Is there too much going on in your head?

Maybe your brain is always whizzing around and always seems to be on the go – or finding something to worry about.

So may people tell me about how they can't switch off their mind - they are caught in a trap of over thinking that leaves them tired and drained. You may be able to distract yourself in the daytime but at some point, maybe when you are trying to sleep, all that brain activity can leave you stressed and frustrated and wide awake.

And maybe you have trouble concentrating - many anxious people tell me they just can't read to relax anymore because their brain is whirring around.

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Except when your anxiety is overwhelming, there can be many benefits to anxiety. Of course, if you struggle with heart palpitations, shaking, panic attacks and a racing mind, it may be difficult to believe that your anxiety has any positive points.

But here's the thing, at the very least those anxiety feelings and thoughts let you know that your safety responses are working well (even if they are set a bit too high right now). Should you ever be in a dangerous situation (although I hope you never are) you would want your body to automatically keep you safe by getting you out of there - so the sweating, increased breathing rate and rush of blood to the muslces can be pretty handy indeed.

And there are also many other things that flow from anxiety if you are able to harness them (even after you learn how to feel calmer and in control).

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The Ely News covered my recent award for National Hypnotherapy Business of the Year 2014. You can read the coverage here:

pdfEly_news_award_for_local_hypnotherapist_080115.pdf

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Whenever someone is looking for help with weight loss you can tick many, or even all, of these off their list:

  • You've tried and failed with several diets and dieting clubs
  • You use food as emotional support when tired, stressed, bored etc
  • You feel out of control with your weight with little control over eating
  • You're fed up of being unhappy, avoiding mirrors and being unable to wear those nice clothes

And there may be a few more habits, behaviours and cravings going on.

All of these combine to just leave you feeling out of control, unhealthy, fat and miserable.

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One of the hardest things if you suffer with a dog phobia is that dogs are everywhere! With many other phobias like the dentist or flying you can try and control your fear by avoiding those things.

Yet dogs can be found everywhere in your day to day life - outside shops, by play areas, on green spaces and even walking towards you down the street. And with a dog phobia you are likely to be alert to any possible sounds or sightings of dogs - especially dogs off their lead who could run towards you.

And most people with dog phobias whom I have helped have also carefully managed their contact with friends who own dogs. This may be making sure the dog will be shut in another room or even avoiding going to their house altogether.

When you are around or near a dog, that fear response will kick in. You will feel on edge, alert, probably keeping one eye constantly on the dog. Depending on how near the dog is and what it is doing you may even experience shaking, sweating, breathing changes and a racing heart.

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Living life in a struggle with anxiety is tough. There may be specific situations that trigger your anxiety or it may feel all encompassing - it's always lurking, just waiting to strike.

And when your anxiety kicks in you'll experience all these unpleasant sensations - that feeling in your stomach or chest, you get hot, can't concentrate, you get shakey and you just want to get out of there as soon as you can. 

With all those unpleasant thoughts and feelings, you may stop doing things that seem to trigger anxiety, or you may have to force yourself to endure them (perhaps telling yourself that if you do it enough the feelings will have to go, won't they?).n

So it's no wonder that may people with anxiety also talk about depression.

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I've been busy recording a FREE rapid relaxation hypnosis MP3 for you.

To get your own copy just sign up for my anxiety guide on the right of the page and you'll get instant access to download the hypnosis MP3.

I've been getting great feedback from those who have already used it and so I hope you find it helpful too. 

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Do you need to be perfect all the time? Would you describe yourself as a perfectionist? Is it either a complete success or complete disaster?

It’s a good thing to set your standards high and aim to hit them, yet often I meet people who feel bad because hitting 100% every time can be hard work and may not always be only up to you. You can then feel rubbish because if it isn’t perfect then it is that disaster.

Recently I worked with a client with anxiety. He had set himself five goals a day to drive forward feeling better, yet when he only hit 4 (80%) on one day he felt bad and considered the day a disaster and described himself as a failure (in fact, he was quite keen to write off the whole week).

Another client wanted to end the fear of driving, yet even after she got in the car for the first time in years and drove a few miles, she wrote it off as a failure because she wasn’t yet 100% calm and relaxed.

I also worked with a client who wanted more confidence so he could deliver presentations. He was calm and confident throughout but because he didn’t know the answer to one question, he started telling himself that he was rubbish at presentations.

The all or nothing attitude can keep reinforcing your anxiety and low confidence and help you stay stuck because you can't recognise your positive progress.

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Do you spend too much time criticising yourself and putting yourself down?

If you struggle with low self esteem and low confidence it may feel all too natural to accept criticism from yourself and others and to focus on perceived flaws in what you are capable of.

So now is the time to dilute this flow and start to focus on your strengths.

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With the New Year approaching, are you now planning to quit smoking? Maybe stopping smoking will be your New Year Resolution or maybe you've just decided that you no longer want to be a slave to the cigarettes and the toil they reap on your health.

If you want to successfully stop smoking for good then you can start to stack the odds in your favour even before you quit smoking. Your smoking feeds off your current habitual behaviours and associations around smoking as well as the impact of the nicotine and all the rest of the chemicals on your body.

Just trying to sort out your smoking habit alone can lead to increased stress and irritability and so you eat more or go back to smoking to cope. And just swapping cigarettes for another nicotine form doesn't address the habitual relationship you have with smoking. As one stop smoking client told me yesterday: even with nicotine patches he still felt the need to hold a cigarette and smoke and he ended up feeling dizzy and sick from increasing his nicotine intake.

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