Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness

Well its that time of year – tis the season to be jolly! All those lovely movies on TV, scenes of happy families, caring and sharing…….. Christmas is the time of year when many people reflect on their lives, maybe they are comparing their family Christmases with those on TV.

Apparently in the 1940s people rates their level of happiness as 7.5 out of 10 and yet todays studies show that on average we rate our happiness as 7.2 out of 10. So with all the toys, entertainment etc that we have at our disposal we are less happy than in the 1940s. And yet so many people look for happiness in things. There must be something out there that will take away my bad mood, make me happy – if I could only be happy ……… Choosing drugs, alcohol, shopping, eating to name but a few as a way to try to achieve that happy feeling even if only for a while.

What is happiness?

In linguistic forms this is a nominalisation – a verb we have treated as a noun.

People spend a lot of time trying to get more happiness yet this is not something you can buy at the store, it comes form within. Some say it’s a frame of mind. Our choices do pay a large part in how we feel, and I’m not talking about whether you get those shoes in both colours.

The way in which we interpret our lives has a greater impact on our happiness than the events themselves. As William Shakespeare said “nothing is ever good or bad only thinking makes it so”.

Apparently on the Olympic podium the bronze medallist is happier than the silver. The silver is comparing themselves to the gold and thinking of what they have missed, whereas the bronze is comparing themselves to those who came after him and pleased with his success.

In the UK we have had the worst, coldest winter in decades, this has been a huge challenge to many businesses. I have been snowed in a couple of times, unable to make appointments, the internet down due to weather conditions. Now I could get really angry, be in a bad mood or accept this time as a chance to finalise some creative writing. The appointments have all been rearranged and I’m spending time writing in front of a warm fire, watching the snow outside of my window.

I can’t alter the weather but I can decide how I respond to it.

However you spend the holiday season, I wish you the ability to make the right choices that enable you to have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous new year.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Scared on the Inside

One of my clients came to see me because; she felt she had a scar on her mind……..

She is a petite size 10, well-dressed thirty something career woman who on the outside looks confident and in control of her life.

Apparently, all her life she had been fat, a size 24 at her heaviest. All through her life she had been bigger than anyone else, at home food equalled love. Her mother showed her children how much she loved them by feeding them. The more her mother fed her the better mother she was and the more she ate the more she was able to show her mother just how much she loved her.

She wore her weight as a defence, if you’re fat and unloved you’ll never get hurt was something she used to say.

At university she was the guys best friend and assumed that no one thought of her in a sexual way. She told herself she was fat and happy. Any boyfriends she had inevitably left her for thinner women – her words.

Then something happened in her early thirties, she lost her appetite and began to loose weight. Not because of any diet or any conscious will on her part; she became depressed because of unrequited love.

Initially she felt fabulous buying all those clothes she’d always wanted, one of the few moments in her life she had viewed her body with delight; then she began to hate herself because it took a bought of clinical depression for her to change her eating habits.

Men noticed her for her body instead of her personality, whilst initially this was fantastic she soon realised that although she had more sex; she wasn’t spending time with men she really wanted to be with.

She should have felt wonderful but her past hang over her, she still felt fat! She had assumed that once she had the body she wanted her life would be perfect – yet she was fat on the inside.

Maxwell Maltz an American cosmetic surgeon who developed Psycho-Cybernetics, said people were scared on the inside. That some of his clients no matter how much surgery they had, still felt ugly.

He started to work on their confidence and self esteem prior to surgery and found this worked in two ways, either they decided not to go ahead with the surgery or they were happier with the results.

Many years ago one of my clients, a young girl who wanted to loose weight, said after our session that she felt so fabulous about herself that she decided not to diet after all. A few months later I bumped into her in a local store, I didn’t recognise her at first as she looked so different; much more confident, happier and yes thinner!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Just the weigh you are ..........

Last weekend I assisted Paul McKenna in Birmingham on his I Can Make You Thin seminar, 1500 people mostly women all wanting to change the way they look.

So many people spend their whole life going from one diet to another. My cousin, looses weight, he goes to one of the weight loss clubs; then within a few months gains it all back again and some. Then joins (the same club) and goes through the whole program once more. He suffers, he moans (I sometimes think a man on a diet is much worse than a man with man flu), his stomach growing with hunger, and all he can think about is that he can have that four ounces of carrot juice but couldn’t get within twenty metres of a chip; and he accepts this agony as an inevitable part of losing weight.

Then you finally reached your goal – you even lost five extra pounds to give yourself some leeway. You thought you could stop your diet and eat “normally” so you do, and in a few weeks you gain all of that weight back again. This is a familiar, almost monotonous tale and it illustrates the most prevalent factor in unsuccessful weight reduction. The loss of pounds is not permanent when you reduce the food you eat without considering the reasons for the weight gain.

Most people if they manage to loose the weight on a diet will put the weight back on again, unless they completely change their relationship with food and change the way in which they eat.

Interestingly, at a time when we (in the UK) are aware of the effects of obesity and have had the benefit of education in what is best for our bodies and what diets are most suitable for many decades now, are at our most overweight. The overweight yo yo dieting, each time they fail moving on to the next diet looking for a miracle that will make them thin. Avoiding mirrors so that they can ignore the fat, hating themselves, thinking others must hate them too.

The main reason people get fat is because they ignore the signals received by their bodies, reconnecting with your body; listening to the signals it sends is the first step to achieving the perfect body for you. Working with your body.

And the not so overweight bombarded in the media with picture of models who are far too thin – many who don’t even look like that because they have been airbrushed. Looking at themselves in the mirror, hallucinating fat, hating themselves for being so unattractive. Ironic when just a few years ago the most beautiful women in the media was Marilyn Monroe, who was a size 16.

Some women who think they need to loose weight are chasing an image that they think they need to succeed in today’s culture and yet diets don’t make you beautiful, glamour is a look not a size.

Learning to love and accept yourself is the beginning to improved self confidence, better health, and a sense of well being that will lead you to a much better life and the motivation to make those changes in your life style that will give you the weight loss you are seeking.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

What is PNI

Psychoneuroimmunology explores how our psychological conditions and neurological processes effect our immune system. How our thoughts and beliefs can affect our health.

Centuries ago it was believed that when we became ill that we had a dis-ease of the mind and at that time apothecaries dealt with the four humours of the body; believing that once they had everything in balance that the body would heal. With the advent of allopathic medicine this kind of practice died out, which for many people was a god send as the apothecaries of the time were believed to have killed as many of their patients as they “healed” with their methods of purging and blood letting to get the bad humours out of the body.

The Chinese, for centuries, have believed that disease takes place when there is disharmony in an organ or within an organs system. They say that this affects the flow of Qi; the energy flow through the meridians of the body. Eastern healers look for a reason why the Qi is blocked; looking to diagnose the nature of the disharmony so that they can then correct the imbalance so that the Qi can flow freely again and the individual can heal.

Roger Callahan, creator of TFT, has noticed that when people are ill they suffer from a reversal of the flow of energy within the meridians. He noticed this whilst his wife was having chemotherapy that whilst she felt the affects of the drug in her system that her energy flow was blocked and that by working with her to get the energy flowing freely she felt no effects from her chemo. How do you test your flow of energy I hear you ask; thats one of the questions I will answer and demonstrate on our PNI course on March 13th.

Since the 1980’s we have begun to look at how our brain and immune system interact with each other. It is now readily accepted that stress and emotional responses change the chemical levels in the blood stream that in turn effect the efficient functioning of the immune system; supporting the concept of a direct relationship in between our central nervous system and our immune system. For example; it is now believed that some cancers can be triggered by extreme stress.

Over many years of being a hypnotherapist I have noticed how my clients come to see me for one problem and by helping them overcome this their health improves; how can this happen?

A few of my clients who have come to see me for help conceiving using IVF, as they have been told that they will never be able to conceive naturally due to medical problems, have conceived naturally and their medical problems have cleared up as we have dealt with the issues they had around parenthood and pregnancy.

Medical science has provided us with various cures for illnesses that at one time were incurable; and throughout the history of medical research we have also discovered factors such as the placebo effect. People being given what was probably basically sugar pills and being told that they were a super drug that would heal them and they heal. Against all odds their disease goes away.

Back in 1994 Barbara Stepp attended a workshop run by Richard Bandler; Richard was demonstrating his “beautification” technique and choose Barbara as one of his demo subjects. What Richard didn’t know at this point was that Barbara had cancer; and to both their surprise her cancer went away. What do we mean when we say things like the cancer went away? We all have cancer cells within our bodies , we actually need some to stay healthy so we obviously have a way of keeping those cells at the right level.

How do we do this?

On March 13th at Kingston University I will be running a one day workshop where we will explore PNI and various methods of healing and how to harness the power of your unconscious.