12th March 2014 – UK National No Smoking Day

Posted March 9, 2014 by greymatterzblog
Categories: News

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Did you know March 12th is national No Smoking Day in the UK?
I didn’t think so…!

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Hello, I’m Richard Scott from Grey Matterz Hypnotherapy.

I’m giving away a FREE Quit Smoking eBook that will help you quit the habit.

The FREE eBook features one of my full ‘Quit Smoking’ hypnosis sessions on MP3 – for one week only the MP3 can be yours for only £5 (normally the full package retails at £150)! That’s a SAVING of £145 and is just over what you’d expect to pay for an average pack of cigarettes today.

Visit my website at http://www.greymatterz.co.uk/gosmokefree.html to become one of the thousands who quit… for a happier, healthier and wealthier you.

Wishing you a long and happy, smoke-free life,

Richard Scott

Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist

greymatterz.co.uk

CigaretteCigarette – A cigarette is a small roll of finely cut tobacco leaves wrapped in a cylinder of thin paper for smoking.

7 ways to boost Self Esteem

Posted February 25, 2014 by greymatterzblog
Categories: Handy hints and tips

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It can be really difficult to try lifting your self-esteem up during bad times – when you’re dealing with a disability, when you’re having a difficult time getting along with someone you care about, when you are being pushed to your limits at work, when you’re going through financial difficulties, and so on.

In times like these, all you can think to do is blame yourself for not being likeable, for not doing good enough, and for always failing.

You may even think of hurting yourself and giving up completely.

But in order to get through life’s adversities, self-esteem is of prime importance.

Below is a list of things you can do to raise your self-esteem.

You may notice that that along the way, your inner critical self will start to build resistance to prevent you from feeling better. But that’s okay.

Just carry on with your best efforts. Over time, you will find yourself feeling a lot better and more than capable of facing life’s challenges.

Treat yourself well.
Make it your daily goal to treat yourself well.

Take care of yourself by eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and getting enough rest and sleep.

Avoid habits that could be detrimental to your health like smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, and negative thinking.

Talk to yourself in a polite way.
During tough times you might get caught up with the critical voices inside you saying “you are no better”, “you are a loser”, “you won’t ever get it right”, and so on.

Try not to get carried away with them. Instead, tell yourself “you can do this”, “you are smart”, and “you are capable of succeeding”.

Intentionally replace the negative thoughts with positive affirmations.

Spend time with friends and family.
Spend more time with people who treat you well and have genuine concern and care for you. Their support is vital to your self-esteem.

Avoid negative, difficult people who see nothing in you but your flaws. You don’t need them at this point in your life.

Start small.
Studies suggest that the small achievements we have can significantly boost our well-being and self-esteem.

As you look for the bigger outcome, be thankful of the little goals you have accomplished.

They will give you the confidence you need to survive a difficult challenge.

Forgive yourself.
If you didn’t make it this time, it’s okay. Don’t punish yourself for failing.

Don’t be too tough on yourself. Remember that mistakes are part of a successful journey as they give you an opportunity to expand your learning.

Forgiving yourself is a great way to raise your self-esteem rather than indulging in self-pity.

Don’t compare.
Comparing your life with that of other people and finding out that they excel in one area of life can further crash your self-esteem.

Comparing does not only make you feel unhappy. It is also unfair for that person, as you don’t know what they have gone through.

You are only seeing one aspect of their life. Instead of focusing on the success of others, you should try being better than you were yesterday.

Also, learn to accept yourself, including your limitations and weaknesses.

While there are things you can change, you also have to realise that there are things that you cannot change.

Loving yourself just the way you are is better you than hating yourself.

Do things you enjoy.
Don’t forget to give yourself a little downtime. You have been dealing with a lot of things in the past days, weeks or months.

You deserve to have a break. Do things that cheer you up, whether it’s baking, cooking, writing poems, sketching, or dancing.

Once you have restored, if not improved your self-esteem, you will find yourself effectively dealing with difficult situations you encounter in life.

I look forward to hearing your feedback,  let me know how successful these techniques were for you,  or please forward them onto to someone you may know that needs them.

Richard Scott
Clinical hypnotherapist
Www.greymatterz.co.uk

Mindful or Mind Full?

Posted February 12, 2014 by greymatterzblog
Categories: Handy hints and tips

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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The everyday stress, the challenges at work and the problems we are going through can all cause burnout, which in turn affects our mental health. And as you may well know, in times like this, it is very hard to concentrate and perform at your best.

Instead of being mindful, you tend to be “mind full”.

Whenever your head feels so heavy because a lot of ideas and thoughts go in and out, consider following these steps. They will not only help to clear your mind but also give you relief from stress, and help you regain some focus.

Write it down.

The best approach is not to get away from the problem, but face it courageously. Writing is a proven way to organise our thoughts. Adopt the habit of clearing your mind through writing. The more you try to ignore them, the more these thoughts will bug you. First off, get a pen and paper and go to a quiet place. Write down the thoughts that are bugging you – good or bad.

Don’t restrict yourself and don’t feel ashamed. Sometimes, we just can’t tell our brain what it should or should not think about. Create three columns and label them: “to be done”, “not now”, and “delete”. Sort your thoughts. Be honest and try to place each thought to the right column. You will realise that most of your thoughts can be deleted or can be put aside for now.

Sketch it.

Can’t write? Why not draw a picture? You probably have thoughts that can’t be described by words. You need not be an artist to draw. After all, your output is something you just have to keep for yourself. Just let your emotions and thoughts flow. You can create images, graphs or charts – whatever that best describes your thoughts. You don’t need to ask permission. Draw simple pictures of what’s on your mind.

Take deep breaths.

Deep breathing is a relaxation technique that is a great strategy for regaining your mental clarity. Deep breathing increases the oxygen levels in your body, which in turn benefits your brain.

Find someone to talk to.

Sometimes, we simply need a friend to clear our mind. You are probably confused of what decision to make, or unsure about a certain project or task you’re doing. That’s where a good friend comes in.

He or she can help you organise your thoughts effectively, and clear those unwanted thoughts. Sometimes, to clear our mind, we just need someone who will listen – someone who will listen to your hopes, fears, and questions without judgement.

Hang out with your furry friend.

There’s no scientific evidence showing that having a pet can help clear your mind. But there’s vast evidence suggesting that it can make your life better in many ways.

It eases your depression, lowers your blood pressure, boosts your mood, and helps you deal with stress better. If you are happier and healthier, you are in a better position to organise your thoughts easier.

Remind yourself of what’s more important to you.

Sometimes, our minds become flooded with lots of thoughts that are not really important. In times when your mind is full, it’s really helpful to try looking back on things that matter more to you. They may be your children, family, friends or loved ones, perhaps your job or even your goals in life.

Self Hypnosis / Meditation.

Mental clarity can be one simple step away. Consider making this mental practice a part of your daily routine. Afford yourself just 15 minutes or so, close your eyes and begin to focus on the following. Firstly pay attention to your breathing – try to slow it down. Now in your mind, visit a place you enjoy going to and make it all as real as possible.

Try to imagine the sights, the sounds, the smells, any tastes or sensations of touch. Give yourself a few moments to let all of these fantastic sensations soak into you. Take a few extra deep, slow breaths to lock in all of these sensations.

Now it’s time to return back to real-time and bring with you all of those good feelings ans sensations. Simply count yourself back to being fully awake by counting up the numbers from 1 to 5 and opening your eyes on number 5.

This exercise might be challenging at first but it gets easier and easier the more you do it. Go on, give it a try. Let me know how you get on.

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist
http://www.greymatterz.co.uk

@RichGreymatterz

facebook.com/greymatterzhypnotherapy

Discover the secret to a happier 2014

Posted January 8, 2014 by greymatterzblog
Categories: Handy hints and tips

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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It’s the eighth day of January. How are your New Year’s resolutions going so far?

Quit smoking, lose weight, perhaps you’re aspiring to achieve better health and financial security this 2014, maybe you also want to aim for a happier and more fulfilling life. There’s no exact formula for happiness. It is a product of positive habits and traits that you should incorporate in your daily life.

So, to start your year right – with lots of positivity and cheer – here are some essential tips for you:

Replace negativity and complaints with gratitude.  Our brain has the natural tendency to favour bad thoughts than the positive ones. Experts call it the “negativity bias”. But if we are going to intentionally pay more attention to positive thoughts, we can be happier.

Research by Shelley Gable of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Jonathan Haidt of the University of Virginia suggests that we actually have three times more positive experiences than negative. Try replacing negativity and complaints with gratefulness. This is a good way to train your mind to become more optimistic.

Live in the present.

Avoid hyper-focusing on the future or the past. A large body of research suggests that mindfulness or awareness of the present moment, is one key to happiness.

Laugh more.

A lot of times, we take life too seriously. Try to inject silliness in your day to day experience. Whether it’s watching a funny movie or video clip or playing charades with your friends or kids, do something that makes you laugh.

Seek your passion.

No matter how busy you are with your work or personal obligations, make it a goal to purse things or hobbies that you are passionate about. Don’t frown if you still don’t know what it is, just give yourself more time to discover and explore.

Surround yourself with cheery individuals.

Happiness is contagious. This year, try to spend more time with positive people – those who can influence to change your thoughts positively. A 2013 study by Harvard University and University of California found that a friend who lives close to the happy person has a 25 per cent higher likelihood of becoming happy too.

Get inspired.

When you are inspired, you are able to do things with enthusiasm and zeal. Find inspiration and motivation from everything, from a quote you see on the internet to a lovely song or an advice from a friend.

Recognise and accept your emotions.

It’s normal to feel sad and down at times. You don’t have to deny or ignore these unwanted feelings. You actually have to recognise them to understand their causes. This way, you can focus on the situation with mental clarity and give yourself a chance to resolve your problems in a more effective way.

Replace self-criticism with self-compassion.

Self-criticism weakens you while self-compassion strengthens your resilience, happiness and productivity. Love yourself a little more. If there’s anyone who should love you first, it should be no other but you.

Invest in healthy relationships.

Relationships are at the heart of happiness. You can find happiness in the relationships you make with other people. This year, plan to spend more time cultivating friendships. Think about how you can be a true friend to your partner, to your kids and parents, to your colleagues and all others around you.

Hope these tips can contribute to a happier and more fulfilling year in your life.
Once again, happy New Year!

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist

www.greymatterz.co.uk

Part of the Core Health Centre

Beat procrastination at work!

Posted January 6, 2014 by greymatterzblog
Categories: Uncategorized

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Most of the time, it may feel like procrastinating leads to disappointment, anxiety and stress. But procrastination is not always evil. Sometimes, it’s our inner self’s one way of saying “hey, you need to take a break”, or that something isn’t right.

Among the benefits of procrastination include putting unpleasant tasks aside in favour of pleasurable ones, avoiding the possibility of failure-or success, and lowering your anxiety.

But like all other things, too much procrastination is unhealthy. One major consequence is that it can make you less productive. It may also hinder you from working hard to achieve your priorities and getting what you really want in life.

If you find yourself procrastinating more than actually taking action, then you could be in real danger. Try doing the following tips and tricks to overcome too much procrastination and turn your plans and thoughts into a productive action!

Set up reminders.

It’s really a good idea to buy a daily planner so you will be guided of the things you need to accomplish for the day, or for the entire week. When you know what your priorities are, you will be more motivated to limit procrastinating and work more.

Wake up early.

If you do, you are more likely to finish your tasks early, especially if you work from home. And even if you are a regular office employee who has a fixed 9-to-6 schedule, you can still benefit from being an early riser. How? By getting up earlier than usual, you can actually give yourself time to reflect, make your to-do list, and probably formulate better solutions for your work issues.

Get up and move.

Being inactive can make you feel drowsy, unmotivated and uninspired. On the other hand, being physically active can spark your creativity, make you energetic and happier! So when you find yourself straying from your task to surfing the internet, browsing your FB news feed, or watching video clips, consider doing some stretching first. Just 10 minutes of physical activity can power your body up and activate your creative mind.

Find a healthy outlet.

Doing same things everyday can really be stressful at times, no matter how much you love your craft. And when you are stressed, you are more likely to procrastinate. To avoid this, find a healthy outlet. It can be something that you enjoy doing – cooking, sketching, reading, taking photos, etc. Give yourself at least 30 minutes everyday to do things you are passionate about. Call it “my time”.

Time yourself.

This is a very good way prevent procrastination. Set a specific timeframe for each task you need to do – say, 45 minutes, and then you can rest a bit. This helps you avoid burnout, especially when you’re working on complex projects.

Be mindful.

Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of what you feel. When working, try hard not to let your mind wander from the present moment. This way, you can exert all your brainpower to your work and you can ensure a good outcome at the shortest possible time.

Give time for quietness.

Most of us spend lots of time plugged in to the digital world. But it can be overwhelming and stressful too. Set aside at least 15 minutes for mindfulness and quietness. Just free your mind. Think of nobody, think of nothing. Just focus on your breath. You will be surprised of how relieving this simple mental practise is!

Give yourself a break.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. As mentioned, procrastination is a warning sign than you need to rest or slow down. It’s okay to give in to procrastination once in a while. No matter how tight your schedule is, give yourself some time to rest. You deserve it anyway.

Work less.

One common reason why we procrastinate is that we bombard ourselves with so many tasks that even before we start, we are already feeling tired and overwhelmed. Learn how to prioritise your tasks. Identify which are urgent and at the same time important (not just urgent or not just important).  When you distribute your workload properly, you won’t feel too stressed. Also, learn to delegate some of your tasks. You are not a superhuman. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to lessen your load.

Just do it.

When all else fails, just carry on with your work. Don’t get caught to making excuses. Just do what you’ve got to do. That task, no matter how difficult or overwhelming, will have an end.

Whenever procrastination is affecting your productivity, pick one or two of these strategies that are most suitable to your situation. They may just be what you need to stay focused and on track.

 

As always, I welcome your comments. And if you find this article useful – do let me know.

regards

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist
greymatterz.co.uk

@RichGreymatterz

Part of the Core Health Centre

Find out how to create optimism!

Posted December 23, 2013 by greymatterzblog
Categories: Uncategorized

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Everyone experiences challenges and difficulties in life which result to anger, frustration, disappointments, and the like. Sometimes we can’t avoid negative experiences. But despite hardships, happy individuals seem to get through them easily and bounce back to their happy and healthy life. Whilst it is not possible to avoid pessimism completely, here’s why we should all strive hard to inject optimism in our everyday life.

The Hidden Wonders of Optimism

Optimism has long been linked to low stress levels, whereas pessimism is known to boost the levels of stress hormones in the bloodstream, resulting to poorer immunity and increased risk of health problems. But in what other ways does optimism promote good health?

Mounting evidence suggests that keeping a positive view of life could help people recover faster from surgery and effectively cope with serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, and AIDS.

The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published a study showing law students who were optimistic at the beginning of the school year had better functioning immune cells than their worried peers by the middle of the first semester.

Optimism also appears to play a crucial role in helping people cope with the challenges and frustrations, even failures that they experience in life.

The surprising thing is, these difficulties are also necessary for one to cultivate positivity. According to research, kids who are protected from failure and adversity are less likely to develop optimism. It’s because when these children make mistakes and learn from them, they develop the resilience needed to overcome the challenges that likely lie ahead.

How to Become More Optimistic

Being optimistic doesn’t mean we should all interpret each and every calamity as a blessing. It simply means that when calamity does strike, we don’t easily give in; rather, we try to learn from it.

And don’t worry if you find it hard to see the glass half full.  There are several ways to cultivate the ‘positive thinker’ in you.

One way is to recognise that your grief and pain, no matter how real and deep they are, are only part of the bigger picture. And that picture also has positive aspects – success, happiness, pleasure, etc. Many people who have developed serious illnesses are still able to find goodness in the painful experiences they have gone through.

For instance, some people who have suffered from life-threatening or incapacitating disease are able to value each day, appreciate the moment, spend more time doing things they are passionate about, inspire others, and get their priorities straight.

Another great strategy to develop optimism is to practice gratefulness. By recognising your strengths, as well as the positive experiences you had, no matter how small they are, you can teach yourself to become optimistic. Let go of the assumption that the world is against you, or you are born ‘loser’.

This assumption has no logical or scientific basis anyway.  Furthermore, understand that the past does not equal the future. You may have gone through difficult experiences in the past. But that doesn’t mean that the same events will happen now.

You can also practise positive affirmations. For example, write down at least three statements about what you want to change in your perspectives (e.g. “Anything is possible”, “I can live my life the way I choose to”, “Never say die!”). Put them in places where you can see them every day, such as your computer monitor (you can probably make a desktop background containing these affirmations), on your bathroom mirror, on your door, etc.

You may not be able to change the circumstances in your life today, but you can change your attitude towards them. If you need help, talk to a health professional to know what methods can help you. Hypnotherapy has been shown to rapidly help people develop a more positive outlook in life.

As always I welcome your thoughts and comments.

regards

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist
greymatterz.co.uk

Part of the Core Health Centre

Follow me @RichGreymatterz or
www.facebook.com/greymatterzhypnotherapy

Avoid overeating this festive season – Here’s how.

Posted December 21, 2013 by greymatterzblog
Categories: Handy hints and tips

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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Let’s face it – this time of the year is often centred on food.

There are special dinners and get-togethers everywhere. This is the time of the year when we get to enjoy great food and we have a very good excuse to indulge! But overeating during holidays leave many people feeling guilty, especially when they notice that they have actually gained a few pounds.

Well, this is really not too bad as long as we are able to get back on track next year and work out those excess fats. But if you are still concerned about gaining weight this holiday season, I have a number of tips for you. It is certainly possible that you enjoy and indulge without overeating… and feeling guilty!

Spare your tummy for the foods you really enjoy.

Don’t eat cookies and junk foods just because they are sitting there or because others are enjoying them. Unless you really want them, spare your tummy for other foods – those that you really love to indulge in. And because it’s holiday season, there are going to be endless buffets featuring tantalising foods. Forget about the rest and simply focus on the foods you want.

Choose a red plate.

In 2012, a group of German and Swiss researchers found that people who are given meals served on a red plate reduced their food intake by as much as 40 per cent. According to them, the colour red may work like a subtle stop signal – like a red traffic light – telling them not to overeat.

Eat healthy most of the time.

If you can’t resist the calorie-dense junk foods served in parties and get-togethers, try as much as possible to eat healthy when you’re at home. Replace those bags of cookies with fresh produce like fruits and vegetables and take those fizzy drinks from your fridge and replace them with smoothie drinks and other healthy beverages. This way, you won’t feel guilty whenever you indulge in not-so-healthy meals at holiday parties.

Watch your portions.

It’s perfectly okay to get some of this and some of that, as long as you are keeping an eye on your food portions. A great strategy is to get bigger portions of the healthy stuff and small portions of the calorie-dense, unhealthy food choices. And don’t forget to watch over the calories you are consuming from beverages. Commercial juice varieties, as well as some beers and spirits are very high in calories. What’s more, they contain large amounts of sugar too.

Drink plenty of water.

A glass of water before mealtime can reduce your hunger pangs or food cravings, making you less likely to overeat. It also helps prevent indigestion, which is common during the holiday season.

Stock up healthy snacks.

If you are going out of town for a vacation, pick up a few healthy snacks just as you would get some bottled water. This will prevent you from indulging in unhealthy snacks along the way.

Don’t skip breakfast.

Just because you will be attending a lunch party doesn’t mean you should forego breakfast. Eating a healthy, fulfilling meal in the morning could save you from a calorie splurge later in the day. Opt for protein-filled foods like lean chicken, hard-boiled egg, a slice or two of brown bread, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Go easy at 6pm onwards.

Eating late on holidays is common. If you’re craving for pasta, rice and other calorie-dense meals, eat them at lunch. Enjoy fresh vegetable salad, sandwich and a glass of wine maybe for dinner.

Be alcohol savvy.

Alternate alcoholic drinks with water to avoid hangover and dehydration. You will also be reducing your calorie intake this way. Furthermore, try spirits with low-calorie mixers and don’t forget to “drink moderately”.

Drop the guilt.

It won’t help you with anything – it will just make you feel worse this holiday season. What’s more, new research from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand has found that people who felt guilty after overeating tend to gain more weight than those who didn’t feel guilty. The researchers emphasised that the diet controlling habit of guilt ridden-women gets abandoned once they are guilt ridden.

Hope you find these tips useful. Here’s wishing you a wonderful, delicious and fulfilling festive break!

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist

www.greymatterz.co.uk

Part of the Core Health Centre


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