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STOP SMOKING

It’s Stoptober when could there be a better time to Stop Smoking!

What do you shut up and light up and put up with…?

With the average packet of cigarettes costing around between £10 to £12, who can even afford to smoke these days?

I used to be a nicotine addict. I know what it’s like to have your every waking thought be about how soon you could have your next cigarette.

Worse still I did not fall into the category of a ‘habit’ smoker. You know, that annoying person who can have one or two socially and then not smoke again. No, not me I was a slave to it. It dominated every part of my life and my constant thoughts were about the addiction and also how to stop smoking. It had such a  terrible grip on me.

Because I’m somewhat of a control freak (towards myself not others) I couldn’t bear the idea that a piece of paper with some leaves in it, had control over me. Determined  to stop smoking I used everything I knew and I finally did it. I stopped. Moreover  I  have since helped hundreds of people to break the habit and deal with the underlying causes.

Are you serious about wanting to stop smoking?

you can do it and I’m here to tell you that 

IT’S EASIER THAN YOU THINK!

As you will see here, smokers are either habit or compulsive. If you fall into the ‘habit’ category and would like to stop smoking try this approach.

  1. Set a date to stop, say a month from now.
  2. Between now and then keep changing your brand of cigarettes to confuse the habit.
  3. Tell your friends that you are going to stop smoking (this way you become accountable).
  4. Leading up to your stop smoking date, avoid the ‘ritual’ cigarette. Thats the one you always have on your break or after dinner.
  5. Stop smoking in your usual places. In other words change the routine.
  6. Place your cigarettes out of reach so that each time you have one it is a ‘conscious’ action.
  7. Negotiate the odd fag! Ask yourself do I really need it? Drink a full glass of water and if you still want it have it.
  8. When you choose to have a cigarette or vape do it with full consciousness. I.E. don’t don’t do anything else just smoke it mindfully.
  9. Preparation: The day before your stop smoking day, get rid of all of the paraphernalia, ashtrays, lighters etc. Bin them!
  10. Make sure you’ve downloaded Stop Smoking Now from the shop at thestresshacker.com
  11. On your stop date Listen to Stop Smoking Now! Hypnosis Program first thing in the morning and last thing that night.

Compulsive smokers will need to explore the underlying emotions that drive them to smoke. That’s likely to be FAGS, Fear, Anger, Guilt, Shame or all of them.

If all traces of nicotine have left the body after 36 hours (faster if you go for regular steam baths) then you would think the addiction is no longer there wouldn’t you? So what are you left with? Thoughts and feelings.  Even the weakest willed person can change their thoughts… you think about a cigarette – change the thought, you could recite the words of a song for example. Feelings they can be less easy to change and they will need understanding, exploring and changing.

That’s easy, just book a session with me! Go to Work With Sue at thestresshacker.com.  Seriously I promise you you will feel so much happier when you reclaim your power back and stop smoking. There’s loads of free help too from the NHS here. So save your money and your health and break up with these bad boys now!

Let me know how you get on and if you have questions join me on the stresshacker’s facebook page and we can talk about it there or leave your comments below.

I’m also excited to share that I have a new Wellbeing online workshop coming up very soon so keep your eyes peeled as it also has some special offers in it.

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15 Ways To Understand Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Healing begins in the past.

 

It’s Never Too Late To Have A Happy Childhood

What is emotional intelligence? How do you stop yourself from feeling like a child when you’re pulled up at work about something. Why do you react to your own children in a childish way? Why can’t you stand up to that bully? Just how do you grow up and heal emotionally?

For almost 30 years I’ve had the pleasure of helping thousands of people to develop emotional intelligence.  I’ve facilitated many as they’ve healed old wounds and genuinely found ways to leave an unpleasant past where it truly belongs, in the past!

Whilst counselling and cognitive approaches can be great ways to understand your past, they don’t always hit the spot when it comes to ‘feeling’ better.

Many clients arrive in my therapy room after months, sometimes years of counselling elsewhere, yet still feel that they haven’t moved on.  Although they have a good understanding of their pasts, they still feel they haven’t grown up emotionally. Why is this?

The simple answer is this. You remain emotionally stuck because emotions live in your body – not in your mind. To have emotional intelligence you probably need to heal the past.

Your emotional life lives on in your physiology.

What does that mean?

Your emotions are stored in your organ body and are communicated via your physical systems. Such as the nervous system or cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

What is emotional intelligence? Is it intellectual or somatic?

Let me ask you a question. Do you feel anxious or think anxious? Often the feeling precipitates the thoughts.

For example, you wake up with a feeling of anxiety in your chest, it feels like a tight band around your chest. You add all kinds of reasoning and ‘rationale’ as to why you’re feeling that way.

You’ve got a presentation later that day. You’ve had an argument with a colleague or friend, or you didn’t get enough sleep.

You attribute these thoughts to the feelings of tightness in your chest, the thoughts build and the band gets tighter. This creates a vicious circle.

To become more emotionally intelligent learn a little about your subconscious mind and it’s connection to your body.  Discover how you can change the way you feel.

 

  1. Your subconscious mind is also your imagination, your unconscious mind and your long term memory, the other 90%. It all means the same.

  2. According to quantum physics the subconscious mind processes 44 billion bits of information per second! Read that again!

  3. This part of your mind has billions of jobs to do. One of the main jobs is to store information, regardless of whether that information is true or false. Read that again!

  4. Your subconscious mind is phenomenally intelligent, yet simultaneously childlike in quality

    This mind holds all the memories of billions other you’s from the past. Look at the photo of the Russian Dolls and imagine one doll for every moment in time. They are all you.

  5. Your subconscious mind is nothing to be afraid of … it’s just YOU!
  6. Your subconscious mind has your best interests at heart… at every stage in your life.For example if when you were 14 you had a temper tantrum with your parents and screamed inside your head over and over with great emotion  “I wish I were dead!” That part of you still holds that intention. That nano second thought in time stays there at an energetic level.
  7. Because your subconscious mind cannot identify past or future, everything just is,in the here and now. This makes healing the past possible!
  8. Time is man-made. As I write this it’s 12.30pm here in the UK yet it’s 1.30pm in France. Your subconscious has no such time restrictions, so you can change memories (and their attached emotions) in the so-called past.
  9. .Your subconscious mind is willing to help you in the pursuit of your goals and dreams. But it’s up to you to make really clear exactly what you want. You can program a brighter future, because your subconscious mind’s main job is to store information.
  10. Your subconscious mind is basically YOU and it wants to help you.  You at a conscious level are the headquarters and your subconscious awaits your instructions. In the absence of any new directives, it just carries out old programming, often in the form of negative thoughts and beliefs.
  11. The subconscious mind is connected to the systems and organs in your body. This is where you feel.  According to Eastern traditions such as acupuncture and Ayurveda your emotions live in your organs.If you have you ever heard someone say they were gutted? Or noticed someone unconsciously holding their breath in fear as they recounted an unpleasant memory?  That’s the emotion ‘held’ in the stomach and cardio- vascular and respiratory systems.

    12. Your subconscious mind is really happy to change perspective on any issue past or future, because it                  wants to help you to feel better at every level.

    13  Due to the nature of your subconscious mind, it is willing to accept changes. When you change                             perspective on an old issue it affects your physiology positively.

    14   By playing around with visualization paired with a relaxed body, you can change past events and                       program future events and physiology will obey.

    15   This is currently revealed as neuro-plasticity, yet has been known and practiced by hypnotherapists                 the world over for years!

It’s easy to re-programme your mind. Hypnosis is the fastest way to do this. By regularly downloading positive suggestions to your subconscious mind, you bypass the ‘critical factor’ i.e. the conscious mind and in as little as a week you can be feeling happier and more positive. 

As I once told a client “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood!”

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Who’s In Charge You Or Your Child?

Do you avoid doing jobs because the thought of it stresses you out? Do you give up on your health regime after that first glass of wine? Are you late for things simply because you didn’t leave on time? Chances are you’re letting your inner child take control of your life…
I know, I know, you start out with really good intentions at the begining of the week. You’re going to eat sensible, healthy foods. And yet by Tuesday you’re on your second take-away.

Have you ever considered that your inner child has taken over and is running the show!

Who's In Charge You Or Your Child? Stop Letting Your Child Rule Your Life - The Stresshacker

What Happens When You Let Your Inner Child Rule

That inner whining often goes something like this: “it’s not fair, I’m tired, I don’t want to work, I can’t be bothered to go shopping, I need a treat now, I deserve it!” And giving in to it means that you – the adult – are no longer in charge. Let’s face it if you were, you might be able to have a more grown-up conversation with yourself!

Your inner adult might say something like: “I know you feel like you deserve a treat, but if you do eat those crisps or drink that extra glass of wine, your workout at the gym will feel even harder and ultimately the dress you want to look stunning in next weekend will feel tight and uncomfortable. You’re just hungry let’s get something yummy and healthy to eat right now and if you still want crisps after you can have them!”

Continue reading Who’s In Charge You Or Your Child?

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Menopause Made Easier

Menopausal Mad Witch Hag Crone!

There, I’ve said it these are some of the charming names attributed to women experiencing menopause. Women who have reached a stage in their lives where they are no longer able to bear children.  Names mainly levied on us by the patriarch of the past.

The reality of course is that Women are wise and when we realise that pretty much everything that walks the planet is born of woman, we are in fact Creators, Goddesses even.

When we consider the pain and suffering women endure to give birth to humanity, shouldn’t women be honoured, respected and revered at every stage of life?Menopause Made Easier - Sue Smith, The Stresshacker blog

Some stories portray the crone or hag as disagreeable, malicious, or sinister often with magical or supernatural abilities that can make her either helpful or obstructive. Well that’s pretty much true of all of us really, men and women.

And as if creating, birthing, nurturing and child rearing isn’t enough, woman have the menopause to look forward to with it’s myriad of symptoms.

There are hot flushes, dryness, sleep problems, excessive tiredness.  Oh and then there’s the rapid mood swings, along with that wonderful feeling that your brain matter has been swapped for a cauldron of cotton wool!

Want to know about more symptoms? Google NHS menopause for more information.

Because so many of you have asked me  to write about the menopause what I offer you here are my tips and beliefs for dealing with this phase of life.

It’s a time for cleansing on many levels and clearing out the crap!

Many women at this stage realise that they can no longer live incongruently or out of sync with themselves, it just doesn’t work anymore.

People, jobs, gatherings and even friends that were tolerated in the past have no place during the menopause.

Maybe the description of Crone as disagreeable, unpleasant and ugly arises because during the this phase, women often wont tow the party line anymore.

In menopause women are no longer prepared to bend and mould to the ideals of another or even their own earlier scripts.

Many women I’ve worked with yearn to return to themselves, to be more authentic and congruent, done with their roles and labels.

Some want peace, some want fun, or to be heard, whilst others crave adventure. It’s time to do it differently.

So let’s welcome the menopause and treat women in this stage of life  with a reverence for their innate wisdom and knowledge.

We teach other’s how to treat us.

Like all things, that which we seek outside of ourselves must be found  within first. What can you do today to welcome and revere yourself?

The Hot Flush

I remember the first hot flush that roared up my neck and face like an inferno. Feeling distinctly uncomfortable I got up to distract myself when someone brought me a glass of cold water. Its was a kind act of awareness, considerate and thoughtful.  One that remained with me.

After that I learned to stay present with flushes, other than to reach for a glass of water. You’ll also find an ice pack or a packet of frozen peas on your pulse points pretty handy at this point.

Instead of running away from or trying to avoid this physical phenomena, I urge you to stay with it. Dive into the feeling, embrace and welcome it in,  there’s a wisdom in it somewhere.

That Which You Resist Persists.

I hear you say that’s all well and good but what if I’m in a meeting or an important event? Same advice – stay with it. Everything reaches a peaks and has to subside. The more you panic or try to stem it the more fierce it can seem. If you’re fidgeting around mopping your brow and looking uncomfortable people will notice more.  Imagine you’re loving that feeling of warmth.

12 Tips for coping better with Menopause

1. When you feel a flush rising, aim to stop what you’re doing and sit down. Slowly sip a glass of cold water until it passes.

2. Allow yourself time and space to yield to the feeling. You’ll notice that when you do this, that the feeling passes more quickly.

3. Try this lovely yoga breathing exercise called Sitali. This is the version I practice and it must be done sitting in a well ventilated space. Not standing on the platform of the station or in a room blasting out air-conditioning.

4. If sleep disturbances are your main issue and you keep waking up or struggle to get off to sleep, treat yourself to my hypnosis audio program Sleep Well Now or read up on the tips in my book  The Art of ZZZ’s

5. Where possible allow yourself some quiet meditation time on a daily basis.

6. Gentle yoga stretching such as yin and hatha yoga are ideal for personal practice.  I prefer to practice and teach fluid movements with weight bearing poses and attention to the breath.

7. Yoga lowers blood pressure, counters stress and can alleviate pain and discomfort, do a littel each day.

8. Your temperature can go up and down like a fiddler’s elbow during the menopause, so invest in a proper silk pashmina, it will keep you warm when you feel chilly and cool when you’re hot! They’re also great for mopping up the excess schvitz!

9. Keep a fan in your pocket or bag it gives you a sense of control when your body heats up.

Menopause Made Easier by Sue Smith The Stresshacker blog

10. The homeopathic remedy Sepia worked brilliant for me, minimising symptoms such as brain fog and tiredness.

11. I’ve practised Ayurvedic principles for many years and found Pukka Herbs’ Aloe Vera juice to be the best.  It’s cooling,  great for the skin and helps with problems like constipation.  It also acts as a carrier taking herbs to body parts that need them.

12. I would drink a shot glass of aloe vera morning and night and take the herb Shatavari – also from Pukka, which helps to combat the dryness that can come with menopause.

Effortless Being

There’s a notion that we’re no longer in our masculine warrior phase, out there chasing and hustling a living.   It’s time to sit back into the powerful energy of the feminine and allow ourselves to receive.

The feminine energy is depicted by the moon and in the same way that it’s cool brightness can throw light across a darkened sea. This can be a time of enlightenment as we take time to ‘be’ and receive our inner wisdom.

Naturally we’re all different and these are just things that worked well for me I hope they help you. Share your tips with me on my Facebook page thestresshacker or in the comments section below.

Enjoy!

 

 

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How Can I Make Changes In My Life?

Ever felt stuck in a rut ?How Can I Make Changes In My Life - The Stresshacker Blog

Making one simple change could be enough to boost your wellbeing

Wellbeing is said to be a state of being comfortable, healthy or happy. A measurement might be how contented you are from one day to the next with your life.

But have you ever had the thought “Oh no,  what am I doing, how have I ended up here again!”  You know, those times when you find yourself repeating negative behaviours and habits or when you just can’t seem to stop those repetitive, rubbish thought patterns that bring you down? Sound familiar?

The cause is usually down to old conditioning and programming, time for a software update perhaps?

The daft thing is, on our journey through life and at any given moment in time, we have an abundance of choices,  yet we still tread the same old path, trotting out the same old excuses that keep us feeling stuck.

Using the metaphor of a car to illustrate, imagine you drive a car through a field one day, carving out a set of tracks and then tomorrow you drive the car down the same tracks you would only have to do it a few times before  the car would automatically slot into the tracks because they’re there and it’s the path of least resistance.

How Can I Make Changes In My Life - The Stresshacker Blog
Robot

It’s the same with our thinking. It’s far easier to run the same old thoughts each morning rather than make the effort it takes to create new healthier thought pathways. Most people robotically repeat the same routines and patterns each day without even knowing why they are doing so.

This is like a weird amnesia in which we forget that of course it’s possible to change your mind.  You can choose a different thought. You can change a behaviour. You can choose a different course of action. There are always other pathways that can be carved out so that you can drive the car to a different destination.

If you fancy a boost to your wellbeing, here’s 5 steps to help;

  1. Think of it as waking up and becoming more present. Move into a space where you can observe the choices you’re making in each moment. Instead of allowing every thought and action to be generated by you at an unconscious level, learn to become a witness to your thoughts so that you can make decisions  more consciously.
  2. How? I hear you ask. Slow down! Slow your thoughts down, you can train yourself to do this by slowing your breathing down. Breathing is an unconscious activity, we don’t usually say “oh okay I’ll take a breath now” it happens automatically. We can have anything between 17’000 and 30’000 breaths a day, so naturally you cannot observe every breath or you’d go bonkers! However when we gradually become more conscious of our breathing, watching it, listening to it and feeling the simple rise and fall of the chest or diaphragm,  we can begin to slow it down. When our breath is slower our thoughts will also slow down leaving us with an improved sense of wellbeing.
  3. In this space of  feeling calmer and more in control, ask yourself “What will the consequences be if I make this choice? Will it make me feel happy and fulfilled? How will it affect others around me?”
  4. To get the answer,  listen within and sense the response from your body. Does it feel bright, light, expansive and uplifting? Or is there a sense of heaviness, darkness, tightness and gloom? Develop patience, stop hurrying everything and really tune in.
  5. Are you in touch with your gut instinct? Can you sense what your heart really wants. It’s easier to listen to your body’s wisdom for the answers because the mind carries programme after programme of early conditioning such as people pleasing, resisting, putting other’s first or constantly asking the opinion of others out of habit rather than trusting your own innate knowledge. Put simply, does this choice feel good or bad. Keep repeating this process until you arrive at the choices that sit more comfortably with you.

One of the quickest ways to update your mental and emotional software and create new positive programmes to boost your wellbeing, is the regular use of simple hypnotherapy programmes, check out the range of programmes on offer in my shop here.