Blog of a Hypnotherapist

Insomnia – Is it all in your head?

A man looking at his alarm clock in despair at ten past two in the morning because he can't sleep.

Worrying about not getting enough sleep could be the very thing that is causing your insomnia. Although sometimes there could be factors preventing us sleeping such as our diet and health, in a large number of cases it could just be all in the mind. Many of us are actually sleeping much better than we think. What many people actually have is ‘paradoxical insomnia’ where they think they are sleeping much less than they actually are. This can especially be common in people that are a bit anxious or sleep lightly. They may not be getting as good a sleep as the average person but studies show that although they tend to wake up a lot they are still getting sleep in between looking at their clocks. Because the sleep is very light they get the feeling that they are not sleeping at all so accepting that they are actually getting some broken sleep is the first step to tackling insomnia.

Insomnia is often about fear. Fear of just lying awake, fear that they can’t sleep or fear that they will not be able to function at work properly if they do not sleep. This fear then becomes a cycle and then going to bed becomes a negative task and then the fear of sleeps sets in.

So insomnia can simply be as much of a problem as the individual decides to make it. The problem is in your head. So if you can think your way into a problem then surely you can think your way out of it. But how can you do this?

First of all don’t put pressure on yourself to sleep. Don’t think of yourself as going to sleep but think of it as going for a rest. Resting is very restorative. As soon as you put pressure on yourself to sleep it’s not going to happen. So, make rest your goal! Research shows that for some cognitive tasks the benefits of rest were indistinguishable from sleep.

Much of the time people have decided for themselves wether they are good or bad sleepers. Remember you get what you focus on so if you focus on being a bad sleeper then you are probably going to get a bad nights sleep. Maybe if you decide that you are a good sleeper then if you do get a bad night then it won’t be so much of a big deal. Good sleepers have a belief that they are going to be fine whatever happens in the night. People that get highly stressed about their sleep have more depression, tiredness and cognitive impairment than people with a more positive belief system about their sleeping habits.

Increase your confidence about falling asleep by determining what time you need to get up then set your alarm and count backwards five and a half hours and don’t let yourself go to bed before that time (so in this case it would be one am). Make sure that you get up with that alarm and that you do not allow yourself any little naps throughout the day. Once you have done this for a few days your body will try and satisfy it’s need for sleep by making those five and a half hours as efficient as possible. Your sleep will then become much more continuous and much deeper. Once you have developed the confidence that you will fall asleep you can start bringing your bedtime forwards until it feels right for you. People may try and tell you that you need eight or nine hours sleep but research shows that six or seven is enough for a lot of people.

Move away from defining yourself as an insomniac by taking your focus away from sleep. See if you can go a whole month without talking about it! If you are asked by anyone about it then just say you slept fine.

Sometimes if we haven’t slept well the night before we tend to go to bed early in order to make up for it. This is a common mistake. It’s far better to go to bed later rather than earlier so that you make your sleep more efficient and don’t lay there in bed putting yourself under pressure to sleep.

You can start your bedtime routine as early as in the morning. Pick a wake up time and STICK TO IT! The brain loves consistency so if the brain has routine then it knows what is coming. Exercise is also a great idea. Early in the morning and outside in the fresh air is even better.

Sometimes it can be a case of an overactive mind. If I find my mind racing when I go to bed I find it very useful to use Emotional Freedom Technique to shut down my thinking. Hypnotherapy can also be very useful either by finding the root cause of the problem or using suggestions to help you sleep and get back into a routine.

For more information about hypnotherapy and EFT in Essex please contact me.

Caught in a bad romance? How to stop attracting negative relationships

A man and a woman shouting at each other and raising hands and clenching fists showing a bad relationships

Caught in a bad romance?

Do you find that you keep attracting the wrong partner into your life? Do you always end up in a toxic relationship? Do you see old relationship patterns repeating themselves?

One of the most common problems therapists deal with is a repeating pattern of dysfunctional relationships. The client’s partners share consistent similarities, such as physical and/or emotional abuse, unavailability, drug/alcohol, instability, Jealousy, narcissism, infidelity etc. And each relationship eventually ends badly because of these repetitive dynamics. After a while, such destructive patterns which often seem to be obvious to other people around them start to become apparent even to the client. And the therapeutic question becomes: Why would anyone persist in pursuing relationships that are doomed to failure? What’s going on here?

There are various reasons that this could be happening. Sometimes this can be due to a fear of intimacy with the opposite sex so we sabotage the relationship by pushing a partner away.

However, more often than not, there is a neurotic defense mechanism afoot that Freud called a ‘repetition compulsion’. This is a neurotic defense mechanism and this is how it works. It is typically an attempt to rewrite history. Particularly troubled relationships with parents, more often than not being the opposite sex parent. If this pattern matches in a current relationship the client has the subconscious childish hope that if he/she can be good, perfect, smart, quiet, funny enough etc then we can win over mum and dad and they will finally love them, as they need them to, unconditionally. The subconscious mistakenly believes that the problem with the parental interaction resides with them. With that the client believes they have the power to rectify it in changing into someone more acceptable. The most common argument I get from a client in this position is “It’s me. I am in the wrong. None of my relationships work.” So that client always hold onto the hope of being able to change the parents response by becoming what he or she wants us to become to ward off abandonment depression. Only now it is not a parent but the partner that the client is trying to please. This can often lead the client into a controlling relationship. So the client tends to repeat patterns of falling in love or getting involved with a partner that can cause them many difficulties. It’s a blind spot and no one would consciously choose this but this is a subconscious process at play and is a very powerful repetition if those negative subconscious repressed emotions are not released.

Sometimes clients have also become almost addicted to the drama of these events. It can become a subconscious way  to get any attention. This can also be very destructive. They also persevere with the relationship because they think they can fix their partner and force them to change. The believe that if they can change them that will make them a more worthy partner. They become rescuers but this can often be futile. In some cases it can just be a fear of being alone or low self worth hence choosing to opt for just anyone that will give them their time.

Hypnotherapy and EFT can help make change to these negative relationship habits  by releasing those repressed emotions and breaking the pattern that keeps re-occurring in the client’s life. By releasing those repressed emotions and changing thought processes we can help change the type of relationships that they have been attracting and guide them towards a more emotionally healthy and happy life.

Life is too short to be stuck in the wrong relationship and if our relationships are not in check then negative emotions can cause us so much stress and negative symptoms. This can cause us both mental and physical illness. Take control of your life now, you know it makes sense. 🙂

 

How positive thinking improves your life!

A sign saying negative think positive but the negative is crossed out.

 

So what are the amazing benefits of embracing positive thinking? Thinking with a positive mindset gives you freedom! But what exactly does it free you from? By developing a positive mindset you get freedom from all the negativity inhabiting your mind. When you have negative thoughts it corrupts your mind and then gradually pollutes your emotions. It also has a detrimental affect on your behaviour and attitude. Any thoughts that instil fear in you and make you succumb to your fears are also negative thoughts. Thoughts such as ‘I am incapable of doing that’, ‘I am not good enough’,  ‘I am a failure’ and ‘what if something goes wrong’ and similar thoughts are all negative and it is this that prevents you taking a step forward because these thoughts make you feel incapable of doing something. If you surrender to these thoughts each time, and never consider going against them, then you get stuck in a cocoon of negativity, and you are never able to live freely.

BUT there is good news. By learning to develop a positive mindset, you learn to battle the negative thoughts emerging inside you. Positive thinking helps you realise that your negative thoughts, feelings and emotions are nothing but a corruption of normal thoughts. There isn’t anything that you cannot do! Really it is just a matter of trying. By retraining your mind it helps you to be liberated from the negativity rooted inside of you. This makes you stronger standing on your own and putting an end to pessimism. Once you can do this you will learn that life is much more beautiful and much simpler than you have been making it. It is wonderful to be free from negativity and break down those barriers that stop you from chasing your dreams and goals.

In addition to freeing you from your negative thoughts positive thinking helps you become free by helping you see the many different possibilities in life. Research shows that a negative mindset pushes you to only behave in a specified manner. When you have negative thoughts you become frightened of certain outcomes and prevents you from taking any action against that possible outcome. So you can’t get beyond that to get a chance to see the other side of the coin. Sometimes our minds are conditioned to see the bleak things only but with a combination of hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy and Emotional Freedom Technique then our minds can easily be deconditioned as long as there is willingness for that to happen.

By developing a positive attitude and mindset you become more open to things instead of being restricted by your negativity, you start considering different ideas and seeing so many other possibilities in life.

Positive thinking is also very empowering as it helps you to build your own unique skill set. We are all gifted in different ways and negative thinking often stops us from being able to access those skills through a lack of self-confidence. The lack of self-belief, which feeds a lack of confidence can keep us in a terrible job that we don’t like or makes us dependant on others financially. By developing your positive thinking you become open to the thought that there might be something special about you as well! You might have a hidden talent that could help you towards your dreams and goals. This type of positive thinking will boost your self-confidence which makes you dig deeper in yourself to find your true potential thus enriching your life and opening up those opportunities you thought were just dreams!

For more information about positive thinking and overcoming barriers visit www.positivelycalm.com. Change your way of thinking now because YOU deserve it! You will find you have much more energy and will be so much happier!

Believe!

 

A person holding their hands in the air in triumph on a beach with the sea and a sunset in the background with the word believe at the top.

If you are not expecting it, you are not allowing it to happen

Your belief system brings into your life what you want to happen. If your beliefs are strong enough then what you believe will probably happen. If you believe everything in your life is bad then it is likely that you are going to bring bad events into your life. If you are optimistic and believe that good things are going to happen then that is what you are going to attract into your life. Simple? Yes and no. Sometimes because of negative events that have happened in our past it does sometimes take some retraining of our minds. And also remember that our minds and emotions are connected. So, if we are going to desire good things into our lives then remember each emotion indicates how much energy you are summoning. Your predominant thoughts and beliefs that you currently hold are all relative to your desire.

We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. If you look back through your own life you may notice how often you have gone through the same experience.

If you are feeling a very strong emotion, wether positive or negative, that means that your desire is powerfully focused and you are summoning a great deal of energy towards your desire. So, when your emotions feel bad, like depression, fear or anger, that means that you are offering a lot of resistance to your true desire. When your emotions are strong and feel really good , like enthusiasm, passion, positivity, expectation or love, that means that you are not offering out any resistance to that which you desire so the energy that you have summoned through what you desire is not being challenged vibrationally by yourself and you are then currently allowing the things that you desire to come into your life.

So it seems to be an obvious rule that the perfect situation to create and allow into your life what you desire is to really, really want something that you believe is possible. When that combination of both desire and belief is present within you all those things will quickly unfold into your life.

BUT when you want something that you do not believe is possible, when you have that desire but you do not expect it, it will not easily unfold into your life. Hypnotherapy and EFT can be fantastic tools to eradicate negative thoughts and feelings and make your belief system so much more positive!

Believe and Expect and the universe will answer your call……………..

Twin Peaks is my therapy

Agent Dale Cooper (played by actor Kyle Mcklachlan) at the end of a long corridor of red curtains with a black and white zig zagged floor in the black lodge in twin peaks

Twin peaks is back after 25 years and in typical David Lynch style it continues to shock, confuse and amaze those who follow the series. It may have been over 25 years since the last episode was shown but it has never been far from my mind. In fact, it has taken that amount of time to process and understand much of what went on in the show all those years ago, watching the episodes many times along with the feature film ‘twin peaks: fire walk with me’. This is why I’ve decided to write about how Twin Peaks has been my therapy.

So, why do I consider this surreal show therapy? Television in itself is hypnosis. When we are glued to that box we are taken places within our own minds and imagination. There is, however, no other show that hypnotises quite like twin peaks. One of the reasons I have watched the shows so many times is because I found that it relaxes me and opens my mind creatively. I have had some of my best creative ideas watching twin peaks. From the surreal images to the haunting and relaxing music of Angelo Badalamenti I can be taken right into the depths of my subconscious mind where creativity springs from. It’s quite ironic that a television series about the brutal murder of a high school prom queen can also relax and soothe the mind. Don’t get me wrong there are some very uneasy scenes of violence, horror and also hints of sexual abuse but there are so many different layers to Lynch’s film making. Of course, it isn’t just David Lynch but also Mark Frosts input that has made this such an incredible show. Forget the complexity of it. Although I don’t think there is any other show that causes so much discussion and different ideas and this in itself can be a form of therapy as it enables us to focus and think ‘outside the box’ but alongside this complexity there is also such an innocent simplicity. Many of the characters have a real  innocence about them that we instantly feel a warmth and rapport and a sense of protection to their very being. Lynch/Frost use many of these characters to bring humour to the show and bring a light heartedness, that, without it would probably make the storyline too dark and foreboding. One of these innocent characters is Lucy Brennan who is the Sheriff Departments receptionist who has an on/off relationship with Deputy Andy. She has some classic one liners and, although innocent, is nobody’s fool. Her sidekick Andy is also another innocent and enchanting character and the pair of them together bring a light warmth to some of the shows darkest moments.

Many of the characters are mysterious and enchanting, like the log lady who, as her title suggests, has a log that seems to know and understand much about the events that are taking place. ‘One day soon, my log will have something to say about this’ she teases very near the beginning of season one. Sadly the actress Catherine Coulson, who played the log lady, passed away during the filming of series three but not without filming her last scenes. And after watching these scenes in the first two episodes of series three it seems she very likely filmed these scenes on her death bed where she died from complications of cancer. This, to me, shows the dedication and passion that she had to the show and to David Lynch’s work who she had worked with many times over the years. In fact the idea for the log lady first came together many many years before in 1977 on the set of Lynch’s first ever, albeit low budget,  film ‘Eraserhead’ in which Coulson performed various behind the scenes functions. During the filming of ‘Eraserhead, Lynch told Coulson that he had an image in his head of her holding a large log. Fifteen years later, he created such a role for her in Twin Peaks, on which she starred for 12 episodes through seasons 1 and 2.

Coulson went on to reprise her role in the film prequel, Twin Peaks: Fire walk with me, and in the 2017 revival. In the new series, her character (the Log Lady) appears in the first two episodes, where she passes on a message from her log for Deputy Hawk to resume the search for Agent Cooper.

There is a strong mystic element to the log lady where she almost seems to have a psychic connection to her log. Very much in the way a witch would have a familiar such as a toad or cat or a psychic would have a crystal ball as a tool or ‘prop’ to channel psychic abilities. In fact there are many spiritual aspects to twin peaks. The red room which resides inside the black lodge where agent Cooper meets Laura Palmer is almost like a plane between the earth plane and the other side. In fact, this where he gets messages from various ‘spirits’. Although it doesn’t seem you have to be necesarily dead to be in the red room. Obviously Cooper isn’t but seems to visit when in a ‘dream like state’ or sleeping (Hey, that’s hypnosis!) In a recent episode in a dramatically horrifying scene a young boy gets hit by a truck and killed and when an older character tries to comfort the grieving mother he sees the child’s spirit going up into the sky.

Lynch has also reported that during the filming of Erasurehead that is where Coulson started practicing meditation having observed Lynch himself practice the technique.

And that leads me towards why I find Twin Peaks such a therapy in itself. Meditation. Meditation is a form of self-hypnosis. Although we all naturally go into hypnosis from times to time. Maybe through day dreaming or focus (ie.watching television) or driving from A to B and suddenly arriving without any idea of how we got there, the art of meditation can bring us into  much deeper depths of our subconscious mind. It is not only relaxing because it slows our body down from the strains of our everyday modern life but it is also therapeutic in the way that it lets our conscious minds switch off. It occurred to me last week when I was watching the latest episode of Twin Peaks: the return how quickly the episodes seem to fly by. A fifty minute episode (I watch without the ad breaks) literally feels like under ten minutes. As a hypnotherapist in Essex I know that when a client has been hypnotised, or indeed from my own experience of hypnosis, there seems to be hardly any concept of time. Lynch and Frost definitely seem to be giving us such an intense focus along with relaxing themes and some symbolism that are putting us into a meditative dream like state.  Although I have experienced a similar phenomenon in the past with other programs it has never been to this degree. So, from the angst of my late teens where the escapism was such an intense form of escape from my problems of the time to the hypnotic and meditative relaxation of today Twin Peaks has definitely been like my own form of therapy along with the group therapy of sharing ideas and concepts about the show online with fellow peakies! Lynch and Frost you have been the most wonderful therapist. Therapy never ends and let’s hope the show goes on further too and if it doesn’t?  Well I’ll just have to keep watching the episodes that have been made because with every new viewing you find something that you haven’t seen before.

For more information on hypnosis or hypnotherapy in please visit www.positivelycalm.com

 

Insomnia – Is it all in your head?

Worrying about not getting enough sleep could be the very thing that is causing your insomnia. Although sometimes there could …

Caught in a bad romance? How to stop attracting negative relationships

Caught in a bad romance? Do you find that you keep attracting the wrong partner into your life? Do you always end up in a …

How positive thinking improves your life!

  So what are the amazing benefits of embracing positive thinking? Thinking with a positive mindset gives you freedom! …