Life Design


For a long time I thought I was happy with my job, I was doing what I’d set to do in joining the Royal Marines. I worked with like-minded people, got paid to stay exceptionally fit, got fed four times a day and was provided with a roof over my head. The trade-off was that I was expected to do what I was told do whether I liked it or not and, some of the things I was asked to do I really didn’t like. However I was still happy living my dream.

Or so I thought.

Continue reading Life Design

Creating the Mindset for Success


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Do you want a happier and more successful life?

Two people can see the same situation and come to completely different opinions about it. In fact, most people do. Our opinions affect our lives more often than most other things. Some people see their family and enjoy the good feelings and happy times they can spend with them, and so they focus on developing these positive relationships and find themselves not only having a good time, but getting far closer than ever before in the process. On the flip side, the same situation may bring about feelings of fear, animosity, and anxiety in another person. So why is this? The answer is simple. One person has a positive outlook on their life, seeing each change as an opportunity and the other sees it as a trial that must be fought against. What if there was a way to change that person’s opinion?

There is no contest as to which is more productive in creating a better life. People throughout history with positive constructive outlooks on life and the ability to work through challenges have found themselves in the history books celebrated for their apparent deep inner wisdom. People who victimised themselves and others, and were driven mad by their environments have also been recorded by history, but generally in a far different way.

But what is the secret to uncovering this deep inner beauty that radiates outward? You’ll find the answer to be surprisingly simple. Since 90% of happiness comes from within and can be generated without external forces, it seems the true cause of people being unhappy isn’t generated in the world around them, but rather in their own minds. And as we interact with others the very act of making others happy within your own mind can give you exactly what you need to start bettering the lives of those around you. And how do you generate it in your mind? Through repetitive, conscious action to begin with, changing your thoughts from negative to positive when you catch yourself going off track, and I guarantee you will to begin with because the old way of thinking is so engrained, it’s a habit and nothing more. The beauty of it is we can learn new habits to replace the old, outdated ones.

Cynicism in our lives can help us sometimes. It helps us spot problems we would otherwise miss. However, those of us with a spiritual connection (this does not mean mean religious, just in case your thinking that) with their brains know how to use the caution our brain affords us without having to pay for it when we can be feeling good about ourselves. Cynicism is not designed to make us dislike how our own lives are going, it is there as a defence mechanism. Cynical people suffer when the behaviour moves from their working memory to the amygdala where habitual and emotional behaviour is stored. A person with a healthy level of caution will not engage in a behaviour that may lower the quality of their life while an overly cynical person may avoid most situations, assuming they will cause them harm “somehow.” Cynicism in this case causes a great deal of stress and suffering to those who engage in it habitually.

There is good news though. Just as our brains can be rewired by stressful events (events we may not even remember consciously) it can be changed so that a new system within the brain is given priority. In this case we lose all the negative aspects of cynicism and none of the positive ones.

Do you feel that you are one of those people who suffer from constant bad luck? Do you naturally distrust people even if they show no reason to distrust them? Do you look for the faults in others as well as yourself, focusing on them instead of the good? If you said yes to any of these, then you’re exactly who this system is written for.

Stop feeling the pain of shutting everyone out of your life. You can change it all and start enjoying the world just as you always knew you could. Interestingly, many who use my “Power of Positivity” Audio Training Program describe it as changing the way they see the world around them. There is one key point here and that is that the world is not changing, just the way they perceive it. So, change your mind and live the life you deserve. All of us deserve to live happy.

Points to Consider:

1.  Those with a better outlook on life improve the lives of everyone around them.
2.  Cynicism is a learned behavior. Optimism is the same way.
3.  Misery loves company. Don’t look to cynics for happiness. Look within yourself.

Harness The Power of Your Unconscious Mind


Brain
Human beings are different from the rest of the animals on our planets in so many ways, and, one significant difference is that we have, and kind of understand, the difference between our conscious and unconscious minds.

Your conscious mind helps you live a happy and healthy life. You really wouldn’t be able to survive without it. Sigmund Freud is famed for his use the idea of the iceberg to distinguish the conscious mind from the unconscious mind and it is one model that makes it very easy to explain.

freud Iceberg

The “tip” of the iceberg that extends above the water represents the conscious thinking mind. This part of your mind is the objective or thinking mind. It only holds one thought at a time. It also identifies information, and processes it through the senses or through sight, sound, smell, touch or taste.

This part of your mind is constantly observing, matching patterns and categorising what is going on around you. The unconscious mind, which is the part of the iceberg below the water, represents everything else – which is a hell of a lot.

Even though the conscious mind helps you as you go through your day, it can also hold you back by keeping you stuck in unhealthy patterns. Learning how to break through these limitations is critical when using self-hypnosis because the conscious mind can interfere with all your good work.

Preventing Conscious Interference

Just for example you decide to plant flowers in your garden. There are a several ways you can go about it. You could research different seeds and figure out the best ones to plant, and then even add some fertiliser into your soil if it’s lacking nutrients for the plants.

Now, let’s look at different approach you could take. After following all of the steps above, you chose to go out into the garden everyday and dig up the seeds to check on their progress. Every time you did this, you would reassure yourself that everything was going to plan. However, as you can see, your constant interference actually did more harm than good, because if you took this approach, your garden would never progress.

The same thing that happens when you overthink something. This is your conscious mind interfering. If you want your mental garden to thrive and prosper, you need to leave it alone so it has space and time to grow.

The same thing applies when using self-hypnosis. In a sense you are placing an order just like you would at a restaurant. If you ever worked for someone who micro-managed you, how much work actually gets done as a result of them constantly interrupting and sing for progress checks all the time, wanting to review what you’ve done and constantly adding to your workload because they want to make changes and add other things in. It’s a bloody nightmare, frustrating and a complete waste of time and effort.

When you give your mind an order and constantly worry about how the order will be fulfilled, you are in a sense doing the same thing, you’re micro-managing yourself. If you find yourself doing this, there are some steps you can take to counteract this…

1. Keep Your Conscious Mind Busy

When you do keep your conscious mind busy, it can’t interfere as much. What you need to do is find other things to get involved in, this way your conscious mind is focused elsewhere and not on the problem.

If you have time, go for a walk or get stuck into a different task; this allows you to let it go and allow the unconscious mind to work its magic.

2. Stay Focused and Engaged

It’s important to trust your unconscious, and yes I know that it can be frustrating “waiting” for the unconscious mind to work its magic. If you find yourself in this little cycle, and you decide to try a different approach before the first method has finished, you are actually disengaging from the process which keeps leading you further from your goal.

The key is to keep yourself engaged, without being too engaged.

3. Utilise Ancient Chinese Secrets

The Chinese philosophy Taoism is based on the idea of trusting your inner nature and letting your unconscious mind do its work. This approach allows the conscious mind to sit back and appreciate things, setting the scene and then letting events play out as they will.

I appreciate that this may be easier said than done at times, however, here are few tips to help explain this…

Act without acting
This is also known as doing without doing or “Wei Wu Wei”. This might be a tad confusing at first, because it may be hard to imagine doing something without really doing it. When you hand the responsibility over to your unconscious mind, you are trusting that it knows how to do its job.

Know without knowing
This is also known as “Pu.” In the Tao philosophy, there is a saying that goes:

“The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao.”

What this means is that if your intellect can grasp it, feel it away and put it into a neat and tidy box, then you have probably missed the entire point.

The Four Taoist Stages

The Pre-Hypnotic Suggestion
Hypnotic Questions
Emotional Streaming
The Big Drift
Pre-hypnotic suggestions: These generally involve positive affirmations, visualisations and self motivational talk. Affirmations are statements that emulate the state of mind or condition you want to be in, and they are always set in the present tense. Affirmations can be incredibly effective and they are easy to create and use.

Hypnotic questions: These are sometimes called afformations, are also a great way to keep the conscious mind busy. You can say statements like:

“How quickly am I mastering the power of self-hypnosis?”
“Why is it that I am such a master of self-hypnosis?”

These are simple to create and by saying them, it actually gives your mind something to answer.

Emotional streaming or Emo-streaming: This is similar to the principle of hypnotic questions, except it’s based on emotions and moods. For those who find themselves getting stuck on the content of the goal, emo-streaming works well.

For example, imagine yourself at a certain point in the future, say a year or so down the road. Take yourself there in your mind and ask yourself how you would be feeling having already achieved your goal. Avoid “thinking” and focus on “feeling” instead.

You can even imagine yourself going way beyond that goal, imagining how you feel having achieved that all-important milestone.

The Big Drift: This involves allowing your mind to become a casual observer, noticing the responses that are happening, without making any judgments. In other words, you’re just allowing things to happen in their own time and way.

Trusting in the process of the unconscious mind is what this is all about. The Big Drift allows you to create a space in your mind where new possibilities can appear.

7 stages of the Big Drift

Prepare yourself
Review resources
Review your purpose or problem
Review possibilities
Choose a behavior or action
Integrate everything
Get on with your life!
All of these techniques work through the process of distraction. In the Big Drift, you start by preparing yourself by raising your hands up infant of your face, palms facing you and looking at your hands as if they weren’t really your hands. In step two allow oner arm to lower automatically, while you review your life lessons.

Once your arm reaches your lap, you can then review your problem or purpose for self-hypnosis. Step four involves allowing your second arm to descend while you review the myriad of possibilities.

The next step involves you simply choosing for yourself a new behavioural pattern. Step six involves closing your eyes, if you haven’t already done so and integrating all of the steps together.

Step seven is all about learning how to “let go” and learning how to get on with your life. Focusing on something too intently only slows the process down; so there is no need to think too much about your issue once you finish your session.

In order to listen to your unconscious mind, you need to begin tuning into your intuition and paying attention to your gut feelings about whatever is bothering you. The messages of the unconscious can be subtle, but other times they may metaphorically slap you in the face.

When you use self-hypnosis you really have no idea how your unconscious mind will present the opportunity or change to you. Using these methods allows you to open up your mind to a host of new possibilities – possibilities that your conscious mind could never come up with!

A top tip is not to take self-hypnosis or yourself too seriously, it’s meant to be a fun process. You can take as many or as few of these tips as you want, because only you know what works for you and you will only really find out what works for you when you play around with them all and practice with these techniques. This will enable you to find the combination that works best for you. With your conscious mind out of the way – anything is possible!

You need your conscious mind to help you make important decisions throughout your day. Without it, you could not function. Always keep in mind though that your unconscious mind is vastly larger than your conscious thinking mind. Using the idea of the iceberg once again, you can clearly see that your unconscious mind plays a huge role in your life.

Programming your unconscious mind is easy, once you decide what you want to work on. The truth of the matter is that many problems you have can be solved using self-hypnosis because your unconscious mind is quite brilliant and it can help you achieve any goal.

The trick is getting your conscious mind out of the way and these techniques can help you do exactly that.

One Final Word

Obviously I am a firm believer in what we can achieve when we learn to access and harness the power of our unconscious minds. However, sometimes we need a little outside assistance because when we are the root of our own problem/s, it can be extremely difficult to solve it from inside our own minds. If this is the case for you, then I strongly recommend that you do your homework and find yourself a Hypnotherapist in your area that you feel comfortable working with and use their knowledge and experience to help you resolve your problem/s and make the changes you want and need to make.

Whatever path you choose, I wish you every success and much happiness.

Simon

References:

Adapted from a post by the Hypnosis Training Academy

NLP Practitioner Course


I am  planning ahead and I wanted to let you all know that we will be running a summer 10 Day Fast Track NLP Practitioner in Aberdeen.

The dates are:
Part 1: 20 – 24 July
Part 2: 27 – 31 July

Normal price is £2,395 + VAT

Early bird discount will be in three stages.
Stage 1: 30% from today until 31st May
Stage 2: 20% from 1st – 30th June
Stage 3: 10% from 1st – 12th July

The course requires a quite a bit of pre-study, so the earlier you book your place the more time you will have to prepare.

Pre-study consists of listening to audio tracks that accompany the manual which you will need to listen to at least twice with the manual in order to learn as much as possible. There is then a question paper to assess your learning, this must be passed before acceptance into the course, which is why we recommend booking well in advance.

A deposit of £500 secures your place and the balance must be paid 1 week prior to the course start date.

I appreciate that this can be a big outlay in one go, as such we offer the option to pay in instalments, if you choose this option, please call to discuss and arrange.

If you would like us to email you a course brochure, email me at:
simon@simonmaryan.com

Or call on: 01224 443003

Beat Stress Naturally


Stress! You have heard about it and probably experienced it in some way, shape or form. The word stress can be associated with different things and used in many contexts.

However, what is stress, really?

In simple terms, stress is a type of tension, strain or pressure that is exerted on something or some object. It can also be exerted emotionally or mentally on a person. It could occur as a result of fatigue, it may also develop based on the occurrence of traumatic, demanding and other adverse situations.

Also important to know is how to cope with or get rid of the stress that you may be feeling or experiencing and this leads to understanding another dimension related to stress which is referred to as the stressor.

Stressors provide a stimulus which causes stress. Hence, while stress is the actual feeling, the stressor is linked to causation. In busting, reducing or eliminating stress from our lives, sometimes, focusing on the stressor can be beneficial. There are different things that could help reduce or eliminate the stress that we feel including certain scents, foods and exercise.

Let’s look at 7 Great Stress Busters!

#1 – Tea

Sip your way into a renewed state of mind. If you do not drink tea, you may want to reconsider after discovering that drinking tea could help soothe away stress. Theanine, which is an amino acid that is present in certain varieties of tea such a black or green tea may cause a lifting of stressful feelings while promoting relaxation.

Green Tea

Green tea contains different types of polyphenols which are basically antioxidants that are able to fight oxidative stresses. There have been studies which link fresh green tea leaf polyphenols to oxidative damage that stress creates and it is suggested that drinking five cups of green tea in a day could reduce psychological stress [1]. The decaffeinated brands of teas are preferred in terms of reducing stress, because high levels of caffeine could do more to prevent a person from being able to relax, sleep or get sufficient rest.

#2 – Fruit

Fruits

Blueberries, Oranges, Passion Fruit and More! Nutrition plays a big role in reducing or managing the amount of stress we have in our lives. Fruit can be a healthy food option for your waistline and perhaps you did not know that fruit could also help you relieve stress. The not-so-secret weapon of fruits such as blueberries lies in the high level of antioxidants contained in these foods.

Antioxidants target cell repair and the protection of cells. Hence, the body is fortified against conditions that could make it more susceptible to attack. Also, fruit can be rich in vitamin C which contributes to a healthy body, is capable of minimizing hormones related to stress such as cortisol and is also able to reduce blood pressure.

Foods like passion fruit have been known to have stress-relieving properties. The passion flower extract has been studied for its relation to anxiety order and results have shown that there can be some improvements related to quality of life and relief from anxiety [2]. However, there are opportunities too for future research in this area.

#3 – Chocolate!

Nibble in moderation. Yes, there may be many people who are glad that chocolate made it on this list. Indeed, chocolate could help to relieve some of the feelings of pressure and doom that a person is facing. This is why chocolate seems to be the food of choice for those who are simply having a bad day!

Chocolates

The challenge with using chocolate as a stress-reliever is not to overdo it, though. It can be very tempting to eat more chocolate than we should, as it may make us feel really good when we eat it. It tends to release a lot of the “feel good” or serotonin hormones.

However, too much chocolate could wreck havoc on our waistline. Hence, nibble in moderation, as this food can pack a punch in terms of caloric count. Overeating and weight-gain could be stressful by itself. So, it would be unwise to try to reduce stress by overeating chocolate or other foods and thereby repeating the cycle of stress.

There are also different varieties of chocolate and the darker chocolate appear to have the most benefit for reducing stress due to higher capabilities to affect levels of catecholamines and cortisol hormones which are linked to the stress a person can feel.

#4 – Asparagus

Time to eat your veggies! This may not be a food you usually eat. However, knowing that asparagus has been connected to folic acid levels and the ability to boost a person’s moods could make you re-think the way you choose to ignore this vegetable or begin to include it in your meals.

Asparagus

Compared to other foods that are loaded with fat, you really cannot go wrong by adding this food item and there are different ways you could gradually begin to eat more asparagus including options for grilling, sautéing or steaming asparagus. Simply steam some asparagus stems or add chopped asparagus to an omelet for a tasty dish that helps to reduce anxiety and stress.

In addition, being rich in folic acid contributes to the ability of asparagus in affecting serotonin levels in the body. Vitamin B and folic acid can create serotonin. Asparagus also has other favorable biological properties include being anti-bacterial, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory [3]. Apart from asparagus, there are other vegetables like spinach which could promote a state of well-being and provide a reduction in anxiety levels. A common effect regarding these vegetables is the ability to specifically target and regulate the cortisol stress hormone.

#5 – Lavender

Calming and relaxing. There are some scents that could provide a calming effect and one of such scents is lavender. There has been a lot of research regarding the use of lavender and how its use could be beneficial in treating various conditions. The lavender plant produces flowers and lavender-scented oils can be extracted from this plant for use in treating depression and anxiety.

Lavender

Such aromatherapy has been deemed effective for these purposes in both controlled and uncontrolled clinical trials and research studies also reveal that taking well-defined essential oils from lavender as an oral supplement in dosages of 80 mg per day produced high quality or superior results when compared with some prescribed anti-depressants [4]. Hence, such data could give room to discussions with a primary care physician regarding the possible use of lavender oil to manage depression, anxiety and stress.

#6 – Avocado

Rich in B Vitamins. To reduce anxiety, it would make sense to tackle a trigger that could affect the level of anxiety that a person feels. When consuming avocados, the benefit we receive from this food that is rich in healthy fats, is an abundance of B vitamins. These B vitamins are needed for the healthy development and sustainment of brain cells and nerves.

Avocado

In addition, the healthy fats and the high potassium content that is found in avocados [5], also helps to maintain adequate blood pressure levels which help to reduce stress and keep the body in balance. Half of an avocado can contain about 480 mg of potassium.

In terms of caloric content, avocados can have a high fat content, however, it is the right kind of fat to eat and a necessary part of your diet. Hence, consume in moderation or as a moderate spread on bread, toast or crackers. However, a big selling point for a healthy avocado snack is that it can also fill up the tummy quite well or provide the feeling of being full. Hence, this feeling of nourishment coupled with the fact that avocados contain healthy fats can be a significant stress reliever.

#7 – Exercise

Simple but effective! Yes, exercise can be a simple but effective way to bust stress right out of your life!! It does not have to be gut-wrenching, muscle-pulling types of strenuous exercise. A simple walk outside on a cool or mild day could help relax the muscles in your body, clear your head, expose you to the amazing scents of the flowers outside and fill your lungs with fresh air as well.

Trainer

You could also do some exercise indoors, on a treadmill or with weights. Stretching and Yoga posses could provide some relief from stress as you purposely place you mind and being in a more centered place. Exercise does not only target a person’s physical state but could provide beneficial effects to mental capabilities as well.

In addition to exercise, massages, self-hypnosis and meditating can also prove to be very relaxing and effective in relieving stress.

Busting or getting rid of stress can occur through the help of mood-boosting foods, scents and exercise. When people get stressed, they can show signs so anxiety, pressure, overload, difficulty, nervousness, trouble and worry.

There is benefit in getting rid of stress as this condition could be linked to a diminished immune system, abnormal heart rates, heavy breathing, lack of sleep, high blood pressure, twitching nervously or other nervous traits, headaches, fainting, stomach upsets and tense muscles.

If stress is not checked or appropriately handled, it could lead to other behaviours or events such as problems in relationships, the abuse of alcohol, the abuse of drugs, overeating, not eating enough, withdrawal from social gatherings, mood swings and other possible conditions.

Using these 7 Stress Busters could help contribute to a life in which stress is well-managed!