The Power of Words

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We’ve been enjoying the books of neuro-scientist Andrew Newberg and business and personal development coach, Mark Robert Wladman, in particular, “Words Can Change your Brain”.

An astonishing discovery is that even a single negative statement increases brain activity by releasing dozens of stress producing hormones and neurotransmitters. The functioning of the brain is consequently interrupted especially with regard to logic, reason and language.

Conversely, positive words and thought drive the motivational centres of the brain into action and they help us to have greater control over our emotions.  Research shows that if you practise staying relaxed and repetitively focus on positive words and images, anxiety and depression will decrease.

The authors claim that to have the most loving relationships, the most thriving businesses and the greatest sense of well-being, we need to generate the 5 – 1 positivity ratio.  Their research shows that if you have less than 3 positive thoughts for every negative thought or feeling, you’ll end up becoming angry, irritated and over time clinically depressed.

Why the conscious bias in terms of the positive?  Scientists have known for a long time that the brain is hard-wired to respond to the negative more quickly and with more force than the positive because fear-based negativity is interpreted in the brain as a threat to our well-being and survival.

Newberg and Waldman’s conclusions are correlated by the studies of Positive Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson who found that college students with a positivity ratio above 3:1 were significantly more likely to have high mental and social health.   The relationship guru John Gottman, over the course of dozens of studies can predict whether a couple will divorce with over 90% accuracy.  A key factor of that prediction is the ratio of positive statements to negative statements the couples express during an interview.

Psychologist, Marcial Losada works on developing high performance business teams.  During his research he observed teams of eight whilst they developed strategic plans.  Once again, the ratio of positive expressions to negative expressions was highly predictive of team success.

Negative thinking is self-perpetuating and it takes a conscious effort to break the cycle and develop a ratio of positive words, expressions, statements and feelings to negative ones which will benefit our health and well-being.  It has been shown that just seeing a list of negative words, even for a few seconds, will make a highly anxious or depressed person feel worse.  The more these words are ruminated upon the more the individual can actually damage the structures that regulate memory, feelings and emotions; sleep and appetite are disrupted and the ability to experience long time happiness and satisfaction.

It’s 2020 – let’s be conscious of the words we are using and the messages they convey – and if you notice that one negative thought has led to another to another to another – break the pattern by consciously relaxing and having a mantra of 4 or 5 positive words ready to intercede, and stay with it until  you feel a bit better.

We wish you Peace, Joy, Health and Happiness for the coming year.  Peace, Joy, Health, Happiness, Peace, Joy, Health, Happiness……………………………………….

Warm Regards,
Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed

Why Tap?

Although Energy psychology and particularly the techniques of EFT and TFT, are gaining more and more media attention, meridian tapping seems like an odd, suspect, “out there” therapy to most people who come across it for the first time.  Let’s face it, it is still considered strange by many converts who have benefited hugely from using the techniques. After all, it makes no sense to tap on your body in particular places to bring about changes in states of mind and symptoms!

Before the maturing of neuroscience there was no acceptable hypothesis of how acupoint tapping works, even though the effectiveness of acupuncture has long been established in the West. But now, there is an increasing body of credible literature which not only demonstrates significant positive effects of meridian tapping but also explains through brain imaging and neurotransmitter profiles, what happens when we do so.

And now for the science: Richard C Kevin PhD describes EFT as, “A physical intervention for regulating electrical signals on energy fields with mental involvement in feelings, cognition or behaviour that is a target for change.” Studies have shown that tapping reduces midbrain hyperarousal and suggest that the link between a conditioned stimulus and the fear response can be eradicated, so modulating anxiety and traumatic memories. It has been shown that opiods, serotonin and GABA are produced and cortisol is regulated when we tap.  These neurochemical changes in turn reduce pain, slow the heart rate, decrease anxiety and regulate the autonomic nervous system.

So why wouldn’t you tap?  As Gary Craig says, “Try it on everything”, and perhaps, one day, maybe soon, you won’t be considered odd for doing so!

Warm Regards,
Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed

Be Kind to yourself

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Dalai Lama

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. Buddha

Jay Rayner has been on TV and radio recently promoting The Claire Rayner Scholarship for the study of Compassion in Nursing and Midwifery Care at Huddersfield University.  In her role as Chief Executive of the Patients Association, Claire Rayner campaigned for care and compassion in all health matters.  She was disturbed by what she saw as routine neglect in some hospital geriatric units.

It may have been this news item that prompted our thoughts about compassion this month, however, it is not the lack of compassion for others that Claire witnessed that is evident in our practice, but a lack of care and kindness towards the self.  We find clients are often excessively self-critical and use words to berate themselves that they would never use on another. A disapproving and judgemental attitude towards ourselves is damaging to our sense of wellbeing and to our health.

The health and mental health communities are getting an increasingly better picture of how our brains work and how our thinking can impact our health.  Chronic inflammation, as we know, plays a key role in almost all ill-health including major illnesses such as certain types of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and arthritis. The vagus nerve is the major inflammation reducing mechanism in the body and scientists, in recent studies, have shown the link between the health of the vagus nerve and compassion.  Dacher Keltner at the University of California found that people who are the most compassionate have higher vagal tone and Barbara Fredrickson, a psychology professor at Emory University School of Medicine demonstrated that feelings of compassion for the self and others, stimulate the vagus nerve. In a related article, Dr David Hamilton, suggests that perhaps we could slow the aging process by expressing compassion, as inflammation is one of the major accelerators of aging in the body.

We’ve got everything to gain by being warm and understanding towards ourselves rather than getting frustrated, angry and disappointed when we think we don’t measure up in some way.

Try this:

Become more aware of your critical self-talk

Focus on one thought and say it in your head

Where is the voice coming from?

Change the direction.

Change the volume.

Change the tone.

Change the emphasis.

Change the rhythm.

Notice the change in how you feel.  Practise to re-train the brain.

For the tappers:

Start the set-up with “Even though – then add the phrase you are using – eg. “I was stupid when I ………………. (Remember to be specific)  and follow with “I choose to accept myself anyway and speak more kindly to myself in future.”

Warm Regards,

Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed

Stress Relief

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

William James

STRESSED? PHONE HOME!

Stress is part of all our daily lives and it is estimated that six million days of sick leave in the UK are related to stress  each year.  Recently researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison looked at the effects that contact with mothers can have on the stress levels of their daughters.  The sample was fairly small and the age of the daughters between 7 and 12 but the study showed that in all cases contact with mum before and after the stressful experience resulted in a significant drop in cortisol (stress hormone) levels and elevated levels of oxytocin (feel good hormones) in the daughters.  There was no difference in the results between the girls who had experienced physical maternal contact and those whose mothers had been at the end of a phone.  Of course, not everyone has had a strong, secure, nurturing relationship with their mother, but we think that the results should remind us that contact with a significant person in our life who can share the stresses of the day can, and often does, have a beneficial effect – our frayed nerves are calmed and we feel better.

So here are a couple of visualisations to help calm your system when in need and for those tappers amongst you, choose from the phrases below that resonate with your stress producing triggers.

After some deep breathing into the stomach –

Make a film of the stressful situation and play it on an imaginary TV screen, make sure that you are holding the remote.  Now play with it in any way you like.  For example, you can:

Change the action so that the scene plays out exactly as you want it to.

You can remove the sound, especially if what was said was particularly upsetting.

Make it black and white

Shrink the screen so that you can only just see the action.

Make certain characters tiny in comparison to the rest or make them into cartoon characters.

Run it backwards.

Mix up the frames so that the sequence goes

Finally click your fingers so that the whole thing disappears.

AND/OR

Imagine picking up the phone and calling someone (real or imaginary) to offload your troubles.  Hear their soothing and comforting voice; feel their love and support; listen to them telling you exactly what you want to hear – continue until you feel comforted and supported.

EFT

If you feel panicky – tap continuously on all points.

If your habit is to put a negative spin on things, try to stop these thoughts mid-stream and look for thoughts that make you feel better.

Say each phrase 3 times whilst tapping on the karate chop and use  the phrases underlined as your reminder whilst tapping on all the points.

Even though I don’t want to (add the description of what you don’t want to do) I accept myself and choose to (either say “No” or say “achieve something positive and beneficial)

*Use this if you are a “people pleaser” and frequently agree to doing things you don’t want to do

Even though I’m stressed because the plan has been changed and the goalposts shifted I profoundly love and accept myself and now choose to be flexible and at ease.

Even though I feel overwhelmed, I deeply and completely accept myself and I now choose to put my focus on what is most needed.

Even though s/he hurt my feelings I deeply and completely accept myself and I now choose to find creative ways to feel good about myself.

Even though I’m stressed and I can’t face up to (your description) I deeply and completely accept myself and I now choose to meet my challenges confidently and calmly.

Even though I’ve got no control, I deeply and completely love and accept myself and choose to recognise my own power and focus on what I want.

Warm Regards,

Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance- Formed

The Law Of Attraction, EFT & Hypnosis

“Make the best of where you are and do your best to line up your Energy from where you are, because any bit of struggle or any bit of regret only holds your cork under the water and doesn’t allow you to connect with the Energy that would allow anything to improve”.

Abraham Hicks

“The Secret”, EFT, and Hypnosis

The movie “The Secret” which came out in 2006 has probably done more to inform people all over the world about the Law of Attraction than any other single medium.  The film is a series of interviews with those in the personal transformational field who write and broadcast about this universal law. However, you won’t find Esther and Jerry Hicks in the list of contributing gurus on most of the dvd’s, which is an unfortunate omission, but that is another story. We certainly introduce their teachings in different measures to our clients.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Law of Attraction the basic premise is: that which you put your focus/attention on will come into your life. So, if you think only of health and happiness then that is what you’ll get, but if you focus on your lack of health and happiness, you’ll get more poor health and more unhappiness. A great example of someone who must have her focus right around financial abundance was in the news. Joan Grinther from the USA scooped her fourth, seven figure jackpot win. With the odds of four multi-million pound/dollar wins at over 200million to one, Joan’s recent lottery scratch card gave her the $6.6m top prize.  Joan must think about the freedom and ease plenty of money can provide, unlike the majority of us who spend a lot of time thinking about not having enough.

It should be so simple to think about life the way we want it to be, but we all know it’s not. Within our subconscious minds there are habitual patterns of thought, many of them negative; we harbour repressed emotions, we have pasts that are wounded to some degree with trauma (either Trauma with a big T or traumas with little t’s) and all this gets in the way of  our feeling good and focusing on what we want. Another huge barrier to our experience of happiness is the media which does its best to keep us focused on fear.

Hypnosis and EFT, in our view, are the quickest and most successful means of changing negative beliefs and destructive thought patterns, thus giving us space and time to think about what we really, really want. The starting point is recognising thoughts which are not serving us, thoughts of fear, lack and loss and then using either EFT or hypnosis or both, to eliminate them.

For the tappers: well tap away those negative thoughts – here are a couple of examples but you will have to create your own.

The reminder phrases are underlined.

Even though I don’t believe I can have what I want, I now choose to focus on health and abundance.

Even though I feel___ because I’ve never found the right partner and perhaps s/he doesn’t exist , I now choose to believe that s/he is just around the corner.

Try this:  Set aside 10 – 20 minutes a day to dream about how you would like your life to be: imagine the way you look, imagine having lots of energy and vitality.  Imagine the perfect, home, partner, job, whatever it is you want. Try to bring all your senses on board – hear people complimenting you on your success; smell the leather in your new car and feel the luxurious fabrics you are wearing.  You get the idea.

Just think consciously and choose thoughts that bring you pleasure, it could be the start of wonderful new change. Sceptical?  Okay, but thinking about what you like and want, as if you had it, will certainly make you feel better and what’s wrong with that?

Let us know how you get on.

Warm Regards,

Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed

“I’m RIGHT: They’re WRONG”

We have been thinking back to previous Christmas times and some of the common themes we hear from clients at this time or year.  Many are anxious about the holiday season because of family reunions and the potential for arguments and tension.

There was a survey just before Christmas last year claiming that families argue for an average of 7 hours over Christmas and the first argument will be early on Christmas Day, 9.55am to be precise!

We know that the media is full of advice about how to make the holiday season enjoyable each year and we’re adding our voices to that deafening choir, but hopefully you will find ours brief, easy to remember and easy to implement.

Ban the words BLAME and FAULT from your home, vocabulary and consciousness.

It’s not worth your being RIGHT if others feel diminished, worthless or stupid because in your eyes they are WRONG.

If any thought, comment or situation makes you feel anxious or angry – ask “Am I making too much of this?” and the answer will almost always be – “Most probably!”

Remember to take care of yourself over the holiday by taking a few minutes each day to breathe deeply, relax and have good thoughts either dreaming of desires or focusing on things for which you feel grateful or BOTH.

If you are a Tapper – The emotions around any unpleasantness can easily and quickly be calmed.  Try tapping on the nail bed of your fingers with your thumb if you are with others and don’t want to draw attention to yourself.

And finally,

May we wish all our clients and friends a very, very happy and peaceful Christmas and an inspirational, abundant and fulfilling New Year!

Warm Regards,

Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed

Procrastination

“When you feel enthusiasm to do something, it means you’ve lined up the Energy, and you are being inspired to take action from that point of alignment. When you don’t feel like doing it, don’t push yourself, because your effort is not worth it. But, when you line up the Energy, the feeling of procrastination goes away”.     Abraham Hicks

The P Word: Procrastination

You have a Presentation to prepare but find yourself on Instagram or watching Netflix instead, does this sound familiar to you?

Procrastination, as we are all very well aware, is the putting off of something we “have” to do, or need to do, and doing something else instead. We choose any distracting behaviour to quell the anxiety experienced when we know it is time to do the thing we are most dreading. Avoidance activities, however, only make us feel better in the short run.

Just about everyone has negative beliefs and thoughts that block action that needs to be taken.

Occasional procrastination, though frustrating, doesn’t generally affect our wellbeing. However, studies have shown that chronic procrastination can have high costs which undermine health. If procrastination is affecting any area of your life you are likely to feel overwhelmed, or agitated or helpless or perhaps all three.

  • Are you procrastinating now as you read this instead of completing your tax return as you promised yourself you would?
  • Do you get a sinking feeling in your stomach just thinking about it?

We can re-programme our subconscious minds to stop this self-sabotaging behaviour. Self-awareness is the starting point – admit to yourself that you are procrastinating, then look for the negative beliefs that could be running your behaviour. Perfectionists often have unrealistic expectations of themselves and are consumed by thoughts of self-doubt. Some people with issues around control and authority are also procrastinators especially when they feel that something has GOT to be done.

So if procrastination is an issue you have been putting off, here is some help:

Tappers

Tap on the bodily sensations that arise when you think about attempting the dreaded task.

Tap on the feelings that arise, eg. fear. Tap on the resistance, eg;

“Even though I don’t want to do this……”

“Even though it is impossible to start….”

When you think about THE TASK ask yourself, “What does this remind me of?” and tap on all aspects of the memories that come up. It might be a maths lesson at school when you were humiliated or a memory when a judgmental parent criticised your efforts when you made a meal for the family.

And/Or Use repeated visualisations to change your feelings and behaviour.

  • Relax your body.
  • Get into a drowsy, meditative light trance and fill your mind with a movie of the way you would like things to be, knowing that your subconscious mind can bring it about in the easiest way.
  • See yourself settling to the task with enthusiasm in the knowledge that you will be able to complete it to your complete satisfaction easily and enjoyably.
  • Bring all your senses on board. What can you see, hear, feel, smell and taste?

Repeat this mental movie regularly after reaching a really relaxed state.

Warm Regards,

Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed

Improve your day with one small step

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;

an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill

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Our “Plastic” Brains

Stressed? Anxious? Feeling down? Or do you just want to feel even more positive than you already do?

Discoveries in neuroscience over the past 30 years have taught us that we don’t need to be stuck in a downward spiral of negative thoughts which dump stress chemicals in our brain often leading to stress, anxiety and depression.  We now know that our brains change and grow by creating neural networks and these neural networks are formed and developed by what we choose to give our attention to.

Everybody has negative thoughts and as long as we don’t dwell on them no harm results. But because our brains work by learned associations, a thought that comes into our head will trigger an associated thought. If these thoughts are uncomfortable thoughts we get more and more down.

The good news is – we can control our thoughts. It may take time to change entrenched negative thinking and some patterns are easier to change than others, however, the techniques are certainly fairly simple.

Start by being aware of your thinking patterns and if your habit is to think negatively then divert yourself with more pleasant thoughts.  You need to prepare in advance.  You could substitute a wonderful holiday experience or think about something, or somebody, that makes you laugh.  Singing a song in your head can work. Why not out loud if circumstances permit?  Anything to divert your attention away from distressing thoughts.

It really helps to try not to spend time going over and over things that upset or bother you and concentrate on things that make you feel good and happy.

EFT

If you need some extra help, try tapping on the statements below. The reminder phrases are underlined.

Even though I can’t help obsessing about ……………………… I choose to focus on thoughts that make me feel good.

Even though I feel stuck with negative thoughts and feelings, I choose to believe that I can give my attention to things that give me pleasure.

Even though I spend so much time thinking about painful memories, I now choose to think about the things for which I am grateful.

Warm Regards,

Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed