Recently I was working with a client who told me she was suffering with anxiety and panic attacks. Even as she told me she was clearly on edge, anxious, and even a bit desperate to end the cycle of anxiety she now found herself in.

The anxiety had been creeping up for a while and then seemed to explode into all areas of her life. She had been signed off work and she felt many of the symptoms that go with anxiety and panic. 

  • Feeling restless and on edge
  • A loss of confidence to do things she used to do
  • Avoiding crowded places and preferring to stay at home
  • Constant worry and anxious thoughts and feelings
  • Hot and cold sweats
  • Sleeping very little or not at all
  • Worrying if she would ever ‘feel better’
  • Worrying whether she would have another panic attack 

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Do you struggle with a fear of spiders?

Recently I’ve helped a number of people conquer their fear of spiders. One of the first things that nearly all of them told me was that they knew it was irrational – but they still couldn’t stop their fear and panic around spiders.

One of my clients would visibly physically flinch at just the thought of a spider. She told me she couldn’t even look at a picture of one without getting that panicky feeling, and she had countless examples of times she had needed to call for help to get a spider out of the room. She even had times she dreamt about them and woke in a panic 

Other clients check places in their houses where they had seen them before, and the sight of a spider on TV, especially a moving one, can start that feeling of fear.

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As many of you will know, I lost my dad to cancer last November. It’s naturally led me to think about grief and the impact of losing someone close to you. I’ve probably written elements of this article in my head dozens of times over the past months.

And because it is probably the most personal article I’ve written, I’ve hesitated to actually publish it until now. I’ve only put this here now because losing a loved one is something we all have to face at some point in our lives and I hope that these words may be of help to others.

The stages of grief

It’s often said that there are different stages of grief, from numbness, denial and isolation, through pain, anger, sadness and acceptance. I’m sure I experienced most of these at different times in a varying order and to different degrees.

Of course there is no requirement to experience all of these elements of grief. Indeed, I remember working with one lady who had lost her partner and was

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There’s been a lot in the press recently about the amount of sugar in our diet and the potential negative consequences for our health and weight.

When you look at the figures, the amount of sugar in our diet has increased massively. And whilst you would expect to find a lot if sugar in ‘full-fat’ fizzy drinks, sweets and chocolate, it can be surprising to discover the amount of ‘hidden’ sugar where we wouldn’t necessarily expect to find it. For example, there is often plenty of sugar in products that are labelled low fat and even in bread and soup.

So why is all this sugar being added? Are we really all sugar addicts?

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Do you suffer with a phobia? Perhaps you know someone who does?

If you have a phobia or fear then it can have a very limiting effect on what you do and rob you of the freedom to enjoy your life in all the situations you would like to. 

Although the impact of a phobia can vary, they all involve fear and anxiety and a desire to avoid certain situations or things and an overwhelming desire to get away if faced with them. Whatever the cause, your mind now fills you with overwhelming fear to get you away and keep you safe.

You may feel anxious and uneasy just looking at or thinking about the phobia. And you may have had shaking, sweating, heart palpitations, breathing changes and panic attacks in the past. 

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Weight loss doesn’t need to be hard. So if you want to lose weight and enjoy the journey to being a thinner you then follow these steps:

1. Forget Diets – Think Healthy 

Forget diets – they don’t work long term and never will. Chance are you’ve tried at least one of the main ones and it didn’t get you the long term results you dreamed of. It’s time to step off the diet industry up and down roller-coaster.

As I tell my weight loss clients, your goal is to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

When you are living healthy, you move more, you make healthier choices most of the time and you can relax about your weight loss.

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With New Year approaching, the Government is all set to launch a new stop smoking campaign highlighting the toxic damage smoking does to your organs, including your brain 

If you smoke and haven’t quit smoking yet, you probably already know that it isn’t doing any favours to your health – now and into the future.

And with the New Year approaching, is now the time you find the way to stop smoking for good? 

Yet the sooner you stop smoking, the sooner your body starts to recover and your health and wellbeing start improving.

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You are probably quite familiar with the story ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Dickens and there will be many film adaptations on over Christmas (my favourite is the black & white version with Alistair Sim!).

And you’ve all heard of Scrooge, who was mean spirited until visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future which prompted him to then change his ways.

Most people can easily pick up on the message of being kind to others and having a kindness of heart and spirit towards others (although whether most people remember this for long into the New Year may be a separate question!).

For my mind, the most useful thing we can learn from Scrooge is the ability to take some time to review our lives and decide whether the life we are living is the one we truly want to live, especially in the future.

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I’ve just finished reading the book ‘I am legend’ by Richard Matheson (which, by the way, is 100 times better than the film!).

In the book, the central character finds himself alone in a world of vampires. The novel is all about his struggle to survive and the internal mental battles he faces. And the whole time he faces the risk of those pesky vampires getting hold of him.

Which got me thinking about something that my clients often mention to me.

Often they tell me about the people in their lives who seem to suck the very life (or at least their time) out of them.

Does this resonate with you?

Maybe it’s the people at

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Recently I was working with a client who had come to see me because he wanted to let go of his stress and anger, and start feeling happier and calmer.

As I usually do, I asked him how his day had been, how things had gone since our last session and a few other questions to learn how much better things were since the last time we chatted.

To each question his response boiled down to ‘not bad’.

How often have you asked someone how they are, how their day has been, how something went at work or even about how their holiday was – and all you get is a ‘not bad’ (or maybe a ‘not bad thanks’ if you are lucky).

And, I suppose that if you think about it

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