This is Absurd


Here’s a great link to the Theatre of the Absurd.
http://www.ted.com/talks/charlie_todd_the_shared_experience_of_absurdity.html.

Hilarious!

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GET A FREE SLEEP MP3 DOWNLOAD


A recent survey showed that around half of the population suffer from sleep problems at some time in their lives. Some people can’t get to sleep, others wake at 2.00am or 4.00am, others can’t drift deep enough or long enough to go into the most restful state of all – Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. This last state is one of the most important because it’s the one where your brain processes the events of the day, sorts out things to go into long-term memory for instant recall and those which don’t need to be immediately available. It also processes the emotions attached to memories; that’s why you walk away from a bad car crash feeling really shaky and ill, then feel a bit better a week later, a lot better a month later and six months later can laugh about it in the pub. In contrast, people who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can’t process their memory of a traumatic event in this way. Their brains are stuck in a repeating cycle of memory and intense emotion which they can’t shift. Therapies like hypnosis help them go into a pseudo REM state so that the emotions can be gently processed so that the event can still be recalled, but it has lost its emotional sting and therefore its power.

So, to help you non-sleepers, I’ve arranged for a copy of my Deep, Natural Sleep recording to be available to anyone who wants to click on the following link. It will be available for a week and you can send it to anyone you want as long as you acknowledge where it came from and don’t try to sell it.

Points to note:-

a) This is a relaxation and sleep recording so shouldn’t be used when driving or operating machinery!
b) Although the recording refers a number times to hypnosis, It’s more a guided visualisation rather than deep hypnosis, so if you need to wake up in the middle of the recording, or something goes wrong with the recording, you can just slowly open your eyes and deal with whatever needs to be done. To be kind to yourself, you could just count yourself up from 5 to 1 very slowly so that your body returns to normally in a gentle, relaxed way instead of being asked to jerk back into instant action.  You can’t get stuck or drift off anywhere; the worst thing that can happen to you is that you go to sleep!!!!

c)  The recording is best used with a single in-ear headphone pushed into the ear that’s not resting on the pillow.  If you put the recording onto your phone or mp3 player and plug it into a charger, you can listen to it again if you wake up during the night.  You can listen to it as many times as you need to each night.

d)  If you don’t get instant results, just keep on using it every night.  Very soon you’ll find your brain will associate the sounds as being a signal to sleep and you’ll drift off quite quickly.

e)  Don’t try to listen to every word!!! Just let the sound of my voice wash over you.  You don’t have to be alert or remember or listen to what I say.  Just let the tones and the sounds help you drift off.
f) The background music being used in this recording is Light Awash by Kevin McLeod and script is adapted from one found on http://www.hypnosisonline.com (if its author would like to step forward I will gladly give him a name check).

Anyhow, the link is at: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=602D8ABCFA125BD8&id=602D8ABCFA125BD8%21144&sc=documents#!/?cid=602d8abcfa125bd8&sc=documents&id=602D8ABCFA125BD8%21144

If anyone has a problem with the download or the recording please let me know straight away and I’ll fix.

Please also let me have comments and feedback on the recording itself.

Sweet dreams!

Beware what you say to children…


Imagine that you are 6 months old and are in charge of the world’s most sophisticated supercomputer.  You have to programme it so that it can move, think, communicate and understand the world in all its complexity.  It needs to recognise voices and places, cross roads safely, drive cars, write poetry and music, do complex calculations, know where it is in time and space, experience emotions, interact with other supercomputers and make decisions on a multiplicity of things.   How would you go about it?

The ultra-efficient human brain is estimated to have 100 billion neurons and at least 100 trillion synapses.  Internal communications happen at incredible speeds as it processes different streams and types of data simultaneous, so that you always know where you are, what you are doing and what your next action is going to be every millisecond of every day.  It’s a miracle that we function at all.

Yet nature leaves the programming of this fantastically complex computer to babies and young children!   Babies go through the mechanical part of their learning in well-known stages – recognising faces, learning to crawl, walk, run, hop on one leg and so on. As their brains develop, so does the capacity for language – learning to speak, building a vocabulary, recognising words, reading – and for numbers and calculation.  They also develop a sense of place – cot, rooms, house, street, school etc.

To keep track of this mass of data they create maps in specialised areas of their brains and unless there is interference from a viral infection or genetic or physical damage, these processes continue right through their lives.

However, one of these mapping areas is created and set quite early in life – it’s the part which gives us our view of the world and our place in it.  It is created from a combination of direct experience and what we are told by other people, especially parents and authority figures like priests and teachers.

So, if I am six and I am told by a priest that I am going to hell, that will be put into my map of the world and I will be fearful of that belief until someone who I trust more than the priest tells me different.  If a parent tells me repeatedly that I am stupid, then I will grow up with that belief.  I won’t try to understand things which I find difficult because there’s no point – I’ve been told I’m stupid, I believe that I’m stupid,  so it’s a waste of energy to try.  And so a cycle of self-defeating behaviours begins at a very early age.

A child has no other reference point other than what they are told, so they are extremely vulnerable to deliberate or unintentional implanting of  ideas and beliefs.  These ideas will then continue throughout childhood and into adulthood, affecting self-esteem, relationships, work, creativity and everything to do with their ability to achieve their full potential as well-rounded individuals.

And it’s not just young children who are vulnerable.  Those in early teenage years are equally at risk.  This year alone I have seen one good-looking, highly intelligent under-achiever who has convinced himself that he needs to have his jaw shortened because he was told by a class mate when he was 13 years old  that his jaw protruded.  It doesn’t.  But he now suffers body dysmorphia, and sees a protruding jaw that isn’t there every time he looks in a mirror.  Now in his early 20’s he’s determined to find a plastic surgeon who will agree to saw his jaw in half and move it back a few millimetres so that these wounding words from a 13-year-old child (which he replays hundreds of times a day in his head) can be exorcised from his mind.

I’ve also dealt successfully with an attractive girl who had been told as a young teenager that she was too ugly for anyone to love her.  Again, those words impacted so strongly on her inner world map that she suffered anxiety and depression right through her 20’s.  When I first saw her she was dressed in a baggy grey track suit and her body language was one of hiding and not wanting to be noticed.  Three sessions later she bounced into my consulting grinning widely having bought a bright pink dress and feeling on top of the world. She said that people had noticed how much happier she seemed and how things at work which she’d found depressing had suddenly started to improve for the better.  All because we had redrawn that part of her internal mind map which contained her view about herself, the way she looks and the way in which she then relates to the world.  Simply replacing it with a true picture of how she really is.

So, consider what you say to children.  If they do something stupid, they need to be corrected.  But pushing a wire coat hanger into a lit electric fire is “a stupid thing to do” but it doesn’t make the child stupid.  Similarly, continuously praising a child is almost as bad as being continuously critical.  Being critical makes them feel they will always fail; continuous praise makes them believe that they can never fail.  Either is an unrealistic model of the world to present to a child and gives them unrealistic expectations of life.

So, if you come across people who seem to be overly negative or have no enthusiasm for life or who give up before they begin, just consider how they view themselves.  Don’t judge them as lazy or stupid.  Perhaps their internal map of the world is distorted through no fault of their own.

What’s going to replace the Web? Here’s some food for thought…


Just watched a fascinating TED talk from Roger Mcnamee about the death of Microsoft, Google, Android and Facebook and the reasons why they will have lost their market stranglehold in the next five years.  If you want to know where the next big wave will come from, check this out.. http://www.ted.com/talks/roger_mcnamee_six_ways_to_save_the_internet.html?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2011-11-15&utm_campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email

Who’s having a problem with alcohol and binge drinking?


This week is Alcohol Awareness week, but by the look of the search results for my website, we should have one once a fortnight!

People who visit my website (www.keithjeffordhypnotherapy.co.uk)  are regularly searching for things like “can hypnosis help me remember last night?”, “excessive drinking”,  “drink issues”, “binge drinking longer drinks”, “alcohol binge mood swings” and so on.   And the number seems to be increasing.

While the media is busy wringing its hands over the problem of binge drinking and the health lobby is busy talking to us about units of alcohol (hands up all those who know what a unit of alcohol actually represents?) and recommending arbitrary daily intakes,  the situation is being exacerbated by pubs – who, despite “voluntary controls” are still offering spirits at lower prices than beers and charging as much for soft drinks as they do for vodka shots –   and by drinks companies who are hell-bent on disguising the taste of alcohol in novelty mixers and sending in promotions girls with shot laden backpacks.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I come from an advertising agency background of the old school.  It was nothing to stagger out of a restaurant at 6.00pm blinking at the daylight in summer and confused by the darkness in winter having gone in for lunch at one o’clock. Evening drinking was also the norm, so I’m no stranger to a drinking culture.

But the difference appears to be that there is a lot more peer group pressure to keep up with the crowd and that being drunk is now the only way of having a good time.

There seems to also have been a loss of distinction between being “tipsy” as my Gran used to say, and plain shit-faced, falling down drunk.   Being tipsy meant that you could enjoy drinking but still go to work in the morning feeling fine and without a noticeable hangover.   Being completely ratted means that you can’t remember the previous evening, or how you got home, oversleeping in the morning, losing the odd day at work every month because you’re too hung over and tired to go in, and suffering a noticeable loss of performance even when you manage to get to work.

As a result, I’m now seeing people who are worried about what alcohol is doing to them.   They don’t want to change their friends, or the places they socialise, or the job they do.  But the pressures of each means that they are spending too much money, drinking too much hard alcohol, and feeling that they have stopped enjoying themselves as much as they used to and begin to worry about the health implications of continuous bouts of heavy drinking.  They also worry about whether or not they can stop.

So how can I help them?   Well, the first thing is for them to understand their own reasons for drinking too much.  I saw someone recently who was entertaining clients most nights and having a very active social life at weekends.  He felt that peer pressure at work and at home was driving him down a very dangerous path, especially as alcoholism was in his family.  Another client was drinking two bottles of red wine a night to herself, as well as going out with the girls three times a week,  just because she was bored being at home all day with the kids.

Having understood the problem for that individual, there are a range of therapies available.  For those having a problem with peer pressure, for instance, I first use hypnosis to install a subconscious “drinks counter” – which keeps count of the number of drinks being consumed during an evening and paces consumption against a  maximum number of drinks, which the client sets for him/herself.  This works very well in helping the client regain control of the amount they drink.

The second thing I do is teach clients to drink like a lightweight.  This is a tailor-made technique matched to the lifestyle of each person.  The way they cut down the amount of alcohol they take in depends on their surroundings – it’s easier to drink less in a club for instance, where its dark and noisy and everyone is on the move, than it is in a restaurant where it’s more noticeable if a glass doesn’t get refilled as often as others.  So I teach clients how to use the technique in various situations and to monitor it with the subconscious drinks counter.  As a result, clients have not only been very successful in cutting down, but have even developed their own variations to suit themselves.  My client entertaining drinker, for instance, not only halved his alcohol intake in the first week, but came in for his next session saying that he’d not drunk anything at all for three nights that week because “I just didn’t fancy it” – and no else one noticed the change!

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Some Advice about Giving Up Smoking using Hypnosis


It’s Lung Cancer awareness month and so giving up smoking is the topic of the day

Hypnosis tends to attract people who have failed to quit through will-power or through the use of nicotine patches. Having failed on their own, they are looking for someone with the magic bullet to stop the habit dead in its tracks.

The bad news folks, is that it doesn’t work that way. I turn away as many people as I take on for smoking cessation because, in their heart of hearts, many don’t want to give up. My heart always sinks when someone rings me and says “I though I’d have a go at hypnosis” or “my husband keeps nagging me to stop” because in neither case is the individual in the right place to succeed.

No matter how someone tries to convince you, take it from me that if you don’t want to give up smoking, hypnosis on its own won’t work. You’ll fall off the waggon at the first opportunity and you’ll tell all your friends “I tried being hypnotised but it didn’t work”.

So…

 Tip No1 – don’t try hypnotherapy until you are really, really fed up with smoking, are bored with worrying about it, envy non-smokers and hate nearly every cigarette you have. THEN you’re ready for hypnosis.

Tip No2 – you need to prepare for your session. A few days before your session, wash all your clothes, get your suits or dresses dry cleaned, thoroughly clean the car, throw away ALL ashtrays and lighters (even if relatives and friends smoke they can do it in the garden from now on), thoroughly vacuum the house and install new air fresheners. Buy a new toothbrush and keep for use after you’ve had your very last cigarette.

Tip No3 – on the morning of your treatment really ENJOY your very last cigarette. Savour every lungful. And then put it out, pour water over the rest of the pack (don’t give them away, destroy them), have a shower, brush your teeth with your OLD toothbrush and throw it away (because it will taste of cigarettes) and use your new one from now on. Do not smoke any more cigarettes, even if your session is late in the evening (you might be surprised to find that having done all this preparatory work, you won’t actually be craving one).

Tip No4Relax and let go as you begin your cessation session.  Let your mind be still and be really honest about how you feel about smoking, how many you smoke etc. Your therapist should always take a full Case History  and Smoking History.  NOW your ready for your hypnosis!! BTW, I never use scare tactics in my therapy. Smokers are already acutely aware of the dangers of smoking so why try to add more angst? Instead, I use powerful suggestions to remove the urge to smoke, always getting the permission of the subconscious mind to co-operate in the process (I once had a frequently lapsing smoker who at the point of having his subconscious asked for co-operation became quietly upset. When I asked about the reason for his becoming tearful, he told me that he saw smoking as the last remaining link with his deceased mother and that it was so powerful a feeling, it sabotaged his every attempt to quit. We dealt with this in a few minutes and he left the office happy and convinced that he would never smoke again).

Tip No5 – On completion your hypnosis, you should always be taught how to think, act and speak like a non-smoker. This is an important part of the process. Always ensure that your therapist is prepared to teach you to do this. Without this knowledge, you run the risk of continuing to be a “temporary” non-smoker.

Tip No6 – Do not get drunk for at least ONE MONTH after your treatment and do not try to test your hypnosis. Drink will weaken your willpower and you run the risk of a momentary lapse. Similarly, non-smokers don’t need to test themselves to see if they are still non-smokers, they just are. Think of yourself as being just like an alcoholic – you can’t afford to have single shot of your favourite poison. You don’t smoke. You don’t ask for a drag of a cigarette, light one for someone else, stand outside pubs in the pouring rain. Non-smokers don’t do that sort of thing.

To read more, take a look at my website www.keithjeffordhypnotherapy.co.uk and go to the Smoking Cessation page. Good luck with your efforts!

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