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The Hypnotherapy Centre

421 Durnsford Road, London, SW19 8EE

0208 947 3338

Weight loss hypnotherapy

We frequently hear about new diets and nutrition advice and it seems that everyone has an opinion. The information we receive however is often conflicting and the benefits of a particular approach are not always clear or fully explained.

The plethora of diet tips in the media may include avoiding eating carbs after 6pm, not to mix carbs and protein or maybe to ‘fast’ for certain days of the week or to ‘detox’ our bodies. Advice from public health officials tends to be more ‘conventional’ - to always eat breakfast or to count calories and so on. But what happened to listening to our own body’s messages? Maybe listening to our own hunger signals would be more beneficial than advice from others?

Nutrition information (and misinformation) in the media and on the web can increase confusion about what to eat or avoid in order to be healthy or lose weight. Certain foods, such as oils and fat or carbohydrates become ‘demonised’. Some clients who have disordered eating become extremely anxious about particular foods and become obsessed with healthy eating (Orthorexia).

When you become more tuned into your body’s needs, rather than your weight or size, changes can occur quickly and naturally. Being mindful of what you are actually putting in your mouth is a good first step, as is treating your food with consideration, and paying it the attention it deserves. Making eating a conscious activity is essential to avoid unconscious grazing and inevitable weight gain. By simply eating slowly and consciously you can make a real difference to how much you consume. If you’d like help to re-programme old patterns, give me a call and book in with me for weight loss hypnotherapy.

The good thing about fear

Fear is often considered a negative thing, but fear has a valid purpose; to protect us from danger. It is a defensive response that serves to protect us or keep us safe. There can be many reasons why we might experience fear; some may be legitimate risks while others may be considered exaggerated or ‘over the top’. An elevated sense of fear or perception of what is ’dangerous’ is usually described as anxiety.

Anxiety is often described as ‘Fear spread thinly’ but if you are experiencing severe anxiety or panic, it may not feel ‘thinly spread’. Feeling frightened or expressing fear may be considered by others (or yourself) as a sign of weakness, but many people who experience anxiety are high achievers who are far from weak. Those who experience fear frequently often feel misunderstood. When fear is excessive or unfounded it can hold you back from reaching your potential or living the life you want. This can be frustrating and distressing.

Apart from anxious behaviour, anxiety manifests in physical symptoms too. It is often said that every thought has a physiological response and this is true. Our bodies and minds are intrinsically connected and what affects the body will affect the mind and vice versa. Anxious thoughts can result in poor sleep, rapid heartbeat, panic attacks, digestive difficulties and many other physical health challenges.

Anxiety is a future based emotion and the worries and ‘what ifs’ that continuously run through the mind can impact negatively on your confidence and wellbeing. To reduce the fear or rid yourself of it you can use a number of approaches. You can release physical tension in your body through exercise, such as dance, yoga, tennis or jogging. The form of exercise you choose needs to be something you enjoy doing or it will feel like another pressure. In addition to discharging stress in the body, it’s good to learn how to control your thoughts and stop them running away with you. This might sound easier said than done, but it really is achievable through practise.

Hypnotherapy is an effective way to re-frame unhelpful thought patterns and is one of the best treatments for anxiety. Hypnosis is a very relaxed state and clients always leave feeling calmer than when they arrived. I teach self-help techniques to my clients in therapy sessions and also provide self-hypnosis recordings that can be used between sessions. All of these can make a real difference to how you think and react and leave you feeling back in control... and that’s a nice thought isn’t it.

Christmas joy or Christmas duty?

Christmas is a time associated with happiness and laughter; time away from your usual routine to spend with family and friends. But Christmas can be a time of dread, despair or depression if you don’t have a family or don’t get on with them. Perhaps throughout the year your support network is your friends, but they are with their families for the festive break. If you have lost someone close to you through bereavement or divorce, the Christmas holidays are a miserable time.

Christmas for many people can be the most stressful time of the year. Most families experience disharmony at times and how serious that disharmony is will often depend on how solid the bond between family members is. Conflict is often a consequence of spending a lot of time with people you don’t see often and maybe you have little in common with. Different values, different personalities, past misunderstandings can all add to tension and friction over the Christmas period.
Family dynamics can be particularly tricky during the holiday period when there is a lot of pressure to be jovial and to enjoy quality time together. Unresolved problems between family members can be reignited in an artificially close and confined environment.

The financial strain of Christmas can cause stress and anxiety too, as families struggle to please or meet the expectation of others to provide gifts, outings and copious amounts of food and alcohol. Many people spend more than they can afford to, running up bills on credit cards and causing a problem into the New Year and beyond.

Days of drinking and close contact with relatives and spouses who you don’t normally spend so much time with can trigger conflict, violence and break-ups. Domestic abuse increases over the holiday period and many divorces are instigated in the New Year when individuals or couples recognise that they no longer love or like their spouse. I often hear clients say that they ‘have to’ spend time with family members they can barely tolerate or that they have no choice about what they do at Christmas, but this is untrue.

The good news is that we always have a choice, even if those choices are tricky or uncomfortable. You can choose to do something different this year and if a different option this year will leave you less stressed, why not? Or if you choose to do the same as usual, maybe you can choose to feel differently about it..? If you want to make some changes, but you’d like help to build your confidence, get in touch.

Thinking like an athlete and other tips for mindset change.

You don’t have to look like an athlete or run like one, but getting yourself in the mindset of an athlete may improve your life. Whilst we may view what sportspeople do as being all down to their physical attributes, most of their success is actually due to the way they think.

Many sports people practice visualisation: they see themselves jumping the longest or highest distance, or coming first in that crucial race. They are totally absorbed in the winning picture. So think what it is you want to achieve and imagine getting there with all the little details: what you can hear and see, the clothes you have on, who is there to see you and what they are saying or doing; you can even imagine the weather. Now think about how you feel about the success. Once you’ve become used to the feelings of success, thoughts can become reality.

Other tools for success include contemplation and reflection, better known as ‘meditation’. If you haven’t meditated before, there are many classes available where you can learn or you can consult a qualified practitioner. The benefits of meditation are numerous, but the ability to think calmly about where you want to be and how you might get there is one. Meditating also helps to lessen any apprehensions you may have, so it’s a good all round way to improve physical and mental wellbeing.

Giving yourself a good talking to and declaring how successful you will be is helpful too; the brain will accept what you tell it and learn to believe it! One cautionary note however, is that what you wish for must be realistic. You are not suddenly going to become a number one recording star, a leading Hollywood film actor or the world’s fastest runner if you’ve never sung, acted or run in your life before! Keep it real and learn all you can about the goal you want to achieve.

To get what you want and achieve your goals you must be totally focused and believe in yourself.  Look at all the successful people you know; what do they have in common?  They are probably driven and not easily diverted. And so it is with athletes, they are tough physically and mentally. So why not give it a go and start imagining what you can achieve today and if you struggle to rid yourself of limiting beliefs or self-defeating behaviours, a coach or hypnotherapist can help you to change your mindset so that you can reach your true potential.

More calories with your caffeine madam?

Do you wrestle with food choices and weight issues? If so, the sad reality is that you are far from being alone in this struggle.

In my hypnotherapy practice in Wimbledon, I see many clients for whom this is a significant problem. For a lot of those seeking help to manage their weight, they have been using food to alter their mood or to feel better about something’ if only for a short time.

Emotional eating or self-medicating with food or drink is nothing new of course, but modern marketing methods definitely don’t help. Only yesterday on a BBC news programme, the problem of retailers and restaurateurs ‘upselling’ calorific foodstuffs was featured. Upselling is the practice of offering bigger portions of food or drink or sweet treats such as cookies or cakes when customers are ordering or paying. Unsurprisingly some companies, who are involved in this profit-boosting exercise, speak of personal choice. I agree individuals are responsible for their own decisions and the consequences of those decisions, but being prompted to buy a muffin (472 calories)* or a cookie (389 calories)* when you simply wanted a coffee (latte with whole milk, 299 calories), makes it all too easy.

The constant search for a solution that can be purchased, either in the form of a diet plan, a slimming club membership or a course of therapy, is exhausting and expensive. Most clients wanting to change their relationship with food try hypnotherapy after they have tried everything else. This is a great shame as it is often effective when other approaches have proved to be unsuccessful for a client.
Hypnotherapy can help to resolve some of the underlying issues that lead to self-soothing with food. As hypnotherapy works by harnessing the power (and co-operation) of the unconscious mind, it has a lot of advantages over deprivation diets. These restrictive diets often fail when stress or life challenges result in the individual  ‘falling off the wagon’.

Food often serves a purpose that is unrelated to nutritional sustenance. The type of food chosen when an individual is stressed, upset, angry or lonely will give a big clue to the person’s eating issues. Food is not a friend and neither is it an enemy, it is just food. And food is fuel.

If you are using food for comfort or to fill a gap in your life, (rather than your belly) why not get in touch. Hypnotherapy is a pleasant and effective therapy which might change your life as well as your waistline!

*STARBUCKS ® Autumn 2017 Beverage Nutrition Information*