Habits and Addictions

Erika Slater headshot photo 300x300Bad habits and addictions can range from holding us back in achieving our goals to being life-threatening and impacting those we care about.

Habits and addictions, except in a few cases, are learned. This doesn’t reduce the challenge in overcoming them but emphasizes that the same mind and body that created them can be used to overcome them. You learned to have them so you can “unlearn” to have them.

It starts with recognizing there’s an issue – why you are here – and proceeds to be ready and open to making a change no matter what difficulties lay ahead.

The selection of materials you’ll find here cover challenges related to quitting smoking, losing weight, belief change, self-esteem, stress, phobias and many more.

Enjoy the articles.

Stop Worrying How Others See You and Be an Effective Communicator

By Erika Slater
Man looking into mirror on self-reflection

Man looking into mirror on self-reflection

Do you spend time thinking and worrying over how others see you?

Does it impact your job or relationships? Friends, family, lovers?

Paying attention and understanding what others think about you is important and healthy. It allows us to grow and mature. But it can also get in the way of who we are and what we can become.

So, finding an equilibrium between watching for how others perceive you and focusing on being who you are is a tricky balance.

In this short article today, I’m going to explore some simple ways you can reduce the impact of other’s perception of you on your life.

 

LOOKING GLASS SELF AND YOUR SELF-IMAGE AND SELF-CONCEPT:

Speaker at conference with audience listeningLearning about how others see us can help and be a hindrance. Caring about how we are seen is socially important to us, and there are definitely people we care more about their opinion of us than others.

But worrying too much about how we are perceived can lead us to make changes that aren’t always authentic and positive to us, so taking feedback and processing it to validate before deciding what/if to change is important.

The famous American sociologist Charles Horton Cooley came up with the concept of ‘Looking Glass Self’ which helps people develop a better understanding for how others see them based on how they react or don’t react.

In fact, Cooley discussed how Looking Glass Self can create insecurities and low self-esteem for social interactions over repeated time if you start to believe in your perceptions of what others think of you.

When you start to use the Looking Glass Self as a measure for how you feel about yourself around others, it’s not so much believing in who you are, rather how you believe others see you.

Of course, everyone has a need to be liked, wanted or desired by others as people are innately social. Interacting with others can greatly influence your self-image and self-concept.

Your self-image comes from the reflections of others – how they respond to you and how they evaluate you. This process begins in childhood and continues into adulthood. Who you believe you are is how you’ll project yourself to other people, good or bad. Judging on how others treat you or respond to you will most likely reaffirm your self-image and how you’ll continue to act in social settings.

Your self-concept will be based on your understanding of how others perceive you or expect you to be. Based on these experiences, you’re likely to pattern your thoughts in certain situations around certain people and develop consistent feelings.

Over time, you’ll start to act that way with repeated experiences until eventually ‘becoming’ that way socially. Basically, you become condition to act and react a certain way.

Now comes the tricky part…

Are you willing to pay more attention to the feedback others are giving you?

What are their non-verbal cues and body language telling you?

This requires some work on your part and willingness to invest in an understanding of others. We’ll discuss some ways to do this in the next section…

 

NON-VERBAL CUES AND HYPNOSIS:

Man and woman discussion showing body languageMore than 70% of all communication is non-verbal. This includes:

  • Body Language.
  • Tone of voice.
  • Facial Expressions.

As they say “less is more.” Which means we can say as much with body language, our voice tone and our facial expressions – pausing for dramatic effect, etc. – than rambling on for hours expelling words and information and boring our listeners or partners to death.

Pausing to allow for feedback is important. It gives us a chance to see how we’re doing and let’s us adjust what we say moving forward.

For example, people love stories, and if there’s a lot of fidgeting going on in the audience or with your partner or friend, then it may be time to change the information flow, and interject a few stories to make your point more real… and interesting.

By being a little observant when sending out your message to others you can determine quickly how it, and you as the messenger, are being received.

Funny enough many people develop their own body language, tone of voice and facial expressions when delivering communications but fail to observe these traits in others. They don’t stop to observe but assume people are hanging on their every word.

Sorry, but they are not! Some are thinking about what they’ll eat that night, or which film they’ll watch.

If you want to know how others see you, then you need to pay attention to their non-verbal feedback. Once you become aware of it, you can learn to speak differently as well as carry yourself differently.

This is a large topic and I wrote an article about “What’s Your Body Language Telling Others – Positive Body Language for Success” and have place a link to it in the additional resource section below.

But this article is also about how to stop worrying how others see you. We can become obsessed about how others perceive us and for most of us we can quickly become ensnared in negative perceptions when none are really there.

And also this is isn’t just about speaking in from of groups or business setting. For example, instead of being fully present in a relationship, we start obsessing about our partner’s opinions, to the point where we neglect our own.

If you struggle with these interactions then hypnosis can help.

When you’re immersed in what you’re doing, it’s still possible to be aware of your surroundings, in a peripheral way. And this means you don’t neglect your tasks, your goals, and who you are as a person.

Using hypnosis, you can become better at reading people, stop worrying so much on what others think of you, learn to communicate with others more effectively, and thereby understand more clearly how other people see you. If you’re interested in working directly with me then check out my online and In-office Special Hypnosis Services here.

Alternatively, if you’d like to check out a self-hypnosis session that’ll help you to develop your insights and live by your own values with the help of hypnosis then check this out here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO STOP WORRYING:

How Others See You – David Ludden >>>

What’s Your Body Language Telling Others – Positive Body Language for Success – Erika Slater CH >>>

Looking Glass Self >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Why is it So Darn Hard to Overcome Sugar Addiction?

By Erika Slater
Girl grabbing sugar candy from jar at office

Girl grabbing sugar candy from jar at office as example of sugar and carb addiction

Sugar and carbs addiction is serious on your health and leads to many weight loss management issues – this article discusses ways to overcome these addictions.

Many people are addicted to sugar – the white, refined, crystallized sugar often times found in junk foods, or added to coffee and soda, or to carb-loaded foods such as pasta and breads known as complex carbohydrates.

If that isn’t enough, people are also addicted to products containing corn syrup, which have high amounts of sugar.

When you speak to people about sugar most know, and admit, it’s one of the unhealthiest substances they could consume, but they still use and over-indulge in it. Many just can’t seem to break free from their addiction to it!

There are a few reasons why sugar can be highly addictive for some individuals. Let’s look at how folks end up addicted to sugar and carbs and the impact it has on your body…

 

HOW YOU GET ADDICTED TO SUGAR AND CARBS AND ITS IMPACT ON YOU:

Different types of sugars imageKeep in mind, when discussing sugar as an addiction, we’re talking about sugar in the same vein as a true substance addiction such as; alcohol, drugs, or even nicotine. The same type of drive and need for these substances can be experienced by a sugar need.

Now there are natural sugars found in fruits and we’re not singling out these here, as at least food science at the moment categorizes these differently. Certainly not all fruits are created equal when it comes to amount of natural sugars they contain, so moderation is advised in consuming anything containing natural sugars. For example bananas are good for you but contain a lot of natural sugars so consuming a bunch in a sitting is overkill!

Since sugar is in almost anything that’s ‘sweet’ (processed foods, pastries, beverages, etc.) most people assume it’s ‘just food’ – and part of a food group. If it’s sold to eat, then it must be okay, right?

Well, cigarettes are also sold with some restrictions, but nobody today would argue they’re healthy – not even the tobacco companies! But the food industry continues to sell and develop new products drenched in processed sugars. No warning labels from the surgeon general on foods… yet! Generally, the food industry is all about profits and not worrying about your health.

These companies have huge clout in Washington to further their agenda, and influence attempts at releasing studies, highlighting the damage to the nation’s health, processed sugars is injecting in foods we consume.

I mention this here so you’re aware you can’t rely on your government or the food industry to give you full disclosure on the impact contents of the food you consume has on your body. Unfortunately, the impact to your body on refined sugars is nothing less than devastating.

Processed sugar makes bland foods taste good, and keep you coming back for more, and more… and more! Get the picture?

Many individuals actually have no idea how much sugar they consume. Sure, there’s ‘nutritional’ information on product packages, but how many people really understand what 78 grams of sugar really means to the body and the negative influence it can create?

After all, how many times have you read on a food label this contains your daily allowance of sugar per serving, when the packet contains 3-4 servings and you consume the whole packet in one sitting or at least much more than one serving size! If you’re like most – and me – opening a box of peanut M&M’s has to be completed in one sitting regardless of number of servings! And then when it comes to complex carbohydrates such as pasta – if it’s cooked it has to be finished, right? Ugh, go straight to the sugar and carbs addiction jail and do not pass go!

The health consequences of taking in refined sugars is catastrophic on your body. While the recommended daily allowance for refined sugar consumption is 150 calories for men and 100 for women, the average consumed in America is 335 calories per person. The fact is your goal should be total elimination of processed sugars.

Refined sugars have these impacts on your body: obesity, tooth decay, hypoglycemia, diabetes, and vitamin and mineral depletion. Singularly, none of these are good, but because of our diets in America, many are impacted by more than one of these issues on their health today, or heading that way unless we switch off the addiction now!

Many individuals who have tried to limit eating foods containing processed sugars, or stopped adding sugar to their coffee or soda, miss having it. They’ll assert the food doesn’t taste the same, they get less enjoyment from consuming sugar-free products, or they just can’t cut down on their sugar consumption.

Truly these folks are hooked!

Did you know once addicted to sugar and carbs, it’s much similar to being addicted to a drug such as cocaine?

You see, just like using cocaine for a prolonged period of time, your brain will require more and more sugar to create the same “high” it causes for you.

You have dopamine receptor cells in the brain that are responsible for how you feel – your moods of highs and lows. Sugar increases dopamine to give you the “high,” but over time, your dopamine receptor cells become less sensitive to the amount of sugar you’re consuming, and so you need more to “feel” the way you did.

This creates an addiction to sugar and when you try to cut back, or quit consuming sugar, you effectively go into “withdrawal.”

This makes it difficult to quit!

I admit I love chocolate. But I’m not addicted to it I just like the taste. “Oh, really dear” – my inner critic said to me?

This was me talking about a year ago. But I realized it just wasn’t true. I was always looking for something sweet in the afternoon or in the evening after dinner. So I quit. I haven’t had chocolate or cookies for almost a year… and I feel great.

So, what ways are there to overcome the sugar and carbs cravings so they’re banished for good?

 

WAYS TO OVERCOME SUGAR AND CARBS ADDICTION:

Various healthy fruits on table as alternative to sugar and high carb foodsThe number one best way to quit your intake of sugar is to remove it from your house. If you can’t get your hands on it easily then you’re more likely to resist. You need to treat it the same way as if you’re quitting smoking. Smoker’s who are stopping shouldn’t leave a pack of cigarettes around just to test their resolve.

If you’re buying cakes and cookies for somebody else in the household then just realize you’re going to have to devote a lot of your willpower to resist. Like a smoker trying to quit when their spouse is still smoking it’ll be tough and unfair to you from the start. Have a discussion with the other person about processed sugar and tell them you’re not bringing it into the house in any form, and they’ll need to go elsewhere to get their own sugar fix!

Don’t buy products with added sugars such as anything on the label with: brown sugar, corn sweetener or syrup or syrup on its own, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, malt sugar, molasses, raw sugar, sugar, sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, and sucrose). This list was extracted from an article on the Go Red for Women website and I’ve included a link to the full article in the resource section below.

Replace ‘sugar’ products with natural products loaded in nutrients and vitamins that’ll create a natural energy boost. It may take some time to ween yourself off of your sugar consumption, however once you do, you’ll notice how much better you feel… both physically and mentally, and how much more alert you’ll be!

Here are some food alternative suggestions for you:

  • Berries.
  • Chia Seeds.
  • Legumes.
  • Yogurt.
  • Dates.
  • Sweet Potatoes.
  • Prunes.
  • Eggs.
  • Vegetables.

While many people with a sugar addiction also struggle with their weight, loving sugar doesn’t always translate to a weight problem, particularly if you exercise a lot and/or have a naturally high metabolism rate. However, just because you’re not overweight doesn’t mean you’re healthy. Eating healthy and maintaining your ideal body weight should go hand-in-hand, and not taken to mean either… you need to do both.

So, now you’re straight on this and know what to do, the rest is easy, right?

Of course not!

Knowing what to do and actually doing it, isn’t easy for most of us. If you’re one who needs some “coaching” and constant reminders and reinforcements then there are a few more options that can help, and these involve seeking out weight loss services and hypnosis.

Joining a weight loss service or club to help you eat healthy makes sense as it’s not all about calorie control and eating less. In fact, much of the time it’s about eating more of the right foods than consuming less.

A shorter path to consider though is to seek out a local hypnotist that specializes in weight loss and sugar addiction. Emotional eating and sugar addiction can benefit from a change in habits and mindset around food. Hypnotherapy is all about habit changing and mindset and so look into services of a local hypnotherapist. I’ve been offering a sugar addiction service for a number of years and so you can see the type of service to consider as I’ve included a link to my service page in the resource section below.

Whatever you decide your next step to be, understand it doesn’t have to be so darn hard to overcome sugar and carbs addiction – effort… yes, hard… no!

 

CONCLUSION:

Added sugar is in so many of our foods these days its difficult to avoid consuming any, and it has the same bad impact on our bodies as addictive drugs. The cure is to change the foods we consume and eat healthy.

But when sugar and/or carbs becomes an addiction you need to take serious steps, and remove all temptation, and wage a war on what the food industry tries to sell you, and be vigilant on what goes into your body.

Seek outside help and join a weight loss service or group that takes food education seriously rather than sell you expensive foods. Consider help from a hypnotherapist who can give you the tools to change your eating habits and mindset around food.

Look for a local hypnotist offering similar features I’ve compiled into my own sugar addiction hypnosis service here >>> or contact me to discuss further.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR SUGAR ADDICTION:

The Effects of Refined Sugar on the Body – Living Strong >>>

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

Introduction to Emotional Eating Disorder >>>

The Most Important Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss >>>

Sugar Addiction Hypnosis Service – Erika Slater >>>

How to Reduce Added Sugar in Your Diet >>>

Fat Loss Red-Light Therapy >>>

 

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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The Opioid Epidemic and the Way Forward Out of the Crisis

By Erika Slater
Opioid pain killer tablets

Opioid pain killer tablets

Over the last decade North America has seen an increase in the number of individuals using and abusing opioidspain relief medications.

Many of the individuals using opioids have had them prescribed by their physicians to help alleviate the pain associated with injuries they’ve suffered to their bodies.

So far, so good. After all, if you’ve had surgery of any type you’ll normally be given pain killers by the hospital to get you through the first few days after your operation.

Unfortunately, what is happening is some individuals are getting addicted to these pain killers, namely codeine and morphine, even though they no longer need the medication for their injuries.

Furthermore, they’re using a drug intended to alleviate or mask physical pain, to now mask their emotional and psychological pain.

This short article is here to recognize we’re dealing with a problem that impacts all walks of life. From the mum you talk to at your kid’s soccer game to your neighbor’s gran who just needs to get through a day pain-free.

I have kids and I’m in good health. I am fortunate, but recognize others are not, and this isn’t the time to judge or categorize people who’ve become reliant on pain-killer medication merely as drug addicts.

I consulted with our staff editor – Peter Sacco Ph.D. – in compiling this article and who has researched this issue extensively for us.

Opioids are narcotics, and narcotics are addictive and… dangerous.

 

THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC – WHAT HAPPENED?

Opioid warning and monitoring on prescriptionsThe NY Times has been reporting for awhile on the growing opioid crisis and I’ve provided a link to their roundup article in the resource section below.

In the U.S. since 1999, the growing numbers of deaths due to opioid overdoses has become the leading cause of death in people under 50-years of age as reported in the article…

The current opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history. Overdoses, fueled by opioids, are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old — killing roughly 64,000 people last year, more than guns or car accidents, and doing so at a pace faster than the H.I.V. epidemic did at its peak.

Because of their categorization opioids have to be prescribed by a medical doctor.

They’re commonly prescribed for more serious injuries or after surgeries to make the pain more manageable.

Generally speaking, individuals who’ve started using opioids are usually given a set dose for a set period of time. Somewhere along the way, individuals who are taking opioids begin to realize they’re not only free from physical pain, but also ‘feel better’ in terms of feeling less stressed out, and whatever psychological pain they may have been experiencing has also dissipated.

If that isn’t enough, the longer a person is on these types of drugs such as, codeine and morphine, the more likely they are to become both physically and psychologically addicted to them.

This means if they do in fact develop an addiction, they’ll require being weaned off of the drug, much the same way a drug addict would have to be weaned off heroin which is also an opioid.

You can see how what was intended to be used as a minor problem solving ‘fix’ can escalate into a full-blown addiction!

President Trump acknowledged the epidemic in 2017 by declaring the opioid crisis a “Public Health Emergency.” However, this proclamation stopped short of providing extra funding to deal with the crisis.

So, what does the way forward look like for this epidemic?

 

WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD?

Recovery-sign-for-addictionsWe first need to recognize opioid addiction for what it is… an illness. There’s still a stigma attached to addiction. Many folks still refuse to acknowledge the various factors contributing to addiction, such as genes, and which are not caused purely by choice.

Approaching the addiction with compassion opens up a more positive dialogue to find effective methods of treatment.

The fact is addiction needs to be on a parity with mental illness and other physical medical diagnosis. Mental illness and addiction are closely related, and for those looking for relief from mental illness by taking opioids, and becoming addicted, we can’t afford to ignore them just because they’ve been tagged with an “addiction” problem.

They are one and the same and all part of the illness.

For those dealing with opioid addiction already then there’s research going on at the moment for treatment by certain medications to assist with outcomes. Other research is going on with combining medication and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a two-pronged approach.

For those familiar with the work of the Betty Ford Clinic which has now blossomed into the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation they’ve introduced a new protocol – Comprehensive Opioid Response with Twelve Steps, or COR-12. This protocol includes medication, CBT and motivational interviewing.

I’ve included links in the resource section below to an introductory article on CBT and to more information on the work of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Before addiction though is… prevention.

The key for using any kind of pain medication, namely opioids is to only be on them for a set period of time. Ongoing use beyond the normal period should be monitored by a physician with the intent of reducing the dosage so the individual no longer needs it.

If this doesn’t happen, then the issues for addiction as well as secondary health issues (side-effects associated with long-term use of opioids) become major concerns.

The fact is, access to opioids has been easier than drugs that treat addiction. Drug companies and doctors have all been accused of fueling the opioid crisis, but insurers may also be playing a role by making it easier to get opioids than the drugs that treat addiction to them. Quoting again from the NY Times article identified earlier…

With the soaring death toll, routine autopsies are overwhelming medical examiners everywhere. We spoke to Dr. Thomas A. Andrew of New Hampshire, which had more deaths per capita from synthetic opioids than any other state. Dr. Andrew decided to stop practicing medicine and instead minister to the living about the dangers of drugs. “I’m not an alarmist by nature, but this is not overhyped,” he said. The Upshot reported on prescription drug monitoring programs, a tool that could be more widely used to fight opioid abuse.’

Are there ways of dealing with or treating pain without using opioids?

The answer is yes!

More individuals are choosing to go the natural route and using alternative medicine to avoid the dangers of addiction to drugs. Hypnosis is one such route for those coping with pain.

Hypnosis is not a new treatment protocol for pain. It’s been used for well over a century for treating many forms of pain – physical, psychological and emotional.

It’s simple and has no side-effects, and the results from using hypnosis to treat pain can be experienced immediately if the individual represents a strong hypnosis subject, and the therapist treating the client is knowledgeable.

Individuals using hypnosis as an alternative to pain medications are not only treated in hypnosis sessions when working with the clinician, they’re also taught methods for managing their pain when on their own, as well as using MP3 or CD’s for daily treatment.

If clients keep up with their hypnosis treatments, the pain not only becomes manageable but sometimes can become minimally noticeable.

Most hypnotherapists require a referral from a medical Doctor to treat somebody with pain. Be sure to discuss this option with your primary care physician. If you want to consider working directly with me through my online and in-office sessions then check out my Hypnosis Services or if you’ve a specific need then contact me here.

The opioid epidemic is real in America and there is much work in front of us as a nation to recognize it and move the treatments forward. In this we can help and support those struggling to get out from under it, and support those looking for ways to prevent it from affecting our parents and brothers and sisters.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

For most, the opioid crisis has sneaked up on them in the last decade. It’s no longer affecting the hard-core drug addict who you would cross the road to avoid, but has now infiltrated your own family.

Research is showing there are many factors contributing to opioid addiction including genes and environmental, along with mental illness, and those who for one reason, or another, stayed on pain medication too long in a medical system that allowed them to get access to continue.

The use of certain medications to help people get off their opioid addiction are available along with therapies such as CBT and motivational interviewing. These offer the promise today and likely they’ll be more discovered as our attention is focused on solving the problem.

Prevention remains the best cure, and a more stringent checks and balances system for those who prescribe and support opioids is being discussed. Alternative medicine is being sought by many to avoid drugs, and one such treatment for pain is hypnosis.

If you want to learn more about hypnosis for pain management then check out these pain relief hypnosis sessions you can download for specific conditions here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO ADDICTIONS:

The Opioid Epidemic: A Crisis Years in the Making – NY Times >>>

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 101 >>>

Joining Forces to Overcome the Opioid Epidemic – Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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

By Erika Slater
Girl with nervous life and a little shy

Girl with nervous life and a little shy

They say it’s difficult for most people to hide what they’re feeling when it comes to their facial expressions and body language.

Your spoken words may say one thing, but your facial expressions may mean and say something altogether entirely different. Often times, when people become nervous or apprehensive in certain situations, or when around certain kinds of individuals, they start to smile nervously.

It’s a forced smile to hide the fact your uncomfortable inside. It’s aimed at conveying everything is fine when in fact you have a “knotted stomach.” In this example we all do it at times and to a certain extent its not inappropriate even if in fact we are hiding our true feelings.

The fact is, it’s unlikely to get us in trouble.

But what are instances where a nervous smile can get us in trouble and what’s going on?

 

THE SMILE THAT GETS US INTO TROUBLE:

Smiling widow maybe inappropriate for occasionImagine, if you will, you receive ‘bad news’, or are at a place where other people are ‘grieving’ and you’re smiling. Others may be thinking, “What the heck? Why is this person smiling, don’t they understand the severity of the situation?

But what they don’t understand is you’re probably feeling anxious, nervous as heck, or as I said uncomfortable, and you’re trying to hide your angst with a nervous smile.

Nervous smiles can confuse, irritate and even infuriate others because they don’t see the ‘humor’ in the situation. But what they really don’t see or understand is your apprehension.

When smiling is done appropriately, that is in instances someone would deem as ‘normal’ for an emotion like joy, happiness, surprise, etc. then no one has an issue with one smiling.

Conversely, when someone is smiling ‘out of context’, it paints them in a negative light, and confuses the parties around them.

It prompts the question “why are you smiling?” A difficult one to answer if in fact you now realize you shouldn’t have been in the circumstances you did. Ugh! More nervous smiling can ensue… you see the problem here?

The key is not using the ‘smiley’ face for all situations as your go to expression, and this does happen when people start smiling to cover up their embarrassment, angst or even their anger. It’s easy to ‘get stuck’ on an emotional expression.

Do you know of anyone, perhaps even yourself that’s the opposite of this?

There are individuals, who no matter how great things are going for them, great things coming their way, they just can’t help but always frown. Often times their underlying motivation for this is ‘they’re expecting the worst’ to take away their joy, and hiding their true feelings as to ‘not jinx’ the good things happening to them.

These people seem to always go through life appearing miserable when in fact they’re indeed happy most of the time but afraid to show it.

The same is true for those who smile to hide their nervousness!

 

WAYS OF STOPPING THE NERVOUS SMILE:

Breaking Bad Habits ImageThe best way to not smile during inappropriate times is to recognize your thought patterns leading to your feelings, which then lead to your action of – smiling.

The one thing you can control is your thoughts and you can monitor these – takes some practice and not easy but you can do it with help. If you tend to smile whenever you get bad news, feel anxious, upset or nervous, pay attention to the thoughts you’re telling yourself.

One method used to control negative thoughts and feelings is Cognitive Therapy.

While this is a therapy used in mental illness and addiction situations if your problem of smiling nervously is stubborn to fix, and a major concern to you, then seek out a professional therapist to see if this is an appropriate intervention for you. I’ve provided a link to an article below for more information about this therapy.

Did you know you’ve programmed your mind to ‘smile’ as a result of the thoughts you’re having? It’s a habit and like other habits you can replace it with a more positive habit.

Yes, you’ve done this nervous smile enough times you now do it on auto-pilot, without realizing it.

The key is to break the chain of thoughts leading to this habit. There are various techniques to do this and I discuss one at length called Pattern Interrupt in another article I’ve linked to in the resource section below.

One of the easiest ways to change your nervous smile is through hypnosis. You can modify those thoughts leading you to act (smile) out of nervousness.

Through post-hypnotic suggestions, whenever you feel nervous, anxious or upset, new cognitive scripts are created and used to unconsciously help you think, feel and act differently.

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

 

CONCLUSIONS:

A nervous smile is a habit conditioned to happen when you’re feeling uncomfortable, angst, anger inside and disguising your true feelings.

It’s a learned response but can be replaced with a more appropriate expression during those occasions where a smile causes issues for those around you, and conveys the wrong or inappropriate facial expression for the occasion.

Cognitive Therapy and Pattern Interrupt are interventions to help, along with hypnosis, to replace your facial reaction with something else more appropriate.

If self-hypnosis is an avenue you think may help you then check out this session which covers nervous laughing but is also appropriate for nervous smiling here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO SMILING NERVOUSLY:

What is Social Anxiety – Dr. Thomas A. Richards >>>

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

Cognitive Therapy: Taking Control of Your Negative Thoughts and Feelings – Dr. Alison Block >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Why is it So Darn Hard to Quit Smoking and Ways to Make it Easier

By Erika Slater
cigarette with words over it "why is it so hard to quit smoking"

cigarette with words over it "why is it so hard to quit smoking"

 

So, why is it so darn hard to quit smoking? This article will answer your questions and explain what you can do to be successful to stop smoking.

Are you a smoker still?

More to the point, were you once a smoker and quit, but now find yourself being a smoker all over again and wanting to quit again? Many smokers got concerned during the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 due the virus impacting the lung placing smokers and vapers in a risk category.

Do you find no matter what you try or do, you seem to always revert back to smoking? Why is it so darn hard to quit smoking?

On the other hand, you may be reading this but not a smoker but have a spouse, family member or a friend that smokes and you’re doing research for them, or want to understand just why they can’t seem to quit, or have trouble staying a non-smoker when they do.

Regardless of your circumstances I’ve got some answers for you today on “why it is so darn hard to stop smoking.”

If you want to know my qualifications for this topic then I was a smoker once myself before I quit smoking using hypnosis many years ago. I’ve helped many people quit with my stop smoking hypnosis programs over the last decades and met many that have found it hard to quit and stay a non-smoker.

So, I have experience in the topic. You could say I’ve experienced and know “why it is so darn hard to quit smoking.”

Let’s discuss a few of the main reasons now…

 

THE MAIN REASONS IT’S SO HARD TO QUIT SMOKING:

Doctor giving advice to stop smoking for health reasonsSome professional hypnotists assert the only reason it’s so difficult to quit smoking is an individual ‘just doesn’t want to quit’, and therefore isn’t ready for the road ahead.

Now speaking from experience this is true for many who aren’t successful but they may not have even realized it. That is, they thought they were ready, and really wanted to quit, but underneath there was something going in their unconscious mind which eventually scuttled their attempts.

Quitting cigarettes may not have even been the smoker’s idea. A Doctor or family member including spouse may be the one prodding the person to quit for heath reason, and they listened and felt it did make sense and so they should try to quit.

Right intent but wrong reason.

Unless the smoker comes to the conclusion themselves to quit then it doesn’t matter what method they use to stop – the failure rate is high!

There are other individuals who are ready to quit smoking, and believe me really want to quit smoking, and even have some good strategies for quitting, but too much of their bad habits and routines once included in their ‘smoking’ rituals, still persist and sabotage their attempt.

Basically, some folks find it too difficult to stop smoking because they also need to give up ‘other things’ in order to succeed, and they’re not just willing to make the sacrifice.

What are these ‘other things’ I’m referring to you’re probably wondering about?

In my world, we refer to these as triggers. You see a ‘trigger’ is anything that causes something or someone to act a certain way – it kicks things into motion.

When it comes to cigarette smoking, it’s anything or anyone that literally makes you want to light up. When it comes to triggers and difficulty with smoking cessation, these triggers are usually familiar amongst smokers.

The most common triggers would include things such as drinking, sugar, hanging out at night clubs, or socializing situations (work, parties, get-together, ‘smoke’ breaks), or stressful situations (family, work friends, traffic, etc.).

There are even less subtle triggers such as drinking coffee, listening to music, going for a walk, or just getting out of bed in the morning that could possibly be your triggers.

When you examine these potential triggers, I’m sure you’ll quickly say to yourself, “Gee, unfortunately I am stuck with these triggers, and can’t get rid of them!” Unfortunately, you’re right!

Up to a point that is, and assuming you don’t want to become a monk in a monastery devoid of any “temptations.” but all isn’t lost as there are strategies to deal with these triggers…

 

HERE ARE THREE THINGS TO DEAL WITH SMOKING TRIGGERS TO HELP QUIT SMOKING:

People sitting round table drinking coffee and smokingFirst, you can eliminate them, or the ones most problematic all together. I’m sure as much as many would like to quit their jobs, or tell certain family members to take a hike, that’s not likely to happen. We can’t eliminate all stress from our life so a trigger to smoke when stressed is usually handled by relaxing in a different way or habit such as chewing gum or distracting yourself with another activity you enjoy.

In the “myth buster” category smoking actually doesn’t help with stress or relaxing. Nicotine is a stimulant so if you were to hook yourself up to medical equipment to measure how much it helped reduce your stress it would be not only be a big fat zero but actually add to your stress. Of course, a smoker would argue this as it makes them “feel relaxed” – but the “feeling” is a lie as it adds to the physical stress on their body and health… with every puff.

Option number two is to avoid the triggers as much as possible, or spend less time around those triggers. The key here is to disrupt the time spent around your trigger(s) so you no longer follow the same habitual pattern you’re accustomed to. For people who have just quit smoking they should remove themselves from anybody they know who smokes or will make them want to smoke. Pass on gatherings or situations in the first few months after quitting where you know other smokers will be. Avoid the trigger of temptation at all costs.

I know what you’re thinking… this is also easier said than done, but less time means less chance to engage in greater setbacks placed on you by the trigger(s).

Option number three is changing your perception of the trigger. Two people can experience the same situation differently, for example stuck in traffic. One is stressed by it and smokes. The other embraces it, and meditates on good things and uses it as a period of reflection or listening to a podcast or music.

If you can’t eliminate your negative triggers, or modify them, even a little, then you can always choose how you will perceive them going forward. Your thoughts control your feelings which create your internal mental triggers.

Change your thoughts and you change the strengths of your triggers! But how do you change your thoughts?

This is where hypnosis can help in the area of elimination triggers and barriers in your unconscious mind that make it so darn hard to quit!

Here’s some stats for you from a 2011 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – I’ve included a link to it in the resource section below if you want to read the complete report:

  • 70% of smokers want to quit.
  • 56% have tried to quit.
  • 6% managed to quit.

Many of the options chosen, such as cold turkey, nicotine gum and patches, and e-cigarettes all share the same fundamental flaw in that none of them address where the problem of the habit really lies – in the unconscious mind.

Hypnosis tackles the habit, problem, addiction – whatever you want to call it – head on where’s it’s rooted. So, provided the idea to quit starts with you and you’re ready to do whatever it takes to quit then consider hypnosis as your vehicle to stop smoking. I’m not saying it will be easy and not everybody is successful using hypnosis but it offers better than a 6% chance.

Are you ready?

Check out your local hypnotherapists for somebody that can help you quit. Most hypnotists can help with smoking cessation but of course interview them to make sure they’re qualified and also a good match for you. 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 Hypnosis Services or you can contact us here.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ABOUT STOP SMOKING:

Center for Disease Control (2011). Quitting Smoking Among Adults. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports Vol 60 (40) >>>

Why Its Never Tool Late to Quit Smoking – Erika Slater CH >>>

The Smoke that Has Your Name on It >>>

Smoking Cessation – What to Expect >>>

The Difference Between Interest Versus Commitment to Make Changes >>>

Know Your Smoking Triggers – Smokefree.gov >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products.

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Stop Dating the Wrong Person Using Online Dating Services and Your Life Experiences

By Erika Slater
sad and unhappy man staring at self in mirror

sad and unhappy man staring at self in mirror

Are you single and find it difficult to meet the right person… you know that elusive soulmate?

Are you always dating the wrong kind of people, and your ‘dating’ inner-soul feels like you’re received a blood-spattered battering from a decade in the UFC machine!

It probably seems hopeless at times as no matter how many stones you turn over or how many ponds you dip your fishing pole in, you seem to keep landing snakes, toads and sharped fin fish.

Enough is enough already! What’s going on here you may be thinking?

As difficult as it may be to confront it, have you ever considered the problem isn’t necessarily with whom you’re meeting, but rather with the “bait” and your method of meeting new folks?

I know using the word “bait” may seem a little offensive as it makes the dating game feel a little like a fishing expedition but in reality, it is.

And that bait is… you!

After all, when you analyze everything about your dating search you’re the constant denominator, right?

 

THE PROBLEMS OF MEETING THE “RIGHT” PERSON OFFLINE AND ONLINE:

woman using laptop for possible online dating searchWhen it comes to dating and meeting the right person most people are so busy with their hectic schedules they don’t have time to get out and ‘date’ and meet people the old fashion ways. Sure, people still do old school by getting out and socializing and going to events and meeting a variety of folks. It’s a little hit and miss for sure and progress can be slow.

Many people today though have skipped these methods and instead opted for matching services.

So, the rules for dating seem to have changed. It seems the preferred method for dating is using the Internet and online matching services. Are you using an online dating site to try to meet the love of your life?

And are you addicted yet?

Has what once started out as hope turned to desperation and disillusionment in your Internet quests? How much is too much, and how far is too far when it comes to the world of Internet cyber romance?

What is it about Internet dating which makes it so addictive?

Well, anything novel and new is exciting! It arouses you in ways you can only hope for.
The longer you stay on-line, the more likely you are going to become desensitized and shift from having loving intentions to lustful temptations, and eventually utter frustration!

Usually, meeting the ‘right‘ someone online takes time, not to mention patience.

Unfortunately, most people don’t possess patience as they live in a “fast food” and competitive society of having what they want, when they want it, which is usually in the ‘ now‘.

Internet dating can be extremely habit forming.

You know you’re addicted to these services when you need to be on every day, certain times of the day, or your day revolves around being on-line, thus compromising work or social activities. When you’re not online, you develop psychological symptoms of withdrawal if you miss a day, or an ‘online‘ appointment. The attention one receives from being online can become exciting, overwhelming and addictive!

The problem is over time you become conditioned and habituated to the same type of people, respond the same way, and literally ‘date’ on autopilot. When you do this, you’re destined to keep meeting the wrong people.

This will likely put you in a rut and you’ll start to lose confidence in not only hoping to meet the right person, but your abilities to ‘date’. Bad relationships from the past compounded with repetitious negative dating skills can lead to a losing battle.

 

OVERCOMING THE ONLINE DATING OBSESSION AND DESPERATION AND MAKE MEETING NEW PEOPLE A JOY:

socilaizing event with mature couples in backyardThe key is to develop a new mental mindset for dating.

You need a new blue print for not only what you’re looking for in a new potential mate, but also what you want versus what you’re willing to accept or tolerate.

The longer you embark on this ‘dating’ journey with little success, the more likely your unconscious mind will serve you on autopilot – doing the same ole, same ole.

Getting out of your current mindset and methods is your first two steps.

Decide the qualities you’re looking for in your mate.

Be realistic here. Everybody has a different definition of “perfect” but be wary of only superficial qualities. While physical attraction is important as we all know Hollywood beauty stars don’t have a great track record of long-lasting relationships.

Figure out what qualities and values are table steaks for you, and make sure these filters are on when searching both off-line and on-line.

If you’re a new-single getting back into dating after a divorce or break-up from a long relationship then you may enter back with some good and bad thoughts. Make sure you’re ready and leave your prejudice and negative experiences “at the dating door” otherwise it’ll shine through when communicating and could scare folks off. I’ve provided a resource in the special section below if this is “you” and how to prepare yourself.

While we briefly discussed online dating services and somewhat in a negative way it’s still an option approached the right way and as one alternative method to meet new people. I’ve included some information in the resource section on the best and worst services produced by CNBC. Check it out before starting your search.

So, what other ways can you use to meet folks? Well, there are plenty if you’re prepared to use more than matching services. These range from old fashioned ways such as attending events and birthday parties and social gatherings after work, to using your online social media friends to find local activities and events to attend. Again, I’ve included a resource suggesting 11 ways for you in the special section below.

Also, consider hypnosis.

Hypnosis can help you break the cycle of meeting incompatible people and help you create positive, new blue prints for success. It will help you end the cycle of habitual dating and re-energize the zest you once had.

Hypnosis will help with your mindset if you feel this is a barrier for you. If you want to consider working directly with me on your mindset, and specific needs, through my online and in-office sessions, then check out my Special Hypnosis Services Programs.

Alternatively, if you feel you keep dating the wrong women or wrong men and are looking for a self-hypnosis product to help get you on the right track then check these out:

Stop Dating the Wrong Women here >>>
Stop Choosing Mr. Wrong >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO STOP DATING WRONG PERSON:

The Best and Worst Online Dating Services – CNBC >>

How to Cope with Uncomfortable Situations – Erika Slater >>>

The 11 Best Ways to Meet Someone in Real Life >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Expectations Versus Reality – Setting the Right Intentions

By Erika Slater
Woman feeling disappointed or sad

Woman feeling disappointed or sad

Are you a person who aims high – shoots for the moon and hopes to at least land among the stars?

Do you believe you deserve the best life has to offer you?

That’s a wonderful way to think about yourself, and about getting and being your best self.

But if you don’t set the bar high for yourself, then you’re more likely to aim way too low. And when you aim low, you ‘ll most likely achieve your goals because they’re much more easily achievable.

Over time, you may become ‘comfortable’ with what you achieve by ‘aiming low’ because there is minimal risk involved, and you’re less likely to fail.

Of course – like most things – there’s a balance and we each have to find our own risk tolerance. In this balance then comes expectations versus reality and that’s what I’ll discuss today.

 

THE BATTLE BETWEEN OUR EXPECTATIONS AND OUR REALITY:

Couple stressing over debt and billsSo, there’s a constant battle going on between aiming high and missing, or being always risk averse and shooting low and always making it! Failure or success. Growing or stagnating.

Some folks – particularly those who always aim high, might refer to choosing the risk averse path as a ‘barely getting by’ approach to living. But if it works for you and your content and satisfied living this way, then good for you – but if you’re not content then read on…

Then there are people who go the other way, in they set the bar (their expectations) so high they’re constantly disappointed with their lack of achievements and outcomes.

Basically, their expectations are distorted according to their realities.

There is a saying that is applicable to economics and personal expenditures that asserts, “one should live within their means.”

This is sound advice for people who have ‘beer incomes, but champagne tastes’ in that they spend ridiculously more money than they earn, thus always being in over their heads in debt.

This same analogy can be applied to setting goals and expectations.

Take people who smoke for example and come to me to quit. Some have expectations that I will take their smoking habit away from them and make them smoke-free with no effort on their part. The reality, as I convey, is that you have put in as much effort to quit as I do to be successful. Those who do stop smoking realize this and so their expectation matches reality.

You need to set goals and expectations based on your current as well as potential capabilities and skill sets – stretch goals are encouraged but there’s a fine line when it comes to your expectation versus reality.

Often time our realities rarely match expectations when they’re too high – expecting others to be a certain way, or relying too much on others, or even depending on unrealistic economics in business ventures.

This is what will lead to your disappointments.

If something sounds too good to be true then likely it is. While I don’t think being paranoid is a good way to live, the fact is… there are people out there to get your money. But people have made millions by investing in the right thing at the right time so check out and do your research and be prepared with your expectations.

Conversely, you should never settle, set your expectations too low and merely live your life by proxy, waiting for things to come to you, or happen to you. Instead, you should always be acting and setting intentions.

When setting your expectations, they should be realistic according to you being the primary actor. Don’t set expectations that involve others as you cannot control them. Furthermore, do not try to pigeonhole people into your schemes, or try to change them. This goes against free will.

Intentions rule the world when it comes to setting realistic expectations.

 

SETTING YOUR EXPECTATIONS AND REALISTIC INTENTIONS:

Stretch goals signOf course, your intentions (expectations) need to be realistic. If you’re 40 years old and dream about being a starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, that ship has most likely already sailed. Most likely, you don’t have that skill set at that age.

If you set the expectation to be a pitcher in a ‘local league’, then you’re more likely to succeed in that quest. This doesn’t mean choosing any local league to ultimately play in but one you feel overtime will stretch you to get into.

Another example, and one I deal with all the time, is helping folks lose weight being realistic about how quickly they’ll get to their right size.

If they’re 100lbs overweight and been like that for many years, then they’re not going to get to their right weight in a few months as many expect. The habits that got them overweight need small steps to overcome and so a much longer period is needed.

Waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right to come along is my final example as its very common. We have a fantasy about what we want in a partner but we tend to get this from movies, TV and magazines, and these don’t give us realistic experiences. Even movie stars are constantly having relationship problems so they’re mostly not meeting their expectations or necessarily good role models. We are each unique but human and come with flaws.

It’s okay to set the bar high for yourself, or in business as they call a stretch goal, but be sure to understand your current limitations and what you’ll need to change and overcome when you set those.

If you’re struggling with getting a vision, setting intentions, then you may opt for trying hypnosis. Sometimes we carry old perceptions, mindsets and mental scripts that are the ones we continually turn to in our unconscious minds.

Hypnosis can help change those, as well as creating or unlocking new mindsets.

For further help seek out a local hypnotist in your area or if you want to consider working directly with me on new mindsets to set realistic expectations through my online or in-office sessions, then check out my Special Hypnosis Services Programs.

Alternatively, if you want to try self-hypnosis as a way to reset realistic expectations for yourself to avoid constant disappointment then check this session out here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR SETTING THE RIGHT INTENTIONS:

How to Achieve Stellar Success in Life – Erika Slater >>>

Stop Smoking Hypnosis Session – What to Expect for Success >>>

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

Who is the Perfect Partner – Psychology Today >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Overcoming and Dealing with Guilt and Shame So You Can Get On with Life

By Erika Slater
Woman feeling guilt or shame

Woman feeling guilt or shame

Are you an individual who carries around the burden of feeling guilt or perhaps even shame from something that happened to you recently, or even long ago?

Do you believe you need to keep this guilt and shame as a scar, perhaps serving as a reminder to never let anything like this experience happen to you ever again?

Moreover, the question you truly need to ask yourself is, “What is hanging on to this guilt or shame getting you in your life?” I’m guessing there’s really nothing good coming from it other than your internal torment.

What’s is the difference between guilt and shame?

Shame involves feelings about ourselves. It may be our circumstances in life that embarrass us and cause shame about who we are. Guilt comes from our actions and thoughts, and they can be real or imagined. These are complicated feelings and can be damaging if left to become part of your character and your path forward.

The fact is, the feelings of guilt and shame can at a minimum result in lost opportunities and reduced fulfillment in life, and at other extreme… ruining your life.

So why do we dance with these enemies of a happy life?

 

THE TOXIC FEELINGS OF GUILT AND SHAME:

Woman feeling guilt and sadnessToo many people hold onto their guilt as if they’re wearing a “medal of shame” around their necks.

Some keep this guilt to serve as a reminder for something they did in the past they’re not particularly proud of, or to use as a personal reminder to never do something like that again for greater fear of shame and humiliation.

The problem is when you hold onto your guilt or shame, you accept it as a part of your character. Basically, you’re telling yourself, “I need to feel shame and guilt because it serves me.

Unfortunately, it isn’t going to serve you in the long run well at all!

In fact, the longer you accept it, the more you’re likely to become conditioned to it. additionally, it can become like a phobia. When you develop a ‘fear’ of something, you hold onto it believing it serves you well, protecting you from being harmed.

Guilt and shame work the same way.

If you hold onto it, or repeatedly dwell on it, you can become conditioned to it, truly believing it’s serving you and protecting you.

Did you know you can also learn guilt and shame from others? Guilt and shame can be learned in families and taught to children. They learn to believe it is, or should be, a part of one’s character that protects them from looking bad, being disappointed, or being hurt by others.

There is an old saying, “No harm, no foul!”

Basically, this means if a rule is broken or something goes wrong, there is no need for apology, punishment or retribution, that is of course if no one was hurt, or no damage caused.

Now shame and guilt take this saying to a new level in that, “Don’t try, don’t look foolish!”

This means if you hold onto your shame and/or guilt, you most likely won’t take similar chances again for fear of being hurt. This is what guilt can do to you… prevent you from living and taking chances.

The longer that you hold onto your guilt, the longer you could miss out on what life has to offer you. So, rather than holding on to guilt and shame let’s talk about ways of releasing these toxic feelings.

 

RELEASING THE TOXIC NATURE OF SHAME AND GUILT:

Woman feeling sorryIt’s time to forgive and forget the past (yourself as well, as you’re being too hard on yourself) and move on with this present moment free of guilt and shame!

But moving on can be impeded by our history.

Understanding first why you feel guilty or shame is step #1. Guilt is not in itself a bad feeling as its serving a purpose. After all, if you were hurtful to somebody or an animal then you may have a perfect right to feel guilty… but not for the rest of your life. Notice I used the word hurtful and not cruel – cruel is at another level and shows malice.

Consider ways you can make amends for an action you took you know hurt somebody. Sorry, really can be the hardest word, but it also mends relationships.

Think about what you learned from the experience and what you’d do if this happened again to avoid reacting the way you did. If you felt guilty because you said something in anger then is there some management things you need to go through? Were you reacting because of something somebody did to you in the past?

Once you understand the guilt and confronting and accepting it to learn from it, then you’ll be positioned to release it and move on.

Shame can come in many forms. It can be because you feel you lack something. Maybe lack of money or upbringing. Maybe your parents divorced or you came from a broken home. A lack of education or literacy can cause people to “hide” from life for fear people will “find their background out.” I’ve even known people who are ashamed of their credit scores.

It seems strange to be shameful of many of these things in this day and age… but people carry the “shame tag” around for even smaller reasons.

Again, understanding and confronting why you feel shame is the first step towards releasing it to move on.

The fact is, long-term guilt and shame has taken up residence in your unconsciousness mind, and releasing what is in your unconscious mind that’s holding you hostage to guilt and shame is therefore key.

Exorcising it from your unconscious mind requires confrontation such as we spoke earlier, but it can be stubborn to release, and if this is the case then you may want to try hypnosis as a way for overcoming your guilt and shame.

Long-term guilt is trained in so it can be trained out, and hypnosis can help here.

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

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO GUILT AND SHAME:

The Difference Between Guilt and Shame >>>

Being a Hostage to the Past – Erika Slater >>>

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

5 Tips for Dealing with Guilt >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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How to Stop Negative Thought Patterns and Reprogram Your Thinking

By Erika Slater
Negative Thinking on Napkin Saying

Negative Thinking on Napkin Saying

Are you the type of person who tends to, “hope for the best, but expect the worst”?

Okay, perhaps your thinking patterns are more negative than that as you mostly thinking about, and are expecting, the worst nine or ten out of ten times because you’re conditioned to disappointment, and let downs from past experiences.

Do your past mistakes and experiences keep you rooted in this negativity, rendering you helpless to feel like there’s a continual ‘black cloud’ following you around?

If so, then this article make help you begin to break out of this rout!

You don’t have to live in the world of negative thoughts forever. You can start to create a mental shift immediately to help your thoughts become more positive.

But to change our thoughts it helps us first to understand where negative thoughts or thinking patterns come from…

 

HOW DO WE END UP IN NEGATIVE THOUGHT PATTERNS?

Same Old Thinking on BlackboardGenerally speaking, they’re manifested, created or developed from past negative experiences.

Now we all have rough days or weeks where things just don’t seem to go our way. One negative experience just stacks on top of another until we feel like hiding away for a while. We don’t live in a five-star world where everything is just wonderful and positive every minute of every day. Right?

While this may bring our mood down for a while we know it’s temporary and expect things to get better.

It’s like the difference between feeling sad for a while and being in deep depression.

In fact, those who are diagnosed with depression have a tendency to also be stuck in negative thought patterns. If you feel stuck in a depression then you should seek medical advice as you may need professional intervention to help get you out.

Often times, negative thoughts started out from experiencing mistakes, criticisms or even personal threats, which may have been psychological in nature. The events may have been so negative or powerful you couldn’t shake them from your attention, and you continued to think about them. Finally, they became your center of attention.

Tell a child repeatedly they’re bad in their early years for long enough and they’ll eventually believe it! The child that’s compared unfavorably to other children eventually “gets the message” – I’m not as good as others.

The longer this persisted, the more likely your thinking pattern became tainted with negativity.

Embarrassed Child in ClassroomDid you know that it takes roughly 21-28 days to create positive or negative habits? If you continued to focus on your negative experience(s), then you started to create a ‘habit’ of looking for the negative or bad in most, if not all, your experiences.

You see, thinking patterns become your reality. Your lenses of perception (mental, emotional and psychological) become intent, even content, with only focusing on the negative.

Thoughts become things, and where thoughts go… your energy flows.

If you’re continually looking at situations as being negative, then guess what? You’ll find the negative in them as your energies will either draw them to you, or you’ll create them!

The longer you become grounded in this way of thinking, feeling and acting, you’ll limit your life’s experiences – they’ll become cynical, pessimistic, negative or even paralyzing. Some individuals will become rendered so helpless they’ll never act on the opportunities, or take the chances, challenges, or even risks needed to not only succeed in life, but also enjoy life to the fullest.

Bottom line: negative thinking can keep you sitting on the sidelines of life watching others succeed because you’re so worried about making mistakes or failing!

But it doesn’t have to be this way…

 

REPROGRAM YOUR WAY OF THINKING TO POSITIVE THOUGHTS:

Thougts Feelings Concept ImageYou CAN reprogram your thinking and though it’s easier than you think, you’re not going to erase a lifetime of negative patterns overnight. It will take time but there are steps you can take to start the process and begin to change your life.

The first step is identifying you have negative thinking patterns hindering you. With that said, you need to start monitoring your negative thoughts.

Ask yourself, “what is thinking this way getting me?” Most likely, nothing and moving you nowhere fast! The key is to stop negative thoughts as soon as they come into your mind and shift your focus onto something positive.

Monitoring your thoughts can be tricky though – easy to spot after the fact but difficult when you’re in the middle of it.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a system to help change your thoughts and I’ve provided a link below in the resource section for you to learn more about CBT.

Once you become adept at catching yourself ruminating on negative thoughts then use these techniques to distract you away from them.

Visualize yourself in a store and go shopping for whatever is your fancy – food, books, games, clothes, etc. Whatever you enjoy shopping for picture this in your mind thoughts and focus. If shopping doesn’t “float your boat” then think of a concert or other entertainment your recently enjoyed and take yourself back there.

Look around at who you’re spending time with, and if these folks also possess mostly negative thoughts as well then find yourself new company. People can drag you down and let’s face it we tend to mix with folks that think and act the same. At the very least their negative worry habits could rub off on you. Surrounding yourself with people who think positively, and operate in a supportive way, can make a big difference in changing your habits of thinking.

Reframe in Word CloudReframe the thought making you think negatively. Look for the positive in a bad situation. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic and start the walk down the “woe is me” path then look at it as an opportunity to use this time to learn. Listen to a podcast or a radio program where you can learn something new. This will redirect your negative thoughts.

If you’re still struggling with monitoring your negative thoughts and changing them, then hypnosis can be a powerful solution. Hypnosis can help you to change up negative thoughts and shift your attention to positive thoughts and outcomes.

Interestingly, you can be taught through hypnosis that whenever negative thoughts enter your mind, these become the triggers for your conscious mind to focus on something positive.

Once you do this repeatedly (over 21+ days), your unconscious mind will now have positive thought patterns from which to draw from, and eventually this will become your normal and default thought pattern.

Seek out a local hypnotherapist to do one-on-one sessions. If you want to consider working directly with me through my online or in-office sessions then check out my Special Hypnosis Services Programs.

Alternatively, you can find a self-hypnosis program for self-study. If you’re ready to stop negative thinking and enjoy a new perspective then check out this self-hypnosis session here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO NEGATIVE THOUGHT PATTERNS:

Stop Fighting Your Negative Thoughts >>>

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 101 >>>

Stop Smoking Hypnosis Session – What to Expect for Success >>>

18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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How to Control Hunger Pangs and Tackling Emotional Eating

By Erika Slater
Controlling Eating Concept Image

Controlling Eating Concept Image

Are you an individual who is ‘always hungry’ or have a difficult time walking away from eating whenever food is presented, even though you know you’re really only eating just for the sake of eating?

Perhaps the problem is all about your own ‘will power.’

Also, perhaps you’re trying to cut down on calories, or modify your eating habits due to being on a new eating program or diet but it’s making you unable to control your appetite.

Many diets cause hunger pangs, which is the result of your stomach emptying after digesting your last meal, and the walls come into contact and rub against one another.

Is there something you can do to control your hunger and retrain your hunger instincts? Yes, there is but first let’s see what could be going on before discussing solutions.

 

WHY DO I ALWAYS FEEL HUNGRY?

Man Eating Satisfaction Whenever you’re starting a new eating program for dietary or healthy lifestyle reasons, both your body and mind are going to have to adjust, and then accept the change. This is going to take some time. Let’s face it! You’ve probably eaten the same foods for years and even decades.

Not only is eating and digestion a physical phenomenon, it’s also a psychological ‘lifestyle.’

Furthermore, eating itself can be a deeper level ‘emotional’ activity for some individuals and when they change their eating pattern drastically, they can also create an emotional shift for their feelings.

There has been research showing food intake and acquisition of it has been directly correlated to emotional feelings of reward and satisfaction. Additionally, for some individuals, food brings them extreme amounts of pleasure. In essence, they crave the pleasure (taste, smell, sensations) the food brings them, rather than what the actual nutrition provides.

I’ve had many a weight loss client balk at the prospect of giving up a favorite food in order to achieve a goal they have around their weight. “Oh, I could never give up pasta, it’s the Italian in me.” They want to change for sure but don’t want to change. Pasta is sugar; it has the same affect on your body as eating candy which pleases the senses but adds no nutritional value but a lot of risk to health.

Like all foods as I explain, cutting them out is more an emotional tussle than a food necessity decision.

Basically, even though it’s about the food on one level, on a deeper level it’s more about the ‘pleasurable’ sensations the food provides. This can create anticipations and “hunger” for individuals who would not otherwise be hungry.

Some individuals changing their diets may be getting the exact same number of calories, or even more in their eating portions, but the food they’re eating is now more pure and natural. If they are getting the same or more calories, then why are they still hungry?

Sugar and Candy ImageIt’s their emotions and body chemistry toward the ‘new’ foods in their diets which have perhaps caused them to feel disappointment, or even feel ‘hungry.’ They ‘crave’ for their old foods – sugars, starches, processed flours, additives, heavy fats, etc.

Even though I’m selective in what I eat, come the evening at the end of a long day I’m looking for something sweet, even just after I’ve had dinner. It’s got nothing to do with body hunger but all about emotional eating.

Realize then if you have hunger pangs, outside the obvious it’s lunchtime and “I do need to get fuel in my body”, then your diet may be insufficient and/or you need to face the fact you’re dealing with emotional eating cravings.

I’m not going to discuss diets much because there’s so much misleading information out there from so-called gurus trying to sell you products that I’d rather you find a diet that works for you.

My general advice is not to count calories. Eat only when you’re hungry in your stomach. Cut out sugars and processed foods as much as you can. Be active.

Having given you this general advice I realize none of it can be easy for most of us. Hence the next section on how to control the hunger pangs.

 

CONTROLLING THE HUNGER PANGS:

There are ways you can curve your hunger and do it healthy and naturally.

Don’t count calories and don’t be fooled by the calories in and calories out argument. It’s not based on scientific fact and just a guide but a dangerous one in my estimation. The reality is each person has their own body chemistry and this interferes with calories in/out theory.

Protein Rich Foods ImageInstead increase your intake of protein-rich foods as this will induce a strong anti-eating hormone response. If you choose to eat foods having higher water contents, such as soups and vegetables, you can eat more and feel fuller as they have lower energy density levels compared to higher fatty foods.

There’s a bombardment of material out there about how many meals to eat a day. There’s the skip breakfast brigade and fast until lunchtime. You’ll also hear the “eat your main meal at lunchtime and have a lite dinner” mantra. Etc, etc.

My advice is to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re had enough. Be aware the trigger to your brain to stop because you’re full is delayed, and so eating slowly is recommended otherwise by the time you get the message you’re full… you’re actually over-eaten!

If I want you to take away only one piece from today’s article its to cut out sugars and processed foods. They’re killing you and me.

It’s going to be difficult for some to do this. Many of the foods you likely eat at the moment are from cans or boxes and contain sugar and are processed to include all types of chemicals you really don’t need or want in your body.

But all these foods go a long way to keeping you hungry from a physical and emotional perspective. The fact is they make you consume more of these same foods. We have the food industry to thank for this. After all their goal is to sell you more rather than less, right?

Senior Couple Being ActiveFinally, be active. I’m not talking about going to gym and pumping weights every day or training for a marathon. Being active can mean walking for 20 minutes a day or doing stuff around the yard.

Being active not only prepares you for eating for the sake of needed replenishment (this is good) rather than out of habit, and it decreases boredom. Boredom is dangerous because it can lead to emotional eating.

Certainly, controlling hunger pangs is a deep topic I’ve only skimmed in this article. I also know following some of this advice without support and coaching of others will be difficult for a good number of you.

There are groups that can help. If you’ve chosen a diet plan that offers this such as Weight Watchers, then I encourage you to participate in their local chapters. After all, you’re paying for it!

Alternatively, hypnosis is a method for overcoming and retraining your mind when it comes to your eating habits. Using hypnosis can retrain your unconscious perceptions you have, and help you to shut down the mechanisms that would otherwise have you focusing on hunger and anticipation for your next meals. I cover all this in my weight loss hypnosis service.

If this direction appeals to you then seek out a local hypnotherapist who specializes in weight loss and emotional eating or sugar addiction.

There are also hypnosis sessions you can download and listen repeatedly on your MP3 device or Smartphone and one such session to control hanger pains can be found here >>>

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and I’d like for you to leave a comment below about the contents and what we could do to help more.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR EMOTIONAL EATING:

Shrink Yourself Blog – Dr. Roger Gould >>>

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 Stop Night Eating >>>

Hungry After Eating? 7 Common and Unusual Reasons >>>

What Sugar Withdrawals Feel Like (All You Need To Know) >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

Will Red-Light Therapy Help Kick-Start Your Fat Loss? >>>

 

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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