The Cambridge News has just featured an article about how I helped Steve Miller finally overcome his 40 year phobia.

Before working with me, Steve had struggled with anything to do with blood and needles. Even saying the word 'blood' or seeing anything with blood on TV would cause him anxiety.  

Steve now tells me that he is completely calm and relaxed about those things that used to cause him such fear.

You can read the article here: pdfCambridge_News_201014_Steve_Miller_end_phobia_with_hypnotherapy.pdf

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Phobias are often funny things aren't they? How is it that the sight of a spider can make a grown person desperate to get out of the room? Or the sound of a dog barking can generate intense panic? Or even,as was the case with one client I worked with, the thought of being somewhere with balloons was enough to make him avoid places.

Logically you know that you are not in physical danger. Yet somehow out of your logical control all that fear kicks in - you may feel faint, sick, sweaty, on edge or any of the other symptoms associated with panic and fear. You may even suffer panic attacks.

And having learnt to experince all that fear and those feelings in relation to your phobia, you'll have soon found how reliable your keeping safe reactions are when in other similar situations.

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Over the last year I've had an increasingly steady stream of clients seeking help to end their cocaine addiction.

They all tell me that when their habit started they felt in control over it - perhaps only using once or twice a week. Yet for whatever reason their habit had grown and grown to the point where they no longer felt in control over the cocaine - it was taking control over them.

Naturally many cocaine users keep their habit a secret from others - there may only be a few people who know they use. They may even try and hide it from those closest to them.

Sometimes life changes and the impacts of using cocaine lead to a desire to want to change - a partner who threatens to leave, concerns over impacts on the kids, the growing financial burden or that feeling that the cocaine is changing who you are somehow.

Whatever the history and circumstances now, they all tell me how it has become much more of a battle to resist the temptation to use.

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Fear and anxiety love inaction – they stop you doing things, fill your mind with all those what-ifs, and piece by piece they can shut you down and stop you doing the things you used to enjoy or that logically you know you should be able to manage. 

To quench fear you need to take action. 

Whether you take a large step or a small step, bit by bit you can smash through your fear and let it shrink in your life.

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I often work with clients who tell me that either they achieve something 100% or they feel they’ve failed. They may reach 99% but something happens outside of their control. And then they feel bad because they’ve failed (in their eyes).

Start giving yourself more credit for what you achieve. Keep a note of your successes as a reference.

You can follow these steps:

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Here’s a quick way to shake off anxiety about an upcoming event – recently I helped a client about to start a new job and another giving a presentation using this technique.

Often we look forward to an event and our mind starts to try and fill in the gaps of what might happen with unhelpful scenarios (what if….I mess it up/I can’t do it/I make an idiot of myself etc).

And all these things that we make up in our minds can start raising anxiety levels. The closer the event gets, the more we think about it and the worse those scarios of things going wrong can get. All the while you are linking feeling anxious with the event so that when you get there you have already primed your mind to feel anxious and you may not perform at your confident best.

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Positive thinking is great – you can dream big, achieve goals in your mind and feel better for a bit.

But POSITIVE ACTION is what gets it done!

When you have something you want to achieve – whether it’s to feel less anxious when you leave the house, be more confident in social situations, learn to stay calm or another goal that means something to you – you need to do something about it.COMMIT to taking one small step every day towards what you want.

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To win the battle against anxiety you have to start relaxing and giving your tired brain a rest from all that worry and stress.

In the same way that when you are physically tired you need to rest your body, your brain also needs regular time outs.

Most people with anxiety will say they never relax, or they aren’t very good at it – some will even say they never relax, their minds are always whizzing around.

Learning to relax is like any other skill or activity – the more you practice it, the better you get at it and the calmer and in control you start to become.

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Stoptober is upon us and you may be one of many smokers hoping to stop smoking for 28 days - and hopefully to continue stopping smoking beyond that.

I fully support anyone who is trying to stop smoking - it's an unecessary habit that gives you very little in return for the massive price you end up paying with your health.

And although may people quit smoking using will power alone, you may have experiened the 'elastic band' effect in the past. This happens when you force yourself to stop something for a period but like stretching an elastic band, sooner or later it springs back to its starting point.

Because in many ways aiming to quit smoking for just 28 days can be a bit like going on a diet in the few weeks before going on holiday - the longer it goes on the more you start to think about food and want to eat it. Once the holiday is over, the motivation and reasons eavaporate and you find yourself putting all the weight back on.

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Do you want to take control over the direction of your own life?

One of my clients was telling me today how much she loves the technique in this article and what a difference it has made to helping her rediscover her happiness.

If you currently struggle with anxiety and low confidence you probably spend a lot of time thinking about all the rubbish stuff, the bad stuff, the mistakes in your life. You may dwell on things, criticise yourself or get lost in your worry.

But we’re going to flip it! 

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