Do You Want To Quit Smoking? What Got You Started In the First Place?


In the beginning.

Almost everybody starts smoking between the ages 11 to 21. This is called the socializing period, and at this age, it’s really important to fit in, to belong, to be cool, or to rebel. Death and dying isn’t on the radar during that time, but popularity and friends are everything.

When you smoked that first cigarette, I bet it didn't even taste good.

Well guess what? The taste has never changed, you've changed. Cigarettes and tobacco still taste the same now as they did back then. They taste awful!

So when you smoked that first cigarette it was a conscious choice and at first you had to pay attention. You had to think about how to put that cigarette in your mouth, how to light it, you had to make sure you weren’t going to burn your lips or embarrass yourself by coughing in front of your friends.

But very quickly you got good at it, and when you got good at it, it became a habit.

Now, when something becomes a habit, the behavior gets transferred from the conscious part of your mind where you have to pay attention, to the subconscious part of your mind where it's second nature, and you don't have to think about it.

The same thing happens when you learn to drive or when you learn to walk.

At first, you had to pay attention, and then, very quickly you got good at it. And now you don't think about it anymore. You just do it automatically.

Now with smoking, when the behavior got transferred from the conscious mind to the subconscious part of your mind, it was tied into the feelings and emotions you had when you first learned to smoke. Those feelings of fitting in, of belonging, of being cool and rebelling.

So, what got transferred into the subconscious part of the mind was……

Have a cigarette and then feel good.

How that translates later in life is…..

Feeling bad? Have a cigarette to feel good. Stressed out? Have a cigarette to feel good. Wanna relax? Have a cigarette to feel good.

Now, If this is you, you fit in with 99.9% of all people who start smoking. If someone can make it to age 24 without smoking, it's almost impossible to get hooked after that.

But if you're like so many others who got hooked young and are now trying to quit, there is a way out.

My Quit Smoking in One Session Protocol addresses the problem in the mind, where the habits and cravings are stored

This program has a proven 90% success rate and I back it up with a lifetime service guarantee. Even better than that, is you’ll save on average of three thousand dollars every year for the rest of your life out that old cigarette money

When you’re ready to free yourself from those cravings once and for all, you can call for a free phone consultation at 888-222-2649.

And before you go, I’d like give you my "7 Tips To Quit Smoking Download". You can get it FREE at www.smokefreehypnotist.com. You’ll be amazed at how effortless it can be to stop smoking with hypnosis.

I look forward to speaking with you soon

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

David’s VLOG Here:

Emotions can be deceiving.

Just because something is scary or uncomfortable doesn’t mean it's bad for us.  Becoming aware of our emotions and interpreting what they are trying to tell us is a crucial life skill.  Often times we say no to new experiences and opportunities because we think about it and it feels uncomfortable. Doing something new brings about uncertainty and  therefore discomfort, but it doesn’t mean we should back down from the challenge. It’s interesting and comical, but most people would rather repeat the same thing over and over and fail, then to try something new.

The definition of this, according to Albert Einstein, is INSANITY.

 Next time you experience this, ask yourself:

  • What is this emotion trying to tell me?

  • Is this situation uncomfortable because it’s dangerous or is it just scary?

If it’s dangerous, then our fear is giving us a helpful warning sign to get out of the situation ASAP.  If it’s scary, well then it might indeed be good for us, to push us pass our limitations, allowing us to experience something new that might lead to either growth or getting what we want.

I encourage you to do something that makes you uncomfortable everyday.  Maybe it’s having a difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding or asking for something that you really want and are afraid you won’t get.  Practice becoming more self-aware and catching yourself before you turn down opportunities to grow.

The more we do this, the stronger, clearer and more confident we will become.    

This is a never-ending process, so have fun with it.  Instead of thinking about something as scary or uncomfortable, reframe your fear as excitement. Be curious as to what you will learn, how you will grow, and what a badass you will become when you find that next puzzle piece in this journey of life.  

The Gratefulness Hack

We all know we should be grateful for what we have.

However, it’s so easy to forget. We get caught up in the craziness of daily life… something unexpected happens…someone cuts us off…we are late for work…our boss gives us a hard time…a friend gossips behind our back, etc. Sometimes we don’t even know why we feel sad or angry; and in those times the last thing we want to do is write a list of ten things we are grateful for.

Many times, it can be just one negative thought or memory we play on repeat like a broken record and every time we think about it, we feel like crap anew.

In hypnosis, we use a term called pattern interrupts, which break through negative thought loops. A strategy that I have found helpful is what I’d like to call “the gratefulness hack”. The second I notice a negative thought or memory of a painful experience arise, I interrupt the thought with ONE thing I am grateful for. If you can’t think of anything, just choose something super simple, like the fact that you’re still breathing. Remember the last time you had a sinus infection or a cold and reflect on how awesome it is to just breathe for a second. Sometimes I will also remind myself what I’ve learned from the difficult experience. Using this technique for even just one moment can help you avoid the negative mind loop.

When you make this technique a habit, your brain will start to rewire itself toward the new pattern. It will become automatic, so that every time you think about a painful memory, your mind will instantly be triggered towards finding something you are grateful for.

I won’t lie, this will take practice to become automatic. However, our brains love habits and once you set this into motion, you will be on your way to letting go of negative thoughts/memories much more quickly and painlessly. Feeling shame, guilt, anger and sadness is one thing, but wallowing in these emotions as if they are on repeat does nothing for you but keep you feeling miserable. When you catch and reverse your negative thoughts early, you can take back control of your emotional state, which will re-direct your actions and your whole life.

3 Surprisingly Simple Secrets For Changing Negative Behaviors

We are not our thoughts!

We think we are because our feelings often reflect our thoughts, and those feelings simultaneously direct how we experience the world, but it’s our actions that spring from these thoughts that really matter. Our minds think about all kinds of crazy things, but we don’t have to act on them.

The negative thought snow ball effect.

When we have negative thoughts, we trigger negative feelings; and when we have negative feelings, we create more negative thoughts. If we don’t stop this pattern before it gets out of control, we are setting ourselves up for a shitty day, week or month. The reverse is also true. When we feel good and have positive thoughts, those thoughts trigger more positive feelings.

This doesn’t mean that feeling sad, frustrated, mad or anxious isn’t ok.

It just means we let feelings be feelings, without judging them, trying to make then go away or reacting carelessly. If you’re feeling sad, frustrated or anxious, let yourself experience the feeling without letting your thoughts make it worse. The trick is to be aware and get in front of our negative thinking before it spirals out of control.

This is where Pattern Interrupts come into play.

Below are 3 basic tricks to stopping negative thinking in its tracks.

  1. Self-talk

  2. Visualization

  3. Physical movement

Self-Talk:

Self-talk refers to the audio part of our mind. I’m not talking about walking down the street talking to yourself out loud or to some imaginary person. I’m talking about the words you tell yourself in your mind. Many times people speak horribly to themselves, saying things like, "you’re stupid", "you’re unworthy", "you're ugly”. The first step to changing this is to become aware of this negative self-talk as quickly as possible. Seriously, be aware of what you say to yourself! Would you talk to your loving mom like that? Just this one thing, creating more awareness, can change your life!

Visualization

If you’re a visual person, you will experience a negative thought as a picture. Perhaps when you get anxious it feels like you’re standing on a cliff; or when things get out of control you visualize a snow ball turning into an avalanche. Next time, you catch yourself in a negative thought imagine you’re the movie director and can stop and freeze the scene in your mind. Then, go ahead and add some positive resources. For example, if you’re on the edge of the cliff, visualize yourself with wings or a big bouncy castle to catch you. Since you’re making up your negative thoughts anyway, you might as well make up something more fun and exciting. You can even make it silly, because why not? They're called pattern interrupts for a reason.

Physical:

Take a deep breath and notice your body. Stand straight, relax your shoulders and your face. Give yourself a fake smile to remind your brain of what it’s like to be happy.

In a study in a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, psychological scientists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman of the University of Kansas investigate the potential benefits of smiling by looking at how different types of smiling, and the awareness of smiling, affects individuals’ ability to recover from episodes of stress. The results of the study suggest that smiling may actually influence our physical state and that smiling during brief stressors can help to reduce the intensity of the body’s stress response, regardless of whether a person actually feels happy.

Practice, Practice, Practice.

Our brains are habit machines. To make any kind of change in our lives, we need to practice. First, we become aware of our negative thoughts. Second, we practice our pattern interrupts. Third, we substitute our usual, reactive negative behaviors for more positive, intentional ones. Like any other muscle in our body, we need to keep exercising our brain in this way to make the new behaviors stick.

You can make use of these techniques I’ve shared with you above to help you feel better and act smarter. However, for those of you who’d like to go deeper and want to take the fast track to reprogramming your mind, I’d be happy to work with you. In my specialized, private sessions, I help guide my client to move from where they are currently stuck, to where they want to go. To learn more about hypnosis and for more information about how to take the next step, please visit me at www.inspiredlivinghypnosis.com.

How long does it take Nicotine to leave your body?


You're stronger than you think you are.

Many people believe that smoking is more physically addictive than it really is. If you search for how long is takes for nicotine to leave your body, you’ll find that it only takes a few days. You literally pee it out. Drink more water and it will leave your body even sooner.

Here is published a timeline on what happens after smokers quit.

  • In 20 minutes, your blood pressure and pulse rate will have returned to normal.

  • In 8 hours, the residual nicotine in the bloodstream is reduced more than 90%.

  • In 2 weeks, your risk of heart attack has started to drop.

  • In a month, any sinus congestion related to smoking will decrease.

  • In five years, your risk of stroke is the same as a non-smoker.

Check out the timetable here: www.whyquit.com/whyquit/a_benefits_time_table.html

Interesting right? The benefits are real and they come quickly.

Smoking addiction is mostly just a thought, and it no longer has to hold so much power over you. This is where hypnosis comes in. You will walk out of your first session knowing and believing that you can do something better than smoking.

Make Quitting Smoking Super Simple

What do you have to do in order to be successful as a non-smoker?

Honestly, you don’t have to do anything at all. There was something you used to do, and now you don’t have to do it anymore. I borrowed this next concept from another hypnotist, Jason Linett, “All you need to do is nothing."

Here’s a funny video that illustrates how we can stop a negative habit.

It’s funny how easy this process seems, but of course it’s easier said than done when it comes to behavior change.

Intellectually, of course you want to be free from this habit. That’s probably why you’re reading this right now. However, somewhere emotionally, physically or mentally, your system wants the problem to continue. Every so-called problem we have is because something within us wants it for some reason. Otherwise, you could just let it go, right?!

Smoking is similar to magnets.

Every time you get near cigarettes, even though you know they are bad for you, you are attracted to them, just like those magnets that pull themselves together. But what would it be like if you could reverse the polarity and repel the cigarettes instead of attract them?

Hypnosis is more effective than the “Stop It” video above. In some clinical studies, hypnosis has been found to have upwards of a 90% success rate for smoking cessation, while the patch and nicotine gums only show success of 15-20%. (University of Washington School of Medicine, Septs. Of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine, Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001 Jul:49(3):257-66 Barber J.)

My sessions use advanced hypnosis techniques, derived from studies of the brain, and formulated in a way that address your addiction in both your conscious and unconscious mind where habits are stored. Together we can take you from where you are now, to becoming a non-smoker for life.

Change Your Words, Change Your Mind

The Jedi Master

Even though I’m not a Star Wars fanatic, I can’t help but coming back to this simple and famous quote by none other than Yoda himself, "You must unlearn what you have learned.” “Try not….. do….or do not…. there is no try.”

The way we use our words is more powerful than we think.

Sometimes we get so used to saying certain words that we don’t even realize what we’re saying. Our unconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what’s reality and fantasy. And so, when we say things like, “I’ll give it a try” or “I hope this works,” our intentions may be good, but we're training our unconscious belief systems to treat them as our reality. The result is we begin making choices that are NOT taking us in the direction that we want to go.

The word TRY is a recipe for failure.

When we use this word, we in a sense excuse ourselves from stepping up to the challenge at hand. One of the most powerful things we can do is to commit to taking action. When we say TRY, we are already undermining our commitment.

Here’s an example.

If I asked you to TRY to push me off balance, and you reach over and push me off balance. You didn’t really follow the instructions. Instead of TRYING, you JUST DID IT!

The word Hope is also flawed.

When things seem out of control, hoping might make us feel better, but this word again deprives us from taking any personal responsibility. Don’t get me wrong, some things are out of our control and it can be helpful to send hope and prayers into the world, but it’s essential to focus on what we CAN do to change things.

Mean what we say, and say what we mean.

When we consciously focus on our words, even if it’s only a couple words at a time, we begin to program our subconscious minds with positive beliefs that translate into habits, so that we naturally DO the things we want to be doing, as if it’s just how we've always done them.

Sometimes taking action is easier said than done. It makes sense on paper, but can be extremely hard to do if our beliefs aren’t in-line with what we think is possible. Changing our words is one of many steps we can take to make real change.




What's Your Motivation To Stop Smoking?

My most successful clients are the ones who are committed to making change. When we access that deeper, subconscious part of our minds, we’re able to make drastic changes fast.

So, here are some questions for you …

Why do you want to do this? Why is it important? How will it make your life better?

Maybe your doctor or a loved one told you to quit. Perhaps you’d like to save thousands of dollars every year?

These are all great reasons to stop smoking, but the one thing that will produce the most significant and lasting results is when you can honestly say to yourself,

"I’m ready to quit now. I’m committed to quitting and I no longer want cigarettes in my life.”

Once you’ve done that …

The next thing you can do is find a great hypnotist and, fortunately for you, you already found one. :)

If you think hypnosis is about someone controlling your mind and then tapping you on the forehead and forcing you to do something, you’re wrong. I tell people all the time that hypnosis is not magic. However, the interesting thing is that when you have the right motivation, It can certainly feel like magic.

Do You Ever Get Sick Of This Probing Question?

So what do you do for a living?

I honestly don’t because when I tell people what I do, they’re usually surprised and often times are like...

"Whoa, are you going to control my mind, make me cluck like a chicken?"


The truth is we are all being controlled by signals in the environment around us. We may be in control of some of our choices (or at least we think so), but most of our beliefs and our decisions come from deep within our subconscious mind. We are HIGHLY influenced by advertisements, TV, movies, social media, our friends, peers and family (and etc.).

ALL of us (including you) are persuadable!

Most of the time we don’t even realize we’re being influenced by others; so it’s funny to me, when the good ol' hypnotist comes around and people think I’m going to pull out some magic mind control trick on them. The interesting thing about hypnosis is that us hypnotists are actually helping you take back control of your mind and focus it on something better and more productive.

Just for fun, watch this short video of the mentalist, Derren Brown, pulling off some amazing persuasion techniques on these advertising executives.

So do you want to give it a try on yourself? Here's how to do it:

We all enter into a state of hypnosis before we go to bed at night and right as we are waking up in the morning. Choose one negative statement that you often tell yourself. For example, "I suck at singing" and write it down. Now turn this statement around to something more empowering. For example, "I’m getting better at singing as I practice in the shower every day." Repeat the phrase in your mind before bed and make it your first thought as you're waking up. Just let the words float through your mind, without any force or friction. Try this practice every day for next 7 days and at the end of the week, see what has changed. Take a moment to step back (figuratively) and objectively consider your week. What did you do differently that you haven't done in the past? Did you notice a change in your confidence, courage? It's all cool, whatever you experienced. Over time, I promise you'll start seeing a shift.

The Power Of Choice

When I tell people I am a hypnotist I get 2 reactions.  The first is of intrigue and interest.  People ask me if I will hypnotize them and are generally excited to learn more.  The second group of people are the skeptics.  Many of these people have either seen or heard about stage shows with people being manipulated to do silly things.   Interested or skeptical, I appreciate both sorts of conversations because it gives me an opportunity to find different ways to explain and make sense out of hypnosis.  

I understand the word “hypnosis” carries a lot of myth and magic behind it, but the reality is that we are being hypnotized every day whether we like it or not.  To give one example, religion is the ultimate form of hypnosis.  Even before we had organized religion, tribes were dancing around fires and chanting to the spirits to evoke different feelings.  These rituals made people feel connected to each other; as well as to something greater than themselves.  As I am writing this, I am currently traveling around the world and have been in Mexico for the last month.  Mexico is 80% Catholic and they take their religion very seriously.  The churches and holidays are filled with rituals and family/community gatherings.  It is apparent how important it is for people to have ways to connect with one another; as well as to feel their lives have purpose.  Catholicism gives people a structured way for finding peace, purpose and connection.  Cathedrals are grand and breathtaking and use all the senses (from the burning of incense, chamomile flowers and mint; to the music, and meditation in the form of prayer) to draw you into the experience.  In addition, having a community of people that are united by shared beliefs is also a truly powerful and persuasive aspect of the religion.   

The interesting thing about hypnosis and religion is that in both, your beliefs drive your experience.  When you are in a place of worship,  some people experience something holy.  This feels very real and many would say that it is.  I am definitely not here to argue the validity of religion, but I think we can agree that belief systems cannot be scientifically proven.  You cannot cut a belief out of you and put it in a petri dish to study it.  A belief is both real and not real, tangible and intangible.  It is the same with hypnosis in that when you allow yourself to imagine an experience and feel the emotional sensations in your body, you are experiencing something both real and not real at the same time.  It is a real feeling, but one that you have manufactured in your mind.  

For skeptics who don’t think it’s possible to manipulate your physical experiences using your mind, I’ll elaborate.  When someone has anxiety, it is often because he/she is thinking about an event that may happen in the future, and imagining it to be challenging or uncomfortable.  The future hasn’t happened yet, so we really have no idea about how it will actually show up, yet we can experience anxiety as very real.  It is actually a figment of our imagination, yet powerfully affects how we feel. 

The beauty of hypnosis in therapy, which is different than its applications in religion, politics or sales, is that the outcome of a session is open-ended.   A true hypnotist will not try to direct you into thinking or believing anything.  His or her goal is to guide clients to the outcome they desire for themselves, which can look like them taking control over their anxiety, letting go of negative habits (smoking, overeating, nail biting), improving their performance abilities, and/or letting go of fear.  These are all examples of mental constructs that we can make manifest in the real world.  

Since we are making this all up anyway with the thoughts/beliefs we choose, let’s decide to create what serves us.  Just like your religious beliefs can inspire you in healthy, positive and productive ways, we can all empower our selves by choosing new beliefs that serve us.  We are all under the influence of persuasion/hypnosis (through stories we hear, shows we watch, advertising, etc.), so let’s use the tool of our imagination to help ourselves have more choice in the way we live life, rather than leaving it up to someone else to tell us what to do or think.

Changing Negative Internal Dialogue

Much of the stress we feel is created in our minds and we can use Self-Hypnosis to change how we relate to our thoughts. We have an inner voice that helps us think throughout the day and sometimes when difficult things happen to us, that inner voice can begin a pattern of negative self-talk without us even being aware of it. The next time you start feeling anxious, stop and notice what thoughts are going through your head  How do they make you feel?  How do you want to feel?  You can manipulate and reprogram this negative self-talk to be able to feed yourself more empowering thoughts using the exercises in this video. 

Setting Yourself Up For Success

We are living in an information age.  There are literally thousands of articles with “how to” guides, “steps” to health and happiness, and marketers telling us about the secrets we need to know in order to be successful.  We are constantly bombarded with more and more information at our finger tips and this can be overwhelming and actually leave us frozen from taking action toward our goals.

Where do we start and how do we fit it all in to our already hectic life?  

When I find myself getting overwhelmed with everything I need to get done, this process helps me slow down to get more clear, focused and grounded.  

First I Create a list (on paper) of the most important things I want to accomplish for the day.  This can be done the night before or first thing in the morning.  I prioritize the activities and commit to working on the top 3 items on your list first.  Sometimes I find myself working on the easy stuff first, but the most effective way is to choose the top 3 tasks that are the hardest or the ones you don’t want to do.  

Then I Break down each activity into small steps that are easily attainable.  I set a timer for 15-20 minutes and focus my attention on just one action.  At the end of the timed session, I take a deep breath and tell myself something that feels empowering. I like to use “I got this, it’s just what I do”.  Others you can use are “I’m killin it”,  “I’m unstoppable”, or one of my favorites from Navy Seal Mark Divine: “Feeling good, Looking good, I ought to be in Hollywood.” Choose something that sounds and feels right to you. 

Taking small action steps can not only help you get to your destination, but also reinforces your beliefs and attitudes that your goals are possible.  Research also confirms that when we take action from a positive mental frame, we learn faster and more efficiently.  

Say, for instance, you have to study for an exam and place all your books on the desk.  Every morning when you get up you’ll look at the books and feel overwhelmed, thinking about all the pages you have yet to read and the time it will take for you to get through it all.  Because of this, you are most certain to land into the trap of procrastination.

Instead, put just one book out on your desk and turn to the specific page you need to read and commit to reading that page first thing in the morning.   Even if you only read one page, you are training your subconscious mind that getting the work done is achievable.  As you do this more consistently with the activities on your “to-do” list, you’ll feel good about this process and you’ll be reinforcing the habit, making it easier to do each day.

In Hypnosis we call this anchoring.  We experience the world in different ways -- auditory, visually and kinesthetically, so learning to anchor habits into your subconscious mind can take more than action alone. In my little ritual above, we are using all 3 of these anchors.  Creating a list helps us visualize the thing we want to accomplish and then we further visualize ourselves accomplishing the tasks.  When we feed ourselves our powerful mantra, we are giving ourselves the auditory anchor.  To seal the deal, when we tap into how good it feels to finish the action, we are firing off our kinesthetic anchor.  

Learning these simple self hypnosis skills can help you break free from the mind numbing influences that keep you stuck while giving you access to unlimited the power of your own mind.

To your freedom and success,

David

Take Back Control Of Your Mind

Most of us find that our mind is constantly racing from one thought to another.  We are stuck in guilt or regret about something that happened in the past; or anxiety about things that we anticipate might happen in the future.  We are overtaken by worry, in a constant state of panic, trying to catch up with yesterday’s work and even though we may be keeping up with life’s demands, we still feel like we’re not doing enough.   

We all have thoughts.  Even the most experienced mediation practitioners and spiritual gurus have thoughts.  Just as our lungs help us breathe, our minds are meant to help us think.  Unfortunately many of us become controlled by our thoughts and live most of our lives thinking about the past or the future.  We hear voices in our head telling us we aren’t good enough, don’t have enough or we need to be more and do more.  Maybe these voices are our own inner critic, repeating things we learned from a parent, friend, family member or some kid from the school yard.  This chatter fills our minds with so much noise that it’s almost impossible to clearly see what’s right in front of us.   

Our minds are extremely powerful and these inner voices create beliefs that sink deep into our subconscious mind. This is the control center that decides what we do, how we think and how we feel; long before we are even aware.  The subconscious mind might believe this inner critic is helping to protect us, yet these inner voices limit our confidence and beliefs about what is possible. 

I was an overweight kid….yes, a fat kid.   Eventually I lost the weight, but for many years after, I still had that voice inside my head telling me I was fat.  I continued to struggle with my body image and developed unhealthy habits.  The addiction to sugar and processed foods tricked me into feeling good, but these foods drained me of energy and kept me from thinking clearly and feeling emotionally balanced.  I believed this was how I was and didn’t even consider that change was possible.  For me, the first step was loving myself for who I was, fat or not fat; "good" or "bad"...all of me.  From there, changing was simply a matter of choice and no longer something I needed to do to feel good about myself.  

As a hypnotist, I see many clients come into my office struggling with anxiety, stress, relationship problems, phobias, body issues, eating disorders and addiction to bad habits (smoking, drinking, etc..).  All of my clients have unique stories and experiences, yet what most people have in common is the inner belief and feeling that they are not enough.  When you can tap into your true nature, that deep well within you that connects you to your purpose, passions and love,  you will KNOW that you are enough, and you deserve love and respect from others and especially from yourself.   

We are all so much more capable than we currently believe.  Changing how we think can quickly and drastically improve our lives.  The first step is learning how to clear out the mental chatter and cultivate a mind that is focused and aware. Just as our body needs exercise to stay healthy, so does our mind.. Setting aside some time each day to meditate is a way to build this muscle.  The next step is learning how to tap in to our subconscious mind to create positive habits that will feel effortless and stick.  Hypnosis is the practical tool to accomplish this.  

Living your best life begins with the belief that it is possible.  We can all cultivate a positive mindset and create happiness in our lives if we choose.  It may feel uncomfortable at first, but we can start by taking small steps and trust the process along the way. 

What is your biggest challenge that you’d like to overcome right now?

Sleeping Your Best So You Can Be Your Best

 

Do you toss and turn throughout the night, thinking about what happened yesterday or what you have to get done tomorrow?   

Wake up feeling exhausted and unfocused?   

Maybe simple decisions stump you during the day? 

Do you keep coming down with colds? 

Are you still hungry after eating all day or find yourself being more emotional or accident-prone? 

Chances are that you, like many others, are falling short on sleep.  In a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation’s Health Index, 35% of Americans reported that their sleep is poor or only fair.  This is cause for concern given that according to some estimates, 90% of people with insomnia also have other serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  According to the Sleep Foundation, it's recommended that we get 7-9 hours of sleep per night to set us up for good health.  Some of the benefits we get from a good night's sleep are: 

  • Increased happiness and less stress 
  • More focus and improved memory 
  • Weight loss 
  • Reduced inflammation 
  • Increased stamina 

People have trouble sleeping for a variety of reasons, such as an unsuitable bedroom environment (e.g., too cold/hot, too much noise or light), big meals before bed, excessive caffeine throughout the day, laptop or cell phone usage before bed (light emitted from these devices suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin) and irregular sleep schedules.  However, the most common cause of insomnia is stress and anxiety.   

When you take stressful thoughts and emotions with you to bed at night, not only do they interfere with your getting the rest you need, but they also get in the way of your brain formulating everything you’ve learned and experienced during the day.  According to researchers from Harvard Medical School, we are consolidating our thoughts and memories while we sleep and there is strong evidence to suggest that adequate sleep is critical for cognition, memory and learning.  

Rather than taking sleeping pills, which can be highly addictive and have negative side effects; the safer way to fall asleep is to cultivate a healthy, calm mind.  Although this might take some practice, the benefits are enormous in the way you will feel, both in and out of bed.  By practicing some simple tools and techniques, you can become more in control of your thoughts and emotions during the day and just before you go to sleep. This will allow you to get the restful sleep needed to recharge, refocus and wake up feeling energized. Since we sleep about 1/3 of our lives, if we can transform our sleep, we can transform our entire lives.  

Here is a short audio recording that can help you relax and let your mind calm down.  Listen to this before going to bed or if you’re feeling restless throughout the night.

 

Also, Check out the book "Sleep For Success" by Dr. James B Mass for guidance on setting up a sleep schedule that works for you.  

To your best self,

David

Placebos – Real or Not Real?

For many years the placebo effect has been misunderstood, dismissed and discredited.  The placebo effect refers to the phenomenon when a fake treatment, such as sugar or saline water, is given to a patient and produces a real response.  Scientists are just beginning to understand what creates this experience, but still can't say why some people respond to certain placebos and others are do not.  For the most part, the placebo effect is based on expectations.  If a person believes that she/he is going to benefit from a pill or treatment, then it is possible that the body’s own chemistry will respond with similar effects to what the medication or treatment might have caused. 

In his new book, Suggestible You, science writer Erik Vance takes us on a fascinating journey through the research, experiments and his own personal journey around placebos, suggestibility and hypnosis.  Erik infuses great humor into his stories of touring some of the world’s leading research facilities and using himself as a guinea pig.  Some highlights include: 

  • His story about getting (electrically) shocked to test his placebo response.  He learns very quickly how fast the placebo effect kicks in once he is feeling pain.  
  • His comparison of the brain to a sports arena.  Just as in the brain, at a sports arena there are many things happening all at once.  There are fans rooting for different teams…people eating, drinking, talking and applauding...some watching the game, while others are engaged in various other tasks.  However, whereas there are only about 67,000 people in the sports arena, there are about 85 billion cells in the brain.  It is all super fascinating and complex and we are just beginning to scratch the surface.  
  • The exposé around the process for pharmaceutical companies to get FDA approval, which involves four phases of research and can take up to 12 years and can cost up to 2.5 billion dollars.  The main obstacle drugs must surmount in order to receive approval is the effectiveness of the drugs must beat the placebo by 30%.  This can be extremely difficult and force drug companies to abandon drugs that might actually be effective.  In response, companies are no longer dismissing placebo and are now trying to better understand the effect, so they can more accurately test their drugs against it.  

In the field of hypnosis, this research gives us a lot to be excited about.  Although hypnosis and placebo are both based on suggestibility and expectation, they do function differently.  Whereas responsiveness to placebos changes from day to day, hypnotic susceptibility remains fairly stable throughout one's life.  Having the ability to be suggestible has nothing to do with our intelligence levels or loss of control.  It means that we can use our minds to change both how our bodies function, as well as how we experience the world around us.  The more we understand the placebo effect and the influence of suggestibility; the more choices we can have to create the experiences we desire.  Knowing how we are being influenced every day by external factors such as TV programs, news reports, advertisements or social media, allows us to choose what we focus on and begin to change our beliefs, so that we can expect the best possible outcomes for ourselves.   

As a hypnotist, I am interested in discovering how we can make positive changes in our lives.  For those that are open, interested and committed to making lasting change, hypnosis can be a powerful tool.  Hypnosis is not trickery, magic or manipulation.  It is simply a technique that helps you bypass the critical parts of your mind that keep you stuck in limiting beliefs.  Our minds can do amazing things when we BELIEVE that it’s possible.