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Get Organised And Save Time

Some friends and I were chatting recently and discovered something in common, namely a state chaos and a realisation of how much time is lost by attempting too many things at once.  I mean I’m talking, highly talented and skilled women here, so it was surprising to discover how many of us need to get organised in other ways.

We laughed about starting a hundred chores at the same time, okay slight exaggeration here, but…

Can you relate to this?

You start one task, for example clearing your desk, then you go to the kitchen to get a drink, open the fridge, notice the shelf needs a wipe over and end up cleaning out the fridge. Then you remember you’re half way through clearing up your desk, so go back to your desk. Then you notice an email that you should have responded to, start to reply and horror! Remember your were running a bath! Before long the whole place is in chaos! You need to get organised!

We agreed that having a number of tasks on the go feels really stressful. A messy environment equals a messy mind and definitely leads to feelings of agitation and stress. It triggers the inner critic too and before long, you’re berating and beating yourself up, which is very bad for your confidence and leads to poor self-esteem.

Does this or variations of it sound familiar?

But what if I told you there’s a cure for this, that in addition, you will have a nice little release of Serotonin, the drug that promotes internal happiness? Every time we get a reward, the brain releases a small amount of dopamine. Dopamine, a molecule that sends signals from our brain, gives us a temporary sense of pleasure.

When we increase rewards they build up and we eventually get a shot of Serotonin which gives us a deeper, longer lasting sense of pleasure and happiness.

It’s simply a matter of retraining your mind and re-conditioning your behaviours and that’s easier than it might sound.

The positive psychology of Neurolinguistic Programming helps us to get organised and encourages us to ‘Put Systems In Place’ again, this is not as complicated as it sounds.

For example; always putting your front door keys in the same place, will ensure that you wont spend 10 minutes searching for them with the “I’m sure I put them there” lament! It’s a system.

American Author Alan Lakein created the following to get us more organised,  read on now to discover how you can bring structure and simple systems to your tasks.

Cull the Chaos

1. Make a list with no more than seven tasks on it. Write A,B,C or D beside each task in order of priority i.e. the most important jobs will have an A next to them, then B and so on.

2. Start the first A job and complete it. Do NOT move onto any other chore until this first task is completely finished. Then you have the small pleasure of putting a BIG tick beside it and crossing it off of the list, and that’s your first reward and remember a reward equals a shot of feel good dopamine.

3. RINSE AND REPEAT! Do this and you’ll get organised.


When I discovered that multi-tasking is a myth,  that something has to suffer when you attempt to do two things at once, I worked even harder to stick to the above system. In a relatively short period of time I retrained my brain and my approach to tasks and have become addicted to feeling good!

Yoga Retreat

Oh, I almost forgot, if you’re in need of a reset and would like to experience a deeper state of peace and tranquility, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is we are now fully booked for the March 2024 Yoga retreat but the good news is that we do have a couple of spaces available on our weekday Yoga Retreat 12 – 14 June 2023.

It’s held in the beautiful space of Florence House in Sussex, suitable for beginners and experienced yogis alike. Please feel free to contact me for more information or questions.

Yoga / Qigong Classes – Last Friday of every month – Bromley

Finally,  alongside the weekly online yoga and meditation classes, I’m now offering an in-person Yoga/Qigong class on the last Friday of every month, in Bromley at a great spanking new venue that has a fabulous cafe serving quality food and drinks, it is in the beautiful green space of Norman Park and has free parking. Beginners welcome. Please get in touch with me by phone or email if you would like to know more.


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Recently, whilst going for a walk, an annoying ditty replayed itself incessantly in the back of my mind. I was aiming to have a 20-minute peaceful walk ahead of my next client but my mind had other ideas!   I  coach people  to manage and banish anxiety, after 5 minutes of this driving me crazy, I knew I had  to shut it down.  I chose to streamline a bunch of affirmations.

I’ve used affirmations for years and have first-hand experience that they work!

 Along with hundreds of clients who ‘get it’ I have manifested many wonderful experiences and achieved a variety of goals over the years by using affirmations and hypnosis programmes , so don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. You can manage and banish anxiety by using them too.

The trouble is most people give up after a day or so. Why is that?

Because they fail to understand that the subconscious mind is easy to program.  But here’s the thing, you must be disciplined, you will need to train your mind in the same way that you would train muscles in your body. You must work at it daily or at the very least three to four times a week.

Repetition is the mother of all skills

Remember, remember, remember, the bigger part of the mind – the subconscious mind – believes whatever we tell it. Do you just want to repeat that to yourself several times?

We know that techniques such as Mindfulness teach us to observe the mind to identify unhelpful thoughts, thus offering us an opportunity to step back and decide whether to believe them. With sufficient practice we develop the choice as to what to do with such thoughts. We can simply observe “there’s a negative thought.” We can choose to laugh at the thought. We can tell the thoughts to shut-up and go away or we can even choose a different thought, so practice.

The fastest way to change how you think and feel is by using hypnotherapy programmes and I’m telling you that after 35 years working in this field, it is possible to reprogram your mind away from worries and anxieties toward a more positive optimistic view of life. I’ve spent most of my working life, researching and experimenting with ways to think and feel better and to help you create the life you want to live.

Now more than ever, so much seems to be beyond our control and this is the time we most need manage our minds more skillfully.

Don’t wait until you feel worse, do something now to create a healthier mindset, to feel more positive mentally and emotionally  robust. It’s your mind and your body, look after it, invest in it and  keep it fit, its the only one you get this time round! You Can Do It!

finding solution hypnosis program the stresshacker
Use More of Your Mind


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5 Tips To Deal With Christmas Stress


People often ask me how to deal with Stress at Christmas time and there are ways to cope, so read on…

But first things first. If you have been or are going to be a client, Yoga student or customer at my little shop at The Stresshacker, then THANK YOU! I really value your support and to show my appreciation I attach a small gift that has HUGE worth. You can unwrap it at the bottom of the page.A GIFT FOR YOU

Do You Find It Hard To Be Honest?

One of the reasons people struggle with stress is because they have difficulty in telling the truth. I’m not suggesting you’re a liar but do you find it challenging to be up front about the way you feel?

Let me give you an example, Martin dreaded the thought of spending the Christmas break with his family. Whilst he enjoyed Christmas day with his Mum, Dad and Sister, the thought of the wider festivities on Boxing day, filled him with horror.

Why? Martin is an introvert and finds it extremely uncomfortable to engage in crowds, family or not! He avoids social gatherings at work and with groups of friends for the same reason.
After some coaching, Martin became sufficiently comfortable to own his truth, that he would rather stick pins in his eyes than attend the family party!

He decided to honour his truth and explained his level of discomfort to his family. In his eyes, being with them on Christmas Eve and Christmas day was desirable, reasonable and for him, a compromise but he would not go to the party. Being firm in his decision formed part of his coaching.

The outcome was interesting, his mother found it hard to understand, as an extrovert and somewhat of a people pleaser she attempted some emotional blackmail with Martin, but he was prepared for this and stood firm.

It was made easier by the fact that his father (also an introvert but hadn’t realised it!) praised Martin for being forthright and wished he’d been able to do the same!

His sister also empathised and thought he was right to speak out. His mother didn’t really ‘get him’ but wanted all to be well and was happy to make excuses for him with the extended family, which of course was more her issue than his.

By being honest with himself first, Martin was able to explore what needed to happen to find Christmas a less stressful and happy occasion and to live a more congruent life.

If you’re struggling to be more up front you’ll find Assertive Empowerment Now an easy way to sharpen your skills, it’s a training download that I created, you can get yours here
Meanwhile here are 5 Tips To Deal With Christmas Stress

1. Give yourself Space. Create a short Mediation practice that takes you out of the situation into another room. Even 5 minutes  now and then will give you time to relax and reset.

2. Use the 6 Healing Sounds. This amazing little technique can cool a hot temper and soothe stress in seconds. It’s an ancient tried and tested Qigong practice that I have recorded for you as a gift.

3. Use the 6 Healing Sou…no only joking but really, it’s that good and all you’ll need to calm your stress. It will also help you if you suffer from insomnia.

4. Exercise. Get up and move! It’s a bad habit to sit for long periods of time. Take a short walk 20 minutes is fine. Or swing your arms up over your head and clap your hands together 50 times. Then hold onto a surface and swing one leg back and forth 50 times, repeat on the other side. Don’t take my word for the incredible benefits from this. Do it and see for yourself.

5. When the kids or family are driving you mad, HUM! Yes, Hum. Breathe in through the nose and feel the gentle vibration on your lips as you hum. When we get irritated and stressed we tend to hold our breath. Humming encourages letting go and  balanced breathing.

Open your gift here 

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My Top 10 Autumn Tips

Whilst we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy the warmer weather, don’t be fooled by it, as late summer yields fully into Autumn the way we take care of ourselves now,  will dictate whether we have a cosy winter or one fully of colds and allergies.

As the leaves become crispy, dry out and fall to the ground, so will we unless we take sensible, self-care steps. Have a browse through my self-help tips to nurture yourself through to Winter and let me know how you get on.

My Top 10 Autumn Tips

My Top 10 Autumn Tips:

  1. Whilst we cling to the last of the late summer sunshine, remember that the air can be cold and drying, consider adding foods to your diet that are the opposite of cold, drying and still. Think of foods that are warm, stimulating and pungent such as garlic, onions, chives, black pepper, ginger, cayenne pepper, horseradish and mustards.
  2. Start the day with warm teas, slice some fresh ginger bring to the boil and cool to drink.Finish the day with a cosy cup of warm milk with a pinch of black pepper, a 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric and a little honey. It will give you a great night’s sleep.
  3. Although it’s a great time for clearing out your clutter  e.g. look at the sell by dates in your kitchen cupboards and take your unwanted items to the local donation hub or charity shop, it’s a bad time to set yourself up with big goals or deadlines.

    Autumn is a time of death, a letting go of things that no longer serve us.

  4. Instead, take the pressure off and slip slowly into the winter months by considering the equal and opposite; for example Autumn is chilly, blustery, with wind whipping up the leaves in swirls,  do the opposite, take  time to be still, create small spaces of quiet time to read and relax. It’s a great time to reintroduce  the practice of meditation. Take time to bathe in nature, wrap up warm and sit in your local park or take a slow quiet meditative walk.
  5. Emotionally this is again a good time for letting go of resentments and grudges. Remember though, that forgiving those who have hurt you, doesn’t necessarily mean that you allow them  back into your life. It does mean however that you can practice letting go by writing a therapy letters, journalling and even saying out loud “ I forgive you so-and-so  for… blah  blah …”   It really works, but don’t take my word for it, try it yourself!
  6. As well as being a good time of year for clearing out, it’s also a great time for creating clear boundaries. Are there people who don’t respect your boundaries? Take some time to consider how you will establish the boundaries, think about what you might need to do or say in this respect, so that you’re clear on how to move forward.
  7. As natural as it is for the leaves fall from the branches at this time of year, it’s all a good time to let the tears fall, go on, give yourself permission to let it go. You’ll likely find when you create time and the right environment, emotions will surface, especially sadness. Allow them space as this is the perfect time to release and clear space.
  8. As a yoga teacher I encourage the clearing of energy blocks in the body. As we practice bending, stretching, twisting, using breath and visualisation to release tension,  it brings a sense of freedom and space.  In this way we don’t somatise our ‘stuff’ or push our emotions even deeper into the body’s systems and organs. So don’t be rigid, bend and stretch daily. It’s one of the reasons that students feel so good after a yoga class.
  9. Now is the time to use more oils and balms to massage into dry skin. Try warmed sesame oil  rubbed into your feet or Vick rubbed into the soles of the feet, pop a pair of socks on and sleep like a baby!
  10. I’m going to share a secret, the best oils and balms come from Urbanveda and they have given a generous discount especially for  thestresshacker readers! So grab your discount on their fabulous products here thestresshacker20 . Also when you place an order they plant a tree!

Try This Autumn Meditation

Sit in an upright chair, close your eyes and allow your awareness to move down to your chest   ……. allow yourself a little time to tune into the quiet rhythm of your breathing ……..  then allow the breath to drop a little deeper down into your abdomen …….  and simply enjoy the deep sense of calm and relaxation that diaphragmatic abdominal breathing brings.

Rest here a while as you observe the miracle of life force and energy moving in and out of your body without you having to do anything at all.

Just Be.


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Six Simple Steps To Self-Care

These tips for self-care will help towards achieving positive health and wellbeing. You’ve heard the expression ‘Charity begins at home,’  so does self-care. Let’s be honest if you can’t look after yourself and take an interest in your wellbeing, why should anyone else?

Successful people use simple mind hacks to boost their self-confidence while they sleep and feed their minds with personal development programmes and podcasts by day.

With the NHS creaking under pressure and GP appointments hard to come by, preventative steps to ensure our positive mental health and wellbeing  are more important than ever.

Tips for Self-Care

One Eastern approach to wellbeing is called Ayurveda, roughly translated as The Science of Life. I’ve loosely studied Ayurveda since 1984 by reading and attending courses but I feel as if I’ve just scratched the surface! It’s  a vast subject and one of the main things is to understand your constitution, also known as your doshic make-up.

A quiz can help you do this and it’s one of my favourite tips for taking better care of yourself so read on…

  1. Know yourself. Take the Dosha quiz here: Dosha Quiz
  2. As we move out of late summer, rethink your diet,  you’ll need to eat differently as the Autumn winds and damp weather take hold.  See my delicious recipe below.
  3. Keep negative thoughts at bay, use this  vibration meditation. Close your eyes, inhale slowly and on the exhale make the sound Mmmmmm. Feel the vibration on your lips and imagine it resounding around the inside of your brain. Do this for 3 minutes minimum. For a greater sense of calm try 7 or 21 minutes. It’s excellent if you suffer from insomnia,  obsessive thoughts and anxiety.
  4. Are you one of those people who feel irritated easily? Start the day with fresh lemon and warm water it’s cleansing for the liver and surprisingly, can calm your disposition.  If your digestion is feeling sluggish peel and slice fresh ginger, boil it and cool before drinking first thing in the morning. It feels very warming to the gut.
  5. If you have trouble sleeping, massage your hands and feet with warm sesame oil and go to bed wearing socks and light cotton gloves. Write down anything that could keep you awake . Make a list of all the things you have to do tomorrow, then forget about them until the morning. When there are things you need to get off of your chest, journal until you’re bored!
  6. Aim to bathe in nature at least once a week and preferably more often . Go for a walk in a park, woodland or  visit the seaside, blue and green are soothing for the soul.

Would you like to try a regular weekly online meditation class? 

I run a session at 8.30pm – 9.30pm on Wednesday evenings email me at and I’ll send you details. Read some of the testimonies to hear what other’s say about it.

Recipe for Kitchari

Make the recipe below for yourself and see how nurturing it is. Let me know how you get on I love to hear your feedback.


  • 1/2 cup basmati rice 1 cup mung dal (split yellow) I also use red lentils as I find them much easier to digest and quicker to cook.
  • Approximately 6 cups of water
    Roughly 1 inch of fresh ginger, chopped or grated – it really is easier to peel with a teaspoon!
  • ¼ teaspoon of rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee
    1/2 tsp. coriander powder
    1/2 tsp. cumin powder
    1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
    1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
    1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
    1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • It’s a bit of a faff measuring this out every time you make it,  I make it up in bulk and keep it in a jar and I tend to pulp it into a powder in a pestle and mortar (except the ginger and fresh coriander.)
  • A handful of freshly chopped coriander
  • A handful of  assorted vegetables ( these are optional)
  • Preparation – takes no time.

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Thoroughly wash your lentils in a sieve, make sure the water runs clear through them and leave to one side.
  2. Place a heavy bottomed saucepan on a high heat, when it’s hot, turn it down add the ghee, let it melt and throw your spices in (but NOT the fresh coriander) stir them into the ghee until the seeds pop (If you haven’t pulped them) Do NOT let it burn.
  3. Next add the washed lentils and coat them in the spicy ghee mixture, then cover until they become soft. (Check from time to time that it’s not burning and add a little more water if necessary.If you want more of a soup, add more water and don’t add rice. If you want a more substantial meal, add less water and add your vegetables for about 10 mins or less if you like them al dente.

      If you’re adding some vegetables, wash and chop them into small chunks, you could use broccoli, courgettes, carrots, sweet potato, or some spinach or cabbage.
  4. Finally throw in a packet of 2 minute basmati rice (or a cupful that you might have already cooked) and stir in for 4 or 5 minutes.

In my opinion good cooking comes from tasting as you go along, after all you’ll be eating it so you’re the judge of it! If you’re feeling low or unwell, this is considered a ‘healing meal’ and is the perfect remedy for any body type or age group.  Enjoy!

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There are some interesting ways to keep cool during the summer heat and these are my suggestions

1. Use cooling herbs in your food such as coriander/cilantro and mint chopped into salads, soups, wraps and sandwiches. If you lack appetite, soups can be nourishing and served cold, think Gazpacho.

2. Foods such as coconut, cucumber and melon are cooling to the digestive system as well as refreshing to eat and drink.

3. Add coriander or/and mint sprigs to a jug of water overnight and cool in the fridge, sip throughout the day.

4. Type A people or (predominantly pitta dosha in Ayurveda) may need to cool down on the inside when you feel yourself becoming irritated and agitated. Cut down your To Do list down by half and remove the pressure, give yourself a break now and then!

5. Same as for No. 4 types, when you feel yourself becoming flustered and overheated try the ‘Cooling Breath’ Sitali or Sheetkari. ONLY do this in an unpolluted environment such as your bedroom with a window open (NOT for example near a busy road!) Sit upright. Stick your tongue out and roll it like a straw, then gently and slowly draw the breath inwards… then slowly and softly exhale through the nose. Repeat for 10 breaths. If you can’t protrude your tongue – don’t worry it’s hereditary – do this instead, bring your front teeth together and gently draw the breath in through the teeth it sounds a bit like ‘siiitth’ and exhale through the nose. Repeat for 10 breaths. It will cool your digestive and respiratory systems. NB you might belch or/and pass wind 10 minutes after, so make sure you’re among friends!

6. Keep a good quality bottle of Aloe Vera in the fridge and drink a shot glass every morning to cool down your digestive system.

7. Rub an ice cube on your pulse points when feeling overheated.

8. Keep a flannel in the freezer and place it over your forehead before going off to sleep.

9. It has to be said KEEP WELL HYDRATED! Drink plenty of water. Far better to sip throughout the day than to guzzle in sudden large quantities.

10. Keep your environment cool and clutter free, pull down the blinds and keep the curtains closed and windows open for a through breeze if possible.

I hope these tips help you to stay cool let me know how you get on.

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Helping to beat anxiety

Years ago I suffered from anxiety in the form of IBS except it wasn’t called that then!  It presented itself as painful knotted, tension in my stomach accompanied by an array of negative doom-filled thoughts. Lovely!

In desperation I tried hypnotherapy.  I was hooked and undertook the training myself, as it was much like a good book that you want to share with others. That training signified the end of living with anxiety.

Having spent over 30 years working with people suffering with anxiety there are many ways to alleviate symptoms and to be anxiety free.

Needless to say I find it disheartening whenever  I read statements that say “anxiety will never go away completely” as this has simply not been the case with hundreds, in fact thousands of clients that I have worked with since the early 1990’s.

Whilst I agree that anxiety is unlikely to disappear by itself, I don’t think it’s helpful to ‘accept’ that it’s something you have to live with. I have even worked with clients born from anxious mother’s, who have been able to re-wire their minds and bodies and live anxiety free.

Surely it’s better to take action and discover ways to minimise and even get rid of anxiety, rather than to passively accept that you will always be this way.

I urge you, do not leave a stone unturned in your pursuit of a solution for anxiety . There is a lot of help out there.  Make it a priority to find the right help for you and for ways to quash this debilitating state.

If you are unable to afford the services of other’s, do your own research, there is a wealth of information on the internet. I have written a number of blogs in an effort to help suffers of anxiety.

Here’s some things that can help minimise and even beat anxiety:

beating anxietyFoods to minimise anxiety

You are what you eat. It’s no surprise that a diet laden with sugary drinks and starchy carbs will leave you feeling agitated and lethargic.  Work with a nutritionist, dietician or Ayurvedic practitioner to find the best way of eating for your body type.

Movement to combat anxiety

Discover what works best for you, whether that’s exercise, yoga,  pilates, dance, swimming, tai chi or qi gong. Buddy up with a friend and see if a power-walk will help.

Therapeutic Interventions

Enlist help from qualified practitioners such as  Psychotherapists. Counsellors.  Life-Coaches.  Breath-work Practitioners. Yoga Teachers.


There are many routes to self-healing. You could try daily journaling.
Write something every day in a notepad – or at night if your anxiety is worse then – It doesn’t matter what you write. You can write about current life events, your thoughts and feelings about yourself or others.  It helps to externalise and exorcise your thoughts.

Reduce Your Adrenaline

Shaking out adrenaline by bouncing on your heels and shaking legs, body, arms, hands etc for a good few minutes is a great tip I call it Dump That Stress and made a short video click here.


since anxiety for some is about loss of control, learning techniques that you can apply to yourself, might be a better approach for you.


A great approach though is should be said that not everyone who suffers anxiety feels comfortable being still, so whilst helpful, it’s not for all.

Mind & Body Approaches

Many mind/body approaches work with the notion that the ‘universe’ along with the subconscious mind has no concept of past or future, therefore establishing clear affirmations, stated in the here and now is an extremely powerful approach to making change.

Because the language of the subconscious mind is symbols and images, meditating with the perfect suggestion in front of you can help accelerate the process.

At Cassandra has developed a beautiful range of candles to help accelerate the manifesting process. They facilitate the notion that the universe appreciates and rewards gratitude. As such affirming with gratitude means that as far as your subconscious mind is concerned it is already happening and  the universe mirrors these thoughts.


In another limb of yoga we have a  practice called Yoga Nidra where mind and body  are trained to be calm and relaxed.  Within the practice , when deeply relaxed, we are guided to move mentally between opposites such as hot/cold, happy/sad, heavy/light, by doing this we learn to develop tolerance, acceptance and resilience. It’s called a practice because repetition is the mother of all skill.

If you’re interested in trying out a class drop me an email and I’ll send you more information or try the audio programme YOGA NIDRA

Finally, have faith and belief in yourself, trust that you can beat anxiety – don’t give up.

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Anxious About The Ukraine?

Is Your Anxiety Creeping Up?

I’ve had quite a few messages from people who are struggling with anxiety about the attack on the Ukraine and I doubt anyone could fail to be affected by it.

But here’s the thing, if like me you are highly sensitive it’s a bad idea to listen, read or watch too much of the reporting. It is a trigger for anxiety,  it really can have a negative and detrimental effect on your health and wellbeing.

Isn’t that just being ignorant?

I’m not being an Ostrich or selfish when I say that I limit how much of it I allow into my world. I have made myself  ill in the past with anxiety by worrying and feeling anxious about things I have no control over.

These are some of the things I advocate that will give you a sense of control (instead of panic)

Take Gandhi’s advice and “Be The Change You Want To See Happen In The World”  (Apparently he didn’t phrase it quite like that  but you get the gist) Practise being peaceful, in this way you lessen inner conflict?

  1. If you believe in prayer, pray.
  2. Quieten your mind and body with a simple meditation of bringing your attention to your breathing hundreds of times throughout the day. Given you’re a microcosm of the macrocosm Be Peace.
  3. If you actually want to do something, dig deep and donate even the smallest donation will be of help to the Ukrainians in their time of need.
  4. Remember the ‘golden hours’ that set you up for how you’re going to feel during the day, are the first hour in the morning and the last hour at night.  This is NOT the time for catching up on the news, lunchtime or sometime through the day is better.
  5. I went online to Etsy  and purchased some digital products in an effort to support.
  6. Campaign when and where you feel able to.

If you need additional help to stay calm, relaxed and free from anxiety try  Stress Free With Confidence the hypnosis MP3 that will ease your stress.

Finally if you’re still feeling stressed consider doing some research on the wonderful Ayurvedic herb Ashwaganda. The benefits include helping to reduce inflammation, combat stress and anxiety, improve memory and  help balance blood sugar as well as boosting muscle strength. Personally I found it really helped improve the quality of my sleep.

Thats all for now and thank you if you’ve taken the time to read to the end.

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Bullied. Why Me?

Over the years I’ve worked with many people whose lives have been devastated by bullying.

I remember a highly distressed client who was being bullied at the school gates by a group of mothers who didn’t want her in their ‘gang’! Her confidence had crumbled and she crashed between feeling depressed and  anxious. “Why do they always target me?” she cried in her first session.


Later in therapy,  she remembered many memories of being snubbed and ignored by other children. She was always the new girl and had to change schools a lot throughout her childhood, because of her father’s job.

Luckily she was able to spot the link between the events and was motivated to heal.

Bullying can present itself in many ways and one thing is evident, that there is a correlation between people being bullied as adults and similar incidents of bullying in childhood.

Years ago, I did a lot of telephone counselling. One corporate customer kept us busy with staff who had been held up at knife or gunpoint during their work. I was shocked at how often this happened to them.

I was fascinated to discover  that pretty much everyone I worked with had been bullied in childhood. As they talked about the recent trauma,  their earlier wounds were revealed in what can only be described as an attempt to heal from the original traumas.

This idea is backed up by Louise Hay in her self-help book You Can Heal Your Life. She advocates addressing trauma from early life, to stop the cycle of  pain and suffering. Citing her own phenomenal journey through trauma to recovery from cancer, her book is still a best seller 30 years on.

Perhaps I should mention a self-help book I wrote with a colleague  I Just Want To Be Happy .  It’s packed with tools for empowerment and change. We also explore the link between childhood issues and how they impact  us adult life.

These cycles are sometimes referred to as Repetition Compulsion,  there’s more about that in this link,is%20likely%20to%20happen%20again.

Thankfully there have been huge leaps in psychology, psychobiology and neuroscience. We therapists have an abundance of tools and techniques to help clients recover.

Nonetheless, if you don’t understand how it is possible to heal trauma, you could be forgiven for wanting to  avoid looking at a painful past.  Why would you want to revisit that!

But by  facing our underlying traumas we can free ourselves from the  past,  diminish fear and anxiety and arrive in the present feeling  safer, stronger and more resilient.

Once the work in the past is done it’s easier to learn tools and techniques to protect and empower ourselves.

Improved communication is a natural by-product of healing. In the absence of trauma the pre-frontal cortex (our front brain) functions more efficiently. As a result, the link between our feelings and thoughts is sharpened, as such we can defend ourselves faster.

Learning  skills like assertiveness techniques help us to stand our ground with the bullies.

Consequently when we’re no longer in survival mode (fight, flight and collapse) we can improve our health.  By learning how to relax,  improving our breathing,  strengthening our core and getting fitter we feel more robust.

These soft skills all add to a more confident, congruent way of presenting in the world and enable us to stand up to the bullies or at the very least spot them coming and move out of their way.

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Change, Change, Change.

Keep The Change

How do you deal with change? Do you embrace it or fear it?

There are many reasons why change can be scary, such as conditioning. Your parent’s worldview, their fears, worries and concerns create the environment in which you develop and their views can become yours by default, unless you challenge them.

Also, current affairs, no one in the world can have escaped reports of the C Virus. Keeping it in perspective though is another matter and someone with a demanding schedule may, for example, find it easier to deal with than someone who lives alone and listens to incessant daily news bulletins becoming more anxious by the day.

We like to be comfortable and in control and when we ‘know’ the outcome it makes us feel safer, so it becomes easier to stick to what is familiar.

Use it or lose it

Strangely this can work against us as we get older, although our steady routines and familiar routes may offer us comfort, for the brain to stimulate growth and carve out new neural pathways, we need to do something different, challenging. And change requires retraining the brain.

The definition of change is to replace something with something else, to upgrade, substitute or improve.

I did this some years ago when it became apparent that I wouldn’t be having children, I decided to start singing. Strangely one of the first songs I sang publicly was a popular Billy Holiday number, called ‘You’ve Changed’!

I really had to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn something totally different from my ‘day’ job as a Psychotherapist. Not only learning the words to new songs, becoming familiar with music charts but I really had to overcome my fear of standing up in public and singing. This is akin to standing naked in front of lots of people by the way!

Lighten The Load Learn Something New

Learning something new and honing that new craft will help you to become more resilient and flexible both mentally and it seems emotionally. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change itself. As a hypnotherapist I can vouch for that. When a programme (a habit) is no longer serving you, for example over-eating. Change it! Upgrade to a new programme that curbs that behaviour and offers you new ways of thinking and feeling about food.

We should welcome change because it fosters resilience, you may have heard the adage that the strongest tree is the bamboo because it bends deeply in the wind and will not snap during a storm. Can you bend naturally with the changes that life throws at you? Because one thing is certain, all the while we’re living there will always be change so better perhaps to learn how to embrace change than to engage in a futile attempt to resist what is?

Finally, I conducted my own mini survey and asked some people I know who have survived various adverse experiences, how they coped with change.

My neighbour Major George Whittingham coped with lockdown by learning a new piece on his euphonium each week. This was in preparation of a performance to an appreciative audience of neighbours and passing traffic! He also says his faith and an exercise of daily gratitude are the two things that have helped him through life’s challenges and at 95 he has had a few.

A friend who has survived several devastating life changes told me the best way she knows to cope with unwelcome change is to “Go with the flow, look forward and don’t dwell on the past.”

Surprisingly change becomes safe and familiar again when practised often enough. If you don’t believe me? Try this, fold your arms. Comfy? Probably because you folded them the way you always do. Now unfold them and fold them the other way, with the other hand resting on your upper arm. Feels odd doesn’t it, repeat it a few times and you’ll notice it begins to feel more normal.

I wish you well with your new normal and if you need any help with that check out some of the programmes available for you in my shop or practice your flexibility by joining my online yoga classes. Drop me a line for more information.