Hypnosis For Sports Performance - Research and Evidence

Last month I headed down to Bournemouth to attend a two day seminar on hypnosis for sports performance. And whilst I've helped many sports people with their performance, it's always great to get new insights and discover new research and evidence about the effectiveness of incorporating hypnosis to enhance sports performance.

And, indeed, there is a wealth of research showing how you can enhance sports performance with hypnosis. I'll be setting the ball rolling by covering a comprehensive review of the research further below, and plan to cover much, much more over the coming weeks.

The event happened to take place over the same weekend that Storm Ciara hit the UK with its high winds and heavy downpours, so Bournemouth certainly was a blustery location that weekend! I'm a big fan of Bournemouth and love wandering through the park with the squirrels and then down to the beach and along the pier. Whether it's sunny or stormy, I could happily watch the sea for hours while drifting from thought to thought. 

It was certainly a very enjoyable place to learn about sports hypnosis and its application for improving performance and I'm super excited to be able to add more research, evidence and strategies to help my sports performance clients.

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Is Laughter The Best Medicine For Anxiety, Stress and Mental Health?

We all love to laugh but does laughter actually have mental health benefits for things like anxiety and stress?

The other Friday my wife and I headed to a local venue here in Ely with some friends for a comedy night. 'The Best in Comedy' night featured two great comedians (Ahir Shah and Glenn Moore) who thoroughly entertained us all with their jokes, quips and anecdotes. Despite having very different styles they were both excellent.   

Laughter certainly makes us feel better, at least for a time, and seems to boost our mental health and see the lighter side of life, or even laugh at the situations and challenges that we all face from time to time. In the past, going to see comedians such as Ricky Gervais, Rob Brydon and Jack Dee has left me with tears down my face and an ache in my tummy from laughing so much. We all love a good laugh (or a good groan it seems when it comes to some of my own efforts).

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Time To Talk Day 2020 - Talking About Mental Health

Time To Talk Day 2020 was on February 6th 2020 and is an annual event designed to encourage people to get talking about mental health issues as part of ending mental health discrimination. The organisers want everyone to be more open about mental health and to talk and listen about all things mental health.

I'm sure we all agree it's a worthwhile aim to challenge the stigma that can still pervade around mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. And certainly your mental health should be up there on a par with your physical health, in terms of both keeping healthy and seeking help when things are tougher.

And whilst I hear from clients many stories of supportive employers, partners, families and friends, there are those who still don't get it when it comes to mental health issues and the impact they can have on you.

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Can Anyone Call Themselves A Therapist?

It's hard to believe that we are already a month into 2020 and sometimes it seems time passes by quicker and quicker somehow. I've continued to be massively busy with hypnotherapy clients and, as always, anxiety and fear form a large part of the issues I've been helping them with. As I mentioned last time, I've also been busy in the studio adding to the hypnosis downloads I have available for you.

Combined with chasing the kids around, it can sometimes feel like there isn't a moment to pause (and I seem to have been learning a lot of geographical and musical terms and definitions in recent weeks while I've been testing my daughter for her tests). In fact the only downside recently seems to be the achillies injury I picked up running and that has curtailed my usual fitness routine. I'm banned from running, jumping and lunging for the next few weeks! 

Which was probably how I had a bit of time to scroll over the BBC website the other morning while eating my breakfast. And there, sitting on the News home page was a link to a video called, 'Can anyone call themself a therapist or counsellor?' which naturally piqued my professional curiousity (the video may or may not still be there by the time you are reading this!)

So, what is the answer? Can anyone call themselves a therapist here in the UK?

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New Hypnosis Downloads - Worry, Confidence and Loving Kindness:

It's been a hectic start to the year helping people with issues such as anxiety, worry, low self-esteem and overcoming fears (as well as settling back into the routine after the festive break). Amongst all that I have managed to get back into the recording studio to create some new hypnosis downloads for you.

Based upon the positive feedback I've received on my existing hypnosis downloads (have a look at them here: Hypnosis Downloads), I think you are going to love these new titles.

As well as my existing hypnosis downloads for issues such as anxiety and confidence, I've recorded a special morning calmness hypnosis download, as well as a morning confidence hypnosis one. These two can really help you to start your day in the best possible mind-set, knowing that you can handle whatever comes your way during the day.

There's also an audio to help you let go of unnecessary worry, and another to help you start being kinder to yourself and liking yourself more (which can help reduce self-criticism, anxiety and depression, as well as helping you feel better in yourself). 

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Anxiety Relief And Happy New Year!

A very Happy New Year to you! I hope that you had a great festive period and that you are raring to go now that we are into 2020 and a new decade. If you have been struggling with anxiety, depression or feelings of lowness then I really hope that this is the year that you take back control and start feeling better and happier.

Christmas in our house was its usual mix of craziness, fun and relaxation. By the time both kids were asleep on Christmas morning it was 3 a.m. which meant Santa arrived at 3.01 a.m. and just in time before they woke up at 3.05 a.m.!! And after lots of family time, quizzes, games and the like, here we suddenly are back into the usual routine of daily life (with a very short respite before my daughter's birthday celebrations begin...!!).

Yet if the New Year has found you still weighed down with anxiety and lowness, then the return to normality may bring some relief with a routine and normality, and yet with it, a great load of unease, dread and worry. And whether or not you have made any resolutions or set any goals, there are a few things that you should incorporate into your routine that can make a big difference to how you feel.

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My Most Popular Blogs From 2019:

This is my final blog article of 2019 before the Christmas holidays, when I'll be taking some time off to spend with my family (and to do some extra running no doubt!). 

It's been another busy year and I'm grateful to anyone who has been to see me for hypnotherapy sessions, purchased my hypnosis audios, left me a testimonial, read my blogs, watched my videos or who has supported me in any way. Thank you!

Before I power off and head off, I'd like to share the most read blogs from my website over the year. There have been over sixty articles added this year (with over fourteen thousand views...blimey!) so I hope you've found them (or at least some of them!!) helpful and beneficial. 

So which were the most popular articles?

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A Christmas Carol and Happy Christmas From Me!

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas as I write this post and I'm getting used to the daily updates from my kids about how many sleeps are left until Santa comes. 

Apart from the traditional watching of 'It's a Wonderful Life', most of the other Christmas activities (apart from the bootcamp Christmas jumper workout) have already taken place and been a lot of fun. In my last post I wrote about the Ely Festive 5k I ran with my daughter (along with writing about all the research about why you should get running and exercising). We've been up to Birmingham for their Christmas market, Santa has called around our street in his sleigh (pulled by a car because the reindeer are resting) and the other night my wife and I went to watch 'A Christmas Carol' being performed at Ely Cathedral. It's a fun and busy time of year!

The main purpose of this post is to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I'm grateful to all of you who have supported me and worked with me this year and I wish you all the very happiest for 2020. 

And, with the performance fresh in my mind, and always liking a bit of atmospheric Dickens at this time of year, I thought I'd also mention a few things we can all be mindful of from good old Mr Scrooge and company.

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Recent Anxiety Hypnotherapy Testimonials:

As a former anxiety sufferer myself, I'm always delighted to be able to successfully help others to overcome their anxiety too.

Anxiety has a way of creating its own momentum that leads to more and more anxious thoughts and feelings whizzing around inside you, and it can sometimes even feel like a never-ending battle to find some respite. 

For each person, the when, how and where they experience their anxiety can vary, yet those feelings of fear, worry and anxiety, and all those worst case thoughts and that overthinking can have many adverse effects on how you feel and what you can do. And because it can be limiting and debilitating, there are few things better than helping someone to feel calmer, more confident and more in control to do the things they want to do in their life.

You may have already taken a look through the twenty plus pages of reviews and testimonials on my website, that represent a fraction of the people I've worked with, and recently two new anxiety hypnotherapy testimonials have been added.

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Ely Festive 5k 2019 and Why You Should Get Running For Your Mental Health:

The other weekend my daughter and I once again took part in the Ely Festive 5k, which is organised to support the amazing work of the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. Despite her protestations after last year's event that she was never, ever (EVER!) going to take part in it again, Sunday morning at 9am found us both at the start line dressed up in our best Christmas gear (ok, so I had to bribe her to take part with chocolate but let's pretend she really did want to take part with me!).

This was our fourth year in a row taking part together and one of my favourite things about it is all the pre-race stuff as my daughter and I walk to the start line, register, hang about and have some fun before my Santa beard goes on and the race starts. And despite spending the next forty or so minutes with me 'encouraging' her to put some effort in while she protested her legs are hurting (after about quarter of a mile), I'm always happy afterwards that we did it.

Now part of that is that I get to spend some great time with my daughter doing something constructive. But, as anyone who has read my blogs for a while knows, exercise and particularly running have for a long time been my 'thing'. What started as something to get fit grew into 10ks, half marathons, marathons and an ultra before crashing back down to the sort of 10k level I'm at now (after a persistent injury that stopped me running for a couple of years). These days I'm a bit more balanced in my exercise and aim for two runs and four bootcamps a week.

Scientific evidence for the mental health benefits of exercise aside (and there is plenty of it covered below), I find that exercise is one of the most important aspects of what I do to feel good both mentally and physically. The evidence shows that exercise can also help with depression, anxiety and in many other ways for your mental health (and that being inactive can be bad news for both your mental health and physical health).

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