sessions and help my clients have additional healing support in the sessions. Some of you might already have tried Reiki, but for some of you, it might be something you have never heard of. So firstly, let's just have a look at what it is. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation, that also promotes healing. It is administered in two ways; it can be used as I do, remotely, or it can be done with the laying of hands. It is based on the idea that an unseen life force energy flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. This is the same basis for many eastern-based complementary therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure, kinesiology, and shiatsu, to name just a few of them. If your life force energy is low or out of balance then you are more likely to get sick or feel stressed. If we have a balanced life force, with a high level of energy, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
January 28, 2023
After I had trained fully to be a Clinical Hypnotherapist, I then continued in my professional development and started doing regular masterclasses to explore different approaches that worked with or alongside hypnotherapy. When I did a course in EMDR it was one of those amazing moments when you just know this is one of the most incredible approaches and just how it can help so many people. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma, PTSD symptoms, negative thoughts, phobias, and anxieties. Ongoing research by Maxfield 2019 supports positive clinical outcomes showing EMDR therapy as a helpful treatment for disorders such as anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, addictions, and other distressing life experiences. EMDR can also neutralize negative thoughts and feelings, and strengthen positive ones. EMDR can calm flashbacks and other disruptive physiological mind and body reactivity. It can help you to break free from old patterns, to enable you to enhance your quality of life by unblocking negativity from the past, distorting your present and future.
January 20, 2023
Over 30 years ago I tried hypnotherapy and was blown away by how it made me feel. I had suffered from anxiety for so many years and had a lot of issues I needed help with. I had tried counselling and psychotherapy without much success and was feeling deflated and as if I would never be able to get over these issues. Hypnotherapy back then was quite out there and there was not much research or true information to help me fully understand what it was all about. But I was lucky to have found a great therapist; my first session really helped me feel that I could feel different. This was just what I needed to realise if I could feel this way now, how about me learning to feel this way every day. This was one of the many reasons that led me to train in hypnotherapy and then change my career and start practicing, to be honest I haven’t looked back since then and I am very lucky to love my work.
January 11, 2023
For many of us we have many chapters in our lives and finding our way to move through these will help us make the most of our lives and give us more time in the now. It is often very hard to work things through, come to terms with things and take those first steps into a new chapter in our lives. This time of year is the perfect time to give us the boost we need to help us move into that next chapter. The history of new beginnings in January is so great for our minds as it can give us historical motivational support for our minds. Also, it can give us a stronger belief that we can take those steps into the next chapter, and it can give us extra motivation to help us with these changes. Letting go and moving on, can be one of the hardest things for us to achieve. We can get stuck in our emotions and then they just go around on repeat within us. These emotions can be wide-ranging and include sadness, fear, loss, jealousy, anger, guilt, and terror, plus all levels of trauma can hold us back. If we just get stuck in the emotional state then over time we can form habits of thinking, feeling and behaving in this way. This can then make it harder for us to let go as our unconscious mind is pushing us to continue in these patterns of behaviour. Not because we have to stay this way, but more because we have now moved into a bad habit of behaving in this way. So why not take this once-a-year opportunity to help you let go and move on to a new chapter in your life?
January 10, 2023
Over the last few blogs, we have been looking at ways to help become a calmer person by not letting underlying habits trigger internalised anxiety responses. Our minds are black and white and even if we are pretending to ourselves that we feel ok, our inner minds won't believe what isn't true. I am sure we are all at times living in denial about things that are happening in our lives. We pretend to ourselves that it isn't an issue and that we are not bothered about something, when we are bothered, scared, living in denial, and pretending this is not an issue. We might say to ourselves we don't want to go out to the work’s Christmas party because we have too many other things to do or it's just too complex to get it to work for us. We say this to ourselves and on certain levels, we believe this. But what is happening is that on another level we are scared to go, there will be too many people, we don't like going to places we haven't been to before, we only like going out with our partners, or whatever our own personal fears are. You might be thinking why would this be an issue for us? Why would this make deeper issues for us? If we don't want to go then it is fine. On a level, yes these are all ok, but the deeper issue for your mind is that you are in denial over this. That denial is seen by your unconscious mind as a massive thing and will push your mind into developing more fears about similar situations to this.
January 10, 2023
Anxiety can be increased within us in many different ways and the last few blogs have been looking at this. Avoidance can be a massive instigator of increased anxiety within you. Your mind is amazing, but it is always looking to protect you. If you are avoiding things then your mind will automatically think that this is something that is super scary and will react in these ways. A few thousand years ago we used our fight, flight, and freeze (FFF) response many times, every day, to protect ourselves from things that could cause us harm. If we saw a grizzly bear then we would, of course, avoid it, and if anything came up that could be similar, our minds would be reminded of the fact it could be a sign of a grizzly bear. This might be broken branches from trees, big footprints in the earth, or the place we last saw a grizzly bear, these are just a few of the things that could trigger your mind into a FFF response. Which of course was amazing and made us the most overpopulated species on the planet.
November 29, 2022
The last couple of blogs were about worries and anxiety, and how many different habits you might have developed that maybe negatively impact these levels. Moving away from anxiety will not only mean letting go of worries, but it will also lead you to live life in several different ways. One of these things is reassurance, whether it be we are searching for it from others, or we are giving it to ourselves. Our mind is very clear in how it holds all the information that comes to us, and we have to understand that this is such a vast amount. Everything we do is held and stored in our unconscious minds and if this storage aspect of ourselves was not set up in this clear way, then we would struggle to live our lives in the way that we do. If we think about some of the things we do in life, like walking, driving, talking, etc, these are all formed by the build-up of memories. These memories are all stored in the same place, and as we learn a new skill the mind expands this part of its storage to hold all these experiences. Over time it creates a solid learned and developed habit and many of these we now do with hardly any conscious effort. If we think about walking, when was the last time you thought about picking your foot up or putting it down? We have this great ability to just walk naturally because your unconscious mind has stored all those memories in a way that allows your mind to automate those habits.
November 23, 2022
We all get worried from time to time and that is quite normal. But if we are allowing this to take over and become a habit then this will negatively impact how we feel. The thing about worrying is that the more we worry, the more worried we can feel. Also, worries can be impacted by how we react to ourselves and the world around us. If, say, we are worrying about going somewhere and we keep telling ourselves, “It's ok, we will be fine”, this you might think is no big thing, but to our unconscious mind, it is a massive thing, as your mind automatically looks at everything. If you were ok, then you wouldn't need to tell yourself that you are ok. So, you are not actually telling your mind that you are ok, each time you say to yourself that you will be fine, you are telling yourself on a deeper level that you are the opposite. You might be thinking really?! But the fact is your mind is so black and white in how it places things and without any grey area to put things, it has no choice. The thing is, you do know that you're not feeling ok so you can't think on any level that you can trick your mind to think otherwise. This is the same if you ask other people to reassure you, if we are always asking people if we are ok or will be ok, this is not helping us to stop the worrying, it will only be adding to our worries.
November 23, 2022
We discussed in the last blog ‘Worries’, about these pesky worry habits, plus the way you are living your life which could be increasing your internal worry and anxiety levels. This blog will look at how to fill the spaces, that worry, reassurance, denial, and avoidance, may have left within you. Worrying about things can take up lots of time and if we are choosing to break from these habits then it is important to make the most of that time in ways which won’t inadvertently allow our inner mind to continue to worry. The key to not worrying is to distract yourself, if you are fully distracted you won't be worrying. But it has to be a full distraction or it won't have the results that you are hoping for. Being distracted is not about just being busy doing something, we can all easily be busy but still be worrying at the same time. Being distracted is when our mind is so involved in the moment that we just don't have room for worries. This is one of the most important things in helping us to become worry-free. These are the key things to understand; if we can take the time to understand how our minds work and if we are fully distracted, then we can’t worry. Getting our minds on our side is the key to helping us in every area of our lives, as our minds are the most powerful force we have in our lives.
November 23, 2022
Let’s have a look at the things that can be limiting you moving forward, being positive, happy, grateful and being the best version of yourself. You might not have looked at life in this way, but many of us, if not all of us, are following the path of least resistance. This means that you choose to do what holds the least fear for you, you might be saying now, “I don't feel fear” or “I am fearless”, which may be the case. But beneath the surface is the more complex and primitive parts of our mind that operate on a different level to our conscious mind and sometimes we just haven’t stopped to see it this way. The path of least resistance is a concept which is often used to describe why something, or someone takes a given path, it is also used to describe certain human behaviours and habits. In these cases, resistance is often used as a metaphor for personal effort or confrontation; a person taking the path of least resistance avoids these. Here is an example, the water always flows downhill, regardless of whether it is briefly flowing uphill in the process to gain a lower final altitude of the downhill flow. For many of us, we are all doing the same, following the easiest path in life, which may be fine for us, or it might be limiting our lives, or worst still it could be triggering anxiety and panic within us.
October 25, 2022
Life is now so competitive, about who we are, what we have, how we look and the lifestyle we lead, if we don’t fit in, we can easily feel inadequate. For teenagers and young adults, life is super competitive and social media is the king who tells us how we should look and be. With all the social media, we have a window into people’s lives, or do we? Or is it just all the amazing bits and lots of great camera angles and airbrushing? Nearly every week there’s a new story on some celebrity who has altered their images and has been caught out, but we still can’t help getting pulled into the images. It's not just social media, it's everywhere in our lives, it's the mums waiting at the school gates, kids in school, the office, and the workplace, all of these can have the same pressures to conform and fit in. But what happens if we don’t? We can be left feeling inadequate, isolated, weird, not good enough and not feeling able to fit in. This can lead to anxiety, fears, and depression, as we find ourselves retreating into our minds and as we’re already feeling not great this can compound the negative feelings.
October 19, 2022
All over the world, we lived in fear of a neighbour from the beginning of time, to the 1950s and in fact, this might still be the case in some places in our world. We have also lived with another country invading our homes, villages or territory. Slaughtering our friends, family, and community, to take over and occupy our land and resources, or if they didn’t slaughter us, they brought health epidemics which did it for them. We are also at a point where we can experience less helplessness of being in this powerful world, out of control with the force of nature. Of course, we do see many disasters and devastation, caused by earthquakes, tsunamis, and extreme weather conditions, and being caught up in those must be terrifying for anyone. But over the last 100 years, we have learnt so much, and we can now build houses to withstand earthquakes and even install earthquake protection beds - google them, they look amazing! We can now predict the weather more easily and send support to help when a disaster happens, to help minimise the loss of life.
October 11, 2022
Every moment in life is gone by the next moment. How about taking a few days to just embrace as many of those moments as you can? It is a challenge to catch the moment and be present to fully enjoy it. I think we have to remind ourselves to stop and pause to embrace the moment. Being in the now is one of the most pleasurable times we have. When we are in the moment we just forget about everything else and just enjoy what is happening in the now. This might seem an easy task but for many of us, this is something we don't do that often. If we are anxious or worried, we are often not in the moment, we are stuck in our heads. Maybe we are stuck in the past worrying about what has happened. Maybe we are stuck worrying about the future, or we could be stuck with the fears and feelings of anxiety which overwhelm us. Or we could be stuck in an irrational thought process or an obsessive thought pattern. None of these is nice at all and often these negative habits can have a poor impact on our lives and how we feel. But just think about this, why are we doing this and do we need to do this? The answer is always no, we don't need this at all, but we are stuck going around in circles in our heads.
October 04, 2022
Every moment in life is gone by the next moment. For most of us, we just don't appreciate the moments as much as we should. We can be lost in the habitual mundaneness of parts of our life and then we just get stuck in habit and find ourselves lost to them. This can be fine when we need time to speed up, when we are maybe doing things which don’t bring us as much joy or pleasure. But for some of us, we can get stuck in that cycle of disconnection and then the task or the job stops, and we can forget to bring ourselves back into the moment. Maybe it's less about forgetting and more about our unconscious mind just getting stuck into a pattern of behaving and then we just keep going with it. It's worth thinking when you do drift into these disconnected habits, are they just helping you get through the mundane tasks or things that you don't enjoy or are there times you are zoning out. Once you have thought about your life and how it is broken down into being fully present and then partly disconnected into the habits of your life, it can give you a good overview of how your life is. Then just evaluate if this is making the most of your life. Are you wasting time and losing parts of your life? Could you be more productive and get other things done while doing those mundane tasks? Are you not switching off and becoming present when these tasks finish? Maybe there are other questions you find you need to ask yourself that help you fully consider your life and how much of it you are present for, and how maybe there are parts of your life you can rethink and develop better ways of living.
October 04, 2022
Why put off something until tomorrow when you can do it today? I bet all of us do this at least once a day and for some people, it has become a way of life. I see lots of people who have stalled in their lives, and they are literally only just doing the bare minimum and even that is a struggle. We all know what we should be doing but we just, at times, are stuck, avoidant and even frozen from moving forward with things. Why are we doing this and why can't we just push through this and change? It may be that we have become afraid of doing things on certain levels and over time this has compounded into this avoidant frozen issue. For some people they have just ended up living with it, but why should we? Life is short and time is precious, do we really want to limit the life we live? Sometimes it can just feel easier to just stay this way and not try to change. But really if we look at the bigger picture it is such a waste of our lives. We don't know how many moments we have left in life so why waste them, how about working on living life to the full?
October 04, 2022
Being yourself is a complicated thing. It’s something that can take a lifetime to achieve, and for other people, it can come so easily. How we are depends on the life we have led and how this has informed our deep unconscious about how we need to be. If our lives have been filled with unconditional love and support, we can often feel that this is how we need to continue to live our lives. Our inner confidence is something that is built as a child and then we continue to grow and develop throughout our lives. If sadly we have not received that unconditional love and support as a child, how can we know how to feel this way? Or maybe things in life have broken or even shattered that inner confidence and you just can’t find your way back to feeling secure. The truth is we don't, and we have to then find our way back to this point. This can take months or even years to do depending on the levels of insecurities we have built up deep within us. We often have to hide that we don't feel secure and this can then get in our way of changing this.
October 04, 2022
We have been looking, over the last few blogs, at the melting pot of our emotions and those emotional responses that can be triggered by stress and things that make us anxious. If you have read all of these then you will be quite aware of the differences we have, and how things impact us on an individual level. I think it shows that having too much of any emotion can lead us into seeing red, or getting blue, or any of the other emotional responses. What we need to do and strive to, is to stay balanced and have that rainbow effect of emotions to help and support us through those difficult times. Finding a way to rebalance yourself is key to helping you feel more grounded, more secure, and more personally in control of how you are responding in life. We all have to accept that there are times in life when we can't change what's happening, but we can change how we respond to things. Learning to challenge ourselves to be that best version of ourselves, even in those challenging situations, is the key to living a happier and healthier life. What we need to do is find our own personal solutions that help to change the negative emotional responses we are having. For example, if you see red a lot and struggle with your frustration and anger levels then finding safe ways to release the build-up of those feelings would help you. This could be that you go for a run, head to the gym, or even turn your music up loud in your car and have a scream. All of these can be effective in changing and reducing the red feelings within you, exercise is great at reducing trapped adrenaline which can easily flue the anger and frustrations within you. Also having a scream is great for releasing frustration and helping your body be more open to relaxing.
August 16, 2022
We have been looking, over the last few blogs, at our melting pot of emotions and how when we get anxious, we can respond in lots of different ways. Our unique blend of feelings means we can sometimes not fully connect to where this is coming from, which in turn can make it harder to change those negative behaviours that can stem from this. When we get anxious it’s such a range of responses that we can have at that moment, but also when we suffer from extended or long-term anxiety it then gets more complicated. We can all feel depressed from time to time and that is quite normal, our mood can get quite blue and low as well at times. But sometimes that melting pot of emotions can lead us into some dark and even black places. This can be a very dangerous place for us and lead us into life-threatening situations for ourselves. At times when we feel very black and bleak inside and just can't see a light at the end of the tunnel, we have to see that we just can’t do this on our own, and this is the time if you haven’t already, to ask for help. Because at times like this we can think nothing or no one can help us or that we have to just keep on like this, and one extra push or negative trigger in life can just push us over the edge.
August 02, 2022
We have been looking at our inner melting pot of emotions over the last few blogs and how when we get anxious about things we can all react in our own unique way. The thing is if we are reacting in a certain way and we don't recognise where this is truly coming from, then it is harder for us to change these responses. Understanding our minds at times can be super complicated and I often say to my clients your mind is like a very slippery snake. You feel you have got it in your grip and then it can just slip away from you. This is because our mind works on a deep defensive level, always trying to protect us from what it feels are life or death things. This was amazing 500 years ago, as most things back then and beyond that time were dangerous and we needed this defensive part of our minds to keep us safe, to stop us from getting complacent and in turn getting hurt. But now for many of us in England, what do we have to be afraid of? I am sure most of us have paused and thought, and then thought again, and realised that, we are living in an extremely safe world with nothing really to be afraid of. This is amazing that we can live our lives this way but our inner minds do need to catch up and reset themselves to this safer life that many of us are now living.
July 26, 2022
We have been looking at the melting pot of emotional responses we can have when life gets challenging, and how we all have our unique way of dealing with things. If our emotions are running high, then sometimes our inner minds fear that this could be too much for us to deal with and can detach us from what is happening. We know that this happens in shock and PTSD situations and this detachment from our emotions and ourselves is something that has been studied extensively. But with this type of research, I think it is so hard to fully navigate the uniqueness of our emotional responses, and this can make understanding this difficult to analyse. If you have ever been skiing then this is something you might have experienced or heard about. I know as a skier this is something I always hated and luckily only had to experience a few times - it's called a “whiteout”, where the snow is falling so much that you lose all concept of direction as the dense snow makes all the landscape indistinguishable. It's a horrible feeling as you just don't know what is in front of you or even which way is downhill or uphill and it can make you feel quite sick and very disorientated. I think at times when we are in an emotionally challenging situation our mind opts for a type of whiteout situation, in PTSD this is often at its maximum and I think we can then feel those disorientated and sick feelings but struggle to place this next to an emotional response or situation.
July 19, 2022
When life is making us anxious or things are challenging, this can impact us in many ways. This melting pot of different feelings is unique for all of us and often how we are thinking and responding to things is at the bottom of us feeling the way we do. If we are being challenged by life and we spend time with worrying thoughts, it can take us down many different routes. This in turn will negatively impact how we feel and can then cause us to feel even worse about what is happening. If we put ourselves down and blame ourselves for what's happening then we can make ourselves depressed and have those blue, low feelings that can come with some levels of anxiety. We all have to accept that we are not perfect and all we can do is our best, things don't always work out how we would like them to do but beating ourselves up with these negative thoughts won't help either. If we keep pecking at ourselves with these insults and over-blame ourselves then after a while, we have pecked so much at ourselves that we have made ourselves bleed. This way of treating ourselves will just make our mood low and even make us feel quite blue and tearful at times.
July 12, 2022
We have been looking at the melting pot of our emotional responses to things and how this can trigger our unique response to how we deal with things in our lives and also how we live on a day-to-day basis. If our prominent colour is red then we will be carrying anger and frustrations within us, this can also mean that we might have habits of stirring ourselves up. We can do this by how we deal with things that are happening in the now and also those things we are struggling to come to terms with in the now. If we spend our time winding ourselves up, then this can often make us see red and then react. We have to accept that this is causing us to fuel these feelings, making us angrier and more frustrated by those things outwardly around us.
July 05, 2022
The way our minds work with worries and fears, is like a melting pot of many different colours that blend into our unique habit of worrying. We all add our own different colours and amounts, making it a bespoke formula, but the basis of all of it is, the pot and the colours. This is how our minds work to navigate fears and worries, and then form habits and direct us down a certain pathway of thinking. The pot is our mind, and the colours are the different accents that we choose to follow when we get fearful or start to worry about things. The colours all start as the same and these are made up of things like our past experiences and how we have been dealing with fears and anxieties, our upbringing and how our caregivers dealt with worries and fear. Then the colours diversify into things like our personality types, our underlying anxiety levels, how confident or not we are, if we have that inner safety and security within us, and what else might be happening at that moment in our life.
July 05, 2022
Life can weigh us down at times and it can leave us feeling the heaviness of this, which then can have an impact on how we feel and function in our lives. I think lots of emotional and mental health issues can weigh heavy on us and some of these things we can't change, but we can change how we communicate with ourselves. We can often be our worst critics and when life is challenging, we can beat ourselves up with our inner self-talk. Also, we can be volunteering our over responsibility for things happening around us by saying sorry for things that we don't need to do. This can be because we have set our minds in that heavy mindset that makes us feel not good enough and puts the burden of the things that don't seem right, always at our door. Of course, there will be times we are responsible for something going wrong and saying sorry is often the best route to deal with these times. But the overuse of sorry is quite a burden to our inner mindset and can over time make us feel weighed down with the burdens of the continual pressures of feeling in the wrong.
July 05, 2022
We are continuing to look at ways to help keep us feeling as bright and as sunny as possible even when life might have other ideas. As we looked at in the last blog ‘Sun’, this weather metaphor of our emotional states is ultimately the best one to be living in. The clouds are the things that can just blow in from nowhere and overshadow that inner brightness and joy that we had been experiencing. We have to accept that we can't change what life throws at us, but we can work to find the best ways to deal with them. If we let things overpower us then we just let those clouds follow us around - just like in the movie ‘The Addams Family’; there were times when family members just had a big cloud hanging over them and wherever they walked, it just stayed right above their heads. I think this is a great way to look at how we can feel if we let things overshadow us and we let those issues overwhelm us. If we can't let things go then it is natural that they will follow us around, like that Addams Family cloud looming over us.
July 05, 2022
The blog last week was looking at the metaphor of the weather and how this can describe the feelings and emotional states we can experience and move through. I think the sun is one of the nicest ones we can feel from others and be experiencing ourselves. It is all about being bright, bold, warm, and vibrant. When we are living in the emotional state of the sun, we can shine brightly, and everyone around us can see this. Of course, people and life can try and bring things in that can overshadow our brightness. You can see this like the clouds rolling in and blocking us from the pleasure of the sun. What is an interesting fact is if we can get through the clouds on any day, in any place, the sun will be always shining. So, if we see this inner brightness that we all have and work towards not letting things cloud this lovely way of feeling, then we will be living a happier life.
July 05, 2022
Our emotions can be viewed just like the British weather. They can be erratic, and unpredictable and can go from snow, and freezing weather conditions, to bright blue skies and lots of sunshine. I think it's a good way to look at our emotions by using the weather metaphor as a simple way to help us stay in touch with how we feel. Also, for the other people around us, it can be a great way to look at how people are feeling and find the best ways to navigate the situation at hand. If we think of all the different weather conditions, we can marry those with all the different emotions we can have. Actually, you might not have thought about it in this way but we already use terms like, “something is clouding my judgement”, “the dawn of a new day”, “we feel gloomy”, “the perfect storm”, “stealing someone's thunder”, “a windfall”, and “take a rain check” - these are just a few of the things we can say to each other from time to time.
July 05, 2022
Changes take time and it's important to acknowledge this. I have thousands of sessions every year with people and one fact that can come out when people have been trying to get better, is the fear of failure. If we try to push ourselves too hard to change or expect too much of ourselves then we will be adding to the issues, not helping them. What we need to do is find ways that we challenge ourselves but not strain ourselves over the process of changing. If we see this changing process as three stepladders; the first one is full of lots of rungs very close together and this is when we are not pushing ourselves enough to change. If we have become afraid of driving on the motorway and we are struggling to gain our confidence again, if we are also not going on dual carriageways much or even driving much, then we won't be challenging ourselves much to change and find, like the ladder, we are just stepping on the spot and not moving forward with change.
May 10, 2022
Our minds are the most amazing and spectacular things we can ever conceive. I know we often don't look at our minds in that way but it is so true. All you have to do is look around our world and all the things we have created. like rockets that go to the moon, keyhole microscopic surgery, life-saving vaccines, buildings that go up to 163 floors high, and computer technology are just a few of them. We could consider so many different things of incredible achievement and the one core component is that it’s minds like you and me that have created these. Our minds at birth or even before we are born are like mouldable multicoloured play dough, which can be shaped into anything you like. Pre and post-birth they say that you can hothouse your child's mind, abilities, mood and anxiety levels. Before your baby is born, they say that playing your baby classical music will enhance their mind, and yoga will enable them to be calmer. On an adverse level, studies show that drug use might lead to later development and learning disabilities. Also, studies have found that these children may also struggle to control their emotions and ability to focus on tasks. From almost the moment a baby is conceived, their minds and the nerves and tissues that support their minds are developing.
May 10, 2022
We were talking about being kind, and how this doesn't have to be grand and big, even the smallest things can make a difference. With this being the case, it is easy to think that we can learn to be this way and not just do this from time to time. We are all creatures of habit, and it is about forming habits that enable us to stay in good patterns, that are essential to long-lasting change. To live life as a kinder and more caring person, it's good to start to embrace just how lovely it is to be this way. Initially making changes does take effort but over time these can become just as natural as walking and talking are to us. To get to this natural place of living in a certain way will take planning and time to make this happen.
May 10, 2022
We can all look and see some terrible things at the moment happening all over the world. It can be hard to quantify that people can behave in this way to other people and cause them harm in this way. When we see these things happening in other parts of our world it can often make us feel quite helpless in how we can change or even help what is happening. At times like this, we have to take a step back and not get stuck in that helpless place, feeling that these things are out of our control, and so in turn, we don't feel that we can do anything to change this. This can be triggered by the defensive part of our minds as we can see the horror of war, violence, and crime, and deep within us this can trigger an internal response. We can then step into a place of fear and then end up being frozen in fear and finding ourselves not able to help in any way. We might not even be aware of this happening; we might just find ourselves trying to avoid what is happening. This might mean that we choose to not watch or listen to the news that informs us of these horrendous things that are going on. Life is always about balance and this situation is the same, we need to not ode on the information that is flooding into our media, tv, news, radio, and social media as this isn't great either. This could then cause our mood to drop, we could feel anxious and angry or experience a combination of all of these feelings.
April 12, 2022
Life is a medley of many different feelings, thoughts, memories and experiences. It can be very easy to get pulled down by the negative ones and stop us from taking pleasure in the other things in our lives. Often just being present and in the moment, just finding things that we can gain pleasure in and emanate that out, can make a big difference to how we feel. Maybe we see children playing and laughing, or we enjoy just looking into the blue cloudless sky with the warmth of the gentle sun on us. Or we could just laugh with a friend and feel that great feeling that comes with laughter. There is an infinite number of things that can make us shine from the inside out, but we need to acknowledge these and not block them with the negative things in our lives. If we learn to let those moments of joy shine out from us, it will not only allow us to hold those lovely feelings for much longer, but it will also allow this inner shine and happiness to then shine back out and be caught by the people we are around or we meet.
April 05, 2022
Time is a precious thing, as each moment that we get in life is something we can only have once and when it's gone, it never comes back. Change can seem a scary thing and often we put things off because of fear. What is super important is that we acknowledge this, and don’t make excuses to hide our fears and stop us from moving forward and harnessing that moment. Our primaeval part of our unconscious mind is the part of us that is the limiter in this. This is an old survival mechanism that over the centuries has kept us doing the same thing over and over again. This part of your mind is only there to protect you, and if you are alive and well then doing what you are doing must be working, so this part of your inner mind will always choose in these situations to stick to what you are doing. Why break what isn't broken, is the message that comes from this super protective part of your mind. Because if you change and do something new, you might not be as lucky with being safe and staying alive. This was great when we lived as cavemen and in those more dangerous times in our lives, but living in England or in fact, most of our western world, we are safe and changing what we do doesn't put us in danger.
April 05, 2022
We can all get anxious from time to time and this is quite normal for all of us. But if we are letting this anxiety and worry overtake us, it could then cause us lots of issues on a day-to-day basis. With anxiety, this can either come in an instant, maybe we see or hear something that makes us jump or shocks us; at those times we can become instantly anxious. The other way with anxiety can be that we are stuck on that heightened level of nervousness and anxiety and we can feel a constant high anxiety level for extended periods of time. This first response is quite normal as this is our fight, flight, and freeze response, which we aren't in control of, this is controlled by our primaeval mind, the part of us that is constantly on alert to protect us and keep us safe from danger. This part of us is amazing and is essential in how we have grown and evolved as a species on this planet. All animals and creatures have their fight, flight and freeze responses and each animal has adapted how they respond due to their different environments. For example, if we are living in a war zone then we are constantly in this fight, flight, and freeze response system, as such we will be on red alert and hypervigilant to our surroundings. This is necessary to help us stay alive in those most challenging times. But what if our bodies are reacting as if we are in a war zone, yet were not, and what is happening in our lives doesn't warrant the levels of anxiety we are producing? This is often what is happening with the second type of heightened anxiety; we have got stuck on that anxiety level and don’t feel able to switch it off.
April 05, 2022
We are seeing much instability in our world at the moment and for many of us, we can feel the impact this has on our feelings of peace and safety. It is a time that we need to offer support to those that need us but also to give ourselves the inner strength we need to help us keep peace within us. Often when things upset us or don't go the way we had expected them to go, it can cause a host of feelings and can trigger us to respond out of character. This is because our responses are being fuelled by fear and a host of overwhelming emotions. For the majority of us in England, we are lucky to be safe in our outer world and so our level of response to things should be appropriate to the situation we are facing. But for many of us, it isn't just the situation we are in, it’s all the things from the past, that on a deeper level are in some way intrinsically connected to not only the past, but the present situation too. Trying to separate this in the moment can often be near impossible to do, as the pull of our internal drivers often seem to have taken hold and the rational side to our ways of dealing and processing things are damaged or disabled.
April 05, 2022
When we get stressed, we not only feel this in our minds, by making our minds become a bit like scrambled eggs; as we have looked at already in other blogs, our bodies get anxious in all sorts of different ways. Understanding this is key to helping not continue to live this way with all those negative impacts that we feel when we are stressed. I do think for many of us life is a roller coaster, and other times more like just a walk in the park, but mainly we are somewhere in-between this. If we let ourselves just accept this as the way we live our lives, then I feel this is quite a limiter for us, and we can then end up not having the best life we could have because of it. It is important that we see our bodies and minds like a car, we wouldn't not service the car, change the oil, repair those things that have got worn out or look after it with regular maintenance etc. We are no different really, we need that regular input into our wellbeing to help keep our health at those top levels.
April 05, 2022
In the last blog, we were looking at worrying and the impact on not only our minds, but our bodies too. In this blog we want to explore one area of how our bodies can respond to stress. If we worry and get anxious, we will more than likely be impacting our breathing patterns. Our breath is such an important aspect of being alive, if we haven't taken a breath, in just a few minutes our bodies will just shut down and stop working. If we just take a moment to consider this, we all have to agree that our breathing is one of the top things our bodies rely on. What can happen in stress, is that our mind sends the signals to our bodies, and we can go one of two ways; we can literally stop breathing for a moment. What we find is that we start to hold our breath or tense parts of our torso up which then stops our bodies from breathing normally. Or we can find that our bodies start making us breathe faster, our breathing pattern will start to increase, at its worst we can start hyperventilating. Both of these extremes to our breathing can make us feel uncomfortable and this can then trigger our worries to continue to grow. Also, if we breathe erratically it will take up lots of energy doing this and in turn, reduce the amount of oxygen going to the brain. Because of this you can feel lightheaded and will have a rapid heartbeat. All of the symptoms are signs that you are anxious or having an anxiety attack. If we learn to be more positively aware of how we breathe, and work to remove the habits that are causing this tension around our breathing, we will automatically feel more relaxed.
January 25, 2022
We all worry from time to time and that is quite normal, but if we let these worries get out of hand, we can cause ourselves lots of issues. Worrying is not just sometimes what we do in our minds but is also something that our bodies do on many different levels. It is so easy for our minds to push worry into our bodies, and it can be done on such a deep level of our unconscious mind, we might not even be fully aware of it. If this is happening, we might find that we get a stomach ache, a headache, feel tension, increased blood pressure, elevated levels of cortisol, your neck can become very stiff, we can feel detached from ourselves, your feelings, or your world. Other ways our worries can get pushed within us is by our worries turning into other feelings; we can get reactive, frustrated, angry, agitated, sad, tearful, become aggressive, and we can also step into denial. With all the things I have mentioned, you can start to see that we can turn into an emotional melting pot of responses and feelings. These are only some of the ways we can feel, there are more ways our bodies can respond negatively to stress. So, if you are feeling stressed and you are having different physical feelings, then it might well be coming from the suppression of your worries. Because it is so complex and our mind is so clever in working to protect us, it can cause us to not easily follow where our worries are moving to and to fully understand why we are feeling certain ways.
January 18, 2022
We have been looking at ways to help keep your mind in a clear place and help you feel more relaxed and get those good night’s sleep that we all crave. If our minds are full of life, thoughts, options, worries, fears, and the burdens of our life, being in a calm place won't come that easily. Even if we think we are coping well, it doesn't mean that we are coping the same way on an unconscious level. Our minds are always trying to protect us and sometimes we feel fine on those outer conscious levels, but beneath the surface, it can be very different. Finding the ways that help us to clear our minds is ultimately the best thing for us, as with a clearer, calmer mind, we have the space to feel and function better.
January 11, 2022
We have been looking at finding ways to take down stress levels so that you not only feel more relaxed, but you also can sleep better. If our lives are messy, then our inner minds will also be messy. We all carry our lives around with us in our heads, we can't help it, it is how our mind works. So, if we can't change this then we have to look to change how much of our lives that we are carrying around with us. In the blog ‘Order’, we were looking at all the technology we have in our lives and how at times, they can be overwhelming. This pressure can negatively impact our stress levels and how we live our lives. Now it's time to look more closer to home in our houses, cars, office desks etc, if these are messy then it will 100% be stressing our inner minds out. Our minds are amazing, and they are always on a deeper level trying to make sure that we are safe and that nothing is going to cause us harm. If our lives are in order and we put everything in the place it is meant to be, then our mind will have already had that stored in its memory bank and can quickly do a sweep and confirm that all is ok. If the spaces we live in are messy, then it’s a minefield for your mind to then have to look through all that is there and make sure that nothing could be dangerous to you.
January 11, 2022
Last week we were looking at ways to help you switch off from work and allow your mind to relax better and in turn, help you get a better night's sleep. It is important that we support our minds, or they can easily get overwhelmed with things, the more we carry, the more difficult it will be to switch off. Let's use the analogy of the library again as this is a great way to help you see better how your mind is working beneath the surface. As we know, if we don't find ways to help our minds switch off then we just take these issues with us to bed. This for many of us will lead to a poor night's sleep, as we toss and turn trying to juggle all these things in our minds. By using the voice memo detox approach, it can help us create a new holding system in our libraries and allow our library assistants to relax more as they know that these items are just placed on hold until you return to work. This keeps that main desk in your library clearer and so, in turn, our mind won't feel so overwhelmed or under pressure with trying to hold onto everything until the next workday. Remember all those approaches need to be right for you, so if the voice memo hasn't worked for you, try typing these things down and emailing them to yourself. Or you can just go old school and put pen to paper and pop the note by your keys, ready to take to work with you.
December 23, 2021
Take to bed
We have been exploring sleep issues and ways to help you find that better sleep, In the last blog, we were looking at practical things to do on a more physical level. Today we want to explore things we can do that will help us with our anxiety and stress levels to enable us to sleep better. Our unconscious minds are black and white, they mainly work based on input and output. Being stressed, anxious and not sleeping well can come from having too much in our lives that we are trying to cope with. By not finding those instant solutions we need, we then end up just juggling all those things around in our heads, this at times can become overwhelming for our minds. Life for many of us is a juggling act, if this is work-related then it is important that we find strategies that help you switch off from work and leave it behind till the next day.
December 14, 2021
We have been reviewing how we worry, and now we are going to look at some of the things that can get impacted when we are feeling this way. Sleep is one of them, and if we don’t sleep, this can have such a negative impact on how we feel. Sleep is one of our basic human needs. Proper sleep is critical to many health aspects including our hormone levels, maintaining a good mood, and even weight management. However, not everyone can achieve good and sound sleep on their own. There are sleep disorders, a group of conditions that impair the ability to sleep well regularly, which negatively affect many people’s sleep. These sleep disorders can impact how you function during the day as well as at night. Whether caused by a health problem, stress, or an unhealthy lifestyle, sleep disorders are significant health issues.
December 14, 2021
We have been looking at our minds, and how they work on those deeper levels and just how much depth we all have within us. Also, I am sure for many of you, it might have made you think about anything that might still be impacting your life on a deeper level. Continuing to look at the analogy of ourselves being the planet at the centre of our universe; I think it is a good way to understand more of our hidden depths, just like as we explore the far reaches of our cosmos and what this holds. There have been many experiments and there is extensive continual research into our minds and how they work. It is truly like the cosmos we live in; much-uncharted territory and the unknown makes up a big part of how we see our cosmos. With our solar system we have made massive strides forward, our recent trip to Mars is one of the most exciting things we have achieved. Even with this, we still have so many unexplored areas of our cosmos, just as we do our minds. More high-tech resources can help us understand our minds on certain levels, but it is still so vast and unexplored on other levels.
November 30, 2021
In the last blog Solar, we had been looking at our mind and how it stores and holds onto things. We know that our minds are vast and much of it is unexplored, just like the solar system we live in today. On a conscious level we can often, over time, work things through, but if we think things work like that on a deeper unconscious level then we are mistaken. Our inner mind works very differently on what we experience, how we hold onto things and the whole process of fully letting go. But don’t be worried and think we can get stuck in the past and never move on either. Often, it’s not about blanking out the past and pretending it didn’t happen, it is about coming to terms with the past on a deeper level; that is the true key to change. If we change how we feel about the past then this is all we will ever need to do to make lasting changes. As it's not about the past per se, it is about how we feel about the past that is important. This is great, as we can't change the past, but we can change how we feel about it. The subconscious mind takes everything literally, it does not differentiate between negative and positive. So, if you continually tell yourself that you’ll never succeed in a particular venture, it’s more likely to turn out that way. The subconscious mind is subjective, it doesn’t think or reason independently, it simply obeys the commands it receives from your conscious mind. As Henry Ford said, “If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you’re right!”
November 02, 2021
In the last blog, we were looking at shock and the impact it can have on us, and how these events can trigger our nervous system to respond in fight-flight or freeze response. This is great, as these survival mechanisms have made us the most overpopulated species on the planet. What we also have to understand is how our mind works more deeply around these times of survival, and how we can help ourselves to reset and get back to normal. The inner parts of our mind work in a completely different way to our conscious mind. One of the biggest factors of the mind is that on an unconscious level, we don't hold the same concepts of time as we do consciously. The best way to see this is to imagine that you are your own solar system, and at the core of this is the planet that you exist on. We are all unique, so for all of us our solar systems are on many levels, totally different. This is because we can all live on the same planet, having different beliefs, religions, languages, and viewpoints of the world we live in. Then the rest of the solar system is made up of the experiences we have had in life and they are placed throughout this system. Where they are and how we connect with them is a complex thing, mainly governed by your primaeval mind. As your world turns, you travel from day to night, and those things we see as being close to us that we can consciously clarify, will be in our daytime orbit cycles. Whereas those things that have shocked and traumatised us, often find their way into the dark side of our planet. This is why many people can think that they are over things and not feel that those difficult times of the past are still in any way bothering them. People will clearly say, “I don't think about that anymore, I don't think that has any impact on how I am feeling in the now”. The thing is, yes, they are clearly correct about this as they don't consciously connect with those events, but what about the unconscious aspects of us?
November 02, 2021
Life can be comfortable, and we can feel relaxed and happy with things just ticking along in our lives, then, out of nowhere, something can come along and shock us. Sadly, this is something we can’t change or predict. The issue with things that shock us, is that we can never be prepared for these things and there is nothing we can do on a conscious level to change the reactions we have. At moments of shock, we are never responding on a conscious level; your flight, fight, and freeze response is in control of how you react to what is happening. This is something essential to support us and keep us safe. If shock blows our mind, then this could cause long term psychological effects. This is why our primaeval mind is always ready to leap into action, to soften the blow of shock and to protect us by pushing our minds and bodies into survival mode. If we blow our inner fuse board in our mind, then this can have a devastating effect on our mental well-being. We still know so little about the deeper levels of the mind, as these parts of our mind are so hard to study. We hear of many amazing things that people have achieved with the power of their minds, but knowing how to harness this easily, is something we don't understand yet. On the negative side, many severe but quite rare psychological issues can come as a result of shock and trauma, and we don’t fully understand these or know how to easily treat these conditions.
October 19, 2021
Life can be so full on at times, and we can, at times, never seem to find the time to just stop. I think many of our worlds are all moving at a very fast pace and don’t always leave much time to find that inner peace. In the first lockdown, some of us found we had more time, but for others, it was even more pressure from our life commitments, or maybe it was coming from new factors. But whatever our lives throw at us, it is very important that we work to give ourselves more time to find our inner peace. Our deeper mind needs these times of peace to feel fully safe and secure. If we are always on the go then sometimes our minds can get stuck in this overdrive mode. It's like your car when it is over-revving, it's on this constant cycle and it has an impact on many aspects of the car, from using more fuel, and wearing the car out more quickly. Living on overdrive will have similar effects on how you feel, it is like draining your energy and wearing you out more quickly because of it. Over time, our minds can feel that life must be this way, and even when we could stop, we can find ourselves filling those gaps with more busyness. Our inner mind is always searching for the patterns, and if we are overdoing things in life, then this is just what pattern we end up getting stuck in.
October 19, 2021
We can all see red from time to time and that is quite normal, but what isn’t right is if we then overreact to these triggers and situations. If you blow up like a bomb, then this isn’t going to make your life as happy as it could be. When we find better ways to deal with things, then we are not only making our lives happier, but we can also build better relationships with the people in our lives. A good way to look at the things which make us see red, is to choose to press the pause button and step out of the situation. Often our reaction is that we are not balanced with the situation, so if we have that time to process the situation it will help us calm down from the event and hopefully find rational thinking and better reasoning skills. If we look at what seeing red means on a deeper unconscious level, the reality is, it’s all based around our fight-flight and freeze response. This moment of us seeing red is our inner protective mind trying to fight our way out of a situation. For many of us, if the situation is not in any way a life-or-death event, then this approach is not going to help you, it is more than likely going to cause you more issues than less.
October 05, 2021
I am sure we have all done this at times, it can seem just an easy thing to do, and, in some ways, it might feel that in the beginning like it helps. But floating down the river of “De-Nile” isn't the answer to things, it can over time, make things much worse. Denial is something our minds can resort to as a level of protection, and it is something we can choose when things are hard to face or deal with. I think that sometimes, we just don’t want to face up to things or what is happening, and we opt for this. Now you might be thinking, “Is this such a big issue? Will it be negatively affecting me that much?” Well, the answer is yes and in fact, it could be impacting you daily if you are still floating down the river of “De-Nile”.
August 31, 2021
We can all get worried from time to time, this is quite normal, but if we start to over-worry about things, then this will be causing your stress levels to rise. For many of us, we know when we are relaxed and we know when we feel terrible, but often, we lose track of how we are feeling in the middle of these two extremes. This is because relaxation and stress are clearly defined in our minds and the gap in between isn't clear, so are we relaxed or are we stressed? If we let things grow, then it is like a drip-feeding response, and often if we don't notice this is happening then it can continue to grow. If you imagine, every time you worry, it sends those thought bubbles of worry and fears up into your own cloud, that just circles over your head. This is your personal worry cloud, which means that you don’t go anywhere without it, it just follows you around and the more worries you have, the more you fill your cloud. I guess all of us can have a few wispy clouds around us and maybe on our chill-out days they can blow away and let us have those clear blue-sky days. But if this is something you are doing all the time, then even when you are not worrying in the now, the worries of the past are still circling you.
August 24, 2021
Who's feeding my cat?
If you haven’t read the other four blogs about the cat, and you suffer from worries and anxiety, then I would recommend that you do. They are ‘Don’t Feed The Cat’, ‘The Cat Is Back’, ‘The Cat Lives On’ and ‘I Can’t See The Cat’. These four blogs can help you fully understand your anxiety and help you see the things that unbeknown to you, can be negatively affecting your anxiety and worry habit. Also, the blogs give you lots of tips and advice about how to break the cycle of worry and become anxiety free. The last 18 months for all of us living in a time, while we are making history in this pandemic, has been a challenge. Now we are starting to see us coming out the other side of this. If we use an analogy to see where we are, we have just oven taken the COVID car and in the next few months it will be something we are looking at in our rear-view mirror. But it’s not to say that there might not be more challenges ahead, plus we all have to accept that COVID is here to stay, so now is the time for the world to learn to live with COVID and find the ways that will help us navigate this next stage.
August 17, 2021
Making changes in life can take time and this can often challenge us on many different levels. We can choose to play it the steady safe way with our goals and the desires we want to achieve in our lives, or we can take the opposite approach to things in a different way and think BIG. Thinking BIG is a good attitude to take when we are looking at making changes in our lives, as we can easily push our minds to achieve so much more. This won’t be for everyone, but that’s often how things are in life, we have to find what works for us. Using the BIG attitude to change, is about pushing our minds to the next level, and opening us up to see beyond our comfort zones. This is not something you would use in every area of your life and you wouldn’t do lots of different things at the same time with this approach either. Thinking BIG needs to be a contained approach to changing. Good areas to think BIG in are work, money goals, projects and even weight loss, as we can often push those boundaries and make big changes in our lives.
August 17, 2021
We often think that finishing things is the successful part of changing and of course it is. How great is it to get to the end of our goals and feel that amazing feeling of satisfaction which we have when we have achieved something? I think it is one of the best feelings we can have, not only the success of making it to this point, but also the things that you have achieved are exciting too. But the key to changing is actually the start of the process, not just the end goal. If we don't start something, we will never get what we want in life and in fact, we could end up living in a one-dimensional version of what we could truly be. Often, we don’t change, not because we don’t know what we want to change or even what we want to achieve, but it is that we just never get going with things. You might be a dreamer or maybe you know someone who is, and these people are always talking about things, but never actually following through and starting the things they dream about doing. If this is you, it is time to wake up and see that treading water in this way is just a waste of your life, which you have been blessed with. We should never forget how fortunate we are to be living in England and having all these options, choices, and opportunities. Many places in the world just don't get these opportunities and it is time to wake up and make the most of what we have in our lives.
August 17, 2021
Life is precious and over the last couple of years, I think we all have had some level of a wake-up call. This being the case, it's important that we take full advantage of how this makes our minds feel and respond on those deeper levels. Our minds are just so habitual, even if we think they aren’t and that we are super spontaneous. On a deeper level that isn’t the case, especially for our unconscious minds and the thousands of automatic habits and responses, we have every day. Changing from learned and conditioned habits takes time and we have to firstly remove the conditioned responses and then start developing the new habits. Have you ever done this while driving; you end up going down a familiar route instead of where you have planned to go? Or find yourself doing things in the house that you don't need to do but it's something you normally always do? This is the pleasure of having all of the amazing, unconscious, automatic, processes of our mind, that remembers what it thinks we should be doing and just gets on doing these things, without us having to make any conscious decisions in choosing to do these things.
August 17, 2021
In the previous blog ‘Hate’, we were looking at the power of words and just what an impact they can have on water cells and the fascinating work that Dr Emoto has done in his studies. We are all, about 50% to 65% of water, so now is the time to start sending the love we need and deserve, to ourselves and our bodies and also to start to emanate this to the world around us. We live in a very outwardly focused society for all of us, but more primarily the younger people who are bombarded with images that they can at times feel driven to aspire to. This is an issue for us all, as lots of the images are not true-life images, as they have been edited and enhanced. But even though we know this on one level, that can often not stop us from comparing ourselves to them, and this can in turn make us feel inadequate about who we are. The knock-on effect is that our confidence and self-esteem will be lowered, but at its worst, it can make us dysmorphic about how we look, which can lead to lots of issues. The extremes of this will be things like anorexia, severe insecurities and obsessions with beauty procedures, and these are just a few of them. This is because we can become over-focused on ourselves and not see things in their true perspective. As we continue to overfocus, we enhance those feelings of not being good enough, in turn, the more negative messages we send to ourselves, leading to increased feelings of negativity about ourselves. This can become a real negative spiral that just increasingly compounds how bad we feel about ourselves, knocking our confidence and lowering our self-esteem. What we all need to do, is to learn to love ourselves for who we are, and if we are not being that nice to ourselves, then this is something we need to change.
August 17, 2021
Can those negative words we say to others and also to ourselves, have a deeper impact on us than what we think? This experiment is going to blow your mind and make you start to rethink the power of words. What happened in this experiment is just so incredible it might seem hard to fully believe. Dr Emoto exposed water to both positive and negative music, spoken words, typed words, pictures and videos. Then, he froze them and took photos of the ice crystals under a microscope. Water exposed to words like “love”, “thank you”, “appreciation”, “happiness”, and “truth” or music, turned into beautiful crystals. The water exposed to negative words, like “you make me sick”, “Adolf Hitler”, and “I want to kill you”, froze like ugly and mutated versions of water cells. Why not do your own experiment at home. Dr Emoto devised this experiment for anyone to do and what better experience can we get than true first-hand experience. Emoto passed along this experiment for you, your family and friends to do at home. He instructed people to fill three glass jars with cooked white rice. One would be labelled LOVE, the next labelled HATE and the third would have no label. For the next 30 days, people conducting the experiment would speak to the jars of rice every day, according to the prompts on the label. I know it sounds strange but if you can just get over that, what happens is so worth it.
August 17, 2021
Our minds are so complex and for many of us, we know little about the deeper workings of the mind and those unconscious parts of ourselves. The unconscious mind is still viewed by many psychological scientists as just a shadow of the real conscious mind. But, much more research into the field now shows substantial evidence that the unconscious is not identifiably less flexible, complex, controlling, deliberative or action-oriented than its counterpart, the conscious mind. For most of our human history, we had not a great deal of connection to anything other than conscious thought and we saw that everything was based on intentional behaviour. In the 1800s, two very different but very exciting developments were starting to emerge, hypnotism and evolutionary theory. Both pointed to the possibility of the unconscious, with its unintended causes of human behaviour and how these deeper levels of our mind influence us. But nearly two centuries later much of the psychological science remains firmly placed in a conscious-centric model of the higher mental processes. Our unconscious mind is still shrouded in mystery and intrigue, also I don’t think it has helped that our view of the powers of the unconscious mind has come largely from studies of subliminal information processing. We have just not shifted from the belief that the conscious mind holds all the cards, and this can be right for much of our consciousness, but after 27 years working in this field, I know that this is not the full truth. Much of the research looks purely at subliminal-strength stimulation from the environment, thus perpetuating the notion that conscious processes are primary ones.
August 17, 2021
We were looking in the last podcast about how we can plant a seed within us and how if we nurture it, we can greatly encourage the seeds of thought and desires to grow. This is something we should all try to do, as it will enhance our lives, elevating the quality of the lives we lead by striving to be the best version of ourselves in all areas of our lives. Our mind is amazing and has such power in helping us change and grow, but we must never forget we are the part that’s in control of this. I know sometimes we can feel we aren’t and we can feel that our mind controls us. This is only because we have let those seeds of negativity grow within our minds and sometimes, they can start to overpower our thought processes. If we inadvertently plant a weed in our mind then this can and will grow, often weeds can even grow in the harshest environments and sometimes they can be hard to kill off too.
August 17, 2021
Our minds are the most profound and powerful thing we will ever have in our lives, we might not think that, but it is true. It's easy to look around our world and marvel at the technological advances we see around us and feel even awestruck by what we can now do. I have always looked at planes as they fly through the sky leaving the cloud line, travelling at five hundred miles an hour, at 30,000 feet above me, heading to the other side of the world, with just total amazement. Lately, we have seen on the News, the trips to Mars and what we have achieved; this is just mind-blowing, travelling 140 million miles on average depending on the orbiting cycle at the time. It takes approximately 7 months to reach Mars and is nothing like the world we live in. The surface is not hospitable to humans or most known life forms due to the radiation, greatly reduced air pressure, and the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere. This is such a fantastic and phenomenal achievement but let’s not forget that it was minds like ours that decided to find a way to fly and then decided to head out further to explore the universe. The Wright Brothers were amazing, they devoted most of their lives to developing a plane, they started with gliders and after five years of trying, failing, and learning, they had achieved just 5 hours of flight time. They never saw this as a limiter, they saw it as just the opposite.
August 17, 2021
I do love those times when we are taking off on a plane and you get that aerial view of the world beneath us - not that lately I have had the pleasure - but hopefully soon we can all be planning fun trips away if you haven’t already. When the sky is clear, the best views you can have are often over England, as the country and landscape is a totally different array of views. From the spalling cities and villages to the ploughed fields looking like a massive patchwork quilt. Then the hills and mountains, the woods, rivers, and streams, in contrast to the concrete jungle of roads and motorways, like the veins and arteries that travel through our bodies. Our world is amazing and often we don’t always stop to take stock of the bigger picture of what this actually looks like. This is just like how amazing our minds are and the diversity of what they hold, also how different we are in different aspects of ourselves and our lives. We are this ever-changing landscape and can go from the hub of an inner-city to the tranquillity of a hilltop. But what is even more fascinating is that we have the pleasure of all of this, whereas, unless we are a pilot in our daily life, we only get a small view of the world that we live in. Also, for most of us, we only get to change our homes and gardens not the world around us, whereas in our minds we get to change the whole landscape of who we are.
August 17, 2021
Time is a strange thing; when we are waiting for it to pass, it can seem so slow, yet on the other hand, we can get lost in time and it all just seems to have rapidly evaporated. Also, how we see time in our outer world is different to how we see things in our inner world. Clocks are devices created by us humans to measure time. We all need this measurement to help us live our lives and coordinate our activities according to clock time. Without clocks, our lives would be very confusing, and we would never get much done as we would be waiting around to try and sync up with other people or events. Your inner brain does not perceive the passing of time with the same units of minutes and hours as on your watch. Throughout evolution, living organisms, including humans, have developed multiple biological clocks to help us keep track of time. Some of our timekeepers are set by external processes, like the rise and fall of daylight, this helps us adapt to the rhythms of our day.
August 17, 2021
Moving forward in life can take a combination of things, we can move slowly or quickly or even somewhere in between but also, we can move in circles. Making choices to enhance the process is what we should all aspire to do, not because we must, more because, why wouldn't we? Life is something we need to make the most of, and to do this we do not need to live life with procrastination and putting things off. If we take the time, we may be using it to procrastinate and put things off, to convert this to more proactive uses then we might not even need as much time to get things going. Another way to help us get going in achieving our goals is to not let ourselves get overwhelmed by thinking about how much we need to do. This can be one of the reasons why we can procrastinate, as we are scaring ourselves out of getting things done. Sometimes things are not always what we think and the reason we are not moving forward is that we are constrained by the fear that is holding us back.
August 17, 2021
Life can feel like an uphill climb sometimes, which can seem like a struggle having to go through those challenging times. Whether this challenge is a work-related one and we must put in a lot more time and input into our work to reach the end results we need to achieve, or maybe we must do some house or garden detoxing to do or DIY changes. With the time we need to input into these challenges, fitting this in on top of what we already have to do can sometimes seem overwhelming. It might also be an exam we need to study for or a fitness goal we are challenging ourselves to achieve. Whatever it is we are being challenged to do, take the brave step and choose to rise to the challenge.
August 17, 2021
Motivating ourselves can often be seen as something we just work at trying to do, but I believe to get the best out of ourselves, we need a plan and to see the true end goal. With a planned approach to change, this can help our minds see the beginning, the middle and the end results of what we are working to achieve. If we don’t, our minds will be guessing what the end result should be, if we don’t tell our minds what we want, how can your mind positively help you? Our mind is always in search of previous patterns, so if we have tried and failed before then you can guess what your mind will be picking as an outcome! Yes, that’s right, it will pick failure, not because we must fail, more for the fact that our minds are just following the patterns of what we have done before. Always remember our minds aren’t really trying to sabotage us, our minds are just looking at patterns and continuing to follow them. This is what our unconscious mind does the best; finding patterns, putting them together and sending them back to us to help us make things easier. This is because there are so many things we do in our lives that are coming from the unconscious and we are just on autopilot with them. None of us really think about having to walk or talk anymore, it’s just something we do without thinking. The same is for driving, singing, moving etc. We don’t instruct our bodies to do these actions, our inner mind has remembered the patterns and just automates them for us. Now, this is amazing because who would want to learn to walk every day or drive every day? Not me, it was hard enough the first time. But if we are on autopilot for something we don't want in our lives, we have to work much harder to break the automation and then create new habits.
August 17, 2021
Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long period of time and will be affecting your everyday life. In its mildest form, depression can mean just feeling a little down, more emotional and being in low spirits. In those mild cases, it doesn't stop you from leading your normal life but makes everything seem such an uphill battle and harder to do, also it can make it feel less worthwhile in trying to do things. At its worst and most severe levels, depression can be life-threatening, it can consume your every thought and you can even become suicidal. For all of us, we can say at times that we have been low and our mood is negative or depressed or down. Usually though, these feelings pass, our life takes a more positive turn, and we find the low mood shifting like a dark cloud being blown away and the sky starting to look clearer. Hopefully then, this keeps going and the sky continues to clear, the clouds get softer and lighter and eventually clear altogether. The sun comes out and the light shines. But for others, this is just the beginning of a steady decline in how we feel; the sadness can become overwhelming, and we struggle to cope. Many signs signal we are feeling depressed such as low mood, hopelessness, frustration with ourselves, feeling like we could cry at any moment. Other symptoms are that we feel unable to enjoy things or be motivated to do things, feel hopeless and despairing, low self-esteem, suicidal, restless, agitated or irritable. Also, you can feel guilty, worthless and down on yourself with those empty numb feelings inside and over time you can start finding it more difficult to connect with people, having a deep inner isolated feeling. As these feelings go on, we can start reaching for things in some way of self-support such as alcohol, drugs, smoking, too much or too little food, self-harming and putting ourselves in dangerous situations.
August 17, 2021
Life is getting more complicated for all of us and what can come with this is added pressure and nerves to perform well and live up to these expectations. The more we learn about communicating with people and learning to not judge people, can sometimes negatively affect us if we struggle with social situations. It can leave us in a place of second-guessing what we should or shouldn't say and add to our existing nerves and worries. Finding new ways to think about being around people can help with those insecurities and not only help our anxiety levels but also help build our confidence. Often with worries of what we should or shouldn't say and social anxiety, the biggest issue is not really about us not knowing what we should do, it's more about the worry that we will get it wrong. This being the case it is important for us to acknowledge this and start to focus on ways to help us change what we can change and let go of what we can't.
August 17, 2021
Our minds are heavily influenced by the world around us and this is a good time to have a good clear-out in your home, garage, garden or shed. If we live in a cluttered house and are holding on to lots of things that we don't need, then this will be having a negative impact on our minds. It sends the message to our minds that we need to hibernate, holding onto everything in case we might need it, or we feel we can't let it go or we will be causing our inner minds to feel unsafe. Hibernating and hiding have similar roles in the unconscious and our minds don't always see the difference in this. Because our mind just follows patterns, it just sees that something outside could harm us and doesn't know the difference between harsh weather, lockdown or hiding from a predator. This being the case, if we are hoarding or holding on to too much stuff then we are sending the message that we are fearful of going out. That we need to hold onto absolutely everything so that we don't need to go out to get anything and that we can just stay in to keep us safe. Our minds are just so black and white and follow simple patterns, but the messages that get sent because of this, can be big limiters to us in being able to change and move forward.
August 17, 2021
Spring is such a great time when we can feel ready to make changes, as it is a time of year for our English countryside to spring into life. It's great for those later nights now and the warmer weather on the horizon. This is such a great time to make changes, as our inner primeval minds are ready to move much more quickly as they see this time of year as the end of hibernating through the winter and time to get busy. Making the most of our natural motivational times, is a great way in supporting us to change and move our lives forward. Setting a goal and organising a time to do the things we need to achieve our goals, is the next step. Don't just thinkabout things, as our minds are very used to thinking and not taking action. So, putting a spring in your step to change, means being proactive and choosing how to move forward. If your goal is to get fitter then book classes with friends, join a local group, or do a local boot camp or download the couch to 5K app. If it's about making a personal change in your life, take the time to work out what you are choosing to change and the steps you need to take to achieve these goals. Maybe it's to develop more confidence, to do this it's best to have things you can do to challenge yourself with, to help build these new habits of confidence. Make three lists; one is called the green list - these are the things you are doing and can do; the amber list are things you would like to feel more confident in doing and the red list are things that seem a bit out of your reach to achieve at the moment.
August 17, 2021
Things are about to change for us in England and the loosening of the lockdown for many people is an exciting thing but for some people, it can seem a scary next step. Our inner minds are always looking for patterns and ways to protect us. This is our primaeval mind; it is amazing and is constantly looking to keep us safe and out of danger. But it can also make mistakes with things, as it can read the wrong messages and so in turn send you the wrong signals back to you because of it. In our primaeval mind, it only sees things in black and white so finding areas of grey or confusion don't often work out well for this part of our mind. For all of us, we have had to lead a forced, unnatural life where we have been restricted and unable to go out or even meet with our extended family and friends. This for all of us has been a hard and challenging time but for our inner minds, it can be seen as avoidance of things. Avoiding anything sends messages of fear to our inner mind and then our mind sends signals of fear back to us, when we go into those avoidant situations.
August 17, 2021
Most of us are familiar with those nagging thoughts that tell us we are not good enough, casting doubt on our ability to achieve our goals and undermining our accomplishments. These thoughts might be there to greet us when we first wake in the morning, about how bad we are at our jobs or life and can even be the first things we think when we see ourselves in the mirror in the morning – “You're so unattractive, you're looking even fatter, how ugly are you”. This horrible inner critic might continue with you into work – “You will never be any good at this job, you should just give it up. You'll never get everything done, what will people think. You are just not intelligent enough for this job, you'll be caught out soon. No one even notices you anyway so why are you bothering, just give up you loser”. It can even be there to critique your closest relationships – “He doesn't really love me. Why would anyone care about me? It will never last. You’re best to leave him now”. Or if you are trying to find a partner it’s; “Who would want me? I’m not attractive, I’m not desirable, they are bound to choose someone else”. For most people we are all a game of two halves, part of us is goal-directed and self-possessed, while another part is self-critical, self-denying, and even self-destructive. Don't think you're on your own with this, as we all have these traits, it's not about having them; it's about how much we have and where the balance is...
July 22, 2021
Our negative pasts can sometimes weigh heavy on our hearts, but also can have a massive impact on how we live our lives in the now. Because we all have past experiences, we have a part of our inner mind that we call our inner ‘Observing Self’ or the ‘inner witness’ and this part of you is always doing just that. It observes and records what you think, feel, say and do moment to moment. It doesn’t decide if what you are doing is right or wrong, it just observes and records. It is a bit like our own internal videoing system whereby we can go back and walk through the experiences that we have had in our lives. We can pause and take a look in more detail about what happened, how we felt and how we reacted and also follow through the experience from A to B. Let’s use having relationship issues as an example, let’s imagine that you had a hard relationship in the past that negatively affected you on many levels. You have left that partner now but can still feel it negatively impacting you in your daily life. Your new partner says, “Come on, we are going to be late”, and suddenly you find yourself enraged and screaming at them or you find you're feeling anxious and tearful. So, what happened there? You’re not in that old toxic relationship. You love your new partner so why are you responding in these ways? It can’t be the now so it has to be the past impacting the now and this is where you can use your inner witness to help you uncover what happened and get to the bottom of this...
July 22, 2021
Confidence comes from deep inner feelings of well-being, acceptance of your body and mind, your inner self-esteem and belief in your abilities, skills and experience. Confidence is an attribute that most people would like to possess and you will be pleased to hear that it is a learned and developed habit. It’s such a great thing to be confident and I do think everyone admires a self-confident person. We may even envy them a little as those self-confident people seem really at ease with themselves, others and their work. They hold a calm strong air about them, invite trust and inspire confidence in others. These are attractive characteristics that not only inspire others but feels great to have ourselves. It's not always easy to be confident in yourself, particularly if you are naturally self-critical, an internal thinker, a worrier or if other people put you down. But there are steps that you can take to develop, increase and maintain your self-confidence...
July 22, 2021
Keeping our mood upbeat and bright is essential in protecting our mental health and finding ways to keep us more optimistic when dealing with life’s stresses, can help us. We all have to accept that there are things in life that we can't change, this being the case getting stuck in the negative thoughts of these situations won’t help you. It’s time to challenge your mindset and get into this more positive way of thinking in as many situations as we can. We have to accept that there will always be some things that we can’t do this for, that is normal - if we had this positivity in every situation that would not be normal either. But what we need to do is try our best to keep the majority of things in that more optimistic way of thinking. Often when things aren't making us happy, we can spend our time overthinking things about what's happened and what may happen. This won't help you or the situation, it will only lead you down the path of lowering your mood and increasing your stress levels. So, it is time to stop this path and choose to stay in that positive lane of thinking, helping to protect your mental health and keep you in a good place...
July 22, 2021
We have been looking at ways of how to help us keep our mood in a good place even when life can be a challenge to us. This is a key thing not only in helping our mood but also in keeping our levels of anxiety in a stable and low place. If we spend lots of time with those worries and ‘what-if's’, we will be creating lots of inner fear and anxiety and if it is left unchecked, it can run riot within us. A good plan is to stop this before it starts, if it's just at the beginning of starting to ruminate, then the anxiety levels will still be at a low level and it is much easier to break from the pattern of worry at this point. But if we have let this get out of hand then it can become something that will be much bigger and so in turn, much harder to switch our mindsets out of. Our minds are amazing and are constantly supporting us, but if we send these worrying messages into our minds then our minds will listen. When our minds listen to these worries and fears they don't just do nothing, they start the process of protecting us and the more we worry, the bigger the protection becomes. This is the fight-flight and freeze response, which has made us the most overpopulated species on the planet and keeps us safe in dangerous situations. But if we are overthinking and worrying about something then our minds won't realise that this isn't a real-life danger and will start acting as if it is...
July 22, 2021
We have been looking at ways to help keep us in a positive place and how we can do things to help keep our mood upbeat. Today let's look at something else we can do to help us stave off negativity and keep us feeling more positive, even in times of difficulty. We have looked at a way to limit and reset ourselves around negative times and experiences but what if we are going through a really hard time, what then? We all have to accept that life can be hard at times and that we can't change that but what we can change is how we choose to deal with it. What we have to keep clear in our minds is that if we can't change or alter something, that overthinking about it or worrying about it won't help, it will just make things worse. This being the case it’s time to find ways to support ourselves through these difficult times, as often we need extra strength and positivity in these times of challenge. Of course, we do have to accept the reality of what is happening and, in some situations, this can be an emotional roller-coaster. But if we get stuck in that low negative headspace, constantly wondering and thinking of the “what-ifs”, then we are going to find that we will limit our ability to support ourselves and others in these times of challenge...
July 22, 2021
We have been looking at ways to make us feel more positive and now it's time to work on those next steps to help you make these changes in your life. If we can keep our minds focused in the right direction, we can be one of those positive people who see life in an optimistic way. Being this way is not going to have any adverse effect on your life, it is going to give you a more comfortable life, as being positive helps us feel happier and more relaxed, both of these are great attributes to have in your life. If we choose to keep our lives upbeat, we can enhance our mindset and continue to help our mind keep focused on looking at all the good things in life. Now it’s time to look at anything you might be doing in life that is negatively impacting the positive person you choose to be. It could be that you watch, listen or read the News regularly throughout your day; to a point this is okay, as we can’t live our heads in the sand. But if this is taking up quite a lot of your time then this could be impacting your mood, optimism and mindset, as the news is 95% negative. Too much time with big chunks of totally negative input into our mind will lower our ability to stay in a bright and positive place. If this is the case for you then it’s time to not only limit the time spent absorbing these negative mediums but to also have a plan of action for after you’ve given it that limited time, to reset yourself. It might not be just the news that can do this, certain people might have this effect on you or other things you have to do in life, it’s time now to find those things that lower your mood...
July 22, 2021
There is one thing we always have to keep clear within our minds and that is that none of us knows what the future brings and however hard we try; this will never change. But there are lots of things we can do to point us in a good direction and one of these is being positive. This is not about trying to reassure ourselves with mantras of ‘It will be ok’, it’s about having a strong mindset to see the positive way forward first. I learnt these lessons nearly 40 years ago now when I first started looking at the power of our mind, with people like Tony Robins, an iconic motivational speaker of my day. The time I spent as a teenager looking at the power of a positive mind and applying these to my life, was one of the reasons that I chose to start my journey in learning and studying hypnotherapy and psychology. After a few years of studying, I chose to change my career and become a clinical hypnotherapist, which was nearly 27 years ago now. At that time, it was not widely used at all, lots of my family and friends thought it was a poor career choice. But hypnotherapy at that time had already had such a massive impact on my mental health and I just couldn't not share this with everyone who needed a new way of helping themselves to change. I must say that I am blessed I love my work and couldn’t be happier to be able to help people change how they feel and deal with life in such a profound way.
May 05, 2021
This year with the pandemic I think we are all feeling a bit stuck. This can mean that moving forward seems more strained for many of us. Making changes is always a challenge for our minds as we have spent much of our millions of years on this planet playing it safe to stay alive. These old habits are still within us and it’s important to understand these more to help give us more freedom and drive to move our lives forward. A massive part of our unconscious mind is the primaeval mind, this part of our mind is always focused on survival and on how to stop us from doing anything that could put is in danger. This, of course, is amazing and has made us the most overpopulated species on the planet but for our lives, in the 21st Century, some of these habits from our primaeval mind can now be limiting us. The reason for not wanting change is a basic pattern and inner belief system, if it’s not broken don’t fix it, if we are safe now why change. Change in the past has always come with the possibilities of adversity and unsafety as if we haven’t done this before how do we know its safe. This basis trait and inner negative belief system can limit our ability to change and grow, because of this we need to find ways that support our mind, helping us to find the drive we need to change.
May 05, 2021
If we can keep our minds focused in the right direction, we can be one of those positive people who see life in an optimistic way. Being this way is not going to have any adverse effect on your life, it is going to give you a more comfortable life, as being positive helps us feel happier and more relaxed, both of these are great attributes to have in your life. If we choose to keep our lives upbeat, we can enhance our mindset and continue to help our mind keep focused on looking at all the good things in life. Now it’s time to look at anything you might be doing in life that is negatively impacting the positive person you choose to be. It could be that you watch, listen or read the News regularly throughout your day; to a point this is okay, as we can’t live our heads in the sand. But if this is taking up quite a lot of your time then this could be impacting your mood, optimism and mindset, as the news is 95% negative. Too much time with big chunks of totally negative input into our mind will lower our ability to stay in a bright and positive place. If this is the case for you then it’s time to not only limit the time spent absorbing these negative mediums but to also have a plan of action for after you’ve given it that limited time, to reset yourself. It might not be just the news that can do this, certain people might have this effect on you or other things you have to do in life, it’s time now to find those things that lower your mood.
May 05, 2021