Once you've repeated that habit over and over it becomes unconscious thought, something which you do without thinking. You enter a place, reach a certain time and it triggers a set pattern of actions based on something you've done often before. You eat a biscuit at a certain time, you drink a glass of wine sat in a certain chair or you begin to feel a fear when you approach that particular thing. You can be half way through the behaviour before you consciously realise you're doing it. It's become a learnt behaviour.
What if you don't want that habit anymore?
One way to change a habit is to understand it's purpose. What was the reason you started doing it?
- Social reasons
The list is endless, have a think what is the purpose of your habit?
Then create something else which matches the same purpose. Something you could do instead of the current habit.....if it serves the purpose even better than great.
- If you smoke for social reasons, create social experiences where you can't smoke.
- If you drink wine in the evening to relax, change the wine for lemonade but still relax.
Top tip: The easier substitutes are more likely to be carried out, not drinking wine and going to the gym instead is a big jump and harder to keep up than substituting the wine for lemonade.
Now every time you were going to do the old habit force yourself to do the new one. This takes some effort. Make a firm decision you're going to do this new thing and do it.....over and over and over.
They say on average it takes 26 times for your brain to recognise the new habit instead of the old one. (Think about how many times you put your old password into a system before you remember to use the new one.)
After a short while your brain will substitute the new behaviour for the old and voila you now have a new habit.
Important note: There has to be a motivation to change the habit, you have to actually want to change it. These techniques work but they can't work miracles.
Have a go and let me know how you get on.
Todays' tip is all about feeling good because when you feel good you find it easier to make healthy choices.
Technique 3 - help yourself to feel good
How often do you take time to say well done to yourself for something you did well?
I'm guessing probably not often..........if ever.
Think about it, how do you make a child flourish? Praise, a sense of pride and achievement. You say well done when they do something right, you make them feel good about something they've done so they feel inspired to do it again.
Adult brains still work the same but we don't have a teacher or parent there telling us we're doing well. Instead we set ourselves high standards or have a boss who sets them for us. We strive day in and day out to reach them and probably the general response we get is to try harder. It's exhausting, I'm sure it makes you feel like you're never good enough..............and the result is you reach for the comfort of the biscuit tin, wine, cake (whatever your nemesis is).
So what can we do instead?
How do I help myself feel good without becoming 'look at me I'm amazing'?
I'm not suggesting an over the top, ego centric, I'm so amazing approach. I'm suggesting you say well done every now and again, give yourself a genuine pat on the back for something you've done.
Go on....what are you waiting for? If you're waiting for someone else to do it chances are you'll be waiting a long time so go ahead.......do it now........what have you done lately which you feel you did well?
It doesn't matter how small or how big just say well done!!! And keep doing it, get into a habit of saying good things and treating yourself nicely with the words you use.
Want to do it even better? Write it down. It's amazing what a difference it makes when you write something down, it gets out of your head and into reality and therefore makes an even bigger impact.
Nobody needs to see it.......you could keep them secret somewhere or burn them afterwards if you wish.....it really doesn't matter. It matters that you said it and wrote it.
Remember: When we feel good its easier to make good decisions.
Create a healthy balance rather than a constant, 'I'm so rubbish' parade and you'll find you stop craving those unhealthy pick me ups and start having the freedom to make a better decision.
Go on.......start a new healthy habit today!!!
Let me know how you get on
I'd love to hear how you've got on using any or all of these 3 simple techniques, let me know in the comments box below.
Until next time
PS. Why not share these techniques with your friends? Click on the share buttons and help them get effective use from their heads too.
Why short term diets don't work
See how much of this resonates with you:
You often eat for satisfaction, rewarding yourself for both the good and bad with food or drinks, ‘oo I’ve had a good day I’ll eat cake’, or ‘oo I’ve had a bad day I need wine’ etc. Then you decide enough is enough and you’re going to be ‘good’. You cut out all treats and live on some restricted diet forcing yourself to make healthy decisions. Finally after some time you give in, say something like, ‘to hell with it’ and go back to eating the cake, wine etc.
Ever wondered why your head can only cope with this for a short amount of time?
Answer: You’re giving yourself no treats or rewards and expecting yourself to be happy with that in the long term. It’s not going to happen.
Ask yourself this, what treats or rewards to do you have which are not food or drink related? Go on…..really think about it.
Seeing other things as a treat and really taking time to enjoy them will relieve the cravings for that food and drink. Your head will give them up much easier and for a long time, so long as it knows you’re going to be kind to yourself.
Go on give it a go. Try being nice to yourself and see what happens. Let me know how you get on, I’m always interested to hear.
Until next time
This week: Thoughts and Language.
You’re never going to get away from what food you eat and the exercise you do results in what you weigh, but most people make their decisions harder by using ineffective language and self talk. Here’s some examples, have you ever caught yourself saying any of these?
1. I’m no good at losing weight.
2. I’m addicted to chocolate.
3. I always pile back on the pounds.
You may be asking what's ineffective about these? Well here’s the simple science to explain. Whatever you say to yourself your brain goes away to find evidence and proof. Your brain is ultimately a yes machine, when you say, ‘I’m no good’ your head can tell you a million reasons why that should be true and deliver them with emotions which drive either positive or negative actions. Ultimately the statement or question you ask drives the evidence which you receive.
Lets take statement 1. I'm no good at losing weight. When you say this your brain has to find evidence which matches e.g. how many times you've tried, how many times you've fallen off the wagon etc. All this 'evidence' then reinforces the view that you're no good but your brain only found that evidence because that's what you asked it for.
So what do you do?
Simple technique to losing weight 1:
Focus on what you do want, not what you don’t.
To give you an idea of what I mean I’ll change the points I mentioned above into powerful statements. This way your brain can find evidence which helps you rather than hinders, here’s my suggestions:
1. Each day I’m getting better at losing weight.
2. I choose what I eat and I choose to be healthy.
3. If each day I live a balanced diet I will always be in control of my weight.
Say these statements to yourself 3 times and see the difference it makes to how you feel. Do you feel better?
What you need to do: Make this part of your routine. Catch yourself saying those negative statements which focus on what you don’t want, listen and then change them. Ask yourself what is it that I do want and say that instead.
Have a go and if you’re struggling and would like help changing your negative statements into positive ones contact me, always here to help.
Until next time
PS. If you want to learn how to put mind over matter and lose weight here's the details of my 3 month Weight Loss Package. It will teach you everything you need to gain control and make those healthy decisions easier.
Weight Loss research Overview
This particular research investigated the effects of hypnosis in weight loss for 60 females, at least 20% were overweight. Treatment included group hypnosis and individual sessions with therapeutic story telling for strengthening their ego, decision making and motivation, exploration of causes in individual hypnosis, and group hypnosis with maintenance suggestions for long term results.
Weight Loss with Hypnotherapy Results
The results were clear, an average of 17 lbs lost by the hypnosis group vs. an average of 0.5 lbs lost by the control group. I’m sure, like me, you think they’re great results!
(Cochrane, Gordon; Friesen, J. (1986). Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 489-492.)
Mind Solutions and Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss
Other solutions focusing on the mind certainly also work but as the research below shows adding hypnosis to these has been proved to increase the results.
Researchers analyzed 18 studies comparing a cognitive behavioral therapy such as relaxation training, guided imagery, self monitoring, or goal setting with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis. Those who received the hypnosis lost more weight than 90 percent of those not who did not and they maintained the weight loss two years after treatment ended. Exciting results I’m sure you’ll agree.
(University of Connecticut, Storrs Allison DB, Faith MS. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for obesity: a meta-analytic reappraisal. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996;64(3):513-516.)
This is clear evidence that hypnosis isn’t just mumbo jumbo but gets real scientific results.
If you are fed up of dieting and trying every fad and never being able to keep it off, if you are ready to experience hypnotherapy for yourself, my Weight Loss Package gives you everything you need to change your habits, lose weight and keep it off. It includes 4 sessions, 3 CDs and a weekly Mind Tricks email Click here to see all the details. When you're ready to make a real difference call me on 07712 445651 and we'll get started.
Until next time
5 Easy Ways to Change a habit.
- Change what happens before the habit – Just think of how many things you do without thinking, shaking someone’s hand, opening a door, using a knife and fork to eat…….. Our brains are wired to follow routines and patterns of behaviour. It has to do this to learn and that’s how you create a habit. By changing the trigger for the habit you interrupt the routine and this can stop your brain following the automatic habit. This is easier than you might think, if you always eat when you get home, change which hand you open the door with, if you always have biscuits in the evening while watching TV, switch off the TV for 3 minutes before you get the biscuits.
- Supplement the bad part for something else – This one is really easy, you’d be surprised at just how little regard your brain gives to the substance over the action. You can supplement wine for water, so long as its in the same glass, drunk at the same time, whilst doing the same thing your brain wouldn’t be as bothered as you’d expect. Changing the substance is easier than changing the action of the habit. I’ve heard many stories about wives who’ve put less sugar in a cup of tea and the husband has never noticed or people who have eaten things they never would if they’re chatting with friends etc.
- Don’t tempt it – Take the temptation away, don’t buy it or keep it in easy reach. If it’s not there your brain doesn’t think about it quite so much.
- Diversion – Do something else. Often boredom is the reason for these unhealthy habits so long as you’re occupied it doesn’t think about that particular food or drink. So come up with a simple diversion, each time you want a packet of crisps you’ll do x, this could be anything, 5 star jumps, knitting, phone a friend. Choose something which works for you.
- Practise – Since your brain learns by repeating patterns of behaviour practice is key. I once heard it takes on average 26 times before your brain accepts a new pattern of behaviour. From experience I’d say that’s probably about right. So keep doing it!! If you miss one and fall back to the old habit you’re back to counting again the beginning. After a short while your brain will run this new habit without you thinking about it.
So no more excuses and hiding behind an old habit as the reason why you struggle to lose weight. This 2015 create some new healthy habits which will help you achieve you goals.
PS. If you’d like some personal support to change some deep routed habits I’m only one phone call away on 07712 445651 or email me email@example.com
PPS. Check out how hypnotherapy can help you lose weight at: www.refreshedminds.com/weight-loss
What is hypnosis?
You may be surprised to know that hypnosis is an important part of everyday life and you probably already experience it at least once a day. Whenever your mind wanders, daydreams or is focused on something, such as getting lost in a book, driving a familiar route or watching a film………you are in a state of hypnosis. It’s that feeling that you’re there but your mind is a million miles away. Sound familiar?
Have you ever noticed that it’s often in these times you get your best ideas, those light bulb moments? This happens because it’s during these times your brain waves slow down and this gives you access to a different type of thinking.
How does Hypnosis help you lose weight?
Hypnotherapy guides your thoughts to work on the areas you’d like to change or think differently about. Here’s the main areas hypnosis can help:
· How you feel about yourself – confidence and self esteem.
· Changing your feeling towards certain foods – chocolate, crisps, biscuits etc.
· Creating new habits – feeling full after you’ve finished a meal, leaving food on your plate.
· Changing triggers to eat – eating in the evening or when you get home for example.
· Teaching new ways to handle emotions and stress – so you no longer crave food for comfort.
· Rehearsing new ways of thinking – this helps you feel comfortable and able to do these new things easily.
Working on these areas means you can then follow a sensible eating and exercise plan with ease because you’re no longer fighting outdated thought patterns and old habits. People I work with tend to feel amazing and motivated, therefore succeed at their new healthy way of life. But don’t take my word for it……..
Does it Work?
Here’s some verbatim comments from people I’ve helped:
“ I just had to tell you I can't stop smiling today! I just had a tentative try on of my 'small ' size 14 jeans and guess what there's FOUR pairs that are comfortable and back in my wardrobe!!! They say its 'just a number' but that's my goal and I feel great! A great big THANKYOU”
“Everything is going really well and I am very happy with my progress. I have been listening to both the CDs you gave me and these have been helpful. I am feeling very motivated and really could not have hoped for this to go better”
So if you’re struggling with negative thoughts, habits and triggers, if you’ve tried every diet going and still can’t make it stick, hypnotherapy might just be the answer for you.
I hope that has given you a better understanding of what I do and how it can help, if you have any questions I’m only a phone call away on 07712 445651.
Until next time
PS. To learn more about the weight loss package I offer click here.
The answer: It’s not willpower you lack, its motivation.
Think about it for a moment. When was the last time you were really motivated to do something, I mean really excited……….
Now answer this question, how much willpower did you actually need to help you achieve it? My guess is probably not much.
You see, you only need willpower to push you when your motivation is low, when you don’t really want to do something. Our willpower is designed to kick in when we lack motivation and make you do it. So if you want to achieve something don't rely on your willpower it will always feel like a battle, instead focus on kickstarting your motivation. To help here’s my 3 tips.
3 tips to kickstarting your motivation.
1. Know your values – everyone has their own set of unique values. One successful way to feeling motivated by any task is to find out how it fits with your values. Here's how: pick a task which you love and ask yourself "why is this important to me", ask yourself "and why is that important to me" do the same thing 4 or 5 times and you'll discover what your core value for that task are e.g. to make a difference, honesty, pride, sense of importance, value etc.
(If you need help discovering your values give me a call 07712 445651, my Discovering your Values session lasts an hour and you'll leave with a top ten list of your values and an understanding of how to use this list to find motivation in every task you do.)
2. Know the reasons why – Everyone’s reasons for losing weight are different, what are yours? Don’t just come up with what everyone expects you to say, ask yourself what really means something to you? Next, make it real.....what will it feel like, look like and be like when you’ve achieved it. Often we lack motivation because we’ve set ourselves the wrong goal based on something that we don’t actually care about. Be honest with yourself and choose something which motivates you.
3. Think in small steps – The big picture is often daunting and the thought of having to complete such a big thing knocks your motivation down to nil. Think only of the next few steps, concentrate on achieving just that bit because that feels easier to accomplish and you’re always more motivated to do something easy.
Remember: If you’re relying on willpower your goal isn’t motivating. Find the motivation and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to achieve.
Until next time.
PS. If you’d like me to help you discover your values give me a call 07712 445651.
PPS. Check out how hypnotherapy can help you lose weight at: www.refreshedminds.com/weight-loss
5 Top tips to quit emotionally eating
1. Stop!! – Our heads have a nasty way of turning to auto pilot. Giving yourself time to think before reaching for the fridge or cupboard is an important first step. Mentally saying stop or wait whenever that first craving hits interrupts this unconscious pattern and allows you time to question your behaviour.
2. Ask yourself what is it I really need? – Being able to recognise that you’re not hungry in that moment but you are tired, bored or stressed is a big step.
3. Try an alternative – if you’re bored….do something, if you’re stressed….maybe a walk or some relaxation would help. Do something which will sooth the emotion and doesn’t involve food or drink.
4. Notice the difference – Half the battle is allowing your mind to notice something is different. Too often we’re that focused on ‘I want chocolate’ or ‘I need a biscuit’ that this is the only thing our mind can focus on. Give yourself time to notice you’re feeling whatever emotion it is and tell yourself that what you’re doing is making a difference.
5. Make it difficult – Us humans are inherently lazy beings. By nature we’re designed to favor the easy option. So make eating or drinking whatever is your nemesis the hard option and you’ll be surprised at how easy your mind will give it up. Here’s an idea to get you started:
Put the biscuits or chocolate in a screw top barrel at the back of a cupboard behind the cans or spices and make sure it’s returned there after each visit. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your brain can’t be bothered to get to them.
I hope these tips help you break your emotional eating habits, if you need more dedicated 1-2-1 support to get your weight loss on track call me (07712 445651) and book your free 20 minute meet and greet consultation.
Until next time
I've added a new and exciting event to the calendar. Check out all the details here:
I always love adding new and exciting events to my calendar!!
For this one I've teamed up with Jackie Braddock from Feel Good Naturally to deliver a one day workshop combining hypnotherapy and nutrition to help you achieve weight loss success in 2015.
You'll leave with 30+ nutritional recipes, 2 hypnotherapy CDs and a good bag worth over £150. The workshop also includes a healthy, nutritious lunch in our Five Food wellbeing cafe.
Check out all the information and booking instructions here and feel free to share this with anyone you feel would love it. We only have 10 spaces so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Have a great day.
Today I have a question for you....why is it human nature to critisise and pressure ourselves so much? I swear nobody could possibly be a bigger critic than ourselves and what's more concerning is the level of impact this can have is massive and I do mean uba-massive.
So many of my weight loss clients have convinced themselves that they're rubbish at losing weight and instead are at the mercy of an uncontrollable inner self that sabotages their every attempt. They're trapped with all the old evidence of past successes and failures along with our super healthy culture which seems to have exploded lately to a point where you feel a failure if you have a single slice of cheesecake.
They're all desperately trying to get to 'that' goal (which is usually unbelievably big) and they're fighting the whole way mostly feeling it's exhaustingly hard work. An averlanche of shoulds, shouldn't and guilt erode any will power and motivation they once managed to muster and they end up convinced it's just too difficult, can't do it or might as well just get used to the fact they're fat. Sound in any way familiar?
Well I bet that does wonders for their self esteem and leds itself beautifully to raiding the fridge for something to make them feel better. What's more I can probably guarantee that won't be a piece of fruit!
So what's the answer?
Another question for you: why don't we natually go for the low hanging fruit? The easy stuff which wouldn't be too much of a big deal to change? We all know the little stuff adds up the a mountain so why not concentrate on that and eventually you'll get there without the emotional hard battle of wills. To start with you'd lose a few pounts, which would boost your mood and give your brain the evidence that you can do it. Then you're more likely to start the snowball effect, a few more good decisions and a few more etc. So why not be nice to yourself for a change?
Take each decision as just that, one easy decision and sod the bigger picture, high pressure, 1000 reasons why it won't work, hard work attitude. It's just one little decision at a time and I'm sure you could do that.
I dare you to take the challenge, what are the little things which you could do and start doing them one easy decision at a time.
Go on be nice to yourself and good luck losing those pounds.
So you start the new year with great intentions, you know you want/need to do something, maybe get fit, stop smoking, stop stressing, be nicer or lose a few pounds. Whatever it is you wake up and think this is the year you'll make it happen.
So how is your resolution going so far?
I was struck by this article I read today in the guardian where 78% of people failed in their resolution. So what can you do to make sure you're in the 22% that succeed? Well here's my top 5 tips.
1) Start with one thing. Trying to change to many things in your life at once is a recipe for disaster and one thing generally snowballs into others so pick something important and stick to that one for now.
2) Set a goal, what is it you want? If you want to lose weight, how much do you want to lose? If you're stopping smoking how much money will you have and what will you do with it? Having a goal gives you something tangible to work towards.
3) Bring that goal to life. What will it be like? What will you be able to do? How will you feel? This is a way of checking the goal to make sure you'd be happy when you've achieved it. Think about the negatives too and work around them. This way they won't stand in your way of success. So for example if you're going to lose weight you'll need to buy new clothes, maybe you know you can't afford it. Ok so you could decide to sell the old things to make money for the new stuff. Doing this means that excuses doesn't hold back your progress.
4) Break the goal down into simple steps you can manage. What are you going to do each day/week etc which will lead to your goal.
5) Rewards. Decide what you can do along the way to celebrate your achievements. Have a range of rewards from something small for those little successes to larger things to celebrate amazing achievements. Maybe get your family, friends or kids involved so they have a way of supporting you. When kids are little they suggest using a reward chart so they can see what they've done and have a sense of pride. You need the same pride so think about how you can reward yourself along the way.
Finally, if you do slip up along the way take each one as just that. Realise how far you've come, don't drown in guilt or entertain the brain's 'oh well I might as well give up' messages. Get back on it and keep going.
And that's it. Good luck with your amazing successes in 2013.
Hope this helps
Want more help to quit smoking? I'm running a small group session in Leeds on Sunday 10th Feb and you can reserve a place for only £20. More info can be found in the Products & Services, Quit smoking page.
So I've decided to be a human guinea pig and conduct a little experiment. I don't know about you but I've been feeling a little sluggish lately which I've put down to the darker, colder weather. I've never liked getting out of bed when it's dark! So I've just been getting on with things really (all be it a little slower than usual).
Late last week I became inspired to experiment with how much of an impact food has on how you feel. (I put it down to becoming a little obsessed with watching the Food Hospital on TV.)
So I've kicked out the cakes, crisps and chocolaty goodness and stuffed my face with fruit, veg, meat and pasta. I also seem to have eaten a lot of baked beans and tuna!! As you know I'm all about the brain and getting the best from your thinking so I'm a few days in and thought I'd report on my results.
1) So far I've been on a course all day Sunday and worked 32 hours in 3 days from Mon-Weds. In a normal week I'd have been dead on my feet today. I've actually got all of my to-do list done plus a little extra - whoop.
2) Wednesday night is notoriously a killer, driving back over the M62 at night after a long day's work. It usually requires some extra focus and effort. This week I found myself chair dancing to the radio all the way home. Maybe just because there were good tunes on the radio but I definitely felt a lot more awake and alert.
3) I also feel I can think clearer, I definitely feel I'm firing on all cylinders instead of forcing the cogs to go round.
Oo I know it's not brain related but I'm counting the 4lb weight loss as an extra bonus :)
I know my little experience wouldn't hold it's own in a quantative/qualitive study but I'm convinced that food can help you feel and think well. So if you're feeling low and sluggish with a mushy brain take a good look at your diet. Reach for the nutritious foods and cut down on the high sugar and fatty foods and see if it makes a difference to how you think and feel.
I'll definitely be taking my own advice and sticking with this one.
Have a lovely day
An article I read about obesity surgery has really caught my eye today. So I thought it would be worth sharing my thoughts.
You can read it here if you're interested http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19982591
If you haven't got time to read it here's a basic summary: The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death looked at the care given to more than 300 patients at NHS and private hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It found that many were given insufficient time or information to properly consent to the operations. It also found that not all patients were given access to dieticians and psychologists.
This report doesn't surprise me at all, I hope we get to a time when we see people holistically and give them the freedom and range of choice in their own health and not glitze up a very serious operation as a quick fix. I think its awful that many people who are in this situation aren't given the care and focus they deserve. There are so many options and professionals who can make a huge difference why aren't these services being fully utilised?
In my opinion surgery should be the last resort after looking at ways to help change your habits, behaviours or feelings towards food or yourself. Many times I've worked with people with weight issues and mostly I don't end up working on food but on confidence, self esteem and how they feel about their life. I've seen people go through these surgery solutions and it bothers me that people see this as the easy way out, I can honestly say it isn't.
I'm not saying I disagree with this type of surgery, for some people this is absolutely the right approach but you deserve to have all the information so you can choose what's right for you. It's worrying that we live in a culture where we want everything now regardless of what it costs in the long run. Is your body and mind really worth that little?
How can we help people feel good about themselves if we don't give them the tools to lead a balanced, healthy life? I hope more is done to integrate the services on offer as a result of this report. I'm so proud I get to see the faces and pictures of people I've helped lose weight in a safe and natural way. Its things like this that make my job worth while.
Hope you're having a good Thursday