Habit Creation Top 10 Tips for Happiness and Health

Habit Creation Top 10 Tips for Happiness and Health

We all know that habit creation can be tricky. I am sure you have tried lots of times to establish new ones and never got to the habit stage. Whether it is eating better, exercising more or writing every day, these top tips to change a habit will help.

Why we need good habits

Having a set of positive habits in your life makes a huge difference in your health and happiness. The simple reason is that habits are what we default to when we are under stress. If your healthy behaviour is habitual, you are much more likely to carry it out at stressful times.

Be clear on the benefits/ consequences

Don’t choose a habit on a whim. Make sure you are clear about the benefits and consequences related to the habit. What will happen if you do not change your habit? How wonderful will life be with this new habit in place? How will it improve your health and happiness? Get clear on how this habit will impact on your life.

Write it down

It is much easier to make things stick in your mind if you write them down. Put your new habit on a post-it (or many) and put it where you will see it often. Even when you don’t notice it your subconscious mind will be taking it in. This will really increase your habit creation ability.

Start small

Do not try to make huge changes in your habits overnight. When you do this, your mind resists the change and you end up failing. Start small! If you want to start exercising, do not decide to go to the gym 5 times a week. Start by committing to put your kit on and do something! 10 sit-ups will do to start with. Start very small and have a slow build-up to allow your mind to adapt to the change.

Keep going for 30 days

Keep your steely determination for 30 days and you will be well on the way to permanent habit creation. Don’t miss more than one day because that will disrupt the flow and knock you off track. Once you get to 30 days, you will notice that the habit is becoming part of your everyday life.

Make your new habit daily

When you are involved in habit creation, it is best to do it every day. This helps your mind to develop that new neural pathway which will make the habit stick.

Find a way to remind yourself

Use the post-it notes above as reminders but also use other tools like alarms and habit tracking APPs. There are lots of tools you can use on your smartphone to remind you to do your new habit. Let your phone be a bit of a nag for a while whilst you are getting going.

Get a buddy

Sometimes we all need some help from our friends. Tell those close to you what you are up to and ask them to help by reminding you and checking up on you. This will be even better if it is someone habit creation same or similar to yours.

Use a trigger

Habits work best with a clear trigger. Your alarm might spark your morning meditation or getting home your exercise routine. Keep the trigger the same so your mind can make the connection between the trigger and the habit.

Allow mistakes

Be patient with yourself. Developing a new habit is a process of mind rewiring. Your mind is neuroplastic but it still takes some effort to change it. Be patient and allow yourself to make mistakes. Make sure you pick yourself up and start again as soon as possible.

Surround yourself with positive people

When you are trying to change any aspect of your life, having positive people around you is vital. Make sure you spend time around people who support your goals. Even better, if they are people who have similar goals to you.

I hope you have found these Habit Change Top 10 Tips. Changing habits can be challenging but if you adopt this strategy it will help.

Still stuck with your habit change process then get in touch now. I can use my powerful mindset change tools to help you change your habits so you can be happy and healthy.

If you are ready to book a complimentary discovery session so you can find out more about how I can help you with habit creation, click here to access my calendar.

Create a Motivated Workforce Using Gratitude

Create a Motivated Workforce Using Gratitude

If you want to create a motivated workforce, using gratitude is powerful. Focusing on gratitude can also decrease stress, increase happiness and reduce illness. This is not woo-woo but science-backed information which has been well researched by Robert A. Emmons who you can read about here

Now you understand how important gratitude in the workplace is, here are my top tips to create a motivated workforce using gratitude.

Lead from the Top

 Like any effective business practice, gratitude must start from the top and the whole workforce should see it happening. They should see it in public and in private and it should be consistent and clear. Start building gratitude into key processes like recruitment and performance management. You can also make it a regular agenda item at team meetings and in training sessions. 

Focus on people who rarely get thanked

 Make sure you include everyone in the gratitude process. Notice those who work behind the scenes and are less customer facing. These are the people who are less likely to receive a dose of thanks from external sources. 

Quality above Quantity

 Don’t overdo it as people can become weary and stop engaging. Make all gratitude specific. The person you say thank you to and those who witness it need to know what they did well. 

Express Gratitude in a Variety of Ways

 Make sure you find out how to thank people in their preferred way. Some people want fanfare and fireworks whereas others prefer a quiet word next to the coffee machine. 

You could try these ideas to build in gratitude:

 · An office gratitude journal which can be paper, electronic or a notice board.

· A gratitude jar where everyone can post notes expressing thanks. This can be read out in meetings.

· Non- monetary gifts like doing a piece of work for someone, lending a car parking space or giving someone a day off

Use Gratitude When Times are Tough

 Psychologist, Robert Emmons reports that gratitude increases resilience to stress and works like a ‘psychological immune system’. In a culture of gratitude it is easier to see beyond problems and re-frame losses into gains. 

Try this set of questions created by Emmons to help the re-framing process:

 • What lessons did the experience teach us?

• Can we find ways to be thankful for what happened to us now, even though we were not at the time it happened?

• What ability did the experience draw out of us that surprised us?

• Are there ways we have become a better workplace because of it?

• Has the experience removed an obstacle that before prevented us from feeling grateful?

Developing a gratitude culture in the workplace has scientific backing for its impact. It also does not take a huge amount of effort and is often free.

You could choose one of the above strategies and see what impact it has over time. Seeing the impact will help you include other gratitude practices in the workplace.

If you would like some help establishing gratitude at home or in the workplace, please get in touch.  To find out more, contact Clare on 07747 774953.

Gratitude Journal: 9 Top Tips to Make it Work for You

Gratitude Journal: 9 Top Tips to Make it Work for You

In my blog, Increase Gratitude in 6 Ways to Feel Less Stressed, I mentioned keeping a gratitude journal. In this blog, I share my 9 top tips to make it work for you. This will give you easy ways to make keeping a gratitude journal a habit. This can have a huge impact on your ability to be more optimistic and feel less stressed and worried.

Choose Your Gratitude Journal Method

It might be that you like to write and feel more in flow when you pick up a pen and a nice notebook as your gratitude journal. If you prefer typing you might use a suitable APP or the notes APP on your computer. It doesn’t matter too much as there is not one right way to keep a gratitude journal. Just make sure it is something you are happy with.  

Choose How to Record in Your Gratitude Journal

Once you have decided where to record, you can choose how to record. Some people write in sentences whilst others keep a bullet-pointed list. The key here is that the where and how should suit you. This is something you want to become a regular habit so make sure it is an enjoyable process for you. 

Choose Your Time

Once you have decided your format, it is important to decide when you are going to record your gratitude. The evening is one time to write with gratitude as it provides a positive way to end the day. Sitting down last thing at night and reflecting on the wonders of your day makes you fall asleep feeling good. You may find that it has a positive effect on your sleep patterns too. You are also helping to train your subconscious mind to find more positive in your life.

You can also record gratitude in the morning so that you start the day filled with positive thoughts. Again, by focusing on the positive, you will find that your mind notices more positives as you go through the day.

Make it a Routine

Once you have chosen your time of day, the key now is to be consistent. As with any new routine, it can be hard at first to make it happen every day. Try to be consistent then you will find that after about month, you will miss it if you don’t do it.

When you are starting out, you can trick your mind into taking on the new routine. You can leave the journal on your pillow or where you know you are going to be last thing at night. You can also put a reminder in your phone or set an alarm. Push on through the first few weeks and soon it will be part of your normal daily routine.

Decide How Many Things to Record in Your Gratitude Journal

Set yourself a goal for how many things you are going to write about and stick to it. You can write in a bullet-pointed list, in sentences or in paragraphs, it is up to you. Make sure you are consistent as this is key in setting up a new routine. I write between about 5/6 things each day. 

Be Specific

When I first started my gratitude journal, I was quite general in what I wrote about. I wrote about the things that I had all the time like my health and a roof over my head. It is good to be grateful for those things but remember, that the aim is to rewire your brain for gratitude. It is almost like you are tuning in your gratitude radar. When you have to look for new things every day, you become more alert throughout the day.  

Say Why …

If you are writing your gratitude in sentences, try writing ‘because’ on the end of the sentence. Say ‘why’ you are grateful for that thing. An example of this might be: I am grateful that I found a parking space today because it meant I got to my meeting on time. 

Focus on Things You Would Like to Improve

If you have an area of your life that you are working on try focusing your gratitude on that area. This could be a relationship, job, home or any area of your life. Try noticing and recording the good things about that area. Focus on what you appreciate rather than homing in on the things which you do not like. It is amazing how this can change how you feel about that relationship or area of your life. 

Use Your Gratitude Journal to Raise Your Self-Esteem

We are often not very good at noticing the good qualities in ourselves. When growing up, we are not encouraged to praise ourselves for the fear of becoming ‘Big Headed’. But, the ability to see the good in ourselves raises our self-esteem and makes us nicer people to be around. People with high self-esteem tend to be successful in most aspects of their lives.

Your gratitude journal can be a vital tool to raise your self-esteem. Make at least one of your gratitudes about you and notice how this improves how you feel about yourself. For example, ‘I am grateful for my motivation today because I wrote a new blog and sorted all my email’

Get Started with Your Gratitude Journal and Feel More Positive

If you apply the advice in this blog you will be able to get started with recording gratitude. You will start to feel the benefits of noticing the world around you in a more positive way.  If you are struggling with stress and tend to see the world in a negative way, I can help. Hypnotherapy can re-program your mind to be more positive. Then you can relate to the world with less stress and help raise your self-esteem.

Please get in touch here or book your complimentary discovery session here.

Top Tips to Stop Worrying and Feel Less Stressed

Top Tips to Stop Worrying and Feel Less Stressed

In this blog, I share my top tips to stop worrying and feel less stressed. When you find a way that works for you to stop worrying and feel less stressed, you can improve your life.

We are all working and living under increasing pressure. Life is fast paced and not showing any signs of slowing down. On a day-to-day basis we have so much to think about and so much to do.

The pressures of the moment are enough to make us feel stressed.

The Problem with Worrying

The problem with worrying is that it adds pressure to your already busy life but it’s all in your head. Whilst you are trying to focus on the task in hand, your mind is galloping off into future doom and gloom.

This adds another layer of pressure in your life. Left unchecked, worrying can become extreme and lead to anxiety and stress-related illness. Worrying has no benefits to you or your mental well-being. It increases your stress levels but also stops you from enjoying what is happening right now.

Worrying can occur when you are already stressed out and overwhelmed. But it can be so out of control that you even worry when there is nothing to worry about. This takes away present joy. Like sitting on a beach whilst worrying about a meeting you are attending in 2 weeks time. Sometimes it is exhausting.

What is worrying?

Worrying is a habitual thought pattern. It is the path your mind takes you on when you think about the future. Most of us have an occasional worrying thought. It’s what happens afterwards that can cause the problem. I know some people who can go from a worry about something small to death in destruction in a few minutes. The key to stop worrying and feel less stressed is to interrupt the habitual thought pattern. You can then work on your mind to reduce the number and frequency of those worrying thoughts.

Top Tips to Stop Worrying and Feel Less Stressed

Ways to Interrupt Thinking Patterns

Techniques to use in the moment when you notice that first negative, worrying thought.

Let Go Breathing

Breathe in through your nose and think ‘let’. Blow out through your mouth (like blowing out through a straw) and think, ‘go’. Keep repeating the cycle until you feel the worrying thought has gone.

STOP

Visualise a big, red stop sign in your head, think ‘stop’ and feel the sense of your thinking grinding to a halt. Keep repeating until you feel calm.

Analyse

Ask yourself, ‘Have I done everything I can do?’ and ‘Is there anything else I can do?’. If there is action you can take to reduce the worry, then do it or write it down.

Talk

A 5-10-minute chat with someone you trust could help you reduce the worrying thoughts. Make sure it is someone upbeat and positive and not someone who will join you on the route to doom and gloom.

Postpone

Decide that you are going to worry about that thing later. Jot your worry down and then decide that you will worry at 6pm this evening for example (not too close to bedtime). Then limit the amount of time you spend on the worrying.

Long -Term Practices to Reduce Worrying

Your daily habits define who you become. If you adopt some new habits in the care of your mind, you can make a difference to how you feel day-to-day.

Write

Use a journal or fill a worry jar with bits of paper with your worries written on. There is something about writing things down which can help you release them. Once you see your worries on paper you will find it easier to see how little they make sense.

Reduce

If you are the kind of person who picks up on what is going on around you then try to stay away from the news and social media. Unfollow the negative people who always share the latest bad news. Leave those groups who are stuck in the rut of sharing all that is wrong in the world. Avoid the news, particularly as a start or end to your day. If your brain is already wired for negativity, don’t feed it any more evidence that the world is a terrible place.

Exercise

Getting moving helps reduce worrying. It helps your body produce vital happiness hormones like serotonin. Regular exercise will help you stop worrying and feel less stressed.

Meditate

The practice of meditation reduces worrying thoughts and anxiety. It is learning to take your attention from your thoughts (worrying) to your body and breath (the present). Meditation has an immediate impact on your mind, but you may not perceive that for quite a while. That is why it is vital to persist with meditation. Keep practising daily and you will see the benefits in the long-term. I use guided meditations available on APPs like Calm and Headspace but also on YouTube.

Practise Gratitude

Taking time every day to notice the things you have to be grateful for rewires your brain for happiness. The more gratitude you feel, the stronger your positive thinking neural pathway will become. Try keeping a journal where you write 5 things every day that you are grateful for. They don’t have to be big things. Flowers in bloom, the sunshine, a parking space when it is busy, a cup of tea made by a colleague or a hug from a child. Gratitude is another practice which will not change you overnight but will make a difference if you keep going.

Like every area of life, change doesn’t generally happen if we don’t take action. Changing your mindset from worrier to happy and calm is no different. All these techniques take practice and to become a habitual part of your day. On that note, start small. Chose one short and one long-term technique from the above list and give them a try. In this way you can stop worrying and feel less stressed.

If you need help or guidance with any of the above, contact me!

How to create good habits so you can feel less stressed

How to create good habits so you can feel less stressed

Do you know that habits are the key to happiness? Do you know how to create good habits can make you feel less stressed? Are you aware how much of your behaviour is habitual and how much impact it has on your life? In this blog, I will show you how to create good habits so you can feel less stressed.

I am sure you are aware of how important habits can be in maintaining your health. Smoking, drinking alcohol and eating takeaways are obvious ones to avoid. Whereas brushing our teeth and taking a shower are best retained. I am sure you have tried to add a new healthy habit to your life at some point. Hands up who has joined a gym in January and seem to have forgotten the way there by February.

How often have you tried and failed to install a new healthy habit or get rid of an unhealthy one? How often have you failed? How much stress has this created in your life? The continual battle of whether to carry out your new, healthy habit or not can be exhausting.

So why do we spend so much time trying to change our habits?

 Habits are the best way to establish long-term change because they are automatic. This means that once you establish a habit like brushing your teeth, you no longer need to think about it. This frees you from becoming a victim of willpower and motivation (or lack of them). It also protects you from falling back into old ways. When tired or stressed, you revert to your habits which is why it is important to have as many good ones as possible. The other thing about good habits is that they free up your mind. This means you can think, create, problem solve and tackle all that stuff that pops up in an average day in your life.

Your habits also make you who you are. If you have habits to overcome procrastination, you will become an organised person. If you have habits which get you being active, you will become a fit person. If your habits mean that you eat good, nutritious food, you will be a healthy person. When Aristotle said, ‘We are what we repeatedly do.’ he was right.

It’s easy to see how having the right habits can make you feel less stressed.

 A great example of this came up for me recently. I was ill for a few days but I still mediated every day. Then as soon as the worst was over, I got my workout gear on and did some yoga. Both habits I did on a lesser scale than normal, but I still did them.

I am not saying I am tough or strong to keep doing these things, it is that now, these things are who I am! To not do them would be so much stranger than doing them. As I already said, once you establish a habit it becomes part of your hard-wiring and it becomes what you do. You will all have habits you can relate to like this. Ones like brushing your teeth for example. The sort of habit where you know would not feel right if you didn’t do it.

Is there a healthy habit you have been trying to establish for a while? Are you finding it hard? Do you realise that you have healthy habits like brushing your teeth but have no idea how they got there?

Are you ready to find out how to create good habits so you can feel less stressed?

So, how do we establish a new habit?

 Start very small

Have you ever tried to make a big change like going to the gym several times per week? Have you ever failed to make such a big change? Let me tell you why.

Big changes are too much for our minds to accept. Your mind has a blueprint of who you are. It has a set of rules it likes to apply to what it does and does not think you can do. If you make a change way outside this blueprint, your mind rebels and stops you in your tracks. Your mind thinks you are trying to change your personality overnight. It wants to protect the status quo and gets in your way. Some people call this self-sabotage and it affects many of the clients I see in one way or another.

To overcome this you need to start small. You need to sneak in on your belief system under cover of darkness, completely undetected.

How small is small?

 Let’s continue with the concept of exercise. Imagine your mind thinks you are a lazy layabout who doesn’t exercise. To change towards a belief that you are a person who exercises you could start by putting on your workout gear on. If you do this at the time you plan to exercise, you will start to create a new trigger inside your mind.

In his book, ‘Mini Habits’, Steven Guise committed to one press-up each day. On each occasion, he did more but his commitment was only ever one press-up. When you have made your first step you will notice an urge to do some exercise but still stay small.

One sit-up will sneak past the guards in your mind, but if you tell yourself you are going for a 2-mile run, it might be too much. You can play about with this – setting your very small habit goal each day until that feels comfortable. What you will notice over time, is that you consistently do more than your very small habit. But never change the small goal as that will be your fall-back habit when the going gets tough.

Change the beliefs you have about yourself!

 The key here is to overcome the self-sabotaging blocks you have to exercise. The aim is to change who your mind thinks you are. Once you establish a small habit, your mind stops believing that you are that lazy layabout. Then you reduce the resistance to exercise. The key to this is not the exercise itself but changing the belief and establishing a new habit.

By starting small, you can begin to change who you think you are. Then you can establish a whole set of new habits which can help you feel less stressed.

Ready to create good habits so you can feel less stressed, get in touch with me now and let me help you.

8 Top Tips to Learn Self-Love to Feel Less Stressed

8 Top Tips to Learn Self-Love to Feel Less Stressed

Why learn self-love to feel less stressed you may be wondering! How can self-love help you feel less stressed? The main reason that a lack of self-love contributes to stress is that it reduces what you think you are cable of. If you spend all day berating yourself, you will believe that you are not very good. This will make you push yourself too hard to prove your worth to the world and yourself. It will also increase feelings of overwhelm and make you give up more often.

Low self-love will also affect how you look after yourself. If you don’t love something, you don’t tend to look after it very well. If you are not taking time out for self-care, this can have a massive impact on your stress levels too.

Think, for a moment, about something or someone that you love.

Your children, your partner, your dog or even your car. How do you treat that thing or person? I would imagine that you treat them with respect and kindness. You do things to help them be healthy, happy or even to work well. I sure, you would not put the wrong fuel in your car. Because you want it to work , you make sure you look after it. You care enough about it to do that.

As you can see, there is a strong link between self-care and self-love. One is unlikely to happen without the other. Without good self-care, we are much more likely to become stressed. We are more likely to expect too much of ourselves, not take time out and not do things to look after our bodies and minds.

So, how can we learn self-love to feel less stressed?

Here are  my top tips to learn self-love and feel less stressed.

Tip 1 – Be nice to yourself

Your mind believes that inner voice so the more you say negative things, the more you will believe them. Make an effort to be kind to yourself and, if you do slip up, try to challenge any negative thoughts. A good rule of thumb is to speak to yourself in the same way that you’d speak to your best friend. You are with you all the time, so it is more important how you speak to yourself than how anyone else does. Notice, challenge and change your self-talk!

Tip 2 – Stay Focused on You

Comparing yourself to others is a sure-fire way to lower your self-love. You are a unique person on a unique journey. You are not like anyone else in the world. Notice and praise every step you take in the right direction and leave thoughts of others behind.

Tip 3 – Realise that no-one is perfect

It is okay to make mistakes! We all make them, but it is very easy to end up being critical of ourselves even for the slightest error. We are more critical of ourselves than we ever would be to someone else. Our mind can hear every word we say and will use negative words to create or reinforce a negative belief.

We all make mistakes. Be kind to yourself, accept your mistakes, learn and move on.

Tip 4 – Focus on what you can change

We spend a lot of time and energy focusing on the things in life that we cannot change. Whether it’s moaning about the weather or complaining about queues of traffic. Thinking about these things which are outside your circle of control is a waste of time. It also makes us feel weak and out of control. This can contribute to negative feelings about ourselves. Take a look at each situation and decide what you can do about it. Take any action you can then let go and move on.

Tip 5 – Do something which makes you happy every day

By doing something for yourself every day, you are sending the message to your brain that you matter. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but something that is only for you. It could be a massage or a laze in the bath with some candles. The more you do for yourself, the more you are showing that you care about and, dare I say it, love yourself.

Tip 6 – Celebrate Small Stuff

Most of us are much more likely to berate than praise ourselves. Have you ever got to the end of a working day to find yourself focusing on the 2 things you didn’t tick off your to-do list? You have completely missed praising yourself for the 8 you did tick off.

How different would the day feel if you celebrated every little win you had? From getting the kids off to school on time to finishing that big project. Try keeping a journal where you make a note of all your successes. Look back on this record often to lift your mood and help you feel more self-love.

Tip 7 – Help others

Studies have shown that when we do something good for someone else, it boosts our mood. Helping others fulfils a deep human need that most of us have. We get a boost from the positive feedback we get from the person we helped. But studies show that even anonymous acts of kindness can make us feel good. Try to do one thing every day for someone else and notice how that makes you feel.

Tip 8 – Choose positive friends

Some people suck the life out of us on a daily basis. Nothing is right in their lives or the world in general. It can be exhausting to spend any length of time around them. It can also become all too easy to join in their moaning and get dragged into their world. If you have some people in your life who fit that description avoid them in person and on social media. If you have to see them try some relaxation techniques like deep breathing beforehand. Then avoid moaning about their moaning afterwards.

I hope you have found these tips to learn self-love to feel less stressed useful.

You matter and are worthy of love. Please don’t forget that.

If you don’t love yourself or your self-esteem has hit rock bottom, I can help. Please get in touch to find out more.