Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.

In addition to being an author of many books and more than 800 magazine articles, Sacco is an award-winning lecturer at universities in both the USA and Canada, specializing in relationships, criminal psychology, addictions, and mental health. He is also a frequent resident expert on several television programs and appears regularly as a guest expert on many news talk radio shows in the USA (FOX, ABC, CBS, Iheart, Coast To Coast, etc.), as well as hosting the weekly radio show “Matters of the Mind: Managing Relationships and Mental Health.” He is also an award-winning executive producer and host of documentaries on relationships, psychological issues and child issues.

The Benefits and Criticisms of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Pros and cons on a scale with pros winning

Pros and cons on a scale with pros winning

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be a therapeutic tool for helping individuals who suffer from mental health disorders and addictions. As a result of its simple, easy and hands on nature (changing thoughts in the here and now), individuals and therapists alike boast of its tremendous benefits.

In this article, I will examine both the benefits and criticisms of using cognitive behavioral therapy.

This is part three of a three article series covering this therapy. CBT is considered a separate and distinct therapy from hypnosis, although many professional therapists have both in their toolbox for particular situations and clients.

The other articles in this series are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 101  and Uses of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

CBT itself can be used in individual sessions as well as support groups. Some people do better when they attend support groups that are CBT based as they meet with others with similar disorders and concerns who validate them, and can see progress in others and receive group coaching.



cognitive therapy jigsaw piecesCognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective because it does three important things for clients or patients using it.

First it helps teach individuals to assume a sense of self-empowerment – that is assuming responsibility for thinking the thoughts that lead to the feelings they are experiencing. CBT asserts that thoughts lead to feelings.

The second aspect of CBT is the emphasis it places on the client’s self-efficacy. The individual assumes all responsibility for not only what they think leading to what they feel, but also who and what they want to become. CBT teaches individuals they have the accountability to choose whatever they want to think and feel.

The third aspect of CBT is that it teaches individuals to live in the here and now. As they think so will they feel.

Therapists can obtain immediate impact on a client as it can change their mindset.

CBT is commonly used in brief intervention and crisis intervention (working with someone who is in mental crisis or suicidal) because it has the ability to have an immediate influence on one’s present cognition. You see when someone’s thought process or cognitions are negative or irrational then they are said to have a faulty thought process.

This faulty thought process leads the individual to think negatively, make bad choices, and produce feelings of fear, anxiety, pessimism and even depression.

CBT can be used in some patients to help them overcome the current patterns leading to bad or poor choices in the immediate and short-term now.



Group therapy with young peopleOne of the greatest advantages of CBT is its skill-focused, structured and practical.

This means clients get specific education and practical coping skills on how to cope with their long-term problems – anxiety, depression, irrational thinking, addictions, etc.

It’s important for individuals to learn new techniques and strategies in order to cope.

Their old ways of thinking aren’t effective in dealing with these problems, and in many cases have led to their problems.

With cognitive-behavioral therapy the goal is to teach individuals how to anticipate, recognize and cope with actual and potential negative thought patterns by increasing one’s awareness and choice about behavior, capacity for coping, and self-control, and confidence/mastery.

When using CBT, individuals are taught ‘self-efficacy’. CBT focuses on two aspects of client behavior and cognition, one’s motivation to change, and the skills to facilitate and maintain changes. CBT is very beneficial in increasing the chances of a habit change being maintained in the individual, and this lifestyle change being successful!

CBT is psycho-educational in nature so clients get educated as they heal!

A second advantage is when CBT is used in groups, clients may learn how to work in a team and may see the effectiveness of collaborative, cohesive group work. These specific skills can help them overcome their addiction problems, negative thinking patterns while leading to help influence their social lives.

For those socially inept, they learn how to socialize acceptably which helps build self-esteem.

The third advantage with CBT it’s effective in working with people who have concurrent disorders. It’s a treatment for people who have mental health disorders and addictions problems (concurrent disorders/dual disorders). CBT helps people who have anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress syndromes while at the same time, treating dependencies and addictions, such as drug or alcohol addiction which individuals use to cope.

The final advantage of CBT is the lack of spiritual emphasis which some counseling-based treatments use, especially in treatment groups that are spiritual or 12 step based.

When used effectively, CBT emphasizes self-efficacy, personal autonomy and skills. Some individuals want “science-based” behavioral strategies that are proven and CBT is the closest type of treatment approach that assures clients that what they are getting is reliable and valid.

So, what are the cons or disadvantages to CBT?



woman relaxing in present moment with mindfulness sessionPerhaps the greatest disadvantage is the homework assignments assigned to clients to complete away from sessions. Homework assignments are usually tasks clients need to practice and complete on their own outside of the sessions.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is highly geared towards the acquisition of new skills, mainly through required homework assignments.

Unfortunately, many individuals can find this very difficult to accomplish.

Some clients don’t possess the organizational or discipline skills to complete the homework tasks on their own.

Others are simply not motivated enough, or view the assignments as nothing more than added burdens which they choose not to complete, and which undermines success in therapy.

Due to the structured nature of CBT it may not be suitable for people with more complex mental health needs or learning difficulties.

Also, there are literacy issues when clients are from different ethnic backgrounds, or have limited reading and writing skills.

Some of these issues can be handled by: embracing the individual’s resistance to change by teaching individual’s new organizational skills to help them cope with their chaotic and disorganized lives.

CBT teachers can simplify the homework assignments if they’re too complex and challenging.

This would be best achieved by explaining and clarifying the assignments with each individual according to their learning skills set. It’s important to recognize no two individuals are the same or think completely alike, so this is one of the barriers that needs to be overcome when using homework assignments.

You have to take into account one’s educational level and ability to comprehend what is being taught to them.

Remember, CBT is strongly based on learning, much like an educational course. Individuals are taught skills, strategies and mindsets they’re going to use to change old thinking patterns. Their old thinking patterns may have been there a long time, with years in the making.

With that said, there’s definitely going to be ‘harsh’ resistance to change, even when something isn’t working to their advantage – often times, one’s resistance to change parallels itself with ‘laziness’.

People become lazy thinkers, and are okay holding on to their faulty patterns if it means not having ‘to work’ on themselves! This will definitely be a challenge in trying to get some to change, especially those who don’t readily embrace change, and shun ‘education!”

But when you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of CBT, you can see the advantages tilt the scales in CBT’s favor! The greatest benefit is you don’t have to rehash the past and relive painful feelings. Instead clients can be trained to think in the moment and change their thought patterns right there and then.

The greatest strength of cognitive behavioral therapy is teaching people to live in the present.

So many therapies focus on a client’s pasts – what they believe they did wrong, regrets, and shame they continually carry, and ‘trying to undo’ past mistakes. When this carries into the present moment, they’re still living in the past, which becomes their burden.

Conversely, there are those who place too much emphasis on the future, they miss living in the present moment, and feel ‘out of control’. CBT teaches individuals not only how to master their thoughts, but live from a place of moment to moment awareness – thinking.

This is truly the only control they have over their lives…their thoughts.

If you want to discuss working directly with us on your particular issue to see if we can help and advise you on a next step, then check out our Special Hypnosis Services Programs.



Cognitive Behavioral Therapy like many therapies isn’t a silver bullet or one size fits all treatment to overcome mental disorders and addictions. The therapist or counselor needs to determine if this intervention can help the client given their diagnosis and their situation and support environment.

CBT can also be used as part of a patient overall plan. Medication may still be required especially in those with a chronic mental health diagnosis. The motivation level of the patient along with their education-level and family environment has to be taken into account, as there are homework assignment demands.

Private and/or group therapy decision has to be determined, with again looking at the patient and their ability to do the work outside of therapy sessions to be successful.

CBT is also used for crisis intervention where its determined the individual’s thought process is faulty and because of this they’re in danger of making a life-threatening choice. Only a skilled therapist can make this determination.

Hypnosis can also help in overcoming addictions and faulty thought process especially when it comes to smoking or unhealthy eating. Because of this in certain circumstances a therapist can reach into this along with CBT techniques to provide an alternative or in combination with another therapy.

Finally, as CBT is focused on helping an individual live in the present then Mindfulness and Meditation can also be employed as homework to help not only quiet the mind but provide an ongoing environment to reinforce living in the present.

Consult with a professional to determine the best intervention based on the diagnosis of the patient.

Finally, an often-recommended book by therapists for clients about CBT when used for depression is Dr. David D. Burns’ book “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.” I’ve provided a link to the book  below.

I hope this article and series has been helpful. Please let me know in the comment section below.



Feeling Good – The New Mood Therapy – Dr. David D. Burns >>>

Introduction to Mindfulness – Free At Last Hypnosis >>>

In-Depth: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – PychCentral >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
Staff Editor
Free At Last Hypnosis

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“Now I’ve Lost Weight, How Do I Keep the Weight Off?”

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weight loss help concept image

weight loss help concept image

This article was updated in August 2017…

Wanting and trying to lose weight for many people is an increasing global trend and receiving lots of attention in the media.

Even my own hypnosis practice has seen a surge in recent years for those seeking a weight loss service using hypnosis.

Weight Loss is a big industry today with many books and miracle “cures” offered.

Let’s be honest, North Americans are considered to be one of the most obese societies in the world. Is it any surprise many are asked by their physicians to lose weight, or they themselves believe it’s time for a physical makeover?

Well, many will engage in dietary and fitness programs which will help them lose weight. Some will be successful and some wont, as they’ll revert back to their old habits because they find it difficult, or lack the ambition to carry through on their intentions.

Most will find an excuse to talk themselves out of it and quit long before achieving their weight loss goals.

The problem for most individuals is they’re creatures of habit and this is their downfall. Let’s explore this a but further before discussing ways to overcome this habit…



woman weighing bad carb food against good carb foodAs I said reaching your right size is a journey and not a quick fix solution regardless of the diet plan and exercise regime you chose.

People give up or regain all the weight they lost for many reason but these mostly stem from their thoughts and feelings.

People go back to old ways of thinking and living because it provides them with a sense of comfort, security and safety.

Even though something may be working for someone, adding positive outcomes to their lives, they may sabotage these positive effects, either consciously or unconsciously because they view this growth as a threat.

How come you may say?

You see, when you change, it changes the dynamics of situations around you – relationships, old habits which you held as important, and your perceptions which you held as sacred truths, which now reveal weakness and irrationality in your past.

Some individuals can’t accept what they were doing wrong all along was so bad for them once they do something correctly it leads to them feeling a type of “guilt and shame.” Because of this they revert back to their old ways to justify in some distorted way doing something wrong was justifiably correct or not so bad for them!

But for those who’ve lost the weight, what is next?

Sure losing the desired weight was an amazing accomplishment and they should receive the biggest kudos for achieving it. Losing the original weight however is only half the goal.

Keeping the weight off for good should be the end result… the continual end goal!

Anyone can lose weight, especially smaller quantities of poundage. Keeping it off however is the real challenge as this requires permanent commitment and changes.

Did you know most people who go on starvation diets, exercise programs, etc., do well for a few weeks to a few months, but eventually hit the wall so to speak with their training and eating regimes, only to put the weight they lost back on, and sometimes they end up weighing even more than before they started.

Sound familiar?

You see many people reach their ideal weight and believe they’ve won, they’ve accomplished their goal so to speak.

But when it comes to your weight the goal shouldn’t be a “point in time” scale reading.



Comparison chart for calories and nutrientsThe best way to keep the weight you’ve lost off permanently, or keep your body at its ideal weight, is through focused eating and dieting and… changing habits and your thoughts and feelings around food. This means a ‘diet’ should not be one about merely reducing calories, but rather about focusing on consuming the proper calories and enjoying the diet so you can sustain it.

This means you should be consuming the ideal number of daily calories based on your nutritional needs – proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats. The key here is keeping your diet filled with proteins, carbs and fats right for your overall health and well-being.

Some individuals believe a ‘carb’ is a carb for example.


Not all carbohydrates are created equal. You may have reduced the number of calories you’re consuming, and this may have led to you losing weight. That is fine and dandy! The big question though is, “What food sources are you deriving your ‘carbs’ from?”

Some individuals fall into the ‘food trap’ of using certain foods as instant energy to energize or sustain them.

White sugar and processed flour-based foods are one of these culprits. Not only are they unhealthy for your body, but they can also create yo-yo-like symptoms that’ll eventually lead you back to eating more to satisfy hunger issues caused by empty calories driven by chemicals.

It’s all about the quality of what is truly in the food, versus what food is doing for you in terms of instant gratification. For some, this is living a ‘dietary lie’ or falsehood!

Instead of continuing the lifestyle that got them to their desired goal, they let their guard down and believe they can eat whatever they want now, or slack off from their exercise routines.


This is false confidence, complacency, laziness, procrastination, etc., whatever you want to call it. One thing you can call it, is a lifestyle mindset which most likely led them to becoming obese in the first place.



Breaking Bad Habits ImageKeeping the weight off you lost is all about keeping the mindset of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, setting your ideal weight and staying at it, rather than slacking off because you think your goal is over and done with.

Or you trick yourself into believing, “So what? If I gain any weight back, I can just lose it again when I want too!”

Well, how long did it take you to lose the original weight in the first place?

How many excuses did you use to put it off to “someday I will lose the weight when I want too?” I’m guessing you mastered the art of procrastination!

One of the best and most effective ways for keeping the weight off you lost is through hypnosis.

Many use hypnosis to lose the weight in the first place, but many don’t use hypnosis to program the unconscious mind to keep you at your desired weight.

Hypnosis will not only produce confidence for your weight loss, but it’ll keep the mind diligent – arming it and keeping it active to monitor old negative thinking patterns linked to complacency which leads to weight gain.

Hypnosis can program the unconscious mind to counter or react to negative, old thinking patterns that lead a person back to complacency. Whenever the laziness starts, the unconscious mind creates a call to action to engage in positive actions as a result of positive thoughts.

Hypnosis is also great for encouraging the desire to consume healthier foods while at the same time creating aversions to ‘damaging’ or destructive foods.

Many people will tell you how much they hate eating vegetables or salads and this mindset was most likely created in childhood when they were forced to eat foods versus having the option to select it for themselves.

They’ve carried this punitive-based mindset forward, rebelling against eating healthy foods because they believe they ‘hate’ them, when they really don’t.

Hypnosis can help them overcome their ego-based disdain for healthy foods and help create to positive eating and lifestyle changes.

Furthermore, if you’ve always lusted sugars, processed foods and damaging fatty foods, hypnosis can create aversions so you no longer crave them or desire them. Did you know that with repeated hypnosis sessions you can actually learn to abhor the detrimental foods you once held sacred?

What this means is the unconscious mind is always aware of, and set to, your ideal body weight and clothes sizes! And that is something no diet program can achieve or instill and why diet programs in themselves eventually fail you.

Most hypnotists in your local community can help you with weight loss using hypnosis but there are also a number of self-hypnosis weight loss packages you can purchase online like this one from hypnosisdownloads for you to check out here >>>



How to Optimize your Overall Health: Good Eating Habits >>>

Why is it So Darn Hard to Lose Weight? And Keep It Off! >>>

Why is it So Darn Hard to Overcome Sugar Addiction? >>>

Introduction to Emotional Eating Disorder >>>

The Most Important Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss >>>

How to Lose Weight Without Counting a Single Calorie >>>

14 Ways to Make Eating Your Veggies A Lot Less Boring – Prevention >>>

Can Laser-Like Lipo Help Kick-Start Your Fat Loss? >>>


Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
Staff Editor
Free At Last Hypnosis

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Feeling Comfortable and Confident in Any Group

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Social Group of Women

Social Group of Women

This article has been updated since it was originally published to include more material on the topic.

Many people suffer from agoraphobia which is a fear of crowds and public places. They fear being amongst people because they feel unsure of themselves, are afraid they might say or do something stupid, or feel they’ll not fit in.

So many people today suffer from various forms of anxiety disorders where sudden feelings of panic, even leading to panic attacks have taken over their lives. Many of these individuals are afraid of public places, groups or even family activities because they worry they’re going to have a meltdown.

In some situations, it gets so bad for individuals who have anxiety when in groups or family functions that they can only attend if they have a companion with them.

When it gets to this point, once there, they’re afraid to be left alone.

Of course, these are extreme cases, but more simple forms of group avoidance are very real for everyday folks.

The same often happens for those who don’t want to be in or around groups of people. Even though “groups” are much smaller than “crowds “, the reasons they feel uncomfortable around groups is for the same reasons… feeling like they won’t fit in!



Social Media online ConceptBy our very nature, people are supposed to be social creatures.

You’d think fitting in and interacting among groups of people would be second hand for all, if not most people. Interestingly, this isn’t the case for more and more people.

In fact, even more people prefer a sense of being alone or being in dyads or triads instead of being in groups.

I believe the growth of people living with reduced social interaction happens for a couple of reasons.

First off, many people are working two or more part-time jobs and rarely have time to be around people in a fun and social setting.

Additionally, many are forced to be around large crowds of people at work (sales, food, big company office setting) that they feel burnt out by the end of the week, and don’t want to be around groups of people as it can feel overwhelming or remind them of the “more of the same” feelings they have during the week.

As a matter of fact, some feel they lose themselves in their work because of the large groups of people they deal with daily.

The thought of being alone serves as a reprieve!

A second reason people feel uncomfortable in groups is because of the techno-viral generation and the socialization process occurring.

For many from the “Y” generation and younger, they do much of their socializing from their computers, I-phones, Blackberries, etc. Furthermore, many of the “groups” they’re a part of interact on-line. They never have to leave their homes to socialize in these groups because everyone else is doing it the same way.

One of the most attractive features of this process is the confidence gained to express oneself because they get to hide behind a screen or an obscure icon or name.

Furthermore, the anonymity of sorts allows people to create and project vicarious or fantasy personalities for themselves. They can do this because they realize they’ll never really have to encounter those whom they are chatting with face to face!

Being in a group with strangers can be overwhelming for people who are used to being isolated socially, and prefer their own company. For them, it can also be hard to deal with such personal feelings and behaviors they’re not use to sharing in front of others. These difficulties can cause a person to be talkative, overly withdrawn, or even frustrated and resentful.

Talkativeness, as with other behaviors, can affect any group by not allowing room for others to participate. When you’re overly talkative due to nervousness or feeling out of place, this can turn others off. This can lead them to not talking to you and you feeling more isolated.

Group members can become bored, tune out and may eventually get angry and resentful toward you. They may then respond by giving unsolicited feedback which can be unwelcome.

Talkativeness in groups requires one to monitor what they’re saying and what they’re intending to say. If you’re becoming overly talkative, cue into others’ body language and mannerisms. They’re telling you they’re listening, but they’d like a turn speaking before they eventually tune you out.

So, can we “learn” to get back to feeling confident in groups?



Social Group Drinking ConceptThe problem many people face today is they’ve forgotten how to behave or act in a group because of their levels of discomfort which have pulled them away from the group process.

It may sound trite but the key to fitting into any group comfortably is to just be you!

A group after all is only able to function if it has members to form it.

Each member has to be unique and add a different personality to the group. Most groups fall apart often times because they’re so similar or conformist they end up creating in their members… boredom.

When people become people pleasers to fit into the group, the group grows stagnant and loses its legs.

In being yourself and bringing your own unique personality to the group, you’re bringing energy and hope for the group to continue evolving. This can only come about by being yourself and offering what you can… you!

In doing this, you’re creating a sense of comfort within the group, the one setting which actually made you feel uncomfortable.

If you feel you’re lacking in self-confidence then perhaps it’s time to take “assertiveness” or “confidence” training to help you build up your self-esteem, self-confidence and ability to inject yourself into any group. Our own confidence and self-esteem hypnosis program covers all these topics.

These types of programs help you build up the behaviors that’ll lead to you feeling more personable, and having others seeing you as a more charismatic personality. They also help you understand what you can control and what you can’t. What is called your “Sphere of Control.” This is a concept of recognizing you can’t control people’s thoughts and feelings, but you can influence them by practicing what you have total control over, which is your own self-talk. This comes back to focusing on what you can do to be comfortable and confident with yourself.

Assertiveness training helps an individual achieve four things. First, it teaches individuals where changes are needed in their lives when it comes to speaking up for oneself, or making decisions. It teaches you to own your rights and beliefs, and not to be ashamed of them.

Second, assertiveness training teaches individuals appropriate ways for inserting themselves into situations. It teaches them how to act properly. Third, assertiveness training teaches you how to best respond assertively. Some people have no inclination how to respond assertively as they worry they’ll come off sounding too aggressive.

Finally, it teaches people how to be assertive in all of life’s situations, whether in a group, at work, in a family environment, or when alone.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you fit into a group. You’ll never know unless you at least try and let people get to know you.

If you are someone who needs a boost of confidence check out this MP3 session here >>>



Building Assertiveness in 4 Steps >>>

How to be a More Confident Person and Increase Your Self-Esteem Using Hypnosis – Erika Slater >>> 

The Eight Habits of Highly Confident People >>>

Stop Smiling Nervously – Why You Do It and How to Overcome It >>>

How to Improve Your Body Confidence and Image >>>

Overcoming the Anxiety of Telesales Cold Calling >>>

How to Boost Your Networking Confidence >>>

What is Agoraphobia – WebMD >>>

How to Cope with Uncomfortable Situations for Personal Growth >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
Staff Editor
Free At Last Hypnosis

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Stop Drinking Soda For Your Own Good

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Soda Drinking Cans

Soda Drinking Cans
This article has been updated to reflect additional studies since the original was written.

Almost every health-related TV show or newspaper/magazine is denouncing processed sugars and of course soft drinks. Are they really that bad? Some media forums are going so far as to call soft drinks “health crushers.”

Why are they suddenly so bad, or have they always been, but we’re just now identifying all of the negative consequences associated with consuming them?

For starters, Harvard Medical School conducted an 11-year study on the effects of diet cola and kidney functioning in 3,000 women.

What they found was eye-opening!

The consumption of diet cola (most likely caused by the diet sweeteners in them) was associated with a two-fold risk for potential kidney decline.

Unfortunately, the not so good information for soda consumption did not end there…



High Cholesterol Level MeterA 2008 University of Minnesota study, which studied 10,000 adults found only consuming one diet soda a day was linked to a 34% risk of metabolic syndrome – symptoms that included higher bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and increased belly fat which were both potential catalysts for heart disease.

When you watch TV commercials, or see ads on the Internet or old school billboards on roadsides, often times sodas are portrayed as thirst quenchers or have this magical potential to re-hydrate you immediately.

Just a sip and it’ll quench your thirst!

Ir it’ll recharge you as if you’re stranded in a desert and come across an oasis and one sip is just like jumping into a crystal-clear spring.


Fact Check: Did you know most soda beverages do just the opposite? If you look on the back of the bottle or can, you’ll most likely see ingredients that make mention to; sodium, caffeine, and of course sugar. These ingredients actually cause greater dehydration, which in all likelihood, will cause you to want to drink more of the beverage.

Now there is an excellent marketing ploy if I ever saw one!

You’re most likely to become a repeat customer not only because of the taste, but because you are still thirsty!

There are some individuals who want to believe soda has nutritional benefits for consumption.

Perhaps the only positive nutritional component to soda would be the carbohydrates that some do possess given their additives. Some individuals would argue the carbs from soda are better than nothing. Perhaps, that’s given you were on a TV show such as Survivor and needed some kind of quick sugar fix before a competition.

However, these carbs are not good to begin with, and you may be better served to consume some kind of leafy vegetation!

Basically, soda is an unnatural substance created from synthetic ingredients. I’m sure some people will point to certain ‘orange’ or ‘fruity’ sodas and say, “Hey, wait a minute, they have Vitamin C in them, they must be good!

Sure, they may have vitamins in them, but are they able to be absorbed by the body given all of the other chemicals in the drink? And, if you read the label you’ll find there’s most likely a ton of sugar in them!

And what about sugar, acid and teeth when consuming soft drinks?

Kid with Soda and HappyThe University of Michigan also did a study which examined dental check-up stats and the amount of soda consumed. They found soda drinkers are more likely to have higher rates of tooth decay, more fillings and even more missing teeth.

Moreover, adults and kids who drink more than three sodas per day were the ones whom were reported to have the worst dental health!

Even when sodas are “sugar free” or of the diet variety, they still contain high acidic levels, some as high has having a pH of 3.2 which is linked to dissolving tooth enamel.

And what about the soft drinks with the sugar and caffeine?

When individuals consume beverages with high contents of sugar as well as caffeine they’re more likely to become addicted to these two substances over a period of time, or at least habituated in having a need to consume it on a constant basis.

It’s similar to someone with a coffee addiction whereby they have to have one or more cups a day, often times loaded up with white processed sugar as this gives them the energy they need.

When the sugar and caffeine fix wears off, they require more to pick them up again. It’s a vicious circle and easily dismissed as harmlessly just satisfying a “call from your body for more” of the same – but that’s what addiction is all about!

Most soda beverages contain large amounts of fructose corn syrup, which is a derivative from corn.

More research has come forth asserting too much corn crops are genetically modified today with little long-term studies showing the effects of these synthetic, chemical processes on the human body. This could be a concern because the manufacturing process for making high fructose corn syrup includes the involvement of trace mercury.

We know from studies mercury can cause several long-term health problems.

Having the occasional soda for most of us is unlikely to hurt or kill us! With that said, the greater concern is for those individuals who are addicted to soda pops, or drink them more than they should.

These folks – maybe you – need to get off soda fast and here’s some suggestions to help…



Water CoolerThe key to kicking the soda drinking habit is consuming in moderation, and not because it’s cheap, accessible, or because everyone else is doing it (please refer to TV commercials).

The best and most effective approach is to quit cold turkey – stop consuming soda pop and other beverages containing high acidic levels and sugars.

In fact, these beverages can often times be replaced with natural “sugar” beverages in the form of pure juices from both fruits and vegetables.

The energy derived from these types of drinks, especially from a juicer are more intense, lasting and of course healthier.

Replace with good ole water. Your body needs water to survive and has to work hard at extracting what it can from any chemically-loaded beverages you consume. Why not make it less work for your body give it pure neat water?

If water out of your tap concerns you and the expense of buying bottled water irks you then sign-up for a water delivery service. For $20 a month you can have quality water delivered to your home and the water fountain is free from most companies.

If it’s the ‘soda bubbles’ (carbonated water) you like most about sodas, then there are soda bubble machines for carbonating your water, and you can add natural flavors and sweeteners to it and get your own ready-made soda as a healthy alternative.

There are also dietary and nutrition group’s people can join, as well as weight loss clinics which help people learn to eat and drink healthy.

If you feel you can’t, or don’t want to, get through a day without your minimum soda pop consumption then maybe it’s time to admit you’ve an “addiction” issue and it’s time to do something about it.

Most local hypnotherapists should be able to help you in just a few sessions. If you’re interested in more information about our own weight loss hypnosis service then click here or contact us here.

If you’d prefer to do self-hypnosis and ready to kick your soda drinking addiction then challenge yourself to succeed by checking out this hypnosis MP3 session here >>>



10 Reasons to Give Up Diet Soda – >>>

Why is it So Darn Hard to Lose Weight? And Keep It Off! >>>

Why is it So Darn Hard to Overcome Sugar Addiction? >>>

Overcoming Energy Drink Addiction – The Caffeine and Sugar Trap >>>

Introduction to Emotional Eating Disorder >>>

The Most Important Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss >>>

Short Program Sugar Addiction Hypnosis Service >>>

Caffeine Myths and Facts – WebMD >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

All About Fat Loss and Laser-Like Lipo Therapy >>> 


Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
Staff Editor
Free At Last Hypnosis

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The Benefits of Deep Forest Relaxation and Forest Therapy

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deep forest image

deep forest image

Are you someone who has a hard time seeing the forest from the trees literally?

That is, you’re not too in tune with nature and don’t do the ‘nature walk‘ thingy often, or ever? Are you more of an iron jungle and technology type of person, whereby everything that surrounds you is usually of a 9 to 5 mentality?

Then perhaps you’re someone who could benefit from starting to see both the forest and the trees together and start connecting with your natural roots!

Or maybe you remember those days when you did spend time in your favorite forest but haven’t had the chance for many years, and long to experience the peace and connection once again.

When was the last time you went on a nature walk?

Did you know research is being done to investigate the health benefits of spending time in a forest and this is now called ‘Forest Therapy’? Yes, there are studies going on all over the world and particularly in Japan.

But what’s Forest Therapy all about?



Forest Walk hiking ImageForests have a calming effect on us.

Research is showing forest therapy has honest to goodness physiological and mental health benefits? The Japanese refer to forest therapy as ‘forest bathing’ where you literally sponge up the benefits of spending time in the forest.

Many people use CD’s or MP3 downloads to simulate the sounds of nature in the background.

These days you can purchase media where the entire themes are purposely composed of nature sounds such as waterfalls, rain, birds singing, and other forest sounds. If you can’t be in nature, then bring the sounds of nature to you. From this experience alone, it allows a mental and/or psychological escape from the mundane, even stressful urban sounds and realities of everyday living.

The fact is you can visit the forest and still be in downtown Manhattan so to speak!

Have you ever noticed television commercials incorporate ‘nature’, usually forests into their themes? When it comes to ‘automobile’ or ‘laundry’ commercials, the message is about escaping the confines of the city and reaping the benefits of deep, nature relaxation in the country.

By using ‘their product’, they lead you to feel this ‘relaxation’ is possible… of course when buying their product.

The famous medical doctor and author/personality Dr. Andrew Weil asserts spending time in the forest and engaging in deep forest relaxation can lower levels of salivary cortisol, the hormone that rises when we’re under stress, and can lower blood pressure and pulse rate. Furthermore, it can trigger dramatic increased in the activity of natural killer (NK) cells, which are produced by the immune system to fight off or prevent infections and cancer cells.

How much time does one have to spend in the forest to reap the benefits of forest therapy?

Apparently, researchers from Japan have found spending three days in the forest increases natural killer cell activity by 50%, and this effect can last up to one month! Even more intriguing findings came from spending time in forests or activities that were forest related.

Forest in JapanA Japanese study showed that just gazing at forest scenery for 20 minutes reduced salivary cortisol levels by 13.4 percent, bringing them down to lower-than-average concentrations among city dwellers.

The Japanese practice ‘Shinrin-yoku’ which translated means a ‘medicine’ for the mind by basically spending time in a forest.

They refer to it as ‘forest bathing’ and taking in through all of the senses – sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, everything the forest offers.

This approach began in the 1980’s and has become a cornerstone for Japanese health in terms of it being a form of preventative medicine.

Many companies, in Japanese cities, started making employees ‘exercise’ outside during workhours on rooftops (Of course there are no forests in the cities) as they hoped by spending some time in natural elements it would create a healthier mind and body.

The hope was workers would be more productive both physically and psychologically, and there would be less sick days.

Western medicine for many years – and unfortunately many Doctors still today – were skeptical of anything not based in scientific fact, and even with evidence of these studies the scientific community still doesn’t get the powers of eastern preventative medicine. Western medicine still deals mostly in remedies to help you get better when you’re sick, rather than preventing sickness.

But it’s changing as alternatives like mindfulness and hypnosis are used to compliment medicines for healing.

So, you’ve decided to reconnect with nature but what if your nearest or favorite forest is 100’s of miles away or it’s the middle of winter? Here’s where you bring the forest to you…



Deep Forest RiverThis means you don’t necessarily have to always be spending time in the actual forest to get the benefits, rather it’s your perception of your surroundings which have much to do with how you feel. It’s the perceived sights, sounds and smells associated with trees, birds, running streams, and wildlife which seem to reconnect humans to nature and help them feel refreshed and revitalized!

The earlier experiments conducted in Japan were interesting in the fact the mind itself can be led to believe even though the entire body is in the city, the mind can still escape to nature… a virtual forest!

When the mind is able to escape to a forest, even in one’s imagination, or through the power of suggestion, hypnosis or self-hypnosis, the health benefits are remarkable! The studies conducted in Japan showed the participants who were tested demonstrated more favorable and healthy outlooks after spending time in ‘cyber forests’.

After viewing forest-based sceneries, the participants in the study reported possessing higher rates of feeling vigor, and also feeling remarkably refreshed!

Overall, they felt more comfortable, soothed and at peace in nature.

Furthermore, those individuals who originally felt confused, fatigued, anxious, filled with tension, and even depressed or angry, felt better. The moral of the story; even though being in a forest is definitely relaxing, you don’t necessarily need a real one if your mind believes it’s capable of escaping to one.

What if you’re not always able to spend time in a forest, especially if you live somewhere where there are none, or climate does not allow it?

Well then, time to bring the forest to you!

One of the best ways to create forest therapy in your own home is through visualization and hypnosis. From the results of the experiments just discussed, it’s easy to simulate a relaxing ‘forest experience’ in your mind, anytime and anywhere.

Where your thoughts go, your energy will flow.

If you truly believe you’re in a forest, or floating on a small sailboat on a stunning, turquoise body of water, then that’ll be your reality. It’s all a mindset you get to create for yourself, and a hypnosis CD or MP3 can help you get there much faster!

You can get wonderful CD’s and MP3’s with all the background sounds of the forest which places you there in the here and now, even if you’re in the Nevada desert, or locked in a New England winter! These are readily available from Amazon.

But with these CD’s you don’t get the power of combining those sounds with hypnosis and going into a deeper state of relaxation and healing of stress and the capacity for peace.

It’s all about perception and combining these sounds with hypnosis, your unconscious mind is unable to tell the difference. It can be told you’re in the forest and therefore reap many of the benefits of being in a simulated forest.

Finally, here at Free At Last Hypnosis we practice what we preach. We leverage concepts discussed here as a resource during our online and in-office sessions for our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program which you can learn more about it here >>>



Andrew Weil >>>

FREE Sanctuary MP3 Download >>>

Why is it So Darn Hard to Cope with Stress? Ways to Reduce It >>>

Forest Therapy Taking Root >>>

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Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
Staff Editor
Free At Last Hypnosis

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Here’s What to Do if You Agonize Over Making Big Decisions

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Indecisive Woman Image

Would you consider yourself a confident, logical and successful person when it comes to decision making?

Does it take you forever to make a decision, always wavering back and forth, or even putting it off by procrastinating, hoping that things will just go away?

Perhaps you have what it takes to make the big decisions, confident in your abilities, knowing that whatever you choose, that is the right decision for you and that you are sticking to it. That folks is the hallmark of very successful people, especially in the world of business.

This is all based on confidence – knowing and believing that you did the right thing because it was the right thing to do with whatever was happening at that time.

Decision making truly is a skill.

The most successful people in all walks of life weigh the pros and cons of the situation before making a decision, but once they make their decision, they don’t waver , live or feel “Oh gee, did I do the right thing?“, as they have an aura of confidence and reassurance in themselves that they did the right thing.

The key quality that good decision makers possess is confidence, which means they don’t feel pressured by decision making, are not afraid of making the wrong choice, looking bad or failing, and believe that all will turn out for the best.

It is all about a positive belief system and expectation that things are good!

Too many people do not want to make big decisions and would rather delegate that responsibility to others as the bottom line is that they do not want to assume the responsibility for making the wrong choice and the potential consequences that come after. Often times those who have made bad decisions in the past, and ironically it is usually the small ones that did not turn out well and they received criticism for it, are the ones who avoid decision making like the plague.

You see, when a not so great decision was made and things did not turn out well, they take it personal – this must be a reflection of who and what they are and if they did “wrong” then they lost out on something and after all, if you lose, then that must make you a “loser“.

Too many people place labels on themselves for wrongs they have done in the past, or allow others to stereotype them and place labels on them and they live according to them.

Since negative thinking patterns are often ingrained in the unconscious based on past experiences, the best way to change that up is to get into the unconscious mind and remove those thoughts and/or modify them. You want to leverage your own thoughts in your favor to create and attract a positive expectation mindset.

Hypnosis is a great tool for reprogramming negative thinking patterns and replacing them with positive ones through post-hypnotic suggestions and cues.

When you have to make a decision whether large or small, the old habits of growing anxious and apprehensive are immediately replaced with feelings of peace and confidence. If you want to discuss working directly with us on your particular issue to see if we can help and advise you on a next step, then check out our Special Hypnosis Services Programs.

Alternatively, if you’d like a self-hypnosis product to help in making better big decisions then check out this download session here >>>.


Stop Overthinking So Much – How to Get Rid Of the Whys >>>

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Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
Staff Editor
Free At Last Hypnosis

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Mastering Impromptu Speaking – Overcoming the Fear Factor

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public speaking image

They say one of the things that people fear more than dying and/or going to the dentist is public speaking.

Let’s face it, most likely early on in elementary school, and definitely by high school, you had to get up and give an oral presentation about something. You probably worried about messing up, forgetting something and looking foolish in front of your classmates.

These thoughts and feelings most likely never left your unconscious mind and whenever you are asked to make an impromptu speech or presentation, your unconscious mind unleashes those old emotions and memories locked away in the filing cabinet and brings them to your conscious mind saying, “Oh yes, do you remember that you hate public speaking?“.

Cue in worrying and this is the beginning of you getting reacquainted with your fear of public speaking all over again.

Is there a way to overcome this fear of speaking in front of groups, especially if you are called upon to do so by a boss or family perhaps at a wedding? Do you always have to struggle whenever you are called up to speak, only to become anxious and then when you do start speaking, you start to sound like a blathering fool?

Definitely not!

Most people who have this fear have it without ever having a negative public speaking experience per se, and this negative perception is based on having “What if the worst happens?” mentality.

People are afraid of embarrassing themselves in front of others, looking foolish and feeling as if they are being scrutinized and judged by their peers. Basically, they are projecting their own negative thoughts and feelings onto others.

The people listening to you speak are most likely not judging you as they are too busy listening to what you are saying, or conversely, they don’t give a care (nothing personal) as they are in their own little world, wrapped up in their own thoughts day dreaming.

In fact, there are probably others who are listening to you speak who have worse public speaking fears who are actually looking at you with a sense of admiration, saying to themselves, “Gee, I wish I could stand up in front of a crowd and have the guts to speak!” There are many books and tips on overcoming fear of public speaking but they seem to disappear when you suddenly get called on.

Public speaking is all about perception, that being namely yours and feeling good about who you are and what you have to say, and not caring about what other people think. In fact, if you are out with a group of friends and do any talking, guess what? You are engaging in impromptu, public speaking experiences!

One of the quickest and most efficient ways for overcoming public speaking fears is to foster a confidence for public speaking.

This can be achieved through hypnosis whereby you can overcome and erase the old negative thoughts and emotions associated with speaking. With that said, the unconscious mind is re-scripted with positive suggestions, cues and even visualizations of you being a confident, successful and competent speaker. If you want to discuss working directly with us on reducing your fear of speaking to see if we can help and advise you on a next step, then check out our Special Hypnosis Services Programs.

Whenever you are called upon to make a speech, your unconscious mind instantly recognizes the re-boot version of you and speaking, and this makes speaking so easy with no apprehension.

When called upon to speak next time, the immediate urge to grow anxious and cower is immediately replaced with a feeling of peace and positive expectation.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a powerful and effective way self-hypnosis product to start training your mind to ‘think on its feet’ then check out this hypnosis download session here >>> 


The Eight Habits of Highly Confident People >>>

Why is it So Darn Hard to Cope with Stress? Ways to Reduce It >>>

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Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
Staff Editor
Free At Last Hypnosis

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Overcoming the Anxiety of Telesales Cold Calling

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telemarketing image

Let’s face it, no one likes to feel or be rejected in life.

When you are in a business or career where you solicit people for money because you hope to sell something, you can bet on there being a whole lot of rejection. Rejection has the markings of making someone lose confidence rather fast and run for the hills.

When you keep getting repeated “no’s” and “Sorry, I am not interested…” it starts to become difficult to not take things so personal because after all it is you that is the one getting rejected. Is it any wonder that people who work in sales or telemarketing have one of the highest turnover rates?

Being in sales is all about thinking, feeling and being confident!

Those who are confident in sales know two things; first, that sales are based on probability in that the more people you speak with, the more likely you are to be rejected, and second, that “no’s” are just a formality in that you will eventually get a “yes“.

Many people will most likely have to be approached in order to make a sale. Let’s face it, you are making cold calls to people you don’t know anything about other than their phone numbers and their names if you are lucky. Excellent “face to face” sales people know how to profile potential customers who walk into their stores or onto their car lots.

If you are in telesales cold calling, you do not have this luxury, so basically you are on a fishing expedition.

This means that your success rate is going to be based on the luck of the draw and your ability to sell. When it comes to luck of the draw, you just happened to call the right person, at the right time, at the right time of the day. They were home, they were available to talk, and most likely having a fairly good day.

This is a big help no doubt about it, but now comes your part in that you know your stuff inside out and you have a demeanor that engages them. So basically, you are fishing for someone who is open to listening, and someone you can reel in with your charm!

The second key ingredient is expectation.

Expectation is the key ingredient in sales confidence. You know that you are playing the law of probability in that more people approached means that one or more will eventually land you a “yes“. You may have to go through many “no’s” before you get to a “yes“, but interestingly, once you start getting your “yeses“, it is as if the flood gates burst open. William Ury wrote a book called “Getting to Yes” and has now written a sequel called “Getting to Yes with Yourself” which suggests before we can get to “yes” with others we have to get to “yes” with ourselves –  more here >>>

The key though is to not get discouraged with the “no’s“!

If you are looking for a shot of confidence and afraid to be rejected as you seem to take sales too personal, you can either quit or move onto something you are more comfortable with, or try hypnosis.

Hypnosis is an exceptional tool which helps tap into your unconscious mind using scripts and affirmations. With that said, your unconscious mind can be trained to get excited when it hears “no’s” because it is anticipating “yeses” coming at any time! If you want to discuss working directly with us on your particular issue to see if we can help and advise you on a next step, then check out our Special Hypnosis Services Programs.

Alternatively, if you’d like a self-hypnosis product on overcoming cold calling anxiety then check out this program for help on telesales calling here >>>


Feeling Comfortable and Confident in Any Group >>>

Confidence and Self-Esteem Hypnosis Program.

Stress and Anxiety Hypnosis Management Program

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>.

Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
Staff Editor
Free At Last Hypnosis

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What is Orthorexia and How to Overcome it

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Orthorexia Concept Image

Are you an orthorexic?

If you have never heard of this concept, then perhaps you might want to read on as this is not a new phenomenon, but one that is getting more attention due to the greater emphasis in today’s society on eating healthy.

Are you obsessed with eating healthy all of the time?

Orthorexia nervosa was first coined by Dr. Steven Bratman to describe his own experiences with food choices and eating. It is not currently listed in the DSM-5 as an actual eating disorder, but has many of the qualities of an eating disorder which makes it similar to actual eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

In a nutshell, othorexics have an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy all of the time.

Orthorexia nervosa in fact means having a fixation on righteous eating. Orthorexics have intense, rigid eating regimes which are based on food purity (clean eating) and quality.

They are completely obsessed with when to eat, what to eat and how much to eat. If and when they “cheat“, that is eat anything “bad” in their mind, or in between meals, they loathe themselves for doing so, and some even believe that they have to punish themselves for doing so. This punishment is usually carried out in the form of stricter eating, self-starvation/fasting or intense exercising as a way of “purging” their minds of the bad which they have done.

One of the most interesting aspects of orthorexics is their sense of mastery and control.

Some actually feel a sense of superiority over other people because of their perfect eating habits. This is when this eating disorder closely resembles anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

Orthorexia is all about control!

This control is the by-product or result of the orthorexic’s self-esteem. The intense control for eating good, pure food translates into one believing they are physically, spiritually and mentally pure. The orthorexic possesses this need to at least feel they are living a superior lifestyle. This compulsion for eating right helps them create a sense of identity for themselves which creates a greater self-esteem, while at the same time leading them to mentally escape their fears and inadequacies.

Is it mentally healthy? No!

Sure they are eating well, but at the same time they have created obsessions and compulsion (rituals) which may be disrupting their lives, their social functioning, while making others around them feel uneasy.

The best approach for treating orthorexia nervosa individuals is to help them re-create their thought patterns which are distorted and definitely irrational. Their intentions started out good but somewhere along the line became obsessive.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the best methods for helping individuals overcome this dogmatic thinking. Also, hypnosis is an excellent aid in helping people who are overly stressed out with obsessed thoughts surrounding food and lifestyle.

You see many individual with obsessed thinking patterns operate with a “must do” mindset to live out this perfection. Hypnosis can help retrain the unconscious mind to move from a “must do” thought process to one that is more liberal, easy going and forgiving! If you want to discuss working directly with us on mindset to see if we can help and advise you on a next step, then check out our Hypnosis Services or you can contact us here.

If you constantly are checking and fretting over what you eat and the time and feel “bad” when you slip up on food choices then conside a self-hypnosis hypnosis download program such as this one on Orthorexia here >>>


Crush Your Aversion to Going Gluten-Free and Sticking with it! >>>

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Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
Staff Editor
Free At Last Hypnosis

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Find Your Passion and Transform Your Life

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Chase Your Dreams Concept Image

When you were a kid, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Perhaps you had a dream to be a doctor, an athlete, an actor, a law enforcement officer, botanist… astronaut?

When you used to think about it I bet you were passionate and excited over the prospect of one day living out your dream! Then something happened to you on the way to achieving your dream. Perhaps it was someone who told you to “Grow up and live in reality!“, or someone discouraged you from pursuing your dream and you eventually started losing interest in it until finally you “went for something more realistic and practical”.

Does this sound familiar? There is nothing wrong with being realistic or practical, but there is also nothing wrong with chasing down your dreams and living them out!

Too many people live out their lives within the parameters or expectations that other people – namely parents, teachers or guidance counselors, set for them.

These “guardians” mean well in guiding kids, teens, even adults toward achieving realistic pursuits, but the problem is they don’t share the same passion in that “they would never be or do what you want to do”, therefore they can’t wrap their minds and passion around it and see it as achievable.

These folks usually think and focus on what is in their proverbial ‘box‘, whereas other peoples’ dreams are not only outside of their boxes, but way out there if it is a larger than life dream!

Too many people equate success and happiness with financial success.

They believe that in order to be truly happy they have to find a job that pays well and helps them live comfortably. Some people landed into a great paying job which wasn’t on their initial wish list, but the money was great and they stayed there.

One day they woke up feeling bored, miserable and like they were missing out on something which would be the burning passion and desire inside of them for “that job” that they always dreamed of doing.

For some, this was their “Ah-ha moment” for an awakening. For others, it was pure dread as they believed they had wasted the best years of their lives doing something that they never wanted to do, but… the pay was good!

If you could be or do anything this moment, what would it be? What fire still burns in the pit of your belly?

All you have to do is sit back, relax and see yourself doing what it is that really makes you feel good. I bet your soul comes to life, your spirit sings and you feel so alive and buoyant.

Now the question I have for you is; what is stopping you?

Ignore those nagging voices that say, “This is not for you!“, “This is unrealistic!“, “Get a real job!“, or “Do something worthwhile.” We also tell ourselves plenty of lies to stop from chasing our dreams. If you dream about it and are passionate about it, then it is worthwhile to you!

You may definitely need to keep your day job as you need the finances, but it is okay to start tip toeing into your dream job or interests and see if it is really for you. Guess what? When you read most success story biographies where people chased down their dreams, this is how they did it!

Hypnosis has been used to help people uncover through through their unconscious mind what makes their spirit sing. If you want to discuss working directly with us on your particular issue to see if we can help and advise you on a next step, then check out our Special Hypnosis Services Programs.

Alternatively if you’d like help to find your reason for being here through a self-hypnosis download product then check out this aid here >>>


How to Break through Barriers Holding You Back >>>

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Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
Staff Editor
Free At Last Hypnosis

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In this free audio hypnosis session, you’ll experience the power of your subconscious mind to begin to change your habits. If you've never experienced hypnosis before then this is a great introduction...