Welcome to July. Here in the U.S., by the time this newsletter goes out, we will have celebrated our July 4th Independence Day holiday/celebration.
I think this is an ideal opportunity for every person to think about their very own personal independence. It seems to me that too many of us assume we are independent people, but that frequently is the wrong assumption. We each have the ability and opportunity to be independent and to celebrate that independence; but too often we turn that right over to something or someone else. So, I think that this month might be a good time to think a bit about that and to consider how you may have abdicated your right to independence.
Perhaps you’ve given up your independence for an addiction, whether it is alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, sex or any number of other addictions we indulge ourselves with. Perhaps it is a person, a person who doesn’t treat you with the respect and love you deserve.
Whatever it is, the first step to fixing an imbalance and regaining your independence is the knowledge and awareness that comes from acknowledging that something is wrong, even if it is acknowledged only to yourself. Awareness and knowledge give you the ability and the power to change whatever you want. Accepting responsibility for the choices you’ve made is the second step but also, the step that starts you on the path of change.
Please enjoy the article I’ve included in this newsletter and the health tips I am sharing with you this month.
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
Certified Hypnotherapist and Life Coach
Those of you familiar with my articles and my work, know that I choose to focus on the positive; and not only do I choose to focus my work on the positive, but there is overwhelming scientific evidence that a positive outlook does amazingly good things for the body and the mind including the ability to build a strong immune system and withstand major illnesses.
Get Your Mindset Straight
by Linda Simmon C.Ht.
So often when we set a goal for ourselves or we decide on a course of action, we sabotage ourselves at the very start by spending a lot of time thinking about what it is that we don’t want rather than focusing on what it is we do want.
It is important to remember that you need to think about whether you are moving Away From what you don't want or Toward what you want. Toward is a powerful and positive direction and means of accomplishing what you want, focusing your energy in the most empowering way possible. Imagine it like walking downhill with the wind at your back.
Moving Away from what you don’t want or fear is so much harder. You are coming from a position of weakness, undermining yourself. You should visualize it as walking up hill with the wind in your face forcing you to fight each step of the way.
To give you a few examples, I decided quite a while ago that I needed a lot more financial security in my life. That seems like a reasonable goal, doesn’t it? Well, after a while I looked at where I was and it seemed that it was a constant struggle trying to work at this goal. At this point I had started my hypnotherapy training and was privy to all sorts of new ideas and ways of thinking and healing and I realized that my mindset regarding this goal was way off base.
I chose this goal because a few years earlier I had the misfortune of losing virtually everything I owned and I realized that I was focusing on my fear of loss rather than on the empowering thought of acquiring and growth. In essence, I was trying to use the energy of Moving Away from something. Moving Away from loss, fear and poverty rather than focusing on Moving Toward my goal of prosperity and abundance. As soon as I changed that one single mindset, opportunities started to present themselves and while I’ve not yet become the wealthiest woman on the face of the earth, the whole process of acquiring a bit of security became so much easier and a whole lot more fun.
To explain from another perspective, let’s talk a bit about relationships.
Trust is a big thing for me in a relationship. We all have triggers, and one of mine is being lied to. If I focus on being with someone who won’t lie to me, that’s a mindset of Moving Away from a man who has a behavior that angers, scares and hurts me. But when I focused my thoughts on that, I can’t tell you the number of amazing liars I managed to find. Some of the stories I’ve heard are truly mind boggling. But almost the very moment I realized what I was doing and changed my mindset to focus instead on a man who is honest and truthful, the liars just faded into the woodwork. That’s moving toward what I want and empowering my ability to get it.
Let’s use the example of setting a goal to lose weight. If all you think about is what you don’t want (being out of shape, overweight, tired, clothes not fitting), you are trying to Move Away from those things and those images. This makes your effort twice as hard, finding yourself thinking about everything you “can’t” eat and having no motivation to get yourself into shape. Feeling deprived and tired.
Instead, make a slight adjustment to your mindset and focus on what it is you do want. Focus on a healthy, slim body with lots of energy. Get a clear image of how you will look and feel when you’ve reached your goal and with that minor change in your mindset, you are now Moving Toward your goal rather than Away From what you don’t want.
And remember, all this becomes so much easier when you can bypass those blocks and walls you’ve put into place by speaking directly to your subconscious. By listening to a hypnotherapist, you can reach a deeply relaxed state of mind, a state that all medical professionals have realized is where most of our healing occurs; and while in this relaxed state, empowering your subconscious to help you Move Toward your goal.
I developed recorded sessions to help with almost any desired goal. Maybe it’s time to give yourself a small gift, the gift of empowerment and healing. I’ve got a short free sample session on my site; please feel free to play it as often as you want. Also remember, I’m here anytime to answer any questions your might have.
Finally, talking about goals, just a few thing I want to mention, realize that obstacles will come up. It is life, deal with them, go around the obstacle, readjust where you are going, do whatever you need to do to reach your goal. Keep adjusting your course until you do reach your goal.
Check yourself regularly to monitor your progress sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, revising and adjusting as needed when changes in your life and your body occur.
Remember, it is your goal; it is not failure to adjust your goal. It is yours, you created it and you can change it anytime you want. That’s what we call freewill.
So, when you are making a goal, do this little exercise. Take a sheet of paper and make two columns, on the left side write down what it is you want to accomplish or move toward. On the right side write down what it is you don’t want or you want to move away from. Look at them; make sure you have each item in the correct column. Ask yourself for each item if you are moving toward something or away from something.
Finally, when you have your two columns completed, cut the paper in half and throw away the right hand side giving yourself a list of what you need to Move Toward. Look at it frequently, say it out loud, think about it a few minutes before going to bed, visualize it, all these things utilize your subconscious and watch how much more quickly you reach that goal.
Think This Thought to Curb Overeating
When you lift that forkful of whole-wheat pasta to your mouth, do you think "tasty," or do you think "healthy"? To curb overeating, focus on the mouth appeal. In a recent study, thinking about a food's delicious flavor rather than its nutritional or health-related benefits helped to curb hunger later in the day. Delectable, savory, juicy, crunchy, yummy . . . all good words to have running through your mind when you munch on something healthy.
That's exactly what people in a study did when they ate a chocolate-raspberry protein bar. And eating the bar with those kinds of thoughts in mind made the morsels much more satisfying than when the study participants thought of the treat as a fiber- and vitamin-packed health bar. Thinking Is Believing.
Although nothing could be further from the truth, many people mistakenly believe that healthy, low-cal foods simply can't satisfy hunger the way tasty foods can -- and this type of thinking may help explain the study results.
The Ultimate Fun Way to Get Fit
Here's the latest no-way-you-could-possibly-get-bored-while-you-whittle-that-waist workout: dance-based video games. And a recent study confirmed their usefulness. When a group of sedentary, couch-lounging women were put on a computerized dance-video workout program, they were transformed into active, get-up-and-go devotees.
Sedentary postmenopausal women who spent three weeks exercising to computerized programs that combined dance-based aerobics with interactive video-game elements became quick and active fans, noting the fun, convenience, and mental and physical challenges the games provided. And in the end, the women's coordination improved.
If you're in the low-tech camp or you don't have the cash for electronic gadgets and games, no problem. Try popping a dance-based exercise video into your DVD player instead. And give these other inexpensive addict-me-to-exercise tricks a try, too:
- Don't sweat it.
- Do it at home.
- Add music.
20 Minutes to Less Stress, More Memory
Two of our favorite stress reducers are laughing and meditating. But there are times when you just can't muster up a hearty chuckle. On the other hand, you can meditate at will. No mountaintops, daylong retreats, or full lotus positions required. All you need is a quiet place.
That's one reason we're such avid fans of meditation. Another: Its benefits go far beyond relaxation. For starters, regularly quieting your mind maintains your brain cells and tunes up your memory. [By the way, hypnosis gives you the same benefit as meditation and complete relaxation with the added benefit of adding in positive suggestions that you choose to change a behavior pattern or habit or anything you want!]
There's now new evidence of this:
- University of North Carolina researchers gave students 20-minute quickie meditation classes for four days (similar to the Stress Free Now program on 360-5.com, run by Dr. Mike's home base, Cleveland Clinic). Then they compared their mental test scores to students in a control group.
Everyone's moods improved, but those who took the meditation training scored significantly better on critical mental skills, like memory and the ability to pay attention. Find out how meditation helps lower blood pressure, too.
Feeling distracted? Quieting your mind does wonders for concentration, too. The meditators' ability to focus was 10 times higher than participants in the control group who listened to 20 minutes of a good recorded book for four days. A good book may be a mood booster, but it doesn't do a thing for wandering minds. Intrigued?
You can start right now. Just sit with your eyes partially closed and focus on breathing slowly and deeply, in through your nose, out through your mouth. Repeating a word (“om” or "one" are easy) helps relax your mind. No secret mantra needed.
Pass It On and Share with Others
If you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, please pass it on and, if you’ve ever been curious about having a hypnotherapy session, let me know.
Don’t hesitate to email me with any and all questions you might have.
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