The Four Point Plan Part 3: Positive Interaction

By | Hypnotherapy

A couple of blogs ago we introduced the concept of the “4 point plan” designed to move our lives in a much more positive direction whatever our situation is. The 4 points of the plan are:

  • Positive Activity
  • Positive Interaction
  • Positive Thinking
  • Hypnotherapy

The previous blog discussed positive activity. This blog talks about positive interaction.

Humans are social creatures. We evolved to operate in tribes rather than individuals, so we get a feeling of wellbeing when we interact positively with other people. This feeling of wellbeing is caused by the production of happy chemicals such as serotonin, released by the brain in response to this behaviour.

When you ask the question “What would make you happy?” people will frequently talk about money or material possessions.  However, research shows that the happiest people are those with close connections to others, whether it be friends or family. These connections make us feel needed, valued and loved. Money just doesn’t cut it in the happiness stakes, beyond having enough to meet our basic needs for clothing, food, shelter and perhaps the occasional week in the sun.

There’s a remarkable study that has been running for 75 years in Boston, tracking the lives of individuals from different backgrounds over several generations. And the clear outcome from the study is that good relationships keep us healthier and happier.  Here’s the link to a talk from the latest director of the study:

So, rather than wishing for fame and fortune to come along and make you happy, your time would be much better spent keeping your relationships healthy and positive. That way you create a life with less anxiety and more happiness, both for you and the people with whom you foster these close relationships.

What are you waiting for? You only have one life…

The Four Point Plan Part 2: Positive Activity

By | Hypnotherapy

The previous blog introduced the concept of the “4 point plan” designed to move our lives in a much more positive direction whatever our situation is. The 4 points of the plan are:

  • Positive Activity
  • Positive Interaction
  • Positive Thinking
  • Hypnotherapy

This blog discusses positive activity. What do we mean by “activity”? It can be anything from running a triathlon to walking your dog, as long as it’s something you enjoy doing. Any form of physical exercise creates lots of our happy chemical, serotonin, which gets us in a much more positive frame of mind. And with that more positive mind set, our problems don’t seem quite as insurmountable.

The positive mental effects of exercise are well established and can be achieved remarkably quickly.  Research has shown that a single exercise session immediately increases levels of serotonin, improving our mood and ability to focus. What’s more, regular exercise actually grows the part of our brain which is responsible for motivation, confidence, sense of wellbeing etc. This part of the brain is known as the prefrontal cortex. It also increases the size of the part of our brain responsible for memory – the hippocampus. Think of that…the brain is physically enlarged by exercise! And how much exercise are we talking about here? Three to four sessions per week, lasting 30 minutes. With that, you get to feel happier today. But the other impact of growing our brain with exercise is that we become less prone to cognitive decline in the future. So we’re less likely to suffer from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

So, what’s stopping you? The thought of exercising can be daunting if you haven’t done any for a long time. But start with a small step – a walk in the park perhaps. Once you’ve started, it becomes easier for it to become part of your life. And your life trajectory will be changed for the better.

Here’s a link to a talk by a neuroscientist which describes just how good exercise is for the brain:

The Four Point Plan – How to find positivity through hypnotherapy.

By | Hypnotherapy

For so many of us, life is a struggle filled with anxiety, anger, frustration, depression and other psychological problems. How can we change the script and move to a calmer, happier and more fulfilling future? By creating a more positive mind-set.

Our mind-set, the way we see the world, is not fixed. Our brains are constantly adapting to our environment. That ability to adapt is why humans have been so successful as a species. The ability of the brain to “rewire” is known as “neuroplasticity” and it is amazing. We can unlearn unhelpful habits and behaviours and take on new attitudes to life.

At ONE LIFE, we help our clients create a more positive future by helping them to make more and more positive connections in the brain, reducing their tendency to react to life with anxiety, anger or depression.

How do we achieve this? With the “four point plan”. This plan is designed to enable our clients to start to reduce the amount of stress chemicals they produce (such as adrenaline) and simultaneously increase the amount of “happy” chemicals (such as serotonin). Over a period of time, the new chemical balance of the brain becomes permanent and life is then much more enjoyable.

So what is the four point plan?

  • Positive activity. Exercise does a remarkable job of creating serotonin, our happy chemical. But it needn’t be pounding the treadmill at the gym. A walk in the park, with or without a dog, will get that feel good feeling going.
  • Positive interaction. We’re designed to be social creatures. Keeping our relationships with friends, family and work colleagues as positive as possible increases our levels of happiness.
  • Positive thinking. This can be the toughest nut to crack, but being able to notice the good things that are happening in your life becomes a habit that will change your mind set beyond recognition.
  • Hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is extremely effective at accelerating the journey towards a more positive mind set and also drastically reduces feelings of anxiety.

Future blogs will discuss each part of the four point plan in more detail. So stay tuned!

Please notice me!

By | Hypnotherapy

Mobile phones are amazing devices – they bring the world to our fingertips. And social media is great for keeping up with what our friends and colleagues are up to. But we’ve all seen situations where the phone has meant lost human interaction; a couple sitting across from each other in a restaurant, barely exchanging a word or a glance as they stare at their phones. A parent ignoring the arm tug from a toddler as their need for attention goes unmet while daddy checks the football scores or mummy scrolls through her Facebook feed.

Attention is a fundamental need for humans. We are social creatures and thrive on being noticed. And the need for attention starts on day one. No other creature on earth is born as helpless as a human baby. An elephant can walk before its first meal, a gazelle can run with the herd the day after it’s born. We’re born “unfinished” for a very good reason. Evolution has meant that humans need to be born at the stage we are, because our heads would be simply too large otherwise. So it’s vital we get the full attention of those who will look after us, or we simply die.

Those early vulnerability circuits are still there when we’re adults. Whenever we feel ignored, stress hormones such as cortisol surge through our system. When we get attention, “happy” chemicals like serotonin flow. This applies to other primates too. Researchers have found that chimpanzees will actually exchange food for the chance to look at photos of the alpha male in their group.

To a certain extent, social media interaction can act as a substitute to direct human interaction. We all feel a little better when our post is “liked” or shared. But there can be a downside. For example, internet trolls do what they do because any kind of attention, even negative, is better than being ignored.

And does an electronic “thumbs up” really fill you with the same sense of joy and wellbeing as a good natter with an old friend? I think we know the answer to that.

Change can be hard…but not impossible

By | Hypnotherapy

The human brain is an incredible thing. Billions upon billions of connections are made within it, creating pathways that determine how we react to life. In fact, it has been estimated that the number of neural connections in each brain exceeds the number of atoms in the universe!

Neuroplasticity is the phenomenon whereby connections die off and new ones are made. It is neuroplasticity that allows us to make lasting change so that we deal with life in a much more positive manner.

Easy eh? Let’s get to it…

Except it isn’t so easy. The control centre of our brain, the part that decides how we respond to situations, is known as the amygdala and it is biased towards maintaining the status quo. It tends to encourage repeated behaviour patterns, which explains why we get caught up in unhelpful habits. Creating new pathways in the brain takes a lot of energy – it can be likened to hacking your way through the jungle as opposed to walking a well-worn path. There is a strong evolutionary drive to conserve energy, as our ancestors didn’t know when their next meal might arrive.

But that doesn’t mean change can’t happen. The human brain has evolved beyond being a simple survival machine. We now have the capacity to think and to imagine, and we can decide that we want our lives to be better. Given a little determination, we can use the power of neuroplasticity to rewire our brains and move to a more optimistic, positive mindset. And once we’ve hacked through the jungle, that path becomes easier to follow.

We can start today, by taking one small step in the direction we want to go. And once that first step is taken, the next step can reveal itself.

Make today Day One.



ONE LIFE’s mantra and why we love it…

By | Hypnotherapy

We speak of our future as having goals and dreams, but when that future becomes our today, how many goals and dreams are realised?

“One day…” we tell ourselves, while one day turns into many days, weeks, months, years, without that dream or goal realised.

The today we are present in is different.

Today we have a choice. We can make a change. If it’s important we will find a way, if not we will find an excuse. WE decide.

Today, stand firm and take a step forward. Mark the calendar with DAY ONE because the truth of the matter is, ONE DAY may never come…

What Hypnotherapy is….and what it isn’t.

By | Hypnotherapy

There are a lot of misconceptions about hypnotherapy out there, and this can mean that some people may be wary of considering it as an option to improve their life. The image of hypnosis is often that of people up on stage, eating onions or barking like a dog. All good fun, but as far removed from hypnotherapy as you can imagine. Everyone on that stage has volunteered, and have decided for themselves to participate fully in the show. Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, is a process of self-improvement, not entertainment.

However, there can be a fear that somehow the hypnotherapist will be able to control your mind… but we can’t, nor would we want to do so. What we do instead is provide plenty of positive suggestions while the client is in trance, enabling therapeutic change to happen via the subconscious mind. And there’s nothing scary about trance. We all go into trance at least twice every day; just before falling asleep at night, and upon waking up every morning. Most people easily enter a form of trance when being totally absorbed in a good TV show, getting lost in a good book or while driving. It’s that feeling you get when you focus on one thing, and the rest of the world fades away.

There is often a belief that hypnotherapy is “mumbo jumbo”, but there is a wealth of scientific research behind its effectiveness. Psychologists such as Freud and Jung used it, and more recently Dr. Milton Erikson and others have moved the field forward. A recent study at Stanford University identified the neural changes associated with hypnosis, and hypnosis has been used medically to perform operations without general anaesthetic. The Pain Clinic at Liege University Hospital in Belgium has performed over 9000 operations in this way, demonstrating how powerful a tool it can be.

We often hear people say something like “Well, you wouldn’t be able to hypnotize me!” Again, this is based on the misconception that hypnosis is something the therapist imposes on the client. Hypnotherapy is not a battle for control. If you’re capable of breathing a little slower, and relaxing a little bit while lying down, then the therapy works. You don’t have to “go under”. And we’re all susceptible to suggestion – that’s why the advertising industry exists! It is important here to emphasise that any suggestion that the client does not feel is in their best interests will be rejected.

Here at ONE LIFE, we have seen clients make amazing progress in dealing with their issues and creating a more positive life for themselves with hypnotherapy. You can read about some of our success stories in the testimonials on this website.

And we never use pocket watches!




The Power of Imagination

By | Hypnotherapy

The human brain is amazing and allows us to imagine – this is something unique to humans. Thanks to this amazing ability we have produced great works of literature, art and music. We have changed the face of the planet with our roads and buildings. Everything man made was born from someone’s imagination.

The incredible fact is that what we imagine can physically alter the wiring in our brains. An experiment by neuroscientist Alvaro Pascual-Leone demonstrated this beautifully. He took a number of Harvard students and asked them to perform one of two activities. One group was asked to practice a simple five fingered piano movement for five days on a piano. The second group was asked to practice the same movement for the same amount of time. However, this group was asked to imagine playing the piece but with their hands held still.

The brains of the participants were scanned after every two hour practice session using transcranial-magnetic-simulation (TMS) which allows scientists to produce pictures of brain activity. These scans showed that the stretch of motor cortex which controls the finger movements for the piano activity grew significantly for the group playing the piano. What was remarkable was that those who only imagined moving their fingers showed very similar growth in motor cortex.

Essentially, your brain can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality. This is a double-edged sword. When we worry about things that might happen or we mull over things we wished we’d done differently in the past, the brain treats these worries as real events and reacts with feelings of stress and anxiety. On the flipside, mentally rehearsing an activity such as swinging a golf club well can improve sporting performance. It has even been shown that positive visualization has improved the recovery time of stroke patients.

At ONE LIFE, we help people harness the power of their imagination to achieve their goals. Imagine that, eh?


Does your brain distinguish real from imaginary?

Your Conscious Mind is the Tip of the Iceberg

By | Hypnotherapy

Most of us are probably aware that a lot of what goes on in our brain is “subconscious”. For instance, we don’t have to remember to breathe in and out or to tell our heart to keep pumping. However, most of us aren’t aware that the split between conscious and subconscious processes in the brain is very heavily slanted to subconscious activity.

A recent study sponsored by Huawei has revealed that the human brain makes around 35000 decisions a day…and we’re aware of around 100. That means a staggering 99.7% of our daily decisions are made subconsciously. We’re just not aware that we’re making them.

So, how do we improve our outlook on life and overcome negative patterns of thought and behaviour if it’s all happening “under the bonnet”? Thankfully, this is where hypnotherapy is so powerful. At ONE LIFE, we use hypnosis to access the subconscious mind and help you start the process of replacing negative behaviour patterns tucked away in your subconscious with more positive ones. The brain is extremely adaptable and we can create new pathways in the brain structure. Over time, we can actually physically grow the positive, conscious part of our brains and shrink the negative part. This increases the control you have over your life. Pretty amazing, eh?