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By Daniel Browne, Oct 10 2017 04:09PM

Today (Tuesday 10th October) it’s World Mental Health Day, so I wanted to write something about anxiety and gift you with some helpful tips to overcome it.

Obviously, that’s easier said than done. Anxiety can be crippling, so it’s all very well writing a few tips, but how will that actually help you? Well I hope that when you read the tips below and understand why I specialise in helping people to overcome anxiety, you will feel better placed to begin the journey of recovery yourself.

You see, I really understand anxiety. I don’t specialise in anxiety as a hypnotherapist because I think I know a little bit about it or because it’s a money maker. I specialise in this area because I really do understand anxiety. When I was younger, I experienced anxiety every single day. I can trace it back as far as being seven or eight years old. Of course, all those years ago I didn’t know what anxiety was. I’m not sure I had even heard the word anxiety at that point. However, I felt it. I felt it deeply.

I always lacked confidence as a child and had incredibly low self-esteem. This was due to a variety of factors, that I won’t go into now, but suffice to say that my childhood was not particularly pleasant and it shaped the person I became. As I went through secondary school, my anxiety and low self-esteem reached critical levels. Then one day, at the age of 19, I went to bed and barely got up or left the house for a six month period. Anxiety had crippled me.

At that time, I had more of an understanding of anxiety. I knew what it was and that I was living with it. I knew that there were things I could do to help myself rise from the black hole that you find yourself stuck in when experiencing severe anxiety, coupled with low self-esteem and depression, but I was stuck… Stuck in that black hole, feeling that there was no way out, despite deep down knowing that there were things that could help me.

My recovery from that episode of anxiety and depression took years. It was a long and painful journey, but one that I ultimately succeeded in. It wasn’t plain sailing and I had to face some things that I didn’t particularly want to, but as I look back on that time I’m glad that I took the plunge and rebuilt my life.

Fast forward 15 years and I’m now living out my passion and dream by working as a self-employed hypnotherapist in private practice. Training to become a therapist completed my journey to becoming anxiety free, as I developed a deep understanding of the condition and was able to reflect in ways I’d never thought possible. As my clinical work developed, I knew that I needed to specialise in helping people to overcome their anxiety. An increasing amount of clients were coming through the door of my clinic needing help to overcome their anxiety. I believe that anxiety issues have now reached endemic proportions and something must be done about that.

Now every day I help people to overcome their anxiety with the power of hypnosis. The anxiety that I used to feel is a thing of the past, but I’m able to draw on the experiences that I’ve had in order to have a deep understanding of other’s people’s pain. Having been through what I have, I feel I can use that to help others. Yes, I may not have experienced the exact same situation as someone else, but the pain is the same.

Hypnosis is a great way of overcoming anxiety. It helps you to overcome anxiety relatively quickly, compared to counselling, for example. You don’t need to tell me why you have anxiety. I won’t ask you to talk about your childhood or drag up things from your past, unless you want to talk about it (which is fine, by the way). It’s purely about the present moment and helping you to live your life without anxiety in the future. By accessing your powerful subconscious mind, hypnosis can help you to ‘reprogramme’ in order to take control over your anxiety instead of letting it continue to control you. It works, and the results can be life changing.

So apart from hypnosis, how can you begin to live your anxiety free life? Here are some top tips to help you:

1. Look after yourself. It sounds so simple, but it’s something that we don’t do enough of. For example, how the body feels can affect the mind. So eat healthily, exercise regularly, and make sure you take some time out for yourself. You’ll need to force yourself at first, but try to get into the habit of looking after yourself and you will soon reap the benefits.

2. Breathe. This is something that can really help. Breathing exercises do work if practiced enough. Breathe in for a count of seven. Hold your breath for a count of five. Then breathe out for a count of eleven. Repeat this for two minutes at the beginning and end of each day, and see how you begin to benefit from it.

3. Repeat a positive affirmation. Tell yourself every day that you are now in control of anxiety, or say something such as “Today I choose to be free of anxiety and live life how I choose”. You could even stand in front of a mirror and repeat it to yourself. Say it with strong conviction, as if you really believe what you are telling yourself. Let that positive affirmation shape your thoughts and beliefs.

4. Interrupt unwanted thoughts. If you begin to feel anxiety coming on, interrupt that feeling and the associated thoughts by distracting your mind. You could get up and go out for a walk, put on some music and dance, call a friend and catch up with them, do something that’s going to make yourself feel good, or try out an activity that will make use of your brain. For example, you could count backwards from 500, but do it in twos or threes so you have to think about it.

5. Practice mindfulness. It’s better to be mindful than to have a mind that’s full. Just ten minutes of mindfulness each day can help. If you’re not sure about how you go about practicing mindfulness, I have a recording of a mindfulness session on Youtube that may help you begin. Simply click here to access it. Mindfulness helps to clear your mind and be rooted in the present moment. It clears negativity from your mind, including anxieties.

6. Think about what is right in your life. Anxiety may be like a dark cloud that hangs over you and makes you feel like everything in life is crap, but the truth is that there will be good aspects of your life that are fulfilling or that you enjoy. Every day think about what is going right in your life and focus more on the things that you enjoy.

7. Know when to get help. If you are struggling with your anxiety, there’s no shame in seeking help. You could visit your GP (although they tend to prescribe medication and my personal belief is that medication masks the issue rather than getting rid of it), or seek out a therapist or alternative health professional that could help. As I mentioned earlier, hypnotherapy can help and as a specialist in helping people overcome anxiety, I’d be happy to work with you to banish anxiety from your life for good. There’s more information here.

As awful as anxiety is, you don’t have to live with it. Help is available and the tips above can assist too. I sincerely hope that if you are currently living with anxiety, you are able to lift yourself out of it or gain support from someone who can help. It’s difficult at first, but it does get easier.

I’ll be writing more blogs on anxiety and releasing some videos soon, as this isn’t just an issue for World Mental Health Day. It’s an ongoing and growing issue for many people, and I want to do all I can to help.

If you need to talk, I’m here. You can contact me via this link and I’ll be pleased to chat to you over a cup of tea of coffee at a complimentary consultation at my clinic in Leamington.

By Daniel Browne, Oct 4 2017 02:52PM

I'm reluctant to say the C word in early October, but having recently seen some rather fabulous (if somewhat early) lights flashing outside a house, I'm going to say it... Christmas is coming! Forgive me.

With the festive season on the horizon, you may be starting to make plans for that most wonderful time of the year. Maybe you're looking forward to the parties, or catching up with friends and family. Perhaps you're looking forward to the big Christmas dinner (I must admit it's probably my favourite meal of the year), or maybe the time off work you'll be having.

Whatever you look forward to over Christmas, it can also be a stressful and anxious time if you are fat. I know because I've been there. Worrying about whether you'll fit into those fabulous outfits you want to wear, or stressing about putting on weight from all of those dinners, treats and alcohol. This can dull some of the sparkle that comes with that time of year and it's not a nice feeling. However, it doesn't have to be that way this year (or ever again!).

The key to success if nearly always in the preparation. If you want to lose some weight in time for Christmas and ensure you don't put on any weight over that time, you need to begin preparing for that now. And I mean right now.

If you start working on losing weight today, you could lose the following amounts by the time Christmas comes:

11lbs if you lose 1lb per week

1st 8lbs if you lose 2lbs per week

2st 5lbs if you lose 3lbs per week

3st 2lbs if you lose 4lbs per week

It is doable. You can do it. You will achieve it if you take action today and decide not be the Christmas pudding sitting at the dinner table on December 25th.

Coming soon... I'll be sharing my top weight loss tips to help you shed your extra pounds in time for Christmas. I will also be releasing a free e-book called 'A Christmas Survival Guide for Fatties'. More details soon!

Until then, my challenge to you is to take control of your weight today. You can achieve lasting results pretty quickly if you put your mind to it. And if you need help getting into the right mindset, I'm here for you. Simply head to the Virtual Gastric Band page for further details.

By Daniel Browne, Sep 1 2017 03:08PM

As a hypnotherapist, one of my specialisms is in the area of anxiety. After experiencing crippling anxiety in the past, it’s now a mission of mine to help others to burn away their anxieties for good. With that in mind, here are my top five tips to help you burn away your anxiety.

1. Meditate rather than medicate. In my view, GPs hand out pills like they’re sweets and don’t do enough to help people overcome anxiety. Medication only masks anxiety; it doesn’t cure it. However, meditation is a great alternative that can genuinely help you to feel good on the inside. So give yourself the gift of ten minutes alone each morning and evening so you can sit down, close your eyes, breathe, allow yourself to relax, and feel the positive energy within you.

2. Tell yourself that feelings are not facts. This can be a hard one as negative beliefs are part of anxiety, but it’s important to challenge those beliefs. You may feel low self-worth or shame because of your anxiety, but it doesn’t mean you actually are any of those things that you think you are. So, my task for you is to look in the mirror each morning and say one nice thing to yourself out loud. Give yourself a compliment and tell yourself what you actually are. Negative thoughts always come before negative feelings, so start the day with a positive thought about yourself and let that shape how you feel for the rest of the day.

3. Attend a social event, even if you don’t want to. Are you going to let your anxiety win or are you going to tell it to do one? Being an introvert is ok, but it’s good to connect with other people socially. Your anxiety may be socially related, which could make this tip difficult for you, but you may find that you enjoy yourself once you’re out. If you have a friend who knows about your anxiety, tell them to force you to go out. It’s for your long term benefit.

4. Accept your anxiety. In order to overcome your anxiety, you need to accept it. This doesn’t mean that you give into it and fall deeper into the cloud of anxiety; it’s more about understanding the anxiety that is a part of your life and then working on a strategy to reduce or overcome it.

5. Know when to get help. If anxiety is having a detrimental impact on your life, it’s important to know when to ask for help. This could be speaking to a friend or family member, or it could be going to see a therapist. Either way, know that you are not alone and that there are people who can help you.

By Daniel Browne, Jul 26 2017 10:58AM

In this modern world we live in there are work commitments, family commitments, hours spent on social media or answering emails, and all sorts of other demands placed on us. But what about time for yourself?

Too often we neglect our own needs by trying to keep up with what we think we need to do, but that can easily lead to burnout and feelings of resentment if we're not careful.

It's something I've been guilty of myself in the past, and I'm sure you can relate to it too. You know, that feeling that you have no time for yourself to do the things that you want to do. Life doesn't need to be like that though, and I have a challenge for you...

Starting right now, I'd like you to make some time for yourself. Even if it's only 10 minutes so you can sit down with a cup of tea. From this very day, make a commitment to yourself to do something for YOU each and every day.

Maybe you could run yourself a nice hot bubble bath in the evening and enjoy a soak in it. Perhaps you could go for a daily walk to get some fresh air and exercise. Maybe you can arrange to meet up with a friend once a week and get in touch with other friends on the other days. Or possibly you could just sit down and do absolutely nothing.

We all deserve a bit of 'me time'. You deserve some 'me time'. As you get into the habit of focusing on yourself a bit more, you will eventually thank yourself for that gift.

By spending more time on yourself on your needs, you may also find it has a knock on effect in other areas of your life and you become more productive in those other areas. It will enable you to recharge your batteries and feel like you have more energy to do everything else.

Give it a go and notice how good it makes you feel. And remember that there is always time for yourself!

If you'd like some help getting more of a balance in your life, contact me today to discuss how hypnotherapy can help.

By Daniel Browne, Jun 21 2017 09:15AM

As I write this blog, I'm on day 23 of a 26 day stretch without a day off due to running my hypnotherapy business (a lot of people want to lose weight or quit smoking at the moment) and being busy with my role as Chairman of a charity.

When busy, it can be really easy to grab food on the go and fall into bad eating habits that pile on the pounds. I'm human, so I may have slipped up a couple of times, but on the whole it's been all about preparation.

So for example, I have dinners prepared for when I get home, such as cold meats and salad or something I've thrown in the slow cooker. I also have strawberries and other fruits prepared in the fridge if I want to grab a snack quickly. Sandwiches are made the night before so I always have a lunch to take with me, and a bottle of water is always at my side.

If you have a busy lifestyle and struggle to factor losing weight into that, make a commitment today to be more prepared. Get your meals ready the night before or, like one of my clients who is in this group, do some batch cooking at the weekend so you haven't got to think about your meals in the week.

Drop the excuses and just do it.