Resources

Clear Haven Therapy Resources & Blog

Students with ADHD – Daily Planning Tips

Structuring an ADHD-Friendly Schedule for University Students

Navigating the transition from school life to university life can be both exciting and challenging, especially for students who are neurodivergent. A significant new report undertaken at Bristol University has revealed that one in seven students have ADHD or Autism, which equates to around fourteen percent of all students.

The report revealed there is a much higher chance of students with autism and ADHD presenting with other neurodevelopmental conditions, such as dyspraxia and dyslexia or mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression and personality or eating disorders.

This blog will examine how creating an ADHD-friendly schedule can help students with ADHD navigate university life.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition characterised by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity that interfere with daily functioning. ADHD impacts executive functioning skills essential for planning, organising tasks, time management, decision-making, and emotional regulation.

Whether you have been diagnosed as a child or in adulthood, or if you notice the traits show up for you now, this blog will offer tips on how to maximise your university experience.

By taking the reins and meticulously planning an ADHD-friendly schedule, you can harness your time management skills, effectively prioritise tasks, and balance your academic and personal life. This sense of control can be empowering and lead to a more fulfilling university experience.

Creating an ADHD-friendly schedule includes developing an effective morning routine and using specific study strategies tailored to the ADHD mind. Initially, this may seem challenging or near impossible. However, putting a routine in place can offer many benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety, enhancing academic success, and optimising your overall university experience.

Creating an ADHD-Friendly Schedule

Students with ADHD: Daily Planning Tips

Step 1: Time Management: Creating an ADHD-Friendly Schedule

Remember, you have the freedom to choose a planner that suits your unique needs and preferences. Whether it’s an online calendar, a whiteboard, a pinboard, or a combination of paper and pens, the choice is yours. This autonomy can be liberating and contribute to a more personalised and effective study routine.

If you notice you’re not utilising your planner as intended, take it as a cue for change. Instead of being hard on yourself, embrace the opportunity to get creative and have fun! Many types of planners are available, but it may take some time to find the one that best suits your needs. Consider factors such as the format (digital or physical), the level of detail it allows, and its portability. Remember, the goal is to find a planner that you enjoy using and that helps you stay organised.

Step 2: Schedule a Study Routine

Start by recording the timings for ‘non-negotiables’ such as lectures, study sessions, and classwork. ‘Non-negotiables’ are tasks or activities that cannot be changed or avoided, and they serve as an anchor for building your schedule and ultimately enhance student success.

Step 3: Establish a Sleep Schedule

Establishing a sleep schedule is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. However, it’s crucial to understand that ‘comorbidities’ are common with ADHD. Comorbidities are additional health conditions that often occur alongside a primary condition. In the case of ADHD, sleep disorders are a common comorbidity. This means that many individuals with ADHD also experience sleep-related issues.

Undoubtedly, sleep is a cornerstone of academic success and overall well-being. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that sleep disorders are common comorbidities associated with ADHD. Therefore, students with ADHD must plan a sleep schedule that works for them. For instance, if your earliest class starts at 9 am, aim to wake up at the same time every day, regardless of your class schedule for the rest of the week.

Setting an alarm clock and putting it on the other side of the room can help, as you must get out of bed to switch it off. Another good tip is the 5,4,3,2,1 method: As soon as you hear your alarm go off, aim to step out of your bed before you count to one. This method is a simple but effective way to overcome the initial inertia and start your day on an active note.

Gradually adjust your sleep routine until you find one that suits you. This process can take some time, especially if you’re a night owl.

An effective ADHD-friendly schedule should not only include academic commitments but also social interactions, such as developing friendships and attending parties and events. Striking a balance between fun and academic responsibilities is critical. 

If you have an event you want to attend, plan your departure time accordingly, especially if you have an important class or assignment the next day. If you choose to drink alcohol, remember to eat a substantial meal before, stay hydrated, and consider alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or non-alcoholic alternatives. These ‘non-academic’ activities are not just for fun; they are essential for your overall well-being and can enhance your academic performance.

Ideally, schedule social events on nights when you have a lighter workload the following day. This way, you can enjoy yourself without compromising your sleep and studies.

Step 4: Time Management: Organise your Morning Routine

Think about what you want to do in the mornings before lectures, whether showering and heading straight out the door, enjoying a leisurely breakfast, meditating, exercising, or doing any other morning activity you want; a good tip is to create a realistic and sustainable routine.

To make mornings more accessible, you can pack everything you need for the next day and leave it beside the front door. Try to make this a simple task by allocating yourself five minutes to get your bag ready before bedtime.

Visualisation is a powerful tool that can help you remember what you must prepare or pack for the next day. In your mind’s eye, take a minute to visualise what you have planned for the day. Visualising what you want to do can prompt you to organise what you need, such as books, folders, and snacks. 

This simple routine can contribute to your overall student success. Visualisation involves creating a mental image of what you want to achieve or the steps you need to take to achieve it. It can help you stay focused, remember important details, and make better decisions.

Step 5: Time Management Tips: Maximising Your Morning Routine

Use a timer to track how long each morning task takes. For example, if it takes twenty minutes to shower, write it down. Also, remember to note the time required to commute from home to class. Record these times on paper and place them somewhere visible. Maximising your morning routine can help you stay on schedule and get to places on time.

An analogue or wall clock can help you stay on track. If you use your mobile phone, you might get sidetracked. Avoiding as many distractions as possible in the morning is beneficial.

It is easy to procrastinate in the morning, and this is especially true when you have ADHD. If you want to check social media or spend extra time having breakfast, ensure you set aside time for this by setting an alarm so time stays with you.

Step 6: Time-Management Tip: Establish Regular Mealtimes for Energy Maintenance

Maintain steady energy levels by planning regular meal and snack times. While the specifics of what and where you eat may vary daily, aim to maintain a consistent eating schedule, as effective time management around mealtimes is crucial.

Step 7: Incorporating Downtime: Maximising Student Success

Remember, your well-being is as important as your academic success. Ensure you balance work and relaxation time by scheduling time for self-care and social activities into your university routine. Planning time for self-care not only helps you avoid ADHD paralysis but also shows how much you value yourself and your needs. It often takes the form of mindfully engaging in activities you enjoy, such as reading a book, walking, or spending time with friends.

Understanding and addressing ADHD paralysis with strategies like breaking tasks into smaller steps, setting clear priorities, using external reminders, and following your daily planner can help you manage ADHD paralysis.

If you do slip into ADHD paralysis as soon as you become consciously aware of it, take a small step to break the cycle. Whether you grab a healthy drink, play your favourite soundtrack, or change your environment, such as showering or getting some fresh air, any step you take will take you out of the loop of ADHD paralysis. Importantly, don’t give yourself a hard time about it; try to move on to the next task.

Step 8: Mastering Meditation: Techniques for Enhanced Well-Being

Meditation greatly benefits students with ADHD by enhancing focus, reducing stress, and improving emotional regulation. Regular practice calms the mind, making it easier to manage inattention and hyperactivity. Start with a five-minute meditation. It may take a couple of months to master even a short meditation. If meditation isn’t appealing to you, try doing a calming breathing exercise.

Below is a sample of an ADHD-friendly morning routine, but remember, your personalised routine may look very different from this, and that’s perfectly fine. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and these strategies are designed to be flexible and adaptable to your unique needs and circumstances. So, feel at ease knowing that you can tailor these strategies to suit you best.

Sample of an ADHD-friendly Routine

Morning:

  • 7:00 am: Wake up
  • 7:15 am: Shower and get dressed
  • 7:45 am: Breakfast
  • 8:15 am: Commute to class

Midday:

  • 12:00 pm: Lunch
  • 12:30 pm: Quick walk or break

Afternoon:

  • 1:00 pm: Classes or study
  • 3:00 pm: Snack break

Evening:

  • 6:00 pm: Dinner
  • 7:00 pm: Downtime (reading, hobbies, socialising with friends etc.)
  • 9:00 pm: Relaxation or self-care (e.g. meditation)
  • 10:00 pm: Wind down for bed

Tips for Student Success

  • Flexibility: Adjust your routine as needed to find what works best for you.
  • Consistency: Implementing these productivity tips can assist you in crafting a robust university routine, which, with time, will evolve into ingrained habits
  • Accountability: Share your schedule with a friends, family, or housemates.
  • Rewards: Celebrate small successes to keep yourself motivated.

Student Success

Wrapping it all up

Enhance your productivity, time management, and overall well-being with a structured routine tailored to your unique needs. The goal is to create a routine that works for you while staying flexible as you refine it.

If you need support in developing a consistent and healthy university routine, my coaching practice can help. As a coach, I play a crucial role in student success by offering personalised guidance, support, and accountability. Together, we’ll overcome challenges and achieve your goals.

With valuable insights and tailored strategies, I empower students to navigate academic and personal hurdles effectively. My guidance will help you unlock your full potential and thrive in your university journey. To learn more about my student coaching sessions, book a free discovery call today.

If you want to know more book a free discovery call.

Balancing Acts: ADHD and Menopause

The peri-menopause and menopause can be particularly challenging phases in a woman’s life, especially for those with ADHD, as their symptoms can be intensified by fluctuating hormones.

It’s not uncommon for women to first experience, or realise they have ADHD during peri-menopause.  Undiagnosed or overlooked traits can be brought to the surface, heightening the overwhelming emotions, confusion, and frustration many women experience at this time.  

When hormonal changes interact with other factors, such as brain chemistry, managing ADHD can become even more challenging. ADDitude magazine recently carried out a survey of 1,500 women with diagnosed or undiagnosed ADHD and asked them: ‘Does menopause exacerbate symptoms of ADHD (or vice versa)’?  An astounding 94% of women stated their ADHD symptoms were heightened during peri-menopause and menopause. 

In recent years, increased awareness of both ADHD and peri-menopause has allowed us to better understand their relationship and the combined impact they can have on women’s lives. With this understanding comes the ability to implement solutions and strategies that help women navigate this transitional phase with greater resilience and empowerment.

Key Indicators of ADHD in Women:

ADHD symptoms in women and girls can sometimes present very differently from men, more often as; inattention, difficulty keeping track of schedules, staying focused, procrastinating, memory problems and brain fog.

One common aspect is that, unlike men, whose ADHD symptoms often remain relatively consistent, women often experience more ups and downs due to hormonal fluctuations.

Remember—fit your own oxygen mask first!

Other typical ways in which ADHD can present in women include struggling to keep on top of household tasks, interrupting others when they are speaking, heightened emotions, physical symptoms like migraines and nausea, subtle hyperactivity such as fidgeting or internal restlessness, and a feeling of being unfulfilled in their achievements. “Time blindness” and time management also pose significant challenges.

How Symptoms are Intensified During Peri-menopause and Menopause:

Research into the increase of ADHD symptoms during peri-menopause and menopause is limited. However, the findings of a 2021 study found that the decline of oestrogen and progesterone during perimenopause can intensify the symptoms of ADHD.

Also, ADHD is linked to low dopamine levels in the brain which affects areas responsible for executive function and emotional regulation.  The decline in oestrogen levels during perimenopause disrupts dopamine functioning, intensifying ADHD symptoms like brain fog, forgetfulness, and emotional dysregulation.    A study carried out at Yale University suggests that without estrogen, over 30 percent of dopamine neurons may diminish in the brain region responsible for dopamine neurotransmitter production.

A timely diagnosis of ADHD is crucial during this transitional phase. Without a diagnosis, women may struggle to understand why their symptoms are worsening, leading to increased frustration and distress. With a diagnosis, women who have ADHD can access appropriate support, including medication, therapy, coaching and lifestyle adjustments, to better manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Available Treatment Options for ADHD:

Treatment for ADHD often involves a combination of approaches tailored to individual needs.

Medication is a common treatment option, with stimulant and non-stimulant medications available to help manage symptoms effectively. However, it’s important to consider the potential interaction between ADHD medication and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), as hormonal fluctuations during peri-menopause and menopause can impact ADHD symptoms. Working closely with healthcare professionals to find the right balance between medication and HRT is crucial for optimal symptom management.

Self-care plays a vital role in managing ADHD symptoms. Regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and holistic practices such as yoga, meditation and journaling can help improve overall well-being and work towards alleviating some symptoms. Healthy lifestyle habits can improve focus, emotional regulation, and overall functioning.

Therapy sessions can also offer coping strategies, behavioural interventions, and emotional support to those with ADHD who are facing increased challenges at this time. 

As a counsellor, an ADHD coach, and a woman(!) I understand the complexities of ADHD and the unique challenges women face, especially during life transitions like peri-menopause and menopause.

My holistic approach to therapy integrates evidence-based techniques with compassionate support to empower women to navigate their ADHD symptoms and thrive in all aspects of their lives. 

Through counselling and coaching sessions, I provide a safe and supportive space for clients to explore their ADHD symptoms, develop coping strategies, and build resilience. Together, we work towards enhancing self-awareness, improving self-esteem, and fostering a sense of empowerment and control over ADHD symptoms.

Hypnotherapy techniques can also complement traditional therapy approaches, offering additional tools for managing stress, anxiety, and other ADHD-related difficulties.  Hypnotherapy can be in the form of one-to-one online sessions or listening to hypnosis audio recordings.

Book a free discovery call today if you would like to explore how any of these therapies can help you. 

Access to Work ADHD

Understanding Access to Work: Supporting ADHD & Neurodivergence in the Workplace

Access to Work is an invaluable resource for those with physical or mental health conditions – but not everyone knows about the awards and it’s benefits, or how to access them.  

Funded through the UK Government, this program provides essential assistance for those with physical or mental health conditions, ensuring their ability to enter or remain in the workforce. 

It can be particularly helpful for those navigating neurodivergent conditions such as ADHD, ASD, and dyslexia, or mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, or permanent or temporary conditions that may affect your mobility, eye-sight, or hearing.  You do not require a formal diagnosis to receive an award.  Access to Work can apply awards that can fund coaching and any accommodations you or your employer may need to support you in your role. 

With grants reaching up to £66,000 annually, Access to Work facilitates employment by covering practical support you may need for starting work, staying employed, or transitioning into self-employment or entrepreneurship. 

Who Can Apply?

Anyone UK resident, aged 16 and over who is engaged in full-time or part-time employment, or about to start or return to employment in the next 12 weeks, or self-employed, is eligible to apply. 

When you apply, it is a good idea to speak to your employers and your human resources team as they will be required to contribute approximately 20% towards the funding and can assist you with the application. 

Alternatively, those who are self-employed can apply directly. 

A diagnosis isn’t necessary, but you’re required to describe in your application how your condition presents challenges in your role. When filling out the application, aim for honesty and thoroughness to ensure you receive the support you need.

Types of Support Available:

Access to Work offers a diverse range of support tailored to your individual needs, for example, financial assistance for practical work support, mental health management support, and funding for communication aids during job interviews. 

Those with ADHD have successfully secured support such as ADHD coaching, assistive technology and equipment, travel assistance, mental health support, and workplace adaptations.

ADHD Coaching:

Access to Work provides financial support for ADHD coaching services, ranging from 6 to 26 weeks. ADHD coaching sessions should be conducted by trained professionals who specialise in ADHD management and strategies. Through coaching, you can develop coping mechanisms, organisational skills, time management techniques, and other strategies to enhance work performance.

Assistive Technology and Equipment:

Funding is available for assistive technology and equipment to aid concentration, organisation, and productivity. Examples include noise-canceling headphones, text readers, and mind-mapping software.

Travel and Transportation Support:

Access to Work can assist with transportation to and from work, alleviating challenges associated with commuting.

Mental Health Support:

The program offers mental health services to manage stress and anxiety associated with ADHD.

Workplace Adaptations:

Access to Work helps negotiate workplace adjustments, such as quieter workspaces or flexible working hours, to accommodate your individual needs.

How to Apply:

If you suspect you have ADHD, or have already received a diagnosis, or contend with any other condition impacting your ability to fulfil your role effectively, you can apply for Access to Work through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website here.

Should you desire further discussion on the process, or once your funding is secured, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here to schedule your discovery call regarding ADHD coaching and the assistance I can provide you.  As a Counsellor (MBACP) and an ADHD Coach at, Association of Coaching, I specialise in supporting individuals navigating workplace challenges, ready to offer you the necessary support.

Hypnosis: An Alternative Approach to Adult ADHD

Hypnosis: An Alternative Approach to Adult ADHD

Lately, there has been a significant surge in ADHD awareness, particularly among adults. Fortunately, schools are also beginning to identify traits in children that may have previously gone unnoticed. Often, adults recognise similar traits in themselves when their children undergo diagnosis.

More of us are starting to connect the dots between traits that have held us back in both personal and professional spheres, attributing them now, correctly, to ADHD rather than simply brushing them off.  Previously you might have been told, as far back as school, that you were easily distracted, unfocused, and lazy, and in later life, this can lead to low self-esteem, and difficulties at work and in relationships.  In many cases, this becomes a vicious cycle of struggling with your self-worth and low productivity. 

The changing perspective, frequently triggered by conversations with peers or exposure to media content, is empowering individuals to pursue professional assessments and explore potential solutions. While some may not seek a formal diagnosis, they prefer to adopt tools and strategies to better manage their daily lives which can be extremely effective.

Receiving a diagnosis can often be an intense experience, stirring up a multitude of emotions tied to past challenges. Yet, it can also offer a sense of relief, as it provides clarity and validation by putting a name to the difficulties a person has been experiencing. However, following the diagnosis, a common question arises: “What steps should be taken next?”

While medication is an option for some, many are hesitant to rely solely on medication or prefer a hybrid approach. That’s where alternative therapies like counselling, ADHD coaching and hypnosis come in, offering a more holistic approach that can be incredibly helpful.

Understanding ADHD

For a more detailed look at ADHD in adulthood head here.

In a nutshell, ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a complex mix of traits that include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. 

These traits typically show up as challenges in maintaining focus, being easily distracted, and grappling with organisation and time management. Additionally, individuals with ADHD may also grapple with managing their emotions, and low self-worth, which can further complicate their day-to-day life. 

As you may have experienced, being diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood can present various psychological effects, with anxiety and depression being among the most common. 

Another common psychological effect that comes along with adult ADHD is low self-esteem or feelings of inadequacy. This could be due to issues such as finding it difficult to meet the demands of daily life, such as following instructions in the workplace, maintaining personal hygiene, or finding it difficult to be on time for appointments. 

Of course, the symptoms are not the same for everyone and there is no one-size-fits-all all approach to supporting individuals with ADHD. 

Hypnosis as an Alternative Treatment

Stimulant and non-stimulant medications are frequently prescribed to manage ADHD, and they can be highly effective for many individuals. Nonetheless, research indicates that in certain instances, tolerance to these medications may fluctuate over time, presenting challenges in the process of seeking appropriate medication. 

Similarly, existing medical conditions and personal preferences regarding medication often prompt individuals to seek alternative strategies for managing the difficulties associated with ADHD traits. These strategies may include counselling, ADHD coaching, and hypnosis, either as standalone alternatives to medication or as complementary approaches used alongside medication. 

It is important to note that when choosing a therapist to address the challenges you are experiencing associated with ADHD, it’s crucial to confirm that the therapist has undergone specialised training in working with neurodivergent individuals. Gaining knowledge through psychoeducation in this area is an important part of the process.

Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) is a hybrid approach that integrates hypnotherapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and neuro-linguistic programming. Individually, each of these therapies is successful in aiding many of the challenges associated with ADHD. However, when combined, they can yield powerful results. ADDitude provides a wealth of research-based ADHD education and they have an informative article on ADHD and hypnosis.

Research exploring the efficacy of hypnotherapy as a therapy for ADHD has been limited, but the existing findings are positive. Two small-scale studies led by Maarit Virta from the University of Helsinki demonstrated the effectiveness of hypnosis in helping with some of the common traits associated with ADHD. Furthermore, a subsequent follow-up study indicated that hypnosis provided greater outcomes compared to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). 

The Science Behind RTT

Hypnosis taps into the subconscious mind, where deep-seated beliefs and behaviours are rooted. Unlike traditional therapy, hypnosis delves deeper, tackling the root causes behind limiting beliefs and behaviours. By rewiring neural pathways and instilling positive beliefs, hypnosis can bring about profound and lasting transformations.

Scepticism or apprehension around hypnosis is quite common, often because it’s associated with stage magician acts. However, there’s solid scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness in reprogramming the subconscious mind. It’s a powerful tool that can help with focus and attention, stress reduction, self-regulation, organization and time management, self-esteem and confidence and addressing co-occurring conditions such as anxiety and OCD.

Hypnosis is at the heart of RTT hypnotherapy, creating a relaxed mental state that optimises communication between the conscious and unconscious mind. In this heightened state of suggestibility, positive suggestions are readily absorbed by the subconscious, much like a sponge soaking up water.

Hypnosis works by leveraging the principles of neuroplasticity, forming new neural pathways and prompting shifts in perception at a subconscious level. 

Unlocking Potential with Hypnosis

People with ADHD often struggle with low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy, which stem from repeated setbacks and societal misconceptions. Hypnosis provides a pathway to empowerment by instilling belief in one’s abilities and fostering inner motivation.

Using methods like visualisation and fostering an “Inner Starter” state marked by enthusiasm, hypnosis equips individuals to visualise and attain future success. By tackling the underlying origins of negative beliefs and behaviours, hypnosis facilitates individuals in navigating the challenges linked with ADHD while embracing their qualities.

Wrapping it all up, while ADHD presents unique challenges, it also holds the potential for remarkable strengths and abilities. There are traits and aspects of ADHD which can be debilitating, affecting various aspects of life and it is here where hypnosis can be especially useful, offering a powerful tool to unlock the mind’s potential and ignite profound transformations.

If you’re ready to take the next step towards rewiring your subconscious and unleashing your full potential, book a free discovery call here.

8 Tips to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

What is People Pleasing?

People-pleasing is when a person commits themselves to meeting the needs, opinions, or requirements of others, to the detriment of their well-being.

A people-pleaser will go to great lengths to please other people, even at the cost of their own needs; this could be due to the fear of rejection, abandonment, or the desire to avoid conflict, or another person’s disappointment.

A people-pleaser wants to feel loved, safe, and secure.

What Makes a Person a People-Pleaser?

There are a number of reasons a person becomes a people-pleaser;

People-pleasing can develop because of childhood trauma, it could be that to feel safe and avoid conflict within the home, the child learned to protect themselves by going out of their way to appease their parent or caregiver.

The devoted love and attention or harsh criticism experienced as a child can have a lasting influence on a person’s world perspective.

If people-pleasing is something that a person has done since childhood, it becomes the norm for them, and this is frequently carried through to adulthood causing a whole host of problems.

Similarly, societal expectations that people should be passive and compliant might lead people to please people, there is also a cultural and generational element to the belief that if you please others you are polite, considerate, and generally a good person.

Sharon Martin writes about an evolutionary component to people-pleasing. Our early ancestors were known to form tribes so they could pull resources, and help protect each other. The more a person had to offer within the tribe, the more they would be protected. If they were not accepted in the tribe or community the more likely they were to die of being attacked by a predator, or of starvation.

What are the Consequences of Being a People-Pleaser?

Trying to make other people happy may, for a short time, ease tensions in social interactions, however, people-pleasing often results in unhelpful outcomes. The following are some of the most significant problems that can occur because of people’s good intentions.

Suppressed Emotions
When you consistently put the needs of others ahead of your own, one of the unintended consequences is that you learn to suppress your own emotions.

Stopping your feelings and putting another person’s needs before your own can result in physical health problems such as digestive problems, headaches, and muscle pains. A person’s mental health has a direct link to their physical health.

Reduced Self-Worth
You can risk losing your sense of self when you are frequently influenced to accept things from another person’s perspective or adapt to suit another person’s preferences. A people-pleaser may find it difficult to construct long-lasting and deep relationships as they are not allowing the other person to get to know their authentic self.

People-pleasing can result in feelings of shame if a person behaves in a way that is not in alignment with their values, in order to please another person.

Exploitative Relationships
People who tend to be more passive or considerate can put themselves in harm’s way by allowing others to take advantage of their kindness or lack of boundaries. This may lead to a vicious circle of misunderstandings and hostility between the parties.

Stress and Burnout
Constantly putting the requirements of others ahead of your own may result in stress and burnout; both are detrimental to your mental and physical health and should be avoided at all costs.

The Connection between People-Pleasing and Resentment

You can become resentful if you try too hard to make others happy in various ways. People who routinely put the needs of others before their own could one day find that they struggle to articulate dissatisfaction or displeasure. It can be the case that a people-please can lose sight of what makes them happy.

We all want to see our friends and family happy, but when you continually sacrifice your own needs to do this, it won’t take long for you to feel resentment develop.

When individuals fail to meet the standards set by others, people pleasers often experience feelings of regret and humiliation. This can instigate critical self-talk and feelings of “not good enough”.

Breaking Free from People-Pleasing

1. Self-Reflection:
Reflect on what motivates your drive to attempt to improve the lives of others around you. The first step in implementing change is recognising and managing the factors that previously prevented you from progressing.

2. Boundaries:
The ability to set boundaries is an important life skill that we should all learn; it’s acceptable to put our needs above those of others, so don’t feel guilty about it!

3. Assertiveness:
Be assertive; let people know your needs, preferences, and goals. Through open and honest conversation, working on existing resentment or conflicts and strengthening relationships with others is possible. Learning how to be assertive will help you in your personal and professional life.

4. Mindfulness and Emotional Awareness:
One benefit of regular mindfulness practice is gaining a deeper understanding and tolerance of your feelings. Recognise that your feelings are genuine and deserving of being expressed. Journalling can help increase self-awareness and provide time to reflect.

5. Embrace Conversation:
Try to see differences of opinion not as something to be avoided but as an opportunity for personal development and improvement. Learning to engage in healthy debates may benefit the quality of your relationships and keep your mind active.

6. Seek Support:

Be proactive and get help by discussing your issues with family members or a professional counsellor. If you want to overcome your tendency to please others, having a solid support system may be one of the most important things you can do.

7. Self-Care
Self-care is scheduling time for fun and calming activities. If you take care of your physical and mental health, you could find that you can regulate your emotions better, get to know yourself and what you like and dislike, and get a clearer idea of what’s okay.

8. Self-Compassion
Treat yourself with kindness and compassion, acknowledging that you deserve love and respect.

Wrapping it all Up

Remember that the path away from people-pleasing tendencies requires patience and self-compassion. Learning to prioritise your needs and communicating your feelings in an uninhibited manner may lead to a stronger sense of inner calm and emotional resilience, particularly in the middle of conflict.

Giving up trying to please others is not the same as being selfish; instead, it is putting one’s health and happiness first and learning to value one’s perspective. Doing so allows you and others to develop more meaningful connections with one another and yourself.

If you would like to stop people-pleasing, but feel you need some support Clear Haven Therapy can help with this! Book a free Discovery Call.

The Importance of Therapy for Men: Exploring its Impact

Regardless of gender, anyone can be affected by mental health issues.

Regardless of gender, anyone can be affected by mental health issues. However, fewer men are still seeking therapy; let’s examine why this is the case.

It is a fact that men experience the same challenges as women, including anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and trauma. However, these issues can present differently for men. For example, depression may show as anger due to men tending to suppress emotions. Suppressed emotions contribute to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress.

Physical issues, such as headaches, digestive problems, and muscle tension, can also result from suppressed emotions.  A 2019 study concludes that concealing one’s emotions can hinder mental health, physical health and general well-being.

Case Study

I recently worked with a client who contacted me due to struggling with social anxiety and low self-esteem. We worked together for six weeks, and at the end of this time, the client left therapy knowing their worth which changed everything for them.

The client opted for an RTT hypnotherapy session; during regression, they returned to an incident that occurred at school when they were aged 8. They spoke about a time they could not answer a question in front of the class; they felt shamed and humiliated before their teacher and peers. The incident left the client feeling profoundly embarrassed and feeling like a failure. After the session, the client spoke about vaguely remembering the incident and feeling embarrassed whenever they thought about it. However, they did not recognise that what they experienced then deeply continued to influence how they felt about themselves today, which was that they were not good enough.

Working through the emotions associated with this experience and reframing outdated beliefs was life-transforming for this client.

Therapy for Men – The Statistics

It is not unusual for men to mask the symptoms of depression as they will take an “I just need to get on with it” approach. However, this can encourage unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drinking alcohol, substance misuse, pornography addiction, or gambling.

When these unhelpful coping strategies become “the problem”, men will recognise they need help, and at this point, their mental health may have declined significantly.

Statistics demonstrate that men’s mental health is something that requires more attention.

  •  The Office of National Statistics (ONS) 2021 states that 74% of death by suicide cases are men.
  •  In England and Wales, suicide is the most significant cause of death for men under 50.
  •  The Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) 2020,  men of all ages are likelier to become alcohol dependent than women.
  •  Men are more likely to be experiencing homelessness and be rough sleepers, and at the end of 2022, 96.2% of all prisoners were men.
  • NHS England’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) states that in 2019/20 it recorded 65% of women,   compared to 35% of men, were referred to psychological services.

These statistics highlight the need to change society’s perception of men seeking therapy.

Why Some Men Struggle to Seek Help: Understanding the Barriers of Therapy for Men

Let’s consider WHY some men find it difficult to seek therapy.

Societal Gender Norms
Society has thoughts about how men should be – “strong, self-reliant, assertive, powerful”. These expectations can make it more challenging for men to reach out for support and instead mask or suppress any symptoms that suggest they are not coping.

Shame
If a man has adopted unhealthy coping strategies, there may be guilt, shame, or self-disgust, making sharing this with another person even more difficult. However, reaching out for help is a sign of strength and courage, and in therapy, you can learn how to work through any shame attached to what is going on for you.

Stigma
One significant roadblock that prevents men from seeking therapy is the stigma around mental health issues. As a society, we have the power to change this. It takes courage, but only when men talk about their mental health and talk about reaching out for therapy or other support will it become normalised. After all, you go to the gym to work on your physical health; working on your mental health is the same!

Fear of Vulnerability
What would it look like to reveal a side of yourself that isn’t always confident, courageous, and strong? Vulnerability is sharing your thoughts, emotions, feelings, and experiences with another person. It is like removing your armour and allowing another person to see your authentic self, your softer side. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable with those closest to you can deepen and strengthen relationships.

Finding a Therapist
The gender of a therapist is not important; you must find a therapist you feel safe and comfortable with. I work with many men in my therapy practice, and I recommend that you check if a therapist is comfortable working with male-related issues.

Let’s Now Discuss the Advantages of Therapy for Men

Therapy offers men a safe space to openly discuss their concerns and express themselves freely without fear of rejection.

In therapy, men can learn how to practice healthy coping strategies such as emotional regulation, meditation, grounding exercises, journalling, assertive communication, and implementing boundaries.

A therapist allows men the space to manage past issues that may impact their lives today.

Alternatively, some men prefer to focus on what is happening for them in the here and now rather than revisit past experiences. What you would like to gain from therapy is something you can talk through during a discovery call as you want to ensure that a therapist works in a way that you will find most helpful.

  • Being a Good Example

By going to therapy, you convey to others, including your friends and family, that taking care of your mental health is FINE.

Being open and honest about seeking help could inspire others to adopt your outlook and encourage the growth of a society where discussing emotions can be done more freely.

  • Strengthening Relationships

Effectively managing emotions can help build healthy and fulfilling relationships.

People tend to have closer relationships with their loved ones, members of their families, and close friends when they are aware of their own emotions and can empathise with others.

  • Improves Job Performance

The workplace is known to be a place that can be challenging when one is already struggling with their mental health. Therapy can help reduce work-related stress and anxiety, improve job performance, and it can help with enhancing communication and teamwork skills.

When To Seek Therapy

If you have any of the following symptoms, it may be a good idea to consider therapy:

  • Been more easily irritated than usual.
  • Experienced bursts of anger or aggression.
  • Felt sad or down.
  • Felt overwhelmed or under much pressure.
  • Unexpectedly gained or lost weight.
  • Started drinking or using drugs more frequently than before.
  • Been relying on alcohol or drugs to cope with a challenging situation.
  • Lost interest in activities you used to enjoy.
  • Struggled to concentrate at work, school, or home.
  • Had more headaches or days of feeling generally unwell.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Felt tired even after a whole night’s sleep.

There’s no reason to feel ashamed of your symptoms; you’re never alone. Many men believe discussing their difficulties won’t help, but this is untrue. Book a free discovery call today.

Understanding and Managing Shame for Personal Growth

What is the True Meaning of Shame?

Shame can be a complex emotion to manage, as it is an intense and pervasive emotion that can make people feel fundamentally flawed. When people feel shame, they may believe they are inadequate, unworthy, or not good enough.

Shame is founded on self-judgment; if a person has insecurities, they may feel embarrassed or humiliated if these insecurities are highlighted or exposed. It can occur when a person feels they fall short of their own or others’ expectations or have a lingering sense of “Is someone judging me?”.

What is the Difference between Guilt and Shame?

Many people use guilt and shame interchangeably as they are similar but different emotions despite some overlaps. For instance, both are conscious emotions ignited by negative self-evaluation.

Shame is about having a negative sense of self, having low self-esteem, and believing you are, at the core, a terrible person. In contrast, guilt is feeling like you have done something wrong, made a bad decision, or made a mistake. Berne Brown describes shame as being based on self, “I am bad”, whereas guilt is based on behaviour “I did something bad”.

Many studies have examined the physical and emotional effects of guilt and shame. Research has demonstrated a link between shame-proneness and psychiatric problems such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance misuse. The results have not revealed a common link between guilt-proneness and psychiatric problems.

Why did we Evolve to Feel Shame?

(Sznycer et al., 2016) tested the theory that shame evolved as a defence against being devalued by others. The finding concluded that across cultures, there is a link between shame and devaluation.

If we rewind the years, our early ancestors depended on being valued by others for survival. The community’s most valued members would get food, help to look after their children, and were more likely to be cared for and protected than their lesser-valued peers.

To be valued within the community, it was necessary to have attributes that would appeal to others, such as being strong, a dangerous enemy, a potential partner, and trustworthy. If it was discovered that you were, for example, diseased, physically weak, or untrustworthy, you would be devalued and more likely to come to harm.

Our ancestors worked hard to be valued within the community. This may have involved hiding disease or blaming others for their acts, but it was necessary for survival. Today, shame motivates us to conform to societal norms, to fit in, and to be liked and respected by others.

When is Shame Not Helpful?

Shame is not helpful when it becomes toxic. Toxic shame is when a person becomes overly self-critical, experiences self-disgust or demeans themselves in other ways. This can often be the result of childhood abuse, trauma or having parents or caregivers who were emotionally unavailable.

Toxic shame can be extremely difficult for a person to manage; if self-help techniques or confiding in a friend doesn’t ease the shame, it would be recommended to seek professional help.

What does Shame do to the Body?

When a person feels shame, it starts a complex chain of events that affects many bodily systems, physically and psychologically. Science supports the impact shame has on the body.

Here’s a breakdown of how shame impacts the body:

Emotional Response: It often leads to feelings of unworthiness and disappointment and can trigger a desire to escape or hide from others.

Stress Response: The body’s stress reaction, also known as the “fight or flight” response, is triggered by shame.

This includes the adrenal glands releasing stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline.

These hormones raise heart rate, blood pressure, and attentiveness to prepare the body to react to a threat.

Increased heart rate: The heart beats to pump blood to muscles and essential organs faster.
Elevated blood pressure: Blood vessels constrict, which increases blood pressure and improves oxygen delivery.
Rapid breathing: Breathing more quickly helps the body prepare for physical activity by oxygenating the blood.
Muscle tension: Muscles tighten in preparation for potential movement or defence.
Dilated pupils: The pupils enlarge to allow more light and improve visual focus.
Sweating: The body sweats to help regulate temperature during heightened activity.
Digestive changes: Blood flow may decrease to the digestive system, leading to digestive discomfort or a “butterflies in the stomach” feeling.

Impact on the Immune System: Over time, prolonged or severe shame may weaken the immune system, increasing the body’s vulnerability to disease.

Cognitive Changes: The impacts of shame on cognitive processes include ruminating thoughts and making bad decisions. The ability to concentrate and focus may also be troublesome.

Neurological Impact: According to neuroimaging research shame causes the brain’s negative emotions, self-perception, and social evaluation regions to become active. Some of these regions are the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and insula.

The effects of shame can differ from person to person and may depend on elements like personal coping methods, resilience, and social support.

How Can I Manage Shame?

Here are some practical ways to make you feel better about yourself and effectively manage shame.

Talk About It
A conversation with a relative or close friend you trust can make all the difference. Sharing your thoughts can make you feel better and open your eyes to new lights.

You never know when the person you trust will come up with a brilliant idea, offer an ear of understanding, or be there for you. You feel less alone and more understood since it’s like having a friend by your side.

Challenge any Negative Thoughts
Shame often brings along negative and critical thoughts about yourself. It’s important to challenge these thoughts.

Ask yourself if they are based on facts or if you’re being too hard on yourself. Try to reframe these thoughts in a more balanced and realistic way.

For example, if you’re thinking, “I’m a complete failure,” try changing it to “I am brave enough to make changes; my setback makes me stronger.”

Be Kind to Yourself
Here’s a little tip: You can be your own best friend. Imagine how you would talk to your best friend when they are going through a tough time – that’s how you should treat yourself, too. Show yourself the same kindness and compassion that you would show your friend. We all mess up and have tough days, and it’s part of being human.

So, try not to be too harsh on yourself while feeling low.

Say, “Hey, it’s okay; I’m only human,” and go on. Allow these feelings to come up without judging them as good or bad.

You deserve kindness and a helping hand, especially when things are tough. Give yourself a warm hug from within, or you can go all out and give yourself a big bear hug!

Learn and Grow
Yes, even mistakes can serve as your hidden weapon for getting better. Shame can help us define our boundaries and act within social norms. This is when shame can be healthy!

Think for a bit about what you can do differently the next time. How can you make the most of this scenario for yourself?

Switching your focus like this opens the door to growth and feeling strong. So, let’s kick that shame aside and stride forward!

Mindfulness and Breathing
So, pause and take some slow, deep breaths when shame starts showing up. Practice square breathing to help calm your central nervous system and distract you from your thoughts. Just a 10-minute practice can help tame your feelings of shame.

Positive Self-Talk
Pay attention to how you talk to yourself. If you are critical, switch those negative thoughts to positive and encouraging ones.

It’s essential to remind yourself often of your successes, the good things about you, and times when you overcame challenging situations.

You can better control those “shame” feelings by creating a positive inner conversation.

When using positive self-talk, tell yourself:

“My mistakes don’t define my worth; what matters is how I grow and learn from them.”

“I, especially myself, deserve kindness and understanding.”

“I have faith in my ability to thrive in the face of hardship.”

“I deserve respect and love, most importantly from myself.”

If you use this practice, you’ll be better able to manage such stressful situations. Your resilience and sense of self-worth grow as an outcome.

Wrapping it all up

Accept positive thinking, develop self-confidence, and practise mindfulness.

Turn around negative situations and take lessons from mistakes. You deserve compassion, respect, love, and progress.

Let go of the grip of shame and walk proudly in your worth. Your journey towards strength and self-love begins today. If you feel you need professional help book a free discovery call today.

Understanding Anger Management: Issues For Personal Growth

Why do I get so angry?

Humans naturally experience anger as a reaction to perceived threats, injustices, or irritations. In the face of anger, our bodies activate the fight or flight response, and a surge of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released from the adrenal glands and flood through our bodies.

A sudden surge of hormones induces a whole host of physical bodily changes, such as an increased heart rate, excessive sweating, tense muscles, a headache, or a sudden need to use the toilet.

Anger can range from a feeling of mild irritation to full-blown rage. When people consider themselves to have anger management issues, typical terms often used to describe the feelings of anger are; I feel my blood boil, I go from 0 to 100 in less than a second, I see red, or I fly off the handle.

Typically, the thoughts, feelings, and bodily responses present so quickly that it is not unusual to believe that managing this is outwith your control. However, the good news is that this is not the case; with the correct techniques and strategies, you can learn how to overcome anger issues.

How we manage our anger can significantly impact our mental and physical health, so it is essential to address what is going on for you if you have anger issues; furthermore, anger can cause many problems with relationships, family, and work. You could get into altercations, resulting in problems with the Police.

The next time you ask yourself, ‘Why do I get so angry, ‘it might be worth considering some help. Looking at my other blogs, I have listed some self-help techniques that can be an excellent place to start. You can contact Clear Haven Therapy if you would benefit from a professional service.

Different ways of expressing anger

Passive Anger

Suppressing or rejecting rage-related sensations is considered passive-aggressive anger.

People can use subtle behaviours like silent treatment, sarcasm, or passive-aggressive statements instead of overt displays of rage.

Passive Aggressive anger frequently shows itself subtly and indirectly; passive rage can be difficult to identify.

Chronic Anger

A long-lasting state of rage, when people continually feel angry and resentful, is called chronic anger.

Unresolved problems, ongoing pressures, or a gloomy view of life might all be the cause.

One’s general well-being, interpersonal connections, and quality of life are all affected by persistent anger.

Self-Inflicted Anger

Rage aimed toward oneself is known as self-inflicted or self-directed anger. Emotions including self-blame, self-criticism, shame, guilt, or unworthiness characterise self-inflicted anger.

Self-Inflicted anger can lead to low self-esteem and other harmful behaviours.

Behavioural Anger

Aggressive and explosive behaviour is one way a person will express behavioural rage. These actions include yelling, abusive language, physical harm, or destruction of property.

Impulse control issues and difficulties in good anger management are shared by those who experience behavioural rage.

Constructive Anger

A person can express anger positively. Constructive anger encourages people to fight for change, speak out against injustices, and do other positive actions that advance society.

Effectively controlled, constructive rage may help you stand up for your beliefs, leading to positive change for yourself and others.

Typical bodily responses to anger

1. Increased heart rate and blood pressure

Anger ignites the fight-or-flight response, which also causes physiological changes, including a racing heart and raised blood pressure.

2. Muscle tension and clenched fists

Anger frequently causes muscles to tense up, particularly those in the shoulders, neck, and jaw. When a person is angry, they can clench their fists.

3. Irritability, restlessness, or a short temper

People who tend to be more readily irritated, easily agitated, and ready to respond aggressively or defensively. They can have a fuse that is shorter than typical.

4. Racing thoughts or difficulty concentrating

Anger may obscure judgment, making it challenging to focus, reason through decisions, or have effective conversations.

5. Sweating and flushed face

Anger causes an increase in blood pressure, and this can show when a person sweats or has a flushed face.

6. Elevated levels of stress or anxiety

Anger can cause a person to feel stressed and worried, which can harm one’s mental and emotional health.

7. Difficulty sleeping or insomnia

It may be difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep all night due to anger distorting sleep patterns.

Physical Exercise can help you to release anger, and it is good for your overall mental health.

Exploring how to overcome anger

1. Deep breathing and relaxation techniques

Breathing deeply and slowly can improve the body’s relaxation response when anger is present.

2. Identify triggers

Anger may be managed or avoided by developing coping mechanisms for the particular people, things, or circumstances that set it off.

It could entail creating clear boundaries, developing constructive communication techniques, or changing one’s way of life to cope with the press.

3. Communication and assertiveness

Anger may be controlled by assertively and respectfully expressing feelings and concerns. To effectively communicate, one must actively listen to others, convey emotions using “I” statements, and look for compromises or solutions that satisfy everyone’s requirements.

4. Cognitive restructuring

Negative thinking patterns and ideas can serve as fuel for anger. One can use cognitive restructuring strategies to question and reframe these unhelpful thoughts.

Reframing these thoughts involves:

  • Putting one’s preconceptions under investigation.
  • Looking for alternate answers.
  • Adopting a more logical and impartial viewpoint.

5. Physical activity

Regular physical activity like running, yoga, or martial arts may help you release anger and improve your overall health. Endorphins are naturally occurring mood enhancers released during physical Exercise and can help lower stress and tension.

6. Seeking professional help

If anger continues to impact everyday living, it may be time to seek professional help from a counsellor or hypnotherapist who specialises in working with anger management issues. Here’s an anger management manual for you.

Book a free discovery call to find out how Clear Haven Therapy can help you resolve your Anger Management Issues.

Hypnotherapy for a Virtual Gastric Band

Have you been struggling to maintain a healthy weight for some time?

Have you been struggling to maintain a healthy weight for some time? Are you constantly on a diet but craving the foods you love? If this sounds like you, you may want to learn more about hypnotherapy for a virtual gastric band. A virtual gastric band is a non-evasive alternative to dieting; research has proven it a successful form of weight management.

If you close your eyes, can you visualise a slimmer and healthier version of yourself? If the answer is YES, virtual gastric band therapy may be for you.

Do you feel that you are on a loop of yo-yo dieting?

Have you tried many diets and exercise regimes to achieve weight loss goals? There are so many other diets out there, and you will probably lose weight with most diets if you restrict your food intake.

However, maintaining your ideal weight can be difficult if you deprive yourself of the foods you enjoy. Understandably, this can result in you being unable to stick to the diet long-term.

Depriving yourself of the foods you love can contribute to you getting caught up in a loop of yo-yo dieting. Another big problem with yo-yo dieting is that you frequently lower your metabolic rate and then bring it back to normal, which can impact your metabolism by reducing it permanently.

Weight Management Goals

RTT Virtual Gastric Band Hypnotherapy is a hybrid therapy. Your RTT therapist will use the specialist techniques of Hypnosis, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to make your weight management goals much easier to achieve than relying on willpower alone.

Hypnotherapy for a Virtual Gastric Band – why is it different to dieting?

When looking for healthy permanent change, it is helpful to look beyond what you eat and focus on ‘why’ you tend to overeat. Discovering why you fill will provide you with the ‘magic key’, opening the door to permanent change.

You are most probably not consciously aware of why you overeat. The beliefs around your weight were likely formed in childhood. However, in hypnosis, you will communicate with the subconscious mind and locate outdated ideas. These obsolete beliefs will be removed during RTT hypnotherapy, and new healthy beliefs will be installed.

Virtual Gastric Band hypnotherapy serves as an alternate to achieve easy weight loss, it will enable you to leave yo-yo dieting behind, and you will learn to eat intuitively. You were born able to know when and how much to eat; let’s reactivate that. It is time to focus inwardly and listen to YOUR body. Distinguish between mind hunger and body hunger.

To achieve permanent change, you need to desire to take charge of your life and health and be prepared to engage in the process thoroughly. RTT can help you get the authority and control over your negative habits and the self-discipline you need

Hypnotherapy for a Virtual Gastric Band – what does it involve?

The science that supports hypnotherapy for a virtual gastric band

Using your mind’s creative potential to tell ‘yourself’ how you wish to be is the essence of hypnosis. Virtual gastric band hypnotherapy takes effort on your part too. You must show a commitment level and listen to a hypnosis recording for 21 days following the session.

Research demonstrates Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) coupled with hypnosis is a highly successful weight loss technique.

Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) is a hybrid therapy that draws on CBT’s most powerful elements, Hypnosis and NLP. You can shed weight quickly and permanently by utilising the specialist tools of RTT hypnotherapy.

A meta-analysis of 18 studies demonstrated that when hypnosis was used in conjunction with CBT, participants showed a 70% improvement over using CBT alone to shed weight. Notably, after long-term follow-up, the participants who used hypnosis with CBT continued to sustain or lose weight. Read More.

Gastric band hypnosis is an effective non-surgical, and much cheaper alternative to weight loss surgery. During hypnosis, you will persuade your subconscious mind that you have a gastric band wrapped around your stomach. Virtual gastric band therapy is a non-invasive technique that provides the advantages of gastric band surgery without the risk of adverse consequences.

Through regression hypnosis, you will review food or weight-related incidents that may impact you here and now. Additionally, your therapist can aid in identifying patterns, responses, or behaviours you may not be consciously aware of.

The science is that your body will react to positive suggestions by instructing you to feel less hungry as it would if you had undergone surgery. The concept behind a virtual gastric band is to assist you in making long-term lifestyle changes instead of dieting and relying on willpower alone.

How does this differ from a Medical Gastric Band?

A medical gastric band is an adjustable silicone band used in weight loss surgery which can be carried out privately or on occasion by the NHS. As with any medical procedure, it comes with risks and is costly; prices in the UK start at around 5k. During surgery, the surgeon will make a little pouch above the device. The band is wrapped over the top portion of your stomach, making consuming vast amounts of food uncomfortable because your stomach can only hold so much. Learn more about surgical versus virtual gastric band.

Virtual Gastric Band Therapy – the process

You will be put into hypnosis using relaxing techniques; you will be in complete control throughout and will never do or say anything you don’t want to. The RTT therapist will then direct your subconscious mind to work in alignment with your conscious mind around your dietary habits by sending signals from one part of the brain to the other. This idea is that you’ve had a band physically fitted when using gastric band hypnosis.

Your behaviour will alter if your subconscious acknowledges these recommendations since the mind is powerful. Behaviour tips are frequently given simultaneously with the “fitting” of the virtual gastric band to assist you in committing to this lifestyle change.

To help you continue working on your goals after the session, your RTT therapist will provide you with a bespoke MP3 audio recording for 21 days to strengthen these new neural pathways created during the RTT process.

If you would like to arrange a free discovery call to discuss virtual gastric band hypnotherapy, Clear Haven Therapy are happy to help you reach your weight loss goals!

6 Facts About Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT)

It could be that you have decided to work on an issue that you have been struggling with for sometime, or you might be in the early stages of researching the many different therapies that are available.

The truth is when searching online for therapy it can be a bit of a therapy minefield! There are so many different modalities of therapy and it is important that you find the therapy that best suits your needs and preferences.

Let us look at RTT.

What To Think About When You Are Considering RTT

As a Counsellor and RTT Hypnotherapist my advice is to think about what you would like to achieve from therapy. Questions you can explore are; is it important for you to discover how and when you acquired the issue, would you like fast results, and are you prepared to be invested in the process?

If you have answered YES to the above questions you may be interested in RTT. RTT is a powerful therapy that utilises the power of the mind to provide outstanding results.

RTT is an emerging non-invasive therapeutic option. RTT combines the principles of Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP).

This phenomenal therapy rewires the neural pathways of your brain, replacing outdated beliefs and negative behaviours that are causing the problems you are experiencing today. The life changing transformation begins as new healthy beliefs are formed

1. RTT is a Multi-Award Winning Therapy

Marisa Peer, world-renowned therapist, author, and international speaker spent 30 years developing and polishing RTT to get outstanding results. Marisa has been awarded multiple awards for her work including Best British Therapist in Men’s Health Magazine, and multiple Stevie Gold awards. Read more.

2. RTT helps with Psychological and Physical Issues

RTT has been generating impressive results worldwide. It has helped people struggling with a range of issues, from mild to severe in between 1 to 3 sessions with outstanding results.

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • AnxietyPhysical Pain
  • IBS
  • Sleep Issues
  • Fertility Problems
  • Confidence
  • Weight Management
  • Procrastination
  • Phobias
  • Addictions

3. RTT works with the Conscious and Sub-Conscious Mind

The RTT Method is not purely theoretical, as it involves a lot of practical working too. The foundation of RTT is to address the deep-rooted issues that are in the subconscious mind. RTT is more than just positive reinforcement. It focuses on the background of negative beliefs and behaviours.

RTT addresses the how, when, and why of the unhelpful beliefs,
RTT utilizes the leading scientific principles of neuroplasticity. This further enables the creation of new neural pathways. Read More.

RTT changes perceptions at a subconscious level. Think of positive suggestions as seeds which are planted in the subconscious mind. Those then allow positive, healthy beliefs to grow and flourish.

4. RTT and Science

Hypnosis is the foundation of RTT. The relaxing feeling you experience during hypnosis is your nervous system becoming quiet. It induces a calm state of mind, so the conscious and unconscious minds can communicate.

CBT will help you make sense of the problems you experiencing by assisting you to think of changes you can make to handle a situation. NLP works at a deeper level by changing the problematic patterns which might not be on the surface, but are underlying. This contributes in preventing the problems from appearing again.

Physical and emotional health are intimately interlinked, this connection is known as the mind-body connection. The body and the mind are not two different entities. Your chemistry and biology impact your mood and emotions.

You are most probably familiar with the feeling of your stomach in knots when you were stressed, or it can feel similar when you are excited. That’s the practical demonstration of mind-body connection!

5. RTT uses Regression to Quickly get to the Root Cause

The most significant difference between regular therapies and RTT is that the former deals with the conscious mind, whilst the latter works with the unconscious mind.

RTT discovers the origin of the beliefs that has led to the problem that is holding you back, and reframes the beliefs permanently. During an RTT session you can identify and let go of the problem and move forward with positive beliefs which can be life-changing.

6. RTT is a well Respected and Endorsed Therapy

RTT was meticulously developed, and has won multiple awards and honors.

Licensed RTT therapists have observed their clients overcome serious issues like past trauma, sleep issues, weight management, procrastination, and issues related to ADHD such as social anxiety and depression. RTT has helped people struggling with intrusive thoughts by breaking the negative cycle they get stuck in, and moving on faster and more effectively.

Check out the other organisations that have accredited RTT;

  • General Hypnotherapy Register
  • The National and International Council of Psychotherapists
  • The American Board of Hypnotherapy
  • The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council
  • The International Institute of Complementary Therapists
  • The International Association of Complementary Therapists

Wrapping It All Up

If you are interested in how RTT can help with the issue that is keeping you stuck book a free discovery call here.

The Benefits of Therapy when Diagnosed with ADHD in Adulthood: The Psychological Impact

ADHD in adulthood

After years of struggling with symptoms such as time management issues, procrastination, low motivation, or problems with concentration, you’ve finally got an answer: it’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but what now?

But isn’t ADHD only diagnosed in children?

Nope!

There has long been an association between ADHD and children who were disruptive in class, mainly boys. However, many adults with ADHD were the quieter children in the class who appeared to be ‘good’ students. Read more.

Being diagnosed or recognising, you have the symptoms of ADHD in adulthood can be a confusing and overwhelming experience. Many people diagnosed later in life can struggle to accept their diagnosis and how it impacts their life.

For some people, an adulthood diagnosis of ADHD can come as a relief. However, there can be some intense emotions when reflecting on life’s difficulties and recognising that undiagnosed ADHD has played a part.

The good news is that if you are an adult who has recently been diagnosed with ADHD, resources can help you cope with the diagnosis to enable you to lead a fulfilling life.

Common Psychological Effects Of Adult ADHD

As you may have experienced, being diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood can present various psychological effects. The most common include anxiety and depression.

Another common psychological effect that comes along with adult ADHD is low self-esteem or feelings of inadequacy. This could be due to issues such as finding it difficult to meet deadlines, understand instructions in the workplace, or finding it difficult to be on time for appointments. Of course, the symptoms are not the same for everyone.

People Living With ADHD May Feel Anxious or Depressed

An adulthood diagnosis of ADHD can feel like a heavy burden; it might be that you think the difficulties you are experiencing will be lifetime struggles. However, a diagnosis means you can begin navigating life around the symptoms rather than feeling like you are constantly fighting against them. As you learn more about ADHD, it’s essential to remember that everyone has different needs and experiences and their journey in understanding and accepting their diagnosis.

You’ve Been Diagnosed, Now What?

While receiving a diagnosis later in life can be extremely helpful, it doesn’t improve the symptoms. However, recognising that many of the symptoms you have been struggling with for years are associated with ADHD can be helpful alone.

A diagnosis can help as you may feel less alone; many ADHD support groups out there can be helpful for some people.

It is common to have mixed emotions following an adulthood diagnosis of ADHD. It can be helpful to talk this through during therapy. Therapy can also help with techniques and strategies to make life easier.

Stigma and Shame

For many people, being diagnosed with any condition can be a source of shame or embarrassment. This sense of shame can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can further exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD.

Recognising that these feelings are normal and that you are not alone in your experience is essential. There are plenty of online resources available for adults with ADHD which can provide much-needed support during tough times.

Self-Esteem

Another common issue faced by those diagnosed with ADHD is low self-esteem. People who have struggled for extended periods may feel worthless or inadequate compared to their peers.

The key here is to practice self-compassion and remind yourself that having an ADHD diagnosis does not make you any less capable than anyone else; it simply means that you need different strategies to help you succeed in life.

Learning how to set realistic goals and take steps towards achieving them can be incredibly empowering and help boost your self-esteem over time.

The Benefits of Therapy for Adults With ADHD;

1. Provides a Safe Space

Therapy provides a safe space where adults with ADHD can openly discuss their diagnosis without fear of judgment.

2. Tips and Strategies

A therapist can provide helpful tips and strategies which will help to manage the symptoms of ADHD helpfully.

Therapy can help explore and manage thoughts, emotions, and behaviours often accompanying an ADHD diagnosis. For example, impulsivity, difficulty focusing, hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and problems with time management.

3. Structure and Routine

In addition to providing coping mechanisms for dealing with the emotional impact of an ADHD diagnosis, therapy can also help create structure in one’s life by assisting people to set achievable goals and prioritise tasks.

This structure helps provide much-needed stability when faced with everyday challenges associated with having ADHD.

4. Manageing triggers

Adults with ADHD can learn how to recognise triggers that exacerbate their symptoms so they can better plan for them in advance.

5. Comfort and Connection

Last but not least, therapy provides a sense of comfort which is invaluable when navigating the psychological impact of being diagnosed later in life.

People recently diagnosed often feel isolated due to not having anyone else in their lives who has gone through similar experiences or understands what they are going through.

Having an outside party willing to listen without bias or judgment provides much-needed support and comfort during this difficult time.

Wrapping it all up

Therapy can help you build the skills necessary to manage ADHD effectively so that you can lead a whole and happy life despite your diagnosis.

It may be helpful to seek professional help if you’re struggling emotionally after your diagnosis; don’t hesitate to reach out book a free discovery call here.

Top 10 Benefits of Daily Journalling

How Journalling Can Be The Ultimate Source of Self Care

When you were a teenager, chances are you had a diary. Kept hidden under your pillow, your diary was your catch-all for fears, worries, changes, and plans.

As we grow older, many of us stop journalling. One day we set our pen down for the last time, only to spend our adult lives stuffing our thoughts deep within us. Research has proven that journalling has enormous benefits for mental health.

There is no “right way” to journal. Journalling as an adult means releasing your thoughts and emotions onto paper. That’s it! You can let your pen flow while you write down whatever comes into your mind, draw pictures to express yourself, write down positive affirmations or list three things you have been grateful for on that particular day. Whatever works for you!

So, how can writing your ideas and feelings onto paper help you? We’ve created a list of the top 10 benefits journalling can have for your mental health and well-being.

1. Detoxes Your Mind

Many of us roll out of bed in the morning and immediately are bombarded with emails to check, kids to get to school, breakfast to make, and schedules to remember. With all this chaos, our emotions often get pushed to the wayside.

Journalling can help you detox your mind to think clearer and release any pent-up frustrations, stressors, confusion, or anxiety.

Journalling has been called a “mental windshield wiper”. It allows you to get out of your head and never think about those thoughts again.

2. Helps You Achieve Goals

When you journal about future goals, you’re creating an intentional mindset shift. Writing out and organising what you want in life can make it much easier to create a plan. Goal journalling can help you recognise the daily actions hindering you from making your dream life.

By laying out a roadmap for your goals through journalling, you’re less likely to give in to immediate satisfaction, knowing the delayed gratification is coming. In addition, journalling can keep you on track and focused, allowing you to crush your goals faster and without distraction.

3. Spot Negative Thoughts

Through journalling, we can go back and read through past entries to spot any recurring negative thoughts. By identifying our negative thinking patterns, we can consciously change them.

Our negative thinking patterns can run a constant loop in the background of our brains, so addressing them can be a crucial step in becoming more positive and hopeful for the future.

4. Can Help Identify Triggers

Journalling is a powerful tool when it comes to self-realisation. If you constantly find yourself in emotional turmoil, you may need to help understand precisely where it comes from. When you journal, you can identify any triggers in your daily life that negatively impact your mental health and then create a plan to change them.

For example, through writing, you may realise your mornings consistently end in stress and chaos. While you may have chalked this up to you “not being a morning person”, through journalling, you can spot ways to simplify your morning routine and create a happier start to your day.

5. Helps With Anxiety

For those struggling with anxiety, their brain is a never-ending worry machine. It’s widespread for someone with an anxiety disorder to dwell on anxious thoughts (‘ruminate’). It can be incredibly emotionally draining. When we journal, we rest our brains and allow the paper to soak up our worries, fears, and concerns.

Once our worries are out, we can look for alternatives to the problem. Often, when we get our anxious thoughts out, we realise how minimal they are.

Researchers have found that creative writing helps many psychological and physical symptoms.

6. Helps With Depression

When it comes to depression, journalling can look a bit different. Research has shown that someone with depression may benefit more from deeper-level journalling than recording daily life. An easy way to incorporate this is through gratitude journals.

By writing down a few things you’re thankful for daily, you can rewire your brain’s neural pathways and re-train your negative thoughts into more positive ones. In addition, journalling for depression is an effective way to spot triggers that may make your depression worse.

7. Increases Self Awareness

Whenever you do anything without being fully or wholly present, you’re operating through your subconscious. Think of your subconscious as your autopilot. You may see this on your drive to work. You’re breaking at stop signs and using your blinkers to make a turn. However, your mind may be on your fight with your partner the night before. Once you become more aware, you’ll realise how often you’re in this state.

Journalling allows us to be fully present with ourselves and our thoughts. This time spent with your thoughts may be the only time you let your conscience take over all day. This time spent in the present is a powerful state to be in for emotional healing.

8. Helps You Make Better Decisions

By increasing our self-awareness through journalling, we empower ourselves to make better decisions. Every time we journal, we remind ourselves that our choices today affect our future tomorrow. We can see this clearly as we go back and read through our past entries. You’re much more likely to make healthier decisions when conscious of your choices.

9. Allows Us To Reflect

While there is still some debate about this statement, some mental health professionals have argued that reading past writings is more beneficial than writing. We glimpse back in time when we read through our old entries. Quite literally isn’t possible any other way.

Journalling gives us a unique view of our old selves and allows us to see how we’ve grown, changed and healed over time. In addition, past journal entries can serve as a potent reminder not to return to old situations or relationships.

10. Gives Us Clarity

When our thoughts and emotions are constantly swirling around, we can unlikely think 100%. When we journal, we are writing down what matters to us the most. We prioritise our main worries, fears, goals, or emotions when we take the time to journal about them. This time helps give clarity on which issues at hand are most pressing to resolve or overcome. When we write our problems out onto paper, we may find we have had the answer to our questions within us all along.

All In All…

Journalling is a free, influential tool to empower growth and enable you to become more in tune with yourself and your feelings. As our world operates at a fast pace day in and day out, give yourself the gift of peace through journalling. It may be the only time you can sit with your thoughts all day and cultivate a life you’re excited to wake up to.

While journalling should be a daily practice, in time, you will find that it becomes easier and easier to prioritise as the benefits become crystal clear.

Self-help techniques such as journalling can significantly help your mental health. However, if you feel you would like more support, you can reach out for professional help by contacting Clear Haven Therapy for a free discovery call.

Top 5 Tips for Setting Goals and Achieving Them

How to Set Goals and Achieve Them!

No matter how much life experience you have, there is most likely some goal you would like to reach. It could be doing something positive for your health and well-being, such as exercising, quitting smoking, or learning how to manage anxiety. Or it could be that you would like to pick up a new hobby.

Either way, below, you will learn the top 5 tips on setting and reaching goals! Research supports goal setting is helpful in therapy; whether you aim to reduce stress or anxiety, or increase your self-esteem, talking your goals through with your therapist can help support your recovery.

1. Think Big

Often, we overestimate what we can do in a day but underestimate what we can do in a year. When setting goals, it’s essential to think beyond where you are today and look deeper into where you want to be. You might not know all the steps now, but if you set a goal outside your comfort zone, you can break them down over time and eventually reach them. The time will pass anyway.

2. Write your goals down on paper

There is a reason many of those who have achieved great things had journals of their accomplishments. It’s because there is power in getting your thoughts and goals out of your mind and onto paper. By writing down what you want to achieve, they become real, and you can see what you’re about to go after in front of your eyes.

Watch your creativity kick in, allowing ideas to flow onto the page. When they do, be sure to write those thoughts and ideas down, too, as you’re creating a blueprint. Each time you hit a milestone, it is also great to reflect on how you were able to do so and evaluate what needs to be done next.

Journalling has many other benefits too!

3. Be realistic when starting

Once you define what your goals are, you’re then able to begin breaking down the steps to helping you achieve them. When doing so, recognise that some of the habits you’ll be implementing may be new. Therefore, it’s essential to be realistic when starting out.

If your goal is to run a marathon, but you have yet to gain experience running, the first step would be to gradually build up your fitness by doing short runs and increasing them over time. You can then find a route you enjoy, and work your way up to 1, 3, 5, and 10 miles, then a half marathon, and finally a full marathon.

When you are starting out, breaking your goal into smaller tasks will prevent you from getting lost or overwhelmed. You are more likely to be discouraged if you don’t develop a clear action plan.

4. Take it easy on yourself

We each tend to be our worst critics, which is no different when trying something new. As you develop new habits, take it easy on yourself as you’re a beginner again. Getting outside of your comfort zone comes with some growing pains that you must be able to work through.

By taking it easy on yourself when you don’t get it right off the bat or as you continue onto the next step of your goals, you can give yourself the grace that you would anyone else who was learning something new, and yes, you deserve that too!

5. Seek accountability and be resourceful

No matter your goal, someone who has already done it or something similar is likely out there. You can search online, follow those who have already achieved what you would like for yourself, and reach out when the opportunities present for you to improve.

You don’t have to do it alone, you can learn how to set goals with the help of a mentor, coach or counsellor. There are programs out there to help you accelerate your growth. You can be resourceful in finding the accountability and the connections that best suit your needs.

Conclusion

No matter your goal, getting started and developing a plan of action is critical. By following the tips above, you can start strong in setting and reaching your goals.

If you need additional support to reach your mental health goals, please don’t hesitate to contact Clear Haven Therapy. We offer Counselling and RTT Hypnotherapy. If you want to learn more, book a free discovery call today!

Grounding Techniques for Anxiety

Grounding Techniques that work!

Many of us live busy, hectic lives that can leave us stressed and filled with anxiety. It is important to find balance and take care of yourself in these busy moments. There are many simple way you’re able to do so is by grounding yourself.

Below, we discuss what grounding is, and the top six grounding techniques that you can start trying today!

What are Grounding Techniques?

Grounding is the intentional act of connecting back with yourself physically and mentally and with the space around you. The word grounding derives from connecting with the ground, or “earthing”, which has been proven to be beneficial for easing the symptoms of stress and anxiety. However, in therapy and coaching it is more about bringing awareness to the present moment which will ease psychological, and physical reactions which occur when in a situation that you perceive to be fearful or dangerous. Specific techniques, listed below, are a great place to begin with the practice of grounding.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Technique

Within the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 technique, you’re able to bring awareness to the present moment, your senses, and your current surroundings by:

  • Naming 5 things you see in the room around you
  • Naming 4 things you feel within or around yourself
  • Naming 3 things you can hear in the present moment
  • Naming 2 things you can smell currently
  • Naming 1 thing you like or enjoy about yourself

Read more about the 5,4,3,2,1, technique here.

Self Sooth Box

Similar to how the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 grounding technique is able to utilize, stimulate, and bring awareness to your senses, by creating a self-soothing box you’re able to create a go-to box full of sensory items to help ground you as needed. Enjoy creating your own box, and be sure to include things that interest and/or inspire you such as:

  • Affirmations or quotes that motivate and lift you up
  • Photos or items that bring back good, positive memories in your life
  • Items with different textures to touch such as soft fur, leather, or slime
  • Toys that allow you to relieve stress stitch as fidget spinners
  • Essential oils or aromatherapy scents to smell
  • Something sweet for you to taste
  • A journal if you enjoy writing or something musical if you’re inclined
  • Colouring books, mind games, or puzzles to help ease and clear your mind
  • Whatever it may be to help you soothe any stress and anxiety you can include in your personal box.

Grab and Describe an Object Close to You

If you don’t already have a self-soothing box, it’s okay! Grab the closest thing to you and start to describe it as if you were telling a friend on the phone about it, imagining they had no idea what it was. Detail the shape, texture, size, and colour. Then, if you continue you can describe other aspects of the object; does it open or close? What function does it best serve? What is it used for? Each of these will allow you to ground yourself instantaneously.

Play a Memory Game

To also ground yourself and release anxiety instantaneously, play a memory game. By asking yourself questions that require you to jog your memory you’re able to shift your awareness away from your current stresses, and onto a different topic, while relieving anxiety. Name major cities in your country, list places you’ve visited, or your top memories, you can even ask yourself to list off random categories of items or subjects, whatever you choose you’ll be bringing your anxiety levels down in the process.

Remember your Mantra

If your mind can’t possibly remember a bunch of items or places, start by just remembering your mantra. Create different “I am…” statements, about 3-5, and when you’re feeling stressed out or anxious and in need of grounding repeat them out loud multiple times to remember that this moment is only temporary.

Here are a few ideas for your mantras.

Focus on Breathing

If you have absolutely nothing else around you, you don’t want to use your mind, and you want to release anxiety you can focus on your breathing. Breathwork is something that you’re able to do anywhere at any time. Start by breathing in, holding, and breathing out for a consistent amount of time between 2-5 seconds and focus on counting in your head. Often simply by breathing, we are able to ground ourselves.

Research supports that breathing exercises can make us feel more comfortable and relaxed, and ease the symptoms of anxiety, depression and anger.

Wrap-Up

Although stress and anxiety tend to come through our busy lives, there are many grounding techniques that you’re able to implement to help ground you back into the moment. We don’t know when we may need to implement grounding into our routine so it’s encouraged to take note of all the above techniques and add them into your mental toolbox.

If you are struggling with your mental health and feel you would benefit from further help please book a free discovery call.

Schedule Your Free Discovery Call

The free 20 minute discovery call provides an opportunity for us to connect, understand your unique situation, and determine the most effective approach to support your well-being.

SCHEDULE DISCOVERY CALL