There are times that anyone may experience anxiety. Before making a life changing decision, taking an important test or upon hearing unexpected news. Usually, those feelings pass, they are temporary. However, for the person diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder it can build and continue until it interferes with daily activities.

aware anxiety tool

While  I don’t diagnose, I frequently get referrals from doctors who have patients with Anxiety Disorder that are looking for relief. Hypnosis has proven to be very effective in helping reduce the stress levels and help to reset thoughts. I often record the trance portion of our session to help my client reinforce the new feelings after we have met.

I am always looking for new tools to help in the diminishing of stress and anxiety. So, much to my delight a new tool found a way into my toolbox and I really want to share it. I asked a beautiful young friend of mine who deals with anxiety to give me 3 words for it. She instantly responded with suffocating, tense and nervous.  What she didn’t know was, she was already using the first step of the new tool.  She has used some of the other steps as well in the past. This is simply a lovely way to put them into a quick simple practice.

Right now, if you are suffering from anxiety, pull out an index card and write the word AWARE on it. Aware is an acronym for Accept, Watch, Act Normal, Repeat and Expect. Allow me to explain.

Accept: accept that you are feeling the anxiety and go a step further to name it. Yes, use as many creative words as you can to give it a name. According to a 2015 study1 putting feelings into words can reduce the physiological symptoms of anxiety.

Watch: watch the anxiety. Observe it as if it was something you could rate, give it a number on a scale of 1 – 10. Just by doing that you have removed some of the attachment you might have to the sensations. It is now a number instead of a state. Then take a few slow deep breathes and notice if the number changes. (Frequently it will go down a number or two.)

Act Normal: Take some slow deep breathes, making sure that the exhale is longer than the inhale. (i.e. in to the count of 4, hold to the count of 4 and release to the count of 8.) If you are speaking, calm your speech down as well. Keep your attention on the breathes or the moment you are speaking about. Think about your surroundings instead of your worries.

Repeat: Simply repeat the first 3 steps as needed.

Expect: Expect the best results as that is what you deserve!

By pulling out the card and reminding yourself to use those steps you can redirect your “awareness” from feeling uncomfortable to feeling peaceful. Ironically, the sensations we feel during anxiety are often the same sensations we feel when excited (think the night before your birthday or another big holiday as a kid) and when exercising. Heart pounding, gasping breathes, sweaty palms and shaking can all happen when you are excited or heavily exerting yourself, yet you don’t think of that as an attack. So maybe panic attacks are simply mislabeled physiological occurrences that we tie to negative thoughts.

Once the moment has passed, it is time to move on to keeping that old anxiety away. According to Dr. Daniel Amen, who has written several books on the brain2 daily elevated heart rate (such as walking briskly) improves the heart, the brain and your mood! Therefore, daily exercise such as a taking that brisk walk or dancing around your house will help keep those tigers away.

While fear and anxiety may have a rightful place on occasion, it does not have to control you. Use these tips along with a little hypnosis and take back your thoughts and your joy!




smoke cessation is neededYou have made the decision to quit smoking and you have tried numerous times, still you smoke. Finally, as a last resort, you remember that your Great Aunt Janie quit for life after trying hypnosis and decide to investigate it. After a search online or asking friends, you decide to have an appointment with me. As you drive to see me, you smoke as many cigarettes as you can possibly squeeze in, even lighting one last one up before you come into my office. You are nervous and feeling maybe even a little silly.

As I review your paperwork, you squirm. Maybe even using the bathroom to throw some water on your face. What if this doesn’t work? Even more pressing, will you miss your old friend? You begin to fight tears just thinking about saying good bye.

Sound familiar? Sound possible? Well, I encounter this reaction with many of my soon to be nonsmokers. Nervous laughter, fighting tears or just babbling on without the seeming ability to stop talking. I get it, this is more than just quitting, this is a war on your senses!

From your first cigarette, the chemicals released into your body affect your brain and your body. The intake of nicotine increases the levels of dopamine and epinephrine in your brain. Dopamine plays a major role in reward and pleasure centers. This helps us identify rewards and take action that moves us towards those rewards. Thus we begin to relate cigarettes to reward. Next, there is a release of epinephrine or adrenaline, which increases cardiac output and raises glucose levels in the blood to prepare for a “fight or flight” response. This combination helps create the “nicotine buzz” you experienced with those first cigarettes.

This high causes lightheadedness, elevated mood and pleasure. Bam! This is what makes people want to keep smoking and become hooked.  However, this high will not come again after the first couple of cigarettes because the nicotine raises the brain’s expectations of what pleasure should be. A person becomes reliant on cigarettes because their brain is chasing that feeling of pleasure that they once had. (Sound like the description of a gateway drug?)

Although many young people experiment with cigarettes, other factors influence whether someone will go on to become a regular smoker. Having friends (peer pressure) or relatives who smoke and parents’ attitude to smoking all influence the decision. As young people become adults, they are more likely to smoke if they misuse alcohol or drugs. Regardless of the expense another factor is living in poverty. Because poverty makes it more likely that someone will encounter stress. Most adults say that they smoke because of habit or routine and/or because it helps them relax and cope with stress.

Therefore, I ask many questions about your habit to understand your triggers and motivators. I observe your body language and watch facial expressions. All the while, I am working on helping you to understand how hypnosis works and helping you to lower those doubts and fears. I include stress reduction because as I stated earlier, smokers tend to light up when stressed.

The trance portion of the session is when the “magic” happens. While the conscious logical mind may doubt, argue, fear or whatever emotion comes up for you, the subconscious mind works to give you your wishes. If it is your wish to be smoke free, then smoke free you will be. This portion is recorded and given to you, for back up at a later date, should you want it. You leave the office smoke free because this time you really quit smoking! Here is the true story of one of my former smokers: One Clients Story


The best reward for me is the call 6 months, a year or more later, from the friends and family of the former smoker who want to know if I can help them quit smoking too. I dream of living in a smoke free world and each of you who quits, helps to bring me another person closer to seeing that dream become a reality.

While cleaning out closets and decluttering my home I came across a list I wrote over a decade ago of ways to celebrate. This made me smile and think about what changes I have made. Also, I thought about whether I celebrate enough. Do I do the things on this list enough? Do you? How do you celebrate?

(I must confess, I updated #21 as we now have a local float center.)celebrate

  1. Chocolate
  2. Champagne
  3. Daydream
  4. Bubble bath
  5. Sex
  6. Naps
  7. Breakfast in bed
  8. Trashy novels
  9. Lingerie
  10. Hot fudge sundae
  11. Rose petals in bed
  12. Diamonds, gems, jewels
  13. Candle light
  14. Skipping work
  15. Dance
  16. Gamble
  17. “Make a wish”
  18. Watch Petticoat Junction reruns
  19. Facial
  20. Eat pizza
  21. Float in deprivation chamber
  22. Massage
  23. Wear a crazy hat
  24. Rollerblade
  25. Play “Light My Fire” on the piano
  26. Do the twist
  27. See a chick flick
  28. Eat buttered popcorn
  29. Take a limo to buy groceries
  30. Breathe deep
  31. Manicure
  32. Pedicure
  33. High tea
  34. Listen to a Beatles Album
  35. Sing a silly song
  36. Plant flowers
  37. Cheese cake
  38. Lose the phone for a day
  39. Wear a tiara
  40. Watch a sunset
  41. Read a poem
  42. Play a mindless computer game
  43. Call an old friend
  44. Color outside the lines
  45. Fly a kite
  46. Play Chinese jump rope
  47. Light a candle at St Michael’s
  48. Wear a costume
  49. Create a gourmet meal
  50. Practice self-hypnosis

relax with a free hypnosis audioOften, someone who calls me to ask about hypnosis will ask questions such as, “What if I get stuck in hypnosis?” They will express a bunch of concerns that are common. So common in fact, I have addressed them on my F.A. Q. page. Regardless whether they have read the page, they need to hear from me that it will be safe. They want to believe that hypnosis can and will help them, but concerns may linger.

When the time for the appointment arrives, this same nervous individual will come in with such trepidation I know we need to discuss the process again. They might say, “I’m scared to be hypnotized!” “What if I don’t come out of it?” “Will you make me cluck like a chicken?”

It’s natural to be afraid or skeptical of something you don’t understand. I was a bit nervous the first time I tried hypnosis. Still, no one should ever be afraid or uncomfortable about the process. My job is to assist each person in reaching their goal safely. That’s why, when clients come to me for hypnotherapy, we begin with a frank talk about what being hypnotized is, and what it isn’t.

Movies have made hypnosis mysterious and appear to be all controlling. I will joke with my clients that if that were true, I would have been able to make my sons do chores automatically when they were teenagers. We’ll even talk about hypnophobia, the fear of going to sleep or of being hypnotized. People with hypnophobia don’t want to lose control of their normal state of awareness.

Connecting With Different Parts of Your Brain

After we talk about their fears and misunderstandings, I fill them in on the science of hypnosis. Hypnosis is the state of mind resulting from a trained hypnotherapist assisting you into a trance state. Hypnosis gives you access to your subconscious and will create communication with your conscious mind. It is simply achieving a level of focus that has been recorded in Alpha and Theta brainwaves with the intention of creating change.

What is Trance?

The trance state is actually a natural state of mind. In fact, there are many times during the course of a normal day when you enter the same kind of trance you experience in hypnosis. It happens when you’re very relaxed or very focused. In both cases, the subconscious mind is still “listening,” even though the conscious mind is either intently focused or totally distracted.

As I mentioned, in trance your brainwave activity can be dominated by theta waves. Theta waves bring on a state of relaxation that removes any blocks you may have to your repressed memories and deep emotions. Even though to the casual observer you may appear to detached to what is going on, inside your mind, there is a whole world of activity! You’re “turned on” to the world of thought and feeling that is always listening to and recording the things that happen every moment of your life. There is so much you can learn while you’re there.

On my intake form I ask if the individual has ever been hypnotized before. If they mark yes, I ask about the experience. Often, it is a no. Then I know they aren’t aware that you are hypnotized several times a day without even realizing it!

Everyday Chances for Trances

On Your Commute

Have you ever driven to work, only to worry when you arrive whether you stopped at the stop sign because you don’t remember it? Your brain needs a lot of entertainment, so when it does something routine, it no longer pays attention to the details. This can be the case with your commute. It is as if the vehicle knows how to get there, so you are busy chatting on your phone, listening to the radio or some other activity.

That “lost time” you experience while you’re commuting is often because you fell into a trance state.

Listening to Music

Your mind finds it pleasurable to be stimulated by sound, so you get lost in it. Music therapy is utilized for the reduction of stress and management of pain among other uses. I have a client who gets lost in her piano when she needs to keep hands and heart busy. Another woman I know escapes into opera when the “devil” is chasing her.

Watch what happens when you put your earbuds on and crank up the volume on your favorite tunes. It isn’t hard to see that this is another way to get to Theta wave domination, and yes, a state of trance.

Smartphones, Tablets or Television

Kids and adults alike, when playing video games, become entranced by digital interaction and entertainment.   TV is a guilty pleasure for some, and for many, a constant companion. The flashing lights from the screen change your brain dominance. Similarly, your smartphone and tablet flash lights and tricks your brain into a trance. Combined with your impulsive need to interact, this can grab your attention completely.

You’ve probably seen a couple sitting in a restaurant, both on their phones, texting and playing games rather than gazing into one another’s eyes. Some restaurants even provide tablets with games.  Many have TV’s blaring. Someone’s in a trance!

Getting Into the Flow State

When you are in the flow state, whether you’re thinking, drawing, writing, or out on your morning run, you are in a trance. Your conscious awareness takes a break and allows you to experience the ease of being on “autopilot”.  When you feel like you’re at one with the task you’re performing, and you easily filter out any and all distractions you are in trance.

There are many other times throughout your day you are in trance. Maybe now you will begin to recognize them!

“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” Mark Twain

April is National Humor Month and so that got me to thinking about laughter. Perhaps you’ve heard the famous quote from the poem Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, “Laugh and the whole world laughs with you”. It turns out there is scientific evidence to prove that true! Apparently, just like a yawn, laughter is contagious. According to a 2006 study at the University College of London the brain responds to the sound of laughter and preps the muscles in the face to join in the mirth.

It is a fact that laughter itself changes us physiologically. Like exercise, it boosts the heart rate and increases blood flow, so we breathe faster and more oxygen is delivered to the body’s tissues. Our facial muscles stretch. Research published in the International Journal of Obesity found just 15 minutes of laughter a day will burn 10-40 calories, depending on a person’s weight and the intensity of the laughter. That is enough to lose between 1–4 lbs a year. Furthermore, the mere act of smiling can alter your mood almost immediately. You can’t feel sad or angry when you’re laughing, right?

The benefits of laughter

  • Reduces Stress: When stressed, we produce a hormone called cortisol. Laughter can significantly reduce cortisol levels.
  • Helps Reduce Pain: Laughter causes us to produce endorphins, which are natural, pain-killing hormones.
  • Strengthens the Immune System: A hearty laugh decreases stress hormones and increases production of T-cells, immune proteins and infection-fighting antibodies.
  • Helps the Heart: When we laugh we increase blood flow and the function of blood vessels, which can help prevent cardiovascular problems.
  • Relaxes the Whole Body: One good belly laugh can relieve physical tension and relax your muscles for up to 45 minutes.
  • Helps You Recharge: By reducing stress levels and increasing your energy, laughter can help you focus and achieve more.
  • Improves Aging: Sharing laughs with others is related to higher self-esteem, lower levels of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress, and a more positive self-concept.


With all this good news, it just doesn’t seem right that we laugh less as we age. Young children are recorded laughing around 400 times a day. Adults are lucky to laugh 10 times a day! This helped create a mission for me. I challenged my husband to join me in attempting to laugh 400 times in one day. Quite honestly, after a while we lost count of the laughs. I posted on Facebook that we doing this and received jokes from friends. We found ourselves making humorous remarks about our day as it progressed. The more we did laugh, the more there seemed to be reasons to laugh.

Maybe it is my imagination, but somehow all that laughter made traffic lighter, in spite of the fact that this is Spring Break time in Florida! When the challenge was over, the laughter lingered. I did notice us becoming less tolerant of people and situations, so back to laughing we went. When stress tried to interfere with my mood, I forced a laugh. It seemed silly, so then a real laugh followed. Suddenly the stress was gone and I could deal with a particular situation clear headed.

I offer you the same challenge. Look around, what is funny? Do you have a good joke to share? Let your inner child out and have a few laughs. Turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile and then give a laugh, even if it feels a little forced. Notice if your muscles seem a bit more relaxed. Let the healing power of laughter be the gift you give yourself and others, you’ll be glad you did!

Laughter For Weight Loss

I have a program called Laugh It Off! It is a weight management program I created to assist my clients get rid of fat and the inflammation it causes. I noticed that some of my clients start to giggle during the beginning of a trance. It is never offensive and always they go deep. So, I had to figure out a way to use it. Well, we now use it to lose it! There are laughter assignments between sessions and plenty to laugh about during. Funny thing (see what I did there) is that it works! So whether you knew it before or not, weight loss is a laughing matter.

Why are you eating that?  If you are supposed to be dieting to shed that ugly fat, why did you put the donut in your mouth? Why did you grab candy from the dish on your co-workers desk? You know it won’t help, but it seems you can’t help it either. Furthermore the co-worker with the candy is thin and never seems to eat her own candy.

The Battle Is Real

Guess what? You aren’t imagining it, the battle is real. It really is hard to diet and your body is fighting you! That’s right; you are a victim of your own brain and genetics and maybe even programming. Every dieter I work with knows how to cut out calories and increase exercise. They all know the formula to shedding ugly fat and maintaining a healthier body.

fats are enhanced

Our taste buds have been genetically engineered to crave high-calorie, high-fat foods because we used to need that for energy—hunting, gathering, exploring the continent, etc. Now we’ve created food that tastes even richer than nature’s, which makes kale a hard sell when compared to a loaded pizza.

The “naturally thin” individuals (NT’s) are blessed with a great genetics. NT’s metabolize at a higher rate furthermore, they aren’t tempted by the same treats a dieter is. If a person on a diet ate the same amount of food as the NT’s it would still be too much food to lose weight. While they fat shame the dieter they also believe the dieter is weak. They are wrong. When we are dieting, our awareness of food, particularly fatty foods is heightened.

Are You Stuck?

So, what can the poor dieter do? Let’s circle back to my original question, why are you eating that? When you catch yourself in the act of eating off diet, stop and ask yourself why? Is there an emotional component? Are you resentful that everyone else can eat the goodies at a party and you can’t? Are you eating for emotional reasons? Does your body need fuel?

Amnesia eating is often triggered when watching night time television and all the food related commercials. After a long hard day, we settle in to relax and reward ourselves. Often we have eaten dinner; still the habit of rewarding with food and the constant barrage of food commercials triggers us to find a snack. Due to fatigue, we eat the easiest choices, prepackaged goodies. Eating those foods triggers the reward center of the brain and we are lulled into a false sense of temporary comfort. In order to help change that habit, I encourage finding something active to do during commercials. Personally, I have a medicine ball and I work with it during commercials. I also enjoy a warm beverage when tempted to nibble.

Hypnosis To The Rescue!

Through hypnosis for weight loss we can level the playing field, that is, we can give you less desire for the foods that have become your nemesis. While I am not a fan of making a favorite food disgusting (because I believe a determined mind will find a way around that) it is possible to give you better control over what you choose to eat. Hypnosis can also be used to amp up the metabolism, more like that of an NT. The mind body connection is powerful and using it to your advantage is exactly what hypnosis is all about.

Hypnosis For Weight Loss

If you are struggling with your eating habits, put down the goodies and pick up your phone to call and ask me how I can help you achieve your weight goals!


If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.
 – E. Joseph Cossman

The word worry descends from an old English word ‘wyrgan ‘ which meant to strangle.  If you have ever worried, that can seem appropriate as worrying will affect your breathing and sometimes leave that lump in your throat.

Worrying is a habit that many people develop and then hold on to as if it was a proud memento of their life. Chronic worrying has been called a ‘thought disorder’, but it’s more a misuse of the imagination. I have often teased my clients that they write better fiction than Stephen King, the problem is they believe their thoughts and there are consequences for that. The more we worry, the more stress hormone we produce and the more we dream at night. In turn, over-dreaming caused by unresolved worry can cause clinical depression (something else to worry about!).

A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work. – John Lubbock

Often worriers believe that they “need” to worry in order to ward off bad things. Therefore they begin to worry about everything, all the time, even if there is no legitimate reason for it. I have had clients who believed that they prevented their vehicle from falling over a bridge because of their worry, nothing to do with the construction of said bridge or traffic flow, etc. Also, many who believe that it has nothing to do with physics or pilot training, but their worry that keeps their plane from crashing.

Hypnosis, like worry can use the imagination. The difference is, with hypnosis we are setting a goal for a positive outcome and imagine our success at doing just that. Many clients will imagine themselves smoke free in my office, to become smoke free. Others will imagine whatever they are worried about turns out okay.  (I have been known to ask my clients, “What if you are wrong and things turn out alright?”)

If you are a chronic worrier, here is a tool for you to use.

When writers like Mr. King write their scary stories, they distance themselves from the horror they are writing about. By removing any emotion from those thoughts they lose power. Therefore I will ask a client to first go as dark as possible. Imagine what they are worried about actually came true. What would that look like and feel like. Then we discuss how likely it is that the worst case scenario occurs.  Next, we will work on distancing themselves from the worry.  Notice I didn’t say stop worrying, which is possibly the worst advice ever! Instead we imagine putting the worrisome situation “over there”. We may place it in a container or just put it on a screen to observe. Then we agree that if they want they can worry again, tomorrow at a set time for a set amount of time. What they will find is that the need to worry diminishes.

Ultimately, worry should be a tool or a signal that lets us know when something might need addressing. We don’t want to lose this tool completely, but no tool should ever be allowed to enslave its owner. Try using your imagination for good, you just might like it.

hypnosis accesses memories

A former client reached out to me to stop smoking. Jenny (not her real name) had seen me several years before and was successful at stopping at that time. She loved being smoke free and didn’t miss it at all. Then one day, she reported pulling in to the parking lot of a convenience store and buying a pack. Without a thought, she lit up. Once again, Jenny was hooked.

When I asked Jenny what prompted her to take that action, she couldn’t tell me. She didn’t recall anything out of the ordinary, “it just happened”. So for 2 years she smoked and struggled with stopping, too embarrassed to call me. Finally, as Jenny put it, “I came to my senses. I know the only way for me to quit was to call you, fess up and use hypnosis for good!”

We had a great session and at the end she stated she knew she was smoke free. Still, something was not right. When I pressed her, Jenny admitted she was hoping to find out why she had started back up and she still didn’t know. I knew that in order for her to stay successful, this was important.

Back to trance we went

I told her that she could find the information written down on a pad that was locked in a box nearby. It was important that she unlock the box and read the information. It was not necessary to share what she discovered. I explained that her knowing was all that mattered, unless information came through that she felt I “needed” to know in order to help her better.

Jenny opened the box and read the pad. She said, “Oh my” and “aah” and even “I get it”. Then she told me she had put it all away and she was good. At that point I suggested she use any and all information for her best interests and she now had permission and “the right” to be smoke free forever. She was to relax until she felt she was 100% smoke free and could then return her awareness safely, comfortably and in her own manner.

After a few minutes, she opened her eyes and gave a huge grin. She then told me she knew this time, it was for good. One year later, she checked in with me to report all is still good. I will never know what was on that pad in the locked box, but I do know it was a valuable tool for Jenny.

Do you suffer from ANTS, you know, those Automatic Negative Thoughts? Somehow, by imagining the worst case scenario, we think we’re protecting ourselves from what we fear most. But guess what? It doesn’t work. Whatever tragedy you imagine might befall you, happens – no dress rehearsal will protect you from loss and pain. Plus, while imagining the worst, you’ve missed your chance for joy, radical presence, true bliss – and the health benefits that accompany peace.

Our nervous systems can’t tell the difference between practicing tragedy and the real thing. As far as your amygdala is concerned, whether your fears occur or it is imaginary, your “fight-or-flight” responses get triggered and your nervous system goes on red alert. Your stress responses flip on, your body is filled with cortisol and epinephrine, and your body reacts as if tragedy occurred.

Preventive medicine for Negative Thoughts

Fully experiencing joy is essential to living a long, happy, healthy life. Joy is “preventive medicine”. It has repeatedly been proven that it is our thoughts that make the difference in our health. Some studies show that happy people live up to 10 years longer than unhappy people.

In a book written by Byron Katie called Loving What Is, she lists four simple questions that can help chase those Automatic Negative Thoughts away. Those questions are:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
  3. How do you react when you believe that thought?
  4. What would you be without that thought?

By simply asking these questions you begin to understand just how many of our thoughts are simply not true! If our thoughts are going to have so much impact on our health and happiness, it is worth checking them out. So, first become aware of them and then step outside of them. In other words:

  • Stop
  • Take a breath
  • Observe your thoughts
  • Ask the four questions

Remind yourself that you have “been there and done that”. Those ANTS are old negative patterns that you now choose to eliminate. Then finally, when you begin to realize who and what you would be without those thoughts, practice gratitude. Experience the moment you are in, truly be in that moment. I wonder what you are grateful for today. I’d love if you shared your gratitude. Gratitude shared can only expand the hearts of both the giver and receiver.

Self-hypnosis to release Negative Thoughts

There are times however, it seems that no matter how you try to redirect your thoughts, they keep creeping back in. It is those times that it helps to use self-hypnosis. First, on paper write down the thoughts that are bothering you. Then find a quiet place to get comfortable. Take some wonderful deep refreshing breathes, close your eyes and relax your body. As you do, notice the sounds around you and then let them fade away. Ask yourself, “Why do my negative thoughts leave me now?” Then again take deep breathes and notice how your neck and head feel as you relax. Notice how your feet feel as they rest. This time you ask,  “Why do my thoughts relax so quickly?” Continue relaxing the body, notice the aromas around you. Ask yourself, “Why is peace so natural for me now?” Begin to count from 10 down to 1 and with each number repeat, “Peace, be still”.  You will find yourself recognizing how safe and at peace you are in the moment.

For additional assistance you can go to one of my free audios. Call for an appointment if you just can’t shake those ants! (727) 781-8483

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”  ~Thomas Dekker

sleepAre you one of those people who believe that sleep is a luxury? Are you lucky to get 3 – 4 hours of sleep a night if that? If so, you are not alone. In a recent email a friend wrote, “I am trying to not worry too much about my job and issues with my aging Mom, etc…. I need help with how to turn my brain off at night without having to resort to taking sleeping pills.” His lament is something I frequently hear from clients as well. They are busy all day long and once it is time to relax and get sleep, the mind starts to race.

I always advise anyone with sleep issues to first get checked by their doctor. Obviously there are physical conditions that might be causing sleep issues and that needs to be addressed.  Once we are sure it is the night time worries, it is time to learn some behaviors that will help sweet sleep return.  It is known that caffeine is a stimulant, but so too is tobacco. While alcohol may help one fall asleep, once it wears off then wakefulness sets in. So while giving these items up is the best option, at the very least one should avoid them before bed.

Keeping up with exercise is recommended for good sleep and for better mental health! Just 20 minutes a day improves not only the heart, but the brain according to Dr. Daniel Amen, a medical doctor and psychiatrist who authored many books on the brain, including Change Your Brain Change Your Life and Use Your Brain To Change Your Age.  There are numerous studies that back up the wonderful connection between exercise and a good night’s sleep.

But, what if your issue is really the late night antics of the mind?

Once everything is still for the night, your mind goes into hyper-drive. Suddenly you review the day and it seems as if everything you did was wrong! Tomorrow looks to be even worse and the sky is surely falling. Well, now it is time to take back your mind and get some sleep.

First of all, remember to reframe and refocus. Notice the dialogue in your head and challenge it. Are you really going to end up homeless because you didn’t refill the coffee pot in the break room? Do you have nothing else, no other resources that make you essential to the job you are doing? Sometimes we just need to notice how ridiculous our thoughts are.

If you are concerned with a list of tasks and events you want to be sure to accomplish, write them down on a list before bed. Keep a pad next to the bed in case you absolutely need to add anything to the list. Just taking a thought and putting it on paper allows the mind to begin to settle down.

The 5 – 1 Count

If you do a 5 -1 count it helps. Find 5 parts of your body that are comfortable. Notice how does each part feel?  Recall 4 memories of the day that you feel gratitude for.  What are 3 things you can remember seeing before the lights went out that caused you to smile? Can you feel the smile again? Check for 2 scents you smell in bed. Are they familiar? Are they sweet, pungent, or something else?   Finally, listen for 1 sound that you hear that is soothing, what might it be? Is it the sound of your own breath even?

Then, if still awake focus on your breath, inhaling 7 deep breathes for each chakra as you visualize the color of the chakra as a mist that surrounds you.  For those who are not familiar with chakras, they are centers of energy, located on the midline of the body. There are seven of them, and they govern our psychological properties. The chakras located on the lower part of our body are our instinctual side, the highest ones our mental side. Each chakra has a related color and they are:

  1. Root Chakra is red, representing our basic needs
  2. Sacral Chakra is orange, representing our sensual side
  3. Solar Plexus is yellow, representing our personal power
  4. Heart Chakra is green, representing our love and compassion
  5. Throat Chakra is blue, representing our self-expression and communication
  6. Brow Chakra is indigo, representing our intuition and dreams
  7. Crown Chakra is violet, representing our connection to the Universe and our spirituality

If you imagine breathing in each color and at the same time imagine healing the area of your life that it represents, you will likely find yourself drifting off to a pleasant dream state.

Hypnosis for Sleep

Your brain is an expert at having insomnia.It doesn’t know how to do it differently,otherwise you would be able to sleep easily. Therefore, it is important you can teach your mind how to relax, letting go of worry so that you can  fall asleep and stay asleep. Hypnosis techniques will help you manage your worry, anticipate easily falling asleep and create a new and healthy outcome. Some benefits of getting adequate sleep include releasing anti-aging hormones which help you maintain your youth, maximizing your metabolism, enabling you to control your appetite better, allowing you to relax, and keeping your mind and memory sharp. Getting the sleep you need also increases the feel good hormones released by your brain which makes you feel happier.



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