Happy New Year – 2024

Hi, Well I hope you have enjoyed the festive break .  Whether you enjoyed time with the family, had a well deserved break , or just glad to make it through, its time for the New Year – 2024.

However, last year is now in the past and I am sure we have learnt and grown from our experiences and we can start to think about how we want things to be rather than how we don’t want them to be which takes me onto those New Years Resolutions !!

What’s the goal? What do you want to achieve or change this year?

We always start with good intentions, however, after a short amount of time or possibly a few months maybe the novelty of the New Year wears off and many of us revert back to those old habits.

If you want this year to be different, stick to your plans and achieve your goals and make those lifestyle changes you have always wanted then maybe its time to get a little extra help ! Anxiety and Stress is damaging to both our mental and physical health over time.  If you know you’re prone to stress, you may want to explore how hypnotherapy can help you. Many people are choosing hypnotherapy to help.

 

them with all sorts of things.  Whether it’s losing weight, getting the real you back again or overcoming a fear or phobia, or maybe it’s to stop smoking/vaping to name just a few, then hypnotherapy could help you.

Habits and behaviours can be very difficult to change, maybe they are ingrained from childhood, learnt behaviours which are leading to some people turning to unhelpful behaviours that we end up repeating over and over again.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help give you that extra push to change your thought patterns and focus on your positives. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy uses various techniques to help alter thought patterns that can act as reinforcement to your willpower and may prove to be the extra support you need to change the things you want to change.

Hypnotherapy is natural and safe, its relaxing, uplifting and you remain in control at all times. I offer a free initial consultation should you want to find out more, just give me a call to book on 07516 962361or email info@louisebarneshypnotherapy.co.uk

Have a great 2024,

Best wishes,

Louise

Seasons Greetings

Seasons greetings to you.

What a year it has been, what with moving to the lovely town of Honiton and all the DIY we have been doing and I’ve been very busy with work.  It’s been a busy and productive time.  However, I must admit I’m looking forward to some time off over the festive period to recharge my batteries and to spend some time with family and friends.

As we progress further into December there are a wide range of experiences to deal with, excitement, dread, pressure, social gatherings at work and with family and all those sensory differences too, what a minefield !  This can make us feel especially anxious, for some overwhelming and it’s very common to feel these things.

The financial implications of Christmas can also cause a great deal of anxiety, with presents to buy, new outfits and festive ‘essentials’ such as wrapping paper, food and tree decorations etc etc etc.  We should be aware that we don’t all have family and friends to spend Christmas with and anxious thoughts that are triggered by family conflicts or even the loss of a loved one, can make us feel isolated and as a result, more anxious.

So, here are a few tips on how you can cope and manage at this time.

  • Don’t Over Indulge – We can be tempted to “treat ourselves” over the festive period, however, it is important to remember that food can have quite an impact on our mood. If we have too much sugar and/or caffeine it can cause us to peak and crash and often impacts on our emotions.
  • Drink Responsibly – Its often said that alcohol helps to relax their anxiety however, drinking too much and the following hangover can often lead us to feel worse. It wipes out the serotonin we create, so keep hydrated by drinking water and other non-alcoholic beverages, above all know your limits and stay safe.
  • Keep Active – Its great to go for a walk or maintain our exercise routines, it helps clear our head, give us time to think or some peace and quiet.
  • Take Your Time – Don’t feel pressured to get caught up in the festive whirlwind and rush of Christmas. The reality of Christmas isn’t what we see on Social Media and TV, make it what you want it to be and be happy.
  • Make time for yourself – It’s a busy time so look after YOU, listen to your favourite song or album, watch a good film, read a book, listen to music or take a long soak in the bath or a few extra minutes in the shower. Be kind to yourself and relax!
  • Rest – Try and get plenty of sleep and rest during Christmas. Feeling tired can lead to us feeling less able to cope. Grab yourself an early night or a nice lie in, you will be glad you did.
  • In the moment simple breathing techniques like 2,3,4 breathing can be really helpful. You breath in through your nose for the count of 2, breathing in calm and relaxed, hold it for the count of three and exhale out of your mouth, breathing out any stress or tensions and repeat this for at least three rounds. Practising this regularly is very beneficial.
  • Concentrating on your breathing is a great way of calming down and feeling more in control. Each round of breathing must be carried out a number of times until you feel calm again.
  • Simply being in a different situation can change your thinking. If your thoughts are overwhelming you in one room, walk into another room, or, better still, step out into the garden, or go for a walk.

Its important to look after yourself, be kind to yourself, you are important.

Have a lovely Christmas and I wish you all the very best for 2024.

Best wishes, Louise

November 2023

Good afternoon and welcome to November,

As I write is very wet and windy from the storm so I hope you are all safe and well.  Autumn has truly arrived with harvesting of apples, cooking them down ready for crumbles to have with custard on those chilly days and the leaves on the trees around have started the kaleidoscope of colours they have before they fall, I do enjoy this time of year, however its a reminder for me that Christmas is on its way so I best get organising.  I start to think how I want it to be rather than how I don’t want it to be and how starting a plan now will make this easier all round !! 

As many of you know I am a true believer in visualising and rehearsing in our minds what we want, as the alternative isn’t so helpful. This reminded me of an article a fellow hypnotherapist wrote, its all about the brain,, an owners guide on how to look after it so please enjoy the article below.

A Brief Owners’ Guide To The Brain

As solution focused hypnotherapists, we are used to talking about how the brain works, and discussing how to make the most of the neurotransmitters with which it communicates.

We talk much less about the brain as an organ itself, and about how to keep it healthy!

Brain basics
Your brain weighs about 3lb, (1.5kg), approximately 2% of an adult’s body weight.

It was one of the first parts of you to develop in the womb and hasn’t really grown that much since you were born, being about 80% of its adult size when you were just 2 years old. By 6 years old, your brain was 95% of the size it is now.

It has the consistency of jelly, because it’s made up of water, with some fat and cholesterol.

It is the single most complicated thing in the known universe, with around 100 billion brain cells that can connect in a brain-frazzling number of ways.

All its functions are powered by electricity, and it runs at around 15-20 watts, about the same as my eco-friendly light bulbs.

It’s an expensive organ to run, biologically speaking, because all this activity takes up 20% of the energy your body needs daily to stay alive.

So, since nature and millions of years of evolution has gifted us this marvel of bioelectrical engineering, we’d better look after it, hadn’t we?

Your body already does the best it can, prioritising keeping your brain alive above all other parts of you, but let’s not give it any more of a challenge, eh?

So, without further ado, here are my top tips for keeping your brain in tip top condition!

1) Keep it safe

The first one is perhaps the simplest – look after your head.

Your brain is protected by a very strong box of bone, but is still vulnerable to knocks and bangs, and to rattling around inside the skull, so if you cycle, or play a contact sport, invest in a decent helmet.

And wear it. Every. Single. Time.

2) Use it, or lose it

Your brain will get rid of connections that you don’t use, so to give yourself a bit of spare capacity, buffering you against the inevitable losses as you age, keep learning, keep using it and keep expanding its connections as much as you can.

Learning another language or an instrument are particularly good ways to keep your brain occupied and connected because they require using and connecting lots of its component parts.

Sadly, the brain training games on the Nintendo DS we were all told would make us smarter don’t really do that in any meaningful way. If you want to ‘train your brain’ just think of it in the same way you might think about toning your muscles, and try to use it as much as possible!

3) Exercise is also key

We are used to the idea that we need to exercise regularly to keep our bodies healthy and functioning well; the same is also true of your brain. Partly because a healthy and efficient heart and circulation system keeps your brain well supplied with oxygen and nutrients, but also because exercise boosts levels of lots of beneficial neurotransmitters.

One of the most beneficial effects of exercise is the release in the brain of a peptide called BDNF – brain derived neurotrophic factor – that helps make, support, and maintain healthy connections in the brain.

While I said earlier that you pretty much have all the brain cells you need as a child, BDNF seems to be able to prompt the brain to continue to make them in one specific part of the brain – the hippocampus – that is needed for processing and making memories.

The good news is that you don’t have to be in training for a triathlon for this to work. A brisk walk, cycle, or swim three or four times a week will do it, and there’s bonus points if you can fit in dancing, because learning moves or routines taps into the ‘use it or lose it’ strategy from point 2.

4) Keep stress under control

Managing stress is important for health, generally, but it’s proving to be even more critical for lasting brain health.

Constant stress, even at lower sustained levels, which we might say that we rarely even notice, can affect the brain by exposing it to stress chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol. In time, these substances seem to impact how efficiently the brain’s networks communicate, making depression and anxiety more likely. They also affect our ability to remember and recall information, since high levels of cortisol and adrenaline reduce memory formation and storage.

5) Boost your social networks

Humans are social animals. We need to be with other people to stay mentally healthy. Being social requires us to interact in a multitude of ways that our brain is purposefully designed to do – whether that’s verbally, or through non-verbal communication of body language or of reading and interpreting emotions.

But spending time with loved ones, work colleagues, or those who share our hobbies provides more than just keeping our brain’s connections alert. Feeling connected to others generates the release of another neurotransmitter called oxytocin, which, in addition to being responsible for the warm feelings we get from hanging out with like-minded souls, also relaxes our cardiovascular system, counteracting the damaging effects of adrenaline and cortisol.

6) Find a purpose

Being more sociable is all mixed up with another thing that research shows again and again to be associated with having both a happy and a healthy brain – having purpose, a sense of shared value, of aiming for… something.

This ‘purpose’ might happen as part of your work if it’s something you feel passionate about, or you may find that excited sense of purpose from a hobby, or simply in doing something altruistic – volunteering for a charity project for example.

What our ‘purpose’ actually IS is less important than what we get from it, though. So, whatever your goal is – learning to crochet, perfect your sourdough loaf, lift 100kg, learn the piano, or write your memoirs – whatever it is that gives you purpose, just don’t stop doing it, and continue trying to move forwards.

7) Consider your nutrition

Food gets a lot of attention whenever we speak about brains and it’s true, a healthy diet in general is important for good brain health.

While your body, and as a result your brain, is able to make glucose – its favourite and most efficient fuel – from pretty much any food source; feeding your body a poor quality diet that’s too high in fat or sugar and too low in the good stuff we know we should be eating will make that process harder, which subtly increases the physical stress on the body.

Studies show that a diet high in fruit and veg (often known as the ‘Mediterranean diet’) gives us all the ingredients, such as antioxidants, that we need to help repair wear and tear to the body, and brain. While it’s tempting to buy into the myth of so-called ‘superfoods’, the truth is that there’s no real shortcuts – a healthy brain diet requires a bit of effort to get the best variety of nutrients, but you’ll be pleased to hear that a little (dark) chocolate is recognised as part of that!

As for all the array of supplements that are out there claiming to guarantee good brain health, very few – if any – have any evidence behind them.

Some studies show that compounds found in green tea are helpful, caffeine too, as long as it doesn’t impact on your sleep, and omega 3 oils seem to be beneficial, but taking huge doses of B vitamins or vitamin E won’t make a difference unless you’re deficient in them, so check that with your friendly pharmacist.

The herbal extracts of gingko biloba and ginseng have traditionally been recommended for brain health, but again, there’s not much convincing evidence. There are some very small studies that show curcumin, in turmeric, might help prevent memory loss.

A healthy diet will also naturally support healthy cholesterol and sugar levels, keeping the tiny blood vessels that supply our brain in good condition. If your cholesterol and indeed your blood sugar are raised, despite watching what you eat, you may need medication to lower it further. So, don’t forget to check in with the GP for a physical MOT once in a while.

8) Check your numbers

It goes without saying that strokes are very bad for brain health, so keeping an eye on your blood pressure is another key part of looking after your brain.

Staying at a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and watching the amount of sodium in your diet will all help to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level before needing to resort to medication. But if your blood pressure is still regularly past that magic 120 over 80, it may be time to consider seeing the GP for his input.

9) Stop smoking

It also goes without saying that smoking is bad for your brain, as well as for your body, so just…. don’t.

And if you do…. consider seeing a hypnotherapist to help you stay a non-smoker, once you’ve decided to stop.

10) Take it easy with alcohol

Another of our vices, alcohol, isn’t great for brain health either, which I suspect you probably already knew.

Alcohol and its metabolites interfere with many of our brain’s neurotransmitter systems, basically interrupting how our brain communicates within itself. It also impacts on how well our brain generates healthy sleep cycles (see below) and heavier levels of alcohol intake have been shown to accelerate the onset of dementia, and to cause thinning of the brain’s outermost layer, the cortex, impairing memory.

So, while many of us enjoy a glass or two, drinking is best kept to that – an occasional small glass or two, with plenty of alcohol free days.

11) Get enough sleep

Out of all these tips, getting enough sleep is perhaps the most important.

During sleep, our brains have a thorough clean. There are specialised cells in the brain that flush out waste from around our hard-working brain cells, removing the toxins that could otherwise build up and contribute to diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Overnight, the energy stores in the brain are also topped up, and damaged or unneeded connections are pruned, for efficiency.

Sleep also allows us to process emotional waste – to learn from or delete all the things that we experience in our day by replaying and assessing them in our dreams (in a phase of our sleep cycle known as REM, rapid eye movement, sleep). If we don’t get enough of this mental filing time during sleep, we will inevitably become more-and-more overwhelmed, and stressed and we know how that impacts our lives.

Our brains are the control panel for our bodies, so, much like your car or your electrical appliances, it is absolutely crucial to think about their maintenance and ensure they run smoothly. So I hope those tips have given you something to think about adding into your maintenance routine!

I hope you have enjoyed the blog, if you or anyone you know would like any help to get back on track, conquer a fear or phobia or just need a boost of confidence, get in touch to book a free initial consultation on 07516 962361 or email me at info@louisebarneshypnoterapy.co.uk

Stay safe and well

Best Wishes, Louise

Octobers Blog

Welcome to October,

Welcome to the month where those glorious colours come out of dewy, misty mornings, vibrant reds, oranges and yellows and the crunch of fallen leaves beneath your feet as you walk.  I love this time of year.  I have to be honest those drifting webs that cross my face as I walk the dog aren’t my favourite thing but with hypnotherapy I have learnt to cope and manage so much better with the creatures that create them ! So, I wanted to remind everyone what is is all about, so I’d like to share an article a fellow member of Afsfh Trevor has written.  There really is so much truth in the saying “You can do anything you put your mind to.”

What Is solution-focused hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy has long been a source of intrigue, raising eyebrows, and capturing the imagination. But what if there was a form of hypnotherapy that focused not on delving into the depths of the unconscious mind, but on unlocking the innate potential and strengths within us? Say hello to solution-focused hypnotherapy – an innovative approach that is changing the landscape of therapeutic interventions.

Solution-focused hypnotherapy, as the name suggests, aims to empower individuals by emphasizing the solutions rather than dwelling on the problems. This approach draws on a combination of techniques from solution-focused brief therapy and hypnosis, creating a powerful tool to address a range of mental, emotional, and behavioural challenges.

At the heart of solution-focused hypnotherapy lies the belief that every individual has within them the necessary resources and abilities to overcome their difficulties. It is not about digging deep into past traumas or analysing the origins of issues. Instead, the focus is on identifying and amplifying strengths and positive changes that can lead to meaningful results.

So, how does solution-focused hypnotherapy work? The therapist leads the individual into a state of deep relaxation, commonly known as hypnosis. In this relaxed state, the individual’s mind becomes highly receptive to positive suggestions and imagery, enabling them to tap into their subconscious mind with greater ease.

During the session, the therapist guides the individual to envision their desired future, exploring potential solutions and setting achievable goals. These goals are framed in a way that reinforces positive changes and encourages progress. By visualizing these solutions, the mind begins to form new neurological pathways, reshaping thoughts, emotions, and behaviours towards the desired outcome.

One of the remarkable aspects of solution-focused hypnotherapy is its time-efficient nature. Unlike other traditional forms of therapy that can span numerous sessions, this approach is often brief and focused, providing people with practical tools and strategies to implement positive changes in their lives.

Another key advantage of solution-focused hypnotherapy is its versatility. It can be effectively applied to various areas, including anxiety, phobias, smoking cessation, weight management, and even performance enhancement. By harnessing the power of the mind, individuals can tap into their own inner resources, paving the way for transformation and self-empowerment.

Additionally, solution-focused hypnotherapy stands out for its collaborative nature. Therapists work in partnership with their clients, guiding them to explore their own solutions and empowering them to make significant changes. It creates a sense of autonomy and resilience, as individuals take ownership of their personal growth journey.

In recent years, solution-focused hypnotherapy has gained recognition and popularity for its innovative and results-driven approach. Research has shown promising outcomes, highlighting its effectiveness in producing positive changes and improving overall well-being.

As with any therapy, it is crucial to choose a qualified and experienced practitioner who specializes in solution-focused hypnotherapy. Ensure they are certified and affiliated with reputable organizations to guarantee the highest standards of practice and ethics.

Unlocking the vast potential of the human mind is a captivating concept. Solution-focused hypnotherapy offers a fresh perspective, one that highlights the power of positive change and resilience. By focusing on solutions rather than problems, individuals find the strength and confidence to overcome challenges and create the life they desire. So, dare to explore the depths of your mind, for within lies the key to unlocking your extraordinary potential.

If your keen to find out more or take the next step to achieving the goals you have in mind I offer a free initial consultation.  To book call me on 07516 962361 or email me at info@louisebarneshypnotherapy.co.uk

Have a great October,

Best wishes, LouiseLouise Barnes Hypnotherapy

 

 

Aug/Sept 2023 – Laughter

 

Hi,

Wow, doesn’t time fly, the summer holidays have been enjoyed and the children back to school this week.  Catching up with friends and family has been lovely and we know how important it is to interact with each other, its what we all missed out on so much during Covid times.

Its not only interacting that’s so good for us but doing things is just as important, however small those things are that you are doing it all counts but above all positive thoughts really help us to achieve the things we want, all this creates many differant feel good chemicals including serotonin.  Serotonin helps us feel braver, be less fearful and cope better with day to day activity and even help with physical pain.  A good laugh and giggle  can also help us enormously and here’s why laughing can be the best medicine. Its an article by my colleague Fleur

Why is laughing the best medicine?

A good laugh is always a winner, isn’t it? Giggling, having a chuckle, the side splitter, hooting, guffawing, and the delicate titter. These are all good ways to brighten a day. But, did you know that along with it feeling wonderful, it is also healing your mind, body, and soul?

Laughter has been shown to reduce the levels of certain stress hormones in the body. We need a variety of chemicals to help us cope with tricky situations, but these stress signals in high levels can create an imbalance leaving us feeling anxious, angry, and depressed. These stress hormones also can have a harmful effect on the immune system. When we laugh, we increase the number of beneficial hormones like endorphins, which and neurotransmitters in the brain, lessening the presence and production of adrenaline and cortisol.

Endorphins work as a natural painkiller, so laughing helps to boost our pain threshold, easing mood, tension, anger, and discomfort. Laughing increases neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, helping your brain to function faster, connect and comprehend situations or problems at a speedier rate.

Laughter also boosts our immune systems, stimulating antibody cells to develop at faster rates by changing the body’s chemistry through hormonal shifts. These antibodies help us to fight off illness and infection easier. Studies have shown that “mirthful laughter” causes an initial increase in arterial blood pressure, which is followed by a decrease to below the normal resting blood pressure. This improves blood pressure levels, decreases the risk of heart disease and cardiac issues, and improves circulation. The act of laughing physically creates a boost of oxygen to the brain, promoting brain health and encourages a higher level of ventilation in your lungs.

Laughter is also a brilliant way of doing exercise, it engages muscles in the body’s diaphragm and abdomen as it expands and contracts and can often leave us with that side-splitting feeling after a long hoot. Depending on your laughing style and how physically you throw yourself into it, you can stimulate your legs, back, shoulders, and arm muscles too. Cheek, jaw, and neck muscles are all put through their paces as we cackle and howl.

Laughter can also boost memory because it speeds the connections between the neurons, enabling learning and brain function. Combining humour with recall helps to create more links in the brain because they have more direct association and emphasis.

Laughter can help our brains to be more creative due to the lowered stress hormones and increased endorphins. We are more likely to take creative risks and think outside of the box, when feeling more positive, and laughter is the best way to boost our mood. Laughter has been found to have a soothing quality that reduces even unconscious pain, causing an improvement in mood and happiness.

It is also really contagious, seeing someone else having a chuckle encourages us to join in, creating connections between people, helping us to build relationships and deepen rapport.

I love using laughter in my therapy room. When we are laughing, we are no longer able to feel sadness or pain. I will encourage you to:

🌈Allow yourself to concentrate on all the best parts of yourself.

🌈Think about all you have achieved

🌈Believe in your abilities

🌈Trust in yourself

You are the expert in being you!

In my sessions we like to have a bit of a giggle as we explore these wonderful qualities that make up all of us as individuals.

If you’d like help and support for any issues,  to get the real you back, gain confidence, over come a fear whatever it may be, book a free consultation with me, get in contact on 07516 962361or on email info@louisebarneshypnotherapy.co.uk ,

Best wishes

Louise

July 2023 – Brain Fun Facts

Hi,

I hope you are all well , this month I thought I’d share some fascinating facts about the brain, you never know it might come in handy for a quiz or two !!

The brain really is amazing and its responsible for all the body’s functions.  The human brain weighs about 3 lbs. (1.4 kilograms) and makes up about 2% of a human’s body weight.  It’s a complex organ that controls thought, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger and every process that regulates our body.  Neuroscientists have been studying the brain for decades and have made great strides in understanding it and continue to do so. So here goes,

  • Exercising can make you smarter. When you exercise, blood flow to the brain is increased. Your brain also releases hormones that can help you learn. So, get moving to get smarter.
  • The human brain can recognise and distinguish between approximately 10,000 different smells.
  • The brains storage capacity is estimated to be equivalent to about 2.5 million gigabytes which is roughly the equivalent to the storage capacity of 3 million hours of TV shows.
  • The bran can recognise and process information in 13 milliseconds , which is faster than the blink of an eye.
  • The neurons in your brain make enough electricity to generate a low-watt light bulb.
  • The brain of an adult human weighs around 3 pounds (1.5 kg). Although it makes up just 2% of the body’s weight, it uses around 20% of its energy.
  • The brain processes information through a complex network of neurons that can transmit signals at speeds of up to 250 miles per hour/400km per hour !!
  • The brain’s hippocampus, a structure crucial for memory formation, continues to produce new neurons throughout life. Physical exercise, learning, and a stimulating environment can enhance neurogenesis.
  • The brain’s memory is not like a video recording but rather a reconstruction of past events. Memories are subject to distortion and can be influenced by various factors, including emotions and other memories.
  • The brain’s memory is not like a video recording but rather a reconstruction of past events. Memories are subject to distortion and can be influenced by various factors, including emotions and other memories.
  • The brain releases a chemical called dopamine, which is associated with pleasure, reward, and motivation.
  • When we listen to music, multiple areas of the brain are activated, including those associated with memory, emotion, and motor control. This is why music can evoke powerful emotional responses and influence our movements.

So I hope you enjoyed those, as you may already know Solution focused hypnotherapy combines psychotherapy and clinical hypnotherapy, and encourages the mind to be forward thinking. When we visualise how we want our lives to be, we can concentrate on all the smaller steps we need to take to become the person we truly dream of being, creating change with ease.

Interested? I offer a free initial consultation, if you’d like to find out more or book please get in touch, you can call or text me on 07516 962361 or email info@louisebarneshypnotherapy.co.uk

Enjoy July,

Best wishes

Louise

June – That Weekend Feeling

Welcome to June,

Its so nice to have the warmer weather with us. We have been keeping up with the DIY and spending some time with friends and family  which has been great and a well deserved rest too.  I hope you are enjoying yourselves too? What’s been going well?

As many of you will know I am always looking to improve and gain additional skills so I am excited to have started some additional training that will help people who are stuck in a rut, or are struggling with extreme stress or anxiety that is stopping them from moving forward.  It’s a package that has been designed to clear trauma, anxious/depressive states, emotional triggers and limiting beliefs over several sessions.  This therapy package permanently removes all the unhelpful patterns and beliefs that were formed in early life.  One of the major advantages of this approach is that you don’t need to disclose any details about what happened to you, we describe this as content free. There will be more detail on this in the next few weeks or so.

For now I’d like to share an article by Fleur called “That Weekend Feeling “I hope you like it too.

Thank Crunchie it’s nearly Friday! 

For most of us, this means a whole weekend away from the work routine – being able to relax, no alarms dictating when we get out of bed, and choosing how we spend our moments, doing what feels good – whether connecting with friends or family, being restful or productive, having the freedom to be spontaneous and just to be on our own time clock.

Why does this time ‘off’ feel so golden? It basically comes down to routine. When we are in work mode, our brains become very streamlined so they can achieve more. Routine engages automatic pilot mode which aids productivity. We go through the motions when in ]work mode’, eg get out of bed, clean teeth, put on work clothes. These activities are hardly even noticed because they are so embedded into our daily lives. You travel to work, sit in your office, make a coffee, and read emails. Again, unless something is unusual, these moments are easily forgotten. You chat to colleagues, clients, or customers, with routine conversations of “How are you?” “Fine thanks, you?”, “Doing anything nice on the weekend?”

No wonder work feels DULL!!! Of course, we can’t wait for the weekend! Our brains are so firmly in automatic pilot mode that we barely notice or remember a thing.

My suggestion to you is to get off the grey conveyor belt of work. Shake it up, just a little. Make every day more interesting by doing things in a different order, alter your routine a touch. Take a different journey to work, use a different mug for your coffee. Consciously look through a different lens as you approach each task. Try putting your left shoe on before your right, and swap the following day. Being aware of our bodies’ actions for each mundane task encourages mindfulness and pulls us into each present moment. Give each of your senses a chance to digest by taking an extra millisecond to breathe. Allow yourself to be on a Sensation Scavenger Hunt. Wake up each routine activity by really experiencing it – by being in the actual moment.

It’s OK if the feeling of mixing it up is a little uncomfortable. This is because our survival instincts like everything to stay exactly the same. When everything is completely consistent, we do not challenge our comfort zones, but we can create a claustrophobic safety net. We have two distinct parts of the brain that we use everyday – the intellectual brain, and the primitive brain. The primitive part of the brain’s job is solely used for protection, and it believes that the dangers around us might still be lions, tigers, and bears. This is because it hasn’t evolved since it was created to survive the cavemen era, and thank goodness it was there because without it we wouldn’t be here right now. This part of the brain is not creative or intelligent. It is not concerned about feelings of happiness, fulfilment, or joy. So, to find contentment in each of our lives, we must push the boundaries set by exploring the edges of our comfort zones and allow our intellectual brains the chance to sit in the control seat.

Ideas for your Sensation Scavenger Hunt

  • How many yellow things can you see on your way to work?.
  • How many smiles can you witness in an hour of interaction?
  • How many breaths does it take for the kettle to boil?
  • How does it feel to alter the order of getting dressed?
  • How many birdsongs can you hear as you stand outside?
  • What order do you taste each mouthful of lunch?
  • What is the nicest smell you can discover today?
  • How does it feel to touch the floor as you wiggle your toes against it?
  • How alive do you feel after splashing cold water on your face?

Fleur Demeranville Dash

Lets enjoy the Month, take notice of things we have not noticed before, how ever small, maybe taken a few moments to think about the thoughts we have and a little reminder to have fun, life is to be lived !!

Best wishes

Louise

May – Your Inner Critic

Hi,

Welcome to Mays’ blog and the three Bank Holidays we have this month.  What a start to May, the Kings Coronation was great to watch and the concert was good,  something for everyone, I hope you enjoyed it too.

It’s been a busy time, I’ve been spending time gardening, helping the wildlife as much as I can.  I am glad to say I have a resident field mouse, its very cute and very quick and a visiting hedgehog.

In the flower beds I’m trying to keep the weeds at bay.  Thinking of gardening and the work we do in hypnotherapy I think of the mind as a garden, those unhelpful thoughts I see as weeds and everything else as things going well, as planned, so keep on top of those weeds , some can be quite persistent !! They say tidy garden tidy mind !!

This month I wanted to share an article by fellow hypnotherapist Lauren Ann who writes about the Inner critic. I’ve being seeing more clients recently struggling with this so thought it a good time to share.

You may have heard of the inner critic, or you may not. You may know it by another name (such as the gremlin, the perfectionist), but it’s fairly likely you have experienced it first-hand.

Your inner critic is a type of subpersonality that can be experienced as an internal voice, images, or other format. However, you experience it, it is essentially criticising your thoughts, behaviours, or emotions, for example “there is no point going for that promotion because you will never get it anyway, you aren’t good enough”.

Often these types of thought are what brings clients to seek therapy – they feel stuck in a rut and cannot see a way out or forward – their inner critic has the upper hand.

Controlling your inner critic can be a challenging process, but it is possible with some effort and practice. Keep reading for some tips that may help…

  1. Recognise: the first step is awareness. You have taken an amazing step by reading this already. Continue to pay attention to your thoughts, notice your inner critic and the negative self-talk that it engages in.
  2. Question: when your inner critic is in flow, challenge it by asking yourself whether what it’s saying is really true. It might be trying to protect you, but ask yourself, is what it is telling you realistic or logical? Alternatively, try visualising a container / jar / box. Then, tell yourself you are putting this aside for now and will return to it if / when it will benefit you.
  3. Practice self-compassion. Instead of being hard on yourself, try to treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would treat your best friend. What would your best friend say to you (if you told them what your inner critic says)? Why not respond in this way to yourself?
  4. Focus on your strengths: celebrate your successes and give yourself credit for your achievements. A concept utilised within Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is “our mind does not know the difference between imagination and reality”. We also work on reframing thoughts, when negative thoughts such as those from our inner critic arise, we reframe these in a more positive light. For example, instead of saying “I’m terrible at this”, say “I may not be perfect, but I’m doing my best”.
  5. Focus on what you WANT instead (of what you do not). Ask yourself, what is a small, manageable step towards, for example going for that promotion? Practise a power pose in the mirror, saying out loud 10 times “I DESERVE THIS”, every morning before work. What do you need to do to make this happen?

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you identify unhelpful thoughts, to reframe them, and help you feel more in control. The powerful element is that all this great work is solidified via relaxing hypnosis. This is where the conscious and unconscious mind can work together and focus on the same thing – whatever that is for you. Whatever you decide, in finding what works for you, using some of these techniques, or working with a therapist; over time, you may find that your inner critic has less power over you, and you feel more confident and self-assured.

I hope you enjoyed reading May’s blog, and Laurens article, please get in touch if I can be of any help or support or you’d like to book your free initial consultation , text me on 07516 962361 or email me at info@louisebarneshypnotherapy.co.uk,

Best wishes

Louise

 

April 2023 – Importance Of Sleep

Welcome to April’s blog,

Its been a busy March what with new clients and lots of DIY.  This month I wanted to stress the importance of sleep , the clocks have gone back to welcome Spring time and we lost an hours sleep, however, hopefully this might help you understand more why sleep is important,  the link below is very informative and is only 20 mins.

Why is sleep so important?

Sleep is important because: it’s when your body repairs itself; it improves memory and learning; it lowers stress levels; it maintains your immune systems; and much more.

It helps us to empty that stress, worry, life’s overwhelming bucket and allow us to cope much better with day to day activities and those curve balls that life can throw at us every now and then.

Sleep really is a superpower and Professor Matthew Walker explains more in his Ted talk in the link below, he has also written a very good book called “Why We Sleep” that’s well worth a read.

(1) Sleep is your superpower | Matt Walker – Bing video

Sleep is often one of the first things that is affected when we feel stressed, anxious or life is just not going how we’d like and can at times feel overwhelming.

Sometimes we find it hard to drift off at the end of a busy day, but for those that are suffering with anxiety it can feel almost impossible to get a good night’s sleep. Whether you are lying awake at night unable to switch off, or waking during the night with your mind racing and unable to get back to sleep, or waking too early, or sleeping and sleeping but still feeling exhausted – hypnotherapy can help!

The NHS recommend that we should get around eight hours of sleep a night, but anxiety sufferers will often get much less than this. If you’re trying to live with anxiety then you might wake up feeling groggy unrested and sluggish; meaning the day ahead of you is likely to be challenging and a brain fog is going to be holding you back.

Tips To Try

  • A warm bath can help relax your mind and body
  • Some like to read a book
  • Consider the temperature of your bedroom, cooler is better than too warm.
  • Try to avoid using devices an hour or two before bedtime (The World Health Organisation(WHO) would suggest no devices 2 hrs before bedtime, realistically I struggle with that so I go for an hour !!)
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the hours leading up to falling asleep.
  • You could also try writing your thoughts down, it might help to get all the anxious thoughts down on paper and out of your mind.
  • Some people also find listening to white noise or an audio or sleep app helps quieten anxious thoughts and have it playing when they go to bed.

The good news is hypnotherapy can help you learn how to relax and go to sleep, and stay asleep. It can help to calm down the part of your mind that is wide awake and worrying during the night when you are trying to sleep and it can help to regulate your sleep and REM patterns.

If you are struggling to sleep then book in an initial consultation and see how we can help, contact me on 07516 962361 or email info@louisebarneshypnotherapy.co.uk.

I’d like to wish you all a Happy Easter,

Best Wishes, Louise

March – 2023 Am I Good Enough?

Welcome to March,

The month where Spring starts and we spring forward an hour, more daylight , hooray, I cant wait.  I’m looking forward to enjoying the longer days, out in nature with longer dog walks and a bit of colour in the garden its so nice.

I’m very lucky to do a job I love and to be able use solution focussed hypnotherapy to help so many people with all kinds of issues and conditions.  One of those issues that comes up quite often is that where a person doesn’t feel good enough.  With this in mind a fellow therapist Fleur Demeranville Dash wrote this article and wanted to share it with you.

“Am I Good Enough ?”

Don’t you feel sometimes you just need a little reminder that you are doing alright? That all the effort is actually worth it? That you are a good person, valid and significant? Do you sometimes have an annoying voice that creeps in making you think that no matter what, you will never be good enough?

I hate that voice! I fight with that voice! So many of us have to battle this voice on a daily basis, and if this sounds familiar to you, then I want to say, you are doing FANTASTICALLY!!! Because if you are fighting the voice, this means you are doubting what it says, complete proof that you actually KNOW deep down that you ARE GOOD ENOUGH!

Sometimes this truth can feel very deep down, hidden under layers and layers of negative thoughts and lack of confidence. Sometimes it can feel impossible to battle the voice.

I know those negative thoughts are so real. They are not silly, or you’re not overreacting, those thoughts really do seem to take over, don’t they?

Can I just ask you to think, what does “good enough” look like to you?

What would it take for you to stand in front of that mirror and be able to say, “I am good enough”?

Is “good enough” based on the expectations that you think other people have? Do you presume that people expect you to be a certain way, and that is “good enough”? Or is “good enough” an actual goal you’ve given yourself?

If you’re thinking ‘I don’t know’ (what’s this crazy lady going on about!) try and think about a time when you did something that was “good enough”? How did you know it was good? Remember what that feeling felt like, the facial expressions it gave you, the hope it left in your heart. What have you done recently where this was present? What does that tell you?

The thing about “good enough” is it is different for every one of us. What makes me good enough is different for you and it can change every single day and build over time. The only expectations that truly matter are the ones that matter to you!!! We can spend our whole lives trying to mould ourselves to be how we think people might want us to be, and this is so exhausting! Trying to second guess how we should act, dress, talk means that we are constantly TRYING rather than just BEING.

I’m not saying it’s easy to turn off these thoughts, but seeing them as what they are, thoughts not facts or realities can really help! When these thoughts come, take a breath, and try to think about something else for a moment. Maybe say “I’m not good enough at that, YET” and think about how you would like to improve in that area. Then think about all of the things that you do well, the things in your life you are proud of. With everything that you are managing right now, all that you are working through, and all those things that you have achieved.

Just the act of thinking these things is proof, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!

I can agree with Fleur, that you are good enough.  Be kind to yourself.  If you are looking for help and support then hypnotherapy could certainly help you, Get in touch to book an initial consultation on 07516 962361, or by email info@louisebarneshypnotherapy.co.uk

Have a great March, Best Wishes

Louise 🙂