Personal Growth

Erika Slater headshot photo 300x300Personal Growth is all about not standing still but growing and being all you can be. But it’s easy to get “lost” in our fast-paced world and the stress of just making it through each day, and the demands of others.

Self-improvement starts with a desire and belief you deserve everything in life you can get. It then requires commitment and focus to stay the course to achieve your goals. Yes, you are worth it! The journey is lifelong, but it should be rewarding and fun.

Personal growth means dedication to your goals and willingness to persevere through barriers and hardships, and the selection of materials you’ll find here cover insights into mental toughness and resilience, confidence and self-esteem, self-improvement, managing stress, accepting the power of your mind and much more.

Enjoy the articles.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Hypnosis as a Treatment

By Erika Slater
PTSD Word Cloud

PTSD Word Cloud

In this article you’ll discover:

  1. How Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is triggered and manifests itself in disrupting sufferer’s daily lives.
  2. Current treatments including medications and therapies to help cope and overcome the trauma and triggering event.
  3. Further reading, studies and resource links around PTSD diagnosis and treatments.

Over the last 10-15 years, there’s been much discussion about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as it relates to the general population. In previous generations it was common to hear PTSD discussed whenever one was referencing wars, namely ‘The Vietnam War’, and eventually later on ‘The Persian Gulf War’. Soldiers who had served in either war, often times came back ‘shell shocked’ from what they had witnessed or experienced as a by-product of the atrocities and violence of war. In fact, during the World Wars in the twentieth century soldier victims of the illness were diagnosed with the term “shell shock.”

Many soldiers were unable to resume ‘normal’ lives, as their everyday living was interrupted by intrusive thoughts caused by the memories of being in a vicious war. Even though it was considered a ‘mental illness’, it wasn’t considered serious enough to warrant the attention it deserved. Many individuals went unchecked or untreated, a sad state of affairs as it destroyed many lives.

Perhaps PTSD wasn’t taken serious enough because it was so misunderstood years ago. It was also a new phenomenon, and the criterion for diagnosing and assessing it weren’t cut and dry. The treatment protocols for how to go about helping individuals were still in early stages, so often times it was ‘hit or miss’, as there were too many misdiagnoses, or no diagnoses, and too many individuals suffering from PTSD slipped through the cracks and were never treated.

Incidentally, when more individuals who suffered from PTSD started to become a harm to themselves (usually suicides), or a harm to others – violence in their work places – it was then the mental health and medical communities realized it was a mental disorder warranting its own term and diagnosis.

When studies were eventually done to examine the effects of PTSD on suffering individuals, it was found there were correlations to anxiety disorders, depression, alcoholism and substance abuse problems. Upon digging further into the symptomologies of PTSD, it was discovered many who were diagnosed with alcoholism, drug addictions, anxiety disorders and/or depression had these ‘issues’ and disorders due the true underlying cause – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Mental health practitioners (psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors and social workers) dug deep into the study of patients and individuals who suffered from PTSD, as well as the aforementioned other mental health disorders linked to it. They were interested to find out if the mental health issues were concurrent or co-existing, or whether one created the other (The ‘chicken or egg phenomena‘ – which came first?).

Furthermore, even though PTSD in most individuals was acutely similar, it was imperative to also recognize it in terms of differential diagnoses – not everyone was the same in terms of their personalities, or how they were coping with it.

This article will explore how PTSD awareness has evolved, how it’s currently assessed, diagnosed and treated. I’ll finally take a look at how hypnosis has been introduced as one of the treatments and some studies behind its use and effectiveness.

 

WHAT IS POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER?

Woman in darkened room alone and depressed.Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a clinical mental illness as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V (DMS V) [1]. It’s created and manifested from exposure to trauma related to death or the threat of death. It can also be created and caused by sexual violence (rape or molestations) or serious injury (car accidents, home or work-related accidents, etc.).

Whenever someone is exposed to a situation that’s frightening, violent or catastrophic, repeatedly, or even just one time, and which is perceived as intense, this can create trauma in an individual.

For example, being exposed to accidents, crimes of violence, wars or even natural disasters, where one perceives it as a threat to life, can lead to trauma.

Individuals exposed to these situations are more inclined to feel helpless or powerless, leading to feeling intensely stressed out and traumatized because they cannot control the situation.

Furthermore, when these situations happen out of the blue, and are totally ‘unexpected’, it creates a greater sense of helplessness in the individual.

 

PTSD AND FLASHBACKS:

When an individual suffers from PTSD, they become ‘traumatized’. People use the term traumatized loosely often in everyday conversations, but those with PTSD are truly traumatized. Many suffer from recurrent negative thoughts, intensely vivid nightmares and flashbacks, which characterize the true essence of traumatization. People with PTSD will experience sudden intrusive negative thoughts that literally come out of nowhere and that overwhelm them where they feel out of control.

Many PTSD sufferers experience intense and recurring nightmares. Too often, their dreams and nightmares have themes or replays of what happened to them which traumatized them in the first place. They relive their accidents or traumatic events when they sleep.

Flashbacks are similar to nightmares; however, they occur during the individuals’ waking hours. They can be in the middle of something, when all of a sudden something triggers their thoughts and they literally feel like they’re thrown into the traumatic situation all over again. For example, some war veterans may be watching a movie that has violence or a war theme, and as they watch they suddenly go back into their mind (unconsciously) to their own experiences and believe what they are watching is real, and they act in real time accordingly as they would in the real situation!

 

WALKING ON EGG SHELLS:

Woman laying on couch feeling depressedIndividuals who suffer from PTSD spend most of their lives after the traumatic event feeling extremely nervous, or on edge all of the time. They literally feel like they’re “walking on egg shells” waiting to have something traumatic happen again!

Most PTSD suffers have an extremely difficult time focusing and concentrating on the rigors of their everyday lives. They are startled easily, and nervous to ‘certain triggers’ (people, places, things) which serve as reminders to their past traumatic events. No matter how safe they may be, they never feel safe. They’re always in a ‘fight or flight’ response mode waiting for something potentially bad to happen. This adds to stress as our body chemistry responses to danger is designed to last for just a few minutes to get us through the danger, and not for long periods of time.

Many PTSD suffers have a hard time processing their emotions. They become disconnected, even ignorant to positive thoughts, feelings and memories. Everything they think and feel has a ‘black cloud’ hovering over it, or so it would appear to them. Moreover, some individuals become so out of tune with their thoughts and feelings they literally feel disconnected from their bodies. They no longer enjoy their life, rather their life has gone from enduring life after the traumatic event to now ‘existing’.

When individuals get to this point in their lives, it’s not uncommon for them to develop behaviors that focus on avoidance. In the beginning, it’s not uncommon for them to avoid people, places and situations that remind them of the traumatic event they’ve experienced.

As time goes on, the ‘avoidance’ becomes transferred toward many other people, places and situations in their lives, even the ones that used to provide them with the greatest experiences of happiness and peace. Individuals who used to ‘love driving’ may avoid wanting to get behind the wheel of a car all together because the accident they were in has left them traumatized. Sadly, for many with PTSD their symptoms go untreated.

So, now we can understand where the person with PTSD has got to this state and symptoms they’re experiencing. Getting diagnosed and into treatment is the next step on road to recovery.

 

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS FOR PTSD?

Trauma sufferer with DoctorMany individuals who suffer from PTSD in the early stages will often self-medicate. When I refer to self-medicate, I mean by either using drugs or alcohol. It’s easy to acquire sedatives over-the-counter at pharmacies, and many will use sleeping pills to not only help them sleep at night, but also to try and dull their senses during their waking hours.

More individuals will turn to alcohol! Let’s face it, it’s readily accessible and can be used at any time. For some, they use it to numb and dull their senses, or get them to the pass out state for sleep. Conversely, some individuals will use it as their ‘courage in a bottle’ to help them get through their days (work and social lives).

In the end, the longer one uses and abuses either of these methods, the more likely they are prone to develop addictions and depression.

Those who opt to see their physician or a psychiatrist will be offered anti-anxiety medications [2] to try and help them keep their thoughts and emotions in check. For some, the drugs will help them with functioning in their everyday lives. The idea with the drugs is to ‘help them cope’, until they overcome the traumatic thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately, for many, the drugs only numb or mask, but do not take the memories away.

Some individuals will be prescribed anti-depressants [2]. The trauma they experienced may have led them to become withdrawn or introverted from society and living, which has led to intense feelings of depression. The medications may work to help alleviate the depressive feelings, but in most situations will not remove the traumatic memories.

The main treatments for people with PTSD are psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Everyone is different, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. Some people may need to try different treatments to find what works best for their symptoms” [3].

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) [4] is often the first therapy choice for treating PTSD [3].

CBT helps individuals process current thoughts and feelings differently. CBT helps people becoming more focused on their moment to moment awareness and ‘think intentionally’! CBT teaches individuals to use methods and skills to bring them back to the present moment instead of living in the past – reliving the traumatic events.

CBT also encourages individuals to discuss the experience that traumatized them to ‘get it out’ and help them realize it’s a ‘past event’ that has nothing to do with what is happening in the present. These ‘talk sessions’ can greatly assist in helping people who have developed avoidance issues. The hallmark of CBT is empowerment. CBT teaches clients and empowers them to tale back total control of their lives through controlling their thoughts that leads to their emotions.

There have been recent studies on hypnosis as an alternative or adjunct therapy to CBT and I’ll explore this for you in the next section.

 

PTSD AND HYPNOSIS:

Woman in therapy for PTSDThere is no one medication or therapy that works for everybody. But usually with the help of trials one can be found to provide some relief for a PTSD sufferer. So, neither CBT or hypnotherapy can solve all problems. CBT is an intensive therapy requiring significant work outside formal sessions and this can be challenging for sufferers. Hypnosis doesn’t work for everybody as it requires a level of suggestibility and imagination on the part of the patient. However, sufferers of PTSD are good candidates for hypnosis and learning self-hypnosis techniques due to their mind’s ability to flashbacks and relive the events of the trauma.

By way of an introduction hypnosis can help individuals who suffer from PTSD in one of two ways.

First, it can serve as a great tool for helping folks to relax and de-stress whenever they start to feel nervous, or have flashbacks. Second, it can help individuals block out the negative intrusive memories embedded in their unconscious minds.

Hypnosis can help individuals learn to relax. Through a series of relaxation techniques and suggestions, the mind will become retrained to scrutinize stressful situations and events differently. Stress and anxiety hypnosis teach the individual to respond differently. And how does one break free of their negative response ruts? By helping one to re-train their perception of what they are experiencing.

Hypnosis can help people to feel better about themselves, especially when intrusive PTSD flashbacks occur. It works with the unconscious mind that continually creates and recreates the stressful perceptions leading to flashbacks and nightmares.

By tapping into the source, hypnosis helps modify and re-train the problems, negative perceptions and memories in the unconscious mind. The source (the unconscious mind) begins to learn how to perceive similar situations differently, or in less stressing ways. Hypnosis also helps the person block out irrelevant perceptions and events which led to the initial trauma, which later led to the nervousness, nightmares and flashbacks.

Let’s look at a few studies involving effectiveness of hypnosis as a therapy treatment for PTSD.

The first cited study involves 32 chronic combat-related PTSD patients suffering with insomnia – a common symptom for PTSD suffers. The group was split into two with one receiving medication and the other hypnotherapy. The study author concluded “Hypnotherapeutic treatment revealed a significant primary effect on post-traumatic stress symptoms as measured by the post-traumatic stress disorder scale. This effect was always present at the follow-up one month later. Other benefits seen in the hypnotherapy group included decreased intrusion and avoidance responses and improvement in all of the sleep variables assessed” [5].

The next is a case study involving a woman who suffered trauma when large glass doors collapsed at her place of work and engulfed her on two separate occasions over a year. Name used was Julie and she was treated by a psychologist using hypnosis who documented each of the seven (7) sessions. The therapist tackled Julie’s anxiety and low self-esteem and feeling at fault for the accidents. Breathing and relaxation techniques were taught along with other coping strategies. The author wrote: “The use of a combination of hypnosis, cognitive behaviour strategies, exposure techniques, and relaxation hypnosis in the treatment of PTSD has been well documented, and appeared to work well in the case of Julie, reinforcing and enhancing an overall treatment approach. Additionally, Julie felt that she was much better equipped to deal with any distressing events in the future” [6].

Finally, Spiegel, Cardena noted in their paper ‘New uses of hypnosis in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder’ [7], “Hypnosis can be used to help patients face and bear a traumatic experience by embedding it in a new context, acknowledging helplessness during the event, and yet linking that experience with remoralizing memories such as efforts at self-protection, shared affection with friends who were killed, or the ability to control the environment at other times.”

Sufferers of PTSD wishing to explore hypnotherapy as a treatment should discuss with their physician options and referral to a hypnotherapist who has experience in helping others with trauma. Some psychologists are trained in hypnosis but professional hypnotherapists who specialize in trauma patients should also be pursued and interviewed.

 

CONCLUSION:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has come to prominence as a diagnosis in recent years due to the number of veterans deployed to war-torn zones returning and struggling to fit back into normal society and ravaged by their exposure to the horrors and demands of combat. But PTSD can be an outcome induced by any type of trauma and involvement in accident or witness to a triggering event.

Symptoms can include flashbacks and reliving of the event triggered during the day or as nightmares. Insomnia is a common side effect. Sufferers can live with anxiety and stress, depression, difficulty focusing, lack of motivation, and feeling of helplessness and social disconnection.

Treatments include medication and therapies, and/or both. Addressing the root cause usually requires therapies and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and counseling is in common use for PTSD sufferers. In recent years hypnotherapy has been introduced in conjunction with CBT and medication or as an alternative with success. Multiple sessions are usually required. Seek out a referral from your physician for an experienced counselor or hypnotherapist in trauma.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER:

[1] DSM-5 criteria for PTSD – Nature >>>

[2] Medications for PTSD – American Psychological Association (APA) >>>

[3] Psychotherapy Treatments for PTSD – Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) >>>

[4] Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 101 >>>

[5] Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Chronic Combat-Related PTSD Patients Suffering From Insomnia >>>

[6] The Use of Hypnosis in the Treatment of PTSD – Case Study – Carter >>>

[7] New uses of hypnosis in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder – Spiegel, Cardena >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

Read More

Hypnosis for Pregnancy – Before, During and After Childbirth

By Erika Slater
Pregnant woman in bed feeling stress

Pregnant woman in bed feeling stress

In this article you’ll discover:

  1. The multiple benefits of using hypnosis during the distinct phases of your pregnancy, prenatal and postnatal.
  2. How hypnobirthing can help you during the birthing experience with pain management and relaxation techniques.
  3. Further reading, studies and resource links around hypnosis for pregnancy phases.

Pregnancy for a woman should be one of life’s joyous experiences. But too often it can be filled with anxiousness for the soon to be mother. A woman goes through many body and mental changes both before and after pregnancy and it can quickly become overwhelming and spoil the experience [1].

Traditionally, when people talk about hypnosis and pregnancy, they’re focusing on what is generally called hypnobirthing. Hypnobirthing is a birthing method using self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques to help a woman feel physically, mentally and spiritually prepared and reduce her awareness of fear, anxiety and pain during childbirth.

While this is obviously an important part of the whole cycle nonetheless hypnosis offers help and support during the time before and after the childbirth event. After all, a woman experiences pregnancy for normally nine months, and then her body is changing back to normalcy for a few months after.

People tend to think about hypnosis for helping with giving-up bad habits, such as quit smoking, or eating sugar or unhealthy diets for weight loss. But as popular as these topics are for hypnosis, and many women who smoke look towards quitting when they become pregnant [2], hospitals and medical professionals look additionally towards hypnosis with helping pain management [3] and relaxation both before and after surgery. Because of this it’s not surprising hypnosis has become accepted by the medical community for aiding woman with birthing.

In this article I want to explore the use of hypnosis in all phases of pregnancy and its viability and help during the important prenatal and postnatal phases and not only during the birthing event.

 

HYPNOSIS DURING PREGNANCY:

Pregnant woman eating salad in kitchenHypnosis can be a tool for helping women who are pregnant, whether they’re in the early or latter stages of pregnancy. Hypnosis can be beneficial for three very important reasons; maintaining physical comfort, controlling nutritious eating, and supporting optimum emotional health.

Maintaining Physical Comfort:

While pregnant, a woman’s body undergoes many changes. Typically, they’ll be increased weight gain (a woman is after all eating to provide ample nourishment for two), but also hormonal changes as well. If you’ve ever gained any appreciable body weight, not only does your body begin to feel different, but you feel different as well.

Added body weight can make an individual feel less energetic, even lethargic because they feel ‘heavy’.

Since you feel heavier then you may start to feel more tired, perhaps even sore, thus leading to lethargy. When you get into this feeling, you may begin to lack the ambition to do much, even taking care of yourself physically. It’s important to try to maintain a degree of energy, that’ll encourage you to keep up your physical wellness and comfort.

Using hypnosis can help you feel more comfortable in your body by helping you become more aware of the physical changes and sensations. Instead of perceiving added body weight, or ‘pain’ as a deterrent or reason for not engaging in regular routines, hypnosis can be used to teach pregnant women physical changes are a part of the evolution and necessity of pregnancy. It can help foster beliefs and feelings things are normal and on track.

Furthermore, hypnosis can ‘distract’ the mind from focusing on unwanted physical discomfort, and instead focus on the positive sensations going on in the body. While under hypnosis, pregnant women can benefit from the cues and post-hypnotic suggestions that’ll lead and guide them into engaging in everyday activities, helping them to feel less lethargic and more ambitious about what they can achieve and perform every day.

When you feel ‘extra weight’ on your body, it can naturally make you feel zapped from your energy and strength. This can lead some pregnant women to feel burdened. Hypnosis can help detract from those feelings and thoughts, leading them to want to be more active.

Controlling Eating:

When a woman becomes pregnant there is the necessity to eat increased calories of healthy food. Just because someone is pregnant, doesn’t mean they should eat everything they can or want because they ‘feel justified’ in doing so now they’re eating for two! It’s easy for a pregnant woman to gain more weight than they need to, and a lot of this can be due to over-eating, or eating more nutrition-less sugar-laden foods. The occasional ice-cream tub at 2am in the morning isn’t going to crack the scales but occasional can quickly become a habit!

Hypnosis can help with food choices. Post-hypnotic suggestions can help the unconscious mind become more deliberate in seeking out healthier foods, becoming conscious of quality of the calories ingested, and creating aversions to eating junk foods. Hypnosis can help with making healthy food choices while not feeling deprived or placing unnecessary limits on calories. There are, after all, plenty of healthy calories out there for you to consume.

Supporting Optimal Emotional Health:

Gaining weight and eating the wrong kinds of foods can wreak havoc not only on one’s body, but also on mental state. Junk foods have the ability to make one not only feel lethargic, but also can depress the body and central nervous system. Throughout the pregnancy, if a woman is not taking the proper vitamins, or perhaps has been prescribed ‘drugs’, this can also affect moods and emotional health.

Many women who are pregnant also struggle with ‘body image’ and some feel the quality of their ‘feminine beauty’ has been compromised. Even though this is quite different from women who suffer from eating disorders (Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia), there are similarities to the dysmorphia in these disorders some pregnant women experience. Some women become extremely anxious, distraught and depressed because of the weight gain and changes. This is normal.

We live in a society obsessed and focused on ‘self-image’, especially body image for women. When it comes to being pregnant, this can up the ante for some women. Hypnosis can help alleviate these negative perceptions and help women feel better about their bodies.

Since body image is ‘a state of mind’, hypnosis can help the unconscious mind get in a state of acceptance, of not only one’s body, but also the new circumstances affecting it. Hypnosis can foster increased feelings of self-esteem, self-worth, and a greater acceptance of one’s temporary body state, while diminishing anxiety or feelings of being depressed.

Often times the ‘depressions’ associated with pregnancy (during and post-partum), are caused by the changing circumstances and hormones. Hypnosis has the ability to prevent, impede or at least help shift moods and control emotions.

 

HYPNOSIS FOR BIRTHING:

Mother holding baby few seconds after birthHypnosis can be effective for aiding in childbirth and pain management. You see, hypnosis is an altered state of mind. Hypnosis leads to a heightened state of awareness in the individual. Individuals are able to shift their focus to specific qualities of an experience and hold them there. This means they can put their attention on things they want to think and feel, and avoid focusing on what they don’t want to, in this case birthing pains!

When it comes to child birthing, hypnosis helps produce tunnel vision. Through tunnel vision, you’re able to isolate and intensify your focus on one key perception or experience. When you get to this point, you’re able to hold your concentration there. You only see, hear and feel what you choose to.

Everything surrounding the experience gets blocked out, in this case, the pain of child birthing!

Under hypnosis, the therapist gives post-hypnotic suggestions which will be used in the future, in this case… the delivery! Hypnosis is useful when the individual has effective triggers they can use and focus their attention on. Much like breathing techniques, individuals using post-hypnotic suggestions are able to block out the pain, put their focus completely on the positives of the child birth and in fact, keep their minds focused on the joys of the completed outcome – the birth.

Hypnosis doesn’t eradicate the pain of birthing completely but allows you to cope better and remain in a calmer state during the more intense periods of the birth. To get a sense of what to expect read this account of the experience by three different women [4].

If you’re thinking of having an all-natural child birth and anxious it might be uncomfortable and painful, look into hypnosis as an alternative or to compliment your birthing classes. Hypnosis can help people feel in control and possess great empowerment over all areas of their lives.

 

HYPNOSIS BEYOND PREGNANCY:

Woman feeling sad holding newborn babyAfter you’ve given birth, you still may feel the need to ‘work’ on things using hypnosis. It’s common for women whose given birth to want to try to lose the weight they’ve added, sooner rather than later. Furthermore, some new mothers have become caught up in the cycle of eating too much since becoming pregnant, or too much of the wrong kind of food.

Some women have a difficult time breaking free from this eating cycle.

Hypnosis can be a tool for helping with this weight loss.

Just as hypnosis is effective with controlling caloric consumption and the quality of food before the birth, it can help with facilitating a mindset that’ll gravitate toward proper eating, exercise and weight loss post-pregnancy.

When you’ve been eating a certain way for a period of time, in this case the 9 months leading up to the pregnancy, both the mind and brain become conditioned to eating a particular way. Furthermore, the body becomes use to the excess calories. One becomes ‘habituated’ to eating more. Sometimes these cycles and habits of eating need to be broken after the birth.

Moods can also change after a woman gives birth. Some women experience bouts of extreme post-partum depression. Many new mothers also experience anxiety – fearing they may accidentally hurt their new born, or not do enough to keep it healthy. Hypnosis can be helpful in not only relieving anxiety, but also addressing post-partum depression, or at least minimizing it [5]. You see, hypnosis can be used for confidence building, as well as for relaxation. If you will, it can help ‘unburden’ new mothers of feeling inadequate.

 

WHERE TO GET HYPNOSIS HELP FOR PREGNANCY:

As I mentioned there are hypnotherapy practices that specialize in hypnobirthing. But these same places can provide help during all phases. Discuss with your medical doctor or specialist this option and usually they can provide a referral for you. Because it’s a common use of hypnosis these days then usually those in the medical field have more exposure to these services locally to you. If you’re also taking birthing classes then you can usually get a referral from the leader of the class as well.

If you’re struggling to get a referral then do an online search yourself and interview a few over the phone to see what their experience is and if they can help with all the phases of pregnancy.

Hypnosis is an excellent practice for pregnancies, during and after. Its credible and proven qualities can help make the whole experience of pregnancy and birthing and beyond a joyous time for a woman.

 

CONCLUSION:

Hypnosis is commonly used during the birthing process for a woman to aid with pain management and relaxation. This is known as hypnobirthing. However, because pregnancy covers a much longer period impacting the physical and mental well-being of the woman before and after birthing, hypnosis can provide help and support during all phases of her pregnancy.

Hypnosis can provide support during pre-natal care involving maintaining physical comfort, controlling nutritious eating, and supporting emotional health. In addition, after birthing it can help in reducing post-partum depression and provide support in any anxious feelings you may have about caring for your new baby.

If you continue to have anxious thoughts about your pregnancy then check out this hypnosis session on reducing pain in childbirth naturally here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO HYPNOBIRTHING:

[1] Pregnancy Health Center – WebMD >>>

[2] Quit Smoking Service using hypnosis – Erika Slater >>>

[3] Hypnosis for Management of Pain Relief – A History and Uses >>>

[4] What It’s Really Like to Have a Hypnobirth >>>

[5] Treating postpartum depression with hypnosis: addressing specific symptoms presented by the client >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

Read More

Strategies to Long-Term Motivation and How Hypnosis Can Help

By Erika Slater
Long-term handwriting in coffee cup for motivation

Long-term handwriting in coffee cup for motivation

In this special Hypnosis Brief I want to discuss long-term motivation, and how hypnosis can help you stay the course to get to your prize.

First-off I’m not a motivational speaker but I’ll share what I’ve seen from people I’ve helped achieve a long-term goal and what it took for them and include some current research on the topic as well.

Motivation comes from within. You can’t buy it in a bottle, or order it from Amazon, or watch it in a movie. Can you be inspired to get motivated from a book, or a movie, or even a speech? Yes, you can. But it’s short-term, and even then, I’d argue, it still comes from “inside” you.

Getting motivated is a conscious decision, but keeping it going is an unconscious decision. To achieve long-term motivation, you need to engage your unconscious mind. This can be done in various ways where the things you do to achieve a short-term goal become habits to help you achieve a long-term goal.

There are various things at play when it comes to motivation and understanding them helps you, so, I’ll cover them for you today.

 

GOALS AND MOTIVATION:

First, we have to separate goals from motivation. They’re not the same, but people often confuse the two.

Being a non-smoker can be the goal of a smoker, but it rarely provides the motivation to stop on its own and the long-term motivation to stay a non-smoker for rest of their life. There’s a reason for the goal, and it’s the “reason why”– motivation – that determines their attitude and motivation level. This could be wanting to stay healthy, live long, a life event, or financial reasons.

Likewise, for a person wanting to lose weight and stay fit and healthy, they have a goal – usually a weight in mind or a clothes size – that personifies success to them. Again, there’s usually a reason for the goal that keeps them going – resilience – when the going gets tough.

People who don’t have a strong reason to make a change struggle with achieving a goal as they lack the basis for long-term motivation. For example, they may be able to stop smoking for a day, or even a week, or eat healthy foods for a month, but not be able to sustain it after the initial surge of excitement has subsided and real-life starts getting in the way.

 

SHORT-TERM GOALS VERSUS LONG-TERM GOALS:

Long-term vs short-term goals signEveryone sets goals for themselves, often times more of the short-term variety. Many do so because they believe shorter-term goals are usually easier to achieve.

This is true… they are!

Making a commitment to go to the gym every day for the next month is more doable than committing to go each day for the next year!

But what about those who possess foresight and want to achieve bigger and greater things, you know the kind of “far-off into the future” goals? These are the kind of goals that take time to reach, sometimes years and even decades. How do you keep you desires alive and burning to keep the yearning to achieve those kinds of goals going?

You have to live one day at a time and constantly be able to keep your ‘eye on the prize’, knowing and expecting it to be yours to take ‘one day’! Elite athletes are able to do this because they’ve developed a mindset that constantly provides them the motivation to stay the course, and accept getting to where they want to be requires dedication and long-term commitment.

Most dreams people have, ‘die’ because they take too long to achieve. Even though they know certain dreams won’t come to fruition until sometime in the distant future, they pack things in early because they lose motivation to get to their prize.

Let’s face it! Today we all live in a world of entitlement and ‘in the here and now’ society. If it doesn’t come to us as quick as fast food, or at the “speed of the internet”, then, it makes us ‘crazy’ with waiting, or we just don’t wait but move on to something else that does come quick, or we take short-cuts that impacts quality of our life.

 

STRATEGIES TO LONG-TERM MOTIVATION:

Just keep turning up motivational quoteDo you have a goal that inspires motivation in you? I’ve already discussed motivation comes from within, and goals that fit into one of these four categories is a good candidate for a high-level of motivation: possible futures, possible selves, near-term gratifications, and task interest [1].

Research on this topic conducted by University of Virginia professor Thomas Bateman [1] concluded you can tactically think about these four categories as you work towards long-term goals by asking the following:

  1. What would the future hold if I achieve this goal?
  2. What would it mean for me personally?
  3. How can I build in short-term gratifications?
  4. How can I build in and appreciate the most interesting and fulfilling parts of what I do?

Bateman also suggests for any personal or professional goal you include what he calls self-regulation strategies to keep you motivated:

  1. Have a mix of short-term goals hitched to your long-term goal. Staying motivated by having relevant but attainable short-term goals provides incentive to keep things going over the length of getting to where you want to be.
  2. Receive feedback over time and evaluate progress toward your long-term goal. So, if your goal is to lose 100 pounds over a year then this breaks down to approx. 2 lbs. per week or 8 lbs. per month. Weighing yourself regularly can provide this feedback and reset expectations on progress.
  3. Maintain focus on how actions will impact your goals and do not attend to distractions. We live in a world of distractions these days, whether it is constantly checking our email, or social media, or bombarded with thousands of marketing messages a day. We need to ignore that which doesn’t help us focus on our goals and this can be as simple of “blocking” time on our calendars for ourselves to do the work!
  4. Elevate the attractiveness of your goal by thinking about how risks and work will pay off. Words are mighty and so spend the time wording your goal in such a way that it excites you even when you know it encompasses a ton of work, commitment, and more than fair share of hardship and risk. Anything worth achieving involves some adversity so plan for this and keep your eyes on the prize!
  5. Diminish negative emotions and focus on what you find interesting and amusing in your work. Your goal(s), and work needed to get to it, can be a marathon run and not a sprint and during this time its natural you’ll feel emotions like fear, anxiety, frustration and disappointment. So, during these times it’s important to remember your reasons why you started out on the goal and what you enjoy about the journey to achieve it.
  6. Use failure as a basis for improvement rather than allowing it to leave you feeling discouraged – or worse, devastated. Failure is a harsh word but the point here is that one bad meal choice doesn’t mean your whole diet and weight loss goal is “down the drain” and you’re a failure and back to square one. It’s another form of feedback and no more and no less. Scientists doing experiments expect failure and use it as a motivation to keep discovering. Remember the Thomas Edison experiment where he discovered 10,000 ways a light bulb would not work!

 

LONG-TERM MOTIVATION AND HYPNOSIS:

Sometimes getting to goals requiring long-term motivation can require more direct intervention than just willpower alone. People get stuck or challenged in various situations, and seek help in any way they can get it. I’ve written about resilience and persistence before [2] [3] and these articles discuss how having the right mindset can provide that extra bump to transform your dreams into reality.

Call it what you will – mindset or attitude – one method to help you achieve these mental changes is using hypnosis. Hypnosis can be a powerful resource in helping you achieve long-term motivation by overcoming thinking habits keeping you from reaching your success. These habits can be caused by fear, procrastination, feeling overwhelmed, or that critical voice in your head reinforcing why you’ll never be able to sustain the motivation. Hypnosis can help you overcome self-destructive habits and replace them with positive versions in your unconscious to sustain you.

Hypnosis is a great way to keep a passion burning inside of you as fresh, frequent and new post hypnotic suggestions are implanted into your unconscious mind which will help you keep your ‘eyes on the prize’ and help you going forward with resilience and persistence. It can provide a fresh start and outlook for you. If you’re interested in working directly with me then discover all my online and in-office Hypnosis Services here or you can check out our Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products here >>>

In my clients I’ve seem different paths to achieve the motivation they needed to make a significant and long-term change. It’s an individual journey and finding your own triggers for long-term motivation can feel like a journey on its own, but it’s one worth the effort, and with indirect or direct help of others can make the difference between dreams and reality.

Let me know how you enjoyed this article and how I can improve it.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO MOTIVATION:

[1] Research Reveals Keys to Sustaining Long-Term Motivation >>>

[2] How to Strengthen Your Resilience, Perseverance and Grit to Get Success in Your Life >>>

[3] The Importance of Resilience in Overcoming Life Challenges: Ways to Make it Stronger in You >>>

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

Read More

How to Reinvent Yourself with Hypnosis For Next Phase of Life

By Erika Slater
Reinvent yourself handwriting on chalkboard

Reinvent yourself handwriting on chalkboard

In this Hypnosis Brief I look at common problems people facing retirement encounter, or in a job they know is not their calling, and resources and tools to help them make their next step.

Are you at the point in your life you’re looking to do something new?

Maybe you’ve been doing the same job for decades, or you’ve been with the same company as long. Perhaps you’re now tired of doing what you’ve been doing and you want a change.

As with many people today the company you’ve been working for could be forcing you into an early retirement of sorts, and you need to find something else. Maybe your job is for a younger person and your physical body can no longer handle the rigors of what you’ve been doing and you need to find something kinder to you and your body. But you also know if you just ‘retire’ you’ll just go crazy!

You sense there’s a yearning in your soul to do more, and be an active contributor to society rather than just live for the next installment of your favorite TV show. You know you need to do more for who is most important… yourself!

Whether you’re in your early thirties and in need of a major change, or approaching retirement, you’re thinking it’s time to ‘reinvent’ yourself and start fresh, living the next or second phase of your life in a way you want to live it – on your terms!

But you need help discovering what you want to do in this next phase.

 

“WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO WHEN YOU GROW UP?”

Kids and different career costumesWhen we were children, we were asked by family members or friends of our parents, “And what do you want to be when you grow up?” When we reach high school, we are asked by guidance counselors, teachers and parents, “What do you want to do with your life after high school?” And when we reach retirement, we are often times asked by colleagues, “Now what? What do you plan on doing with yourself now you’ll have all this free time?

For many of us, this can be a deep troubling question as the truth is we usually haven’t put much thought into it. We’ve been doing the same ole for so long we’ve became a creature of habit and become complacent in living our lives.

For many, life, at some point, became mundane, and less challenging as we operated in a comfort zone of complacency. And here you are now having once again to determine, “What do you want to do now you’re all grown up?

For those facing retirement we live in a society that discusses and encourages preparation for the financial aspect. Often times, it’s a financial investment commercial that comes to mind with seniors playing with their grand kids, or sipping Pina Colada’s on a beach as the sun sets in front of them. These are the stereotypes for how retirement is perceived by many.

Unfortunately, this isn’t how it plays out for most and it isn’t rosy at all! There are no beaches or Pina Colada’s… rather there is utter boredom for them.

Years ago, research showed when some folks retire, even from a job they’d despised, it wasn’t uncommon for them to get sick or die within a year or two thereafter? Basically, when they no longer had their jobs or careers, they believe they’d “lost” a large part of themselves. In their mind, their life’s identity was tied to a job, after all they had engaged in it for 30 or 40 years, and now what did they have? It wasn’t long before depression would set in for many, a greater sense of helplessness or haplessness, and they’d literally believe they were ‘useless’ and no longer served a purpose to the world.

Obviously, this is a misconception and a wrong way to think, especially when at any age you always have something meaningful to contribute to life – your own and others. The key point is, what is it you want to contribute, in your second career?

Everyone has at some point in their lives wondered, or they still wonder, what would my life have been like if I’d only chosen a different path or career. “What would my life be like if I had chosen the career I really loved with my whole heart?

Does this sound at all familiar to you?

Perhaps the question you hear yourself asking is, “What can I do, or what will I do now that I have all of this free time, as I don’t know what my passion is at this point?

 

WAYS TO START THE SECOND PHASE OF YOUR LIFE:

Change career wording with scrabble lettersHere’s some suggestions to get you started.

First, get clear on what it is you want to do! For those who’ve figured out what it is they want to do, but are perhaps nervous or hesitant about pursuing it due to fear or confidence, they need a gentle push to get them going in the right direction.

The best way to figure out your future in the second part of your life is sometimes easily accomplished by discussing it with someone as you did in the first part of your life – a career counselor. A counselor can listen, make suggestion and point you in the right direction.

There are tests you can take such as Myers Briggs [1] which is a personality test and the results can be used by professional counselors to suggest careers or other changes to help you decide on a new direction. There are other personality tests you can take but the Myers Briggs has held up over many decades as the preferred choice.

Richard Nelson Bolles book “What Color is Your Parachute?” remains as relevant today as it did decades ago and helped many folks with a career change, or new insights into the next phase of their life. For a small investment of time and money you could find the words, or nudge, that moves you to reinvent yourself. It’s updated almost yearly and you can find it at your local bookstore or Amazon. Bolles also has his own website supplementing his book and offering tools and resources to help [2].

But what happens if you’re still stuck not knowing what your inner “passion” or “purpose” is? This isn’t as uncommon as you think. A lot has been written about “live your passion” and “find your purpose,” and the reality for many is… they just don’t know. Frankly, you may also have many passions and purposes [3] and trying to focus on which one to choose will drive you crazy!

Relax. Take a deep breath and realize despite what you’ve been told the next move will not ruin your life if it’s the wrong one. Take baby steps. Try things out and see if “the clothes fit.” If it turns out not to be for you, move on.

If you get frustrated and really are struggling then consider your next line of action is to see a hypnotherapist.

Hypnosis is an excellent way for helping individuals get ‘in touch’ with themselves. A hypnotherapist can help by asking you questions and tapping into your unconscious mind, truly awakening or recognizing dormant passions.

If you have uncertainties, hypnosis can help you gain greater insights and clarity. If you’re nervous, apprehensive or lack confidence in starting a new life, hypnosis can help you gain the confidence you need to get going on the second phase of your life and make it even better than the first part.

Resistance is a major contributor to why we don’t try new things, and this is usually caused by fear that manifests itself in many ways. Resistance is insidious. It seeps into your life and stops you achieving your goals. It stops the writer from writing. It stops the painter from painting, and the musician from playing music.

It can stop the amateur from turning pro as Stephen Pressfield [4] often writes.

But it doesn’t just affect the artist or the creative. It stops us all. It stops you from losing weight or keeping on a healthy diet. It gets in the way of a smoker quitting. It stops us from doing our life work – you know… the things you were put on this planet to do!

Again, hypnosis can help you move forward despite resistance or your fears. Seek out a local hypnotist who has helped others with their second phase of their life, or can teach you self-hypnosis as a tool you can use to help make any significant changes in your life.

 

LAST WORD:

Reinventing yourself is an opportunity to discover and execute on passions and purposes to make not only your own life fulfilling but help others as well.

Most of us need help in uncovering what we want to do after we decide the first phase of our life is ending and we are ready for something new. We may, or may not know, what that life change entails. If there’s a blockage discovering it or we keep wandering around in circles, then, likely we are experiencing resistance.

Now, you may or may not need help to overcome this resistance. Regardless, it’s time to get serious about those goals you have. Whether it’s writing a novel, volunteering for a charity you admire, changing careers, or shedding that spare tire around your middle that’s been following you around for most of your life… it’s time to overcome resistance, and conquer your internal enemy.

Consider hypnosis if you need help getting unstuck. Hypnosis can help you understand what makes you tick. What sort of activities do you enjoy doing and never have to struggle to motivate yourself to do? What talents have you got or can you develop? What kind of people do you like to be around? If you’re interested in working directly with me then check out my online and In-office Special Hypnosis Services here.

Alternatively, you can Check out this self-hypnosis session around career change here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO REINVENT YOURSELF:

[1] Myers Briggs Foundation >>>

[2] Dick Bolles Job Hunter Bible Site >>>

[3] Why Finding Your Passion or Purpose Can Leave You Frustrated and Depressed… and What To Do Instead >>>

[4] Stephen Pressfield >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

Read More

Learning Hypnosis and Becoming a Professional Hypnotist

By Erika Slater
Hypnosis word cloud

Hypnosis word cloud

In this special Hypnosis Brief I’m going to discuss how to go about learning hypnosis, and becoming a professional hypnotist if you want to make it a career. I’ll also cover some licensing questions to keep you out of trouble.

Have you ever wanted to learn hypnosis, or have you wondered where someone goes to learn to do hypnosis? Where do you go to develop the education, skills and talent to pull this off?

In the past, it was difficult to find a ‘school’, institution or individual who taught others about hypnosis. In the past most found out where to learn about hypnosis through periodicals like Psychology Today, word of mouth, and some educational institutions.

Now that the Internet and all of the variety of ‘search engines’ have come along, it’s much easier to find places to learn about hypnosis, as well as how to perform it.

But if you wanted to learn hypnosis, perhaps the biggest question would be… why?

Do you want to learn hypnosis to go into private practice or perhaps entertainment (stage hypnosis), or would you want to learn it for personal reasons, as a tool to improve your overall state of mental and physical wellness? I entered the profession in order to help others quit smoking and over the years developed my own stop smoking hypnosis programs [4]. You may have different reasons.

 

WHERE TO LEARN HYPNOSIS:

Online learning and education conceptIf you just want hypnosis for your own personal benefits, then you’re less likely concerned with the formalities that go along with accreditation, licensing, certification and recognition associated with it. Learning self-hypnosis from an experienced hypnotist may be all you need and most local hypnotherapists can provide this training for you.

Conversely, if you were looking at getting into hypnosis to become a professional practitioner, then you’d want to take all of the above into account as you’d want to be recognized with reputable organizations. When it comes to professionalism, you’ll want to make sure you’re held in the highest regard when it comes to credibility.

Attaching your name to credible ‘associations’ will not only make you appear credible to clients and patients, but among your peers as well.

Many traditional schools, such as colleges and universities unfortunately don’t have formal ‘hypnosis’ education. The most students will learn about hypnosis at college is in an introductory psychology course while discussing Sigmund Freud, or Milton Erickson, or perhaps a little more in depth when taking a psychology major.

Unfortunately, what is learned is usually not of practical use and holds no real value in terms of using it in a practice. Students will only get the ‘theory’ and history of hypnosis; therefore, the only redeeming quality is of a theoretical nature. If you want to learn the practical applications and skills to engage in hypnosis as a professional, you’ll have to seek out a specialty school.

If you do a Google search, you’ll come across many ‘schools for hypnosis’. Although there are a variety of schools, you’ll need to do diligent research before signing up for one. Some of these private schools are costly, so you want to get the most bang for your buck in terms of; credibility, knowledge, competence and certification. Since hypnosis is viewed as a pseudo-discipline that falls within the domain of psychology and mental health, the standards for accrediting it are difficult at best and inconsistent. You’ll also find a number of hypnosis schools offer their curriculum in online classes.

If you’re a practicing psychologist or counselor, there are various boards and licensing agencies you need to apply to and become certified to promote your services. The same is not necessarily true for hypnosis, and depending on the state and/or country you reside in then you may need to be licensed or not, or be limited in whether you can call yourself a hypnotherapist or hypnotist.

If you’re learning any skill, whether it be hypnosis, massage, reflexology, etc., it’s important who you’re learning from is teaching the skill set based on incorporating as much information about the discipline, as well as including the principles of ethics and beneficence in the training.

When I refer to beneficence and ethics, I’m referring to setting intentions you’ll always do what is best for the client, and leave them better than before they came to see you. Furthermore, ethics teaches if you can’t help the client, then you recognize this and refer them to someone else who can.

Where many hypnosis training institutions get a ‘bad rap’ is through the handful of them that don’t practice ethics, or don’t teach practicing competence to their students. Furthermore, this is a by-product of the fact these training institutes are operated by individuals who lack competence themselves. Unfortunately, often times it’s all about ‘collecting money’ from potential students, training them quickly over the course of a weekend, and then sending them out into the real world letting them believe they’re ready to practice as professional ‘hypnotherapists.’

This is when ‘hypnosis’ overall in the clinical sense gets perceived in a negative light by accredited hypnotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors and the public overall.

Basically, you have incompetent hypnotists who’ve been trained by incompetent teachers who have allowed them to go into the real world and deal with real emotional problems. The problem is they often times at best don’t do anything for the client.

If you’re interested in becoming a hypnotherapist and helping people with their problems; quitting smoking, improving their self-esteem, losing weight, overcoming phobias, that’s a wonderful intent. Wanting to help others improve their life is a noble cause for any profession.

Hypnosis is a reputable and honorable profession that should only be practiced by individuals who have been trained properly, and who know what they’re doing, and importantly recognize limits and when to refer out. One quick intense week course isn’t going to be enough, unless there is both quality theoretical and practical training included for a specific problem. Like any skill it can take many years to become proficient in being able to tackle the problems presented by real clients.

If you’re seriously looking for training in hypnosis consider checking out organizations like the National Guild of Hypnotists [1] as they offer standard courses and certification programs, and require ongoing accreditation to remain members. I obtained my training and certification from NGH. I’ve also been a student of Igor Ledochowski and member of his Hypnosis Training Academy [2] for a number of years and he has a two-year intensive program where you can also learn how to run a hypnosis business as well as providing the basic and advanced skills of hypnosis, and opportunities for practice with other members.

 

LICENSING AND HYPNOSIS:

Senior woman on computer doing trainingDo you need a license to practice hypnosis as a professional? The answer is it depends.

In many places in the world hypnosis is a self-regulating profession. That is, you don’t need to pass a recognized exam or qualification by a governing authority before you hang up a sign promoting your services.

In the USA requirements for hypnotherapists vary from state to state. Many states don’t require hypnotists to have a license to practice.

Some states require you to be licensed to promote yourself as a hypnotherapist but not as a hypnotist.

Still others you have to register and obtain a license, but there is no examining board so effectively you just apply.

With the advent of hypnotists offering client sessions online then it becomes important for the hypnotist to understand where their client resides, as you should assume, to be safe, that state’s licensing requirements will be in effect. So, this may limit you on clients you can take on.

In order to remain in compliance a hypnotist should research and ensure she understands the local requirements for country and state/county/province.

More general information about licensing for hypnotists can be found in an article posted at Hypnosis Training Academy [3].

 

LAST WORD:

Being a professional therapeutic hypnotist and helping others overcome negative habits or challenges to improve their life is a wonderful and noble intent. But with this intent comes high expectations covering the treatment of clients and the ethics of your business to preserve your reputation, and avoid compliance and licensing issues with the local authorities.

Always consider the client and do what is best for them and like any profession know your abilities, and limits, and build a network of specialized professionals so you can refer out clients who present problems you’re not experienced to address.

Being a professional hypnotherapist is hard work, and for many it’s part-time, particularly during the early years learning the skills and gaining experience. But it can be immensely rewarding helping people overcome problems and seeing them grow and improve their life.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and the information it contains and would love to hear your feedback on it, and how I can improve it. Use the comment section below or send me a direct email using information at my contact page here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO LEARNING HYPNOSIS:

[1] National Guild of Hypnotists >>>

[2] Hypnosis Training Academy >>>

[3] Do You Need a License to Practice Hypnosis? >>>

[4] Why is it So Darn Hard to Quit Smoking and Ways to Make it Easier >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

Read More

Unconscious Problem Solving – Working Through Problems Using Hypnosis

By Erika Slater
Woman trying to remember something with a pained expression

Woman trying to remember something with a pained expression

In this article you’ll discover:

  1. How our unconscious mind works tirelessly to help us recall information buried deep in our memory and what that means for you.
  2. Strategies we can use to aid our unconscious mind to work while we sleep or nap!
  3. How hypnosis can help us expedite unconscious problem solving.
  4. Further reading and resources for help in memory recall and problem solving.

Do you ever have difficulty remembering something, especially when you need to remember it at a specific moment or when under pressure?

Does it frustrate you knowing the answer is ‘right on the tip of your tongue’, you can almost say it, but there’s some ridiculous mental block that won’t let you recall it in the moment when you most want to remember!

Then… moments later… when you’ve stopped actively trying to remember it, suddenly it pops into your thoughts like magic!

This happens to all of us and is more common than you may think.

This is referred to as unconscious problem solving, not the forgetting part, rather the ‘remembering’ part that comes to us… eventually!

Why is it you forget things you most need to remember in a moment’s notice, but are then able to recall whatever it is you were trying to remember after the fact when not trying to remember? Some people are able to recall details about trivial matters easily and effortlessly without even trying while the rest of us struggle to recall what we consider to be important stuff?

What the heck is that all about?

Much of this instant problem solving has to do with the rigors of forcing your conscious mind to act on your unconscious mind.

Let’s first start out by discussing the unconscious mind and the role it plays in retaining and recalling information…

 

HOW THE UNCONSCIOUS MIND RECALLS YOUR INFORMATION:

Memory and mind computer storage concept for rememberingAnything and everything you’ve ever heard, experienced, or learned in your life is stored away in your unconscious mind! That’s right, everything remains in your unconscious mind as it’s like a hard drive in a computer system. Once the information is stored or programmed it’s there for good.

The unconscious mind has trillions of bits of information stored in it throughout a person’s life. It’s like a massive filing system categorized according to relevancy through thought patterns.

Those thoughts you’re focusing on actively are usually most readily accessible.

When you don’t think, act or do something for long periods of time, even years, then the memories (files in your unconscious mind) get pushed further down in terms of their importance or the connection links grow weak.

With that said, it doesn’t mean they’re gone, they just need more time to remake the connections and then access.

Going back to our analogy of files on a hard drive in directories (categories that is), I’m sure you’ve experienced frustration in trying to find a file or document because you can’t “remember” where you “stored it” on your computer? Enter the “find” or “search” command available on most operating systems (Windows or Mac), to help us uncover it.

And when we expose a document using the find command we instantly recall why we put it in that directory or category. It’s obvious then… but not when you were trying to remember!

So, if your conscious mind is your present state of awareness then this is where you begin your search command to recall information. For example, “What was that actor’s name that appeared in that goofy movie I loved and played the character who said that awesome thing?

Your unconscious mind wants to try and keep all your information available to you at the snap of your fingers. But it can’t. So instead it works like an advanced computer memory and keeps information stored and/or accessed “recently” accessible instantly. Now “recently” could mean months for us so much is still available quickly.

However, when your conscious mind starts pressing the unconscious mind for answers or to problem solve requiring access to information stored many months or years ago, it may come up momentarily ‘frozen’ or ‘on the tip of your tongue.’ This is because it’s guessing what you’re looking for but needs just a little more time to find the stored files while you “relax” and “chill out a bit.”

The unconscious mind doesn’t like that kind of pressure.

Eventually you “give up” trying to recall or problem solve because it’s not just working. But your unconscious mind doesn’t stop working in the background. It’s still searching trying to make the connections and recall the information you want or will help in solving a problem.

Moments, hours or even days later it may come to you.

Voila! That’s your unconscious mind delivering to you the “file” you were looking for!

Does this mean if our unconscious mind retains everything that there’s no such thing as memory loss? No, I’m not saying this. But it’s less about not having the information stored in your memory but more about an impaired ability to recall. As we age then its true our memory mechanisms can begin to fail us. Sadly, brain disease can impact us for sure and interfere with even our short-term memory.

If you’d like to read more about reducing memory loss as you age then I’ve placed a link in the additional resource section below to an article on this topic.

So, you may say, okay I get how we can recall information stored in our unconscious mind even when it’s buried deep from the past, but how does this help me solve problems where I don’t have the information stored at all?

This gets at the fact our unconscious mind not only works to recall information in the background while not “actively” thinking about it, but it also works to help us solve problems when in this mode as well. Such as when we sleep or are absorbed in thought on something else. Essentially, it’s the same mechanisms being engaged in/by your unconscious mind.

Ideas and thoughts can come to you at any time but its also true there are many stories of major problems being solved through dreams and sleep. While you may not suddenly have a profound insight on time travel or the theory of relativity through your dreams, but having solutions to a pressing work or personal problem is within reach if you just “program” your unconscious mind to work on it for you.

One strategy for leveraging our sleep or even nap hours to help us with problem solving is to deliberately set the task for the unconscious mind just before going to sleep. While it may sound “strange” to ask your subconscious for help before sleep, you can do it mentally, and speak it as a task to your mind, and then relax and forget about it.

Make sure you have a notepad and pen on side of bedside table as ideas and thoughts will come to you on waking but they can be subtle and quickly forgotten disappearing in an instant.

In addition to sleep and dreams, you can read a story about how a letter helped one business owner solve a major problem to save his business. A link to this story can be found in the resource section below.

One way of “greasing the wheels”, so to speak, for unconscious problem solving is using hypnosis, and we’re going to cover this now….

 

HOW HYPNOSIS CAN HELP WITH UNCONSCIOUS PROBLEM SOLVING:

Woman relaxing in chair listening with headphones in chairI do want to recognize there are people who have amazing memory recall. Some people appear blessed with photographic memories if you will. Their powers of recall are above normal.

Neuroscience doesn’t exactly understand at this moment how this phenomenon happens and what’s going on to aid these people over others. But perfect recall is only one element we are discussing here today. The other is about creative problem solving and how to engage the unconscious mind in resolving issues you’re wrestling with to overcome.

We’ve already mentioned our unconscious mind can work on problems such as recalling a piece of information we’ve stored from years ago but just can’t “remember” it in the moment.

Leave it alone and it’ll work in the background for us and pop it up when its found it. At least this is the way it seems to work for most of us.

The same process works to help us solve problems overnight during the sleep. But what if we could give our unconscious mind a nudge to help come up with responses you’re looking for using hypnosis.

With the help of a skilled hypnotist they use hypnosis to put you into a trance-like state and then offer hypnotic suggestions directly to your unconscious mind to help with memory recall, or creative problem solving for specific challenges you may be facing.

Some information gets buried deep and escapes us no matter how long we wait for it to “appear.” In the past I’ve had people see me to remember where they hid or misplaced something such as jewelry, and other keepsakes or important papers. The protocol is once in hypnosis to take them back before the loss and walk them forward through a sequence of steps leading up to and then “hiding” of the object.

Because the forgetfulness of where a valuable object is hidden can be stressful then this can cause a barrier to remembering. The more you try and remember where you put something the more it eludes you to recall. Going into a relaxed trance-state using hypnosis can help remove barriers to remembering and potentially speed-up the recall process.

I’ve put a few links in the resource section below to articles for further reading, one on using hypnosis to improve memory, and another on minimizing memory loss as you age.

But what about hypnosis and problem solving?

Once in hypnosis we can access our unconscious minds and as we’ve already determined this is the part of the mind working in the background on any problem we set it, then we can use it to solve specific problems, break through creative blocks, and even find resolutions to personal issues.

This works equally well for unconscious goal achievements and ongoing creative insights throughout your life.

It also works for common uses such as using hypnosis to quit smoking when an individual wants to stop smoking, usually for health reasons, but there is also another part of them that enjoys smoking. So, the hypnotist works with the unconscious mind to help solve this dilemma and find a resolution by tapping into the problem solving capabilities of the mind.

Whether you do the work with a hypnotherapist or learn self-hypnosis skills doesn’t matter. The fact is when in hypnosis your conscious mind is less interfering with your unconscious mind which is free to develop solutions to your problems. The benefit of a hypnotist in the process is to induce trance and relaxation and then deliver suggestions based on the work you’ve already discussed you want to perform.

For long-term work learning the techniques of self-hypnosis provides life-long benefits and a tool you can leverage whenever you need to tap into your powerful unconscious mind to both recall memories, and perform unconscious problem solving. If you’re interested in working directly with me then check out my online and In-office Special Hypnosis Services here or you can contact me with a specific need here.

Hypnosis can help with getting you answers faster in the future!

 

CONCLUSIONS:

We’ve all experienced a mental block when we can’t recall information we know we know, such as name of a film or an actor’s name, or that friend you had in high school. We say “it’s on the tip of our tongue!” Then we move on frustrated with ourselves, and suddenly later or the next day it comes to us in a flash!

This is evidence we have two minds, our conscious and unconscious mind, and proof they can work independently on separate tasks at the same time. You see when you posed the question but couldn’t find the answer and “gave up” your unconscious mind continued working on the problem in the background.

This unconscious problem solving doesn’t just work for recalling information, but we can also task our unconscious mind to work on solving problems and achieving goals for us both from a job or personal perspective.

Hypnosis is a trance-like state where we can make suggestions directly to the unconscious mind and help facilitate its recall or problem-solving skills. Sometimes we have a mental barrier to remembering or solving a problem and so our mind needs help and a different state to enable it. Learning the technique of self-hypnosis provides a long-term tool available whenever you want to tap into your unconscious mind to help with your personal goals.

If you want to discover more about self-hypnosis for unconscious problem solving then check out this session here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO UNCONSCIOUS PROBLEM SOLVING:

Does Hypnosis Improve Memory? >>>

How to Reduce Memory Loss As You Age – Ways to Age Proof Your Brain – Erika Slater >>>

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

Can Hypnosis Help My Child and Do They Make Good Subjects for Hypnotists? >>>

How to Get Your Subconscious Mind Working On a Problem >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

Read More

How to Overcome Insecurity in a Relationship and Gain Back Control of Your Life

By Erika Slater
Nervous and insecure woman picking at her lips with fingers

Nervous and insecure woman picking at her lips with fingers

Regardless if the basis of your insecurity in your relationship is real or imaginary, the feeling can still be damaging unless you know how to overcome it. In this article you’ll discover:

  1. Why taking care of You is the most important act you can do to overcome any of your insecurities. 
  2. Strategies to feeling good about yourself that’ll make you attractive to your partner and others.
  3. How hypnosis can help change negative thinking patterns and quieten your inner critic so you can enjoy and thrive in your personal relationships with others.
  4. Further reading and resources for help in overcoming insecurity in your relationship.

Leading causes of relationship dysfunction and dissolution can be found in miscommunication and jealousy. Essentially, many breakdowns are caused by one side being insecure and pushing the other away, or just plain giving up and walking out of the relationship.

So many relationships turn sour and end badly because one or both individuals feel misunderstood, not appreciated or disrespected due to another’s jealousy, or feelings of inferiority in the relationship… their insecurities.

At some point the bonds of trust and lines of respect get crossed, even compromised.

Eventually this leads to chaos and confusion whereby one’s partner or best friend has had enough, and chooses to walk away from the relationship to maintain a sense of dignity and sanity.

Do you find yourself in relationships that usually end badly with you either pushing others away, or people walking away from you? Perhaps it’s time to deal with potential ‘insecurity’ issues you might possess!

Let’s start by looking at ways these insecurities can creep into our lives and cause pain for everybody involved.

 

WAYS OUR INSECURITIES MANIFEST THEMSELVES:

Jealous woman spying on partner sending text on phone in bedInsecurities in relationships are often due to low self-esteem and a lack of self- confidence. We are all susceptible to feeling threatened or inadequate from time to time, and self-doubt can creep into our daily thoughts during many of our relationships, especially during the early stages when we are building the foundation.

However, chronic insecurities fester and can destroy intimate relationships. When your every thought of a person stops the enjoyment of being with them because it impacts your ability to act naturally around them then it can push them away.

This low self-esteem usually has its origins in childhood or one’s early teen years.

Often times it is caused by having experiences, or feeling unworthy, rejected or even abandoned by those closest to you, namely parents, siblings or other family members.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for a child to feel ‘rejected’ or not wanted if one parent leaves a marriage, whereby the child feels rejected as well by the estranged parent.

Insecure feelings can also develop after being hurt and rejected by somebody you cared deeply about. This could be a girl or boyfriend, or a family member or somebody you looked up to and respected. Many sibling relationships can end up on the rocks because of poor treatment or a reaction after a major family event.

I had a client who was suffering deep insecurities over an older sibling’s history of repeated rejections to them over time when it appeared they would come in and out of their life over decades. Each swing would be sudden and complete for years and assumed to be the fault of the rejected party. Which it wasn’t, but with no context to understand, the mind makes up its own stories, and many times its determination is inaccurate.

When individuals don’t resolve any of these types of ‘rejection’ they’re most likely to develop issues that include feelings associated with; rage, worthlessness, shame, jealousy and even possessiveness. If and when these feelings manifest and are allowed to flourish they can develop into long-term, acute ‘insecurity’ issues.

Another common feeling is of not being good enough for the other person. This plays havoc with your mind as you begin to have irrational thoughts about motives surrounding their every move or action. Their decisions on anything becomes fodder for your misinterpretation of their feelings towards you. Not wanting to go out for the evening plays into the fact they’re beginning to lose interest in you. Or going out to meet with friends, or lunch time appointments without you, means they’ve found somebody else.

In some cases, the person who walks out is… you. The determination being its going to end badly so I’ll save myself some pain and end it now. When in actual fact it’s all made up in the mind and not steeped in reality.

Other ways of feeding the insecurity fire include: seeing problems where none exist, confusing imagination with reality, irrational jealousy, obsessive thoughts, fear of being rejected or abandoned, lack of trust, and extreme clinginess or neediness.

These insecurities tend to lead one’s perceptions of relationships into being tainted.

When this happens, these insecurities can quickly destroy meaningful relationships. The key is to get to the root of the issues causing you to feel insecure; jealousy, anger, etc. and modify them.

Let’s move on now to discuss ways to overcome these insecurities.

 

WAYS TO OVERCOME INSECURITY IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS:

Smiling confident young woman in business settingThe majority of our insecurities are on the inside and caused by us and not others, so the person we need to work on is… us.

For sure, a cheating partner or overbearing family member can impact us, and introduce self-doubt at any time in our life, but we get to decide how we respond to those people, and if we spend any time with them. So, overcoming insecurities in our relationships means we have to work on us.

Improving your self-esteem provides the foundation for feeling self-worth and value you bring to a relationship, and quietens the chatter and irrational thinking that happens when you act out in your mind your insecurities in your relationships.

Self-esteem is a topic all on its own – it covers confidence as well – and there are multiple schools of thought on how it can be improved. Specific to relationships it could involve seeing a psychotherapist or hypnotist over a course of sessions. To help you get on track and understand more about how to get more self-esteem and confidence I’ve linked in the resource section below to an earlier article I did about “The Eight Habits of Highly Confident People.”

Improving your self-esteem by feeling good about yourself will make you attractive to your partner and others. Exhibiting constant needy traits in a relationship is guaranteed to push your partner or friend away from you.

Dwelling on relationships in your past no longer has a bearing on the present because the past is over and done with. Those feelings hold no place in the present because it’s a different time and place. With that said, letting them go will also help build your self-esteem and self-confidence for present and future relationships.

Another important step to move away from insecurities is to achieve a healthy independence.

You need to take care of… You. We sometimes forget there was life before a spouse or partner where we had control over our needs and had activities going on with others. Reverting to having friends and activities outside our intimate relationship is healthy and necessary. Also make time to have some financial independence and look to include hobbies and interests outside the home.

In an article by Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D, she quotes a study by Peking University’s Wenjie Yuan and Lei Wang (2016) “… which provides a simple step you can take to keep insecurity from getting in the way of your happiness and your mental health.” Whitbourne identifies “… potentially easy way to put an end to those insecurities, as proposed by Yuan and Wang, is to crank up your optimism levels. When you’re optimistic, you tend to attribute events that could have negative consequences in a way that reduces their threat value, primarily by seeing those events as being caused by outside factors that will undoubtedly change for the better. Being an optimist, in other words, means that you see the glass as half full, that you ultimately view it as completely fillable, and that you are not responsible for its emptying.”

You can find a link to Dr. Whitbourne’s article “The Key to Overcoming Insecurity” and more information about the Chinese University study in the resource section below.

A powerful strategy you can work on is to identify the ‘self-talk’ that goes on in your mind when you create conflict, or find yourself in continual conflict in your relationships. It’s important to monitor what you’re telling yourself that’s perpetuating these insecurities.

It may be difficult at first to try and keep tabs on these negative thinking patterns, however after monitoring them a few times, it will become easier and eventually second nature, and you’ll be able to ‘censor’ the negative thinking patterns, and silence that “inner critic.”

Since negative thinking patterns that lead to insecurities exist because they’ve been patterned, it means these thinking patterns rest in your unconscious mind where are habits and thinking patterns are housed.

They pop up without a moment’s notice when certain triggers from your past, feelings and experiences, become associated with what is going on in your present relationship.

Hypnosis is an exceptional tool for helping release old thinking and feeling patterns, and focusing on the here and now. Hypnosis is also helpful in dealing with negative self-talk by silencing your inner critic which we discussed earlier.

A trained hypnotherapist can help over multiple sessions to quieten and lessen the impact of habits and patterns of thoughts undermining your relationships. They can train you in self-hypnosis to continue with the therapy work yourself.

If you’re looking to kick start your ability to function positively in new and old relationships, then consider hypnosis as it can help supplement the other ways mentioned in this section. Hypnosis shouldn’t always be considered as an alternative therapy but as a supplement to strengthen other ways to overcome insecurities in your relationships.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Insecurities in our relationships are usually rooted in a lack of self-esteem which can be traced back to childhood rejections, or being let down by a person who was important to you, and didn’t get fully resolved, and so you interpreted the rejection as your own fault or something you deserved.

The fact is self-esteem issues are reinforced by negative thinking patterns which trigger your inner critic and create self-doubt. The vicious circle has to be broken by increasing your feeling of self-worth and value. Review the “Habits of Highly Confident People” article in the resource section, and turn your back on pessimistic feeling and look to bring in an optimistic outlook on life and your relationships – see the link below on “6 Easy Ways To Be A Whole Lot More Optimistic About Anything.”

We discussed a number of other strategies for overcoming insecurities in relationships including hypnosis. Hypnosis can be a supplement to almost any other method to break down the “insecurity walls” and help break negative thinking patterns, your inner critic, and boosting your self-esteem and confidence.

Finally, If you’re interested in more information about my own online or in-office confidence and self-esteem hypnosis program then click here or contact me here.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO RELATIONSHIPS:

The Key to Overcoming Insecurity – Susan Whitbourne Ph.D >>>

The Eight Habits of Highly Confident People – Erika Slater CH >>>

Slay the ‘Foot in Mouth’ Beast by Discovering These Ways to Think Before You Speak >>>

When You Regularly Feel Insecure In Your Relationship >>>

6 Easy Ways To Be A Whole Lot More Optimistic About Anything >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

Read More

How to Achieve Stellar Success in Work and Life to Get to Your Dreams

By Erika Slater
Man on mountain top with arms raised above head in success gesture

Man on mountain top with arms raised above head in success gesture

Happiness is not a by-product of success.
Success is a by-product of happiness.

In this article you’ll discover:

  1. Tons of common themes and character traits from successful people so you can model them and save money and time.
  2. Ways to kick-start your own personal journey to achieve better success in all aspects of your life.
  3. How hypnosis can help change negative habits and instill positive habits to overcome past failures and barriers to your success.
  4. Further reading and resources for help in understanding and achieving success in life and work.

I’ve worked with many people over the years who came to me looking to overcome a negative habit. I ask my clients one important question as it helps them get focused on why they’re doing something:

The question is “How will your life be different when you achieve your goal?

I get them to explain in detail the difference they think it’ll make to their life. People come to me with significant changes they want to make in their life, such as quitting smoking, or losing weight, or overcoming a phobia.

The reasons behind change is nearly always a bigger goal. Getting them to think about how it will make a difference in their life starts to uncover that goal and provides the motivation and direction for them when the difficult times come. And they will.

Nobody has ever achieved great success in work and life without taking knocks and setbacks along the way, and having a healthy dose of resilience and perseverance, and even grit to stay the course and achieve their dreams. (See my article about this topic and linked to in the additional resource section below.)

Whether you’re trying to achieve success in life or in business doesn’t really matter, the underlying themes are consistent. How you do anything is how you do everything.

Success doesn’t have to be, nor I’d argue should it be, at the expense of others. But of course, we are rarely told this growing up. In fact, most people feel, at least in business, success is measured in a way that directly puts you in competition with others, and in order for you to succeed they must fail.

But of course, real success is about inner success and not just about sales quotas or how many friends you have on social media, or even how many dollars are in your bank account. It can be all of these but if just one then lasting happiness is going to be a long way behind. And this gets at the heart of why I ask that question to my clients. “How will your life be different when you achieve your goal?” Because in essence the question being asked is really “What will success look like for you.”

And, this is different for each of us and what I’m going to explore with you today so you can discover “How to Achieve Better Success in Work and Life.”

If you’re ready for that journey and sitting comfortably, then let’s begin…

 

COMMON TRAITS TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE AND BUSINESS:

Sticky notes saying set goals make plans type messagesBrian Tracy is considered by many to be the guru when it comes to advice on achieving success. I’ve heard Brian speak at a few events I attended back and he’s a compelling speaker and thought provoker.

Brian is all about the journey as he feels it teaches us the qualities required for success. Here’s a thought from him about this…

You will change your life by achieving just one important goal, you create a pattern, a template for personal success in your subconscious mind. You will change your life and be automatically directed, and driven toward repeating that success in other things that you attempt.

In an article from his blog called “How To Be Successful in Life”, which you can read in its entirety at the link in the resource section, he lists four keys to success:

  1. Decide exactly what you want and where you want to go.
  2. Set a deadline and make a plan to get there.
  3. Take action on your plan; do something everyday to move toward your goal.
  4. Resolve in advance that you will persist until you succeed, that you will never, ever give up.
    Copyright Brian Tracy.

This is sage advice from somebody who has been there and done it.

Interestingly, people engage me at key step #3 when they’ve either taken action on their plan and it hasn’t worked, or they realize before starting they’re the type of person who needs help. Frankly, this is good and not in my book a weakness. Accumulating the wisdom to be successful on your own is expensive and time consuming. There are plenty of others who have gone before and you can model and get there quicker by avoiding their mistakes.

Where people fall down is usually in key step #4. Having a plan is good but then life gets in the way. You not only have to be flexible but you have to have… wait for it… resilience and perseverance, and grit to stay in the game. Sound familiar?

These qualities can be learned, but you have to have a big enough “why” you want success, and you need to think of resilience and perseverance just like a muscle and exercise them regularly. You’ll find this a recurring theme as we continue.

Katherine Hurst is well known in the “Law of Attraction” community. In a nutshell this community subscribes to the notion you attract towards yourself that which you think, and that how you act. So, if you think and act successful then this is what you’ll attract into your life.

My experience is at some point environmental factors enter into the equation and this tends to get overlooked by this community. However, this isn’t to say we can’t learn from their enthusiasm.

Anyways, Katherine Hurst has compiled a solid list of “101 Ways to Achieve Success” and I’ve provided a link to the complete list in the resource section.

I’ve pulled out just a few to quench your thirst; consider these:

  1. Don’t be afraid to take risks. You will never be 100% ready when an opportunity arises.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people.
  3. Make a plan or a blueprint for success. Imagine in your mind the steps you need to take to achieve your goal. (sound familiar?)
  4. Know your distractions. Make a list of things that keep you from staying focused and make sure to get rid of them when you are working on your goal.
  5. Get rid of limiting beliefs and false ideologies. Stay open-minded.
  6. Accept you mistakes and learn from them.
  7. Be persistent. Keep going no matter what and develop a relentless motor. (sound familiar?)
  8. Be flexible. (sound familiar? – okay I’ll shut up!)
  9. Make sure you know why you are trying to be successful. Do it for the right reasons and never forget what these reasons are. They will keep you motivated.
  10. But don’t be afraid to say NO but also don’t afraid to say YES to gain new experiences.
    Copyright Katherine Hurst

The poster child for success for many entrepreneurs remains Bill Gates. Often touted as the richest man in the world – which he’s not, and most likely never has been – but certainly beyond accumulating wealth Gates is successful and continues to be in life after Microsoft.

So here are some wisdom’s from Gates that support the other traits of successful people.

Life is not fair – get used to it!

If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Sure, these quotes are all around business and come from speeches given at schools and colleges. But the fact remains they all capture the spirit of accepting that to be successful in life and business you need to be prepared to do whatever it takes and not make excuses if you fail.

Because you will fall down – if you don’t experience knocks you’re not trying hard enough! But what will determine your success is your response to set backs.

I’m going to leave my last pieces of quoted wisdom in this section to Kaila Proulx. Kaila has shared a number of useful tips for success in life, and you’ll see they’re remarkably similar to those business ones you’ve already seen – surprise, surprise! These tips will keep you moving forward, and though I’ve excerpted a few here you can find them all at the link in the resource section below.

  • See the big picture, but take baby steps.

When you set smaller, more attainable goals for yourself you are more likely to stick with whatever you are trying to achieve because you can consistently see progress. The success acts as an encouragement, and a motivator, which keeps you going.

If you want a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) then this can be longer term. But you still have to take it down to smaller bite-sized steps. While originally promoted for business goals, BHAG is applicable for life goals as well. After all, living until your 100 years-old may take you a few years unless you’re age 99 now, and you’ll have a lot of in-between goals to make it there as well, like eating well, staying fit, and keeping your brain active.

  • Don’t get discouraged by small setbacks.

Obstacles along the journey are inconsequential as long as you’re moving in the direction of your goals. Consistently making positive efforts to accomplish what you’ve set out to do is all that matters. You won’t achieve your dreams overnight. However, by starting to make decisions that feed that long-term vision for your future, you’ll see them come to fruition over time.

Copyright Kaila Proulx

Of course, by now you’ve heard these common themes but reinforcement is always good. But now it’s time to make this personal and real for you.

If you’ve read down to here then I’m guessing in the past you’ve set goals for success in life and/or business only to see yourself give up on them. When trying to achieve them becomes too difficult, you just decide to give up, and try again at a later date. You “kick that can right down the road.”

Your next step today then is to decide no more “can kicking.” No more putting off success in life and business until some unspecified time in the future.

 

GETTING YOURSELF STARTED TOWARDS YOUR SUCCESS:

Stretch goal concept with words on road rising up in shape of arrowIf you’re trying to achieve ‘stellar’ success in your career, business, relationships, health (weight loss, getting fit, quitting smoking), then it’s important to get clear on what that success means to you.

This sounds like something you heard before, right?

You should be able to vividly describe to others: What will your end goal look like and feel like when you get there? How will your life be different when you achieve your goal?

If you set the bar low and decide to call that success, then that’ll be your success.

You most likely will have an easier time achieving that success as you don’t have to stretch or push your limits.

Stretching your limits will make you feel uncomfortable because you need to produce change in yourself to achieve stellar success.

On the other hand, if you set your bar for success high or even super high, it’s going to require more effort and the need to do things differently – read that as… big change!

For most, change is uncomfortable and big change is very uncomfortable, and this is why they fold on their goals and dreams too early because it takes perseverance. Interestingly, if some would just hold on and push a little further with the change required to achieve their goals, they’d have soon experienced a ‘lasting change’ in their habits and way of thinking, which would have eventually brought them the stellar success they so much wanted!

When starting out, it’s okay to take ‘baby steps’ for change.

It’s okay to not set the bar too high, but not okay to set it too low. If it’s too low you’re most likely already there, operating from a mindset of mediocrity and status quo.

Can you set the bar too high?

Well, this depends on your ability to deal with failure, that is only seeing it as a learning experience as Bill Gates and others advocate, and the schedule you put on the achievement. My advice here is to take it beyond your comfort zone so you have to grow to get there, but not to the point of feeling overwhelmed and/or demoralized as you make the journey to get to your definition of success.

As you develop your resilience and perseverance muscles through practice then you’ll naturally go further out of your comfort zone, and accept the occasional failure as part of the journey.

Setting better than attainable goals will provide you with the opportunity to stretch your mental and possibly physical muscles and make you stronger, this way going for the ultimate stellar success won’t be as high up the ladder as when you first started your quest.

As I mentioned earlier don’t feel the need to figure this all out yourself but learn from those who have gone before and use the resources I’ve listed below to get you started. While it has worked for these experts on the topic just remember that point as well. It worked for them but doesn’t mean all their advice will work for you. Adopt, and modify, to fit your style, temperament, personality, etc. Be flexible, but also be prepared to try new things. After all, you’ll not achieve massive change by doing things the way you’ve always done them.

Earlier I’d implied success is an ‘inside job’. I believe this to be true. Beliefs about yourself and perceptions of what is happening will largely determine how far you’ll go in attaining success. Where your thoughts go, your energy will flow.

Even though you’re clear and feel what it’ll be like to have stellar success, sometimes it’s important to change the thoughts you have toward it.

I want to preface my final section here with one word… habits.

Habits are the key to achieving our success. They reside in our unconscious mind. Forget the mumbo jumbo about how long it takes for them to form, but think instead about forming success habits and the best way I know of doing this quickly is using hypnosis

 

HOW CAN HYPNOSIS HELP YOU ACHIEVE STELLAR SUCCESS IN LIFE AND WORK?

Helping hand on staircaseOur habits are controlled and resident in our unconscious mind (some call it our subconscious mind). We all have positive habits. Some of these positive habits are natural to us such as breathing and keep us alive when we sleep. Others are learned, such as driving a car where eventually we don’t consciously think about changing gears, or how to steer around a corner, or when to brake.

But we also develop negative habits. Those we want to change because they stop us achieving everything we deserve. Here hypnosis can help if the desire to change is strong enough. You can obviously change habits without using hypnosis. People have quit smoking or lost weight just by their own willpower and without help from anybody or drugs or surgery.

But the fact is many more people haven’t managed to change their habits because they only really changed the symptoms, and not the underlying habit.

So, eventually they got stuck again. It can also be a rocky path relying on willpower alone. So, moat people naturally seek help.

As I said earlier, I don’t see seeking help as a weakness.

Hypnosis helps us directly access the unconscious mind – where our habits reside – without our conscious logical mind getting in the way and distracting us. It quietens and relaxes the conscious mind to open up the subconscious mind to receiving thoughts, and suggestions, to change and replace negative habits.

In some cases, the results are instantaneous and in others it takes a few sessions with a qualified hypnotist.

Professional sport teams, and athletes, have long used self-hypnosis to achieve their own stellar success. Hypnosis isn’t about “going under” and your mind being manipulated by a hypnotherapist without your active involvement. Many hypnotists these day use guided imagery and hypnotic journeys to help people achieve the major changes in their life.

Hypnosis is an excellent way for changing negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. Furthermore, hypnosis can help you get clearer and feel what it will be like to be successful. If you’re interested in working directly with me on this specific issue then check out my online and In-office Special Hypnosis Services here.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

We discovered there are common themes in achieving stellar success in life and work and looked at what those are and what it takes to adopt those as part of our own traits.

Upfront you need to be clear on what success will look like for you. Ask yourself, and be able to answer, my favorite question; “How will your life be different when you achieve your success?

These common themes and character traits include persistence, resilience, and sometimes just plain grit to overcome barriers and short-term failure with no blaming of others. Goals leading to stellar success means taking risks and moving out of your comfort zone.

Have big goals (BHAG if you want) to get to your definition of success, but map out small steps that’ll move you forward and you can measure.

Seek help from others who’ve made the journey already and have achieved the kind of success you want. Model what they did to help shortcut your own journey. Consider hypnosis to help you overcome negative habits quickly to get the success you want and deserve.

If you’re got to here and hypnosis sounds like something you’d like to experience to see if it can help you achieve the success you want, then, check out this self-hypnosis session to help achieve your potential here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS:

How To Be Successful in Life – Brian Tracy >>>

How to Strengthen Your Resilience, Perseverance and Grit to Get Success in Your Life – Erika Slater CH >>>

101 Ways to Achieve Success – Katherine Hurst >>>

Mind the Gap – Moving to the Right Side of Your Potential Gap – Erika Slater CH >>>

How to Reignite Passion for Your Job or Change Careers So You Can Do Your Best Work! >>>

How To Achieve Your Dreams: The Tips You
HAVEN’T Heard – Kaila Proulx >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

Read More

Slay the ‘Foot in Mouth’ Beast by Discovering These Ways to Think Before You Speak…

By Erika Slater
Timepiece with words on clock face saying time to think before you speak

Timepiece with words on clock face saying time to think before you speak

In this article you’ll discover:

  1. What is “foot-in-mouth” disease and what causes it to creep into and infect our lives.
  2. How the mediums we use today to communicate our opinions are driving up the frequency of making embarrassing or inappropriate remarks.
  3. 6 Simple ways to overcome ‘foot-in-mouth’ disease.
  4. Further reading resources for help in understanding and slaying this beast.

Have you ever been accused of having ‘foot in your mouth’ disease?

Yes, it’s a bit pf a pun on the outbreak of ‘foot and mouth’ disease that ravaged animal agriculture in England at the beginning of this century. And it was no laughing matter.

Thankfully, unlike the real disease, the ‘foot in your mouth’ made-up disease isn’t contagious!

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s when you say something so inappropriate, the instant they leave your mouth you wish you could take them back immediately, or even better have “kept your darn mouth shut.”

In other instances, it can be something you said in all earnest you believed but because of the words, or vehicle you used to deliver those words, it had an unintended consequence which you ended up regretting and wished you could recant – like please ignore or press delete before it reaches your ears!

We all like spontaneity in our lives and its unrealistic to think we’ll never say something that we’re embarrassed about later, but if this is a frequent occurrence for you then it can have a lasting impact on what people think of you and your relationships.

Let’s explore this more and then how we can avoid this “foot in mouth” disease.

 

DID YOU REALLY MEAN TO SAY THAT?

Woman shocked at what she just said - could be dirty wordsOften times, people are so caught up in the moment, namely their emotions, they speak without thinking or just utter whatever comes into their thoughts without any filtering. Unfortunately, once something is spoken, it can’t be taken back.

Of course, now with all the instant communications we have at our disposal such as messaging, twitter, email, etc. we can offer our unfiltered opinions without a second thought. This happens way too many times with people posting rants and opinions on social media without any care for an ounce of decorum or protocol, or feelings of others.

Relationships and friendships often end over trivial misspoken words that cannot be unsaid.

We have a current climate of discussing important issues in full frontal view of the world and the less than stellar thinking, before saying, on topics and opinions such as women abuse in the entertainment world, and a current president that tweets his every thought not that he’s the only one doing this.

How many times have apologies been issued because the person realized what they said was an emotional outburst and not the right thing to say.

There is a great saying about communication, ‘Words do not mean, rather people do’!

Words are just words, they have in themselves no meaning or power. The person speaking gives the word meaning and power because of their intention or use of the word. Moreover, it’s the motivation for saying what you’re saying, how you say it, and why you say it that gives the feeling behind the words spoken!

Sometimes people say things because they believe it’s the right thing to say, or they’re justified in saying it in the moment, but it may do more harm than good if the receiver of the message is not ready or able to accept what is being said to them.

Furthermore, sometimes people say things sarcastically, or use it for humor but those listening perceive the message differently and are taken aback by what was said.

With social media; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Messenger etc., the problem is people are posting messages quickly, randomly and while at work or functions (under stressful situations), and they’re either not getting the proper intended message out, or putting too much out there and end up insulting others.

The problem with using email and social media to deliver your message is you lose the feeling or the non-verbal signs often associated with a face-to-face discussion. The person receiving the message cannot read your message in the context of your body language or facial expression.

Texting, online social media, etc., has the danger to make you come off as sounding rude, ignorant, uncaring or callous when all along you never intended it to be so.

You may be putting your “foot in your mouth” and not even aware you’re doing it!

Since texting is so new and all age groups are using it and it encourages the sharing of instant and in the moment thoughts, it undermines effective communication plus there are no real ‘set’ protocols in place for how to ‘text’ or ‘Tweet’ messages properly.

For more about controlling your texting and those of your kids check out the article we wrote about this at the link posted below in the resource section.

This article isn’t about effective communication as there are plenty of smarter and more qualified folks than I to help you in that department. But there are some simple things you can do to help you overcome “foot in mouth” disease.

So, let’s look at a few…

 

6 SIMPLE WAYS TO OVERCOME ‘FOOT IN MOUTH’ DISEASE:

Stop sign saying underneath think before speakOne of the keys to not putting your foot in your mouth is to think before you speak. The other one is to think of the medium you’re going to use to deliver the message before pushing that “submit” button.

It all comes down to, as one article I read on the topic said, pushing your “mental pause button.”

1. Write a Letter:

In the days of writing letters to people we had time to think about the words and chose them carefully. There wasn’t the stress to get our remarks out there quickly or give our opinion or advice fast. While certainly, you could still say the wrong things in letters going snail mail we were as a society less likely to fall into the instant opinion quotes.

There is still a place for letters. Letters are personal and in themselves say more about you and your thoughts and convey caring about the delivered message and how it will be interpreted. In difficult times and when delivering a hard message, it can still be the most appropriate medium to use.

2. Wait 24-Hours:

There is also the wait 24-hours method.

When you feel emotionally charged about responding in a negative manner then wait 24-hours and see how you feel about it in the “clear light of day.”

Sometimes we feel differently about a topic by sleeping on it, or learn something new soon after that puts things in a totally different perspective. The wait may not alter your opinion but it could change the words you choose to respond to somebody or some topic.

3. Send a Thoughtful Email:

So, there’s nothing wrong with using email. But it should be composed in the same thoughtful manner as you would when writing a letter to somebody. It’s not a substitute for a face-to-face chat about a difficult subject or a way to argue about a topic.

My rule is if it takes more than 2 emails to offer or explain information, or a perspective about a topic, then a different medium should be used. Never try and argue over email – it’s a poor medium for this. I also put forum responses in same category, and even more so, because forum responses are there for the world to see… in many cases for ever!

4. Pick Up the Phone:

What’s a phone?

Seriously, difficult or complicated information messages warrant picking up the phone and calling an individual. While you could still say something on the phone you regret later the fact is, because of the medium, the discussion is usually more deliberate and less impulsive.

So, providing you approach the call in a positive manner you lessen the chance of being misunderstood or blurting out something without engaging your brain first!

5. Up Close and Personal:

Face-to-face remains the best way of hearing and understanding the spoken word. It’s not always possible I know but it’s the best filter and to understand the context of what is said and how it’s said. Body language and facial expressions communicate so much – yes, there is a nice way using expressions to say something difficult.

It still requires a filter for sure. But misunderstandings can be cleared up quickly or clarification on what was said and why. You get a chance to review the reaction and pick up on the impact of what you said immediately and correct even if once uttered it’s out there.

6. Hypnosis:

If you’re an individual who sounds off first then thinks later, consider hypnosis.

If you’re guilty of often being misunderstood or over-reacting, then hypnosis can help by putting you in a frame of mind to hesitate and take time before speaking your mind! It can automate your “mental pause button.”

A qualified hypnotist can implant in your unconscious mind post-hypnotic suggestions which will help deter you to act and speak before engaging brain! Most hypnotherapists will be able to help but if one is not local to you then there are resources available to achieve the same result through self-hypnosis.

For more suggestions on thinking before reacting, and speaking before you think, check out the links for further reading in the resource section below. If you want to consider working directly with me through my online and in-office sessions then check out my Special Hypnosis Services here.

Each of these simple ways can help in different circumstances. So, no one way is the best in all situations. But at least you know now you don’t have to be stuck with the “foot in mouth” disease. If you do, then you made a choice to be trapped in that bad spot.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Foot-in-Mouth disease happens when you’re inclined to speak before you think and regret it almost immediately, wishing to take the words back or be able to make amends in another way. Unfortunately, once you’ve spoken the damage is done and remorse sets in and a desire to avoid repeating the same mistake in the future.

Our use of technology and desire to offer an opinion to an individual, or group, fast these days, overtakes our sense of empathy with others leading to a poor choice of words and how we say it. Words in themselves do not having meaning or hurt, it’s us who give power to words.

However, there are ways to overcome this tendency pf putting your foot-in-mouth before engaging your brain, and if it’s a common trait in you then this article discusses 6 simple ways to help with avoiding this “disease.”

One of these ways is hypnosis, as it can help you train your brain to pick up on and respond to your environment so that you can communicate naturally yet appropriately. Check out this hypnosis session to see if it can help you here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK:

Think Before Reacting – TinnyBuddha >>>

Become an Effective Communicator – Erika Slater CH >>>

Speaking Before You Think: Foot-In-Mouth Syndrome in Committed Relationships -Psychology Today >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

Read More

Why Finding Your Passion or Purpose Can Leave You Frustrated and Depressed… and What to Do Instead

By Erika Slater
Grow through what you go through quote

Grow through what you go through quote

If you’ve traveled far enough along the self-development track and listened to a few of the gurus who use this train as their journey for you – pun intended – then sooner or later they’ll talk about finding your passion and purpose.

Well, are you ready for an alternative view on this?

Forget trying to find any of these!

Recently I wrote a post about exploding the myth of finding your purpose , and so today I’m going to the do something similar for finding your passion.

Golly gee Erika, what right have you to do this, and what makes you think you know more than all those millionaire gurus who have thousands, if not millions, of followers to their name?

First, it’s not just me saying this but people much smarter than I on this topic.

Additionally, there are folks who do recognize their purpose and passion early on and follow it for the rest of their lives. But… and it’s a big but… did they find it, or did it find them? Were they searching for it, or did it just… happen naturally.

Do you really think Mozart at age 7 when he wrote his first music had spent years trying to work out his life purpose? Nope.

These smart folks who’ve studied the topic suggest for most of us our passion for something “grows” on us and this is what we’ll discuss today and ways of replacing this search for passion with focusing on something else that’ll help lead to passion and purpose.

You may also ask as I’m a hypnotherapist why do I care?

Well aside from the fact I’m curious, I’ve notice in many clients I see who attain their change through hypnosis, those who have a clear sense of passion and purpose then making significant positive changes in their life is helpful to them with clarity around their purpose(s).

Let’s begin our journey together by exploring what the terms passion and purpose mean in this context…

 

PASSION AND PURPOSE:

Embrace life's purposes quotePassion, in the context of emotion, “is a feeling of intense enthusiasm towards or compelling desire for someone or something. Passion can range from eager interest in or admiration for an idea, proposal, or cause; to enthusiastic enjoyment of an interest or activity; to strong attraction, excitement, or emotion towards a person.” [Wikipedia]

For this article we’ll leave “affairs of the heart” out and focus instead on activities and interests and things as it relates to passion.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines purpose as: “something set up as an object or end to be attained: intention.” [Merriam-Webster] I don’t know about you but that sounds too general for me. So, let’s turn to Frederick Buechner who said: “Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” [Wikipedia] I think this better gets at purpose in our context.

As I researched this topic I noticed that folks use the terms passion and purpose interchangeably. I’d argue this is wrong as they’re distinct from each other.

You can feel passionate about something without it being a purpose in your life.

For example, I love watching the Boston Red Sox play baseball and some would say I’m passionate about them as a team. But it doesn’t hook-up to any purpose in my life. So, if they lose the game I’m watching I’ve not that devastated about my life – well, not for long.

Being passionate about something doesn’t always mean its enjoyable either. For example, a High School teacher may be passionate about their topic but teaching High School kids can be hard and far from enjoyable at times. Taking an interest about a topic you’re passionate about can also take a lot of time and effort to get to a higher level during which time your passion can wane.

My point here is you may have multiple passions in your life and some of them may be interests and hobbies, but that doesn’t mean they have to hook-up to a life purpose.

Purpose on the other hand is different. If you have purposes in your life then you should also be passionate about them. After all, it would be a hard slog through life if the purposes you choose to pursue, you weren’t passionate about and found them enjoyable most of the time.

So, now we’ve “cut ourselves some slack” haven’t we?

We’ve defined passion and purpose and discussed the differences, and said its okay to be passionate about things without it being linked to a life purpose. But when we have purposes in our life then we’ll know because we’ll also feel passion for this purpose.

Now the hard part… how do we find our passion and purpose?

 

FINDING YOUR PASSION AND PURPOSE:

Stop searching signFirst of all, stop searching for passion. Passion isn’t something you find. It’s not like you’re doing a chore one day at home, or out for a walk with your dog, and suddenly you see fireworks and hear a thunderclap and there it is right in front of your eyes or in your head… you’ve discovered your passion!

Passion develops and grows usually from an interest. It’s not like its hiding from you.

It may take a while to grow and it most likely needs some cultivation. There’s no need to rush headlong into an interest to find out if you’re passionate about it. It will develop naturally.

You’re not born with your passion and the rest of your life is spent hunting for it.

So, can you have multiple passions? The answer is of course yes.

Now, certainly you’ll have different intensities of passion for activities and interests. For those you feel an intense passion for and can’t wait to “work on them” then this may be signaling a link to a life purpose to you. See where it goes.

So, what about purpose?

I’m not going to question anybody’s belief system here. We’re taught we’ve all been put on this planet for a purpose and so we’re encouraged to “find our purpose.” Again, this is a pursuit guru’s have expensive systems to help you find your purpose.

If you feel this will help you then go ahead and follow this road.

If it’s more of a spiritual quest for you, then also follow this road.

I subscribe, and suggest you look at an alternative to finding one purpose, and that’s to having multiple purposes in your life. I’d even say they may come and go, and morph into different purposes.

I’ve seen people invest years into what they thought was their purpose in life only one day to realize it’s not making them happy. Unfortunately, for these people they end up frustrated or even depressed as they feel they’re back at square one and can’t recover the time.

Don’t do this to yourself.

Instead, be open to new interests and activities and give them time to grow. Help cultivate them by taking those you have a passion for develop naturally with some attention and focused pursuit. As you make this journey pursuing your interests and passions then some will most likely develop into purposes.

If they don’t morph into one big purpose don’t despair but instead let me blossom into multiple purposes and bring joy both to you and others, then you’ll be closer to what Frederick Buechner was getting at with his definition of purpose… naturally.

Hypnosis is a tool that can help you to relax and open your mind to feeling more comfortable around pursing passion and purpose.

While I wouldn’t suggest one hypnosis session will uncover your purpose in life, it can help spur your powerful unconscious mind into helping you. As for some it can be a frustrating pursuit especially if attempts have been made to discover purpose and met with dead-ends, then hypnosis can help to quiet the mind of negative thoughts and instead open up to new avenues of passions and purposes.

If you’re interested in working directly with me on a specific issue related to stopping you get what you want in life then check out my online and In-office Special Hypnosis Services here.

Whatever you decide, the journey of your life should be enjoyable and full of discovery.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Passion and purpose are often confused as the same thing but this is wrong. You can be passionate about many interests and activities but these don’t necessarily link to a life purpose you feel destiny has in store for you.

Passion isn’t something to find because its hiding. It’s not. It wasn’t buried at birth waiting for you to dig it up one day and exclaim eureka! Pursue interests and activities and let the passion grow naturally. Consider being passionate about many things and not just one interest in the hope this will lead to your single purpose in life.

Consider you’ll have many purposes in life and not just one. While for each purpose you’ll be passionate about it, accept each passion will not lead you to a life purpose. Be open to enjoyment in your life and, as the movie title suggests, “the pursuit of happiness.”

If you need some help in discovering answers around purpose then check out this self-hypnosis session to tap into your unconscious mind to help discover the meaning of your life here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO PASSION OR PURPOSE:

Finding Your Life Purpose – Jack Canfield >>>

Get Your Life Priorities Straight – Busting the Purpose Myth – Erika Slater >>>

Stop Trying to Find Your Passion – Video >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

Read More
Promotion Image Featuring iPhone

DISCOVER HOW TO START CHANGING HABITS TODAY.

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...