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How To Actually “Let Go”

How many times have you heard someone ‘just let go’. I have, many times (!) but what I know for sure is sometimes it feels easy to say and hard to do.
Sometimes we struggle with feeling that we just can’t ‘let go’ in life.
That everything, in some way has to be under control.
We put so much energy into trying to control our bodies, our relationships, our money, our future, our business, our families, our kids etc., that it becomes harder and harder to relax and simply enjoy the moment.
So how do we actually let go?
First of all it is important to understand that letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.
If you are struggling with control (and may I remind you control is after all an illusion) then here are a few tips to help you ‘let go’ a little…
Beauty cannot be defined.  Beauty is a reflection of what we deem valuable.  Try not to value your worth on the size of your body.  In this society we are brainwashed into believing that beauty is only one size. Challenge that definition. Define your own beauty. Get confident in your uniqueness.
Perfection cannot be obtained (and it’s boring anyway). Trying to be perfect ultimately ends up in emotional pain. Perfection is an unrealistic expectation which is impossible to meet and we usually then end up berating ourselves. Challenge your thinking.  You are already imperfectly perfect and that is more than good enough.
Other people will judge. Doing our best and accepting that people will form opinions and judge is far more empowering than stressing about what everyone else thinks. Let them judge, who cares anyway?
Sometimes there is no right or wrong. There isn’t always a right decision or a right answer. It’s just about what feels right and whether we have the courage to honor it. Be brave and always trust your gut instinct.
It’s all going down as it should. Despite all our planning, plotting, worrying, dreading, freaking out, stressing about what will be, it will always work out how it is meant to work out. Trust the universe. Its always working in your favour. Always.
Take responsibility for your life. Stop blaming anyone else for where you are in your life or how you feel. Grow into emotional adulthood. Be brave. Look inwards and check your thoughts.  Ultimately the only one who has real responsibility for you, is you.
We can’t change other people.  No matter how much we wish someone would act differently, it has to be his or her choice. Trying to make other people change is a total waste of your own energy. We cannot change how other people think or act or behave. The only thing we can change, is ourselves.
We are worthy, just as we are. Yes re-read this again and again.  You are enough. Right here, as you read this. You. Are. Enough.
Forgive yourself.  If we want to be happy, we need to cut ourselves some slack and believe we’re doing the best we can with what we have at the time. Being kind to yourself is taking the fast track to helping yourself to let go. Be nice. Re-read the point above. Your worth it.
We always have a choice.  We always, always, always have a choice as to how we think, feel, act and behave. Growing into emotional adulthood means there may have been lessons to learn from our past and we can make different choices going forward. Lessons are growth. Choices are yours.
We are never really alone. It might feel like it, but there is always someone to offer love, kindness, and support. We just need to be willing to reach out and ask for what we need. Letting go may mean that you need to get vulnerable but that could be just what you need. Ask for love and you will be amazed at how many places you can find it.
Everything is cyclical. For every pain, there will be pleasure. Nothing stays the same. Everything transforms eventually.
What’s the worst that could happen?  If you are holding on too tight and finding it tricky to let go in a specific situation, ask yourself this question. You may find opportunity in that “horrible” thing.  You may find ‘”growth” in the thing and you may even, find yourself.  At the very least you will work out that you will be okay—still here, still strong, still breathing. You are more powerful than you give yourself credit to be. Let it go.
We may not get everything we think we want. Despite all our best-laid plans, things won’t always turn out as we hoped they would.  There is always a bigger picture. We will though, get what we need. It may also be the best bit of luck you ever had by not getting what you thought you wanted. Seriously.
What we do matters. It might not seem like it when our efforts and outcomes seem small, but we create tiny miracles every day by doing what we do and being who we are. We all make a difference in our own ways. What you do matters. You are more loved than you think you are.
Sent with love,
Jacqueline


New Year Strategy

How to make 2019 your best year ever

Forget making resolutions this year. If you want to set yourself some serious life goals and achieve them, you need a strategy, and as the GQ Therapist I was asked what my top three tips were – so of course I wanted to share them with you here too…

I’ve never liked New Year’s resolutions – I always think they feel a little constricting. Deciding to do something every day for 365 days no matter what can feel a little overwhelming, so it’s always good to learn to live life just one day at a time. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to smash your goals and change old habits, but it’s the way you go about it that matters. Saying to yourself you will only eat protein and salad every day for lunch might sound angelic, but what happens in the deep winter when it’s pouring with rain and your boss just told you your last presentation was terrible? See my point?

So instead of resolutions, let’s look at strategy; it feels more powerful and therefore more empowering to execute. Strategies for getting what you want, feeling how you want to feel and living the life you love matter. So I want to share the only three tips you will really need for making 2019 your year.

Get focused

Whether it’s fatigue, distractions, lack of motivation or something else entirely, our inability to focus digs a hole in our productivity and therefore can jeopardise our chances of success. Getting focused is therefore the key to unlocking your full potential. There are many ways to help you focus: exercise in the morning to get the blood moving around your body and ready for the day ahead; meditation to slow the mind and teach it how to focus up; working offline so that you don’t always have emails popping up to distract you or suddenly slide over to YouTube because you can. The brain is a mental muscle and some studies have found that people who are easily distracted benefit from “brain-training” exercises. Make sleep a priority: good sleep creates good days. Take breaks – short ones and often. Even a quick five-minute walk can create the space your brain needs to focus up when you’re back to it. Simple but oh-so effective.

Get empowered

We live in a culture and society that is constantly streaming images of perfection everywhere we go. It is being shown to us as if it is real. We are all constantly bombarded with things that we are made to think are imperative to have, important to purchase, and then, of course, your life will change and everything will fall into place. The first step to empowerment is to step back and see what’s happening around you – that, actually, you’re surrounded by millions of pounds of marketing that is constantly trying to trick you to feel disempowered so that you buy whatever it is they are showing you with the false dream of then you will be good enough. Being aware of this is amazing, because you then get yourself back in the game. The truth about empowerment is that it doesn’t come from anywhere other than you and your mind. It comes from thinking right, having the right mindset and the ability to make your brain work for you, not against you.Get your shit together

Taking a moment to decide how you want to live matters. Taking a moment to decide who you want to be, how you want to feel and act is imperative if you want to step into 2019 with your shit together. You can’t have your shit together if your mind is off. Getting it together is really about growing up and becoming an adult. Children don’t have their shit together. They are chaotic bundles of confusion, stumbling wide-eyed through the world, motivated by pleasure and unquestionably following their whims. As adults we have to grow up and learn to take responsibility for ourselves, mainly our minds. You have to learn to ”think right”. This means learning to get conscious of what you are thinking in order to create the right feelings, actions and results. Getting your shit together means getting rid of any toxicity in your life, having an open mind and an open heart. It means choosing to live for you, the real you and to take care of you.

You don’t have to do any of this alone. You know where to find me.

Read the full GQ article here


Scared To Fail? Lessons To Be Learnt

Scared to fail? Lessons to be learnt and opportunities to grow from.

I often hear people telling me that they have a ‘fear of failure’. As if it is something that is going to come and get them and ruin them and their whole life. Like failure is the worst thing in the whole world. And I find this so interesting because I don’t believe in ‘failure’. But I do wholeheartedly believe in growth. Lessons to be learnt and opportunities to grow from.
How else do we really learn those important lessons in life?  Certainly not by sailing along smoothly without any waves. When I was learning about my own self-development at the good old school of life I had many, many lessons. So many situations didn’t work out as I had planned.  I tried a lot of things and a lot of things just didn’t work out how I had expected them to.  Except looking back, I realise it was all so perfect.

You see there is no failure, only growth. 
Everything I experienced only ever helped me rise bigger, better, faster and stronger. In other words, I wouldn’t have got where I am now without those lessons.

It was those lessons that challenged me to think another way.
It’s perfect. Life is always happening exactly how it should be and our perspective on things is what matters. If you want to berate yourself for ‘failing’ then go ahead, be my guest! And you will find yourself going around in circles, not feeling great at all and learning a grand total of nil. If you want to challenge your thinking and ask yourself ‘what did I learn here’ you will find an amazing lesson, a new path and you will start to feel a lot better.

It is, of course, your choice…
So what is it with failure? Why do people fret it, try to avoid it, and beat themselves up for not being perfect when the simple truth is this – no great success was ever achieved without it.

It is a necessary part of growth.
Especially if you look at it correctly. Change your mind about the word failure and your life will grow. Seriously, look upon these lessons as part of being human, as a bigger plan for you, as part of becoming a better you and then simply, move on.
Here’s to many more lessons x


Stop Smoking

Stop Smoking

Smoking is a deadly habit, literally as well as mentally, physically and emotionally. First, let’s look at what it takes away from you, which is your confidence, your happiness and your self-esteem. And what does it give you in return? The answer is absolutely nothing. I have heard that smoking is more addictive and harder to stop taking than cocaine, but I don’t believe that’s true (having given up both myself). I think this habit is all down to understanding, then changing your mindset.
We all know that smoking affects our health, wastes our money and traps us in a form of slavery – we know all this and yet all the while, we continue to smoke.
So let’s get a few things straight… We think smoking calms us, relaxes us, relieves stress or boredom. And yet the truth is none of these beliefs are true. Smoking does not calm you down because it is actually quite stressful. You have to get your cigarettes, get your lighter, go outside, stand on the street, breathe tobacco into your lungs, knowing that non-smokers are looking at you, scratching their heads and wondering why? And then you come back inside stinking of smoke and hating yourself.
If that’s not stressful enough from a mental point of view, how about the physical one? That’s where tension and anxiety build up because straight away after you have put out the cigarette, the nicotine – which reaches the brain in eight seconds and causes the chemical release of dopamine (that causes feelings of pleasure and relaxation) – drops and so the body craves the hit again and again. Hence, why cigarettes come in a pack of 20. You see, after 20 minutes the dopamine needs its next “hit” and so out you go again. I think that’s a pretty “stressful” cycle. Tip: If you think about it, what you are looking for is some long, deep breaths. So get outside and take some of those long deep breaths without the cigarette and I promise you when you do that consciously you will already feel better.
Smoking cannot relieve boredom. Have you ever stopped and looked at a smoker? Do they look like they are 100 per cent engrossed in smoking? Exactly. Smoking because you are bored is a pointless argument because boredom is simply a state of mind. Smoking a cigarette as an activity is like saying you like to inject heroin into your arm just because you need to “do something”. The concept of boredom itself is just a mind state where we simply feel uninterested in anything going on. Tip: In this case, find something you really love to get engrossed in. It could be five minutes on social media, watching some YouTube comedy or football, or simply making a cup of coffee.
So seeing smoking as a habit that you can choose to lose is quite powerful. The truth is we can make or break habits every single day. Think about it like this: if you drive a car in the UK you drive on the left, but when you go to France you think nothing of driving on the right. You are breaking a habit in an instant – you aren’t sitting there in a mental battle of not being able to do it. You just think about this habit differently. The point here is that if you enter this habit as a battle with a negative mindset – “I can’t do this” or “It’s just too hard” – then it’s likely that will be the cycle of hell you keep going through when you try to stop.
Alternatively, you can choose to change your thinking to “bring it on”, “I am stronger than a cigarette”, or even “Today I am choosing a healthier habit to get into.” Tip: With regard to thinking that “stopping smoking is going to be hard”, think of it this way – it’s harder to have cancer than it is to stop smoking.
Get help. If you are truly struggling, then hypnotherapy is a great answer to working on the subconscious beliefs you hold. Hypnotherapy to stop smoking has a great success rate and of course if this is something you are interested in, you know where to find me. Finally, start to see cigarettes as they really are – there is no “sacrifice” and when you decide to stop you need to see yourself as “becoming free” – there really is nothing to give up and everything to gain: health, freedom, and most importantly, your self-esteem and confidence back.
If you want to quit this December, come and have a chat with me and let me help you with a life changing hour of hypnosis. Mention you are booking via this email and get 10% off your session. Let’s get you quit this year!
You can see the full article for GQ here 


Podcast: How To Stop Comparing Yourself

Podcast: How To Stop Comparing Yourself

 

The lovely Becki Rabin asked me to appear on her super cool podcast to discuss all things ‘life’ – including how to stop comparing yourself.
In her usual chatty style she threw quite a few important questions at me to answer and if you are interested in self-development you need to listen to this!
During the podcast, I talk about how to:

  • Stop comparing yourself to others.
  • How to start believing in yourself.
  • How to start truly believing that you are good enough and worthy enough.
  • How to go out there and grab life with both hands.

To download the podcast…
The podcast is available on Acast, iTunes and SoundCloud.
iTunes link here – go to episode 22: ‘Dropping comparisons and focussing on you’.
I hope you enjoy it!
Jacqueline x


7 Secrets of Restful Sleep

If you haven’t read The Wellness Report over at matchesfashion.com it’s really worth taking a look at their super cool fashion and wellness blog.  I was honoured to have been asked once again to appear on their blog with my advice, this time on how to get a restful and revitalising sleep. If you are struggling with sleep, this article is for you!

7 Secrets of Restful Sleep

Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, once said, ‘The way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is getting enough sleep.’ Indeed, lack of sleep can have severe effects, ranging from weight gain and dry skin to heightened emotions and excess cortisol levels. So how can we learn to sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed, energised and ready to face the day? Jacqueline Hurst shares her wisdom…

1. Be consistent
Consistency promotes good sleeping patterns. Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time each day will teach your body what you want it to do. It will help to keep your body clock in time and promote your natural drive to sleep. If you are awake at night, choose to stay in bed and conserve your energy by lying still and breathing. Don’t disrupt your pattern.
2. Mood lighting

 The blue light from your laptop or smartphone is a lot more stressful on your body than you may realise when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Many of us still relax in the evenings with bright, artificial lights, which prevents the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Dim the lights in your bedroom and living room, or use candles to stimulate the production of melatonin. Think about putting a baby to bed, you wouldn’t put them in front of bright lights just before bed time, instead you wind them down with soft lighting to ease them sleep. Do the same for yourself.

3. Meditate and breathe
Meditation can help maintain a healthy sleep rhythm and is a great way to relax the mind. Meditating for just 10 minutes a day should help you to notice an increased sense of wellbeing. The beauty of meditation is that you don’t need anything for it, just somewhere quiet and relaxed, like your bedroom. Begin by just following your breath: inhale for four counts, exhale for four counts and don’t worry if you have some thoughts – that’s normal – just keep coming back to the breath.
4. Accept and be mindful
Worrying about not sleeping or imagining how bad things will be if you don’t sleep only helps to increase night-time stress. It’s important to slow your mind down to stop catastrophising or creating anxiety. Bring yourself back to the present moment and focus on the now. Getting the right thoughts in your mind really matters.
5. De-stimulate
Knowing what not to eat or drink can really help with insomnia. Avoiding caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol (which is a stimulant as well as a depressant) and anything high in sugars is key. Caffeine is one of the worst offenders – if you love your coffee or caffeinated tea, drink as much as you want but make sure you stop by midday. That gives your body a good 10-12 hours to recover from the caffeine hit and ensures you’re in a wind-down mode in time for bed.
6. Think natural
Sleep is a natural physiological process that cannot be controlled. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, your body manages and requires sleep in much the same way that it regulates the need for eating and drinking and breathing. Having a reliance on unnatural night-time rituals or pills can fuel sleep anxiety and further sleeplessness.
7. Exercise
I’m not saying stop exercising altogether, but be careful not to exercise too vigorously or too close to bedtime. Intense exercise can lead to the elevation of some hormones (such as cortisol), which may prevent you from drifting off easily. If you’re suffering from sleep issues, try to work out early in the day.
You can read the full article over at Matches Fashion here.

If you are struggling with restful sleep, or any other issues, you can contact me for a 1:1 session in my office, on the phone or via Skype. Alternatively, if you want to feel better but do your self-development online, you can head on over to my school The Life Class and take the Foundation Course.


5 Tips For Boosting Your Self-Esteem

5 Tips For Boosting Your Self-Esteem

If you are your own worst critic and find yourself tortured with feelings of self-doubt, do yourself a favour and take some advice from GQ Therapist, Jacqueline Hurst. You will definitely feel better for it!

Life nowadays can seem like a constant juggle. We are bombarded with unreal images daily on social media, TV and magazines and we can all feel a little overwhelmed as if we haven’t quite reached our full potential. A little bit of this is normal, however, if you feel constantly held back by a sense of self-doubt, it could be more than just the occasional “off day” we all suffer with from time to time. Preventing you from ever achieving your full potential, low self-esteem can be both a debilitating and miserable. Thankfully, for those who do suffer from self-esteem issues, there are a wealth of tips and tricks you can try to help break the cycle and build your confidence back.

What is self-esteem?

The term self-esteem refers to how we view ourselves. Self-esteem is the overall opinion we have and hold about ourselves and the value we place on ourselves as people. Low self-esteem is all about how we view ourselves internally – what we believe about ourselves – and is based on negativity: for example, “I’m unlovable” or “I’m useless” or “I’m worthless”. Of course, most of us have mixed opinions of ourselves, but if your overall opinion is that you are inadequate or inferior, or if you feel that you have no true worth and are not entitled to the good things in life – that you are “undeserving” – then this means your self-esteem is low.

Low self-esteem can be due to the beliefs you have about yourself which you think are fact, but in reality are only really thoughts. These beliefs and thoughts are based on the experiences you’ve had in life, and the messages that these experiences have given you about the person that you are.

As low self-esteem is based on thought process rather than fact, it is really important to gather all the thoughts you hold about yourself that are negative and then start to look for evidence to prove that the opposite is true. For example, if you believe that you are not “lovable”, instead of finding evidence to prove this thought true, you need to start looking for evidence to prove this is not true. You could ask yourself instead “Who does love me?” – you will be able to say “My mum, my dad, my friends, my family, my girl/boyfriend” etc. It becomes hard to believe a thought when you have evidence to prove the opposite is actually true.

If you are suffering from low self-esteem here are my top five tips to overcome it:

1. Question your thoughts

Are you conscious of what you are thinking? Thoughts create feelings, so starting to think carefully about your thoughts is key. Positive thoughts create positive feelings.

2. Be kind to yourself

Tell yourself kind, loving statements that you would say to someone you love. Imagine your best friend next to you talking about you as a person – they would say lovely things like “She’s funny, kind, thoughtful” etc. When you start looking at yourself from a friend’s point of view you will be amazed at how good you really are.

You are unique and perfect just as you are. Comparing is a waste of your time. Instead, remember that someone else’s beauty does not mean the absence of your own.

4. Gratitude is key to feeling better

When you feel down, think about all the wonderful things in your life and the things you have achieved – you’ll soon realize you are pretty special. You cannot feel grateful and miserable at the same time.

5. Perfection does not exist

Good enough, really is good enough.

You can read the full article over at GQ here.


Don’t Compare and Despair

Do you remember a little while ago two beautiful women whose pre-Photoshopped pictures were leaked online?
The first was the beautiful Cindy Crawford, model, mother, wife in her 50’s with grace, style and poise.  Her picture got leaked showing her in a bikini with a not so toned tummy and some cellulite on her legs.  Guess what people? She’s normal!
The second was the amazingly talented Beyoncé.  So gifted and well known that she only needs one name, not two. This is a woman who has made it to the top of her field, just like Cindy C.

Her picture got leaked showing her with uneven skin, bumps on her forehead and lines around her eyes.  Guess what people? She too is normal!
I am not sure what all the fuss is about. Is it because these women are ‘shock horror’ just as normal looking as us, or is it because people are finally beginning to see that using Photoshop in the media is detrimental and unkind to all people no matter what age, race, colour or religion?

Don’t compare…

I often see people in my office who tell me that they ‘compare themselves’ to other people and I always ask them ‘why?’. Some of their replies range from ‘because she is so beautiful’ or ‘he is just so intelligent’ or ‘she is so lucky she has it all’. But my questions to them are these:
‘Have they lead exactly the same life as you?’
‘Do you know they are that lucky?’
‘Why, are you comparing your inside, with their outside?’
A comparison is only really a consideration or estimate of the dissimilarities between two things or two people. Re-read this sentence. In other words, the comparison is based on an estimation, a consideration and hardly ever based on FACT. You all know how much I love facts!

Tips to get on with being amazing

If you are someone who is comparing yourself to others here are a few tips on how to quit that shit and get on with being the amazing unique you that you were born to be:
Stop placing yourself as ‘less than’. You are not. You are equal to. There will be some things that you can do and some things that others can do. There will be some things you can’t do that other’s can. This is called life. If we could all do and look and be exactly the same as each other, what kind of boring world would that be? Step into your uniqueness and own it.
Be Grateful. Take a long hard look at how amazing you are. Start focusing on the things that are amazing about you and quit looking at the negative lies you are telling yourself. Everyone has something special and something wonderful about them. Find your thing and keep telling yourself about it. Big yourself up and have your own back.
Get cool with being imperfect. I’m not sure about you, but the last thing I want to be is perfect. Why? Because I know that perfect does not exist, so I am not going to aim for something that isn’t real. Instead, focus on getting cool with your perfect imperfections. We are all perfectly imperfect and trust me, in the years of coaching I have done, the thousands of clients I have seen, I am yet to meet a ‘perfect’ one. So if you think you know someone who is perfect, I would suggest stepping out of your imaginary world and looking at the facts.
Love what you have. In today’s society, we are lead to believe that ‘things’ make us happy. It isn’t true. The thing that makes you happy is you. You choose the right thoughts; you create your happy. It’s as simple as getting your mind managed and your thoughts in the right place. So start thinking about what you are thinking about and choose to love what you have. It feels great.
Social Media Detox. I love social media, it’s a huge part of my business, but at the same time, I know that all the pictures of people on there having a great time and looking like they have fabulous lives don’t mean I choose to think my life is any less. Remember that people will only post pictures on social media of them looking great. Think about the terribly sad life of L’wren Scott. Her photos were all private jets and couture clothes. Behind it, she was terribly unhappy. Don’t believe the hype. People have real lives no matter what they post on Facebook. Everyone is dealing with something.
Direct your focus to things that matter to you. Spend your time doing the things you love, focussing your attention on you and choosing great thoughts that create great feelings and actions. Direct your focus to the positive, and you will be amazed at how amazing your life really is.
Lastly, if you still feel the need to compare, take a look at where those thoughts stem from. Did you learn somewhere that you were not enough? If so, question the hell out of that thought and teach yourself to turn it around. It isn’t true. We are all given a set of beliefs and we all, as adults, have a choice as to whether we choose to hold onto those beliefs or challenge and change them. My suggestion is any belief you think is keeping you small or holding you back needs to be worked on. Challenge it, look for evidence to prove the opposite is true and then go out into the big wide world with a thought that feels amazing. Because the truth is, YOU ARE AMAZING!
Happy Friday!
Jacqueline x


How to Go Sober for October

If you are worried about your alcohol intake, the GQ Therapist (that’s me) has some tips to help you cut down and why you will definitely feel better for it…

Dear GQ Therapist,

I think my drinking is getting out of hand. How can I get it in check? 

As a life coach, one of the most common questions I receive is: “How can I control my drinking?”

In other words, most people do not want to give up drinking entirely, they just want to find some “moderation” with their intake. It is usually because they feel slowly over time that their drinking has gotten “out of control”. Or perhaps they feel “depressed” (alcohol has a depressing effect – the alcohol you drink today can make you feel depressed days and weeks later). Or they are realising they are depending on it more than they’d like to be.

Unfortunately, we only start to think about moderation with alcohol once we realise it is getting out of hand. And if you are at that place, then now is the time to start looking a little further at “why” this is happening and then “what” you can do to help yourself.

  1. Cut back in a way which works for you
    Consider lowering your limit and/or decreasing the quantity, frequency, duration and intensity of the alcohol you consume. Decide, for example, to choose not to drink on a weeknight or only have a maximum of two drinks when you go out. Or try and only have one really great bottle of wine once a week. Find a realistic, limited amount that works for you and your lifestyle.
  2. Only reduce your intake for a limited time frame at first
    Anything in terms of forever is pretty scary, so try saying to yourself you will limit your alcohol intake for one or two weeks only while you are working out the limits you are happy with. That way you have a goal to work towards and something to keep you from falling off the wagon. Also, every day say to yourself “Just for today” – anyone can do anything, just for today. It takes the pressure off and helps immensely.
  3. Pay close attention to what thoughts and feelings emerge throughout this period
    Let’s be honest, we all know that alcohol serves to mediate feelings by dulling, numbing, or blocking them out completely. So when you reduce your alcohol consumption, your feelings will come back. This is really important to be aware of so don’t think you are going mad if you feel a little down before you feel start to feel amazing.
  4. Don’t feel pressured to drink
    If you have to go out for work drinks or celebrations where you know there will be alcohol and you don’t want to drink that night, one of my favourite tricks is to hold a fizzy water with some lime and it always manages to deter others from asking the question: “Why aren’t you drinking?” It is also less likely they will offer you another drink. Remember, you are more aware that you have reduced your consumption but, everyone else isn’t so don’t stress!
  5. HALT is one of my favourite expressions
    It stands for “Hungry”, “Angry”, “Lonely”, and “Tired”. It helps you keep yourself in check as you reduce your alcohol intake. HALT helps you stop and reset by paying close attention to what you really need. As your feelings will be coming back it is also important to note that if you start to feel sad, anxious, lonely, fearful or stressed out, this is the time you should figure out healthier ways of coping without using alcohol.
  6. Think of alcohol like fine food
    A small amount feels amazing, you can get a real buzz from it and not get into any serious trouble. But continuing to drink past that buzz means you are pretty much heading for trouble as you are “assuming” more alcohol equates to more buzz. However, inside you really know, it doesn’t. It actually makes you head the other way – not so buzzy just completely fuzzy. And fuzzy never leads to good.

Try these tips out for yourself and see how you go. If you find this really difficult or keep failing at the first hurdle then you may be wondering whether you have a bigger drinking problem than you first thought. If you want to you can always ask for help. And help is at hand. There are many places to go for 1-to-1 or group support and you can always come and chat to me where we can develop a plan together for you that over time will help you fully understand the role that alcohol plays in your life and make decisions together about what changes you can be ready to make. Help is always at hand. Good luck!
If you are struggling with alcohol or any other issues, you can contact me for a 1:1 session in my office, on the phone or via Skype. Alternatively, if you want to feel better but do your self-development online, you can head on over to my school The Life Class and take the Foundation Course.

For more information on Going Sober for October, visit: gosober.org.uk/

This article appears on GQ here


The Art of Surrender

I use the word ‘art’ because it is an art when it comes to surrendering. In today’s society, we are taught that to get what we want, we have to push. Hard. To get along in life we are taught to work hard, push hard, fight hard, sweat hard and not stop until you get ‘there’. In our new wave of 24/7 culture, we are engulfed in social media seeing pictures of everyone ‘working hard for it’. I’m OK with this train of thought sometimes but at other times, this is actually the opposite approach to getting what we want.

Just let go

I took a yoga class last week and the teacher said something that really resonated. Her words were ‘some of you will need to work harder to get into this pose, and some of you, well some of you will need to let go and just allow it to be what it is, surrender into it without a fight’.
It really made sense. You see it is often in the surrender of our internal battles that we grow. It’s in the surrender of our fight that we learn. It’s in the surrender that we become who we are truly meant to be. And it’s the surrendering that creates a space to allow us to change our perspective. It is a very fine balance. This is not to say you sit on your ass and don’t do your work. In fact, it is the opposite, it is learning to do your work with acceptance as your baseline and moving onwards from there. Because there is an art in surrendering to ‘what is’. And that is where the magic happens.

Acceptance

‘Acceptance’ is always the answer to all of our problems today. So if you find yourself pushing at something, having given it your all and yet you are still in the ‘fight’, then maybe it’s time to step back…
Surrender.
Let go.
And watch the magic happen.
Sending love,
Jacqueline x