Most people at some stage ask themselves “Am I depressed?”. There is good reason for this.
It can be difficult to assess whether you’re depressed. You’re busy focusing on jobs, bills, shopping, children, and all of life’s challenges. Focusing on yourself is often an after thought.
When depressed, you can often think you feel “normal”, because that is how you are used to feeling. Sometimes it can be much later before you realise you might be depressed.
However the effects can be devastating.
Depression increases the chance of risky behaviours such as drugs and alcohol addiction.
Depression can also impair sleep and cause break downs in relationships. It can drastically impair someone’s quality of life. To the extreme it can lead to self harming and even suicide. So it should be taken seriously.
Bellow is a FREE depression self assessment questionnaire, courtesy of the NHS in Britain. It is a guide only and is not intended to replace visiting a Doctor. However it might help you judge whether you are suffering from depression.
If you feel in any way that you might be depressed, then please seek professional medical advice…
Life is tough. We have to juggle demands from jobs, children, parents, friends and more. Time is often precious and finances put us under strain.
As a clinical hypnotherapist, I use several simple techniques to make life easier. They don’t require years of study with a master in the Tibetan hills. Or otherworldly powers. They are simple, easy to apply, and can be used straight away. But they have a powerful positive influence on your life.
Please share this article with anyone you think could benefit from these life enhancing techniques.
Here are some techniques I use. My personal favourite is the third one.
Get into your bubble
Sometimes it can be difficult going to an unfamiliar situation. A job interview is a classic. You arrive at a strange place, meet people you don’t know, and talk about yourself intimately. This is a rare situation to find yourself in. It is natural to feel threatened.
Sometimes people feel difficulty just leaving the house.
A good technique to help this is to imagine a protective bubble around you. Spend a few minutes with your eyes closed imagining a protective bubble around you, and say to yourself the word “bubble” several times.
Once you’ve done this, use it immediately to retain this self programming. Go somewhere that’s just a little daunting for you and say to yourself the word “bubble”. Notice how much better you feel.
Hear the crowd roar
It is well established in psychology that a cheering crowd helps raise performance. That’s why athletes and tennis players in particular often attempt to gee up the crowd.
When playing sport or at the gym, I imagine a crowd cheering me on. I see the masses of people in my mind. I hear the roar of everybody spurring me on. Chanting my name, and clapping. I find it incredible how much difference this can make.
Try this next time you are playing sport or at the gym Let me know how it goes.
As I said earlier, this is my personal favourite.
We all feel nervous and anxious at times. But this technique is a belter. It’s so simple yet so powerful. If you were to use only one technique from this article, use this.
When you’re feeling anxious, your breathing becomes shallow, quick and erratic.
In order to combat these feeling of anxiety, simply reverse these breathing trends.
So consciously breathe slowly, deeply, and evenly. You can do this at any time and in any situation. No one will know you are doing it.
Try it right now. Even though you might not being feeling that anxious. Just try 5 slow, deep, even breathes.
Feel a little more relaxed? Try this again when in a stressful situation. I promise you it will help.
The “power break”
Sometimes we have a lot on during the day. You might have been running round for hours, and literally only have a few minutes until you’re running around again.
What you need is a “Power Break”. With this technique you can enjoy an hours worth of relaxation in just 5 minutes. Here’s what you do.
Go into a room by yourself and make sure you won’t be disturbed. Either sit or lie down. (I personally prefer to lie down).
Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Breathe slowly, deeply and evenly, like we discussed in the previous technique. On every out breath say to yourself the word “relax”, and count your breaths.
So you would say “Relax 1”; “Relax 2”; “Relax 3”…and so on. Do this on every out breathe for as long as you wish. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, you will feel much more relaxed.
Float off to sleep
Sometimes it can be difficult to get to sleep. The previous technique can help with this. But here’s another one I often employ to help me get to sleep.
When I’m in bed I close my eyes and use my imagination. I imagine floating out of my body and travelling somewhere I find pleasant.
It can be anywhere, such as a tropical beach, to visit family, or go sight seeing. It doesn’t matter whether it is a real place or imagined. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been there before. Just imagine being at this place and enjoying the experience.
This usually quickly allows me to drift off to sleep. This technique also increases your creative abilities if you do it regularly. You will become better at imagining places in greater detail, which has a great knock on effect to aid creativity.
These techniques have significantly helped me in life, and many people I have shown them to. They are all simple enough to be used right away, without any skills required.
But the more you use them, the more they will help you.
If you think someone you know would benefit from some of these techniques, please share karma.
Do you have any techniques you’ve found useful in your life? Please share them in the comments.
There are few things that can ruin your day more than getting a poor night’s sleep. You wake up feeling tired, grumpy and completely unprepared for the day ahead. And, in the long-term, poor sleep can lead to anxiety, depression and a whole host of physical ailments.
Sleep is incredibly important to your physical and mental health. And that’s why I’ve put together this list of tips that you must follow to enjoy quality sleep every single night.
Proper Sleep Environment
1. You NEED a comfortable bed and set of pillows. Trying to sleep on an ancient lumpy mattress with limp old pillows is a recipe for a poor night’s sleep. Invest in the best mattress and pillows you can afford and don’t order them online. Go into a store so you can try before you buy and be sure they’re the right bed-set for you.
2. No electronics in the bedroom except an alarm clock. That’s right, no phone, no laptop, no TV, no handheld games systems. Your bedroom is a place of rest, not entertainment (except for, y’know…). When you have electronics to hand, the first hint of being unable to sleep and you’ll reach for one of them. The light will then disturb the resting state of your mind and you’ll soon be wide awake. Better to leave temptation outside the door.
3. Hello darkness, my old friend. The darker your room, the easier it will be to fall asleep. Treat yourself to a thick set of bedroom curtains that let in no light. And, since you should now have NO ELECTRONICS in your room, there will be no artificial sources of light.
4. Keep your bedroom cool. If possible keep your bedroom window open throughout the day to keep your bedroom cool. Then, at night, you can snuggle under your warm duvet and fall asleep without getting all hot and bothered.
5. Wash your sheets regularly. This will keep your bedroom smelling clean and your sheets feeling lovely and soft. It’s always much easier and more comfortable sleeping on fresh sheets.
6. Get some comfortable sleeping attire. Whether you like to sleep in pyjamas, a onesie, or an old t-shirt, make sure that whatever you wear to bed is comfortable and warm and non-restrictive. You don’t want to be waking up because you’re too hot or you’re being choked by your night-time clothes.
Throughout The Day
7. No caffeine after 1pm. The better your quality of sleep, the less caffeine you should need to charge you in the morning. Don’t drink ANY caffeine after 1pm (this includes soda) or it will keep you on edge all night. Eventually you should aim to give up caffeine all together. It is possible!
8. Watch what you eat. Any meals or snacks heavy in carbs/sugar will cause your blood sugar levels to go on a rollercoaster ride throughout the day. You might feel tired by bedtime but find yourself unable to sleep as a result. Ditch the chocolate and sweets and try to centre your meals around salad, rice and lean meats.
8. Exercise daily. You don’t have to hit the gym everyday but just going on a 15 minute walk outside can make a huge difference to your quality of sleep.
9. Switch to reading after 9pm. Again, electronics are an enemy of sleep. Switch your lighting to a lamp and break out a book. You will avoid keeping your mind in ‘daytime mode’ whilst also keeping it busy by giving it a task; this will help stop night-time over-thinking.
10. Take a warm (but not hot) bath/shower. The warm water will help you to feel fresh and clean whilst relaxing your muscles. Be careful not to run the water too hot though as that will actually increase your heartbeat and make it hard to relax.
11. Get comfortable and close your eyes. It seems obvious but many people will keep their eyes open, waiting for their body to force them to close and go to sleep. This makes the whole process take a lot longer. Help yourself out by getting comfortable and closing your eyes as soon as you get in bed.
12. If you can’t fall asleep after thirty minutes get up. Walk around the house a little, maybe go out back to take a breath of fresh air, or read a little more. Fighting yourself just makes sleep more difficult to come back. Break the pattern and try again.
13. Wake up the same time every morning. No lie-ins, not even at the weekend! When you sleep an extra hour or two in the morning, you will make it more difficult to fall asleep that night. Instead, if you’re tired, go to sleep earlier at night.
14. Buy yourself a eye mask and ear plugs. If you’re sensitive to light or sound then both these items can be a great help. I’d personally recommend wax ear plugs that you can mould to fit the shape of your ears. Barely a peep will pass through them.
15. Or a white noise machine. These are machines that will play a static white noise that drown out other noises. Alternatively we have a white noise MP3 that you could play in your bedroom. Just be sure to cover any electronic light caused by your stereo/MP3 player. I wouldn’t recommend using earphones though as these can get tangled/uncomfortable and wake you up in the night.
15. Nice smelling oils. Essential oil, especially lavender, can be very relaxing and help you drift into a peaceful sleep.
16. Meditation/Hypnosis MP3s. Performing a little meditation or self-hypnosis shortly before you go to bed is a great way of calming your mind and preparing yourself for sleep. We have a number of great sessions below that you can buy and download instantly.
Motivation is a key ingredient to a happy and successful life. The problem is that we are wired to be lazy. Let me explain…
Stone age people didn’t have the abundance of food that we have today. If they wanted to eat then they had to earn it. Stone age folk would have to go hunting and gathering, which burns calories. Any net gain in energy was precious.
Stone age people didn’t want to frivolously burn their precious calories. Once work was done, they would probably laze around and sleep – just like lions do.
Life is different now. Almost everyone can eat as much as they want. There is no need to preserve energy. However our subconscious mind, evolved over millions of years, doesn’t know this. That’s why we must continually fight for motivation.
It is NOT natural to be motivated. We must find ways of creating motivation.
Here’s 7 top tactics to help you stay motivated…
Remind yourself why you want to do something
It’s important to be aware what you are getting out of doing something. If there is no perceived gain, then it’s difficult to stay motivated.
When you don’t feel like going to the gym, you can forget why you started going in the first place. When you feel like you can’t be bothered, remind yourself of all the reasons why you will benefit. Perhaps write them down as a reminder, if you can find the motivation! 😉
Have a dream
If you wish to stay super motivated, then have a dream to aspire to. It might be to retire to a tropical island, or to own your dream home. Find some long term goal that you genuinely aspire to.
Have short term goals
Long term dreams and aspirations can become daunting. It’s always a good idea to break them up with short term goals.
You may wish to aim to save a certain amount every month in order to work towards financing your dream. This will help keep you going through those day-to-day challenges.
Regularly spend time visualising your success. Visualise yourself having achieved your goals, both long term and short term. Gain an understanding of the “feeling” of succeeding. This will help drive you to seek out this success. It’s a way of programming your subconscious mind.
Surround yourself with motivated people
Having motivated people in your life helps inspire you. Their positivity and energy should rub off onto you. They are likely to encourage you and show you how its done.
Eat a healthy balanced diet
Giving yourself the right nutrients can massively increase your energy levels. Aim to eat natural foods, and avoid processed ready meals and snacks.
A good rule of thumb is to eat foods that were available 1000 years ago. Eggs, meats, fruits and vegetables are all good. Cook these from scratch, rather than buy mass produced ready meals.
Drink plenty of water
Dehydration can sap your energy levels. Make sure you drink plenty of pure clean water every day.. It’s especially important to drink water early in the day to get your system up and running.
If you don’t take time out to enjoy life, you can feel “ground down” and lethargic. Find fun things to do to keep yourself interested in life. Enjoying your current life should be considered an essential ingredient to your success.
Do you have any more tips to add? Please write them in the comments bellow…
Timeboxing can help you get a lot done in a short space of time. The benefits are obvious. Your life is more organised, you become more successful, and have less weighing on your mind. Here’s how it works…
Timeboxing involves giving yourself a time deadline to complete a task. You then do it the best you can within the time you have given yourself. Then you stop, whether you have completed the task or not.
To clarify this, here’s a couple of examples of how timeboxing can be used in day to day life…
Examples Of Timeboxing
My daughter is not the most tidiest of people, so her room is often a tip. When faced with the task of tidying up, it seems daunting, and she doesn’t want to tackle it. I have solved this by saying to her I will time her and she has only 10 minutes to make it as good as she can. It’s like a challenge – a sort of a game. I say you don’t need to finish, just make it as good as you can in 10 minutes, then you can go out with your friends.
This makes her happier because she knows she won’t be spending hours laboriously tidying and missing out. It’s only 10 minutes. Plus it makes it more fun as there is a game element to it. She will also get praise for how much she has accomplished in such a short space of time. Every time we have done this she has finished tidying her room and it is a hell of a lot better. The room is transformed in just 10 minutes. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with this technique.
Recently my wife got up late (around 11am) and needed to do her college homework, then go into town to buy a present. She also had college early that evening, so didn’t have a great deal of time to play with. I suggested to her that she does an hour homework right now, then we will go into town together and pick a present, then go out to lunch. Although her homework was only half complete, we were eating lunch by 1pm with a present on the floor next to us. By 2.30pm we were home and she had more time to finish her homework. What could have been a stressful day was turned into a nice day with some leisure time, plus she achieved her objectives. Without this technique she could have had an unpleasant day worrying, and getting little done.
If you have loads of boring filing to do. Give yourself 20 minutes to do as much as you can. You will surprise yourself at how much you can do in such a short space of time. And it won’t feel as bad doing it. If you haven’t completed the task, that’s fine. You can always have another timeboxing session at a later date.
Timeboxing is best used for those long monotonous jobs that don’t need a high level of quality to consider. These are also the jobs that most of us find the most boring, and the ones we leave until “later”.
Why Timeboxing Works
Timeboxing works because it helps you get started with something, instead of worrying about how you are going to do it. It also helps bypass the pressures of perfectionism, which can hamper us from starting, continuing, and finishing something. Jobs that at first appear intimidating can seem far simpler with timeboxing. The problem with most tasks is not completing them, or not starting them in the first place. Timeboxing can significantly help you get things done.
Please let me know how you go along with timeboxing.
If you know someone who would benefit from learning about timeboxing, please share this article with them.