It’s a bit like torture.

When people come to my hypnotherapy practise in Haverhill, I find a lot of the time that the issue isn’t the issue. What I mean by that is that they come to me for and say anxiety, but they don’t know what set it off, or they blame the wrong event, anxiety is a mixture of emotions and it’s when those emotions all get together that you start to suffer. So when people come to see me, we always talk first, and I do this for two reasons. firstly, by talking I can begin to understand what the client is feeling, I can build up trust and make notes on what they say and how they feel it’s affecting them. However more importantly, is that by talking about their issues and how it’s affecting them I know that the subconscious is listening, and it is the subconscious that needs to make the changes.

So why have I said it’s a bit like torture? Well, if you think of your mind like a bucket under a dripping tap, and over the years, even when you small child, all the things that you have ever seen, heard, smelt, and felt are all stored  in your subconscious mind. All the happy memories, all the good times, times when you laughed, times when you felt happy on the inside and on the outside. Times when you may have heard a certain song, and if you were to hear that song today you go straight back to when that melody got into your head. Certain smells may transport you back to perhaps your grandparents house, something like a real fire burning or in my case A paraffin heater. At this time of year if I go out for a walk and I see some conkers on the floor, it brings a smile to my face because at the end of my street that I was brought up on were some huge conker trees, and me and my mates which stand there for ages throwing sticks as high as we could to get the biggest conkers down. For me they were great days and those memories will forever stay in my head. However our subconscious doesn’t only store the good stuff, all the bad stuff is in there too, The insults, The putdowns, the bullying, the injustices, the guilt, the grief every bit of negativity that we have had said to us or we have put on ourselves is stored in our subconscious. So that bucket under the dripping tap has been filling up bit by bit and then one day out of the blue something happens, that makes that bucket overflow, and it all comes out.  

Our mind is like a dripping tap

Now, that thing that made that bucket overflow could be something really simple, on its own not a problem at all, but because it was the straw that broke the camel’s back you focus on that as the problem that you come to see me with. And if you don’t go and see somebody, you end up focusing on the wrong problem for the cause of your anxiety. Think about it you are at home and your child accidentally drops a plate or a glass, and because your mind (your bucket) is full of unwanted thoughts and memories You overreact. You start shouting at the child, you angrily try to pick up the pieces of the broken glass or crockery and you may cut yourself so you shout more at the child As that plate or glass hit the floor that was the drip that made your bucket overflow.  

Now you are annoyed, now you are angry, the child is upset crying perhaps hiding away from you and because they are crying and making irritating sounds you get even more annoyed. So the cycle begins, you blame the child for your anxiety , you blame the child because you cut your finger, you blame your child for ruining your day she blamed the child for everything, but hang on that’s not right.

Just one drip can make us overreact

Let’s take a step back, let’s look at the situation but from a Birds Eye view.

There you are resting on the sofa, you just been speaking to work and you’re a bit stressed, your daughter senses that mum is a bit stressed, she wants to help, she notices the washing up on the side so while mum is resting she decides to do the washing up, she can’t quite reach the sink but she does her best, she washes the plates, the pans and she is reaching into the Sink And with her soapy slippery hands she picks up the last glass, but as she lifts it up it slides out of her hands and on to the floor. You go running into the kitchen, you see the broken glass, you see the water on the floor, and you shout you lose it. You shout at your daughter you become angry, you become irrational, you’re annoyed and you pick up the glass from the floor and as you do you cut yourself, in your eyes that’s your daughters fault as well. Now look at the scene your daughter is crying and looking scared, you’re angry and bleeding from the cut on your hand, and you feel the anxiety rising in your body.

When the issue isn’t the issue

So let’s look at the facts, your daughter sensed the stress and she wanted to do something nice for you, she wanted to give you one less thing to have to worry about, so she decided to do the washing up. It was a lovely gesture because she didn’t want to see mummy stressed. She did her best, and through no fault of her own she accidentally dropped a glass, actually she didn’t drop it, it slipped, slipped from her soapy hands because she was trying to do something nice for you. You were stressed on the sofa, you heard the glass break and before you assessed the situation you got angry, you overreacted, you lost it. Whereas what you should have done is comforted your daughter, make sure she was okay, after all to please you she had pulled a chair up to the sink, she put her hands in hot soapy water, there might have been some sharp knives in there, she didn’t care, she wanted to make life easier for you, when that glass slipped out of her hand she obviously became very upset, and had you not overreacted you would have notice that.

That incident is not the cause of your outburst, that incident was just the straw that broke the camels back. Perhaps the call from work started that bucket to overflow, perhaps it was the fact that you stubbed your toe this morning and it put you in a bad mood, or perhaps it was because when you came down this morning the cat had been sick and you had to clean it up. But you lost it, you overreacted to something that was being done to help you.

Now you know what was really going on, take a deep breath, relax and now what would you do?

How many of you can relate to this?

It’s so common, Hypnotherapy can help. We can release some of that clutter, imaging having a valve that you can open at any time. We can change the past but we can change the way it affects us.

If you would like to know more about hypnotherapy contact me, and if I can’t help you I have a network of other therapists that can.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s actually a sign of strength.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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.

Ways to stay calm during isolation.

It’s a weird time for everyone self isolation and social distancing can make it hard to feel normal and can be even tougher on your mental health so here are some 5 tips to help you stay calm

Clear up your social media

you are probably spending a lot more time scrolling through Instagram Facebook and Tik Tok but Have you ever wondered how this can have an effect on your mental health? Try unfollowing accounts that make you anxious, worried or angry. Replace them with some positive, good vibe accounts. Trust me you will thank me later

Plan your day Lola when your normal routine is disrupted it can cause you distress which impacts your mood and your productivity

take some time each day to write down how you want to spend your day. This will give you a sense of order and normality. Decide on your new routine and make sure you build in time to do things that you enjoy.

Practice mindfulness

there are lots of free apps and even Instagram and Facebook lives on practicing mindfulness at home. Whether it’s breathing techniques meditation or yoga there are practices that can be done with the whole family and it will help restore a sense of calm and peace within the house.

Take a break from the news.

With all the constant updates directly to your phone and coverage on TV from morning to night it can be hard to switch off. You might even feel guilty for doing so, So if you notice that this is having a negative effect on your mental health, try limiting how often you check the news.

Read a book or listen to an audio book

taking a break open your screens is so important. Reading or listening to a book can help you escape. Why not we read one of your favourites or take a peek of some mindful minute blogs.

Zoom for Online Sessions

Staying connected

Video calls

Phone calls are amazing, and are a great way to stay connected. But seeing someone’s face really can make a huge difference on a phone call. It can lift your mood and make you feel less lonely. There are lots of free video calling services you can use, and if you can connect to wifi this will help if you’re worried about your data allowance. Don’t be shy about going on camera – your loved ones will really appreciate seeing you, even if you’re in your pyjamas! You could really brighten someone’s day

Find a positive online community

If you do want to stay online, there are lots of positive online communities, where you can make new friends, get inspired and chat about things you care about. You could try searching for groups involved in causes, music or TV shows you are passionate about.

But remember to avoid anything that encourages you to do things which are harmful for your physical or mental health. If you’re worried by things you’re experiencing online, talk to someone you trust.

Reach out

You’re probably not the only person feeling worried, bored or frustrated. It’s a good time for a catch up, so don’t be afraid to make the first move and reach out to someone you haven’t heard from in a while. They’ll probably be very grateful to hear from you. Send them a message and let them know you care.

Feel productive

Make a list of all those things you said you would do but never get round to. It could be sorting out your wardrobe, doing some gardening, fixing things around your living space etc. These tasks can make you feel productive and give you a sense of accomplishment. Tidying your living space can also make you feel calmer and more positive. If you want to take the time off to rest and not be productive, that’s also fine too. Listen to your body.

Dealing with stressful situations at home

Walk away before you do or say something you regret.

Walk away from tense situations if you can

Being cooped up with other people will naturally be frustrating and might create tension between you and those you live with. You can defuse difficult situations by walking away from arguments until everyone starts to feel calmer. If you and those you live with do not have any coronavirus symptoms, you could go outside for a walk.

Create a rota

If you’re in a situation where lots of people are fighting over who gets to decide what you watch on TV, who cooks and cleans, or anything else, you might find it helpful to create a rota. This can help you agree a fair system and help avoid arguments.

Reach out for help

If your living situation is difficult, please don’t struggle in silence. Speak to someone you trust. Call a friend or a helpline. If you’re worried about being overheard, you could try texting or emailing instead. There are lots of helplines which also offer text and online messenger support.

Finally some calming tips for kids.

Play a mindful game

It can be hard to think of ways to keep your children occupied, especially without resorting to screen time. One way to occupy their time during the day, and help them feel calmer at the same time, is to play games that involve the senses. This can help them bring their attention back to the present moment and create a feeling of groundedness.

Here are some quick, simple, mindful games you can get your children involved in, without much preparation time and hassle:

Touch: Put a bunch of mystery items in a paper bag and take turns feeling one object at a time and guess what it is as you describe the texture and shape.

 Sight: Look around the room in silence for one minute, and point out all of the things you never noticed before.

 Sound: Set a timer for one minute and count how many different sounds you can hear with your eyes closed, and then share what you heard with each other.

Make Memories with the kids.

Cooking with a twist

When the children are home all day, there will be more cooking to get through and mouths to feed, which offers the perfect opportunity to get children stuck into some mindful cooking and baking – while learning multiple new skills at the same time!

Encourage your children to help you out with the daily cooking, teaching them small skills and keeping them engaged in the process of turning ingredients into meals. Focusing their attention on tasks such as stirring, mixing and weighing, can be an active, fun way to help them concentrate and keep their minds in the present, allowing stressful thoughts to leave the mind.

To further use the senses, encourage your children to describe the colours of the ingredients, the texture of the food during different parts of the process, and notice the different forms the meal has taken, from start to finish.

Baking in particular can be a fun activity for children to be occupied with, whilst also being a grounding and therapeutic experience. The repetitive actions and gentle rhythms when mixing or kneading can help relax the mind. This is a similar process to concentrating on your breath during guided meditation sessions.

It is also very rewarding; when children have finished baking and can see and eat the end result, it can provide them with a feeling of satisfaction. They can also share the food they made with the rest of the family, with the act of sharing being great for mental wellbeing, as well as bringing the family closer together through the exercise.

One of the best parts of this mindful activity is the delicious aroma of the baked goods filling the house, creating a lovely cosy atmosphere, perfect for the family to unwind in.

I hope you all stay safe and healthy.

Until next week. Make memories and smile.

Jon X

Hypnotherapy in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge.

Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon.

Find me on You TubeFacebook and Instagram.

This is still me.

Hi Welcome back.

So continuing where we left off in last week in last weeks blog After leaving the hospital feeling a bit sorry for myself I jumped around jobs as I never had a plan B. (Kids, always have a plan B) More dislocations meant more time doing nothing. but I didn’t like to sit around doing nothing I got a job designing kitchens which I enjoyed for many years until… my other shoulder started to dislocate. This meant more ops, more time in plaster. Now I never was a fan of daytime TV Kilroy (The Jeremy Kyle of its day) never did it for me. so I offered my services to my sons school, helping with reading, art etc. The head teacher use to pick me up in the morning (She was not a great driver bless her) and I would jump on the school bus at the end of the day. She then employed me as the midday assistant. in the end, that stop gap lasted 26 years. raising to the heights of ICT Manager. Now during my time at the school I suffered even more illness. I had two heart attacks, 2 strokes and a few more dislocations. On paper I was a mess.

Now as much as I loved working with the kids, due to the illnesses and constant hospital visits (bearing in mind I was still in my 30s at this time) I lost my confidence and self worth. Looking back I was dipping into depression and I needed to do something about it. Yes life had dealt me a bad hand but I had two choices. Curl up on the sofa and give up or pull myself together and make the most of life. I chose to do the latter, but I needed help.

I went to W H Smith (No Amazon back then. Yes I am that old) and I bought myself Paul McKennas Self hypnosis books. Little did I know that would not only change my life but it would eventually guide me to my career today.

Not only did that book and the videos. Yes videos (do you remember videos? if not ask your Mum or Dad) They not only helped me get back on track they actually made me even more confident and full of self belief. Thanks to Paul I was back, better than ever.

All them years ago I never ever thought I would one day be a professional Hypnotherapist, but I like to study and read, so I continued to buy Paul’s books and became more and more intrigued as to why hypnosis did what it did.  I read lots of books and watched some DVD’s (yep we have moved on ) and then about 4 years ago I decided to train. never intending to do it as a career, I was just interested.

I studied, I worked with volunteers, I even roped my reluctant son in to help me. The more I did, the more I enjoyed it. I could do it.  I could really do it.

I qualified as a Hypnotherapist and I was so proud of myself. I had set myself a goal and I had reached it. this was the start of a whole new chapter of my life.

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Now I finished last weeks blog with a question. Did I make it as an entertainer? Well yes and no. Not in the way that I had envisaged I wrote Children’s books. The Adventures of Carla Bear. (6 in the set so far)  and over the years in the school I dressed up in many many guises and entertained the kids. I ran some of the school discos and every Summer fete and Christmas Bazaar I was there behind the mic. I even proved the Doctors wrong and I played the drums again. I couldn’t do 4 hour gigs like I use to, but I could play again and for years I taught the kids at school drums.  I loved my time at the school and seeing the kids flourish but it was time for a change.

A big change.

I started to offer my hypnotherapy services on evenings and weekends and I was really pleased in the way it was received. I had found a new purpose in life. I love to help people and the buzz that I was getting was making me want to do more.

So I did.

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I bit the bullet and I left the school. I didn’t have any support but what I did have is a lot of self belief and confidence. I know I could make it work, I believed in me.  It’s now approaching nearly 2 years since I made that jump. The house has not been repossessed, I’m not starving and actually I’m having more holidays than I ever did before. I’m making it work.

I have a lot of happy clients as you can see from my testimonial page. I’m helping others to make the changes in their lives and that makes me happy.

Moral of this story. Set yourself goals and reach them. Believe in yourself and have the confidence to go forward. You will make mistakes, but learn from them, don’t look back.

Until next time

Jon XX

 

 

Moving Up. Moving On.

Hi.

As we approach the last third of the school Summer holidays, this is where you may notice your child or children beginning to withdraw a little. Of course you will ask are they are okay and they reply I’m fine and disappear to their room. Actually they may not be okay. Children get very anxious about either moving up a class or moving on to a whole new school. They have listened to rumours about how horrible the teachers are and what punishments are given out. They believe that bullies roam the corridors looking for their next victim or that they will get lost in the many corridors and they will get in trouble for getting to class late. All of these are unfounded, exaggerated and in most cases just not true.

I worked in primary education for over 26 years.  I understand children, Hey, I’m only 5’4″ so most kids are taller than me so I’m at their level (Some may say mentally as well. Some will just make the transition but others suffer in silence. they convince themselves of the worst possible scenario and relive it every remaining day of the school holiday.

We don’t want our children to be unhappy or worried. We want them to look back on their school holidays and their childhood as some of their best memories.

So what can we do? now it’s funny you should ask. from this week up until the first week in September I run a Moving Up. Moving On program for children. It helps children realise they can cope, realise that they are so much capable than what they have been led to believe.  In just two sessions I will help that child to not only believe in themselves but also to give them the confidence to handle what ever they do face in the new term.

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Moving to a new school can be intimidating. In fact, it may feel as your whole world as you once knew it is crashing down. You may wish your friend was with you, or that the school was in your old neighborhood. However, it is possible to fit in at a new school. Follow these easy steps and you’ll find yourself fitting in no time!

Take a day to appreciate your environment. You won’t fit in at school if you don’t know the school well yet. Ask where places are or ask for a school map.

Be friendly to everyone. Be nice to adults, teenagers and kids alike, because they might just be your next teacher or friend.

Get to know your teachers. Talk to them and find out more about them. See how strict or lenient they are.

Make new friends. Try not to be shy, and be confident. Talk to different groups of people, but don’t ignore a certain group. Be yourself and don’t lie. This is your school now, so take a chance on letting your true personality shine through if you didn’t already at your old school.

Pay attention in class. Teachers always pay attention to new students.

Be yourself. If your first day in the school is the first day of the new year, then some people will notice you, especially if it is a small school. When people talk to you, don’t be nervous, but don’t be too loud. Be confident and make eye contact. However, sometimes you may need to make yourself loud so that you will get noticed, and but try not to constantly attract attention to yourself.

  • Don’t worry too much about what people think of you; you’ll over-analyze the situation and they might judge you for that.
  • Be genuine and be nice to everyone, no matter how mean they may appear at first. It’s usually always the ‘girl/guy that you hated at your new school’ that ends up being your friend after a little sincerity.
  • Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself, if it’s very clear that you should.

Avoid worrying about getting to know the school too much. Know where your locker is and have a map in case of emergencies, but whenever possible, ask the person sitting near you or a teacher in the hallway where something is.

  • Asking for directions to a class, for example, is a good way to talk to people and meet a lot of people on your first day. You’re the new kid now. Mention that to people whenever you need some help.

Prepare for your first lunch. Talk to students in the class right before lunch. Usually, they will ask you if you’re sitting with anyone, but if not, steer the topic towards school lunch (as in is the food good etc.) If no one specifically mentions eating together, but you’re walking to the cafeteria together, then it’s implied that you’ll eat lunch together.

Be nice to everyone. It is important to talk to everyone, even if they seem weird, when you are a new student. They could always know people you’d rather be friends with or introduce you to more people. Try to meet new people. However, if they are hated by everyone, then it is advised not to become best friends with them unless you really want to, don’t get too into people, hang out with everyone, and make sure you know a group or person well enough before deeming them your friend.

  • It can be the most tricky, manipulative people that talk to you at first, and it’s usually those who just talk to you later on, at the back of the classroom who are there for you later on.

Pay attention in class and try hard in school. If someone passes a note or whispers something to you, ignore them so you can pay attention to the teacher.

Join a few clubs or sports and make more friends in this way. Make sure you are committed to that sport or club.

Be consistently level-headed inside and out, and don’t over-think people or situation. Never forget that while you might be trying to fit in, you should never try to be anybody but yourself. The first couple of weeks are always confusing.

Share this with your children, show them you care and that they are not alone. 

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Warnings.

  • Don’t be negative. People don’t like a Debbie-Downer. A way to avoid this is to think positively about every situation.
  • If you had a bad reputation at your old school, don’t talk about your rep. Just pretend it never happened and make sure not to make the same mistakes at your new school.
  • Try to avoid drama if you can.
  • Don’t be obnoxious. It’s good to jump in and let people know you’re there, but allow them to get a word in too.

Be you. Be happy, and always do your best.

Until next week. Have a good one

Jon X