“The best team won.” This is the overriding view of sports commentators, professional and amateur, throughout Australia after the British team retained The Ashes. Magnanimity in defeat is a quality that comes naturally to some and it is striking that it comes so easily in Australia (where coverage of their defeat has included fulsome praise for the British team) and to Australians (who seem to have a sunnier outlook than many Brits) even in the face of adversity. Sometimes it seems as if we, as a nation, find it hard to hide disappointment or acknowledge another country’s success against our own.
Finding a positive side, at home, at work and at leisure, can also seem impossible - yet doing so can help us get through difficulties with ease.
At work, decisions are made that contradict the wishes of many leaving some feel short-changed and, perhaps, a few feeling they can’t put up with their jobs any more. At home, disagreements over small things can turn minor issues into events that have enormous implications – perhaps splitting up relationships, severing contacts, changing lives. In down time in between, staying in control enough to cope with change can lead to an over-zealous approach to exercise, a compulsion to shop or clean, or a withdrawal from society.
Managing emotional reactions, improving performance and building resilience, can however be learned – with guidance from a professional.
Meanwhile, as a new year begins, many of us make new year’s resolutions that are founded more in hope than in experience - and that are bound to be unattainable.
Setting realistic goals – moving at an achievable pace, one step at a time – is more likely to lead to success, whatever the overall aim. Yet many of us reach first for the final outcome – the equivalent of winning The Ashes – forgetting that there are several steps – each Test – to go through before the outcome is known.
Professional therapeutic support can help you work out which steps to take, and how to pace them, to achieve your new year’s resolution so you can face 2011 with as much of a positive outlook as Australians have towards the future of their cricket achievements.
30/12/2010 | Posted in Psychotherapy, Counselling,
British triathlete Vanessa Raw was recently featured in The Times in an interview about her being named a member of the British Olympic triathlon academy squad. The triathlon is a gruelling event consisting of a 1,500-metre swim, then a 40km (25 mile) cycle, and finally a 10km run and is certainly not for those faint of heart.
Vanessa Raw told the Times she has great expectations for the Olympics in 2012 and is using hypnotherapy to help her focus and improve. She said:
“I’m in hypnotherapy at the moment and I get to visualise London already. The more I think about it, the more excited I get. I’m pretty fired up now. My plan is to win the event. I think it’s a reasonable expectation.”Using hypnosis to train for sporting events is not unusual. Many footballers, boxers and athletes have used it in the past. Using mental imagery and goals helps them to focus. Most athletes will admit that the mental attitude is just as, if not more, important than the physical aspect and it can make the difference between winning and losing. So, let’s see if hypnotherapy works for Vanessa Raw.
01/04/2009 | Posted in Hypnotherapy,
In earlier parts, we discussed how hypnotherapy can help with sports performance for athletes and even for people who simply wantto get more from their workout. We also talked about the different benefits that can come from hypnotherapy sessions with a hypnotherapist or sports psychologist, and subsequently from ongoing self hypnosis techniques. So, if this is an area you feel you might be interest in, where should you start?
There are many CDs and scripts available for purchase, however, although it is possible that hypnosis can be induced in this manner, it is a much better choice to begin by seeing a professional hypnotherapist. The hypnotherapist can tailor a hypnosis session to an individual, whereas a script or CD is designed for the masses. Everyone is different. A hypnotherapist can help you to reach a deeper level of hypnosis, suitable for your needs, and is able to make sure the session is right for you.
In the hypnotherapy session, the therapist will first of all have a chat with you to talk about what you want to achieve from the hypnosis. The first stage is then what is termed an ‘induction’, which is when the hypnotherapist helps you reach hypnosis. This is very calm and relaxing; there is no swinging watch or swirling image to watch as you might have seen in the media. Once in hypnosis, you are given a few suggestions to help you. You are likely to be aware of every word, few people actually reach deep hypnosis where they don’t hear every word and in most cases it is not necessary anyway. Generally, you’ll need a few sessions but you should continue to get the most benefit in sports performance, although this can be done through self hypnosis techniques that your hypnotherapist can show you.
22/02/2009 | Posted in Hypnotherapy,
In an earlier article, we discussed how hypnotherapy can be used to help those who wish to improve their performance in the gym, on the field in their chosen area of sport or even in the workplace. Here are just a few of the benefits that you can get from practising hypnosis, either with a hypnotherapist or, after a few sessions, with your own self hypnosis techniques:
- relaxation: this is the first point that many people make when they have had their first hypnosis session, how relaxing they found it and how nice they felt afterwards. Hypnosis is a very relaxing feeling, however, it doesn’t end there. When it comes to the area of sport, an athlete will have nerves. These feelings of nerves can be good to a certain point but they can work against you.
- visualisation: perhaps surprisingly, visualising yourself achieving your goal, working harder or better and getting what you want makes a big difference between an average and better-than-average performance in any area. By picturing something, you are making that image more powerful and life-like and hypnosis can intensify this image much more than we can in our conscious mind alone.
- improving performance: the one we all want. It has been shown that hypnosis can help control pain and most athletes are familiar with ‘getting in the zone’ and that sports performance is as much about mental willpower as it is about the physical aspect. Our best performances happen when our mind and body are in sync and hypnosis can help with that.
18/02/2009 | Posted in Hypnotherapy,
When it comes to using mental techniques to improve our fitness, athletes can use a variety of methods but hypnotherapy is probably the one method that men are least likely to give a chance. However, when used properly, hypnotherapy can be a great way to improve working out, sports performance and even attitude and performance in work.
For those who may be feeling a little sceptical at this point, this is perfectly natural but take a moment to consider that Tiger Woods has reportedly been using self hypnosis techniques since the tender age of just 13 years old. A variety of Olympian athletes have made use of hypnotherapy to help them to overcome their own self-doubt and mental limitations and to visualise their success in their field.
Hypnosis is not just for the serious athlete though; if you simply want to get more out of your workouts at the gym then it can help the normal person too. Hypnotherapy is certainly not the way it is portrayed in the media. There is no swinging fob watch, clucking like a chicken or imagining you are the king of England. Sports psychologists and hypnotherapists use hypnosis techniques in a very different way.
16/02/2009 | Posted in Hypnotherapy,
The benefit of hypnotherapy in sport is outstanding and includes helping athletes to stay calm, maintain focus, get rid of distractions in their minds, improve their mental stamina and increase their motivation. Here are just a few sports celebrities who have used hypnotherapy to help their career:
Tiger Woods has used hypnotherapy regularly and was introduced to it at just 13 years old. He has said:
"We worked on a way to visualize the target and pull it back into my hands and body and let my subconscious react. That’s what’s best for me. It is inherent in what I do now."
WBC heavyweight champion Frank Bruno has used hypnosis to perform at his peak.
In 1996, Steve Collins defeated WBO Super Middleweight title champion Chris Eubank, which he said was due to using hypnotherapy in his mental preparation work. He said he had worked on his mental attitude to programme himself to throw two punches to every one punch from his opponent and statistics from the fight show around 300 punches from Eubank versus more than 600 from Collins.
If you want to be at the top of your game, whether sports or business, hypnotherapy can help you get the results you want, making you a winner.
30/11/2008 | Posted in Hypnotherapy,
Hypnotherapy has been used by famous athletes to improve their sports performance. This seems to be backed up by a new Australian study, whose results suggest that the faster speed achieved by athletes when they take performance-enhancing drugs is in their mind.
The research compared athletes on a placebo with those given a growth hormone drug. Those who had taken the dummy pills ran faster, jumped higher and managed to lift heavier weights than those who were on the hormones. The results suggest what hypnotherapists say is true – if you think that you will perform better, then you will.
Many professional athletes have used creative visualisation to boost their performance for years and one of the methods that hypnotherapists use is visualisation. However, visualisation in hypnosis is much stronger, because the person is completely relaxed and focused on the visualisation - so they concentrate harder and the memory is stronger. Dr Aimee Kimball, the director of mental training in sports medicine from the University of Pittsburgh, said:
"If you visualise being stronger, running faster or winning, you are priming your nervous system to do just that. Studies have found that the method can enhance physical performance significantly, sometimes by 20 per cent or more".
30/09/2008 | Posted in Hypnotherapy,
As regular readers will know, hypnotherapy is a powerful tool using hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. But many people still associate hypnotherapy with stopping smoking and curing fears and that is it.
Hypnotherapy can be used for so many different things that the list is almost endless and hypnotherapists are finding new uses for it all the time. It can be used for almost any problem or situation where the body and the mind both come into play. Here are just a few of the issues that hypnotherapy has been used to help:
- sports – improving performance, anxiety, coaching, overcoming concentration problem, increasing focus, motivation;
- business – stress management, assertiveness, motivation and direction, problem solving and communication, public speaking, confidence;
- education – increasing concentration and focus, improving memory, exam nerves, study techniques;
- personal – increasing confidence or self-esteem, curing phobias and fears (whether of spiders, flying, heights, thunderstorms), anxiety and depression, insomnia, habits, addictions and other unwanted behaviour (nail biting, bedwetting, smoking, alcohol, drugs), sexual or relationship issues, eating disorders, shyness and blushing, pain management;
- health - chronic pain, hypno-birthing, IBS, snoring, dermatitis, asthma, nausea from pregnancy or chemotherapy.
Hypnotherapy promotes better health, well being and better life. For years, it was helped thousands of people in their every day lives.
22/09/2008 | Posted in Hypno-birthing,
Those who were glued to the television for the Beijing Olympics might be interested to know that the Olympic Gold pole vaulting medallist, Australian Steve Hooker, had his fear of pole vaulting cured with hypnosis just a few years ago. Hooker soared to his Olympic Gold in dramatic style earning him an Olympic title and an Olympic record 5.96 metres on his final try. He is also the first Olympic champion from Australia in pole vaulting. Hooker said:
"The whole competition was mentally and physically the hardest thing I have done in my life. It was more boxing than pole vault. I should have skipped the second jumps altogether. They were not working for me. I should have gone straight to the third."Hooker explained that dreams of Olympic competition were impossible for him in recent years as he was close to quitting in 2001. Only a few years ago he was unable to cope with the mental demands of the tough discipline and had even been throwing tantrums in training. He added:
"I would run through a lot and not take off and it got to the point, by the end of it I thought about giving it in. It was so mentally draining going to training not knowing if I would be able to jump or not. I was throwing poles, cracking tantrums, I was in a miserable bad mood. Your whole life, it really brings it down when it's really what you want to do and you can't do it just because it's not clicking in your brain.”Hypnotherapy, combined with visualisation techniques, got him back on track. He told The Australian newspaper:
"I would talk to her at the start of the session and say, 'I want to talk about lowering the pole vault in my last couple of steps and jumping off the ground.' I would tell her the cues I wanted to work on, so she'd work it into the things that she was saying while I was under hypnosis.”The results came gradually for Hooker but, when they came, the results were outstanding and well worth waiting for, Hypnosis ensured that Hooker now has no trouble with the mental aspects of his sport.
10/09/2008 | Posted in Hypnotherapy,
After a 20 year break from swimming, 38 year old paramedic Mark Ransom, successfully swam the English Channel last month in just 12 hours and 23 minutes. In the process, he raised over £1,000 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.
Mark, from Bury St Edmunds, had to wait two weeks to do the challenge as the swim had to be put off due to bad weather. He had hypnotherapy before the challenge to get rid of his phobia of sharks and, following the success of this swim, he added that he wouldn’t rule out trying a similar challenge in future.
Hypnotherapy is ideal for phobias, whether they are physical habits like smoking or nail biting, something with a deeper root cause, or irrational fears such as Mark’s fear of sharks, or fears of spiders, dogs, heights or anything else. Having hypnosis to overcome phobias is relatively quick, and can usually be resolved in as few as one or two sessions.
19/08/2008 | Posted in Hypnotherapy,
When you take part in any physical activity or sport, many people start to find reasons for failing before they've even set out. Your mental state is an important factor in anything that you do, and that includes sport or athletics. Yet, it is still one of the most neglected areas in sports training.
Is it really possible that hypnotherapy can be used to help train your mind to help you achieve your physical goals?
We need to learn to use our minds in a positive way and we tend to get what we focus on. We need to learn to expect success rather than failure and this makes a key difference in anything we do. Hypnotherapy can help you to change your focus and your approach, to make you feel more confident, set realistic goals, reduce anxiety and maintain a positive attitude.
Hypnotherapy has been used in sports therapy for many decades and is still little known. Famous sports stars have used hypnotherapy: for example, Tiger Woods had hypnotherapy for his golf. Many of them, however, prefer to keep their use of hypnotherapy quiet because of the myths and misconceptions about hypnosis.
Hypnotherapy is a highly effective method of improving your mental attitude and focus. Like anything else, and just as it is in sport,practice and preparation improves performance. When times are tough, when you're feeling mentally or physically exhausted, your hypnotherapy sessions will kick in. You will be able to shake off discouragement and anxiety and focus on the matter in hand. Concentration and technique will be easier to find. A hypnotherapy session for sports enhancement can be customised to the individual and, when combined with CBT techniques, it can be even more effective.
13/06/2008 | Posted in Hypnotherapy, CBT,