Most Read Articles of the Year - Dan Regan Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket

Phew! It's been another busy and engaging year and it seems like so long ago since the start of the year (and the third Covid-19 lockdown). 

Covid-19 and its impacts have continued to rise, diminish and lurk around over the year. Yet it has still been another year helping many people to overcome anxiety, end phobias, build confidence and self-esteem, quit smoking, lose weight and with many other issues that were getting in the way of their happiness. Thank you to everyone who has worked with me this year, those of you who have bought one of my powerful hypnosis audios and to everyone who has recommended me to others and left a kind review of our sessions together.

I always like to do a little personal review of the year in my head and to think back on some of the highlights of the year. I've really enjoyed meeting and working with so many people this year (face to face and online) and it makes my day whenever I hear how well you are doing (and it makes my week when you leave a positive review!). I've also been in the studio a number of times so that I can now help you with a wider range of hypnosis downloads, and I'm honoured to be a finalist in the Ely Business Awards.

Outside work, the kids are continuing to grow and to occupy my time and thoughts (usually in good ways!!); I've been continuing to practice the guitar (and can now play a few tunes recognisably!); and my exercise has continued to ensure that there is always some part of my muscle that aches.

I'll be off for a short break with the family over the festive period (I'll still reply to emails although may be a little slower than usual so please bear with me). 

As part of my review of the year, I've brought together a treasure trove of my most read articles from the past twelve months (just a snippet of what's available on my website blog pages).

There's a lot of things included here that can help you with issues, such as reducing negative thoughts and feelings from things like anxiety, stress and distress. And there are also many strategies and techniques for helping with sports psychology and for increasing confidence, resilience and well-being. In most cases there is evidence and research to support them which you can find over in the full article using the links (more and more we are able to call upon evidence based practice to help with aspects of mental health and psychology).

I hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as I've enjoyed researching and writing them. So whether you're visiting these articles for the first time today, or revisiting them and reminding yourself of how to boost your mental health, I hope you find something you enjoy that helps you and that you can take away to help you have a wonderful 2022, and even more, to make progress towards being the best version of yourself that you wish to be and can be. 

Happy New Year! 

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Merry Christmas from Dan Regan Hypnotherapy in Ely and Newmarket

It's been another strange year with the pandemic still looming over us all and now the new variant being the focus of attention. 

I've been busy this year helping clients (and thanks for all the recommendations and reviews!), writing articles and recording new hypnosis downloads to help you with a variety of issues. In between that I've enjoyed some great times with the kids, lots of fun as I continue to learn guitar, and some intense times exercising!

I hope that this past year has been kind to you and that you have found time to take care of your physical health and your mental health.

And before I switch off to take a short festive break with my family (and to sing endless repetitions of the songs from the Albert Finney version of Scrooge), I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Wishing you a healthy, happy and wonderful 2022! 

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Ely Business Awards Finalist - Hypnotherapy in Ely

I'm delighted to confirm that Dan Regan Hypnotherapy has reached the SME Ely Business Awards Final 2021 in the Service Excellence category.

As anyone who has followed this website or who reads my posts knows, getting a positive result for my clients is the top priority in everything I do so I'm thrilled to have become a finalist.

The winner of the category will be announced in late January at the awards ceremony (should I start writing an acceptance speech? Haha!). 

A huge thank you to all of my awesome clients who have chosen to work with me and to those of you who have kindly left feedback on how much the hypnotherapy sessions helped you, and who continue to recommend me to your friends and family. Thank you!

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Mental Health and Pets...And Sad News of Nibbles the Rabbit

A few years ago I wrote an article about the mental health benefits of pets. Having a pet can help if you have a mental health condition, and I think the sense of connection, emotional support and sense of purpose are valuable benefits to us all.

I can still remember the excitement when Nibbles the rabbit joined the Regan household and she soon became a part of the family. The girls would hug, feed and groom her, and I know all of us enjoyed our little interactions in the garden (and all those private little conversations you have with your pets when no one else can hear you!!). 

During lockdown one in particular, I used to go out into the back garden each morning and do a bootcamp routine that had been shared online (as we weren't allowed in groups back then). As well as killing the grass with what seemed like a trillion burpees, I used to love interacting with Nibbles (who probably wondered what on earth I was doing but she kept quiet as long as the grass kept coming her way!). As soon as I went into the garden, up she would come running to remind me of my grass picking and feeding responsibilities, and every time I rested there she was giving me that little 'I'm just a poor starving bunny, even though I've eaten a ton of grass already' look that I couldn't ignore.

Of course, she did have her moments, like the time she escaped and it took us over an hour to get her out from behind the neighbour's shed. And I think she scratched my daughter a few times and even peed on the living room floor (while getting hugs from the kids).  

But despite those occasional little bunny strops, she was very much a part of our family and it was a very sad day indeed when she didn't come home from the vet last week. Poor little Nibbles.   

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Fear of Flying - Another Success Course with the Flight Simulator and Anxiety Hypnotherapy

As with most forms of anxiety and fear, the number one strategy for dealing with it, is to try and avoid it. Avoidance makes you feel better in the short term because of the relief it brings to you from the anxiety and stress reducing. However, it doesn't solve the problem or make it go away; it just postpones it until the next similar situation.

It's estimated that up to about 25% of people struggle with flying anxiety to some degree. There can be forms of general flying anxiety from even seeing a plane or talking about flying with others. Most flying phobics have elements of anticipatory flight anxiety where you feel anxious as you think ahead to your flight and you overthink and catastrophise even before you set foot on a plane. And then there's the flight anxiety itself where you may worry about something bad happening, feel tense and on edge and become very panicky around every sound and movement of the plane (especially that dreaded turbulence!).

But if avoidance has been your main anxiety-coping strategy, what happens when you need to fly? How can you cope with the anxiety, fear and worry that you may start to experience even weeks before your flight? That's where the fear of flying course comes to your rescue. Based upon sound research, and incorporating elements of psychology, virtual exposure and knowledge and information about anxiety and flying, you can start to feel more calm and relaxed around flying. Rather than feeling out of control on the plane (and perhaps almost wanting to take back control by flying it yourself!), you can learn how to take back control over your own thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions.

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Anxiety Help in Ely and Newmarket - Dan Regan Hypnotherapy

When you struggle with anxiety, it can seem like there's no escape from all those unwanted thoughts and unpleasant feelings. Those intrusive thoughts, filled with worst case scenarios, negativity and dread can dominate your mind and your thinking. And those uncomfortable anxious feelings just lead to more worry and uncertainty.

It can be exhausting trying to cope with everything you are battling with internally, as you try and get through each situation or each day. 

And, of course, the natural reaction to anxiety and dread is to avoid things, to get out of them or get away from them as quickly as possible. Yet that avoidance just exacerbates anxiety and means that the same unwanted pattern keeps repeating over and over. 

Whether your anxiety is about something specific, like work or social situations, or is much more generalised, anxiety has a way of creating its own cycle of misery. You feel anxious and struggle with negative thoughts and you avoid things or have to struggle through them. There may be moments of relief when you feel a bit better, but that same anxiety pattern comes right back at you when faced with a similar situation or circumstance again.

In fact, because anxiety is so unpleasant you may even start to dread the anxiety itself and worry about being anxious, all of which just adds to that internal mixing pot of unwanted thoughts and feelings. It could be said that the more anxiety you experience, the more anxiety you will experience. It can take over, stop you thinking straight, keep you awake at night, make you feel tense and sick, destroy your confidence in yourself and curtail your ability to engage in things and enjoy the things that you used to.  

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Disputing Your Irrational Anxious Thoughts

There can be few greater simple pleasures than spending half an hour or so reading at night before going to sleep. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved reading detective stories, with anything containing Sherlock Holmes always being a favourite (in fact, I seem to recall that I based my English GCSE exam story composition upon a Sherlock Holmes story I'd been reading beforehand!). Agatha Christie's Poirot is another favourite, and I love anything in the British Library Crime Classics collection. 

In these stories there's no need for excessive violence, there are no computers or mobile phones or DNA to call upon, and it's all based upon deduction and reasoning to bring the plot to a successful conclusion. Perhaps it was this love of the logic and rational thinking and reasoning that led me to study my law degree (or maybe it was watching LA Law on TV, if you're old enough to remember that one!).

Poirot calls upon his 'little grey cells' to evaluate, analyse and solve cases, and there's perhaps no detective more famous that Sherlock Holmes for rational thinking and calling upon the facts (although he never actually says 'Elementary, my dear Watson' in any of the Conan Doyle stories).  

And so I was delighted and excited recently when I found out that my daughter's English class were studying Victorian Crime and Detective Stories, and particularly Sherlock Holmes' stories. I'd have loved that at her age, and even now I would happily go and sit at the back of the class so I could listen in! Ah here, I thought, was a shared thing that my daughter and I would be able to discuss and dissect with a shared passion for old detective fiction. Only it turned out she wasn't that bothered about the stories, so that was the end of that! 

So why am I talking about these great-thinking detectives here today? It's because very often, inside our own minds, our thinking gets distorted, generalised, embellished, catastrophised and we suffer from all sorts of thinking errors and biases. We can jump to conclusions, give meaning to things, make assumptions about what other people are thinking, make erroneous predictions, catastrophise and imagine and create all sorts of worst-case scenarios. Emotions like anxiety can lead to these kinds of negative and irrational thoughts, and the thoughts (which may or may not be accurate) can create emotions like anxiety.  

If you struggle with anxiety then you will be familiar with the overthinking, worst-case scenarios and 'what if' thoughts. Your anxiety can latch onto a train of thought and before you know it, it has been amplified and magnified inside your head and your anxious feelings increase.  An initial thought can move down that rabbit hole of thinking that moves further and further away from the current situation, and where things get worse and worse in your mind. 

So there is certainly benefit in bringing thoughts back to the present, and to the facts, rather than letting emotions like anxiety, stress, fear and worry take over. To take control over our thinking and feel better in ourselves, perhaps we all need to think a bit more like Sherlock in these moments when he said, "whatever is emotional is opposed to that true cold reason which I place above all things" (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign Of Four). 

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Improving Football Performance with Hypnosis - Hypnotherapy in Ely

I've written many times before about the research and evidence for improving sports performance using hypnosis and sports psychology.  In any sport, including football that I am talking about here, your mindset plays an influential role in your performance.

Using hypnosis can help you to improve your soccer performance through management of your emotional levels, effective visualisation and harnessing your self-talk constructively. You can draw upon previous successful performances, learn from role models, build your sense of self belief and capability and prime your mind for successful performance. 

Using these psychological techniques and strategies can help you with staying focused, decision making, skill development and handling challenges. When things aren't going well for you or the team, or you make a mistake, how you orchestrate your thoughts and feelings will have a massive impact on whether you bounce back or let your performance deteriorate. 

I find it fascinating watching football due to the emotions and psychology involved. Some players rise under pressure and goading from the opposition and perform at their best, while other sink under the weight of it all. Some players look like they want to be there and to play and seem to have endless energy and insight, while others are lethargic and lack belief in themselves. And when things go wrong, such as missing a penalty, losing the ball or a mistimed tackle, a player can either refocus and get back on with it, or a lack of belief or the 'red mist' ruin the rest of their game. 

Whatever your position on the pitch, you will benefit from confidence and a belief in your own ability. You can call upon psychological techniques to improve your ability to bring the ball under control, to complete successful passes and to make successful tackles.

Research suggests that hypnosis can help you to improve your soccer performance. If you want to consistently play at your best, then hypnosis for football performance may be the strategy that helps you get there and stay there. 

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Overcoming Fear of Vomiting and Sickness - Hypnotherapy in Ely

Autumn is well and truly upon us (which means winter is approaching), schools are back in full swing and people are mixing more and around others more as the (hopefully) last throws of the pandemic rumble on.

And all of these things can contribute to and spark anxious thoughts and feelings if you struggle with a fear of vomiting and sickness. 

The approach of winter can often lead to more illness and sickness bugs being passed about, especially from kids as they mix in school and bring things home with them. People mixing more, especially indoors in cooler weather, often leads to bugs being passed on and spread, and this may be amplified now after we all had a pandemic-related break from most of these activities. The conditions are ripe for sickness bugs (like the winter vomiting bug) to spread.  

That's probably why recently I've seen a big uptake in the number of people with a fear of vomiting and sickness contacting me for help. Many are concerned about winter sickness bugs, or anxious now that their kids are back in school (without the previous pandemic limits of mixing). Some have been unable to avoid the situations where they may well encounter unwell people, such as at work. And for others, the anxiety, fear and avoidance has become too much and they want to calm down their anxiety and nervousness around vomiting to a much more manageable level that doesn't interfere with their lives.

The good news is that hypnotherapy can help you to overcome your phobia and fear about vomiting and sickness so that, should someone around you be ill or sick, you can calm and capably handle it and deal with it, without that overwhelming panic and fear. 

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Overcoming Your Fear of Flying - Hypnotherapy in Ely

It's been another busy weekend running my fear of flying course over in Mildenhall. With the pandemic rules changing and more and more flying becoming possible, we're getting an increasing number of enquiries from people seeking support to overcome their fear of flying. 

Along with Serena at Sim2Do, we've been running our fear of flying course for a while now, with some very positive results for attendees. Whilst during the pandemic it was quite easy for someone with flying fear to avoid anything to do with air travel, that avoidance strategy is becoming less sustainable as things open up more. Luckily, there are ways to reduce that fear and to feel calmer and more positive about flying.

Avoidance is generally the first line of response for any type of anxiety and fear, yet whether it's because you want to go on holiday (or your friends and family want you to go on holiday with them!) or due to work, avoidance becomes more and more tricky. Such is the strength of some people's fear of flying, I've known clients to almost wish their upcoming holiday would be cancelled or at least postponed. Avoidance can make you feel a bit better for a while, because the unpleasant anxious thoughts and feelings subside for a while, yet it inadvertently strengthens the fear and means the next time you are faced with a potential flight, you again try to avoid it. If you can't avoid it, the anxiety and fear associated with it can easily take over.

Many people come to our fear of flying course with a sort of equation in their mind that flying equals fear. Yet we know there must be more to it than this because not everyone has a fear of flying (some people even love flying). That extra step is all the things that go on inside your head around flying. There are your thoughts, feelings, your imagination, your self talk, your habitual responses, experiences, expectations, beliefs and so on. It would be more accurate to talk in terms of how flying, multiplied by all your thoughts and feelings, equals fear.   

And this is good news because if flying led to fear for everyone there would be little you could do about it. As we know it's linked to your psychological processes, there are many things that we can do to alleviate your fear of flying and make everything a lot more calmer for you before your flight and when you are up there on the plane. This is where hypnotherapy and our fear of flying course can really help you to make a change and to overcome your flying fear.  

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