Dealing With Difficult People

Posted by:

Six Tips for Dealing With Difficult People

During The Holidays

Ah, the holidays. Nothing like some family time, after an incredibly stressful lead-up, to bring out our most intense white-knuckled anxiety or murderous rage. My parents divorced when I was three, and both remarried several times, so it wasn’t unusual to go to three or more houses on Christmas day.

My family was like many others as some of them were highly educated and successful, others I wouldn’t be surprised to see on an episode of Cops. I have found when it comes to issues with family dramas, personality disorders and addictions, the level of intelligence and socioeconomic status doesn’t seem to be a factor.

Even seemingly balanced people will regress back to a whining child or snarly teenager within a few minutes of a family visit. There was always drama no matter what house I went to but as a result, I have become an expert on how to deal with difficult people, without committing murder … Here are my best tips for getting through the holidays, with your sanity intact.

1. Don’t go

Seriously, if someone drives you completely insane, just stay home. You do have a choice and if you don’t want to do something or see someone, don’t do it. Saying no to going to certain events or only going every other year has been one of the most freeing things I have ever done. I can’t count how many clients I’ve had who have been in an absolute panic about going to another Christmas or family event and having to sit across from the family member who molested them or abused them in some horrible way. You don’t have to spend time with people who have hurt you or that you really don’t want to be around, full stop. You have the right to say no to anything you find traumatic.

2. Look at going to a family function as an anthropological experiment

Go along as an observer and watch the dynamics as if you watching an indigenous tribe. See where the dysfunctional patterns come from and what everyone’s role is, even yours. If you don’t like how you behave or are triggered with family, use this knowledge to write your New Year’s Resolutions and to help you change yourself into a better, more aware version of you. We are all are a character in our family drama, and you can change the part you play at any time.

3. Be honest and don’t tolerate bad behaviour

You teach people how to treat you, and if you are allowing people to treat you badly, it’s going to keep happening. My grandmother had a Rat Terrier/Chihuahua cross rescue dog, named Lily that was the most horribly behaved dog I have ever come across. She snarled, bit anyone who tried to touch her, chased cats and barked constantly. Walking her was like trying to walk a rabid gremlin. My grandmother would lovingly pat and praise her whenever she misbehaved, saying all poor little Lily needed was love.

When my grandmother died, we thought we were going to have to put her down, since she was such a nightmare. To my utter shock, my father volunteered to take her. My father has always had cats and seemed to dislike dogs as much as his former mother-in-law, the owner of Lily.

When I went to visit them a week after dropping the little monster off, I could not believe my eyes. Lily was now the most perfectly behaved dog I have ever come across. My father just winked at me and said “It’s amazing what a rolled piece of newspaper and a loud ‘No!’ can do. I don’t tolerate bad behaviour, Caroline. You should know that. You just say no and wait for the tantrum to pass. Worked with you.” People do what they know they can get away with.

Things you can say in response to bad behaviour:

  • Wow, are you having a bad day?
  • That was hurtful and not very nice. I’m going to walk away now.
  • It’s not okay to talk to me like that, don’t do it again.
  • I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening. Can you repeat that?
  • Well, I think we’ve reached the end of this conversation.
  • Ouch. Did you mean to be that rude?
  • Wait a minute. There must be something wrong with my ears. Did you actually just say….
  • Hang, on. Can you do that again? I want to get my camera out so I can put this on Youtube.
  • Hmm, maybe you should go talk to them about it and sort it out instead of bitching to me.

4. Say nothing and just stare at the person

Just because someone throws some sh*t at you, doesn’t mean you need to pick it up and rub it all over yourself and throw some back. Saying nothing but staring at them straight in the eye, puts it all back on them. This technique is one of my favourites because it works so well. And then just shake your head and walk away. It’s amazing how quickly people backpedal and feel like a total arse without you having to say a word.

5. Psych them out

Now, this what I use with more unstable family members who are causing a disturbance. When my grandmother was on her deathbed and the family was gathered around, my schizophrenic/bi-polar aunt decided this was a good time to talk about how she is so tired because her flatmate likes to have loud anal sex all night. My poor grandmother was in a coma but started flopping around like a fish, obviously distressed by what she was hearing. My aunt then started yelling at my grandmother “Go to the light, Jesus is waiting for you! I want my inheritance.” She then proceeded to list all things she was going to buy with the money.

I knew from experience that my aunt only escalated her behaviour if you told her to stop, so I thought of another approach. I looked at her with a very concerned expression and asked if she was feeling okay. She replied, “Yes, I’m fine. Why?” I told her she looked very pale and asked again if she was sick since she looked like she was about to pass out. She sat down looking worried and said: “Actually, now that you mention it, I don’t feel very good.” I acted very concerned and told her she needed to lie down, she looked very unwell, and she should go back to her hotel. She agreed to be taken to her hotel and left us so my grandmother could pass in peace. One of the easiest way to get rid of a psycho without a fight …

6. Forgive yourself if you lose it

Now we are all doing our best, but sometimes you may act like an idiot when your buttons get pushed. I consider myself very self-aware and good at conflict resolution, but sometimes I still lose the plot. Right before the US presidential election, my partner’s colleague invited us to a dinner party. When we arrived, they informed us that there was an American couple coming for dinner, and we should have lots in common since I’m American as well.

The couple arrived, seemed very nice and once we were seated at dinner, the conversation turned to the upcoming election. The American couple were big fans of Mr Trump, and my partner looked at me with fear in his eyes as while he didn’t like the Republican candidate, he knew my dislike was on par with Hitler and I’m always up for a political debate.

The poor hosts looked on in horror as the evening progressed into a drunken two-hour argument, cumulating with me trying to throttle the male Trump fan and threatening that I was going to hypnotize him to have a limp dick for the rest of life. His wife was trying to pull me off while screaming “Don’t you put that evil on me voodoo woman!” My partner dragged me out, apologising profusely.

Am I proud of my behaviour? No way. Do I drink less at dinner parties and agree to disagree instead of making everyone uncomfortable by having a screaming match with someone who will never agree with me? Definitely. Do I have a great story to tell for years to come, even though it makes me look like a psycho? Absolutely. Some of the best stories come from things going wrong so know that even if things go pear-shaped, you will have a great story you can laugh about later.

Know that the only person you can control is yourself, and decide how you are going to behave ahead of time. Try to not have any expectation and relax. Expect to be triggered by your family, and this will help you to identify and clear your own issues. As well as bringing presents, try to be present and breathe…
0

Mistakes in Relationships

Posted by:

How We Screw Up Our Relationships

And How to Avoid It…

Here’s the real truth about human relationships: the majority of us have been taught to fail in our relationships, no matter how much we want them to succeed. To top it off, much of what we’ve learned about relationships, from TV, movies, books or talking with friends and family – is just not true!

The idea that two people meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after is one of the biggest myths ever believed. The reality is two people meet, fall in love, move in together, and then do just about everything they can to weaken and destroy their love for each other. We think that if we are really in love, everything will work in the end.

The sad fact is: you have a better chance of surviving cancer than making a relationship last “until death do you part”. Unfortunately, this is caused by the fact that we are not taught the communication skills we need to make our relationships last. Many of us had poor examples of how adults behave in a relationship, so we have been programmed to act and react in the same ways.

Dr John Gottman, a PhD psychologist and mathematician, has spent over thirty years studying marriages – marriages that have endured and marriages that have ultimately ended in divorce. He studied marriages with the goal of discovering the reasons why some relationships last and why others fail.

He can predict which couples will eventually divorce and which will stay together based on the ways couples interact, after watching a couple for only five minutes, with 94% accuracy.

He can make these predictions so precisely because he has discovered which behaviours will lead to a breakup of the marriage. He has pinpointed the signs that a couple will most likely suffer a future break-up and what traits keep them together.

There are certain signs and attitudes which Dr Gottman looks for to predict relationship breakdowns. They include harsh start-ups, criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling and failed repair attempts. When these traits are present in a relationship, especially more than one, then there’s a very high probability that the relationship will not endure.

The signs Dr Gottman says to watch for are:

A Harsh Startup: The first sign that predicts divorce may be on its way, is how the conversation begins since 96% of the time the way a discussion starts out can predict how it ends. When one begins a discussion with a harsh start, such as acting accusatory, negative or contemptuous, the conversation is essentially destined to fail. Alternatively, when one begins a conversation using a relaxed start, the discussion will mainly end on the same positive note.

Criticism: Criticism is the act of finding fault or judging harshly. Dr Gottman distinguishes between criticism and complaints because one partner will always have some complaints about the other. Complaining about your partner is normal. However, the way you go about voicing these complaints is significant. When you criticise your partner, you attack your partner’s personality or character, usually conveying that you are right and they are wrong.

Trying to make them fit your idealised notion of the perfect partner – is not acknowledging the fact that you may not be the perfect mate yourself. Criticism includes sweeping statements such as “you always…”, “you never…” and “you’re the type who …”. Try using “I feel ______, when you ______.” With these words, people don’t feel as attacked and why would how you feel be wrong? Criticism is very common in relationships, and when used often, can lead to another attitude to look out for: contempt.

Contempt: Contempt is a feeling of disdain or scorn. Classic contemptuous comments made by partners include insults, name-calling, hostile sarcasm or ridicule, as well as aggressive body language and tone of voice: sneering, rolling your eyes, making faces. Contempt is the worst of the culprits because it conveys disgust to the person it’s aimed at. This may cause conflict to increase and escalate. It’s difficult to resolve a problem when the message being sent is that one person is disgusted with the other.

The person may not even be aware that they are expressing contempt; they might have grown up with a parent that acted this way. When we become upset, we tend to slip into subconscious patterns from childhood that may be contradictory to our ideal behaviour. Usually, when one partner expresses contempt, the other partner becomes defensive, which is another sign to lookout for.

Defensiveness: Defensiveness occurs when you see yourself as the victim and attempt to ward off a perceived attack. When partners are defensive, they are not open to learning and are also not able to access the vulnerable feelings underneath. Becoming defensive is a very common response many people have when they feel criticised and are trying to protect themselves, but the trouble is that it never helps solve the issue at hand. Defensiveness is a way of not taking responsibility and counterattacking.

As a result, the problem is not resolved and the argument escalates instead of calming down. Some classic defensive responses are:

  • Cross-complaining: responding to your partner’s complaint, or criticism with a grievance of your own.
  • Disagreeing and then cross-complaining “That’s not right, you’re the one who …”
  • Making excuses such as “It’s not my fault…”, “I didn’t know…”
  • Repeating yourself without any consideration of what the other person is saying.
  • Yes-butting: start off agreeing but finish up disagreeing.

The growing conflict usually causes one partner to tune out the other, and is the sign that stonewalling, has arrived. Usually, when criticism, contempt and defensiveness are used in an argument, following a harsh startup, one person will tune the other out.

Stonewalling is a way to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed that usually results when a conflict increases. The stonewaller tends to ignore their partner, shutting down and not show signs of receptiveness, which makes their mate even angrier. Each of these signs can predict a breakup by themselves, but normally they are found together in an unhappy relationship.

Flooding is another sign that a relationship is in trouble. “Flooding means that your spouse’s negativity – whether in the guise of criticism or contempt or even defensiveness – is so overwhelming and so sudden, that it leaves you shell-shocked” – Dr John Gottman

Physiological changes in the body, for example, an increase in blood pressure, the secretion of adrenalin, and an increased heart rate corresponds to flooding. These physiological shifts in the body make it impossible to sustain a calm conversation. Your capability to process information is weakened, which means it’s harder to concentrate on what the other person is saying.

Your problem-solving skills disappear and what you’re left with is your most kneejerk, reactive responses: to fight (to behave in a critical, contemptuous, or defensive manner) or flight (to stonewall).

A discussion when to one or both people become flooded is destined to fail. As a result, the issue at that time is very hard to resolve. Many people defend themselves from feeling flooded by disengaging or stonewalling. This emotional disengagement can protect one from these intense feelings of negativity, but at the same time, it can also lead to relationships breaking up. Taking a time out to cool off is very important once things get heated.

Another sign that a relationship is heading for a break up is when one partner’s attempts at repairing the conflict is ignored. Repair attempts are when someone tries to rectify the dispute. The happy couple’s secret weapon is “repair attempts”. This can be any method of stopping the negative feelings from escalating.

A repair attempt can be as basic as a smile, trying to make the other laugh or an apology; something that helps relieve the tension. Although, if one person is feeling flooded, using repair attempts will be futile. The flooded person shuts down from the other, causing repair attempts to be unsuccessful. So, if any of these interactions are present in your relationship, what can you do?

Below are some of Dr Gottman’s top suggestions for how to keep your relationship strong.

A soft startup. Using a calm and kind tone of voice and words will always help keep a conflict or issue from escalating and make your partner more likely to see your point of view.

Edit yourself. Couples who avoid saying every critical thought when discussing touchy topics are consistently the happiest.

Have high standards. Happy couples have high standards for each other even as newlyweds. The most successful couples are those who, even as newlyweds, refused to accept hurtful behaviour from one another. The lower the level of tolerance for bad behaviour in the beginning of a relationship, the happier the couple is down the road.

Learn to repair and exit the argument. Successful couples know how to exit an argument. Happy couples know how to repair the situation before an argument gets completely out of control. Successful repair attempts include: changing the topic to something completely unrelated; using humour; stroking your partner with a caring remark (“I understand that this is hard for you”); making it clear you’re on common ground (“This is our problem”); backing down (in marriage, as in the martial art Aikido, you have to yield to win).

In general, offering signs of appreciation for your partner and his or her feelings along the way (“I really appreciate and want to thank you for.…”). If an argument gets too heated, take a 20-minute break, and agree to approach the topic again when you are both calm.

Focus on the bright side. In a happy marriage, while discussing problems, couples make at least five times as many positive statements to and about each other and their relationship as negative ones.

Source: http://www.gottman.com/marriage/self_help/

Many of us believe that the fault lies with our partner; if only they would change their behaviour, everything would be fine. The truth is, you can’t change anyone besides yourself. If you change, the people you interact with change as well.

Staying calm during conflict is one of the most powerful ways to keep a discussion from spiraling out of control. I know, I know, easier said than done. There are many different techniques that can help you access that place of calm and not get sucked into the same destructive patterns.

Relationship Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Couples Counselling, Meditation, Eye Patch Therapy, Deep Breathing, Visualisation are just a few tools that can help shift our thoughts and behaviours towards how we’d like to be.

Resources:

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert  by Dr John Gottman

What Makes Love Last?: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal  by Dr John Gottman

 

0

Attachment Types

Posted by:

Why Your Relationship “Style” May Be Messing Up Your Love Life

Relationships: our greatest source of joy as well as our greatest cause of pain. As a self-confessed former love disaster and now as a therapist, it’s my favorite topic and area of my life that I have struggled with the most. What I could never completely figure out was why it seemed so much easier for some compared to others.

I think there’s many different factors that come into play, however, the theory that I have found to bring me the greatest insight is The Adult Attachment Theory. When I first read about it, it was like a bolt of lightning. Everything was illuminated: “Yes! This is why my relationships have been such disasters.”

Take a screenshot of your results of the test to save the results.

buttonattachment

There are four main “attachment styles” in which people perceive and react to intimacy in romantic relationships.

  • Secure – “Intimacy is easy. I can depend on others they can depend on me.”
  • Anxious/Preoccupied – “I love you, what if you leave me?”
  • Dismissive/Avoidant – “Every time I get close, I run away.”
  • Fearful/Avoidant – “I like you but I don’t want to get hurt, so go away.”

It all starts when we are babies; how we bond with our mothers and primary caretakers imprints us to how we connect as adults. We all develop an attachment system, a way of bonding with our caretakers to survive because our life depends on it. This way of bonding becomes an internal programme or system that creates how we feel about ourselves and our expectations for how others will respond to us.

The more supportive and loving our caretakers are, the more secure we tend to feel. However, personality type plays a role as well. Some people grow up an insecure type, no matter what type of childhood they have. Our attachment type is triggered when we are stressed or feel threatened. How we react to that response all depends on our type.

Secure (Low Anxiety/Low Avoidance) types are loving, warm, open and comfortable with being intimate. They make up around 50 to 60% of the population. When their attachment system is triggered, they are able to self-regulate their emotions. They are the least likely to be single since they find being in relationships easy.

They are the best partners for all of the other types, since they will stick around and give their partner the reassurance they need and are easily comforted. They have low anxiety within themselves in regards to relationships and low avoidance of being intimate.

Anxious/Preoccupied (High Anxiety/Low Avoidance) types are inclined to fixate on their relationships. No one can FB stalk like an anxious/preoccupied. They’re the ones driving their friends crazy by over-analyzing their latest target. They worry that they are not good enough and put their partners on pedestals. They need a lot of reassurance and affirmations to feel secure. If their attachment system is triggered, it can stay stuck on hyper-alert and they feel that the relationship is under threat.

Preoccupied types are only as happy as the relationship they’re in and they may have or mistakenly think they have a sixth sense of what others are feeling. Often hypersensitive, they can overreact and say things that they later regret. Pushing people away by being insecure or needy, achieving the exact opposite of the closeness they desire.

Dismissive/Avoidants (Low Anxiety/High Avoidance) types perceive intimacy as a threat to their freedom. They play it cool and have a hard time expressing their feelings. They don’t really trust that people will be there for them, so it’s unsafe to depend on others. If they are always saying they need space and leave others out in the cold, they are probably an avoidant. They may ignore their partners or be overly critical, needing to disconnect in order to deactivate their attachment system and feel calm again.

Caroline Cranshaw Attachment Theory Graph

Adult Attachment Diagram based on the work of Brennan, Clark, and Shaver’s (1998) ECR and Fraley, Waller, and Brennan’s (2000)

Fearful/Avoidants (High Anxiety/High Avoidance) types may long for love but have a hard time making it last. They’re the love addicts, the serial monogamists. Some may come on very strong in the beginning, however they are actually commitment-phobics, so they run away.

Ultimately, they have a very hard time trusting, so they flip back and forth between being really full-on and then withdrawing. Or they stay hung up on one particular ex or person, no one else ever measuring up as a way to avoid relationships.

Realizing that I was a combination of preoccupied/fearful/avoidant type (aren’t I lucky) helped me to finally understand my behavior and why I struggled so much with relationships.

Anxious and Avoidant types tend to be attracted to each other. Anxious types being triggered by the withdrawal of the avoidant and the avoidant with one foot out the door. This isn’t the best combination, unless both aware of it and focusing on becoming more secure.

We can swap types, depending on our partner and if our attachment system is being activated/anxious or deactivated/avoidant.

The more secure and reassuring a partner is, the less negatively-activated the other types are.

So what can we do to become more secure in relationships?

Find out your type and learn to recognize the types of others. We aren’t purposely trying to drive each other crazy; we are just operating in a way that we have learned to keep ourselves safe. Most of us are not consciously aware of why we react and behave the way we do in relationships.

Click here to take a five-minute test to identify your attachment style.

Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Ultimately, secure people are able to self regulate their thoughts and emotions. They are able to stay present with what they are feeling and look objectively at the situation. If something is upsetting them, they look to their partner for reassurance and calm down quickly without reacting in an unhealthy way.

When we feel ourselves getting anxious or pulling away in a relationship, it helps to look at what we are thinking and ask if these feelings are really justified or this is an old pattern from childhood?

Are you fully in your adult self? We all have a team inside us. An inner child, a rebellious teenager, a critical parent… When upset, certain parts or sub-personalities can take over, trying to keep us safe. When triggered, ask how old am I right now? Close your eyes and imagine the part of you that is helping you with this situation. It’s amazing what our subconscious will show us when we tune in.

Get Help – We go to the doctor, the nutritionist, the personal trainer, yoga and are obsessed with looking after our bodies, but most of us ignore the most important part. Our mind needs to be healthy and looked after, as well, as it affects all aspects of our life.

If you are having relationship struggles that you believe stem from an insecure attachment, one of the best things you can do go to a therapist who is familiar with working with attachment issues. It has changed my life, by identifying and becoming secure in my relationship type.

Here are some helpful websites on attachment theory:

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships/attachment-and-adult-relationships.htm

http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2011/7/15/attachment-theory-explaining-relationship-styles.html

http://www.personalityresearch.org/attachment.html

The books I recommend on the subject are:

“Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love” by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller

“Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship by Stan Tatkin

“Bad Boyfriends: Using Attachment Theory to Avoid Mr. (or Ms.) Wrong and Make You a Better Partner” by Jeb Kinnison

“Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It”… by Leslie Becker-Phelps

0

Dating A Douchebag?

Posted by:

So, my darling, this article is for you if you ask yourself why you only seem to be attracted to men that are bad boys or a “douchebags” that always end up hurting you.

Do you date men that your friends can’t stand, warn you to stay away from but you just can’t seem to help yourself, and it always ends in tears? I have dealt with this topic so often that I am now an expert on “the douchebag.”

As a former douche-magnet myself, I can now spot a “douchebag” (a label that’s interchangeable with jerk, player, prick, dick or twat) from 100 meters. And it breaks my heart every time another woman is crying her eyes out to me after being screwed over by this type of man. Now, just to be clear, women can be douchebags too. A douchebag is someone who treats people badly.

Here is my best advice to help you realise why you are attracted to them, how to avoid or get rid of a douche and save yourself a whole lot of pain.

First of all, I think it’s important to realise why you are attracted to people that make you feel rejected and unloved. You are the one choosing them, after all. After years of therapy and then in my training to become a therapist myself, I found the answer (most of the time) lies in your childhood and your subconscious. We learn what love is from our home environments and in relationships, we gravitate towards the familiar.

Our unconscious minds cause us to seek out emotional situations that resemble our childhood circumstances or first romantic relationships, regardless of whether those experiences were negative or positive.


Here is a little equation to show how it works. If your home environment was abusive then Home/Love=Fear/Abuse, if home was drama and chaos then Home/Love=Drama/Chaos, if home was critical and cold then Home/Love= Critical/Cold.

See where I’m going with this? If home was drama, you may attract partners that have addictions, crazy issues and lots of dramas. If home was lonely and unkind, you may attract partners that ignore, withhold affection or criticize you. If home was fearful, you may attract partners that are emotionally or physically abusive.

If you keep seeing a pattern that is showing up in your relationships, ask yourself “In my childhood, Home (Love) was =______________________?”

For you, it may feel like love to be uncomfortable in a relationship. In your subconscious, love and therefore sexual attraction is equated with the negative feelings that you grew up with. This is why nice, stable people may seem boring – it doesn’t feel like love.

We attract and are attracted to the type of people who treat us how we treat ourselves or subconsciously think we should be treated. Now, most women don’t like hearing that. However, if we didn’t believe at some level that it’s okay to be treated like crap, we wouldn’t put up with bad behaviour from a someone for more than a second.

Here are some red flags – and signs you should kiss him goodbye:

Does he take you out?

Now even if he is broke, he can still make an effort. Going to the beach, a museum, the movies or even going for a walk, for f@%k sake – cost hardly anything but shows he wants to spend time with you with your clothes on. If he only texts you after 10 pm wanting sex, it will never magically turn into the relationship of your dreams. Start as you mean to continue and be too busy for a booty call.

Does he listen to you and show interest in your life?

Does he ask you about your life and what’s important to you? If all he talks is about himself, then the relationship will be all about him, as well. A man who only cares about himself is called a narcissist and will never be able to give love in a healthy way.

Does he pay for things?

These are modern times, and men shouldn’t have to pay for everything, but if he doesn’t even offer or try to treat you some of the time, then he is selfish. A man that is stingy with his money is usually not generous with other things either. And honey, you’re worth more than that.

Is he single?

Does he have a girlfriend, wife or live with an ex? Stay away until he is. If he is truly the love of your life and wants to be with you, he will leave her to make that happen. Just so you’re clear these are all examples of not being single:

He is with someone, but _____________________  (you fill in the blank) doesn’t love her, is leaving soon, she knows about you and says it’s ok, is not having sex with her anymore, is staying to help raise the kids but they are just friends, can’t decide if he loves her or might be getting back together.

These excuses all mean he is NOT single and unless you’re into open relationships or a part of a religious sect that advocates polygamy – I advise you to stay away.

Is he emotionally available?

Does he say that he does not want a relationship or a commitment or hung up on another woman? Listen to him and hear the story that’s being told. Not the one you are making up with a fantasy ending. If he needs space as big as the outdoors, assume you are going to be left out in the cold. Find a man that wants a relationship too.

Is he angry?

Does he hate a particular race, his family, the government, his ex-girlfriend, certain clothes you wear, your friends, other drivers, animals, strong women, successful people or clowns? Now we all don’t like certain things, but hatred is a rot that is festering inside someone. If you are in a relationship with an angry man, you can be guaranteed that one day he will spew it all over you.

Is he controlling?

Does he tell you what to wear, where to go, who you can and cannot talk to or how you should live your life? The controlling man was a speciality of mine. I had a boyfriend who came up with “the five-minute rule”. If I talked to a man for more than five minutes when we were out together, he would come up and stand behind the guy tapping his watch. According to him, I was disrespecting him by paying attention to another man. He would do this with men thirty years my senior.

A man that’s controlling will take away your self-esteem, friends, family or whatever else is getting in the way of keeping you under his thumb. Love should be supportive and allow you to grow, not keep you on a leash!

I do believe that things happen for a reason and our relationships teach us what we need to learn. So, don’t beat yourself up over the crazy relationships you’ve had. There have been valuable lessons in every one of them. Identifying what your relationship patterns are is the first step in changing them. Paying attention to the warning signs and being honest about what’s not working for you the next.

If you are with someone that makes you unhappy – leave! It is that simple, and I have never regretted breaking up with someone that I was unhappy with. It may have hurt and been scary in the beginning, but it has always been a relief in the end. You deserve to be happy!

Go look in a mirror right now and say out loud “I am a gorgeous, intelligent, sexy woman! I am amazing and will only be with men that treat me with the respect I deserve!” Say this every day until you believe it in every cell of your being. It’s true and as soon as you believe it, a real man will show up wanting the kind of relationship you want too.”

Read books on relationships, go to a therapist or coach that can help and ask for support from your friends and family. You may trip up now and then but dust yourself off and know that you are an amazing, gorgeous woman who will meet a man who knows it too and treats you with the love and respect you give yourself and know that you deserve.

0

Quit Smoking Today

Posted by:

Around one in six or 17 percent of adults currently smoke in New Zealand, 18 percent of men and 15 percent of females. The New Zealand Government collected 1.7 billion dollars from taxes on tobacco products last year alone.

Approximately 1 billion people around the world are smokers. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 5 million people a year die prematurely as a result of smoking.

5 million people are dying from smoking a year… That’s around 14,000 people a day, dying from smoking-related diseases.

According to the CDC, (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention), during 2011 tobacco killed 11 times more Americans than all illegal drugs combined (443,690 versus 40,239). Smoking kills more than 50% of all smokers, mainly from cancer, and even though it’s the single largest avoidable risk of premature death, there are approximately 30 million new smokers a year, as estimated by scientists.

The Smoking CureThe average smoker lives ten years less than a non-smoker and is much more likely to contract many different, horrible diseases. The problem is that quitting smoking is acknowledged to be as hard as quitting heroin.

I was a pack a day plus smoker for over ten years and tried everything to break free of my habit. Hypnotherapy was the only thing that helped me quit without feeling like I was going crazy. My best friend who I started smoking with in our early teens, recently died of lung cancer. I went back to the states before she passed away to say goodbye and was shocked to see that she was still smoking.

She weighed 35 kilos at 5’7 and watching her puff away at the very thing that was killing her was hard to take. It was a lightbulb moment for me though in how powerful the addiction to nicotine is and made me more determined than ever to help as many people as I can break free of horrible death grip smoking can have on you.

So how do you quit without withdrawals driving you insane?

   1. Commit to quitting smoking and start to see yourself as a non-smoker.

Set a date for when you will stop smoking so you can get prepared for it. Write out a quit smoking contract and sign it to make it official. You also need to change your identity as a smoker. There are certain things you don’t do. Smoking needs to become one of them. Say to yourself “My name is ____________, and I don’t smoke!” Say this over and over. Picture a healthier, happier future version of you that is a non-smoker.

    2. Try the Bring It On Technique.

I believe the most important skill you need to quit smoking permanently, is to learn how to manage your cravings to smoke. When we give in, to our unhealthy desires, we stay on the addiction merry-go-round. Just because you have an urge to do something, it doesn’t mean you should act on it.

  • Wait until you are craving a cigarette.
  • Take a deep breath and ask that desire to grow as quickly as possible. Continue to breathe deeply as you focus on the craving growing stronger and multiplying throughout your body.
  • Now imagine smoking three cigarettes at once, and as soon as you finish those, imagine doing it again. Taste the acetone, ammonia, arsenic, butane, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, insecticide, lead and tar you’re pulling into your lungs. Really feel the 7,000 chemicals, which at least 70 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer – burning your tongue, your throat, and your lungs.
  • Imagine indulging your craving until you’re sick… The horrible taste in your mouth, the smoke singeing your throat and your lungs. Feel your throat and lungs constricting, your chest hurting as your muscles spasm in protest of the poison you’re sucking into your lungs. Your body racked with a coughing fit.
  • Tell yourself you can smoke, but you’re going to go hard. Feel the dizziness, your head spinning, and wave of nausea washing over you. Remember how you felt when you first smoked, how you felt lightheaded, your body breaking out in a cold sweat just like before you get sick. Feel how disappointed you would feel if you had a cigarette, how disappointed the people that care about you would be.
  • Within a few minutes, your desire to smoke will vanish or be greatly reduced, and instead, you’ll feel calm and accepting of your desire to smoke and know you will be able to handle the feelings that come up when you are craving a cigarette. This works with anything you are craving but trying not to have, like chocolate, alcohol, and junk food.
   3. Break Up With Smoking

Breaking up is hard to do… Now most of you have had a long relationship with cigarettes. You have spent a lot of time together, good and bad. You celebrate with smoking, soothe yourself when stressed, pass the time and reward yourself with them.

You’re basically married to cigarettes. You pay for them, live with them and spend a lot of time with them. Some relationships are healthier than others, and your relationship with smoking is an abusive one.

Cigarettes are the abusive partner who makes you fe good occasionally but at the same time is toxic and bad for you. When you break up, you miss them. You feel like something is missing, you toss and turn at night, and you think about them all the time. But this is normal in a breakup. It takes time to get over them.

Think of cigarettes like an abusive ex who was terrible for your health, lowered your confidence, and stole your money. You were the only one that gave in your relationship, and the only thing they ever did for you is to give you something to do with your hands.

You’re going to feel the craving for their company but you know it’s not worth it. Remember when you feel this way, you need to imagine standing up to them and telling them to f off, and that they’re going to have to find someone else to manipulate and bully. By doing this the hold they have on you will become weaker.

In the beginning, it’s all consuming. But as time goes on, you think about them less and less. One day you wake up, and you realize you haven’t thought about them at all in a long time. When you see other people smoking, you think “Thank god that’s not me!” When you look back, years later, it will seem like another life.

If you slip up and have a cigarette, think of it like sleeping with your asshat ex. Just because you were with them once, doesn’t mean you should get back together. Let it strengthen your resolve to never hang out with them again.

   4. Get Some Supplements To Help You With The Process.

I do believe that Vitamin B-3 (Niacin or Niacinamide) is one of the most important supplements you can take when it comes to treating addiction. Nicotine and niacin occupy the same receptors in the brain, which is why it is so helpful in reducing nicotine cravings. Vitamin B-3 was part of the original AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) protocol, and they had an 80 percent success rate with helping people get sober when B-3 was recommended.

I also highly recommend taking Chromium Polynicotinate or GTF Chromium to regulate your blood sugar when you quit. When you tried quitting smoking before, did you feel anxious, achy, tired, irritable and hungrier than usual? Did you crave sweets more than normal, feel slightly dizzy, foggy-headed or even slightly confused? If you did, you were likely experiencing low blood sugar symptoms.

That’s because every cigarette you smoke triggers a small blood sugar release. When you quit smoking, your blood sugar can become lower than before since you are no longer having that blood sugar boost from smoking. Taking chromium is an excellent way to regulate your blood sugar while keeping yourself feeling balanced and calm while quitting smoking.

Get some chewable Vitamin C. Suck on a chewable vitamin C tablet every time you want a cigarette. Studies have found taking Vitamin C is as effective as nicotine replacement drugs for cravings. Smokers are found to have below average levels of Vitamin C – in a pack a day smoker as much as 40 percent less than a non-smoker. Here’s a link for more on the supplements I recommend.

   5. Get Help.

I believe hypnotherapy is one of the most effective ways to quit smoking. As I mentioned, I was a pack-a-day-plus smoker for over ten years. I quit many times but always found it a massive struggle and would find myself back puffing away before long. I tried patches, gum and prescription medication and it was just one session of hypnotherapy that finally broke the spell cigarettes seemed to have over me.

Here is a free quit smoking hypnosis video on youtube you can watch to help you get started. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO3TGF49IXM&t=17s

Or check out my book The Smoking Cure: How To Quit Smoking Without Feeling Like Sh*t

Book An Appointment
0

Overcome Social Anxiety

Posted by:

And Become Magnetic…

The thought of going to a party or social event used to cause me so much anxiety; I would become physically sick and try to come up with any excuse I could think of to get out of it. Social confidence is something I had to work very hard to learn myself as I was not a naturally self-confident person. The good news is confidence; the ability to be relaxed and connect in social situations can be learned and built upon.

I find most of the time, social anxiety at its core is the fear of being judged and rejected. I was convinced that people were going to think all these horrible things about me and not want to talk to me. I would drink to try to cover my nerves and act indifferent and awkward. Or even worse, bitchy and fake. And as a result, people steered clear of me. This just confirmed all the horrible things I believed about myself and my anxiety about meeting new people escalated.

People make judgements about you and whether they will like you within seconds of meeting you. Your body language, style, tone of voice and words tell people a lot more about you than you may realise. Within moments, people know precisely what you think of yourself. Now some of what people assess you on and trigger them to connect with you can be improved and some of it can’t.

Years ago, a friend of mine invited me out for drinks with a group of friends of hers. They were all very lovely and friendly women. My friend points out one of the women in the group and says, “She is amazing with men, you watch.” I was quite surprised as this woman, in particular, was overweight, in her mid-forties and not what you would call traditionally pretty. However, she dressed feminine, had nicely styled hair and makeup as well as an aura of confidence.

I watched this woman over the evening, and I have never seen anyone pick up so many men in my life. Every time she went to the bar, she can back with an adoring man, most of them at least ten years her junior and handsome. By the end of the evening, we had a crowd of men around us, all of them vying for her attention. A male friend of mine had joined us for a drink and had chatted to her as well. I could see him staring at her smiling.

I asked what he thought of her, and he replied: “Wow, she’s lovely.” With a dreamy look on his face. This was coming from a guy who typically dated fitness models in their 20’s. Fascinated, I asked what was it about her that he found so attractive. He said, “She looked at me with such approval in her eyes. She complimented my outfit and said my style was unique and I must be a fascinating and eclectic person. It’s like she saw me exactly how I like to see myself and how I want people to see me. Without saying it, I felt like she thought I was awesome.”

That was a huge lesson for me. I realised that accepting yourself and in turn approving and accepting the people you meet is the key to connection. People react to how you make them feel, not whether or not you are the hottest, fittest, most successful person in the room. One of the biggest tips I can give you is to be interested in other people. Tell them the positive observations about them that pop into your head. We all think these things but don’t say it. So, how do you project confidence and easily connect with others, get over social anxiety and stop giving a crap about what people think?

   1. Understand that rejection isn’t real.

You will never be happy if you base your self-worth on whether or not people like you. There are only people that you connect with, and people you don’t. The biggest lesson I have learned in life is not everybody is going to like you, and that’s okay. Some of the reasons of why people don’t like you is completely out of your control.

You may remind them of someone who bullied them in school; their parents may have been judgemental of people that looked like you or you may display traits that they don’t like about themselves, so they judge you more harshly as a result. If someone doesn’t react to you in a positive way, it says more about them than you. Move on and talk to someone else.

   2. Start a practice of self-love.

Most of us talk to ourselves like someone we can’t stand. We say things that we would never say to anyone else, and if someone close to us told us the horrible things we say to ourselves, we would never talk to them again. We are having an abusive relationship with ourselves. It’s hard to feel confident when you are telling yourself; you are a horrible piece of crap every day.

You are the most important person in your life; you will be with yourself for every moment until the day you die. You are the one person that will never leave you, and the most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. We all crave love and acceptance, and it’s crazy that we expect it from other people but refused to give it to ourselves.

The remarkable part is when we love ourselves, we radiate from within, and people are naturally attracted to us. Start a mantra of saying “I love myself” every day, several times a day. Whenever you start to say something negative, replace it with ‘I love myself.’ You will be amazed at the changes. An excellent book on the topic is: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It by Kamal Ravikant.

   3. Borrow someone’s confidence to increase your own.

This is one of my favourite techniques. Think of someone who has the confidence you desire. It can be someone you know. It can someone famous you admire. Imagine stepping into their body and feeling how you would feel if you had their confidence. How would you walk, talk and hold yourself if you were that person? This gives your subconscious mind instructions on how to be confident. Visualising yourself as a confident person helps to reprogram the subconscious into believing you are confident. You can listen to a confidence visualisation on youtube here. 

Or even make up an alter ego that’s confident. Think about Ali G / Sacha Baron Cohen, Ziggy Stardust / David Bowie, Sasha Fierce / Beyonce, Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus, Superman / Clark Kent, Batman / Bruce Wayne, Slim Shady / Eminem. Now I’m not saying you need to start acting like an entirely different person, however, that’s why a lot of actors got into the business since they wanted to learn how to act confident. Pretending as if you are someone else who has incredible confidence helps you to develop the skill of being confident which is something that most of us need to learn.

   4. Trick your body into feeling confident.

How you hold yourself affects how you feel.  If you are slumped over with a grumpy look, you feel like crap. If you smile, your body registers the muscles at your eyes and mouth and signals to your brain to calm down and produce endorphins. Our brain is like a bartender, and through our thoughts and actions, we can influence what type of drinks it makes.

Before any social event, tell yourself “I’m excited! This is going to be amazing!” Put your hands up in the air and act like you have just won an Olympic medal. Anxiety and excitement are very closely related. By telling yourself you’re excited, your brain will make more dopamine and endorphins, which make you feel good.

We have fantastic feel good chemicals we can release at will. The pharmaceutical companies can’t manufacture anything as powerful as what we have it on tap. We have a lot more control over how we feel than we realise.

   5. Learn body language that people trust.

A lot of what causes us to like and trust people is based on their body language. Standing up straight, smiling, making eye contact, speaking clearly and with vocal variety and using our hands to talk, all helps people to trust and like us.

When researchers studied what makes TED talks go viral, they found people gave almost identical ratings to a seven second clip of a video with the sound off as people that watched the whole video with the sound on.

They found the more a speaker used their hands to accentuate what they were saying, the more viral the talk. Seeing someone’s hands is hardwired into our DNA in deciding whether or not we trust them. Think about what the first thing a cop says when they pull someone over. “Put your hands where I can see them!” Putting your hands behind your back or in your pockets kills the creation of trust and connection when meeting someone new. A good way to break the habit, is every time you put your hands in your pockets when meeting new people, say in your head “Psycho killer!”

The next is vocal variety and smiling, if you talk in a monotone without a smile on your face, people perceive you as boring and judgemental. Standing up straight and taking up space both convey, you are confident and a successful person. Making eye contact shows confidence and interest.

It’s up to you decide your own self-worth; everyone else will accept what you decide it to be. Stop making assumptions about what other people may think. As my grandmother used to say “What other people think about you is none of your business.” Your assumption of what people might think is distorted by your own beliefs. There is only one of you in this world; no one else has the amazing combination that makes up you. As soon as you realize it, everyone else will too.

0

Anxiety Ruling Your Life?

Posted by:

Is your anxiety ruling your life? Here’s how to fear less …

Anxiety is one of the worst feelings there is. The pounding heart, the uncontrollable shaking, the racing thoughts and the impending sense of doom overwhelming you. Anxiety in certain situations is completely normal and expected, however, for some people it becomes overwhelming and debilitating when experienced on a regular basis.

The most commonly diagnosed mental illnesses are now anxiety disorders. Not surprisingly, the World Health Organization (WHO) puts the US at the top of the list when it comes to anxiety: one in three Americans will be diagnosed with anxiety. New Zealand comes in third, with one in four, or 25% of our population being diagnosed with anxiety during their lifetime.

Stress and anxiety is both physiological and psychological. We all experience stress every day. Daily demands such as responsibilities, changes, relationships, illness, traumatic events and money problems can cause stress, and, in turn, anxiety.

Anxiety definitely runs in families. A study in 2011 of 10,000 people that found that high rates of anxiety in families predicts whether or not kids will develop issues with anxiety.

The study found kids with no anxious relatives have a one in 10 chance of developing anxiety. One close family member with an anxiety disorder raises the likelihood to 30%, and if a large percentage of the family is anxious, kids have an 80% greater chance of developing anxiety.

Knowledge of what happens when you get anxious is helpful in learning to control it.

The fight or flight response is hardwired into your body to keep you safe. When you perceive something to be a threat, your body triggers the adrenal glands to pour out steroids, stress hormones – cortisol, adrenaline and hundreds of other chemicals to fuel the body to give it more energy to fight or run away.

This response is similar to injecting three shots of espresso straight into your blood stream and the primitive part of your brain activates, shutting down the more logical thought processes. And that’s the perfect response for when you are in danger, however, it’s crippling when it happens in everyday life.

When you have anxiety, you can become hyper-vigilant and oversensitive, making harmless activities like driving, flying, going to the movies or socializing seem like a threat to your safety.

I grew up with several close family members that had severe anxiety and started experiencing anxiety in my teens as a result of several traumatic events. I started drinking and smoking, since I found it temporarily relieved my anxiety. However, once the buzz wore off, the fear came back making me feel even worse than before. I found I was either overwhelmed with fear or became very angry as a coping mechanism.

I was sent to several therapists that only seemed to make things worse, since they kept having me talk about my traumas over and over. I was put on a variety of medications that seemed to intensify the anxiety or make me feel like a zombie.

I had general anxiety, social anxiety, and severe panic attacks. The thought of public speaking or even being the center of attention was terrifying. This carried on into my mid-twenties when I had a head-on collision with a truck, with both of us going about 80 kilometers an hour.

Luckily the driver of the truck only had minor injuries but I was screwed. I had a frontal lobe head injury, my nose was smashed and I was torn open from my eyebrow down to my lip. I broke every bone where the seatbelt goes and my right kneecap needed to be reattached, not to mention major lacerations and sprains.

The doctors told me that I may be permanently impaired from my head injury, that I probably would always have a limp, and would need several more surgeries to look normal again. I was so grateful to be alive that I vowed to myself that I would do whatever it took to heal and start living life, instead of being so afraid all the time.

I became obsessed with healing my body and mind, trying to find what foods, supplements and therapies would help me to heal the fastest. It took me about 6 months to no longer have a limp, about a year to reverse the effects of the head injury and it took around 2 years to be free of anxiety and pain.

I realised that my subconscious programs and belief systems were just as broken as my body and began work on myself to fix my patterns of anxiety, self-sabotage and limiting self-beliefs. I studied Hypnotherapy, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Counselling, Addictions, Nutritional Therapy and just about every therapy you can think of, to figure out what really works.

So, what works for anxiety?

1. Hypnotherapy and NLP

Anxiety is triggered by the nervous system and the subconscious mind. Your subconscious controls all of your involuntary bodily functions and its number one job is to keep you safe and alive. So, your subconscious believes that by triggering anxiety or the fight or flight response, it’s keeping you safe. Your subconscious needs to learn that by triggering anxiety in non-threatening situations, it’s not keeping you safe but causing you harm.

Your subconscious records everything that happens to you and creates programs from those memories. Anxiety can be a faulty program and the fastest way to change subconscious programs is by using hypnotherapy and NLP techniques. There are tons of free resources on the net and youtube as well as lots of great therapists out there that can really help.

2. Shake it off

For me, whenever I got anxious, my hands and legs would shake. Relaxing felt physically impossible since I was continually in fight-or-flight mode. Your body is trying to produce the energy needed to survive a life-threatening event. When the fight or flight response is triggered, your body releases a large amount of electricity to give you the energy to run away or fight for your life.

When we experience anxiety or trauma, we are not always able to release this energy since the main way we do this is through intense physical exercise or for our bodies to tremble and shake so it just keeps circulating in your body.

A few years ago, a client offered to take me through me some Trauma Releasing Exercises (T.R.E.), which had helped her overcome her trauma and anxiety. I will try any therapy if I think it can help myself or my clients. I thought of myself as someone who no longer had anxiety but after just one session of T.R.E., I was amazed at how calm I felt. I realized that I was still operating in a stressed state, I was just so used to it, I didn’t notice it until it was gone.

T.R.E. was originally designed as a safe and easy way to induce tremors in the body in order to release stress. Anyone with trauma, anxiety, panic attacks, and PTSD will find T.R.E. hugely beneficial. T.R.E. is a series of exercises that take about 20 minutes to complete, and they’re intended to induce tremors by tiring your muscles.

Tremors are a natural way that humans and mammals release excess energy and adrenaline after a traumatic event. Animals in the wild will naturally shake for several minutes after a trauma.

Most people stop their natural instinct from shaking or having tremors, as it makes us feel self-conscious. Suppressing tremors makes it more difficult to overcome trauma because we are not allowing it to be released. You can learn more at traumarelease.co.nz or this book.

3. Stop consuming alcohol and caffeine until your anxiety is under control

I find a lot of people with anxiety tend to be self-medicating with alcohol since it temporarily reduces anxiety by raising the calming chemical GABA. Unfortunately, alcohol makes anxiety much worse the next day as your GABA levels are lower than before.

Caffeine is commonly consumed in coffee and other beverages to help boost energy levels but stimulates the nervous system and doubles the release of cortisol and adrenaline making you much more likely to feel anxious.

The other problem is that caffeine has been shown to inhibit levels of serotonin (a natural anti-depressant) and GABA (a calming chemical) in the brain and when serotonin and GABA levels are suppressed, you can become anxious, depressed and feel irritable.

4. Boost your GABA levels with supplements

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is your brain’s natural valium. If you’re high in GABA—you feel relaxed and stress-free. If you are low in GABA—you feel anxious, irritable, overwhelmed, stressed and wired.

L-Theanine an amino acid found in green tea increases levels of GABA within the brain, increases the production of alpha brain waves, as well as boosting focus and mental clarity. Studies show that l-theanine is useful in the treatment of anxiety due to its ability to calm the nervous system, counteracting the toxic effects of stress as well as improving sleep.

Passion Flower extract has been shown boost GABA to aid in relaxation, and reduce tenseness and restlessness without creating dependency.

Inositol – Inositol is one of my favorite supplements for people who suffer from anxiety since it raises GABA levels which has a relaxing effect. It has also been shown to be beneficial for treating anxiety, depression, insomnia and panic disorders.

L-GlutamineGlutamine is amazing for alcohol, sugar and carb cravings as well as reducing anxiety by raising GABA levels. It also repairs the lining of the gut and is an all-around wonder amino acid.

I believe that we all have a unique purpose that we are meant to fulfil and that our traumas and our setbacks are what shape us and guide us towards our destiny, our life purpose. Now, I’m not saying that every bad thing that happens to us, is predestined or karma. But you have a choice, you can learn and grow from your experiences or be stunted by them and allow them to hold you back. You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

0

Issues With Alcohol

Posted by:

Does this sound familiar? You wake up early in the morning with a dry mouth, your head pounding and feeling terrible. You moan to yourself as embarrassing memories of last night’s drinking session come flooding back to you. “Oh no, what did I do?” You’re so tired but feel too sick and anxious to go back to sleep.
You say to yourself, with absolute conviction… “That’s it! I’ve had enough of it this. I need to get control my drinking. Tonight, I’m not going drink. I’m not going to drink for a week, no a month!” And this feeling of peace washes over you, and you know this is the right thing to do.
But you spend the rest of the day anxious, shaky, and stressed out. Feeling terrible, you pound back coffee, energy drinks, sugar or junk food hoping like hell something is going to make you feel better. By late afternoon, you are dying for a drink, just to take the edge off. The idea of stopping drinking for a while doesn’t seem like such a good idea. You decide to have one drink, just this once. One turns into two and before you know it the whole bottle is gone.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. I certainly can relate.
One in five (19%) New Zealanders aged 15 years or more who drank alcohol in the past year has a potentially hazardous drinking pattern.
The risks of what most people would consider normal drinking is way worse than we ever thought. According to the World Health Organisation, around 3.3 million deaths a year, or 5.9% of all global deaths, are attributable to alcohol consumption. That’s one person dying every 10 seconds due to alcohol.
Alcohol is estimated to be a factor in:
40% to 50% of traffic fatalities
40% of suicides and fatal falls
50% of sexual assaults and trauma injuries
60% of all fatal fires, drownings, and homicides
Alcohol can cause at least seven types of cancer:
Breast cancer – just 3 drinks a week increases your risk of breast cancer by 15%. Experts estimate that the risk of breast cancer goes up another 10% for each additional drink women regularly have each day. One study showed that women who had two to four drinks a day increased their breast cancer risk by 41 percent; another study showed that women who drank three or more drinks a day on average had a 69 percent higher risk of getting breast cancer.
Alcohol is also linked to causing Bowel cancer (for every 2 units of alcohol you drink a day, your risk of bowel cancer goes up 8%), Laryngeal cancer (voice box), Liver cancer, Mouth cancer, Oesophageal cancer (food pipe), and Pharyngeal cancer (upper throat). One study has estimated that around 4% of all cancers are due to alcohol consumption.
Alcohol also causes and worsens anxiety and depression.
The anxiety hangover, “hangxiety” or “boozanoia” is a common side effect of excessive drinking. Daily alcohol consumption can cause a chemical imbalance in your blood sugar and feel-good chemicals leading to depression. I had anxiety that plagued me for years and it wasn’t until I stopped drinking for a few months, that I realized alcohol was one of the main causes of it. I now never drink alcohol the night before any type of public speaking since I know it’s a guarantee that I will feel anxious as a result.
So how do you get control?
1. Admit you have a problem
If you don’t own your issues, your issues will own you. You can’t change what you are not willing to accept. I abused and was out of control with alcohol for years. It wasn’t until I admitted I had a problem, that I got self-control. For me, I used alcohol to deal with stress, feel confident, let loose and numb my pain. What I learned by cutting back, was I could do all of those even more effectively without alcohol.
I thought my drinking was a security blanket, keeping me safe. It actually was an insecurity blanket and once I stopped gripping it every night, I became less stressed, more confident and finally able to stop being a victim of my trauma and pain since my drinking had been getting in the way.
2. Get help
There are so many resources out there that can help you with gaining control with alcohol. Some people need to stop drinking permanently, others can become social drinkers. Some people need medical help to be weaned off of alcohol or they can die from the withdrawal symptoms. You don’t know which category you fall into until you do your research. http://www.alcohol.org.nz and http://www.alcoholdrughelp.org.nz are good places to start. Find someone experienced with treating addiction who understands both the chemical, psychological and subconscious sides of it.

Clearing Blocks to Being Moderate With Alcohol MP3

The books I recommend are The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home by Jack Canfield, How To Quit Without Feeling S**T: The Fast, Highly Effective Way To End Addiction To Caffeine, Sugar, Cigarettes, Alcohol, Illicit Or Prescription Drugs by Patrick Holford and This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol by Annie Grace.
3. Commit to making a change
You won’t make a change unless you are 100% committed to doing it. Like anything else, you won’t achieve your goal by trying it out for one day. You don’t get in shape by eating healthy and exercising for a few days, or creating the career of your dreams by working hard for a week, you have to work every day for it. A good place to start is committing to stop drinking for 30 days.
4. Learn about GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and its connection with alcohol and anxiety
GABA is a neurotransmitter and works as your brain’s natural valium. Alcohol increases GABA, which is why it helps you relax. If you’re high in GABA—you feel relaxed and stress-free. If you are low in GABA—you feel anxious, irritable, overwhelmed, stressed and wired.
Alcohol boosts GABA in the brain and body but also causes it to be low the next day, which can cause you to have anxiety attacks, carbohydrate and alcohol cravings, ringing in the ears, muscle tension (especially in the head, neck and back), trembling/twitching muscles, excessive sweating, heart palpitations and insomnia.
This is why a person who is deficient in GABA, which may be genetic, due to alcohol consumption, or acquired from stress and trauma, will turn to alcohol and is much more likely to become addicted.
This is part of the reason why people find it so hard to stop using alcohol when they know it’s not good for them. Once they stop, their GABA goes down and they feel anxious, overwhelmed and unable to sleep. Instead of feeling better, they feel worse.
How to boost GABA:
  • Vitamin B-3 (Niacin or Niacinamide) is one of the most important supplements you can take when it comes to treating addiction. Vitamin B-3 was part of the original AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) protocol, and they had an 80 percent success rate with helping people get sober when B-3 was recommended. 500mg with breakfast and lunch.
  • L-Glutamine – Glutamine is amazing for alcohol, sugar and carb cravings. It also repairs the lining of the gut and is an all-around wonder amino acid. 2-3000mgs whenever you are craving alcohol or sugar.
  • Yoga – A recent study followed two groups of healthy individuals over a 12-week period. One group practiced yoga three times a week for one hour, while the remaining subjects walked for the same period of time. Those who practiced yoga reported a greater decrease in anxiety and higher levels of GABA than those who walked.
  • Kudzu – Is another supplement gaining popularity for alcohol cravings that looks very promising.
(Caution: Do not take GABA support if taking anti-epileptics, Benzodiazepines or other sleep meds. Or if you have been drinking heavily). Please check with your doctor before taking any supplements.
What is a safe amount of alcohol?
The Health Promotion Agency of New Zealand now advises for safe alcohol consumption to reduce your long-term health risks by drinking no more than:
  • 2 standard drinks a day for women and no more than 10 standard drinks (100 mls each) a week. Just to give you an idea, that’s the equivalent of 1 bottle of wine plus 1 glass a week!
  • 3 standard drinks a day for men and no more than 15 standard drinks a week.
    AND at least 2 alcohol-free days every week.
Reduce your risk of injury on a single occasion of drinking, by consuming no more than:
  • 4 standard drinks for women on any single occasion.
  • 5 standard drinks for men on any single occasion.
Address why you are drinking more than you should.
I find a lot of us are drinking to numb our pain. Sometimes we are aware of what’s causing us pain, other times we know we’re not happy, but don’t know why. You may hide the pain and bury it. The problem is pain is not normal, and it won’t go away by pretending it’s not there, so we seek relief from our pain with alcohol, cigarettes, food, and drugs, etc.
Getting in touch with your pain and learning how to process it so you can let it go, will help release your need to numb yourself with unhealthy substances. There is no separation between our mind and body. The more aware we are of what’s affecting us and how to best deal with it, the more control we have over our behaviour, bodies and lives.
There is no shame in getting help. It was the best decision I even made and I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t addressed my issues with alcohol.
Where to get help:
http://www.cads.org.nz/
http://www.alcohol.org.nz/help-advice
http://www.carenz.co.nz/
http://www.aa.org.nz/

Clearing Blocks To Being Sober MP3

0

Men’s Sexual Issues

Posted by:

And What You Can Do About It…

Men’s orgasms. As statistics show, men seem to have a lot less of an issue with achieving an orgasm than women. However, much of the pressure to perform in bed tends to lay on the man. When a man has issues with his favourite appendage, it rocks him to his very core. Here are the two most common sexual issues men experience, and some tips to sort it out.

Premature ejaculation

Do you wish you could last longer in bed? This is the most common sexual issue that I address with my male clients… Premature ejaculation. The average length of time that a man lasts in bed is just under five minutes. It’s considered premature if the man ejaculates within two minutes of the start of sexual stimulation. Most men believe the average is much longer since they are comparing themselves to porn stars. It’s estimated that PE affects one-third of men at some point in their lives. It’s also the most common sexual dysfunction in men under 40.
A quick climax is to be expected with younger men, and if a man continues to experience the issue as he gets older, I find the underlying cause to usually be created by one of two reasons or a combination of both. Either the man has trained himself to orgasm quickly with how he masturbates, or it has become a phobia, an anxiety response that happens automatically when he is with a partner.
Most boys, when they discover the joys of masturbation aren’t able to take their time and enjoy themselves. They are trying to rub one out as fast as they can so they don’t get caught, which creates a pattern of the body learning to orgasm as quickly as possible. This can be hard to unlearn once you become sexually active.
In regards to premature ejaculation being a phobia, when a man is with a new partner he may worry that he will come too soon, and then his body does exactly what he is afraid of. Or it happens once or twice, maybe his partner doesn’t react in an understanding way, and the poor guy becomes anxious it’s going to happen again.

Erectile dysfunction

Is your penis letting you down? Erectile dysfunction or ED, when a man loses his erection used to be considered an issue that mostly affected older men, but now I’m seeing men as young as 19 with the problem. ED can be a physical or psychological issue. In younger men, I believe the most common cause is watching porn. Or it has become a phobia or conditioned response, just as with premature ejaculation.
ED can also be caused in men of all ages by stress, alcohol, drugs, health issues like diabetes, low-testosterone, high blood pressure, medication, smoking, being overweight, heart disease and even gum disease. Lots of guys know their lifestyle isn’t healthy, but it’s not until it begins to cause issues with their sex life that they will do something about it. Your penis is like a gauge for what’s going on in your life and with your health, it can tell you a lot about what’s happening mentally and physically.

So, what can you do to overcome these issues?
  • Change your mindset.
Issues with premature ejaculation, inability to have an orgasm and erectile dysfunction, absolutely can be linked to anxiety, insecurity, phobias and trust issues. If you keep picturing it happening this will create a program in the subconscious. The subconscious can’t tell that this is the last thing you want to happen. It becomes a glitch in your software. You want to update the software causing the issue so you can put a new program into the subconscious.
Find a therapist who knows how to get rid of phobias quickly and who can help you change the issues in the subconscious. The fast phobia cure or rewind technique works great for sexual issues. Here’s one on YouTube you can watch for free. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDFzhGH-txk&t=1s
Porn is like junk food for your brain. No nutritional value and overstimulating. When you are with a partner in real life after watching a lot of porn, your brain perceives the experience as boring and bland. Your brain either tries to get the experience over quickly or doesn’t find it stimulating enough to maintain or even create an erection.
When you get sexually excited, one of the first reactions your brain has is to release the chemical dopamine, which helps to send signals to your prostate to trigger an erection. When you watch porn, which is very visually stimulating, your brain releases large amounts of dopamine. Dopamine is a reward neurotransmitter, and is the same chemical that’s released when you eat sugar or use cocaine, making it highly addictive.
If you watch porn every day over a period of time, your body does what it can to cope with the large amounts of dopamine that’s being released by killing off the dopamine receptors. Your body doesn’t perceive the dopamine that’s being released, so it’s like sending a very weak amount of electrical energy that’s not going to charge you up. This situation is as if you took an appliance that was meant to run on 240 volts, and plugged it into an outlet with 120 volts. It isn’t exactly going to power up to full capacity…
  • Stop masturbating quickly and draw the experience out.
It’s completely understandable of why men learned to masturbate as fast as they could, so they wouldn’t get caught. But, if you want to last longer in bed, you need to learn to take your time. Bringing yourself close to the edge and then allowing that feeling to fall back to a medium level of arousal and then building it back up several times, helps to train your body to feel highly aroused without perceiving that feeling as a signal to orgasm as quickly as possible.
A penis massage with coconut oil, either by you or your partner is great for stimulating the muscles, strengthening erections and building self-control. If you feel like you are going to ejaculate too quickly, squeeze just below the head of the penis while simultaneously relaxing the muscles around the base of the penis. Take some deep breaths and relax your body, rather than contracting which helps trigger an orgasm.
  • Strengthen the muscles of your penis.
Women are told about the importance of strengthening their pelvic floor muscles (the muscles that start and stop the flow of urine) and doing kegel exercises (flexing and holding those muscles), however, they are just as important in sexual function in men. The stronger those muscles are the better self-control and harder erections you can have. The penis itself is made up of 30-60% (depending on the person) of smooth muscle tissue. So, as muscle tissue, it can be developed and strengthened by how you use it.
Contracting those muscles and holding them, (starting with eight reps, up to three sets, every other day), will do wonders for your self-control not to mention, harder and stronger erections. If you want to take it up to the next level, add weight to the exercise by hanging a hand towel or a wet face/wash cloth over your semi-hard penis while flexing the muscle.
  • Try taking supplements.
If you are orgasming too quickly, I find taking 100-200 mgs of 5-HTP and 400 mg of magnesium citrate an hour or two before sex really helps men last longer. If you are having issues with maintaining an erection, 3000 mgs of L-arginine an hour or two before sex works like a natural Viagra. * Warning: Do not take L-Arginine if you have the herpes virus or take 5-HTP if you are taking antidepressants.
  • Listen to what your penis is trying to tell you.
I find sometimes your penis is trying to tell you something that you are trying to ignore. I can’t count how many male clients I’ve had with sexual issues that tell me it all started when they had a partner cheat on them, even if they didn’t know it at the time. The cause could be that, deep down, they want to leave their relationship but are afraid to do it. Or it could be that they are trying to have sex with partners that they know aren’t right for them.
Maybe you’re not taking care of yourself, eating like crap, smoking, drinking too much or using drugs. You could have an underlying health issue you are not aware of. See a therapist, sex coach or doctor and face up to what you are trying to ignore, it could save your life as well as improve your level of happiness.
  • And most importantly, focus on your partner, not your penis.
I think it’s important to remember that no matter what’s happening with your penis if you are concerned with your partner’s pleasure, they will be a lot more understanding. People almost never complain about to me about the fact that their male partner is having sexual issues. They complain about their partner not being concerned with meeting their needs. So, while you are sorting out the issues with your penis, make sure your partner is sexually satisfied in other ways. That, in my eyes, is what makes a man, not whether or not your penis is behaving how you want it to.
0

The Female Orgasm

Posted by:

Good things come to those who feel good…

If you are the owner of a vagina or are lucky enough to have regular access to one, I hope said vagina is having frequent orgasms. I believe that it is a woman’s birthright to have earth shattering, whole-body shaking, screaming orgasms. On a regular basis.

Sadly, many women haven’t yet actualized their sexual potential. As a hypnotherapist, I see women every week in my office, telling me about how they can’t have an orgasm through penetrative sex when they are with a partner or have never even had an orgasm. I know that this represents only a small number of the seriously under-pleasured women out there. I believe this is an epidemic of horrific proportions and women need to be empowered to own their pleasure and, in turn, their orgasms.

Women’s bodies possess a clitoris, an organ that has 8,000 nerve endings dedicated to pleasure. 8,000! The head of the penis only has half of that. Women’s bodies are meant for pleasure and their capacity for orgasms are far greater than men’s.

They estimate only 25% of women can have an orgasm from penetrative sex alone, which some scientists now believe is due to where the clitoris is placed. Women who can orgasm through penetrative sex without direct clitoral stimulation tend to have a clitoris that is set lower and, therefore, receives more stimulation during sex.

Most studies show that men orgasm on average 90-95% of the time during sex, whereas women are orgasming on average 50-60% percent of the time.

However, if you ask men how often their partner is having orgasms, they answer 85% percent of the time. So, either some men can’t tell if a woman has had an orgasm, or women are faking it…

Unfortunately, from my own experience and from what women tell me, I think a lot of women are faking it. This needs to stop, like now. You will never teach someone how to make you scream, if you are putting on an Oscar-winning performance. I believe porn and movies like “50 Shades of Grey” have a lot to answer for, as well. These types of movies are making men think women need hardly any foreplay. Also, they are making women feel inadequate, for not having instant orgasms from being thrown on the bed and a minute of vigorous thrusting.

Men think that since penetration feels so good for them, it must feel as just as good for women. Expecting a woman to orgasm through penetration alone, is like expecting a man to orgasm by only touching his testicles and the base of his penis. Some men could do it, but not many.

When I ask women what stops them from having orgasms, the most common answers are: not being able to let go, not feeling confident with their body, not enough foreplay, not enough clitoral stimulation or not the right kind of clitoral stimulation.

Notice how they are not saying anything about penis size or how long a man lasts in bed?

So, how can you have more orgasms, better orgasms or have orgasms at all.

  • Learn to love your body and most importantly your vagina, pussy, who-ha, vajayjay, punani or whatever you want to call it. If referring to your genitalia freaks you out, you have some work to do, sweetheart.

Women have been made to feel ashamed of their genitals, the source of all life. I believe as a woman, when you love, accept and embrace this part of your body, you will claim not only your sexual potential but your true source of power.

Complement this part of you, tell her she is amazing, beautiful and delicious. She’s starved for it. When you connect with this part of you, you will feel your confidence and charisma grow. And men, one of the best things you can do for your partner is tell her how much you love this part of her.

  • Learn what you like. Do you know exactly what works for you sexually? Do you tell and show your partner what works for you?

Most women are initially so worried about their bodies and how they look in bed, that they are not able to relax and let go of their inhibitions sexually. If you don’t know what you like, how can you teach someone else what does it for you? Take the time to explore your body and what type of touch works for you.

It is also important to give your partner signals with what’s working and what’s not, by how you respond to what they are doing. We tend to develop patterns with how we respond sexually to our partners, with how much we talk and guide our partners to do what feels good for us. It can be hard to change this dynamic in a relationship, since many of us don’t want to “ruin the mood” or risk offending our partners. Here’s the thing, men are dying to get us off! I have yet to meet a man who didn’t care whether or not he was pleasing his partner.

Deep breathing also helps. Women tend to hold their breath or breathe shallowly which can inhibit orgasm.

Tell your partner what feels good for you with moans and words of encouragement and don’t respond when it’s not working. If you are in pain, let them know immediately!

  • Try saying “It feels amazing when you do _______.”

  • Placing someone’s hand over yours, while you touch yourself is a great way to teach them what you like.

  • Ask them what they like. Tell them you want to please them. Saying “How about I go down on you, try different things and you tell me what’s just okay, what’s better and what’s amazing?” This opens up the conversation for them to ask you what you like as well.

Having an orgasm can be like trying to remember a name. The harder you try, the more it alludes you. Once you relax and stop trying so hard it suddenly comes to you.

  • If you are trying to help a woman have an orgasm, tell them “‘It doesn’t matter if you have an orgasm or not, let’s just have fun. I love touching you and giving you pleasure. Just relax and let me do this for you.”

Taking the pressure to have an orgasm off really helps a woman relax and let go.

  • If you have never had an orgasm or have trouble having an orgasm with a partner, buy a vibrator. I cannot stress this enough.

A bullet vibrator is good and a plugin magic wand is guaranteed to work. A lot of women find using a bullet vibrator on their clitoris during sex makes a huge difference. The vibrator was actually invented by a doctor to treat women’s “hysteria.” Look it up. For hundreds of years, doctors believed many women suffered from a condition called hysteria caused by a wondering womb. They complained to doctors of anxiety, anger, erotic fantasies, insomnia, irritability, a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic area, and wetness between the legs.

Basically, they were a bunch of sexually frustrated women. The treatment was to be given a pelvic massage by your doctor to stimulate a “hysterical paroxysm” essentially, an orgasm, which supposedly restored the woman back to health.

Giving pelvic massages was a routine part of a doctor’s day, however, as the medical journals of the time document, it was boring, exhausting and time consuming work. Hence the vibrator was invented and almost every western doctor had one in his office. Once the personal vibrator was invented, women could treat their hysteria in their own home and it ceased to be a medical condition.

Taking ownership of your sexual satisfaction is one of the most empowering things you can do. There is nothing wrong with your body or your sexual desires. Learn to release the shame that is holding you back with your body and sexuality. There are so many great resources, books, coaches and therapists out there that can help you do it and in turn transform all areas of your life. It’s so ohhhhooooo yes, worth it.

Check out these websites and books to get you started.

https://www.omgyes.com

http://kimanami.com/

https://onetaste.us/

http://www.mamagenas.com/

Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life

by Emily Nagoski Ph.D

Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts: Using the Power of Pleasure to Have Your Way with the World    By Regena Thomashauer

Pussy: A Reclamation     By Regena Thomashauer

0

Fertility

Posted by:

Baby oh baby, there is nothing worse when you are finally ready to get pregnant and your body doesn’t play ball. I help lots of couples with fertility.
Of course, I look at hormones, health issues like PCOS and endometriosis, recommend lifestyle changes and recommend supplements that increase fertility and I will be addressing those issues in my next post. Nonetheless I also really believe it’s important to make sure there aren’t any subconscious blocks preventing someone from getting pregnant.
So, let’s start with your mind…Your subconscious mind controls all of your involuntary bodily functions, your heart beating, your lungs breathing, your digestion as well as your reproductive system. You can’t physically control getting pregnant, you have sex and hope your body will or won’t allow it to happen.
We spend most of our lives trying not to get pregnant. We hear our mothers or other women saying kids ruined their lives, ruined their bodies, that pregnancy was awful, childbirth was the worst thing they have ever experienced and that their sex life hasn’t been the same since. All of this all goes into our subconscious, and our subconscious creates programs out of everything that we hear and everything that happens to us. Like an operating system. So, getting pregnant and having a baby can become a negative program, even if we don’t realize it.
Buy Fertility Hypnosis MP3’s
We may have trauma from childhood or our teenage years that is blocking us from getting pregnant. The thought of getting pregnant as a teenager strikes a paralyzing fear to our core. We may have had a terrible relationship with our parents, or a previous relationship, and so subconsciously you don’t want to repeat that pattern. Even though consciously all we can think about is getting pregnant and having a baby.
We may be afraid we have left it too late; we could be telling ourselves that we are too old to have a baby. Or if we do get pregnant, there could be something wrong with it. Or with secondary infertility, you may have had a traumatic miscarriage, pregnancy or childbirth with your first child. Or your newborn baby screamed all the time and never slept. And you told yourself  “this is hell!” So, then you have this conflict between the subconscious and conscious mind.
Consciously you want to have a baby, but if your subconscious mind doesn’t believe it’s safe for you to have a baby, it will do everything in its power to prevent that. That’s your subconscious mind’s number one job – to keep you safe and alive.
Many studies have now proven that our subconscious thoughts and beliefs about conception, pregnancy, childbirth and raising kids can block our ability to conceive because of both conscious and subconscious negative beliefs and fears.
A recent study published in The British Medical Journal took a group of women who were experiencing difficulty with conceiving and split them into two groups. One group was taught to change their negative beliefs about their chances of conceiving with a positive idea that they would easily become pregnant. 50% became pregnant.
The other group, the control group of the study was given typical advice on how to get pregnant. Only 1 out of 5 conceived in the group that received the standard instructions. So, by replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts, the rate of pregnancy went up from 20% to 50%.
Harvard Medical School also ran a similar study with a group of women struggling to conceive and taught them to replace negative beliefs with positive ones. 55% of the group successfully had a baby compared to only 20% of the control group.
So, your beliefs are one major area I look at if you are struggling to get pregnant. Another one is how good your sex life? Sex can become very clinical when you’re trying to get pregnant. They have found that female orgasm may be very important when it comes to fertility.
Women retain more semen when she has an orgasm either one minute before her partner and up to 45 minutes after. Therefore, more sperm makes it into the uterus as well as the fallopian tubes which increase your chances of getting pregnant. As a pig farmer, you can buy a vibrator to help with the process of artificial insemination. Farmers have found that if the female pig is sexually stimulated, while being inseminated, she has more piglets.
Studies show for men, if they watch an “adult” movie with two or more men and one woman, their sperm motility goes up. Scientists call this the competition factor. This could be a problem for men getting their sperm tested, as they go to the clinic, and most of the time they watch an adult film and this can make their sperm motility test higher than it is in their normal life.
For men, carrying a cellphone in your pocket can lower sperm count, sperm motility as well as testosterone levels.
The things you can do to help shift these issues.
  • Write a list of everything you’re afraid of in regards to getting pregnant, birth, and raising children. And then, right out another list of positive beliefs, which counteract the negative fears. Tell yourself those new positive beliefs every day.
  • Be careful with your words. Saying “trying for a baby” implies you may fail. Say “I’m making a baby” instead… “We are creating a baby.”
  • Find a hypnotherapist that helps people with fertility. You can also download some great hypnotherapy MP3’s to help shift your fears and blocks.

 

0

Not Losing Weight?

Posted by:

Most people know how to lose weight. Eat less and exercise more. Easy, right? If it’s so easy, then why does almost every adult I know struggle with their weight. We are obsessed with the latest diet, fitness craze, counting macros, calories and cutting out carbs.

Weight is something I have struggled with most of my life, I have done every diet and exercise regime that exists. I could stick to a diet for a while, but would always fall off the wagon and sabotage all my hard work faster than it took me to take it off. I became a hypnotherapist and weight loss coach mostly to help myself stop the cycle of yo-yo dieting, feeling out of control with food, and gain control over the many other substances I would use to self-medicate.

After working with thousands of people to help them to lose weight, I have found several things to be factors in blocking weight loss.

  1. You are stressed, and therefore your metabolism is slowing down.

Study after study has now proven that when you are stressed, your metabolism slows down. You burn fewer calories, eat more sugar and fried food as well as having raised blood sugar and insulin. Our physiology hasn’t evolved to be able to cope effectively with the stress we are inundated with every day. Our cortisol and adrenaline levels are through the roof. The only time our ancestors had chronic high cortisol was at times of war and famine therefore our bodies thinks that there must be something terrible happening in the world, so it tries to protect itself by hanging on to weight.

Your nervous system’s stress response is called fight or flight, and when it relaxes, it’s in rest and digest mode. Simply put, the stress response turns digestion off and makes you want to binge on, sugary, processed carbs and fried foods and store the calories for later. It’s not just what you’re eating but what’s eating you…

Now I know you can’t avoid all stress, so the easiest way to counteract this is to take five or six deep breaths before you eat.

Eating slowly, doing nothing else (like watching TV or reading your phone) while you eat, and savoring your food helps you absorb the nutrients from your food more effectively, burn more calories and to feel satisfied with smaller portions.

Eating is kind of like sex, if you are distracted and do it really quickly, it’s not very satisfying…

  1. Your subconscious believes it’s not safe to lose weight.

Whether your subconscious believes it’s safe to lose weight is something I always look at with my clients in regards to weight loss. We know exactly what to do to lose weight, but most of us are sabotaging any chance of losing weight on a daily basis. You consciously want to lose weight, but your subconscious may think it’s helping you by keeping you overweight for a variety of reason.

I find the two most common reasons your subconscious tries to make you fat are: to make you less attractive to the opposite sex or to appear bigger and stronger. For girls and women, we can have negative or even highly traumatic attention from men, and some part of us wants to hide or make ourselves invisible, so that doesn’t happen again. For boys and men, being bullied or abused triggers a primitive part of ourselves to do what it can to look bigger and tougher. Think about animals, if they feel threatened, they puff themselves up as a defense mechanism.

  1. You have unhealthy programs about food in your subconscious mind.

You consciously know you shouldn’t eat crap food, but your subconscious loves the way they taste and the drug-like effect they have on your body. This is part of why our willpower runs out, our subconscious mind makes 95% of your decisions and likes to stay on autopilot. Your subconscious is like an operating system, recording everything you do, and making programs out of it.

So, we wake up in the morning and tell ourselves that today’s the day we are going to eat super healthy. But the second we get distracted, stressed or are thinking about something else, our subconscious mind takes over, goes on autopilot and repeats the same habits over and over again. So, start with reprogramming your subconscious. The best way to do that is through visualization which is the language of the subconscious.

You can go to a hypnotherapist, you can buy hypnosis MP3s online for very cheap, or you can listen to guided visualizations on weight-loss on YouTube for free.

Here is a link to one of my weight loss visualizations you can listen to for free:

  1. You are addicted to processed food.

Sugar, wheat and dairy are addictive and act like drugs in your body. Sugar triggers dopamine (similar to cocaine), wheat and dairy fill the opiate receptors in your body (same as heroin and pain killers).

Wheat is sprayed with glyphosate (Roundup – a weed killer) before it’s harvested and then bleached with chlorine dioxide. Glyphosate kills the good bacteria in your gut, and the chlorine creates a toxin in wheat called alloxan that attacks your pancreas. Researchers are well aware of this connection and use alloxan in lab rats to induce diabetes. Did you catch that? It’s used to cause diabetes! If I sprayed your sandwich with a weed killer and bleach, would you still eat it?

So how to you stop eating those foods?

Yes, it’s hard changing your diet. But I guarantee it’s more difficult feeling fat and tired all the time. I find a good place to start is committing to cutting out sugar, wheat and anything deep fried. I think you can have those foods as treat now and then but not on a daily basis. I found the best way to stop eating the foods you’re addicted to, is to create aversions. For most of us, there are certain foods we just won’t eat; we may have been forced to eat them as a child, have gotten food poisoning from it, or just plain don’t like it. You want to create something similar with the foods you know you shouldn’t eat.

A good technique to do yourself is to imagine at table with all of your favourite naughty foods that are triggers for you and then imagine them covered in mold.

It may be white and fluffy, green and slimy, or with black spots. Just make it as disgusting as you can. Imagine spraying the food with weed killer, bleach, sprinkling dish washing powder, rat poison or a food or drink you hate on top.

Make it look as disgusting as you can so that your subconscious mind associates those foods as something poisonous and toxic for you. Every night before you go to bed, imagine yourself your ideal weight, fit and healthy. Tell yourself you love to eat fresh, clean food, drink lots of water and love to exercise and imagine yourself doing those things. Your subconscious believes everything you tell it, so show and tell it the positive things you want to believe.

I don’t advocate one particular diet; different diets work for different people – paleo, keto, pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan all work to improve your health. It’s just finding a diet you can stick to while cutting out processed foods.

Top Tips to Lose Weight

  • Set a goal. Decide what you want to achieve, what weight or size do you want to be and picture yourself having achieved that every day.
  • Take five or six deep breaths before you eat, do nothing else while you eat (no phone!), and eat slowly, really enjoying your food.
  • Tell yourself that it’s safe to lose weight, and the best way to keep yourself safe is to be fit, healthy, strong and confident. Tell yourself that excess weight causes you to be less safe.
  • Reprogram your subconscious mind by visualization to associate unhealthy foods as disgusting. Picture the foods that are keeping you from losing weight covered in mould and poison.

Changing your habits and diet is simple but it’s definitely not easy. Not easy but worth it. Nothing feels as good as being fit and healthy, and this gives you the energy and focus to achieve your dreams.

0

Tips for Finding Love

Posted by:

  • Get clear about what you want. Make a list and be very specific. Figure out what kind of relationship you want, and what type of person you want to have a relationship with. Be really clear about the fact you are ready for a relationship. Say it out loud to yourself. I like the mantra “The perfect partner is already picked and I’ll meet them at the perfect time.”
  • Clear out the clutter from your past relationships. Get rid of traces of ex partners, like jewelry, gifts, texts, emails even contacts on your phone. The universe likes a vacuum, if there is a bunch of crap in the way it’s harder for something new to come in. You’ve got to feng shui your love life.
  • Work on clearing any blocks you may have to finding love. Do you believe that you aren’t good enough on some level? Do you have beliefs about the opposite sex that are holding you back from finding the right partner? Like all men cheat. Or women are crazy. Our childhoods have a profound effect on our love lives.

Our unconscious minds cause us to seek out emotional situations that resemble our childhood or early adulthood circumstances, regardless of whether those experiences were negative or positive.

Here is a little equation to show how it works. If your home environment was abusive then Home/Love=Fear/Abuse, if home was drama and chaos then Home/Love=Drama/Chaos, if home was critical and cold then Home/Love= Critical/Cold.

If home was drama, you may attract partners that have addictions, crazy issues and lots of dramas. If home was lonely and unkind, you may attract partners that ignore, withhold affection or criticize you. If home was fearful, you may attract partners that are emotionally or physically abusive.

If you keep seeing a pattern that is showing up in your relationships, ask yourself “In my childhood, Home (Love) was =______________________?”

For you, it may feel like love to be uncomfortable in a relationship. In your subconscious, love and therefore sexual attraction is equated with the negative feelings that you grew up with. This is why nice, stable people may seem boring – it doesn’t feel like love.

  • Learn about Attachment Types in how people relate to intimacy in relationships. There are secure types and insecure types. 50% of the population is the secure attachment type and they tend to be warm, loving, open and comfortable in romantic relationships. Insecure types tend to get really anxious in relationships or push people away.

Ideally you want to be with a secure type if you can. Once I learned about attachment types, and discovered that I was an insecure type, I decided the next person I was going to have a relationship with needed to be a secure attachment style so that I could learn to be secure in relationships.

I made every guy I went on a date with take an online test to see what attachment type they were. The first 9 guys I had take the test were insecure types so I told them I couldn’t see them again. The 10th guy was the most secure attachment type I had ever seen and he is now my fiancé.

  • Get your butt on some dating sites. The person of your dreams isn’t going to knock on your door, you need to go out and find them. I look at it like looking for a job. You don’t just drift through life hoping you will bump into the perfect job, or that someone will tell you about one…
  • Be yourself. One of the biggest turnoff for people is someone who is not authentic. Love and accept yourself and other people will too. No one deserves your love and acceptance more than you. Confidence is the sexiest quality there is.
  • Be ruthless and don’t settle. Don’t date someone almost right, someone you want to change. Everyone is going to have certain things that are annoying to you but if you can’t accept them as they are right now, move on. And settle for someone who doesn’t treat you with the respect you deserve!
  • Listen to what people tell you. Especially guys. If a guy tells you that he is not looking for a relationship and doesn’t want children, believe him. Women tend to hope a man is going to change his mind and we waste a lot of time on people that don’t want the same things we do.

 

0

How to Stop Feeling S**t

Posted by:

If you wake up most mornings feeling anxious, depressed or stressed, you are not alone. On average, 1 in 6 adults (16%) have been diagnosed with a common mental disorder at some time in their lives including anxiety, depression,  and bipolar disorder. In France, 1 in 3 people are prescribed psychotropic drugs. We are in the midst of an epidemic of people feeling like crap: anxious, stressed, depressed, no motivation, tired, wired and unable to sleep.

Most of my work is based on helping people feel better, be it changing your lifestyle, emotions, thoughts and/or behavior. It’s something that has fascinated me for as long as I can remember and also something I still struggle with to get 100% right. I personally come from a family where pretty much everyone has struggled with a mental health issue or addiction. While I do believe some of our issues are inherited, I also believe our tendency to struggle stems from our chemical balances or imbalances, as the case may be.

One of the first steps in changing how you feel is to realize why you feel that way in the first place. A lot of the time, we are self-medicating due to imbalances in the body or imbalances that have been caused by the substances we are consuming.

We produce certain chemicals called neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers of mood, motivation and feelings that make us feel good. When our neurotransmitters are produced in optimal amounts, we feel happy and satisfied. When they are deficient, we feel out-of-sorts and are looking for ways to boost them.

In this post, I’m going to talk about ways to boost the neurotransmitters you may be lacking or deficient in, to help you feel better and stop the cycle of self-medicating and feeling like crap.

So, checking these neurotransmitters is the first place I start with my clients when addressing any issue.

1) Dopamine – The motivating neurotransmitter that makes you feel focused, energized and excited. When you are low in dopamine, you tend to feel distracted, sluggish, prone to procrastination and find it hard to take pleasure in life.

What you crave when you are lowSugar, caffeine, cigarettes, energy drinks, diet drinks, porn, sex, amphetamines and cocaine.

How to boost dopamine –

A) Diet – Almonds, avocados, bananas, dairy, eggs, fish, meat and poultry, oats, sesame and pumpkin seeds may all help your body to produce more dopamine.

B) Exercise – Exercise stimulates dopamine release and uptake in your brain. Try 30 to 60 minutes of walking, swimming, jogging or lifting weights 3 to 5 times a week to increase your dopamine levels.

C) SupplementsL-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is the building block for dopamine. It‘s also a precursor to thyroid hormones, so therefore useful to increase low energy levels, boost alertness, as an appetite suppressant, thyroid function and to increase sexual desire.

L-Phenylalanine is also a precursor to dopamine as well as many other important neurotransmitters. It’s a natural mood booster and antidepressant, curbs sugar and stimulant cravings, helps in controlling pain, particularly arthritis and is used to help treat Parkinson’s disease.  L-Phenylalanine also helps forms another energizing brain chemical called PEA (phenylethylamine), (also found in chocolate) which is believed to be the chemical most responsible for feelings of euphoria. Yeah baby!

(Do not take L-Tyrosine or L-Phenylalanine if you are suffering from high blood pressure, PKU or melanoma.)

I personally take both L-Tyrosine and L- Phenylalanine everyday and they work wonders for me.

2) Serotonin – Serotonin is the neurotransmitter largely responsible for regulating moods and emotions. When your serotonin levels are good, you tend to feel confident, positive, and easygoing.

If you’re low in serotonin—you’ll tend to become negative, obsessive compulsive worried, irritable and have trouble sleeping. Most antidepressants primarily boost serotonin. Over 90% of your serotonin is made in your gut, so a lot of the time lack of serotonin is a gut health issue.

For people with low serotonin levels, they are most likely to crave alcohol, carbs, white flour, sugar and opiates (heroin, painkillers). These substances can mimic serotonin and lead to a brief increase in serotonin levels, making the person feel temporarily better but having nasty crashes when the levels drop again.

How to boost serotonin –

A) Diet – Serotonin is created from tryptophan in our diet and tryptophan is found in foods like beef, chicken, dairy products, eggs, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, pork, turkey and whey protein.

B) Sunlight – The deficiency of Vitamin D has substantial medical and psychological consequences. Every tissue in the body has vitamin D receptors, including the brain, heart, immune system and muscles, which means vitamin D, is needed at every level for the body to function. Vitamin D activates the genes that release dopamine and serotonin. So make sure you get at least 15 minutes of sun a day or take a vitamin D-3 supplement (1,000 IU daily for every 11 kilos or 25 pounds of total body weight). 

C) Exercise – Exercise increases both serotonin production and release. In particular, aerobic exercises, like running and biking, are the most likely to boost serotonin. Numerous studies have shown exercise to be more effective at treating depression than antidepressants.

D) Supplements 5-HTP 5-HTP (5-hydroxy L-tryptophan) is a naturally occurring metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan. 5-HTP is converted in the brain to serotonin (Caution: Not to be used when taking MAO inhibitors, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or other anti-depressant medications.)

B-ComplexAll of the B vitamins are vital for energy and the production of serotonin and are used up rapidly in times of stress.

Calcium/Magnesium – Both calcium and magnesium are precursors to serotonin production, so it’s important to be getting plenty in your diet. I always take calcium and magnesium at night with dinner and notice a huge difference with my stress levels and sleep.

3) GABA – GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is your brain’s natural valium. If you’re high in GABA—you feel relaxed and stress-free. If you are low in GABA—you feel anxious, irritable, overwhelmed, stressed and wired.

When you are low in GABA, you tend to have anxiety attacks, carbohydrate and alcohol cravings, ringing in the ears, muscle tension (especially in neck and back), trembling/twitching muscles, numbness or tingling in fingers, your breathing may be too fast and too shallow, excessive sweating, heart palpitations and insomnia.

Alcohol, marijuana, valium and heroin all boost GABA in the brain and body. This is why a person severely deficient in GABA, which may be genetic or acquired from stress and trauma, will turn to alcohol and drugs and are much more likely to become addicted.

This is part of the reason why people find it so hard to stop using substances that they know are not good for them. Once they stop, their GABA goes down and they feel anxious, overwhelmed and unable to sleep.

How to boost GABA –

A) Yoga – A recent study followed two groups of healthy individuals over a 12-week period. One group practiced yoga three times a week for one hour, while the remaining subjects walked for the same period of time. Those who practiced yoga reported a greater decrease in anxiety and higher levels of GABA than those who walked.

B) SupplementsL-Theanine an amino acid found in green tea increases levels of GABA within the brain, increases the production of alpha brainwaves, as well as boosting focus and mental clarity. Study show that l-theanine is useful in the treatment of anxiety due to its ability to calm the nervous system, counteracting the toxic effects of stress as well as improving sleep.

Passion Flower extract has been shown boost GABA to aid in relaxation, and reduce tenseness and restlessness without creating dependency.

L-GlutamineGlutamine is amazing for alcohol, sugar and carb cravings. It also repairs the lining of the gut and is an all-around wonder amino acid.

(Caution: Do not take GABA support if taking anti-epileptics or Benzodiazepines or other sleep meds. Or if you have been drinking heavily)

Please check with your doctor before taking any supplements

 If you would like to know more, my two favorite books on the topic are:

The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Take Charge of Your Emotions by Julia Ross

How To Quit Without Feeling S**T: The Fast, Highly Effective Way To End Addiction To Caffeine, Sugar, Cigarettes, Alcohol, Illicit Or Prescription Drugs by Patrick Holford

0

Sabotaging Your Weight Loss

Posted by:

What Part Of You Is Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Success?

Have you ever said “part of me really wants to quit my job, but there is another part that doesn’t.” Or “part of me wants to lose weight but there is another part that thinks it’s just too hard”?  We all know how to lose weight, eat less and exercise more. Yeah, yeah. We all know how, but it’s why we’re not doing it, that’s the real question. If all parts of you wanted to lose weight, you would. So which part of you is sabotaging your weight loss success?
We all have different aspects of our personality that make us unique, however these parts can have different motivations than we are consciously aware of. Through various techniques, we can access our inner saboteurs, and change our beliefs at the core.
For example, have you ever felt like you can’t stop yourself from doing something that “part of you” doesn’t want to do? For instance, you would like to lose a few kilos and decide you are going to go on a diet. You spend hours researching the best food and exercise plan and know that this time you are going achieve your goal. Nothing is going to stop you from creating the body of your dreams!
The first day or two goes well and then catastrophe strikes. You may suddenly wake up from a sugar induced fog to realize you have eaten a whole packet of biscuits or you have no idea how you ended up in the McDonalds drive thru and scoffed a big Mac. Let me reassure you, it wasn’t the devil that made you do it. You may seem to “come to” wondering what the hell happened! You were so motivated, so focused, how could you have gotten so off track?
We are all familiar with the analogy of the little angel and devil on either shoulder, trying to persuade us to do their will and like that, we may have different parts with very different motivations from each other and our conscious goals.
Sometimes there are parts of our psyche that are in conflict with the rest of us or in disagreement with our conscious mind. This is a normal psychological phenomenon because we all have parts of our personality that have split off and keep us struggling to make decisions. Just as with any team endeavour, life flows better when our parts are working together.
Like multiple personalities, we have different characters within us that make up our personas. We may have a child part, a rebellious teenager, a critical parent or a wise guide within us. The average person has between five to seven different “parts” or “ego states” that take over during any given week. These parts may have different ages, different names, even opposite sexes. They are normally developed from some sort of trauma, and trauma can be something as simple as being embarrassed, or upset, by something. These “parts” then develop in order to keep you safe from experiencing that pain again. How they avoid that pain may not be in alignment with your conscious goals and desires.
The problem with our “parts” or “sub-personalities” is that most of us do not have conscious knowledge of them. And it’s pretty hard to change something that you’re not even aware of.
Hypnotherapy is a very effective way of accessing these unconscious aspects of ourselves. Parts Therapy is a proven technique used in conjunction with hypnosis that helps us communicate with these aspects of our subconscious. To find out why we do things we may be ashamed of or can’t just stop no matter how hard we try, talking to these parts gives us a level of understanding and control that can help us transform our lives.
When clients speak of qualities they don’t like about themselves or try to disown a part or state in therapy, I explain that all your so-called “faults”, all of the traits that you don’t like about yourself can be your greatest assets.  They may be simply exaggerated and you need to tone them down.  In doing this, you will be able to turn weaknesses into strengths and negatives into tools that can work for you.  You just need to see the gifts in the negative behaviour, learning to use them in suitable moments.  By embracing the parts you don’t like, you can see the gifts that these qualities can bring and guide you toward your goals and self-acceptance.  Basically, this process will help you to reframe your outlook of yourself.
By learning to forgive ourselves for being human and imperfect, we learn to accept and forgive others as well, which can transform our lives.  Sub-personality awareness also brings great understanding to the important relationships in our lives and how we may be projecting unconscious aspects of ourselves onto another person.
During my training in “Parts Therapy”, I went to a therapist to experience it for myself.  I decided to address my own sabotaging behaviour with my weight.  I had no conscious awareness of why I always seemed to sabotage myself, as soon as I neared my goal weight – I would start eating everything in sight, gaining back every kilo I worked so hard to lose.
In the session, I accessed a younger part of myself that said no matter what, she was going to try to make me as fat as possible in order to keep me safe from any negative male attention. This part of myself had decided that by keeping me overweight, she was keeping me safe in the best way she knew how.  Throughcommunicating with my sabotaging part, the therapist was able to help my part see that she wasn’t actually helping me to stay safe and there were better ways to develop a feeling of safety. This process was a revelation for me; I realized that some of my thoughts around food were coming not just randomly, but were being driven by a part of myself that had an ulterior motive.
After that session, I just seemed to stop having that internal battle. I experienced an inner peace I had never known before. I stopped struggling with my eating habits and my weight normalized. Now and then I may get an urge to eat food that I know causes me to gain weight.  I am able to have a conversation with myself, finding out what may be driving this urge. Once we’ve had our “little talk”, the unhealthy desires seem to shift.
“Parts Therapy” is, and continues to be, a powerful tool that I use to assist clients in changing their lives. These parts are very real to the client. Recognizing the parts desires and negotiating a change that is agreeable to both allows you to end the constant “to-and-fro”. We have all experienced it.  Bringing these parts into alignment creates a more peaceful existence, and who wouldn’t benefit from that?
0
Page 1 of 2 12