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Fulfilling Your Needs

Abraham Maslow was an influential American Professor and Psychologist. Perhaps his most well-known work was to define the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs. This is a theory of psychological health that illustrates how different needs form a foundation and have to be fulfilled for you to have healthy self-esteem, be happy and productive.

The first level, the foundation, are physical needs – food, water, shelter, warmth, etc. if you don’t have enough to eat it’s difficult to focus on anything else. The next level are more security needs such as safety, health and having basic belongings. The third level is concerned with intimacy and a social connection such as friends or family. The fourth level is about the self and includes the need for self-esteem, respect and confidence. Finally the highest level is about self-fulfilment and actualisation. You need to be able to express yourself and use your creativity and passion.

So, basically, you are unlikely to want to work on your new art installation if you don’t know where you are going to sleep tonight or don’t feel respected and valued. Fulfilling these needs are an important part of having a happy and stress free life.

But these principles can also be applied to other areas of your life. For example, all these needs apply to your relationships and your job. If any of these needs are not met this can cause problems. If in a relationship you feel unsafe, repressed or disrespected then the relationship is flawed and unhealthy.

Also, in your work life you need to feel safe, comfortable, have some companionship and be able to express yourself and feel pride in what you do. So, if your workplace is uncomfortable or unsafe this will impact productivity. But the needs are more subtle than the basic ones. You need to have companionship at work – someone to talk to and have lunch or a coffee with. If this is missing you will feel isolated and unhappy. Also, you need to be able to feel you can contribute and be praised and rewarded for doing so. Again, if these needs are unfulfilled you will not be happy in your work.

The first four levels are known as Deficit Needs. This means that if you do not have enough of one of those four needs, you will be driven to get them. And when you do get them, you then feel content, but not motivated. Self-actualization is feeling you are achieving the fullest use of your talents and interests. Basically, the need to become all you can be.

As Anne Mulcahy (Former Chairperson and CEO of Xerox Corporation) put it, “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability”.

If you or someone you know is struggling with low mood, depression, anxiety or stress then Hypnotherapy can help. Contact me for more information.

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International Happiness Day

20 March 2022 is the UN International day of Happiness. It is coordinated by Action for Happiness, a non-profit movement of people across 160 countries. Everyone deserves to be happy and research suggests that happier people are healthier, live longer and are more productive.

Joy, pleasure and happiness are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Joy is an instantaneous feeling of intense happiness or ecstasy. Perhaps when your sports team scores. Pleasure is more about the experience of feeling good – enjoying something – and is the opposite of pain or suffering. The exact definition of happiness is up for debate. But generally, it’s a feeling or emotion to do with pleasure or joy or the emotional state of contentment over time.

Mindfulness can help us to appreciate the joys of life. Noticing and experiencing the beauty of nature, the lives of creatures such as birds or insects and reflecting on what you have rather than what you don’t have or want, can all increase our happiness and contentment. As Denis Waitley (American Motivational Speaker and Writer) said, “Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude”.

It’s been established that your natural level of happiness does not really change over time. A generally negative or unhappy person who wins the lottery will be joyful and happy in the short term, but will soon return to their normal level of happiness. But fear not, being happy is a skill and it can be learnt and improved upon. As well as Action for Happiness, the Happiness Alliance has some great ideas and advice on how to do this.

One key message is that if you are in a situation that you can’t change, then changing how you feel about it is a route back to happiness. As Martha Washington (Former First Lady of the United States) said, “I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition”.

Now this is all good advice, but we won’t be happy all the time. If you are struggling, there are some things you can do to help yourself. Firstly, realise it’s OK to not be OK. Remember you are not alone. Tell someone you trust how you feel. Make sure you get the basics right – make time for yourself, eat as healthily as possible, get plenty of sleep, exercise and connect with loved ones. These should help you to feel better. And if necessary, seek professional help.

If you are in need for immediate help, then click here for a list of crisis lines from around the world.

If you or someone you know is struggling with low mood, depression, anxiety or stress then Hypnotherapy can help. Contact me for more information.

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Brain Awareness Week

March 14-20 2022 is Brain Awareness Week. It’s a global campaign to promote, foster public enthusiasm and support for brain science. It was founded in the 1990s by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (DABI) and the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) and is coordinated by the Dana Foundation.

The second half of the 20th century saw tremendous advances in chemistry, electron microscopy, genetics, computer science, functional brain imaging and many other fields. This has served to greatly increase our understanding of the brain’s structure and function. So much so that the 1990s were officially designated as the “Decade of the Brain”.

Despite this there is still much that we do not understand. As Michio Kaku (American Theoretical Physicist) said, “The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe”.

As a Hypnotherapist, I have an interest in how the mind and specifically the subconscious works. Hypnotherapy communicates and influences the subconscious to resolve or lessen a number of ailments and conditions.
Milton Erickson was an American Psychiatrist and Psychologist who dedicated his career to the advancement of the use of hypnosis in the context of medicine. This modern hypnotherapy (known as Ericksonian Hypnotherapy) can be used to treat problems with addictions, fears and phobias, unwanted habits (e.g. smoking) , pain, relaxation, unwanted behaviours (e.g., scratching), anxiety, sports and business performance and weight loss. Hypnotherapy can also be used in several other ways, such as Regression Hypnosis, Cognitive-behavioural hypnosis / therapy (CBT) and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). For a full list of areas I specialise in click here.

One of the most powerful ones, and one I specialise in, is Regression Hypnosis. Put simply it’s where I guide you back in time to explore the root cause of a condition by unearthing forgotten memories stored in your subconscious. The really powerful aspect of this technique is that the period of time you can go back is not limited to this life time. This is probably due to genetic memory, soul memory and reincarnation. This means our subconscious minds contain memories of other lives we have lived. To find out more about this click here.

If you, or someone you know, could benefit from Hypnotherapy then please contact me for a free and confidential initial consultation.

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Pain Management

Hypnotherapy can be used to treat a wide range of conditions. One which I have been doing a lot of work with recently is pain reduction and management. Clinical trials have shown that Hypnotherapy can eliminate, or at least reduce, pain and it does so without side-effects. Even better, the client can learn to use these techniques themselves so they are self-reliant and in control.

More than eight million people in the UK alone suffer from some form of chronic (long term) pain. Many of these will be taking prescription pain killers and so suffer unwanted side effects and risk addiction. It’s thought globally that the figure may be as much as 1.5 billion people.

I know from personal experience how debilitating chronic pain can be. A few years ago I hurt my back and was prescribed powerful pain killers and anti-depressants. Both of these carried a high risk of addiction and dependency. Thankfully for me I was able to recover through physiotherapy and was able to finally reduce and eliminate the prescription drugs. But it was a long a difficult road filled with withdrawal symptoms and side effects. It’s not something I would wish on anybody. As Julius Caesar (Roman Emperor) put it, “It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience”.
Because of the way hypnotherapy works there are a number of additional benefits. These include it having an impact on the effect of the pain as well as the pain itself, reduces stress and anxiety associated with pain and avoid or reduce the need for opioids.

A 2000 analysis of hypnotherapy studies in clinical settings showed 75% of participants showed substantial pain relief across a wide range of treatment types including pain from cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and surgery.

Now this is fantastic news, but a word of caution. Before you can use hypnotherapy for pain relief you need to understand the cause of the pain. Pain is essentially a side effect of something else. It’s information the body needs to be aware of a problem. Only once the cause of the pain is diagnosed and understood can hypnotherapy be used to reduce that of eliminate this flow of information.

And traditional clinical hypnotherapy is not the only way hypnosis can help with pain relief. As part of Introspective Hypnosis sessions the root cause of physical ailments can be revealed. I have made a short video, talking with a client, who experienced relief as a result of such a session.  


So if you are suffering and want help to manage the pain and associated symptoms then contact me

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Caffeine

March is Caffeine Awareness month. Many of us need a shot of caffeine, perhaps a coffee of some sort, first thing in the morning. But caffeine is a powerful, addictive stimulant (alertness inducing chemical) that you need to be aware of and monitor your use of. So this month is a good time to take an honest look at how much you consume and perhaps reduce it. High caffeine intake can cause anxiety, insomnia and raised blood pressure.

You might be surprised about what has caffeine in it. Coffee, of course. But also tea and many soft drinks such as colas and energy drinks. Even decaffeinated coffee and tea is not entirely caffeine free. And it’s not just drinks, some food have high levels of caffeine. These include chocolate and cocoa powder. Also, some medicines such as cold and flu treatments have caffeine in them.

So if you want to reduce the amount of caffeine you consume, what can you do? If you need a pick me up, perhaps try exercise. This will get the blood flowing and boost alertness. Try drinking water instead of caffeine drinks. This will keep you hydrated, boost energy and is good for the skin.

Complete eliminating caffeine can be tough and is not normally recommended. Some symptoms of caffeine withdrawal include headaches, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, nausea and muscle pain. A gentle, gradual, reduction is always recommended.

Having just spent some time warning you about caffeine, it does have some benefits. Caffeine is thought to have certain medical uses in fighting dermatitis and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). So completely eliminating it not necessary. As with many things, it’s about striking the right balance.

It’s worth considering the approach that Anna Kendrick (US Actress) takes. She said, “I don’t usually drink caffeine so that when I need it, it actually does something”.

If you have a caffeine addiction or are struggling with other problematic routines then Hypnotherapy can help. Specifically it can help boost will power, break habits and explore the root cause of it. If you think hypnotherapy can help then contact me for more information.