How to Improve Your Relationships. 5 Tips on the Art of Listening

You often hear the phrase “it’s good to talk” but to listen and be listened to is important for our mental health. Giving someone our attention can mean the world and being listened to is uplifting.

Now more that ever in this COVID world, mental isolation has become a threat to our collective mental health. Anxiety often leads to unpleasant physical effects, repetitive unhelpful thoughts, a focus on problems and a breakdown in our ability to communicate even with those closest to us.

Of course, I specialize in using hypnotherapy to reduce anxiety. It can will and does work but I want to share these easy everyday tips that might just make a difference.

When we shift our focus to others it can make our lives richer, happier and more productive.

At the moment I have 2 roles. I am also a Support Worker in the NHS. Long shifts are much easier when you are mentally and physically healthy. You can easily focus on the people in your care without distraction. We are there to support, not be supported. There are be reviews and supervisions to voice our concerns and register our achievements. It was during one of these that it struck me just how lost the art of listening has become and what lead me to write this article.

We are swamped by virtual reality/ social media. Globally communicating with each other but It seems that most people have forgotten how to communicate with someone 2m away.

5 Tips on the Art of Listening

Any small positive change will bring more rewards than we can see coming. These small steps can help improve your marriage, friendships, family and work relationships.

The next time someone wants to talk to you, why not try to:

1.Give them your undivided attention. It shows how          important they are to you. When you pay attention only to them, it makes them feel good, you’ll also understand them better.

Stop whatever else you’re doing. Put your phone down(!) Stay in the moment, listening to what they’re saying. Avoid letting your mind wander or thinking about what you’ll say next.

2.Make eye contact. Yes it might be on Zoom. Failure to make eye contact can make it seem as though you aren’t paying any attention to the conversation. One trick to help you maintain eye contact is to focus on just one of their eyes at a time. (autistic tip: focus on just below one eyebrow at a time, it makes neurotypical people feel more comfortable and trusting).

Not too much and not too little. Staring can be aggressive and intimidating. Not enough eye contact and it’s can come across as you are just not that interested. So, by all means look away but focus again quickly so they know that you’re still paying them attention.

3.When they stop talking, repeat what you just heard them say (in your own words). This helps you understand as it gives them chance to agree or explain more. Clearing up exactly what they are saying before jumping in with your own thoughts and views.

4.Ask questions. We are not mind readers and no 2 people view the world in the same way. Ask if you don’t fully understand. Appropriate questions signal we’re listening and trying to understand. Assuming often leads to misunderstanding.

  • Use what, how, when and where. They are much gentler ways to start a question than Why….? Why can sound aggressive and put people on the defensive.


5.Avoid interrupting. No one feels heard when they are         interrupted, talked over or heavens to Betsy, have the subject changed. Losing their train of thought.

  • Sometimes people are just looking to get something off their chest. Let them finish. Sometimes just accepting what they have to say is enough to make them feel better.
  • Peoples own struggles are valid and shouldn’t be put on a scale. If someone has a broken toe its no good telling them about a person with a broken leg. We all deserve to be heard.

Feeling understood leads to connection We have high depression and suicide rates and people can unknowingly invalidate others through carelessness or distraction. Little things do make a difference practicing these easy listening tips will help uplift others, avoid misunderstandings and strengthen your relationships. Now doesn’t that make you smile?

Hypnotherapy can help you to improve your skills/ cope with anxiety. Booking an appointment with me means I’ll be your guide. Helping to empower you, not just to cope but to live the life you love.


6 Ways to Motivate Yourself after Lockdown



Let’s face it, life’s different! It’ll take some adjusting to the effects of lock down and its easing. I’m sure you had and are having your own personal and unique challenges. What now? Looking for work? Returning to work?  back to the balancing child care act… Are you kicking and screaming at having to leave your cocoon? Or pulling on your running shoes to leave the monotony behind? Or suffering from a “mental health hangover”, internally disorientated, in a fug?


The good news, as per the Stoics, the only things we can control are How we think and how we act. What would you like to focus on now? How about those dreams and goals?

Let’s get motivated. Taking what you can control and can achieve into your own hands is a powerful thing to do. Let’s get powerful!

Taking action is the only way to see results. You may have a dozen brilliant ideas, hopes and dreams but nothing will happen if they stay in your head. It’s not always easy to stay consistent and build momentum. The puzzle pieces are proper planning, taking action and motivation.


How do you motivate yourself to continue working toward your goals, especially when you face such never before seen challenges? Some of these will appeal to you more than others but it’s good to experiment, you can add extra recourses and learn new skills. This can be empowering in itself. Give yourself the gift of curiosity.


Try these techniques to motivate yourself to take action:


  • 1-Break your goals into smaller, attainable steps. Especially if you’re working toward a bigger goal, break it up       into a series of small steps that you know you can achieve. After each step, celebrate and reward yourself for a      job well done. With small steps, you’ll be more likely to stay on task because your rewards come oft


  • 2-Know your limits. You know yourself best and only you can identify your personal limits. If you move too            slowly, you’ll know deep down that you could be taking more action. However, when you try to do too much, you risk burnout. Figure out that magic point where you can achieve success without much stress, and you’ll remain motivated to keep taking action.


  • 3-Take away your distractions. There are some things that might be more likely to distract you than others. Remove yourself from these situations when you know that you need to be taking action.


  • 4-Ask for the help you need. Don’t be afraid to get help from others. There’s only so much you can accomplish in one day all by yourself. It’s true that sometimes you’ll have to accomplish certain things on your own, but if there’s any way at all that someone else can help, consider that possibility and ask them. We are all in this together after all.


  • 5-Find an activity that energizes you. Lark or a night owl? Chances are there’ll be times during the day when you hit a slump, find some activity to re-motivate and energize you. A good exercise routine (heck a good walk) will get your heart rate up and send fresh oxygen to your brain. This will refresh you and help you think more clearly, you’ll be raring to get going on your goals.


  • 6-Keep a good schedule. A good schedule and organized plan will help keep you motivated and on track. In the beginning phases of planning your goals, be very specific when deciding what you need to do and when. This way, when you complete a step, you won’t have to spend time figuring out what you’re supposed to do next.

If you want to succeed, you can do it through purposeful action. Just think about what you’ve done to accomplish goals in the past. Chances are you had a plan and followed through. It might not always be easy, but when you remain motivated, you’ll reach whatever goal you set out to accomplish!


Hypnotherapy can help  give you the clarity you need to get a hold of our dreams and start making them a reality. Where you flow in the great universal stream. I believe we all have our own gifts to bring to aid humanity as a whole. From business to the creative arts all roles are vital. If you would like to explore this further then please get in touch. I would be delighted to help.


Janet x

14 Weight Management Tips for Lockdown

I recently did a small twitter poll asking what’s your biggest self-isolation challenge?

Overeating came out top. I asked around and eating too much, too often and all the wrong stuff was also the biggest issue. I want to take a look at: Why we do it; 14 Tips for Change and How Hypnotherapy Can Help.




Now more than ever we are under stress from all angles, uncertainty about the health and survival of ourselves, our loved ones and everyone else as well, social distancing, self-isolation, job security, the economy, . In times like these our primitive mind steps in to help us. To survive as stone age humans, not knowing when we’d next eat, we ate as much as we could when we got the chance. When we are stressed and anxious, we go back to using this primitive part of our minds. That part is so keen to stock up against the lean times to come we can ignore feeling of being full. Cortisol the stress hormone, encourages our bodies to store belly (here comes the F word) fat. The kicker being belly fat has more cortisol responders in it. So, more stress means more stored belly fat, which makes us more stressed….


We eat to make ourselves feel better. We eat because it tastes good and we enjoy it. What gives us the biggest dopamine (feel good hormone) fix? High fat, high sugar and high salt.

Can we make a deal? Not to eat anything until this article’s finished? Chocolate, sweets, biscuits, cake, desserts, crisps, pizza, chips and all (and that’s just breakfast), are designed to increase our pleasure receptors in the brain but it almost always brings a friend to the party….






Guilt, eater’s remorse, like a gran who comments on your weight but keeps insisting you finish off that plate of biscuits. This creates a kind of “twisted brain effect” known as cognitive dissonance (when the brain tries to hold 2 or more opposing thought processes at the same time). We’ve got the chance now to learn how to enjoy our food guilt free.




If we feel fat or are unhappy with our looks this can take us round and round the circle. Feeling low, looking for comfort, eating, feeling guilty and lowering our self esteem even more. It’s quite the loop. The good News? This is our chance to break out of the cycle!




Eating without really thinking, that share bag size of crisps is gone and the movie is only 10 mins in. Being mindful of what we’re eating can really help.





sometimes it feels like there’s nothing better to do and the ironing / (place your own pet hate here) looks so dull and uninspiring. Boredom eating doesn’t really satisfy because we weren’t really hungry in the first place.




Confession, I act like a starved locust if I drink, food overtakes everything else on the I want it now list. It subdues our limbic system and we can’t tell/ don’t care if we are hungry or not. We all know about the empty calories. It can be a tough one, if we’re using it to try to cope with stress it actually has the opposite effect. Reducing it even a little can make a difference.




From food to love to crystal meth addiction fires our dopamine neurons. It may be painful but it’s never boring. As opposed to the pleasure seeking of comfort eating, we want excitement from our dopamine this time round. This is the perfect time to get happier it’s a brave step to reach out for support.




Even subconsciously peer pressure (colleagues of key workers) or even relationship pressure (self-isolating) to eat more than we’d like or want to. Unfortunately, sometimes others don’t want to see us succeed. Whether its their own insecurity, jealousy or guilt at not being able to stick to healthy eating themselves, its not our problem, Our efforts to stay healthy will just help us carry our own body with more ease and is nobody else’s business.



6 hours or less sleep in a night, reduces our dopamine levels while increasing our levels of Grehlin, “The hunger hormone”. We’re fatigued and hungry, a killer combination if ever there was one. Increasing our appetite while reducing the amount we actually burn off. Now is the time to get into whatever type of relaxation method works for us.






It’s not about losing those calories so much as finding a healthier way to the release those feel good hormones, endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. The better we feel the more in control we are and able to make wise decisions. We’re able to turn this around by taking action one step at a time.





CATATROSPHIC THINKINGExtreme negative thinking like “we’re all doomed”, “I’m helpless” means there’s no upper limit on the cortisol we could produce. If we can change our point of view “what can I control in this situation?”. It becomes a difficult but doable challenge. Another part of the brain steps in and caps off our level of cortisol this helps stop us overeating.



14 Weight Management Tips  

  1. Future Thinking helps get the big picture, instead of focusing on what we want right now, this moment. By really imagining ourselves as we would want to be, fit, healthy, lighter, gives us the best chance to not only fight this virus but to thrive when it’s all over. Future thinking helps put all our eating choices into perspective and helps us make all those small and sustained lifestyle choices in the here and now.


  1. Ditch the diet if it’s adding to your anxiety it will only make things worse.


  1. Stop weighing yourself, real results come over time and you can feel the difference in your clothes before you’d see a difference on the scales. They weigh on your mind, do it once a month or so if you feel you have to.


  1. Check in am I really hungry? Am I bored? give yourself a wait time, of say 15 minutes, drink some water and wash your hands while you’re there!


  1. Be kind to yourself – don’t deny yourself a treat or you could end up craving and binging.


  1. Identify your triggers, do you eat more at certain times of day or when thinking about certain things?


  1. Interrupt the loop of your habit – “We are what we repeatedly do “(Aristotle) so why not try doing something different. Take up a hobby/ exercise. Renowned hypnotherapist and psychiatrist Milton H Erikson famously gave an isolated woman the option to jump rope each time she fancied a drink. It worked!


  1. If you’ve the patience try keeping a log of the food you eat, there’s a lot of handy apps out there .


  1. Keep tempting food out of sight and hard to reach.


  1. Eat slowly, drink water, measure out some crisps or popcorn for that movie.


  1. Try not to do 3 things at once, when you eat, just eat, it gives you a chance to realise how much is actually going in and this trick of concentration really can make a difference.


  1. Eat regularly to keep your blood sugar regulated to stop you feeling hungry


  1. Eating protein, fibre (beans, vegetables, oats and fruit) and heathy fats (avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil can all help keep your body feeling satisfied longer.


  1. Drink some more water 🙂


How Hypnotherapy Can Help

Reducing stress and anxiety is my favourite treatment to carry out, clients feel better, more confident, able to sleep better and more soundly. Raising our confidence and self-esteem and lowering stress and anxiety levels effects our relationship with food. It feels almost magical. With me as guide you can make significant change to your life and ensure the change is long lasting.*

Science based Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a combination of traditional talking therapy and deep relaxation with guided imagery. This relaxed state helps you to put aside your daily stress and obstacles and allows you to focus your attention on what you truly want and to make a plan of how you are going to get there!

Have a successful and safe day,



*A study conducted by Stradling et al (1998) compared three treatment approaches; hypnotherapy for stress reduction, hypnotherapy targeted at calorie reduction and dietary advice alone. All three groups experienced 2-3% weight loss at three months. After 18 months the hypnotherapy group with stress reduction achieved significantly more weight loss than the other two treatment approache

6 Ways to Stay Sane

Welcome to my, by no means exhaustive, list. Alternatively titled 6 Ways to Stay Sane (enough!) We are all human and hypnotherapists face the same emotional challenges in life as everyone else. The goal is not necessarily to be zen like and permanently calm.

No one is perfect, to keep trying, growing, learning and improving your average of not going off the deep end is good enough for us humans. To be in touch with your all your emotions and to learn how, when and if they are working for you or against you is something, we can all benefit from. run wonderful courses and sessions on all aspects of emotional intelligence.

Definition Sane (adj)- “Mentally Healthy able to think and behave normally and act reasonably”. The can of worms that is “behaving normally” is a subject for a future post.



Breathe– Stress builds and builds. Want to interrupt the cycle? Then try this simple exercise. Breathe in for 7 seconds and out for 11. You can do it anywhere without anyone even knowing you’re doing it. Breathe in calm or get playful and creative, breathe in strength / acceptance (whatever you want). Breathe out stress and anxiety, this calms you (by getting in touch with your parasympathetic nervous system) and helps us gain that all important sense of perspective. Even if you smoke or vape, you’ll find this little trick might actually help you save some cash or even with time and effort quit (if you want to).

2. Exercise

Exercise Move and stretch. It’s vital, physical and mental health are 2 sides of the same coin. dance in the living room with the kids, squeeze your buttocks as you walk, Plie like a ballerina when u take your washing out of the machine, climb the stairs enough times to reach the summit of Everest, try chair based yoga, move what you can when you can. Whatever you manage is a step in the right direction. The book Spark by John Ratey (available in audio for those on the move) looks at the science of exercise’s effect on the brain. How it increases our ability to cope with stress. How we move affects how we think and how we think affects how we feel. It also increases our ability to learn…


3. Learn

Learn something, maybe something you’ve always wanted to but never managed to find the time. Grandma Moses started to paint in her 70’s, Mozart was playing piano at 4. Age or circumstances are irrelevant. The only boundaries are the ones you place on yourself get creative. Grab those 10 minutes a day if that’s all you have and treat yourself to exploring something new that makes you happy. We are living in a golden age of technology with never before access to online tutorials, webinars, classes and lectures. And with remote technology you need never have to do it alone.


4. Connect

Connect, keep in touch with friends and family. We are all in this together, self-sufficient hermits living off the land with access to spring water and 100% lifelong clean bill of health aside. We need each other to function/ thrive. Enjoy shared interests, the host of crows that live by me night not have the pull for a local appreciation society, globally is a different story. Connecting can also mean helping. Can you help someone sink or swim or at a push, float? Can you let yourself be helped? Do it locally or join an online community, even build an online community.


  1. Be Prepared

Be prepared. Like the stoic Epictetus said we can’t control anything that happens outside ourselves the only thing you we control is how we respond. How do we give ourselves the best chance is to be the healthiest version of ourselves? Practically, organisation is key, declutter, simplify, for example Steve Jobs always wore the same outfit, no deciding what to wear. No wasted effort on something that was unimportant to him. Is there something in your life that is similar, causes you frustration even though it’s of no interest? Can you side-line it by sticking to a template?

If we make sure we have enough essentials for physical comfort and to keep our bodies and environment clean. Eating healthily is one of the biggest ways to remain fighting fit. After all our body is the one thing, we carry around permanently. These basic things help to strengthen our faith in ourselves. In our abilities to survive and thrive no matter what life throws at us.


6. Sleep!

Sleep We all know there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep. It allows our bodies to make all their essential repairs. Dreamland has a purpose too. Be they realistic or symbolic, dreams help us take the sting out of problems/ upsets. They make molehills out of mountains and act to save our mental health. Anything that’s made us emotional or reactive during the day is re run. The memories are moved to regions of the brain that that help us gain perspective.

Good sleep tips: regular sleep and wake up times; make your room a little sanctuary for sleep and rest, no electronics or work in the bedroom; put eating, exercising and screen time on list of things to avoid an hour before bed. And snuggle down for a peaceful night.


The primitive region of our minds reacts to protect us in times of real or imagined crisis. Its job is to keep us safe, vigilant and alive. By doing everything we can that is within our control we are calming and soothiwng ourselves. Acting within what we can control, reduces unnecessary stress. In the face of the very real or imagined threats we all face. It gives us the chance to respond to life’s challenges in the healthiest ways possible.


Hypnotherapy is a tool which helps you to get the primitive mind on board. It becomes a team player, working with you not against you. You are always the one in control. As a hypnotherapist I act as a guide/ coach. You will find your own unique and instinctive voice which will guide you through life. Creating the life, you love that is just right for you.


Please feel free to contact me for more information or to book a session.

6 Steps to No Drama and How Hypnotherapy Can Help


Want to live a life with more ease, resourcefulness and joy? Before getting to our 6 steps. It’s important to recognise:

How Excessive Drama Affects Us

Drama and conflict are a natural part of all our lives. As a rule of thumb, we’re can expect to be able to deal with spending up to 10 % of our time involved in it. More than that and we can get:

  • Stressed
  • mentally drained
  • Physically exhausted/ ill.
  • Sleep problems
  • Irritable
  • Angry/ violent
  • Irrational
  • Depressed

How Drama is Created

Dr Stephen Karpman came up with the Drama Triangle Have you been invited to play? Then please choose your role:

  • victim
  • persecutor
  • rescuer

Heads up, none of these roles is the good one and spoiler alert, no one ever wins.

The Victim

In this sense is someone who is acting the part of being helpless. With negative self-beliefs such as” I can’t do this.”  They have doubts about their ability to do anything about their situation.  They suffer from self-fulfilling prophecies and poor me syndrome. Self-defeating thinking e.g. “Why do these things always happen to me?”. They focus on problems not solutions.

The Persecutor


Or the bully. Blaming, angry and self-righteous. They can use anything from rage to snide/ sarcastic remarks, undermining, ridicule (the eye roll is a great example of this). saying “It’s all their own fault. “. Gaining allies, who are often grateful not to be the target of abuse. However, they can identify as threatened, using criticism and blame as a self defence mechanism, to keep their own boundaries in check. Internally they may feel hurt and they can justify their own agenda by saying to themselves “If I said or do this to them (the victim) it’d be better for everyone. Feeling powerful/in control is their driving force.

The Rescuer

Or Hero sees themselves as a helper or caregiver. Often so keen to help that hey drain themselves. They think “I’m nice, I’ll help”. This robs the victim of the dignity of helping themselves. Promotes the victim’s “poor me” mentality and mires the victim down. Rescuers don’t tend to look at their own lives, which can often be a mess. Rescuers can be powerful/ dangerous enablers. When their partners are alcoholics, addicts or adult infants. No matter the consequences they need to be needed.

We can be all these things at different times and with different groups. The roles can move within any drama, for instance victims can become resentful bullies if they feel they are not getting the help they need. But it’s important to recognise our usual starting position.


What We Can Do About It

Acey Choi came up with a solution to the vicious drama cycle, The Winners Triangle. To become healthy, energised and empowered – We change:

  • Victim to Survivor
  • Persecutor to Challenger
  • Rescuer to Responder

Victim – needs to if recognise their own Voice and ask for help to become a survivor, a problem solver. Asking questions and thinking in terms of “What do I want?”, “What can I do?”, “What can I stop doing/ let go of?” and “What am I grateful for?”

The Persecutor needs to be aware that Power is not to be used to exploit others. They become the challenger. Recognising their own wounds might be at the root of their behaviour. They’re firm but fair and insist that people keep to their side of the whatever bargain is being made.


The Rescuer needs to learn how to Respond and becomes a coach. Asking the victim questions like “what can you do about it?” “What have you done before, that could help you now?” By responding rather than rescuing they put a boundary on their time and resources so that they burn out.



The no no list!


  • Toxic people –There will always be a small minority of people that thrive on drama, often they lack empathy. They can adopt any of the roles but are manipulative, jealous and insecure. These types of people will poke around, trying to unearth weaknesses and use what they think they’ve learned against you. If you can’t avoid them altogether, if they are family members or work colleagues. Keep conversation neutral and interaction down to a minimum.


  • Gossip – keep your focus on your own life and your own business.


  • Advising – unless you’re asked, this can be one of the easiest ways to wind someone up the wrong way and before you know it … drama, seemingly out of nowhere.


  • Probing – asking questions you’ve no right to – see gossip above!


The 6 Steps to Successfully Saying “No” to Drama

 Most importantly -Take care of yourself, mentally and physically.

 Then when you receive an invitation to play

  •  Step 1 – Pause- take a step back.
  • Step 2 – Turn down the invitation– You can say  “okay”, “thank you” or leave.
  • Step 3 – Become self-aware – think, what is triggering me and how come?
  • Step 4 – Gain perspective – You are only the centre of your own universe. What else could be going on?
  • Step 5 – Remember It’s not personal.
  • Step 6 – Be the person you want to be. Remember you have the ability to choose how you want to react.


How Hypnotherapy Can Help

  • Just like its name, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, focuses on solutions not problems.
  • I offer a professional, confidential and non-judgemental space. So, you have freedom to express yourself as much or as little as you choose.

The combination of traditional talking therapy and deep relaxation techniques allows you to

  • Become calmer and more relaxed
  • Become more Self aware
  • Help put things into perspective
  • Focus on what you do want
  • Become empowered and in control of your own life.
  • Come up with a plan of how you are going to get to where you want to be.

If that sounds like you could benefit or for more details, please feel free to contact me and give your mind a welcome rest.



Introvert in an extrovert world?

Do you recharge your batteries alone? or in company?

Scientists suggest that this is now the fundamental difference betweeen establishing where you are on the introverted / extroverted scale.

But humour me?

Do you experience such a rich inner world that you are perfectly happy in your own company?

Are you ever chastised for being shy/ antisocial / snobbish or unconfident?

Do you feel misunderstood?

Do you have empathy and a vivid imagination?

There a place for you in the world to have your gifts valued and lauded.

Always Remember

Embrace your potential. If you can’t face leaving the comfort of your home or you live on the opposite side of the world! The much maligned Internet is our ally. Skype / Zoom sessions may just be the key to the door you’ve been looking for!

Please get in touch  via my contact page and include introversion as a badge of honour in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you.