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Alt/Healthy Speaking Series

I’ve got some exciting news!

On Wednesday 27th February I have been invited to Becki Rabin’s 2019 speaker series, where I will be speaking about creating a life you love and answering all your questions with the lovely Becki Rabin.

Becki is one of London’s best life coaches and business consultants. She has long running expertise in the wellness industry and has helped many people with her message of positivity and self love. I’m so happy that Becki invited me to this event because we share the same passion for helping people live their best lives. h

The event is going to be held at the Avenue restaurant, St. James’s, London SW1A 1EE. Tickets will include a three course meal plus drinks on arrival. At this fabulous event I will be speaking about the importance of being in the correct mental space and how achieving a positive mindset can translate into happiness and success across all areas in your life. I will also be doing a Q&A session toward the end of the event. This will be a great opportunity to ask any questions that may be on your mind!

Click here to book your tickets today!


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 


Separate From Stress

Separate from stress

I wanted to share with you a recent question I answered for GQ Magazine on how to get out of stressful situations, effortlessly.
Stress levels are on the increase. How many times have you asked someone how they are and the response has been, “Urgh, stressed”? Probably most. It’s not surprising considering we live in the fast pace of modern life. We have information overload all at the touch of a button on our iPhones and can check social media, voicemails and emails in an instant. We can be switched on and contactable 24/7 and it’s not surprising people are feeling more and more stressed, unable to switch off and unable to find their balance.
Stress is ultimately when we go into what we call “fight-or-flight” where the body and mind releases lots of stress hormones, including cortisol, to gear us up to cope with an emergency. People who are under chronic stress have cortisol pouring into the bloodstream all the time. No wonder they don’t feel so good…
Many people talk about stress manifesting itself in physical illnesses such as getting regular colds and flu, headaches and sometimes even muscular aches and pains. Sleep patterns can also be disrupted by stress and insomnia is an obvious red flag.
But there is hope. You see a lot of stress is actually “mental” but impacts on the physical. Not the other way around. It’s about the mind first. I teach my clients and students that stress can be banished from your life by learning how to think right. Stress is, in fact, an emotion that can be changed via your thinking.
Getting a handle on stress is relatively simple. Here’s my top five how-to tips…

1) Step back

Sometimes it’s good to step back and ask yourself, “Is that going to make any difference in ten years’ time?” Ninety per cent of the time the answer is almost certainly no. Get perspective – put the issue you face into context, accepting that most of the things we worry about are not life-or-death issues. Try to mentally shrink what’s worrying you and it won’t seem like such a big deal after all.

2) Balance your expectations

So many of us have sky-high expectations on ourselves, way higher than we would set for anyone else. Whatever it is you are stressed about, ask yourself how you would talk to a friend in a similar situation. Would you be yelling at them, telling them they won’t get something sorted out, or that they are an idiot to have found themselves in this situation? Or would you treat your friend with kindness, consideration and love? Exactly. Treat yourself nicely and be kind with your thoughts and the stress will slip away.

3) Recognise the signs

Noticing that you are “stressed” can actually be good for you, (yes, really) because it’s a signal that you can either carry on doing what you are doing and getting the same results, or that something is in need of change. I think the best way to look at stress being good for you is that it is simply a sign that you need to change your perception.

4) Small changes can yield big results

First of all, our thoughts rule how we feel. It’s important to understand how we think creates our feelings, so if we are feeling something we don’t want to feel – such as stress – we have to start thinking about things differently. We teach all our students at The Life Class how to think correctly because the truth is, none of us were taught how to “think” or deal with our “emotions” at school. And yet this is such an important part of understanding that your thoughts create how you feel. If you are stressed, the first thing to do is start writing down your thoughts – get it out of your head and on paper.

5) Start to look at those thoughts

In other words, are you choosing thoughts that feel good or feel stressful? Let’s say you are stressed about a presentation you need to do for work. If you are thinking, “I can’t do this,” you won’t be feeling great. Instead, you need to start thinking about it differently to create a different feeling. Start challenging yourself to think the opposite – in other words, look for evidence to prove to yourself why you absolutely can do it.


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.


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


Healthy Body Image

Healthy Body Image

The lovely Madeline Shaw is well known for her amazing recipes on her well being website.  She asked me how to inform her readers on how to get a healthy body image.  As summer is coming up I wanted to share this one with you before you hit the beach so that you go with the right mindset!

7 LIFE CHANGING TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER BODY IMAGE

Developing a positive body image and a healthy mental attitude is crucial to a woman’s happiness and wellness. Many men and woman have feelings about the way they look and they also have quite stringent ideas and feelings about how other people look too! Sadly we are in a society where we are constantly bombarded with unrealistic images, images that are photo shopped or ‘slimmed down’ and this is unhelpful if your body image isn’t strong and confident. Ultimately if we have a healthy body image, we are eating normally, feeling good and taking care of our health but, if we don’t have a healthy body image we are likely to be eating emotionally or in some form of diet disaster. Struggling with body image is not uncommon and I teach people that this can be changed by the way you think, instead of trying to change your body!

1. CALM DOWN
Stressing out about your body is not helping you. Take a breath and relax. The first thing you need to learn to do is get your head right. If you are constantly judging yourself and being mean to yourself it is going to make everything worse. Remove your judgements. When you judge yourself for your size you are being really mean. Taking away the judgement means you LEARN so much more. Exploring why you think what you think about yourself and asking yourself kind questions speeds up the process of understanding yourself and therefore changing your perspective and your behaviour. Judging yourself means you remain stuck and closed. Quit the judgement and be kind.

2. DEAL WITH EMOTIONAL EATING
If you are eating emotionally i.e. when you are not physically hungry, talk to yourself. I know this sounds weird but I use this with my clients A LOT. The next time you are standing at the fridge with the door open using a teaspoon to get to that last bit of Nutella at the bottom of the jar ask yourself this question ‘ If I didn’t care about this Nutella right now, what else would be going on for me?’ The answers will amaze you……..I hate my job, my boyfriend doesn’t understand me, I’m scared about this upcoming exam etc., etc., Once you have some real answers you can start to look at the real stuff going on. Because, it is never about the Nutella……

3. YOU ARE MORE THAN THE SIZE OR SHAPE OF YOUR BODY.
Today’s society tells women that to be ‘worthy’ you have to be tiny. It’s not true. Quit conforming and start questioning. Question everything – who is telling you to be worth something you have to be a certain size? Who is telling you that to be beautiful you have to be thin? It’s likely to be something you have seen, read or heard. These people might not be right! Remember you are living in a society which body bashes all day long. We live in a culture where people feel it’s ok to comment on your size and shape. It isn’t. Everyone is different and everyone has something about them that is truly unique and beautiful.

4. HEALTHY IS MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN ANY SIZE.
It is not true that one size is more beautiful than another. The truth is in fact that ‘healthy is beautiful’! Start thinking about ‘health’ rather than ‘size’. Remember that reading magazines and looking at six packs on Instagram all day just contributes to the brain washing of your society and culture. It’s important to remember that a lot of pictures are photoshopped and doctored. Most ‘real’ people look real that includes scars, stretch marks and spots! If you are going to obsess over social media and pictures in magazines do it with the right head on! 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.

5. YOU CAN ALWAYS DO A 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 doesn’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 pictures 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 Social Media. Everyone is dealing with something.

6. 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 cannot do that others 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.

7. LESS COMPARISON
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
See the full article on Madeleine’s site here


Rejection

Rejection

I received a really interesting email from a GQ reader this week asking  ‘When loneliness, a lack of self-confidence and insecurity all conspire against you, what do you do? I wanted to share the answer I had for him here as I think this is an important read for anyone who struggles with rejection.

Dear GQ Therapist

I don’t know why, but I feel like no one likes me. I have always found it hard to make friends and it is a feeling that I still get now I am at work. What am I doing wrong?

Human beings are a social species, and yet many people feel like they “just don’t fit in” with everyone else. A recent UK study found that one in ten people didn’t feel they had a close friend, while one in five never or rarely felt loved. So, while we may feel alone in thinking “nobody likes me”, we actually have that emotion in common with a great many people. Moreover, those who feel this sense of isolation also fail to realise that the reason it is so easy to perceive themselves as an outcast or to feel rejected, disliked or simply not good enough, has much less to do with your external circumstances and everything to do with an internal critic – something we all possess.

A psychologist, Dr Robert Firestone, once conducted research using a scale that measured individuals’ self-destructive thoughts and he found the most common critical thought people had toward themselves was that they “are not like other people”. It’s so interesting to me that this is a critical thought when it should in fact be a positive thing. Just think, if we were all the same, what a boring world it would be.

Before I give you a few tips on silencing that inner critic, I want you to know that there is no one in the world that “everyone likes”. It simply isn’t realistic. No one likes everyone, so those expectations you have placed on yourself are just not cool. Second, you don’t “feel” no one likes you… you think it. There is a big difference between what you think and what you feel. Getting your thoughts straight really matters when it comes to mind management. When you understand that you are in control of your thoughts, you can then become in control of your feelings.

A thought that says “no one likes me” is a thought that is not only negative, but also clearly not true. It simply cannot be that there are four billion people on the planet and no one likes you. Get my drift? So, it would be a great idea if you could look at your thoughts more factually. Asking yourself questions that start to promote a more truthful and realistic thought process.

Again, I am going to say that you “think” it is hard to make friends – not because it is true, but because you think it is. If you think it is hard to make friends, it will be. If you think that you could try to just make one friend by the end of the month, it gets easier…

Now, I want to help you understand, and then politely tell this inner critic where to go. First, it is important to get conscious. Start to notice when your thought process shifts and your inner critic starts to talk. Maybe you’re on a date and it starts with, “She doesn’t even like you.” Or you may be in a meeting and when you finally speak up, you have a thought like, “You’re not making any sense. Everyone is looking at you. You are an idiot.” As an exercise, write down those critical thoughts in a notepad, so you can start to get properly conscious of what you are saying to you.

Second, take a look at those nasty thoughts and ask yourself, ‘Would you speak to your best friend like that?’ The answer is almost certainly no. Would you speak to your other half like that or your kids? Doubtful. You see, when you are conscious of what you are saying to yourself, it’s likely you will become more ready to change it. A recent quote by Amy Poehler: “Sticking up for ourselves in the same way we would one of our friends is a hard but satisfying thing to do. Sometimes it works. Even demons gotta sleep.”

Third, once you’ve identified the critical thoughts, it’s essential to challenge them. So if your inner critic tells you to stay isolated or not go out, you have to start thinking about why it would be great if you did go out. If it tells you to keep your mouth shut at a party, uncomfortable as it may seem at first, you have to find a way to think about doing the opposite and not indulge in the negative thinking. Challenging yourself is key. Remember, the way to make the changes you want is to change the formula.

It is likely that as you take this process, you will find yourself having thoughts like, “This just isn’t working for me. I know I’m not good enough.” I would remind you that challenging these negative thoughts is what will lead you to get what you want in life. Thoughts are powerful and the beautiful thing about that is that thoughts are a choice. You can choose the negative thought or you can choose positive ones. It is important to know that you can choose different thoughts and find ways to access your confidence, strength and calmness, all via your mind.

Slowly but surely, your inner critic will be around less and less and your real self will become stronger, more confident and you’ll see that all along people wanted to hang out with you. You just hadn’t had your own back first…

You can read the full article in GQ Magazine here


Detox Your Mind

I wrote an article for The Huffington Post on how to ‘Detox Your Mind’ discussing how detoxing your mind first is the key to sustainable, long lasting change.
Our current culture talks a lot about detoxing the body, nourishing our insides with superfoods and juice cleanses, we are kept up to date with the latest exercise trends and the fascinating yoga poses to re-set our body’s alignment.
It seems we are all very focused on the “body,” but no one is really discussing the key to the creating sustainable and long lasting change — it’s not the body or the behavior, it’s all about the mind.
Thinking about what we are thinking about is the absolute first step to any valid change.
Without the right mind set, without the right thoughts, nothing really works. The mind set has to be right first for the behavior to change. Changing behaviors without changing the thoughts first is a one-way ticket to failure-ville.
Seriously, this stuff is important.
On the subject of “detox,” let’s use weight loss as an example. You decide to go on a juice cleanse because it looks healthy and wonderful and will detox your body. You start off on day one “thinking” something like “this is going to be amazing” or “I am so excited to do this,” and it starts out pretty well. But then what happens when you get to day three?
The juice detox isn’t problem. You go from love to hate in 72 hours because you are “thinking” about it very differently on day three, than you were on day one.
What many people are unaware of is that they actually get to “choose” what they think. Thoughts generate feelings, feelings generate actions and actions generate your outcome. It sounds simple but let me explain.
The thought “I love this juice cleanse” creates feelings of excitement. It’s not the juice cleanse itself that creates the feeling, it’s the thoughts about it.
The thought “I hate this juice cleanse now” creates feelings of frustration and annoyance. It’s not the juice cleanse itself that creates the feelings, it’s the thoughts about it.
The truth that needs to be noted is that negative thoughts always create negative feelings.
We get a choice on what we think so changing the thoughts changes the feelings. Of course I am not saying that it is easy to just switch a thought process but it is important to know that you can.
The juice cleanse can be amazing on day one or day six if you want it to be, and then again, it can be utterly depressing for the exact same time. It’s all up to you and your thinking. All you need to do is check your thoughts.
When you learn how to do this, when you think about what you are thinking about, when you become conscious and aware, and when you choose good feeling thoughts, life really does change.
The real detox has to happen in your mind first and then the rest will follow.
You always have the “choice.”
Read the full article here


Breaking Up

My latest article for GQ discusses how to move on from a break up in the best possible way. If you or anyone you know is struggling, please take a read here. This article isn’t just for a relationship break up, it will help anyone who feels they are stuck and have ‘lost something’ or simply ‘cannot move on’.
Dear GQ Therapist,
I split up with my partner quite suddenly last year, but six months on and I just can’t seem to get on with my life. I still feel sad and depressed about it and the pain just won’t go away. How can I move on?
Ending relationships and break-ups are no fun. Whether you were the one to be broken up with or if you were the one to actually pull the plug on the relationship, it sucks to go from being a couple to being alone.
No matter how many times relationships comes to an end it always feels miserable, and because break-ups are so uncomfortable to deal with most of us simply just try anything we can to get over them as quickly as possible. We work out harder, drink more than we should, dive into a packet of cigarettes (even if we stopped years ago), head into a rampage of one-night stands, or we just decide to work more. Anything to avoid those feelings. So I want to give you a few tips to help you “move on”…
1. Process your feelings
Unfortunately, ignoring how you feel and trying to move on too fast means you miss out on something quite important. Your friends may want you to get over it quickly, but I believe you have to allow the feelings to come and go, and only then will they actually pass. You can’t force it. When we try and just decide we shouldn’t be feeling sad/hurt/angry/or upset, the process ends up taking a lot longer.

There’s also a really great way, proven by researchers at a university in Villanova, to process your break-up pain – they studied to find the best ways to move on. They came up with a process called “redemptive narrative” journaling. The idea is simple yet effective. Write about your relationship, including the whole messy break-up, the quickness of it finishing etc, but try to reframe as much of it as you can in a positive light. For example, you might focus on your growth through the relationship, such as the things you learned about yourself during the relationship. Or maybe you walked away with a new knowledge of what you do and don’t want in a partner. Or maybe you have a clearer picture of what a healthy relationship looks like. It’s important to note that what matters is finding something positive about the painful experience. The researchers found that when people were able to do that, it actually lessened the emotional toll.
3. Remember: your thoughts create your world
If you go out into the world thinking your life is over and you will never be happy, it will feel heavy and miserable. You need to know that’s your choice. You have to get your thoughts right. Thinking in a negative mindset is the worst thing you can do for yourself. So instead, start reframing things and thinking in a more neutral or happier way. For example: “I am ready for something better now” or “I am free to meet whoever I choose and do whatever I want and the world is my oyster.” Thoughts become feelings, so be mindful of what you are thinking.
4. Explore your life
When we couple up we can sometimes lose ourselves. We don’t see our friends as much, we don’t practise our hobbies and we get too comfortable. Now is the perfect time to rediscover yourself. What do you love to do? Who haven’t you seen in ages that you want to reconnect with? Who can you meet and talk to over a beer and find some laughter and joy together? Book the boxing training you love or the holiday you have always wanted to take forever. In other words, now is the time to take care of you. Be selfish for a little while and start doing the things you used to do again.

The Office For National Statistics released data in 2015 that shows 51 per cent of people in England and Wales are single. That’s over half the population. It’s important to remember you are not out in the world single and alone. Think about that positively: it means there is definitely someone out there for you, who feels like you, and could well be open and available for a new relationship at just about the time you feel ready to be, too.
6. Believe in your destiny
I am a big believer that what is meant to be will always find a way. If your partner was right for you, they will come back. If they weren’t, that’s because there is something out there that is better for you. Growth works like that. Life works like that. Now is the time to change your thinking and have a little faith that things will get better. How many times in your life have you been in a situation that felt like it would never get better, then it did, and then it exceeded your expectations? It’s like that now. So please allow yourself to grieve for as long as you need. Then, when you are ready, pick yourself up, dust yourself down and go out into the world with a positive mindset and a dash of faith that things are going to get better. Remember the Henry Ford quote: “If you think you can do a thing, or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”
7. Talk it out
Last but not least, if you find you are still struggling there are lots of people out there you can talk to. Talking about how you feel is the fastest way to move on through discussing you feelings. If Prince Harry and Brad Pitt are open to it and Michael Douglas can do it, so can you! You know where to find me…