Ask An Expert – Fiona Brennan in HerFamily.ie

herfamily.ieAsk An Expert: How to Improve Your Life Using DIY Hypnotherapy

Katie Mythen-Lynch interviews Fiona Brennan, Clinical Hypnotherapist and creator of The Positive Habit, Six Pathways to Positivity – Digital, Self-Help Programme. Discussed is hypnotherapy, conscious eating and mindfulness and how to deal with negative thoughts, feelings, emotions or behaviour.  Read more here

For more information and to take the anxiety/self-esteem test to see if the program is right for you please visit thepositivehabit.com

herfamily.ie

Positive Pause – 27th June, 2016 – Digitally dependent?

This week my son did well in his sports day and being the proud mum, I decided to take him out for a pizza to celebrate. Just as we were leaving the house I decided to leave my phone at home, something I consciously do quite often to get a digital break.  In addition, I wanted all of my attention to be on my son and our time together. digitally dependent

We were having a great time and my son said “oh take a picture”. “Great idea” I said, reaching for my bag to take out my phone.  Two minutes later we had moved onto talking about football and I was talking about the France-Ireland game of 2009 when Thierry Henry hand-balled the ball and Ireland lost as a result!  I wanted to google the video to show him how it had happened and so, once again, my hand automatically reached for the bag and the phone!  A few minutes later we are chatting about inviting one of his pals over.  “I’ll text the mum now” I said.  At that moment I also had the inspiration for this weeks Positive Pause.  Guess what?   I usually use my phone to note down the idea!  By now, my brain had caught up and instead of reaching for the bag, I smiled and asked the waiter for a pen!

Many of us have become so digitally dependent that our phone has become the go-to device for answering all questions from our work to our personal life. Growing evidence shows that our brains are literally overwhelmed with information and we are caught in a vicious “reward” cycle of checking our phones for the latest information hit, whether it is a text, email, Facebook or Twitter update we switch quickly from one to the other. Such immediate gratification and apparent multi-tasking over stimulates the brain and dumbs down the higher-level thought centres in the pre-frontal cortex which is responsible for decision making, concentration and emotional intelligence.

The consequences of this lead to increased anxiety, poor concentration and loss of train of thought. This week, consider how device dependent you might be and take steps to control it.   Simple ‘rules’ such as ‘one screen at a time’ (research shows that many people who are watching TV are also on their phones); turning the phone to “do not disturb”, keeping the mobile out of the bedroom and out of the room at meal times can really help.  Observe how often you reach for your phone and every third time you reach for it, resist checking it. Train your brain to resist the urge and give it a well deserved break. Set aside allocated times for being online.  Leave the phone at home when ever the possibility arises.

I may have no photo on my phone of the dinner I had with my son, but I do have a wonderful imprint on my memory of our time together. Real time, real people and real connections stimulate our mental well-being and cannot be replaced no matter how much information our devices hold!

Positive Pause – 20th June, 2016 – Avoid the Blame Game

avoid the blame gameAll too often in life it is easy to blame someone else when things do not go exactly according to plan, or to put it simply, when things go wrong!  We hear it every day ‘If only this person had done this or that, then this or that would not have happened’ or ‘I am so annoyed with x or y as this is their fault.’ Avoid the blame game

This week I was inspired by someone very close to me who rose above blame in a situation where it would have been all too easy to point the finger in fear or anger.  A medical error was made, an error that could have had very serious consequences.  The error itself was minor and even the most skilled of surgeons are human; any procedure comes with a certain amount of risk. This is true in many areas of our lives. Thankfully, everything has turned out well and there are no lasting consequences.

It occurred to me that the positive outcome of this event is not just a coincidence but because also of the positive attitude and understanding of the patient; the ability to focus on getting better rather than dwelling on what went wrong has played a huge part in the recovery process.  The negative emotions that blame bring could only hinder any healing process.

This week, if you find yourself blaming anyone for things in your life that are less than ideal, whether it is at work or in your professional life, please take a big step back and remember the person you are blaming is human and “to err is human” (Alexander Pope). The energy you expend on blame and frustration is wasted and it takes away from reaching a positive resolution to the situation.

Consider also, that very often those who jump to blame are usually twice as hard on themselves.  Please don’t forget to avoid playing the blame game on yourself.  If you make a mistake remember to take a step back, offer compassion to yourself and allow yourself to see what a ‘mistake’ really is – an opportunity to learn, to grow and to reach your full potential.

Positive Visualisation – Fiona Brennan on alustforlife.com

positive visualisationPractise using the power of your imagination with this positive visualisation

‘I‘ve had lots of worries in my life, most of which have never happened.’

Mark Twain

Negative thinking is a habit and habits can be broken. Negative self-talk (the inner critic) is often a habit of which we are not even aware.

By watching your thoughts, you can learn a lot about how your mind operates and the effect your thoughts have on your feelings and ultimately on how you behave. When you tell yourself that you have no energy, or that you are fed up, stressed and frustrated then that is what you will feel. Does this sound familiar? Please note that this is not your fault; the brain has a strong negative bias that is linked to our early survival instincts.  Read more here…

A Lust for Life – Positive Visualisation – June 2016

The Positive Habit on A Lust for Life

Practise using the power of your imagination with this positive visualisation.

‘I‘ve had lots of worries in my life, most of which have never happened.’

Mark Twain

Negative thinking is a habit and habits can be broken. Negative self-talk (the inner critic) is often a habit of which we are not even aware.

By watching your thoughts, you can learn a lot about how your mind operates and the effect your thoughts have on your feelings and ultimately on how you behave. When you tell yourself that you have no energy, or that you are fed up, stressed and frustrated then that is what you will feel. Does this sound familiar? Please note that this is not your fault; the brain has a strong negative bias that is linked to our early survival instincts. Read more here…