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Which is better for sleep? Sleeping pills or natural remedies

When people come to see me at my practice a fair percentage of them are taking sleeping pills. Is this a good thing? Find out in the video below!

Are sleeping pills or natural remedies best for helping me to get a better night’s sleep?

You can access my other tips and techniques on the right hand side of this page. If your on a mobile device they will be underneath the article. Also take a look at my article to help you stop waking during the night.

If you find the video helpful please could I ask you to share it. Thank you 🙂


As when I talk with any of my clients about sleeping pills it comes with a big disclaimer. If you are thinking of going onto sleeping pills or coming off of them, this is a conversation that you need to have with your doctor. I would never say that you should go onto medication or that you should come off of any medication. This is a conversation that should always be had with your doctor.

Sleeping pills and their impact on REM sleep

The reason for this video and this article is to make you aware of what sleeping pills actually do. This article and video will be very similar to the one that I did about alcohol recently. When I talked about people who self medicated with alcohol to get them to sleep. The reason why the two videos are similar is simply because the effects of the two can be very similar.

Alcohol wipes out one of the most important parts of your sleeping cycle. Which is REM sleep, which resets your brain and prepares you for the next day. Sleeping pills do exactly the same. They make you feel like you are sleeping brilliantly. Totally out for the count without waking until then next day, which you would assume has prepared you brilliantly for living the day on top of your game. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

If you are taking sleeping pills I’m guessing you wake up the next day feeling tired and miserable. You’ll likely be finding it hard to concentrate the next day also.

This will be because the REM part of your sleep has been wiped out.

Tips and techniques to improve your sleep

So my suggestion would be that if this has put you off sleeping tablets that you have this discussion with your doctor. My personal preference is that you start to incorporate improvements into your sleeping habits. Improvements that can start conditioning you to sleep better naturally. Take a look at some of my other articles and videos which give advice on different techniques that you can incorporate into your life right now to assist you in sleeping better. Particularly this one on creating a great sleeping environment.

Should I take natural remedies to improve my sleep?

When it comes to natural sleeping remedies, I’m referring to things such as herbs and formulas that you can buy. My suggestion is that you use caution with these.  Although they might only use natural ingredients, be aware that natural ingredients can be very strong and can potentially have a major effect on you. Just because something is marked as having ‘all natural ingredients’ it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s entirely safe and it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s effective.

Again, I would suggest having a discussion with your doctor before taking any kind of natural remedy to help you sleep better. If you use alcohol to help you to sleep check this link out to find out why this is a very bad idea!


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The perfect sleeping environment


When you have trouble getting to sleep there a number of natural options open to you. How about creating the perfect sleeping environment?

Here are some tips to create an environment that helps you to sleep better.

The best environment to sleep

Take a look at my other tips on the right hand side of this page. If your on a mobile device they will be underneath the article.

If you find the video helpful please could I ask you to share it. Thank you 🙂

Condition yourself to a better night’s sleep with my hypnosis download for insomnia.

The following article is based upon the video above. The content is very similar and is for when you are unable to watch or listen but still want to improve your sleeping environment.

Your bedroom should be a place to sleep

Your bedroom should be a sacred place. It should be used (predominantly) for sleeping. Anything in your bedroom that does not assist in helping you to go to sleep should be in a different room. The main thing that I am referring to here is your television.

We want your sleeping environment to be set up so that you associate it with sleeping. Televisions are for recreation and should be in rooms where you wouldn’t usually be sleeping. In the lounge and if you have to have another one, put it in the kitchen… but never in the bedroom!

Check out how to stop waking during the night.

Darkness is important for sleep

The other point to make for the perfect sleeping environment is darkness. Although I will not go into how the brain produces melatonin and why this is required for sleeping. I talk about this in another video/article. Trust me, when I say that melatonin is an absolutely vital ingredient for ensuring a great nights sleep.

When darkness falls, there are various neurotransmitters and hormones that are secreted in the brain that assist you in going to sleep. If the environment that you are in is too light, then that process doesn’t take place. If it does, it doesn’t take place with anywhere near the effectiveness required for a great nights sleep.

Therefore we need your bedroom or your sleeping environment to be a dark one. The best way to ensure this is to have blackout curtains in your bedroom. The big problem with blackout curtains is that it can be expensive to simply go out and buy new curtains. However, a great alternative to this, and a far cheaper option is a sleeping mask. If you wear a sleeping mask that is comfortable and fits right, you’ll practically get exactly the same effect and benefits as blackout curtains.

Want to know the truth about sleeping pills?

A cool room is a good sleeping room

The final tip to your perfect sleeping environment is to regulate the temperature. This is a bit more difficult, if you don’t have temperature control in your bedroom. Let’s face it… most of us don’t!

When you go to sleep your body naturally reduces its temperature in preparation to sleep. Therefore if you are in an environment that is too hot, this becomes detrimental to the sleeping process. If there is a way that you can reduce the temperature, such as leaving the windows open an hour before bedtime. This will also depend on the environment outside. Also, if it’s the middle of the winter you might not want to leave the windows open for that long if at all!

If it the middle of the summer, you might also want to close the curtains a while before bedtime if the sun is coming in through the windows and heating the room up.

So take a look at your bedroom environment today and see what changes and improvements you can make to assist you in having a better nights sleep, by producing the perfect sleeping environment!

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Why alcohol is bad for your sleep

People often self medicate with alcohol. However this is a bad thing to do.

I am sure that after you’ve watched this video you won’t be using alcohol to sleep better at night any longer.

Take a look at my other posts and videos on the right hand side (underneath the article if you are on mobile), for other tips to get a better night’s sleep.

The article below is based on the video above. It is not verbatim but is similar, so that you can read the content when you are not able to watch and listen.

Overcome Insomnia Self Hypnosis Download.

If you are struggling to sleep at the moment take a look at the link above. This is the link to my hypnosis download to help you overcome anxiety and condition you to have a better night’s sleep.

Click here for tips to create the perfect sleeping environment.

So, why is alcohol bad for your sleeping?

A lot of people think that if they are not sleeping well than it’s a good idea to self medicate with alcohol. They’re struggling to sleep so they have a few drinks that get them on there way. Light’s out!

In many respects, that is exactly what happens. You will have a few drinks and as alcohol is a depressant it starts to make you feel more and more drowsy. Before you know it, it’s done exactly what you wanted and you are fast asleep!

It understandable why people people would then think that alcohol helps them to sleep better. However, it isn’t good. In fact it is terrible!

If you have every self medicated with alcohol to get to sleep then you’ll probably find the following to be quite familiar.

The next morning, after using alcohol to get to sleep you’re feeling:

  • Tired;
  • Irritable;
  • Having trouble concentrating.

These issues may sound familiar to you. They may also sound familiar to you went you don’t get a good nights sleep. They are the same issues that you would be experiencing as if you didn’t get to sleep in the first place… an there is a reason for this.

Alcohol stops REM sleep

Alcohol stops or inhibits the most important part of your sleep from happening. That is REM sleep. Rapid Eye Motion. This period of your sleep is vital for getting you ready for the next day. When you are in REM sleep your brain is performing a lot of functions, preparing you to start the following day afresh. It is performing functions such as filing away memories and separating emotions from factual memories and a whole lot more. REM sleep is vital for mentally healthy behaviour and to have us functioning at our very best.

So the problem with alcohol, just like having no sleep, is that we aren’t getting any REM sleep.

So next time you think about self medicating with alcohol to get yourself to sleep. Think again. There are far better things out there that you can incorporate into your life to sleep better. Take a look at my other videos to give you some more tips on sleeping better. Also my overcome Insomnia hypnosis download. This will start to naturally assist in conditioning you towards a better night’s sleep.

Click here if you’ve ever wondered how effective are sleeping pills?

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I can’t get back to sleep after waking up!

I often have people contacting me saying that they can get to sleep okay. However, they wake during the night and then can’t get back to sleep.

Here is a quick tip to help you get back to sleep after waking up. If you’re thinking of sleeping pills you might want to think again. Take a look at my article that explains why sleeping pills are not good for sleep.

Tip to help you get back to sleep after waking up

Make sure you check out my other tips on the right hand side (underneath the article if you are on mobile) that gives more help and advice on getting a better night’s sleep, including creating the perfect sleeping environment.

The text below is loosely what is in the video above.  If you are somewhere that you aren’t able to watch or listen, but still want to sleep better… read on!

In the video I am talking about what you should do if you find yourself waking during the night and you can’t get back to sleep.

Although many people have the issue of not being able to get to sleep in the first place, it is also very common to be able to fall asleep easily. However, they then wake during the night and find that they’re unable to get back to sleep.

Racing thoughts that stop you from sleeping

So this tip is for those people who wake during the night and can’t get back to sleep. If you do experience these problems you’ll find that it tends to be your inner talk that starts the problem and then gets worse and worse. Racing thoughts going through your mind about things that have happened or things that might happen.

You may also find that the thoughts that are racing through your head are about sleeping itself.

“I can’t sleep, this is terrible!”

“I have an important meeting in the morning, I need to get back to sleep”.

Ever thought about self medicating with alcohol for sleep? Here is an article about why alcohol is actually terrible for your sleep.

Prepare yourself for sleep by getting out of bed

When this happens, the best thing you can do is to get out of bed altogether. The reason for this is that when your body is preparing to go to sleep your body temperature naturally reduces. It is one of the natural ways that your body prepares itself for the sleep cycle. So, when you get out of the warmth of your bed, you naturally and slightly lower your bodies temperature. Mimicking what your body would be doing to help you to get to sleep.

When you get up, we don’t want you going for a run or doing any kind of exercise, because this will obviously elevate your heat. So, instead, get up and go to another room where you can relax.

As you don’t have the covers around you, your body should naturally start reducing it’s inner temperature.

Find out how you can stop waking up during the night.

Darkness helps you to sleep better

When you do go into another room, try not to turn the light on. Also, don’t start looking at your phone or anything else that omits light. The problem with this is that the light will be registered by your pineal gland and stop the production of melatonin. Melatonin is what our bodies naturally produce at night time that assist us in going to sleep. It makes us feel relaxed and drowsy. When you go into the other room, try and make sure that it is as dark as possible.

When you are in the other room. Start allowing yourself to be still and start relaxing. Try and interrupt your racing thoughts by simply focusing on the sensations in a body part. It can be your feet, your hands or any other part. This will also assist you in relaxing and preparing yourself ready to go back to sleep.

When you do go back to bed a short time later, you can still use this technique of concentrating on the sensations of a body part.

Try not to even think about going to sleep. The more that you try and force it, the more difficult it will be. Even if you say to yourself. I’m simply going to relax here as at least being relaxed will help me to recharge my batteries.

When you do this, combining these tips with the lowering of your temperature you will be giving your body some brilliant help in getting back off to sleep.


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Self Hypnosis for Anxiety – Find Out How It Can Help You

does hypnosis work for anxiety

If you want to skip down to the self hypnosis for anxiety techniques, these are towards the end of the article. However, I highly recommend that you read all of this article as I am sure that it will help you with your anxiety and assist you in overcoming your anxiety. It will also give you some valuable information about self hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

Also, click the following link if you would like to check out my guided self hypnosis.

Why you should listen to Mark Bowden when it comes to self hypnosis and anxiety.

Before I get into all the information you need to know about self hypnosis for anxiety, I want to tell you why you should listen to me. Not to boast, but because with all of the information on the mark bowden from mark bowden hypnotherapyinternet it is hard to know who is credible, who isn’t and who is – quite frankly – making things up!

I’m a qualified and experienced clinical hypnotherapist who practices in Plymouth, Uk and I will soon be taking my place at a new practice in Harley Street, London. I’m the producer of the first inflight hypnotherapy channel, which I produced in partnership with British Airways and I am soon to be a published author when my book hits the shelves next month. The book is around sporting performance and the brain. A lot of the book is around the anxiety response in athletes


that causes their performances to dip and includes a lot of hypnosis techniques to reduce anxiety and improve performance.

One of my main areas of expertise is hypnotherapy for anxiety and, thanks to the power of the internet, I see clients from all over the world, from celebrities and professional athletes to housewives and househusbands.

Now we’ve got past the formalities, I hope you will see that I know what I’m talking about. So let’s look at self hypnosis for anxiety and can hypnosis really cure anxiety?


Can hypnotherapy cure anxiety?

This is a question that I am often asked. Whilst anxiety and depression are often talked about as a mental illness, they aren’t the same as a conventional illness. If you had the flu or a disease you would want a cure. If you were bitten by a poisonous snake, you would want a cure (anti venom most likely!)

hypnosis to cure anxiety


The difference between the flu, poison and anxiety is that the first two are not needed by us to survive. In fact they cause issues in our survival process. Anxiety, on the other hand is not just required for our survival, it is the exact function that anxiety is there for… to help you survive.

It might not seem like it’s helping you but the one reason for the anxiety response is to keep you alive. The responses is getting you ready to fight or run away from danger. Elevated heart rate, tense muscles, faster breathing. Even if these feelings are intensely uncomfortable, they are there to help you. To assist in your survival.

So can hypnotherapy cure anxiety? No. Does hypnotherapy and any other form of therapy want to cure anxiety. I hope not and it could not even if it wanted to. The human drive and necessity for survival is only rivaled by the need to continue the species.

However. Let’s ask a different question. Can hypnosis help anxiety? Absolutely! Now let’s talk!

How effective is hypnotherapy for anxiety?

There are a number of reasons why I specialise my hypnotherapy practice around anxiety and related issues. Firstly, I know from personal experience just how debilitating anxiety can be on our lives. It’s uncomfortable, sometimes excruciating uncomfortable! It can literally ruin lives and stop people from getting any enjoyment out of life. Even on a minor scale anxiety will stop people from living the fulfilling and enjoyable lives that they should be living.

But just because anxiety is a big problem, that alone has not been the deciding reason for my focus upon helping people to overcome anxiety. The single biggest reason is that I have found that hypnotherapy is the very best tool that I have ever come across to helping people overcome problematic anxiety.

You can see that hypnosis is becoming even more accepted as a form of helping deal with anxiety. Here is a link to the NHS page where they talk about it’s benefits.


Why hypnosis for anxiety is so effective

What causes the anxiety response?

When it comes to why hypnosis for anxiety is so effective we first need to look at what anxiety is and what causes anxiety.

Anxiety is a psychological in it’s origin but manifests itself physically. What I mean by this is that anxiety begins in your head but soon after you’ll start feeling the physical effects of it.will hypnotherapy help anxiety

What many people do not realise about the cause of anxiety is that it’s quite simple. Anxiety is caused by negative thinking. In general, people think anxiety is caused by certain situations. Whilst it might be true that you experience anxiety in certain situations it is not the event itself that causes anxiety.

If it was the event itself, then everyone who went to a meeting would have an anxiety attack. Everyone who drove a car would have an anxiety attack. Everyone who had to introduce themselves in a crowded room would have an anxiety attack. Whilst we know that these events can cause anxiety in some people, we also know that there are also people who do not experience anxiety in these situations. Therefore we know that it is our thinking around the event that causes the anxiety.

It is our own perception of the situation that causes this anxiety to take hold.

How we can start to overcome anxiety

The obvious solution to this is to think the opposite of negative thinking and to always think positively to overcome anxiety. However, prefer the term, solution focused thinking. Postice thinking is too hopeful. It enables wishful thinking that takes the onus off of the person suffering with anxiety.

We need to start looking at EVERYTHING that we do from a solution focused point of view. How can I improve? How do I best deal with this situation? By thinking in this way we start to reduce the impact of anxiety.

It is very simple.

However, do not mistake ‘very simple’, with ‘very easy’. Because it isn’t.

If you’re suffering from anxiety, you are most likely an over thinker. You’re likely see the worst case scenario in many things that you do. I don’t want you beating yourself up over this, but this is making your anxiety worse and worse.

How self hypnosis helps with anxiety

So we need to change our thinking. The problem is that this negative way of seeing everything is engrained. It is a habit, and as a habit you do it effortlessly and without even thinking about it.

hypnotherapy for stress and anxietyWhat we need to do is condition your automatic thinking to be ones of solution focused thoughts, rather than negative thoughts.

This is where self hypnosis for anxiety and hypnotherapy for anxiety in general come into their own.

Forget what you’ve seen in stage hypnosis or hypnosis for entertainment purposes. Nothing could be further from mind control and being like a zombie. The best way I can describe hypnotherapy and self hypnosis is focused and relaxed thinking.

Although this does not sound particularly powerful, thinking is what has enabled humankind to be the most dominant species on the planet. To produce the most powerful computers, the size of your palm and to put a person in outer space. This is when thinking is excelling. It is also the reason why people suffer from panic attacks and acute anxiety. The two ends of the spectrum of the most powerful ability that we have.

The way that self hypnosis and hypnotherapy work is by helping to condition you to thinking better. To think more effectively. It is like driving a car. To begin with, as this is a new way of thinking, it is hard to do. However, the hardest part is always the beginning and it gets easier and easier as you acquire this new and helpful way of thinking. As you acquire it as a habit.

Self hypnosis brings the power of habit to overcome anxiety

As Aristotle once said. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

As you repeatedly use self hypnosis you repeatedly think in this solution focused way. Soon it comes naturally, it becomes a natural part of who you are. As you become conditioned to thinking in this way you become better and better at dealing with issues that once would cause you anxiety.

The other benefit with self hypnosis and hypnotherapy is that regularly being in this deeply relaxed state desensitises the part of your brain called the amygdala.

You can think of the amygdala as being the alarm system in your brain. If the alarm system (amygdala) is triggered, we enter into the fight or flight mode (the anxiety response). As this happens more and more often, the amygdala becomes more and more sensitive. As it becomes more sensitive the triggers that cause you to feel more anxiety and think more negatively increase. So relaxation and subsequently desensitising your amygdala will have a very positive influence on reducing your anxiety. Another great reason to use self hypnosis and hypnotherapy!

Self Hypnosis

When it comes to self hypnosis for anxiety you have two options. Firstly you can do the purist method. This takes a lot of practice and I have outlined the technique below to get you started. The other technique that I highly recommend is to use a guided self hypnosis for anxiety. That is when you listen to an audio in the comfort of your own home. You then allow the guiding voice to help you focus on what you need to focus on tho help with the anxiety.

My self hypnosis download for overcoming anxiety and panic attacks will help to guide you to overcoming anxiety. You can click this link to see my self hypnosis download for anxiety.


Self hypnosis techniques

So now you know about the benefits of self hypnosis for anxiety. What if you want to perform self hypnosis yourself? How do you do it? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered and here is a simple and effective way of performing self hypnosis on your own.

Step 1:

Ensure that you are wearing comfortable clothing and you aren’t too hot or too cold. You need to be able to relax!

Step 2:

Sit or lie down on a bed ore couch and make yourself comfortable. I prefer to sit as it’s very easy to fall asleep when you are hypnotising yourself. This isn’t such a problem when you listen to guided self hypnosis as the voice will still be playing. However in this situation, sleep means you aren’t going to be concentrating on overcoming the anxiety.

hypnosis for stress

Step 3:

Try to ensure you aren’t going to be disturbed for the next twenty or thirty minutes. So, turn off your phone and let people know you aren’t to be disturbed!

Step 4:

Decide what you are going to focus upon. For the purposes of overcoming anxiety you may wish to focus on what is going well in your life. Maybe focusing on what you are grateful for. You may even wish to focus on some of the things that cause you to experience anxiety and imagine yourself dealing brilliantly with the situation.

Remember, we want all of the experience to be positive. Always focusing on good things and solutions.

Step 5

Close your eyes and focus on thoughts of wellbeing. Maybe even focus on the feeling right now of a certain body part. This is a technique used in mindfulness and helps to reduce stress and anxiety, so that you can instantly start the process of relaxation.

You may also wish to count backwards in your mind. Focusing all of your attention on the numbers as you count slowly and rhythmically.

Step 6

Concentrate your attention on your breathing:. Slow, controlled and deep. As you inhale, imagine breathing in relaxation for your whole body, as you breathe out, imagine  you are breathing out any tension or anxiety.

Step 7

Spend some time doing these techniques to deeply relax you. When you are feeling nicely relaxed, I want you to concentrate on what you decided upon in Step Four. Spend as much time as you can in this state of mind.

Focusing on the  positives. Remember, just because your eyes are closed and you are sitting or lying down, it doesn’t mean that this process isn’t taxing. It’s a wonderful state to be in and great for making positive changes, but it can be mentally challenging.

Step 8

When you are ready, you can come out of this focused, and relaxed, state of light hypnosis, and open your eyes. Slowly gather your thoughts of your surroundings and when you feel ready you can carry on with your day.

The process might seem simple, and in many respects, it is. However, as I explained above, simple does not mean easy. Practice this and incorporate it regularly in your life as you get good at self hypnosis you’l find that you are able to start reducing your anxiety more and more.

Self Hypnosis for anxiety – Youtube

Make sure that you check out my channel on Youtube (Mark Bowden Hypnotherapy) and subscribe as I post regular videos on all kinds of self help topics as well as hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

Below are just a couple of short videos that I’ve uploaded around anxiety.


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How Can You Improve Your Memory Using Exercise?

Brain fit

Improve your memory hypnosis download 

Imagine this, It’s a cold winters morning and you’re laying comfy in bed. The alarm has just gone off and your gym class starts in an hour. It’s so comfy in bed you’re tempted to skip the exercise. Sound familiar?

Well here’s another scenario for you.
You’ve just finished the workout. You’re blood is pumping around your body. You feel fantastic. You’re on a high. And you’re smiling. I bet this also sounds familiar?

We are all aware of the benefits of exercise and how it makes us feel but do you know why the benefits are so great?

How you can improve your memory using your brain

The part of our brain that is responsible for long term memory is called The Hippocampus.

It is a wonderful instrument we use in our brains however, it is limited. The limitations come from the number of neurones used. However, what if we could increase the number of neurones used? What if we could increase the size of the Hippocampus and therefore see beneficial advancements in our long term memory?image of brain exercising
Well, we can. Through exercise.

Scientists only relatively recently changed their views on this aspect about the brain. Previously neuroscientists believed that the brain cells that you were born with did not change after childhood. Up until then, their research indicated that our brains were hard wired and we couldn’t do very much to change them. However, since the 1980’s neuroscience has had to change their stance. Clear evidence now shows that not only are our brains capable of changing. In fact our brains are constantly changing!

As our brains are influenced everyday, neuropathways are strengthened and weakened. Cells are also lost if we don’t need them. You see, our brains want us to be extremely streamlined. If we aren’t using something then what’s the point of having them?

Exercise has been proven to have amazing benefits on our brains, and one of them is the increase in the amount of neurones in your brain, which in turn increases the size of your Hippocampus. Not only this but exercise also insures that the neurones are supple. By ensuring that they are supple you maximise their ability to create new neuropathways. In essence what this means is that you learn new things more effectively and quicker!

If you are interested in your brains function in life you might want to read another one of my articles after this. Here is a link to an article around whether are brains are actually equipped to cope with modern day life.

What a great reason to start your day with some exercise!

Increasing your long term memory isn’t the only benefit exercise has on your brain. Have you noticed how, after exercising you feel like your mood has lifted? You feel good about yourself?

Well that’s because one of your happy hormones was working really hard whilst you were working out. During exercise our bodies produce mood boosting chemicals called Endorphins. These work in your brain to trigger positive feelings. You also release serotonin in your brain which also gives you a natural feel good feeling.

What this really means is that your body and mind are giving you a reward for exercising. There are the benefits that we’ve just spoken about. However, unless you’ve been told about this you are unlikely to know that your brain is becoming more effective as a direct result of your exercise.

What you will certainly notice is the feel good feeling that you get as your reward. Your brain producing an abundance of the feel good neurotransmitters to make you want to exercise more.

Some people prefer a brisk walk outside. Others prefer a dance around the kitchen to some favourite songs. Maybe a high intensity workout? Whatever your preference is, just get moving. Get your heart pumping and your energy levels rising. You’re going to feel happier afterwards, guaranteed. You now know that you brain gives you an instant reward for exercising. You also know that the medium and long term benefits to your body and brain are huge. So what could possibly be holding you back?

If you still need that extra bit of motivation why not allow one of my hypnosis downloads to condition your mind and give you that extra boost and motivation!?

Check out my hypnosis download for exercise motivation to get your brain and body optimised for life!

Another tip to get you exercising is to increase your happiness. Being happier is a proven way to increase your motivation for everything. Why not start your day with my 6 daily morning habits for a happier you!

Let’s give exercise and being active the importance that it deserves in your life! Here’s to a happier, more active and brainier you!

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How To Manage Your IBS On Holiday

It’s that time of year again, Summer Holidays are almost upon us.

For many of us this means, packing our bags, travelling to a new destination and having time to relax and get away from everyday routine.
However, for some the thought of travelling can really cause more feelings of stress than it can relaxation.

A Summer vacation can be relaxing and revitalising, but if you suffer with IBS or digestive issues, the experience can seem disconcerting.
The stress and worry beforehand organising, making sure you’ve packed everything and worrying you may have forgotten something important can add to your stress bucket.
Then there is the actual travelling, whether by bus, car, train, plane or boat, travelling to any destination can upset your rhythm. And finally once you’re at your holiday destination, being in unfamiliar surroundings can also knock you off track.

However, there are some ways you can help to control your IBS whilst away.

1: Organisation

plan route Sometimes one of the biggest triggers for an IBS flare up can be because of unfamiliar surroundings and then total panic.
You start to worry about where the nearest bathroom is and when you can’t find one immediately then you enter a state of panic, thus causing anxiety and in turn increasing your chance of an IBS flare up. It can be a vicious circle.

To try and avoid this situation, sit down before you travel with a note pad and pen and mark out your entire journey, from when you leave the door to when you arrive at your final destination.
Mark down all the possible toilet stops there will be along the way, the service stations, the times when you will be stationary etc. Knowing all this ahead of time will allow your mind to be at ease when travelling as you’ll know exactly what to expect.

2: Pack Snacks

If you suffer from digestive issues, the thought of being away from the food you know you can eat can really cause anxious feelings. Ahead of time start planning to take some of the foods you know you can eat. With your own snacks packed, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself without going hungry or having to eat something that may cause an attack when you can’t find anything for your needs on the menu.

Not only will the snacks be helpful when you need them. On top of this the sheer knowledge of knowing they are there is going to help reduce your anxiety and allow your thoughts and any potential IBS symptoms to be calm.

3: Exercise

yogabeachYou may be on holiday, but don’t view exercise as work. Exercise is an important addition to your daily life that can really help with relaxation and a 30 minute walk during the day can easily be added into your routine whilst away.
Why not try Yoga whilst your are ‘holiday-ing’? The practise of Yoga is well known for it’s benefits in relaxation. Combining this with stretches and controlled breathing helps to reduce your stress levels, lower your blood pressure and also your heart rate.

There are so many positives that exercise can have on your body and your IBS. One other benefit is the production of serotonin and endorphins. These are feel good neurotransmitter that are released in the brain. By exercising, you’ll release an abundance of these leading to more feelings of wellbeing, happiness and of course… reduced stress!

4: Hypnosis

A current NHS statistic tells us that 1 in 5 people have or will experience IBS in their lives. Thats a huge number of us. Stress and anxiety can greatly worsen IBS, and unfortunately, medications for the disease fail to address these problems. Using hypnosis for IBS can help your relax and unwind, altering the way your mind works, to change your perceptions of discomfort and address the mental factors that contribute to IBS.
product relief ibsMy download, “Relief From IBS” has helped thousands control their symptoms.

And you can download my app to access your audio anywhere, once you’ve downloaded your purchases to the app then you won’e even need Wi-Fi to listen!

Also, whilst you are away why not incorporate my 6 morning habits for a happier you. Not only will these habits help you to feel happier, but a happier you is a more relaxed you. And we know that a happier and more relaxed you reduces your symptoms of IBS.

Have a great holiday!

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Are Teenage Brains Different From Adult Brains?

teenage brain


If you would like help with conditioning yourself to naturally become a better version of you. Check out my hypnosis downloads.  As you’re about to find out, your brain is an amazing object but we could all do with a helping hand at one time or another.

Are teenage brains really different from adult ones? Well, as a matter of fact, yes they are!

A fully developed adult brain can effectively make decisions, react and act according to eat situation. There are parts of the brain that work together and in doing so allow us to make rational judgements and decisions. In essence, the adult brain (when engaged correctly) is absolutely phenomenal! That 3lbs of flesh in between your ears is the most advanced object in the known universe.

However the brain of a teenager is different. Of course it is still phenomenally advanced. However, the teenage brain is not quite yet on the same level as the adult brain. And one of the main reasons for this is due to the fact that the part of the brain that controls emotions and rationale hasn’t fully developed yet.

Thats right, this part of our brains is called The Prefrontal Cortex.

The rational part of our brain, the part of our brain that makes us uniquely human. The part that is there for creativity, but it also there to rationalise actions. It is also there to give us empathy and will step in when you are making a rash judgement. As we have already said, the human brain is the most advanced object in the known universe. Well, we can also say that the prefrontal cortex is by far the most advanced part of your amazing brain.

The Prefrontal Cortex is the most advanced part of any human brain.

Now the problem that teenagers have is that this Prefrontal Cortex is the last part of the brain to fully develop. It usually develops in the latter part of teenage years or into the early twenties. Once teenagers have been through puberty the assumption is that they are fully developed and fully grown. However, this part of their brains is most often still developing.

So if the Prefrontal Cortex is still developing it means that they aren’t going to have the same rational thing as they are going to have when this part of the brain finally becomes fully developed.  It’s not there to step in and help us make rational decisions then we are thinking more with our primitive part of our brains, sometimes referred to as the Limbic System.

Why teenagers might be more susceptible to anxiety and depression

This limbic system is the part of our brain that is responsible for anxiety, anger and is known as the emotional part of our brain.

If you are a teenager that is suffering with anxiety then hang in there. Try to think on the good side of things, the positives, the solutions, what you are grateful for in life. However do also remember, this Prefrontal Cortex, the brilliant, rational part of your brain is still developing. Therefore the older you get, the closer you get to those late teenage years, early twenties, the more and more that this Prefrontal Cortex will grow. The more you will be even able to think more creatively and more rationally.

If you are a teenager you’ve got that to look forward to and if you’re a parent, reading this then use this information to start a conversation. Sit your son or daughter down and help explain to them why they may be feeling more sensitive and susceptible to anxious thoughts and reactions. Maybe get them to watch this video.

It will be helpful for them to know the Science behind their feelings and might also give them a glimmer of hope to know that this way of reacting wont last forever.

Remember to always be patient with each other.

Check out my 6 morning rituals that you can make a part of your life today.

If you’re interested in more information about how your amazing brain works here is an article that addresses the question of whether our brains are equipped to take on modern day life.

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Why Eating Excess Sugar Is Bad For Your Brain

No sugar

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It is not secret that sugar is bad for our waistlines, but did you know it can have unsavoury impacts on our brains as well?

In the video above I explain how sugar affects our Neuropathways in our brain.
Neuroplasticity, is the flexibility of the brain to change, which requires our neurons to be supple. When we take in a lot of sugar, these neurons become rigid. Thus hindering any positive change or learning to take place.

Sugar is everywhere now and we are all eating too much of it. Our food is processed and sugar is added to most ingredient lists. Sometimes the name is disguised. Fructose, glucose, corn syrup and dextrose are all sugar. In fact, there are 61 different names for sugar on food labels.
No wonder we don’t realise how drastically our sugar intake has risen, and why so many of us are now hooked.

How do we know how much sugar is too much sugar?

According to the NHS adults shouldn’t consume more than 30g of added sugar per day.

When you look at a food label more than 15g of total sugar per 100g is considered a high sugar content, 5g or less per 100g of total sugars means it has a low sugar content.

Some of the bad guys and how we can defeat them:

A 12 oz can of Coca-Cola has 39g of total sugar. It’s no secret that fizzy drinks contain lots of sugar. Try instead to have water, or if you want the fizz, try some sparkling water.

Low fat Yogurt with fruit can have about 19g of sugar per pot. Instead try to find natural yoghurt or greek yogurt and add your own fruit such as raspberries, which are lower in sugar than most other fruits.

Canned soup can have up to 15g of sugar per portion. They add sugar in as a preservative so it can stay on shelves or in your cupboard for longer. Although ever so slightly more time consuming you’d be better making your own soup from scratch. This way you can also make a big batch of vegetable soup and freeze some portions for the week ahead. And you can also be sure of exactly what you’re eating.

Bread. Some types of bread can have up to 2 grams of sugar per slice. When buying bread make sure you look for varieties that have little or no added sugar.

Flavoured coffee. Some coffee houses offer some mouthwatering options for drinks, but they are loaded with sugar. Some varieties can really hike up your sugar intake. For example, a large mocha with whipped cream can contain around 73g of sugar per serving.
For a caffeine fix stick to filtered coffee or an Americano.

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What You Should Know About Antidepressants

antidepressants and depression

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The Research on Antidepressants and Depression

The above video discusses antidepressants and depression. I made this short video as I found it interesting and surprising. I hope that you also agree that it’s something that we should all be aware about so that we can make informed decisions. Particularly when it comes down to our health.

For your information, the journal article that I am referring to within this video is Turner,, E. H., Matthews, A. M., Linardatos, B. S., Tell, R. A., & Rosenthal, R. (2008). Selective publication of antidepressant trials and it’s influence on apparent efficacy. New England Journal of Medicine, 358, 3, 252-260 


Empower Yourself to Overcome Depression

Whether or not you currently take antidepressants or you are considering taking them, there are lots of things that you can do in addition to help you overcome depressions. There are my hypnosis downloads and in particular my hypnosis download for overcoming depression. If you look through my blog you will also see various tips and techniques that will help to empower you, so that you can help yourself to overcome depression. You may wish to start here and follow this article that has various tips and techniques for overcoming depression.

All of us should be aware that we can take back control of our lives. Many people believe that once we are suffering from anxiety, depression and any other related issues we are stuck in this suffering. I want people to realise, that although it will take effort and work, if you start with the basis of being a bit more active and eating a little bit more healthy, you start assisting not just your body, but your brain also.

Often, people will shy away from explaining that we can do things to help ourselves. We want to take the option of saying that it isn’t the person’s fault that they are suffering with depression. Of course it is not a person’s fault, however, by providing people with the knowledge of how anxiety and depression start in the brain, we can then give someone a reason and the motivation for incorporating new ways of living.

If someone is suffering with depression and they start to be consistently active and lower sugar and saturated fat we can then move on to the most important part of their thinking. Once we are not being hindered by a lack of movement and too many simple sugars we can start to make the progress that we need in the way that the depressed person thinks and behaves.

If you are depressed and you’ve started to do light exercise and eat better, it is time to start looking at how you talk to yourself, what you focus upon and how you move your body.


Serotonin to Overcome Depression

One of the main neurotransmitters that is released in the brain when we are feeling good, happy and fulfilled is serotonin. When you are dwelling on the worst case scenario, putting yourself down consistently and dwelling upon how awful your life is, you are inhibiting the production of serotonin.

We need to change this unhelpful and depression inducing way of thinking. Start today and write a diary containing what you are grateful for each day. Keep everything in this journal positive and try to think of three things you are grateful for when you wake up in the morning. Then do the same before you go to bed at night.

These things do not have to big things. You might write that you are grateful for clean and running water. You might be grateful for a roof over your head. You might be grateful for a friend that you have. You might be grateful for a conversation that you had that day.

Once we start conditioning ourselves to look for the positives we start making this thought process a habit. A natural part of who you are. The great thing about this is that it produces an abundance of serotonin in the brain and will assist to lift your mood.

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