Christmas Cheer or Christmas Grrrrr.

Audio Version Of This Blog.

Welcome to December. Now., this month. Can be really joyous. Or really stressful? It really depends. On your mindset. Perhaps events of the past have ruined the festive season for you. Whatever your feelings are for this time of year. You don’t want to be stressed or miserable unnecessarily. Love it or hate it Christmas will soon be upon us.

If you don’t like Christmas. Have you ever really thought? Why? Perhaps your parents never liked it and you have just followed in that same mindset. Or your memories of Christmases when you were young, were, not so Happy. Or perhaps like me? Other people in the household don’t like. Christmas. And you struggle with their moods.

Growing up as a child I loved Christmases. Family would pop over. Games were played. Drinks would be had. Neighbours would pop in. Even the milkman. Decorated his float. And on Christmas Eve his bottles would rattle as he came down the street. And as a child, that was a magical memory for me. However. As we grow older. Trying to recreate that magic. It’s not always possible. Times change. People change. Families get bigger and they do their own thing. So trying to relive that childhood Christmas becomes impossible. I love the build up to Christmas. I start my Christmas playlist on the 1st of December. To the annoyance of others in my house. I try to get the decorations up as early as possible, in December of course. I try my best to recreate the magic. The fun, the laughter. But it never really works.

If I had my way, the television wouldn’t go on on Christmas Day. The Christmas tunes will be playing loud around the house. Drinks would be flowing. (not for me as I don’t drink, but that doesn’t bother me) The dinner would be cooking. And stupid games would be played. Too much food will be ate, Perhaps too much drink will be drunk. But fun would be had.

But that’s not how it will be. We will have breakfast. We will open the presents. And then the stress starts.

So how do I, not let the stress ruin. My Christmas?

Love it or loathe it, there’s no denying that the ‘season to be jolly’ is, for many, the ‘season to be super stressed’. Christmas can be a magical time, but it can also be the one time of year that takes the biggest toll on our mental health.

Christmas induced pressure can be horrendous. Pressure to have a great time, the pressure to look amazing, the pressure to buy the best presents, the pressure to avoid weight gain, the pressure to see all your family and friends. And the pressure to do it all with a big smile on your face as you go round spreading festive cheer.

Sound achievable? Of course not.

The strain on us to have a fantastic time for just one day in itself sets us up for an almighty fall. All around us are images of people seemingly happy in huge families, cosy couple and big social groups. We compare and we despair!

According to the Stress Management Society, one in 20 people considers Christmas more stressful than a burglary, and over half of Britons will have had an alcoholic drink before lunch on Christmas day to try to cope with the stress.

As a hypnotherapist, the key piece of advice I would give right now is to get to work on changing those patterns that have created Christmas stress in the past, so that you can create a Christmas that will leave you feeling fulfilled, settled, content and ready for 2022.

The key concept is that our thoughts, feelings and behaviour are all interconnected and that by understanding them and increasing awareness of our negative behaviour and emotional patterns, we can alter them and improve our wellbeing. In a nutshell, it’s about changing unhelpful patterns into more helpful patterns.

What is Stress?

Stress is a mixture of pressure and anxiety; it can come from external factors such as work or financial worries or from internal factors such as self-criticism and high expectations. Stress increases levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the body; both of which impact negatively on physical health as well as our mental health.

Tips To Tackle Christmas Stress

Write it out: Putting pen to paper and writing a list of the things you find most unmanageable about Christmas helps you to really hone in on the problem areas. We can’t change things unless we become more aware of them and are willing to acknowledge the issues they are causing. Everyone’s trigger points will be different but awareness is the first point of change. Planning comes next! Write down your goals and plan, in manageable steps, how you will reach them. When we write down our goals we are 10 times more likely to achieve them.

Seeing friends: It might not always feel that way but, by nature, we humans are social beings and feeling connected is a major part of our wellbeing. This means personal contact – actually seeing people – rather than relying on social media to manage our friendships. Feeling connected with people we are close too lowers stress levels and also improves our immunity, so will help you fight the winter bugs too.

Lower expectations: We all need to lower our expectations on having a fantastic time, and ultimately setting ourselves up for major disappointment. This doesn’t just apply to Christmas time; we are guilty of expecting too much year-round, on a multitude of things. If we want to feel a certain way then you have to monitor the ways you don’t want to feel. Having more flexibility in our expectations around how we feel will give us more resilience when things don’t go to plan.

To do lists: My advice would to write your list of things to do, prioritise it, and half it. We are generally very bad at overestimating what we can achieve in the time we have, ultimately creating huge stress for ourselves.

Plan you’re downtime: Whilst many of us are great at scheduling all the things we need to do, not so many of us are good at booking in some downtime. Take time to yourself, or spend days and hours with your family and friends or doing the things you love. Christmas is a holiday time after all.

Shop online: Not to take anything away from local traders but with what’s happening in the world at the moment the best best idea for your own mental health is online shopping. Throngs of crowds, traffic jams, and mile-long queues at the tills are not good for stress levels! Shopping from the comfort of your own home usually means saving time and money, and always means protecting stress levels. Set a date and do it in one go.

So the bottom line. If you had great Christmases as a child, remember them with gratitude, they will stay in your head and heart forever. If you weren’t so lucky, realise you are the adult now and you can make the Christmas what you want. Don’t let your Children or Grandchildren grow up dreading this magical time of year.

PS. Need some Stocking Fillers? Books available by Jon Can I Change? a book to help you handle your anxiety on a daily basis. 100 days in isolation a fun book for both adults and children showing the funnier side of lockdown.

Now Available. A solution to give you that instant Stress relief or boost of confidence, where you need it, when you need it. Update & Reboot. A gift to yourself. Just £50.00 Purchase here.

Have a great one whatever you do. Stay safe, Stay well and enjoy.

I will see you in 2022

Best wishes and Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you all.

Jon X

Jon Adkin BAHyp Clinical Hypnotherapist and IEMT Practitioner.

Find Jon on Facebook, Instagram, You tube and TikTok.

Are you ready to leave lockdown?

It’s been a long time coming, but after yesterday’s announcement (Monday 22nd February), it looks like that light at the end of the tunnel is finally shining bright. So, are you ready to face the world again? These lockdowns have changed a lot of people some for better, some for worse. Which category would you fall into?

Many people have been silently suffering for many reasons. The isolation has put strains on marriages, relationships with their own children, and pressure on themselves. I have had many people come to me realising that they need to change. They realise that the way they were, going into lockdown is not the way they want to leave it.

We all have traits that we don’t like about ourselves, some are so small that nobody notices. However, some are so visible that people can, and will decide whether they want to get to know you. It is those traits, habits, patterns of behaviour, that people notice and then make decisions about you. Let’s be honest, if you don’t like these things about you, how can you expect others to accept them? Those ways, those habits, those traits can change, you must realise, you wasn’t always this way. Many of our bad habits, or learned behaviours, come maybe from our parents, our siblings, our peers, but if they are learned behaviours, we can unlearn them, it is never too late to change, and if over these periods of lockdown, You have seen sides of you that you don’t like, well now is the time to do something about it. IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU.

It all starts with you.

So what is it that you would like to change? If it’s your appearance, change it get a new hairdo, lose weight, do your makeup different. Is it the way you think about yourself? The first thing you need to do is accept yourself as you are now, and then change the things that you don’t like. However if there are things about you that you feel have changed over the years like losing confidence, perhaps losing that self-worth, or having no self esteem. Well those things are still inside of you, they have just got buried over the years and perhaps you even forgot that you even had them.

What hypnotherapy can do is allow these emotions those feelings, those old ways back to the surface, back where they belong. When I have clients come to me because of lack of confidence, self-worth or self-esteem one question I asked him is can they remember a time when they were in control? A time when they had confidence, self-esteem , self-worth a time when they felt happy, happy on the inside and on the outside. So many of my clients find that hard to answer, it’s in them, but it is so deeply buried they just can’t find it. Their feelings for themselves is so low, that they feel they are unworthy of happiness, they don’t deserve to have felt good so they chose to bury it.

We all have a time in our life when we felt good, in control happy, It doesn’t matter what upbringing you had, you always had a time just for yourself. It may be when you was playing in the garden with your toys in your own imaginary world, it may be the time that you was picked for a part in the school play, you had confidence when you went for that first job interview, you had the self-belief when you did things out of your comfort zone, perhaps driving lessons, perhaps you challenged yourself to do a sponsored anything that challenged you. When you chose to do those things you had the confidence the self-belief and if you had it then you can have it now.

We have all been happy at some point.

Why shouldn’t you be happy, loved, successful or whatever it is that you desire. There is no reason why, it all starts with you hypnotherapy can help you release those feelings, put down, hurt, guilt, emotions and thoughts that are holding you back. I specialise in content free hypnotherapy, which means you don’t even need to know what is causing your problems. Many people come to me with an issue that isn’t the issue. So many memories, insults, put downs are burried to protect us , but they are there and over the years those voices that put them there become our voice and we start to believe them. It’s time to let that inner voice know who is in control. Remember it all starts with you.

If you went into these lockdowns hiding behind a mask and I don’t mean the medical ones I mean the one that you put on every morning and you take off every night. Why not use these remaining weeks to regain that inner strength , that inner confidence, that self-belief. Search for that inner happiness, and then look at what you have achieved. Stop focusing on the negative things in your life and realise now just how far you have come and what you have achieved.

I work not only face to face but online via Zoom, so it doesn’t matter where you are in the world I can help, and if I can’t help I will know someone that can. So no more excuses make the change that you want that you need, you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is and how quick you feel those changes. Look up my testimonial page see how I have helped others, and I know that you may be skeptical and because of that I offer a free consultation where we just chat and you can ask whatever questions you like and I will be happy to answer tell you how I can help. Use these remaining few weeks for you, let some good come out of this pandemic so that you have the strength the confidence the self belief for the new normal.

Remember IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU.

Until next time.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Jon

Hypnotherapy in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge. and online via Zoom

Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon. and 100 days in isolation. A collection of funny original images of one mans decent into comic madness during lockdown

Find me on You TubeFacebookInstagram. and now TikTok.

Lockdown 2 Survival tips

So lockdown 2 has begun. Or Jamanji level 11 2020 As I like to call it.

We have survived it once we can survive it again but this time with an added strength because we know that we can do it.
Since it was announced I was looking for clarification as to whether I would be able to stay open and offer support to those that are anxious about lockdown, I was going to offer online sessions anyway but I do have a lot of clients where they prefer face to face rather than online. I understand that. I also understand how this new lockdown could be a tipping point for many. It’s colder, so we are not so quick to go out and do our daily walk. The days are so much shorter, and that means that you sit down and overthink so much more. So the lockdown take a different shape this time around.

I’m Open


Anyway I was given the all clear to stay open with guidelines of course, but at least people will know that there is help out their for them if not from me, from one of my very capable friends. So don’t let this lockdown get into your head. You are in control of your thoughts so keep them positive ones.


I’ve put together tips to survive this lockdown below. Some are mine, some are ones that I thought were great suggestions from various websites. As long as they help you I’m happy.

  • Keep to a routine – everyone is in unfamiliar territory with the current pandemic, so
    keeping some normality and routine is vital. Try to get up and go to bed at your normal time.
    Getting enough sleep, eating regularly and keeping hydrated will help optimise your health to
    fight the bugs off. Children can be particularly sensitive to upheaval, so try and make their day
    structured with set ground rules/boundaries, and stick to them.
  • Variety is the spice of life – A variety of activities will help stave off any boredom, you
    don’t have to just resort to box-sets and daytime TV. Gardening is a great activity, and fun to
    do with kids. Giving it a good old clean up at this time of year is ideal and if the kids are helping all our creepy crawly friends are out in force. You don’t even have to have a garden, as many things can be grown easily on a window sill. Local garden centres are also offering free home delivery. Reading a book or keeping your mind active with puzzles/quizzes/crosswords etc. are easy activities to get
    started with, and there are loads of activities available online, for adults and kids, that have
    been made free during the lockdown. Why not try to learn a new language, a musical instrument
    or broaden your horizons with a free opera broadcast?
  • Regular Exercise & fresh air – exercise is often the first thing to go out of the window
    when our daily routine is disrupted. Exercise not only keeps us physically well, but is also a great
    way to de-stress and protect our mental health. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, if you are
    stuck indoors there are lots of HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions you can do
    quickly, or do something simple like walking up and down the stairs a few times. Anything is
    better than nothing. If you can get outside even better, 30 minutes of a brisk walk/run/bike is
    plenty (maintaining your social distancing!).
    If you are lucky enough to have your own garden or outside space make the most of it if the weather is nice. If you don’t, or if you struggle to get out, then open the window and let some fresh air in.
    If it’s a clear night why not go out for a walk in the evening and do a bit of stargazing?
Don’t start snacking
  • Healthy eating – like exercise, when our routine is disrupted or we get stressed, eating
    habits can go to pot. Try and eat regular meals. Avoid too much snacking, or if you do, try to
    choose healthy snacks like nuts or fruit. Use it as an opportunity to get adventurous with
    cooking, and learn some new culinary skills. If you have kids at home, baking or cooking is a fun
    activity to do together and educational for them too. There are loads of recipes ideas online if
    you need them.
  • Limit social media & news feeds – it’s great to stay informed, but getting obsessive and
    tuning in all the time can be detrimental. If you are finding your anxiety ramping up, try to stay
    away and limit access to once a day. Also make sure you get your info from reputable sources,
    have a healthy scepticism of anything you read online or on social media. If you are not sure,
    look on official websites (NHS, Gov.uk) or ask your friendly GP (practice website or e-consult if
    available).
  • Help neighbours – elderly, unwell, or immobile neighbours are going to be at greater risk
    during this period. If you have time why not give them a call to check on how they are doing,
    and if you are doing an essential shopping run ask them if they need anything. Many communities
    are setting up formal volunteering groups which you could get involved in.
  • Stay connected, make the most of technology – we are fortunate to live in an age
    where there is a huge number of ways to keep connected. Just because you are in isolation
    doesn’t mean you can’t keep in contact via telephone or video call. Many methods offer group
    chats/calls so you can get the extended family all together, or your kids can keep in contact
    with their friends. Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom are a good starting point.
Keep in touch.
  • Support local businesses – restaurants, bars and shops are going to take a big hit in the
    coming weeks, and without support may struggle to keep afloat. If they continue to offer home
    delivery or takeaway why not treat yourself now and again and support your local community.
    We will miss them when they are gone if we don’t!
  • Look after you mental health – as mentioned already, routine, exercise and avoiding too
    much social media/news can all help safeguard your mental health. However, if you are starting
    to struggle there is help out there for you. Calm and Headspace are great resources for
    anxiety which usually need a subscription but currently are offering free content. Your GP can
    also help or signpost you if needed, and there are many other charitable organisations that
    offer support online or by telephone*.
  • Relax, give yourself a break – particularly relevant if you are trying to juggle working
    from home I would hope that most employers will be supportive and understand that productivity just isn’t going to be the same in the current situation. So cut yourself some slack and don’t put yourself under too much pressure – everyone needs a bit of me time and a break.
    And finally…remember this isn’t going to last forever. Stay safe, be kind and supportive to
    each other and we will come out of this stronger.

Until next week, or possibly the week after 

Have a great week or two.

Take care and stay safe.

Jon X

Hypnotherapy in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge. and online via Zoom

Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon. and 100 days in isolation. A collection of funny original images of one mans decent into comic madness during lockdown

Find me on You TubeFacebook and Instagram.

IEMT What is it? What could it do for you?


Over this Covid period I wanted to use this time to expand my knowledge and learn something new that would help even more of my clients. I didn’t want to learn new hypnotherapy techniques as I believe that you should hone in on the skills that you have and expand on those and I’m getting some fantastic results with my clients and that makes me happy. So I looked for something that would compliment my hypnotherapy practice but offer something that was non hypnotic. I did lots of research and joined various groups to get an insight as to what was available.
Believe me there are lots. Now I’m not going to rubbish any of them or the courses that are available, as some were very credible but boy there are loads of scammers out there. If you are thinking of expanding your knowledge please be careful with who you sign up for. Don’t be so quick to throw your money away.
Anyway I digress. After months of research I decided that IEMT was a great fit for my practise. There are some great trainers out there and I decided to work with Matt Kendall at the IEMT Academy. I took the IEMT Practitioners course, and I am so glad I did.


So what is IEMT? Well the academy’s tag line is ‘Creating change in the blink of an eye’ and that sums it up perfectly. Integral Eye Movement Therapy (IEMT) is a developing area rapid change work that explores the area of undesired emotions and our ways of being. The process explores the question, “How did we learn to feel the way that we do?” and opens up the possibility of creating the appropriate change in our emotional lives. By teaching resources and skills inside the problem state, IEMT appears to bring the client more into the present moment and enables them to better stay out of past negative experiences.

Practitioners consistently report that IEMT has created change in their clients where no other approach has worked previously. IEMT is an excellent tool for dealing with a wide range of emotional issues. It is particularly effective in dealing with:
• Stress and Anxiety
• PTSD and Flashbacks
• Insomnia
• Feelings of guilt, regret and remorse
• Fears and phobias Dealing with overwhelm
• Removing negative memories and traumatic experiences
• Panic attacks
• Overcoming long term identity issues such as divorce

IEMT now available from Jon Adkin Hypnotherapist.

Now you may have heard or even had EMDR. So what’s the differences Between EMDR and IEMT Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Integral Eye Movement Therapy (IEMT). Both the EMDR and IETM models use eye movements but in practice that is where the similarity ends. You may be told that EMDR and IEMT are exactly the same in the same way that Freud’s ‘Psychoanalysis’ and Bandler’s ‘NLP’ are exactly the same because they both use words. EMDR is a model used mainly by licenced medical professionals such as psychologists and psychiatrists. IEMT can be used by anyone trained in the model.

Where EMDR is primarily used to treat “trauma”, something it is very effective at doing. However IEMT is much more about the Patterns of Chronicity. These are 5 primary patterns that appear common to many chronic patients with, or without a history of trauma.
To summarise the differences:
Integral Eye Movement Therapy (IEMT)
• Is a model built around addressing and resolving The 5 Patterns of Chronicity
• Has applications in resolving PTSD
• Traumatic imagery is largely irrelevant to the process
• Addresses imprints of emotion for creating kinaesthetic change
• Addresses imprints of identity for creating change in self concept
• Uses eye movement as the dominant mechanism for change
• By design readily creates introspection and an alpha state with free floating imagery
• Prior qualification is not necessary for training in IEMT
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
• Is a model built around resolving trauma
• Is an application for resolving PTSD
• Traumatic imagery is central to the work and the client is encouraged to “observe” trauma
• Uses eye movement as well as tapping and alternating sounds
• Utilises affirmations and positive belief statements

Want to know if IEMT can help you?

So I’ve done my training, I’ve done my case studies (with fantastic results, Their words not mine) and now I’m ready to offer it to clients. Working with me and IEMT is just two sessions. No fluff, no reliving the original issue. And best of all during this Covid period it can be done online via Zoom or face to face in my practice.
I will also offer an IEMT/Hypnotherapy combination. This will be offered to clients who feel they need the hypnotherapy change alongside the IEMT release.
The bottom line is that I will always offer what is the best solution for my clients to be able to live and enjoy their life.

Until next week, or possibly the week after 

Have a great week or two.

Take care and stay safe.

Jon X

Hypnotherapy in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge. and online via Zoom

Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon. and 100 days in isolation. A collection of funny original images of one mans decent into comic madness during lockdown

Find me on You TubeFacebook and Instagram.

Time for a bit more positive thinking.

In this time of such uncertainty, I feel a bit of positive thinking is needed, don’t you? So what is positive thinking really? Positive thinking is the idea that you can change your life by thinking positively about things. This idea can sound a bit soft and fluffy, which is something of a problem for many people who recognise that just thinking good thoughts won’t change the world and therefore discard the whole idea.

However, research shows that positive thinking really does have a scientific basis. You can’t change the world, but you can change how you perceive it and how you react to it. And that can change the way that you feel about yourself and others, which can in turn have a huge effect on your well-being.

Quick Tips to Enable Positive Thinking

Gain Control of Yourself: Do not be critical of yourself to others. Whilst it can be useful to confide your concerns to someone you trust, telling the world is something else. Be kind to yourself. Make a list of your good qualities and believe them, believe in yourself.

Don’t Be A Complainer: By being negative you can isolate yourself from others and cut yourself off from positive solutions to problems.

Learn to Relax: Allow time for yourself each day, if only for a few minutes it is important to find time to relax and unwind.

Boost Your Own Morale: Treat yourself every now and again. Especially if you have overcome a problem or made a personal achievement.

Congratulate Yourself on a job/task well done and perhaps tell a friend. Justified praise is a good boost to morale.

Learn to Channel Nerves and Tension Positively: when you are nervous, adrenalin is pumped through the body and you feel more keyed up and alert. This extra energy can be used to good effect; enabling you to communicate with greater enthusiasm and intensity, for example.

Learn to be Assertive: Stand up for what you believe in and do not be pressured by others. See our section on Assertiveness for more.

WARNING! Don’t force it

Positive thinking is good. But you should not try to use it to block out everything negative that happens in your life. Sometimes bad stuff happens, and you will feel down about it. It’s no good pretending that you don’t because forced positive thinking can be counterproductive.

What you need to avoid is the ‘developing disaster’ scenario (the ‘my life is a total disaster’ tape that plays in your head). The best way to do that is NOT to tell yourself that your life is perfect. Instead, you need to recognise what has gone wrong but set it in context. For example: “Yes, I’m having a bad day, but tomorrow will be better. I will go home now and I will be able to think of a solution to the problem in the morning when I am less tired.”

Developing Habits of Positive Thinking

If you think about positive thinking as ‘being happy’, it is much easier to work out what you should do to develop habits based on it. For example, what do you like doing? And with whom do you like spending time?

Meditation
People who meditate every day show more positive thinking than those who do not. Is that the meditation causing the positive thinking, or just having time to think? It’s hard to tell, but it’s also hard to argue with the science. People who meditate tend to show more mindfulness, or ability to live in the present, which is also associated with positive thinking.

Writing
A group of undergraduates were asked to write about an intensely positive experience every day for three days. Amazingly, they had better moods and better physical health afterwards, and the effect lasted for quite a long time. This is a pretty easy thing to do: you could, for example, write a blog focusing on positive experiences, or keep a diary.

Play
It’s important to make time for yourself to have fun. Sometimes you might need to actually put it into your diary to force yourself to make that time, whether it’s to meet a friend for coffee, or go out for a walk or a bike ride.

Ask yourself questions.

The Power of Questions
Our minds actively look for answers to questions. So if you ask yourself ‘Why do I feel so bad?’, your mind will find lots of answers and you will feel worse. With NLP the key is to ask the right questions, for example:

Why do I want to change?
What will life be like when I have changed?
What do I need to do more/less of in order to change?
Questions like these naturally lead to a more positive outlook.

How to think positive thoughts
Positive thinking can be achieved through a few different techniques that have been proven effective, such as positive self-talk and positive imagery.

Here are some tips that to get you started that can help you train your brain how to think positively.

Focus on the good things
Challenging situations and obstacles are a part of life. When you’re faced with one, focus on the good things no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they seem. If you look for it, you can always find the proverbial silver lining in every cloud — even if it’s not immediately obvious. For example, if someone cancels plans, focus on how it frees up time for you to catch up on a TV show or other activity you enjoy.

Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude has been shown to reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and foster resilience even in very difficult times. Think of people, moments, or things that bring you some kind of comfort or happiness and try to express your gratitude at least once a day. This can be thanking a co-worker for helping with a project, a loved one for washing the dishes, or your dog for the unconditional love they give you.

Keep a gratitude journal
Writing down the things you’re grateful for can improve your optimism and sense of well-being. You can do this by writing in a gratitude journal every day, or jotting down a list of things you’re grateful for on days you’re having a hard time.

Open yourself up to humor
Studies have found that laughter lowers stress, anxiety, and depression. It also improves coping skills, mood, and self-esteem. buy my book 100 days in isolation

Be open to humor in all situations, especially the difficult ones, and give yourself permission to laugh. It instantly lightens the mood and makes things seem a little less difficult. Even if you’re not feeling it; pretending or forcing yourself to laugh can improve your mood and lower stress.

Spend time with positive people
Negativity and positivity have been shown to be contagious. Consider the people with whom you’re spending time. Have you noticed how someone in a bad mood can bring down almost everyone in a room? A positive person has the opposite effect on others.

Being around positive people has been shown to improve self-esteem and increase your chances of reaching goals. Surround yourself with people who will lift you up and help you see the bright side.

Practice positive self-talk
We tend to be the hardest on ourselves and be our own worst critic. Over time, this can cause you to form a negative opinion of yourself that can be hard to shake. To stop this, you’ll need to be mindful of the voice in your head and respond with positive messages, also known as positive self-talk. Research shows that even a small shift in the way you talk to yourself can influence your ability to regulate your feelings, thoughts, and behavior under stress.

Here’s an example of positive self-talk: Instead of thinking “I really messed that up,” try “I’ll try it again a different way.”

Identify your areas of negativity
Take a good look at the different areas of your life and identify the ones in which you tend to be the most negative. Not sure? Ask a trusted friend or colleague. Chances are, they’ll be able to offer some insight. A co-worker might notice that you tend to be negative at work. Your spouse may notice that you get especially negative while driving. Tackle one area at a time.

Start every day on a positive note
Create a ritual in which you start off each day with something uplifting and positive. Here are a few ideas:

Tell yourself that it’s going to be a great day or any other positive affirmation.
Listen to a happy and positive song or playlist.
Share some positivity by giving a compliment or doing something nice for someone.

Say goodbye to negative thinking

The Effect of Negative Thinking
To understand the effect of positive thinking, it’s helpful to think about negative thinking first. Most negative emotions, such as fear or anger, are designed to help with survival. They cause us to take swift and effective action to save ourselves from whatever is threatening us. This means that they also prevent us from being distracted by other things around us. So far, so good, in survival terms. If there’s a bear standing in front of you, you don’t want to stop to pick flowers.

But negative thinking is not so great in more modern settings. If you’ve got a lot to do, and you’re worried that you won’t get it all done, the last thing you need is for your brain to shut down and focus only on how long your ‘To Do’ list has got. Negative thinking is a habit, something you can train your brain to avoid. Constant negative thinking can make you much more likely to be stressed and can lead to more serious problems, like depression.

Until Next week.

Take care and stay safe.

Jon X

Hypnotherapy in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge. and online via Zoom

Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon. and 100 days in isolation. A collection of funny original images of one mans decent into comic madness during lockdown

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