Mindfulness is evermore accepted in the mainstream as an effective way to balance the mind and body. More and more organisations and businesses are recognising the benefits of training their employees in the art of mindful living. This acceptance isn't altogether altruistic because it has significant benefits for the organisation by making the employee more productive and efficient.
Here at The Cumbria hypnosis hypnotherapy and mindfulness clinic our entire philosophy when it comes to treating any kind of psychological imbalance is teaching our clients how to be mindful whether dealing with negative behaviours, feelings or emotions.
Learning to become more mindful at work especially in the office can create a more effortless experience of the working day.
When you learn to stop and become more mindful in all of your working activity you can step off the hamster wheel, create some space and allow your natural mental processes to flow rather than to come to a grinding halt, which is often associated with frustration and a growing sense of stress.
Step one - Learn to pause at work. Make this pause as purposeful as you possibly can. Before even coming to work choose to start the day in the right way by learning to breathe before even getting out of bed. Frame a purposeful and productive day simply by imagining it being the way you want it to be.
Step two - Make your daily commute to work one which is free from distraction. If you tend to listen to the radio or are constantly aware of your phone then switch both off and instead concentrate on mindful breathing so that you can arrive at your destination feeling clearer and more engaged. Learn more about exercising mindful driving here
Step three - if you tend to walk between meetings, once again switch off your phone so you are not distracted by emails or text messages. Get used to feeling your feet on the floor and the air entering your lungs. Take the opportunity to acknowledge colleagues as you pass them and smile.
Step four - As you find yourself sitting at your desk staring at your computer screen, turn your gaze away from your screen for a moment and focus on something else on your desk maybe even bring in an object which is symbolically significant to you and makes you smile. Now study this object without any great thought. As you stare allow your breathing to become more regulated and rhythmic. If you want to close your eyes just for a few moments then go ahead and do that. Try to recreate the object in your minds eye or in your imagination. Amplify it's quality by changing its brightness and clarity. Play a piece of music in your mind that you associate with this particular object and note is the effect it has on your body and mind. Now bring your awareness back into the moment open your eyes and continue doing whatever you were doing.
Step five - Use any break time during your day to get away from the office. If the weather is kind to you go outside sit on a bench and observe your environment. In effect give yourself a chance to switch off the background stress which naturally builds up without us even being aware. See background stress like the apps on your smartphone. After a while we forget to switch off numerous apps but they are still running in the background draining the battery. Mindfulness teaches you how to switch off the 'apps' and restore full power to the system.
If you find you cannot incorporate all five steps at once, then build up gradually by practising one skill each day until you master it.
Here is what Simon from Kendal said about his experience with his mindfulness training.
"I have a highly pressured role, I had heard about mindfulness on the radio but had never quite understood what it meant. As far as I was concerned it was some new-age fad which only hippies would pursue. I couldn't be more wrong. Thanks to the training David taught me I was able to establish a framework which has allowed me to feel far more in control, happier and balanced."
Please take a look at other blog posts under this particular category for more information.
Until next time
Be mindful and have a peaceful day.
So why would you choose to practice mindfulness while driving?
There are numerous reasons why being mindful while driving can be incredibly beneficial to a daily commuter. First of all through being more 'present' while driving and not having your mind elsewhere you can better learn to enhance your focus rather than reduce it. Many road accidents tend to result from people driving without due care and attention because, for one reason or another, their minds are more focused on the day ahead rather than the road ahead. Apart from making driving safer, mindul driving can also ease the stress associated with commuting so that you can arrive at your destination more energised, refreshed and focused, rather than frustrated, irritable and unproductive.
Let's try a short exercise. Next time you are driving try switching off your phone, or at least make sure its silent or placed where it can't distract you. Avoid eating and just for this exercise, as a kind of experiment, switch off any background music or radio so that you can give your full attention to the exercise. Now as a first step, give your full attention to what's going on around you. Notice everything from the cars, trucks, bikes in front to any you can see with the use of your side and rear view mirrors. Notice your speed, if you know intuitively that you are going faster than the limit try slowing down. Remember this is just an experiment to teach your subconscious more mindful living. With me still? Great let's continue….
Back to driving within the speed limit. Too often we are in a hurry to get somewhere even though it's only an illusion born out of our 'go go go' society. You are more likely to reduce stress by driving slower if you know as a rule you may not always honour the code. Moreover you will also be setting a good example to all drivers. Just making this very small change can help you switch out of the normal habitual state of mind, which for most people is part of the subconscious norm which is responsible for more stress in life than we actually need. Next instead of focusing on your radio or background music which actually can make you more mindless than mindful, focus more on your breathing as you drive. Take a deep breath in through your nose and as you exhale, breathe slowly out through your mouth while paying attention to how calm that out breath makes your entire body feel. Repeat this over and over and as with any new habit you will begin to realise that not only is your mind feeling more clear but you are more readily able to concentrate on your driving almost without effort. Instead of getting lost in trains of thought, you can feel more present and aware. At first your mind may try to wander, so simply keep bringing your attention back to your breathing each and every time this happens until it becomes trained to 'behave'.
While driving and as you keep the majority of your attention on your driving, turn a percentage toward your bodily sensations. Scan for any tension and release that tension if you can. Be aware of any feelings of ligament or muscle tension in your head, shoulders, neck, back, torso, hips, legs, calves and feet and simply choose to let those areas go limp loose and relaxed. If you can't then just be aware of whatever comes and accept that awaress. This is what we refer to as mindfulness. Next you can open your attention to your surroundings again. If you approach a red light, try to slow down and see the red light as an opportunity to pause rather than something you should resist. The red light is there to remind you to pause. While you pause take some more mindful breaths maybe focus on the colour of the sky or shape of the clouds or if you are in the UK more likely listen to sound of the rain. With practice you can end up looking forward to the red light instead of dreading it, seeing it as a chance to breathe and refocus.
Even traffic jams can become a mindful experience. Realising that the traffic is already there you can learn through mindfulness to accept not resist. Fighting the traffic, constantly trying to win the lane battle, ultimately makes no difference. Instead let your mindful attitude encourage smiling and again just focusing on the breaths. Use this time to glance at other drivers and mentally wish them well. This may sound an unsual practice, but as you do this you will notice your attitude automatically becoming more friendly toward other drivers. Even when someone cuts you up while driving use the same technique to wish them well and hope they will be happy. You will find that swearing at people or feeling angry has only one outcome to enhance your overall stress and it's too late anyway so just let it go and return your thoughts to your breathing.
Mindfulness can help the journey be far more enjoyable and can make the entire experience on average sixty to eighty percent safer and more focused. As you drive in this mindful way, feeling more present, value your driving and arrive at your destination in a far more positive and balanced frame of mind.
Here at the Cumbria Hypnosis Mindfulness clinic we teach several strategies as well as mindfulness to anyone wishing to overcome any limiting belief, behaviour or emotion. If you would like to learn more then please click here
Wishing you a balanced and positive day
David Faratian (NLP Practitioner and Clinical Hypnotherapist)
Recently one of my clients, Claire from Ulverston in Cumbria came to see me for her years of struggle with her attempts to lose weight. She had literally tried everything she could think of and like so many people had spent hundreds of pounds searching for her holy grail. She had attempted numerous diets, traditional and a few unconventional ones which she had found on Facebook and the internet but each and every attempt had resulted in the same outcome which was short term weight loss and a sense of optimism followed very quickly by an abject sense of feeling dismayed and disheartened: “I felt like a complete failure and just went straight back to eating again, putting all the weight back on again”. Claire is not alone, however. Her story, like 90% of people worldwide is one of failure to lose weight with diets long term. Why is it so hard? The answer is pretty simple really. The body was not designed to be starved. When you put your body into a famine all you end up doing is stressing the system and the body kicks in to recovery mode. What this means is that once you starve yourself the body makes you feel more hungry, more irritable and more focused on the foods you shouldn’t be thinking about rather than anything else, which then compels you to grab the first opportunity to eat as much as possible thereby undoing all of the work you may have already put in. The body will keep this up until the balance is restored and the ‘emergency’ of no food is over.
And yet the dieting industry which is worth billions of dollars happily pedals the false dream of the perfect body as long as you keep trying again and again. The perfect business model for the big name weight loss companies, which I don’t even have to mention, but not necessarily the perfect solution for those they sell to. Diets are artificial, they are boring and they are unsustainable long term. This is our starting point in this discussion. So is it a lost cause? Is the idea of controlling your weight the impossible dream? Well, yes and no. You see if you are always comparing yourself to the airbrushed models in Vogue or Cosmopolitan then you are setting yourself an unrealistic challenge to become something which doesn’t even really exist. If however you can condition yourself to be happy with a balanced and healthy body, where you are simply comfortable and happy in your own skin then very quickly your resistance around what you think you should and shouldn’t eat can become less important. If you can accept and understand that food is merely a function of your life and NOT the be all and end all then you can relax more and live with less stress about your body.
So if you don’t achieve weight loss through dieting then how do you do it?. The clients I work with learn to control three key areas of their lives, which once dealt with help reshape their entire philosophy around food so that they can not only control the weight but more importantly can learn to lose weight naturally without sacrificing anything in their lives. Claire told me “ This was like nothing I had ever done in the past, because at no point did I feel like I was having to give up anything or having to use will power”. What Claire had identified was the one main difference between experiences with diets and the gastric band hypnosis process which I teach. In diets you have to chose what you can and cannot eat. With gastric band hypnotherapy, using a variety of cutting edge mental strategies you do not need any effort or willpower becasue our starting point is that food will always be around you therefore why fight it? You can try denying youself but you will always want the thing you are trying to avoid so just stop resisting and realise your environment will not change BUT you can! Once food doesn’t tempt you in quite the same way, your behaviour based on your emotions will start changing. The autopilot of the body also known as the subconscious can readily train your ability to know when you are full and can be trained to feel full quicker. Claire’s experience illustrates this: “ I had always known that gastric band operations existed, but I didn’t want to put my body through dangerous surgery and I certainly wasn’t willing to spend £8000. Once I was shown how to achieve similar results using hypnosis, I was amazed at how quickly I was feeling full and how much more food was left on my plate” Once you can have more subconscious awareness of feeling full quicker with less food then through sustained automatic balanced eating, the body begins to more effciently process burning off existing fat and preserving less new fat. The metabolism can, in effect, return to normal and function more effeciently, doing its job properly after having maybe spent years speeding up and slowing down according to any yo-yo dieting attempts.
“I would recommend this service (Cumbria Hypnosis Habit Change Clinic) to anyone who is struggling with diets. It Takes all the effort out of losing weight, gives you confidence and enables you to live your life to fullest without sacrificing anything.” Louise (Barrow-in-Furness)
The mind and body working in balance can result in dramatic and long lasting weight loss, once you have been able to engage with the creative part of brain. The reason why this approach works, is simply because it does not rely on resisting your environment and yourself, instead it is about reframing your perceptions of food and how much you actually need to eat to have the energy you need to get from one mealtime to the next without running back to the fridge an hour later. If you want to find out more then visit our dedicated page HERE
Cumbria Hypnosis serves Cumbria, South Lakes including Ulverston, Kendal and Lancaster with flexible daytime and evening clinics to suit you. If you would like to have a no obligation 20 minute consultation where I will share exactly how this process can help you then you can contact me by clicking this link
Wishing you well
In this month’s blog I want to discuss the three issues that trigger your cravings and urges to smoke, and the secret hypnotic techniques that can turn them into triggers that make you automatically lose the cravings and urges and reject the cigarettes.
In the next few minutes you are going to completely understand why it is so difficult to quit smoking, and the way hypnosis and NLP techniques can be highly effective psychological tool for neutralising the cravings and urges without having to resort to struggle or to willpower.
Here's the first issue that triggers oral cravings and urges.
All smokers get cravings and urges to smoke because putting cigarettes into the mouth provides temporary relaxation and pleasure
If you smoke, it all started when you were an infant. When you got upset, your mother stuck a bottle full of baby milk in your mouth or maybe a dummy.You got distracted by the bottle, relaxed and soon thereafter you fell asleep.Your inner computer, your unconscious mind got programmed so that now, when something is placed into your mouth, you get relaxation and pleasure from it.
Now as an adult when you feel tense or nervous, you put cigarettes (or chewing tobacco) into your mouth for relaxation and pleasure.
Here's the second issue that triggers oral cravings. Smoking is a conditioned response
Do you remember learning about the scientist named Pavlov in school? Pavlov rang a bell every time that he fed his dogs. After a few repetitions, all he had to do was just ring the bell, and the dogs would salivate.
If a person smokes and simultaneously drinks coffee, the mind takes a picture of the cigarette in the hand, and connect it to the image of the cup of coffee. Thereafter, every time the person looks at a cup of coffee, the minefields in the missing part of the picture. It flashes an image of the cigarette in the hand, and the person feels and urge to smoke
The mental picture of the cigarette is usually only at the unconscious level. In other words, the person may not be consciously aware of the picture. But the image is there, creating cravings and a compulsion to smoke.
The same thing happens if you smoke and drive, or smoke and watch other people smoke, smoke and watch TV, or smoking do anything else. Soon almost everything causes you to unconsciously see a cigarette, and it is those unconscious images which make you feel cravings and a compulsion to smoke.
But what about the physical addiction? Isn't there a strong physical addiction? Isn't that what makes quitting so difficult question?
Now here's an interesting fact. Relaxation and pleasure make up as much as 45% of the addiction. The conditioned responses make up 45% of the addiction BUT the physical addiction surprisingly only makes up 10% of the addiction
Of course the physical addiction is to nicotine among other psychoactive elements. Scientists tell us however, that the body metabolises all of the nicotine within 72 hours! So effectively after the 72 hours we are only left with the urges and compulsions caused by the mental emotional aspects of the smoking habit
So now I'm going to share with you how you can quickly get rid of your cravings, urges, and compulsions, because this will provide a solution to quitting without with drawl, stress substitution of food or having to rely on willpower. As already discussed the craving and compulsion part of the smoking addiction accounts for 90% of the addiction, so it is the mental aspects of smoking which cause the majority of the cravings and compulsions and not the physical addiction to nicotine. In other words your mind is mostly responsible for causing the cravings and compulsions.
But here's the good news what the mind can create what the mind can learn, The mind can also unlearn
Hypnosis works extremely well at eliminating the smoking addiction because it reaches deep into the part of the brain where the unwanted habits take route, the unconscious. When implemented by an expert hypnotist and NLP specialist you can quickly eliminate any compulsion
Without a compulsion to smoke you quit without feeling tension or anxiety, or suffering from cravings or with drawl. And since you're actually feel more relaxed, you won't have any desire to substitute food in place of the cigarettes!
Through the hypnosis and NLP programs available on this site you can conquer your battle with smoking and cigarettes without the struggle. You might be wondering why hypnosis and NLP (neurolinguistic programming), works so well. The reason is simple when you change the mental association, you also change the emotion which links you to the behaviour which in turn breaks down the habit.
If you would like to find out more about this approach for dealing with your habit of smoking or any other compulsion or addiction then simply click on the CONTACT ME link at the bottom of this page or CLICK HERE for more information.