Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate!!!

Chocoholics everywhere love Easter time . . . all that chocolate everywhere . . . total indulgence . . . white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate . . . Easter eggs in an array of shapes, colours, sizes and temptations.
And I must admit, that I too have times when I can easily allow myself to get hooked on chocolate if I let myself . . . because chocolate has that feel good quality . . . it makes you smile . . . it can lift any dull moment and make you feel better . . . instantly!

So what is it about chocolate that drew Charlie into the Chocolate factory . . . was it the smell of chocolate (you know that smell, you can think of it now . . . if you wanted too!) was it the taste (that melt in the mouth sensation) . . . or is it all about the happy hormones that release from chocolate which make it addictive and desireable.

Now, if you don't like chocolate and are really not bothered by the stuff, then great, you have no need to read any further . . . However for most others (and especially it seems to be more of a female thing) chocolate can have such a hold over you that you secretly eat it, or over-indulge, feel guilty about it, and have a weight problem because of it. Not the best outcomes for something as innocent as a little peice of chocolate. And there lies the problem, if only you could just have a little bit! It can be for some people that once the taste buds for chocolate have lit up, then it all has to be eaten . . . something inside saying . . . oh, just one more peice . . . only a little more . . . oh, there's only one left now, I shall have to eat it anyway ~ shame to waste it!
Does any of that resonate with you???

So my way of breaking those addictions is that every year, for the past 5 years I have given up chocolate for lent. None has passed my lips since Shrove Tuesday and I will re-convene if I choose to on Easter Sunday, along with the rest of the population. I don't stop eating chocolate for any specific religious reasons, I do it to make sure that I can! It's good to check that self discipline from time to time, and I fully endorse that you try it too ~ okay so you may have missed starting for lent this year, however you could start today and go up until Easter . . . or choose one month a year (say May or June ~ so you can focus on reducing those excess pounds for Summer)
Any craving or addiction really means that 'IT' (whether that's chocolate/alcohol/wine/cheese) is in control of you . . . and it's important that YOU can gain control of 'it' back.

You are in control if you can feel indifferent about something, something you can take or leave . . . content either way.
As a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, I'm all too aware of how the mind plays tricks on us, can torment us, says "Oh, go on . . . have it, no one will know unless you tell them . . . it's our secret!"
So I'm always amused when my mind starts doing that too, and the first non-chocolate week was probably the hardest. Everytime I opened the fridge, I would be drawn unconsciously to where I normally have chocolate and then notice that slight sinking feeling that came up inside me which said "There's none there!". Gradually those moments get less and less, as you re-affirm "No, I'm allowing myself to have a break right now." Friends round for dinner and my husband suggesting "Let's make a nice chocolate cake?"  . . . my reply being "Remember I'm doing lent, how do you fancy a lemon drizzle cake instead?" . . . because I know that once you get the taste again the spell breaks and it's chocolate time again, so if you're going to put yourself in control, you have to prove to your mind that you really mean it. What you find then, is after those first few tests, it gives up and let's you get on with your determination to prove you can do it. . . letting you be in control once more.

There are some great helpful techniques which I teach my weight loss clients to put them in control of their cravings. My last HypnoSlim weight loss group had a chocoholic turn away from it completely and has not bothered with it since! So to discover more about how it might be supportive for you too see ~

Put yourself in control and have a healthy relationship with those Easter Eggs!
Happy Chocolate Free Easter!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Smoking ~ Do you think you choose to smoke or what?

Today is National No Smoking Day! 

I'm sure for many smokers, they think . . . here we go again!
Everyone telling us about the harm smoking causes & why we should stop smoking.
Probably for some it's a day they forget to remember, as they are happy to continue enjoying those cigarettes and perhaps even think that it's their choice . . .
they choose to smoke . . .
or do they actually choose at all?

You see the thing about choice means YOU are in control, which also means you can take it or leave it. And if you can do that with your cigarettes, then yes you are in control of the choices you make ~ but for nearly all smokers, they are far from being IN control, in fact the habit, addiction and cigarettes control them. So what might start as a choice thing, something which you choose to do, then gradually as the addictive and habitual aspects of the cigarette and nicotine kick in, what actually happens is that you no longer choose to smoke . . . the cigarettes and nicotine are now controlling you . . . and your freedom of choice as to whether you can take it or leave it . . . has gone!
Because if you were totally in control, then if you wanted to stop, or choose to go without smoking for as long as YOU wanted to, then you would have that sense of indifference about your cigarette, something you could take or leave. . . maybe forget even, if you chose to.
But what most smokers find is the minute they think they can't have a cigarette or may have a time without them, those mind games start . . . they may have extra cigarettes (to top up) beforehand, so they don't miss out . . . or they may smoke like a chimney afterwards to make up for it . . . but what all will find is that they keep thinking about them . . . craving them . . . planning when or where the next one will be . . . etc etc and that cigarette has got control of you.

As a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, I'm fully aware of the struggles that smokers go through to stop smoking, the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the previous failures, the mental torture . . . and this is why actually having hypnosis can really support a smoker through the process of getting back into control, being more able to forget about cigarettes more and more, to overcome cravings, and learn others ways to relax and de-stress. Which helps to make the process of stopping smoking much more accessible and dare I say more comfortable (especially by helping to reduce the mood swings).

So to read more about it then see my link here on the benefits of hypnosis to stop smoking today ~

Because ultimately we all want to feel like WE are in CONTROL of our lives and the choices we choose to make. . . don't we?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Healing Power of Sound

I've always felt that sound has an amazing effect on us all . . . it can change your mood from happy to sad, from grumpy to cheery, from depressed to up-beat . . . and visa-versa. Sound not only can effect mood but also emotions, thoughts and our physical responses to them as well.

When you think about your thoughts/feelings/moods make a conscious note to maybe the sounds around you, whether it's music you're listening to, or talking, or birds song, the sound of rain, or wind or loud industrial noises around you . . . all effect you both energetically and vibrationally.

Sound can be a healer and a harmer. I know which one I'd rather choose to follow . . . healing sounds are so powerful and incredibly re-balancing to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual sense of self. My first experience of the positive effects of yogic chanting, was in an Integral Yoga class in Bournemouth, and even though at the time I thought it a bit weird (as most people do), I discovered an energy, a quality afterwards which had such a profound effect on my life ~ that now as an Integral Yoga Teacher I love to chant whenever and wherever I can, because it feels so wonderful.
Shortly after my first steps into mantra chanting I also very gratefully found myself lying down on the grass outside on a yoga retreat being bathed with the healing Gong vibration of a Sound Bath!
Wow, such an amazing experience to enjoy . . . being bathed in sound ~ and I highly recommend it.
Since then I have been fortunate to experience many through my wonderful Yoga friends and their giving of healing Sound Baths . . .

So if this has whetted your taste buds to be curious about Sound Baths and would like to experience one for yourself too then check out this link to our next Yoga Sound Bath Workshop day being held on 14th April in Kettering . . . you never know you might like chanting too!   

You never know we might see you there!
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Mind and Body Wellbeing

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Educating the world

Today is World Spelling day . . .

Tomorrow is World Maths day . . .

and Thursday is World Science Day . . .

How great is that . . . education flowing the world over.
Check out this for your children to get involved in "World Education Games" part of a guinness book of records attempt for free and for fun!

And if you have number block, or spelling blocks you could explore the possibility of getting in contact with a Hypnotherapist to discover how left and right brain balancing can help you find it easier to recognize numbers and words and patterns within them, to improve this aspect in your life.

It's never too late to learn something new . . .  you're never too old to learn and change the habits of a lifetime. We learn new things everyday, so maybe at the end of the day you might look back and wonder what it was that you learnt today and more importantly how you can use it in the future . . .

Happy Learning,

Harshani Curbishley-Brown