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Have a chilled Christmas – and enjoy a free hypnotherapy recording

holiday-stress-how-to-curbWith all the pressure to be happy, to make everyone else happy, and to get a myriad of things done to ensure the perfect Christmas, there is no wonder the holiday period can be a minefield.

Images on social media, together with nostalgic, airbrushed memories of Christmases past, inevitably lead to impossibly high expectations. In order to avoid stress, disappointment and frustration, practise some of these tips.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           (From Lori Stillman, Bing Images)

Manage expectations

  1. Accept it won’t be perfect. Each Christmas is different (be honest: no Christmas you have ever had was perfect, was it?) and the chances are that, a few years from now, you will be looking back fondly at the things that didn’t go to plan this year and resulted in new ways of celebrating and lessons learned.
  2. Learn to be comfortable with saying no. This avoids overwhelm, resentment and reinforces your self-confidence.
  3. Acknowledge how you feel. If you need to grieve because you have lost someone, or if you feel anger, find a way to express it rather than bottling it up.
  4. Have a game plan that helps you take back control. Accept that there are likely to be issues involved in long to-do lists and spending time with family, and have a contingency plan.

Plan

  1. Ask yourself what really needs to get done. What’s the worst that will happen if the turkey isn’t put into the oven at the appointed time or your son doesn’t get the latest Star Wars gadget?. Do the things that are genuinely important, and let go of things that don’t really matter. Some people find it helpful to note ‘essential, desirable and not important’ next to list items.
  2. Spread the festivities over a longer time period. Don’t try to cram in all the family visits, all the social events, even all the holiday food into two or three days. Sometimes it is more fun (and less stressful) to take your time.
  3. Set and stick to a budget – this avoids anxiety both during and after Christmas. If necessary, let people know you have set a budget and find more creative ways to show you care: homemade gifts, agreements that you will only buy gifts for the children in a family, giving the gift of time etc. A friend of mine gives ‘vouchers’ for nice dinners or activities to be enjoyed (and paid for…) later in the year. This helps spread out the cost of Christmas.

Manage relationships

  1. Recognise that there is always a choice. You don’t have to see both sets of relatives on Christmas Day, you can alternate. Similarly, it isn’t necessary to spend all day with people you find it difficult to be with. Find a reason to arrive later or leave earlier.
  2. Let go of grievances and be understanding. We all have our problems and chances are that everyone in the room is also struggling to be perfect, to get things done etc. Cut some slack.
  3. Take a moment before you open your mouth. If something really needs to be said, pause and remind yourself of at least one thing you appreciate about the person who has wound up before you say anything. This interrupts the negative thought pattern and encourages some empathy.

Look after your health

  1. Maintain healthy habits. Making sure you get enough sleep, keeping an eye on alcohol consumption, and making enough healthy food choices to stave off holiday weight gain (aim for a slightly modified 80/20 rule) will ensure you feel as good as possible over the holiday period and minimise guilt afterwards.
  2. Exercise. Fit some form of exercise in every day. Not only will this release feel-good endorphins into your system, it will also help burn off extra calories, increase your self-esteem, and help you sleep more soundly.

Other things you can do

  1. Practise mindfulness. Even if it is initially just for a minute. Become aware of your body, notice the feeling of the breath moving in and out, park your thoughts outside for a moment. Pay attention only what you can see, hear, feel, smell and taste – without judgement.
  2. Get creative. Make Christmas cards, gifts and wrapping paper. Or simply get yourself a colouring book and enjoy the focussed concentration and gentle hypnotic state of immersing yourself in colour and shape and patterns for half an hour. This rest and digest state has benefits ranging from lowering blood pressure, boosting the immune system and calming nerves.
  3. Enjoy humour. Have a funny podcast or TV show on hand. Even a smile has considerable health benefits.
  4. Go for a walk. Preferably in nature. In addition to the benefits of the exercise, research suggests that natural surroundings greatly enhance feelings of wellbeing (this is one reason for the plethora of CDs featuring nature sounds, and the fact that many meditations and hypnotherapy sessions will use nature imagery).
  5. Step back. Before jumping to a conclusion or really getting wound up, consider the facts, ask yourself if something is really true or necessary before you react.
  6. Seek help. From friends, family, even a professional. There is considerable strength in being able to do this.
  7. Consider the meaning of ‘good will’. Do something kind for someone every day.
  8. Take time for yourself. Every day.

Above all, be realistic, plan ahead but allow yourself to jettison plans where necessary, look after your physical and mental health – and that of others – and seek support. This will help you take a preventative approach to any holiday stress.

To help you maintain balance, enjoy some slowing down and discharge any toxic emotions, please enjoy this little recording as a Christmas gift from me.

Release Negative Emotions
Happy holidays!

Fiona

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Getting things done

ahh-procrastination

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (Source: https://thelifeofmadamf.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/ahh-procrastination)

Sound familiar?

Everyone experiences difficulty focussing on tasks at times and  this can be due to a number of factors. Most common are anxiety and fear (fear of success as well as the more obvious fear of failure), low self-esteem and stress. Depression also tends to inhibit our ability to focus and make decisions.

The consequences of not getting things done range from the inconvenient to the serious. The stress of deadlines and unfinished tasks piling up is often accompanied by guilt. Both of these, when compounded and prolonged, can lead to depression, which makes it even more difficult to get things done.

Furthermore, there is the risk of being taken less seriously by colleagues, friends and family (we’ve all experienced that ‘yeah, right’ feeling when someone says they’ll do something but but we know that it will probably never happen). Finally, of course, there is the real risk of not
realising your potential and fulfilling your dreams.

It’s time to make a change.

Fortunately, there is hope. Read on…

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Want to enhance your enjoyment and performance?

Running

 

 

 

 

 

Photo from Bing Images (http://www.hdwalls.xyz/images/running-track-lanes)

Come along to our free workshop on Sports Performance and learn how to use self-hypnosis and special assessment tools to really get to the top of your game, whatever it may be. Click on the link below for details and registration.

Sports Performance Enhancement Workshop

See you there!

Fiona

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Got bad habits you want to break?

Workshop on 26th May – 6.30pm, St James’s Place, Queen’s Road Central   Free admission

Come along and find out how to ditch the unwanted behaviours and instil positive new habits! Click Breaking Bad Habits Workshop for details.

 

 

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Having trouble sleeping?

Sleepless in Hong Kong?

insomnia-causes11 by mariamuir
(image from mariamuir.com)

Most adults and many children experience problems sleeping from time to time, and 30-58% suffer from insomnia on a regular basis. Insomnia can take the form of either getting off to sleep or remaining asleep throughout the night and often results in frustration and inability to function during the day. Long term, chronic insomnia has also been linked to insulin resistance, disrupted metabolic rate and impaired adrenal and immune function. Insomnia can also result in weight gain either as a direct result of lowered metabolism and reduction of leptin – the protein that controls appetite – or an attempt to compensate for the tiredness by eating sugary foods the next day.

What causes insomnia?

In short, a number of things.
We all know that caffeine and sugar can interrupt sleep, as can the inhibition of melatonin production (staring at a bright screen before bedtime plays havoc with this hormone). It has also been found that a large meal at night, exercising too late and overlong naps during the day may also cause sleep disturbances.

Insomnia can also be simply a matter of a habit that has become embedded in the subconscious mind. This is common in people who have done shift work or developed a particular pattern of curtailed, delayed or interrupted sleep because of work or study demands, for instance. What the subconscious mind tends to do is to hold on to habits that served a purpose once and continue running them on autopilot, as it were, until we replace them with new habits that serve us better.

In a similar way, repeated incidences of insomnia (for example during a stressful period) can also become a habit and continue to interrupt the natural cycle of sleep.

There are often underlying causes, however. Stress and unresolved emotions such as anxiety, anger, fear not only make it very difficult for the conscious mind to switch off, but also tend to put the protective subconscious mind on high alert and prevent sleep.

Student under stress

Early morning wakening can be a sign of depression (research suggests that this curtailing of sleep is an attempt by the subconscious to prevent the over-dreaming that is common – and detrimental – in depression). If you suspect depression, it is advisable to see a doctor. Likewise, it is important to note that sometimes insomnia can be caused by underlying medical conditions which need to be checked out by a medical professional.

So, what can be done?
It’s common to feel hopeless when faced with what seems like the inevitability of sleepless nights. However, there are a number of things that can be done, fortunately. Read on…

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Gut pain?

IBS - Bing ImagesHypnotherapy has been shown effective in the treatment of abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by a number of studies (including those by widely-respected Dr Peter Whorwell of the Institute of Inflammation and Repair, Manchester University.

Now the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam has backed up the findings yet again – for text version of the article, see hyperlink at bottom of blog post. This particular study focusses on the benefits of hypnotherapy for children suffering from gastrointestinal abdominal pain, but it is also highly relevant for adults.

Hong Kong Hypnotherapy’s Irritable Bowel Syndrome treatment package is based largely on Peter Whorwell’s work. If you would like to find out more and make 2015 a much more comfortable time for your tummy, then please call or email me.

All the best,
Fiona
IBS article – Medscape Medical News

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Improve your heart health with hypnosis!

healthy heart - Bing images
(image from Bing Images)

This month is American Heart Month, so a great time to check in with what you are doing for your heart – and the challenges it is facing – and take advantage of a special offer.

Hypnosis can help you improve your heart health by aiding greatly in:

- stopping smoking
- getting rid of excess weight
- motivating you to exercise regularly
- managing and lowering high blood pressure
- reducing levels of stress and anxiety

And, to help you get started, there are just 12 days to go to take advantage of the over 15% discount on the weight management package.

For more information on this and how I can help you towards a healthier heart, simply drop me a line or call me on 91749643.

To a happier heart!
Fiona

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How are you getting on?

Keep going

If you’re like most people, you will have made a few New Year’s resolutions. How are you doing with them so far? Below, I have included some tips on how to maximise your success with resolutions.

New Year’s Resolutions
People have been making New Year’s resolutions for over 2000 years. It is thought that the practice began in Ancient Babylon, where promises of good behaviour were made to the gods. Other religions had a similar tradition; in pagan Rome, the god Janus encouraged people to look forward and plan for the new year, and both Judaism and Christianity offer the chance to mend one’s ways and seek and give others forgiveness, respectively through the High Holy Days and Lent.

Resolutions typically include improving health, sorting out finances, applying oneself more to work or studies, socialising more and helping others.

How successful will you be?
Two separate studies in 2007 and in 2014 discovered that well over half of the people surveyed failed with their resolutions.

So, how did the successful succeed? Read on…

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New Year Special Offer

Over-indulged over the holidays? Pants a bit tight? Need a boost to help you get back into shape? Let us help. We have a special offer of over 15% off our Hypnosis for Weight Management package.

Most people who are concerned about their weight have tried all kinds of diets. However, what these generally don’t do is teach life-long strategies for a positive relationship with food, and they don’t deal with the underlying reasons for being overweight (these can include stress, not having enough time for yourself and emotional eating).

Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, does enable you to develop a long term, healthier approach to food and address underlying issues by reprogramming the subconscious mind, where habits are created and maintained.

Both the British and American Medical Associations have endorsed hypnotherapy since the mid-1950s, and it has been shown to be beneficial in aiding and supporting weight loss and enabling you to keep the weight off long term. The following links include formal studies of hypnotherapy for weight management and illustrate this.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3973038

http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-strategies/i-tried-it-hypnosis-weight-loss

The package includes

- 6 sessions of 60-90 minutes each, scheduled flexibly to fit in with individual needs

- visualisation and NLP techniques to aid success

- addressing emotional eating

- creating an intelligent relationship with food

- boosting motivation to exercise

- goal-setting

You will also receive:

- support material

- recordings of the sessions to listen to afterwards to enhance your success

The usual price for this package is $9600, but for a limited period, we are offering it for just $8000 for all 6 sessions providing the first session is booked and taken between 6th January and 19th February 2015.

For more information on this and other ways in which I can help you achieve your goals for 2015, please email or call me on 91749643.

Wishing you all the very best for a happy, healthy and abundant 2015!

Fiona

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The Power Of The Subconscious – Spa Monkeys article

Are you looking to make improvements to your physical or mental health? If so, you might want to consider hypnotherapy, an approach that has been recognised by the British Medical Association since 1955.

I was recently interviewed by a new health and wellness directory/blog about hypnotherapy.

Despite myth and its undeserved Svengali reputation, hypnotherapy is no scarier or weirder than meditation. In fact, it uses the same brainwave state as meditation to access our own internal healing powers, allow habit change to occur, and remove limiting beliefs. Furthermore, I have found that anyone who has done any meditation at all – or indeed drifted off in a daydream at some point – tends to respond beautifully to hypnotherapy.

You can read the article from Spa Monkeys below. Also, please email me if you would like more information on how I can help with anything from anxiety, depression, insomnia, phobias, childbirth, irritable bowel syndrome, addictions and weight management.

The Power of the Subconscious – Spa Monkeys

Enjoy!
Fiona

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