Mind Matters June 2019

Natures Perfection and Beauty

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a phrase which is well known and has the meaning that the observer chooses what is beautiful. For me beauty is as nature intended and there is no other way to experience this than by taking a walk in the countryside enjoying the wonders of all of Mother Nature's creations. Taking this photo, I later observed how beautiful the insect was. The shimmering colours on its body and the delicacy of the wings which amazingly hold its weight during flight. The perfection and beauty of this little creation which was no bigger than one third of my smallest finger.

Life today can give illusions of what perfection and beauty is and this can be hard to live up to. What is perfection? Some definitions say 'faultlessness, exquisiteness, immaculateness'  and the definition of beauty?  'Pleasing to look at, attractiveness, charm, grace'.
Not so many years ago time would be spent dying my hair, straightening my hair and painting fingernails. Then more time applying full make up to my face. My inner insecurities where being masked by a physical falseness which was not me at all. The person on the outside was not the person on the inside. In fact I created a harder physical environment for myself because I had to live up to what others saw me as on the outside.

Self-appreciation came to me through my work, by that meaning, I had to become the real me if it was my intention to help others discovering their true self. By working inwardly and becoming my own best friend gave me the confidence to step away from those straighteners, ditch the hair dye, nail polish and full make up. By becoming complete inside my inner beauty could shine outwardly naturally. The comfortableness was finding my true self and the realisation that what I thought where my imperfections are the true perfections and beauty of me.   
When things are as nature intends there will always be a true element of perfection and beauty which does not have to be exaggerated or changed in any way. By starting inwardly with a true appreciation of the inner-self this will bring naturally the balance of appreciation to the outer-self.
Hypnotherapy can help with self-appreciation, confidence and self-esteem to bring out the best natural and true qualities in everyone.   

Mind Matters May 2019

Time to be kind to your mind!

Mental Health week is 13th to 19th May and this is a chance to spend time to look at ways to help improve health and well-being in the place which is often ignored the mind!
For almost ten years I have been working as a hypnotherapist and during this time have realised  that by regularly relaxing in the mind will help balance emotions and provide good physical health. 

Like most children, my imagination was overactive often daydreaming and as I got older overthinking. Often drifting away whether it was about the past or moving ahead in to the future missing out the most important bit in the middle the present. At times my thoughts flowed constantly interrupting my life to a point where large chunks of my day would be lost because my mind was not in the moment. Looking back now I can understand why I was always tired and never seemed to have enough hours in the day. Emotions ran high within me and suffering lots of physical problems including allergies my life was very different to how it is today. But it has taken time and lots of practice for me now to benefit, as I feel I do, from having a calmer clearer and present mind.

Good mental health is something which has to be learnt and practiced daily. 
It can be a long process for the mind to change how it thinks because most thoughts are conditioned through beliefs which are learnt from an early age.
Because the mind cannot be seen it can be difficult to understand but it actually communicates through emotional senses and then through the physical body.
Overthinking is over use of the mind which is unhealthy and when ignored can cause negative emotions to be felt which then release in to the body. Once here physical symptoms are displayed as a warning that something is troubling the mind.

By the time the symptoms have reached the body it is then becomes  a physical focus. But when an ailment is caused through physical wear and tear it will be present all the time until it heals. When it is something which is linked to the mind pain and discomfort in the body will come and go and quite often there will be no logical reason for this.

This is why meditation is so good for health and well being not just for the mind but for the emotional and physical body too. Meditation allows for complete silence and stillness, mentally, emotionally and physically and when practiced regularly it helps for recognising quickly when the mind is feeling overstretched before it becomes an emotional or physical dis-ease. 

You only have one mind so take care of it not just today but everyday after all it is the power that powers YOU!

Discover how to meditate easily at HJB Hypnotherapy see Diary dates 2019 page for more details


Mind Matters April 2019

A Weight off the Mind

Now Spring is here it is the time to start thinking about the warmer sunnier days which lie ahead. The prospect of putting the jeans and heavy winter jumpers further back in the wardrobe and bringing the lighter clothes of Spring forward brings a smile to my face. The weather this year so far has been mild and so I have not overly indulged with comfort food which, although, normally helps me through those bleaker colder months do have a tendency to make the spring wardrobe fit a little more snug!

Spring can be a time when thoughts of change come to mind and losing weight can be among them. When it is time to lose weight, for me it can feel a little like when a holiday is coming to an end, you know you have had a really good time but now its back to work! When I was young I could eat as much as I liked and my weight would stay the same. But after having my first child that all changed. By reducing my portions at meal times and cutting out snacks between meals I would gradually see and feel the positive signs of my clothes feeling comfortable to wear again.
If anyone had asked me at that time did I have any issues around food I would have answered 'No' but since being a hypnotherapist I realised now that I did. 

Rewarding with food is not good practice but unfortunately it is all too commonly used especially when growing up. I, like most children, was a fussy eater and from a parents point of view, and one I can resonate with, this can be a worrying time thinking that your child is not eating enough. From memory I recall sitting in front of dinners which I would pick and push around my plate but a reward, if I was to eat the dinner, was pudding! Ahh... something sweet and nice for finishing my dinner. Unfortunately this conditioned behaviour continued in to my adult life to 'reward' myself with a sweet treat after doing the cleaning or the ironing for example. Thankfully I worked with the issues which were causing me to over indulge and I am now mind aware and able to control sensibly what I eat and, for me, no food is considered a reward.
Food culture has changed a lot over the past 10 to 15 years but the reasons for over indulging have not and like everything else it all starts in the mind! To eat when watching television, reading or doing anything else will take the mind away from the food being consumed and can cause overeating. Drinking plenty of water during the day should help to stop snacking between meals and also stop thirst becoming confused with hunger. When thirsty the mind gets dehydrated and this can cause confusion so eating instead of drinking could happen. Emotions play a big part in over eating so, whether its a positive or a negative thought when linked to an emotion could result in rewarding with food.
Sometimes it is not about the pounds and ounces self acceptance can help, especially those who have always struggled with their weight.
Try these few tips to help if you are wanting to lose weight;

  • Take time to sit, enjoy and not be distracted when eating 
  • Try using a smaller dinner plate
  • Regulate dinner to a time of no later than 6.30pm or move it to midday
  • Wait 10-15 minutes before eating dessert
  • Go for a walk after dinner
  • Having a clear mind before eating will help to enjoy the food and stop feelings of guilt afterwards 

Mind Matters  March 2019

Winters Natures Sleep

The middle of February now upon us as the evenings become a little lighter and the snowdrops begin to lift their weary little heads to the sun, the hope that spring is getting near. I feel there really is a feeling of the tiredness and darkness lifting, which the winter has brought to me. 
The romance of winter evenings depicted as snuggled by a roaring fire is suddenly brought in to the harsh reality of keeping safe and warm as I scrape my windscreen. 

For me, it is at times a struggle, not to slip in to the winters bad physical habits including that feeling of 'can't be bothered.....'  or that winter circle of: getting up, going to work, coming home, eating dinner, watching TV........and the evenings just slip away.  
In the winter months I want more sleep and my physical body can feel sluggish. I believe I could quite happily hibernate until the spring has well and truly sprung! During the winter months my appetite increases to that of a growing teenager, rather than a fully grown middle aged woman. I allow myself to listen to my body so it will receive the 'extra fuel' it needs this time of year and I know that this does help eliminate a lot of the tiredness. Look at the farmlands in winter which are allowed to sleep, breathe and replenish ready for the spring. So at this time of year my advice to anyone would be 'Be kind to yourself. Get plenty of sleep, eat healthily and any thoughts of diets leave until the spring!.'

Anxiety and stress in the mind can become an issue in the winter months causing active thinking especially when its time for sleep. Artificial light is increased at this time of year and this helps to wake up the mind at a time of day when it should begin to wind down. The use of TV, computers, phones and tablets all increase this idea in the mind that it should be time to wake up and get active. Years ago my routine was to sit down in front of the television and just let the evenings slip away. I would stay up and catch the 10 o/clock news before bed then I would wonder why I was struggling to get a good nights sleep. Not realising that the content of program I was choosing to fill my mind with just before bed would not help me to relax but actually increase my level of anxiety. What you feed your mind manifests in to your thoughts and through thinking we create emotional responses which we physically feel.
So evenings should be time to relax and wind down stepping back from all the pressures that the day has brought. Having evening time with no television and perhaps playing some relaxing music instead. I know from my own experience that by allowing my evenings to be a time to relax quality sleep now comes naturally.
Be kind to your mind! Its the only one you have. It cannot be replaced but bad routines can be replaced by good ones! You may want to try one or two of the following tips to help you relax before bed.

  • Use soft lighting in the rooms you are relaxing in 
  • Phones, computers and iPad switch off by 8pm 
  • Turn off TV at least one hour before bed
  • For at least 3 consecutive nights try having no TV or News programs
  • Remove TV, phones, computers or tablets from the bedroom 
  • Have a bath or shower before bed 
  • Warm your bed before you get into it with either a electric blanket or hot water bottle
  • When sharing a bed try using two single duvets. This allows a choice of a thicker/thinner duvet and also stops waking in the night if your partner moves and takes the duvet with them!

Sleep well!