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Never Give Up Day

Never Give Up Day is 18 August each year. This day is all about motivation. Motiving yourself, others or even your community. It’s also a day to remind us to keep striving, keep excelling and keep chasing our dreams and never give up on them.

The idea of motivation and the effect it has on our behaviour and brain has been studied and researched as far back as ancient Greece. And was an area of study of Plato and Aristotle. This was further built on in the modern renaissance by Rene Descartes.

The idea of motivation and the effect it has on our behaviour and brain has been studied and researched as far back as ancient Greece. And was an area of study of Plato and Aristotle. This was further built on in the modern renaissance by Rene Descartes.

Put simply motivation is defined as what explains why people (and animals) start, continue or stop a certain behaviour at a particular time. And if you think about it this is a very broad subject and one I find fascinating. I have written before about procrastination and how best to avoid it, Maslow hierarchy of needs and how it effects motivation and Brain Chemistry and the effect of Dopamine – the reward chemical. But I want to focus on achieving goals.

How do you feel about your goal? Do you feel obliged to do it? Changing the internal dialog can help. If you need to, or have to, do something that suggests you have no choice. Saying ‘I choose to’ do something means you own the task and are invested in it. When you have completed something, give yourself a small reward. Remember how it feels to have accomplished something – pride, relief, etc.

We all have times when we struggle with life’s challenges, but these times end. Don’t give up and you will get through it. If you know someone who is having a tough time, encourage them. Perhaps give them a call and tell them that they’re not alone.

If you are trying to motivation others, then praise, recognition and feedback are invaluable. As Dwight D. Eisenhower (American General and 34th President) said, “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it”.

This day is a symbol of hope and a reminder that we all have a warrior inside of us. Remember why you started that something. So, never give up, keep going and achieve your goals.

And now a little treat. There are several songs that come to mind when I think about not giving up. I have chosen a relatively modern song by Sia called Never Give Up. A close second was Tubthumping, (aka I Get Knocked Down) by Chumbawamba. If you don’t know it, then google it. It’s not really a philosophy to live your life by, but inspirational nonetheless.

If you need help with motivation then Hypnotherapy can help. Contact me for more information.

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Hunt for Happiness Week

January 15 to 21 is Hunt for Happiness Week. Are you happy? Right now? Generally? It’s not the easy question you think it might be. For most people there are moments of joy as well as moments of anger and pain. So, you might say, “I am OK.”. But is being OK good enough? Generally, people do not think of themselves as happy in the normal course of life. This overlooks many reasons to be happy and this week is all about hunting for reasons to be happy.

But, what is happiness? A warm day at the beach, paddling in the cool, blue sea? No. That’s pleasure. OK. Going out for a few drinks with a group of friends? No. That’s enjoyment.  Basically, happiness is having you needs fulfilled. Not too difficult right?

So if you are not happy there are two main routes to pursue. Either you change your needs to meet what your life fulfils or you change your life to fulfil your needs. Changing your needs to meet your life is a tenet of Buddhism which teaches that life is full of suffering caused by desire and that this suffering ceases when desire ceases. Now that is certainly something to think about, but let’s continue our hunt for happiness in a different way.

Now, to have your needs fulfilled you have to know what you needs are. I have written in the past about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which is a useful model to think about this.  He talks about physical needs (food, water, shelter, etc.), security needs (health, employment, accommodation, etc.), social needs (belonging, family, love, friendship, etc.), self-esteem needs (achievement and respect of others) and finally self-actualisation needs (creativity, self-expression, etc.). He also refers to it as a hierarchy as one group of needs underpins and supports the others. So, for example, you can’t focus of self-actualisation needs, if you don’t have enough food, water or shelter.

What if our needs are met, but we still don’t feel happy? Well are we grateful enough for what we do have? Do you appreciate your friends enough? Do you appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature? Perhaps thinking about or spending some of your time helping those less fortunate than you by working for a food bank or homeless shelter would help. 

One final point I would like to make about the pursuit of happiness is that some element of it is personal choice. As Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx (American Comedian and Actor) put it, “I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it”.

And now a little treat for you. It’s a song that was pretty much everywhere in the UK in 2022. The lyrics have a good message that speak to Buddhist philosophy and it’s something we can all learn from to some extent. Would you be happier if you were freed from desire?

If you think hypnotherapy can help you be happier, or with anything else, then contact me

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Heat Awareness

Thankfully, summer is not far away now at least in the northern hemisphere. Increasingly summers are hotter and drier. So it’s a good time to have the National Heat Awareness Day. It’s celebrated on the last Friday of May and so this year falls on 27 May.  

The idea of the day is to alert employers and the public about the largely preventable health dangers connected to summer heat. This is all the more important for anyone who is vulnerable or works outside as they are candidates for sunburn, heat exhaustion, dehydration, heatstroke and even death. It’s not just manual workers, but children, the elderly, anyone with certain chronic medical conditions and pregnant women need to take precautions.

So what can you do if you know it’s going to be hot? Well, the most important thing is to stay well hydrated. Drink water regularly and carry some with you in case your plans change. Also, if you can, avoid going outside at the hottest part of the day and limit your activity. As Sam Keen (American Author) put it, “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability”.

An anti skin cancer campaign, popular in Australia and New Zealand in the 1980s provides very good advice. Originally just “slip, slop, slap” (slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, and slap on a hat) it has since been expanded to the 5 S’s sun safe measures.

  • Slip on a shirt.
  • Slop on SPF 30+ broad spectrum UVA sunscreen
  • Slap on a wide brimmed hat.
  • Slide on quality sunglasses.
  • Shade from the sun where possible.

Another factor that you should be aware of is humidity or the amount of moisture in the air. High humidity will make the temperature feel warmer, as our sweat is slower to evaporate. This can makes it more likely that our bodies may overheat, we exhaust easily, and it poses a potential danger to our health.

And now, a few words on sunscreen and SPF (Sun Protection Factor) values. In theory, combined with the “burn time” (how long you can be in the sun before burning), it will allow you calculate how long you can safely be in the sun. So, if the burn time is 10 minutes and you apply SPF 10 sunscreen you will safe in the sun for 100 minutes (10 times 10). In practice, this is only a guide, its dependent on your skin type (how fair or dark it is) and how well and completely the sunscream was applied. So, I think it’s better to regard the SPF number as a relative measure of the amount of sunburn protection provided. The higher the number the better the protection.

Finally, Baz Luhrmann (Australian Director, Writer and Producer) wrote a song about the importance of sunscreen. It also contains other excellent advice. It’s very much a philosophy to live your life by and I recommend it. Enjoy.