Insomnia

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Insomnia

 

Insomnia

First published on September 20, 2012

This is one subject that can keep people awake at night thinking why can’t they sleep!

Have you ever suffered from a sleepless night? I know I have on more than one occasion. It is normally when we have something going on in our lives that we are worried or concerned about. Some people suffer long term problems and need more professional help from someone like me. I wanted to give you some easy to follow tips and tricks to help with this problem.

The first tip is to stop drinking caffeine based drinks such as coffee around 8 hours before you go to bed because caffeine can stay in your system for a long time still working up to 12 hours after drinking a cup of coffee for example. Try drinking water instead or any other drink that is caffeine free, even decaffe coffee has some small amounts of caffeine in it.
The time it takes for the body to eliminate one half of a caffeine dose is normally between 3 to 12 hours. It is called the half-life of caffeine. Several factors can shorten or lengthen the half-life of caffeine. Smoking, medications and diseases are some factors. Pregnant women have higher caffeine half-life, 18 to 20 hours – pretty much longer for the fetus since its organs are not yet fully formed to be able to eliminate caffeine easily. About 99% of the elimination process takes place in the liver. Did you know that????

Don’t eat a meal before going to bed, have it a few hours at least before your bed time.

Relax before going to sleep. Have a nice warm bath or like me go and read in bed for half an hour before sleep. This allows your body and mind to unwind from the day properly.

Take 3 or more nice deep breaths just before you want to sleep. Breathe in through your nose and out though your mouth allowing your stomach to rise with each deep breath. This is called Diaphragmatic Breathing. Practise this a few times until it becomes comfortable. As you are breathing out say to yourself in your own mind “I am feeling sleepy”.

If you seem to have a lot of chatter or internal dialogue you can change it. Start by slowing the dialogue down and making it sound sleepy. Say words like “Relax” in your own mind and use the breathing exercise as above with it. You can even visualize a control panel in your mind which has dials on it with for example ”Volume” and “Tone” and make sure you turn the dials down to 1 or 0.

There are of course other factors such as anxiety linked with not sleeping which would take a while to read through that’s why I only write shorts blogs.

Simple things also help like is your bed and bedding comfy ,if not change them.

I hope this has helped.

If you feel you would like my help as a Hypnotherapist please contact me for an appointment.

Adam Cowming

www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


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My Journey

My Journey

First Published August 1, 2012

Hi and welcome to my blog again.

This time around I thought I would do something slightly different than the other blogs.

I get many people who seem to ask me the same question and it always is along the same lines when they hear I’m a hypnotherapist “How did you get into that then?”

In this blog I’m attaching a video answering all of those questions.

I made the video a while ago but didn’t really do anything with it.

So here it is, just be aware there is a bit promoting some courses on it but that not to near the end. I did the video for something else and never used it that why it’s on there.

Thanks for watching

Adam Cowming

Website www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


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The unconscious mind

The unconscious mind

First published July 11, 2012

This is big subject of which we haven’t really tapped into its full potential. We know that it comes from the Limbic System part of the brain which has been shown to activate on MRI scans in this area.

So what is it and what does it do?

I look at it as the programming for the body and mind which is there to protect us. It is far more powerful than the conscious part of the mind. Within the unconscious mind there are parts that do particular jobs and tasks than run the programs in our mind and bodies. As a hypnotherapist is my job to work with this part of the mind to help you the client to overcome or change the programs that you maybe running that are not working for you. Imagine the brain as big computer that will only work as well as the programs we put into it. Sometimes we program the wrong programs into our mind and the conscious then unconscious mind takes on this new behaviour.

I always use this example to people who ask about how big is the unconscious, if you were to see on a neurological perspective it doesn’t look that big compared to rest of the brain. If you put your fists together next to each other like a boxer that is about the average size of a brain.

The unconscious is far more powerful so in this case size does not matter. To get an idea I say get a golf ball and put it next to a football. The golf represents the conscious mind and the football represents the unconscious mind!

Research is still on going into this but we know for sure is that it plays a massive part in our lives every micro second of the day of our life.

Here is a bit of information on the Limbic System of the brain.

The Limbic System sometimes called the “emotional brain” or “Old Mammalian Brain” is the next part of the brain to have evolved in the more primitive mammals about 150 million years ago. This is where our emotions reside, where memory begins and where these two functions combine together to mark behaviors with positive or negative feelings. It’s where mostly unconscious value judgments are made. Information going through the Limbic System are filed under “agreeable or disagreeable”. It also plays a role in salience (what grabs your attention), spontaneity and creativity. Located in the Limbic System are:

  • The Amygdala

Its name is Latin for almond which relates to its shape. It helps in storing and classifying emotionally charged memories. It plays a large role in producing our emotions, especially fear. It’s been found to trigger responses to strong emotion such as sweaty palms, freezing, increased heart-beat/respiration and stress hormone release.

  • The Hippocampus

This guy is all about memory and a little about learning. It’s primary role is in memory formation, classifying information, long-term memory. Like the RAM in your computer it processes and stores new and temporary memory for long term storage. It’s also involved in interpreting incoming nerve signals and spatial relationships.

  • The Hypothalamus

It should be called the Hypothalamus because it does so much. It’s linked closely with the pituitary gland to control many of the body’s functions. It monitors and controls your circadian rhythms (your daily sleep/wake cycle), homeostasis (making sure your body is running smoothly), appetite, thirst, other bodily urges and also plays a role in emotions, autonomic functions and motor functions.

  • The Thalamus

The Thalamus is THE relay station in the brain. Most of the sensory signals, auditory (sound), Visual, Somatosensory (from your skin and internal organs), go through this organ on their way to other parts of the brain for processing. It also plays a function in motor control.

I hope you enjoyed my blog and thanks for reading them !

Adam Cowming

Website www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


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Taking Action

Taking Action

First published on June 27, 2012

There a lot of people in the self-help industry that say the magic words if you want something “Take massive action” to get it. Now as someone who coaches people how to have better lives and improve themselves I agree with this to a certain level. People also say nothing is impossible, I disagree.

My Dad is 70 years old, now would he be able to become an astronaut? The answer is no! If he wanted he could pay to go up on a special aeroplane and experience 0 gravity or even go on one of the flights to the edge of the earth’s atmosphere and that would be pretty close for a civilian. To become a real astronaut he would have to pass many tests set by NASA for example then spend some length of time in space so what is my point.

Take action but make sure that your goals are realistic and achievable! When a client asks me to help we sit down together and draw up a plan of action. Here is how I do that

What do you want to change? (The now)

What do you want to achieve? (Future Goal)

How are we going to get there? (Setting the plan)

When setting a plan it is important to takes steps every day to help achieve the end goal. Break it down into small tasks and set your end goal in a realistic time frame. Small steps even if they seem silly are still a step in the right direction. It is important to research your goal and find out as much as you can beforehand so you will have the right information to hand.

Set daily or weekly goals and don’t set yourself too much at once to do. Remember you may have a family to consider and to make time for as well. Fit your goal around your life and don’t make the goals your life but a part of it. Remember that there may be bumps in the road and it may not go as planned all of the time but accept this as part of the process.

I have recently set myself a goal of becoming a full time hypnotherapist, up until now I’ve have been ticking along seeing clients on a part time basis. So what have I been doing to ensure this happens?

I first of all ordered 5000 leaflets and delivered them myself and with help from my family. A lot of people will say leaflets are  a waste of time and no one looks at them, well from the phone calls and interest I’ve had I would say they are wrong ! How do people know about my business if they have never heard of me? I’ve done about 6 miles of small steps every day! lol

I have invested in having an up to date website built by a professional web designer, check it out for yourself.  www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk

I have also had a meeting at a local pharmacy which wanted a hypnotherapist to work in the shop, so I’ve hired the room from them and they book in the clients for me and do all of the marketing within the shop, this will hopefully lead to me working in their other shop as well. All of this because they saw one of my leaflets and I went into see him on the same day and had a meeting.

I haven’t done anything incredible or amazing all I have done is follow my own advice that I give to clients. Little steps but the results are now coming though with an increase of clients and local awareness of my business. I set myself 2 hours a day to do leaflet drops and did them all within 10 days. I also approached local businesses and put my leaflet in their shops, no one said no they were all happy to help promote a local business.

Life will not come to you, we have to go out and get what we want. If you want to achieve something in life but find yourself sitting on your butt all day complaining how the world is unfair and how you never get a break, ask yourself what have YOU done today to help yourself so far???

Take action but do it in a realistic way!!!!!!

Thanks for reading my blog.

Adam Cowming

Website www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


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Personality Types

Personality Types

When I have clients come to see me they sometimes use phrases such as; “part of me wants X the other part of me wants Y”. This is what we call parts conflict.

So what do they mean and how do I as a therapist explain what is going on in their minds in an easy to understand down to earth format?

I tend to use the Transactional Analysis model created by Canadian-born US psychiatrist, Eric Berne. Berne devised the concept of ego states to help explain how we are made up, and how we relate to others. They categorise the ways we think, feel and behave and are called Parent, Adult, and Child. Each ego state is given a capital letter to denote the difference between actual parents, adults and children.

Parent (“exteropsyche”): a state in which people behave, feel, and think in response to an unconscious mimicking of how their parents (or other parental figures) acted, or how they interpreted their parent’s actions. For example, a person may shout at someone out of frustration because they learned from an influential figure in childhood the lesson that this seemed to be a way of relating that worked.

Parent has 2 parts to this personality type

Nurturing – Nurturing (positive) and Spoiling (negative).

Critical – Structuring (positive) and Controlling (negative).

Physical – angry or impatient body-language and expressions, finger-pointing, patronising gestures. Sympathetic expressions, hugging, stroking.

Verbal – always, never, for once and for all, judgmental words, critical words, patronising language, posturing language. Soft, supportive voice and wording.

N.B. Beware of cultural differences in body-language that may appear ‘Parental’.

Adult (“neopsyche”): a state of the ego which is most like a computer processing information and making predictions absent of major emotions that could affect its operation. Learning to strengthen the Adult is a goal of TA.

Adult remains as a single entity, representing an ‘accounting’ function or mode, which can draw on the resources of both Parent and Child.

While a person is in the Adult ego state, he/she is directed towards an objective appraisal of reality.

Physical – attentive, interested, straight-forward, tilted head, non-threatening and non-threatened.

Verbal – why, what, how, who, where and when, how much, in what way, comparative expressions, reasoned statements, true, false, probably, possibly, I think, I realise, I see, I believe, in my opinion.

Child (“archaeopsyche”): a state in which people behave, feel and think similarly to how they did in childhood. For example, a person who receives a poor evaluation at work may respond by looking at the floor, and crying or pouting, as they used to when scolded as a child. Conversely, a person who receives a good evaluation may respond with a broad smile and a joyful gesture of thanks. The Child is the source of emotions, creation, recreation, spontaneity and intimacy.

Child also has 2 parts to this personality type

Adapted – Co-operative (positive) and Compliant/Resistant (negative).

Free – Spontaneous (positive) and Immature (negative).

Physical – emotionally sad expressions, despair, temper tantrums, whining voice, rolling eyes, shrugging shoulders, teasing, delight, laughter, speaking behind hand, raising hand to speak, squirming and giggling.

Verbal – baby talk, I wish, I dunno, I want, I’m gonna, I don’t care, oh no, not again, things never go right for me, worst day of my life, bigger, biggest, best, many superlatives, words to impress.

So here is what I sometimes say to the client that these parts clash for example part of them says go and have fun

(Free Child) and other part of them says they better not do that and stay at home(Critical Parent).

I find that people who tend to listen to their “Critical Parent” too much sometimes have a lot of negative internal dialogue in their mind. Now we all have this critical side and it is an important part of us that can protect us but it can also overwhelm people as well and can be very hard to override for the client. Other people have too much “Free Child” i.e. they go and do things without thinking of the consequences at all and this can also be as bad. It is all about getting the balance right.

People who drink too much or take drugs (addicts and functioning addicts) are doing so to override the critical parent and get into the free child state, they are shutting out that critical voice/memories that may have in the past reminded them of past experiences or overly critical voices they would rather not remember.

I know I have done things many years ago in the past that when I’ve had a beer too many and I was in the free child state. I did things I wouldn’t normally do, like walk home with a traffic cone on my head. In the morning my critical parent kicked in and I have laid there in bed with a bad head slightly embarrassed thinking, why I did I do that? At the time I was having fun with my friends but in the morning I thought I was a bit silly.

If you would like to read more about this subject I would recommend you read Eric Berne’s first book called “Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy”, “I’m OK You’re OK” by Thomas A. Harris and also “Games People Play” again by Eric Berne, they can be hard going for those of you without a background in Psychotherapy but they explain things in much more depth.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Adam Cowming

Website www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


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You?

First published on April 30, 2012

YOU

 

A while ago I went on a very interesting workshop and from that I learned a lot of new tools, what I also found was an interesting technique I still use today is gaining rapport and breaking rapport with a client.  Language is so important in my job as are all forms of communication.

I see many clients who are unconsciously (not aware)trying to bring me into their world and it is equally important I do not allow myself to do that in order to give them the best therapy sessions. It is not that I don’t feel for them and their situation but rather a matter of being objective about it. So how do they do this, with the little word “YOU”!!!!

It has become so intertwined in all of our language that we don’t even notice it anymore, unless you really listen and take note. When a client is explaining how they would like me to help them they often use the word “you” for example “You know what I mean? “Or “When you are feeling down it is really bad”. I stop them and say “When I’m feeling down or you?” and I ask them from this point on to refer to themselves as I. “When I am feeling down it is really bad”, the reason I say this to them is how do they know how I’m feeling or have even ever felt as they do? Do I really want to feel the same as a client coming to me for help??? NO

It will break rapport with the client, but it will also stop any unconscious actions on their behalf. I find the client will really start thinking about what they are about to say, often they don’t even know that they have been talking this way. I set them a task to not say “You” where it is not needed and also to listen to how many other people talk using the word “You”. I find that I will gain rapport easily again with the client again even after this little blip, and the session goes well.

I have taught this to almost all of my clients. In the past even a counsellor  who came to me for help, they were taken back a bit when I pointed this out saying “I had no idea I had been doing and saying “You” all of this time”. They went away with some food for thought about their own approach to language and now also use the technique within their job as a counsellor.

I hope this will give YOU a little to think about and also help with your everyday communication skills.

Adam Cowming

www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk