Daily archives: 24/04/2016

Getting Things done

Sound familiar?Procrastination McCullagh Hypnotherapy

Everyone experiences difficulty focussing on tasks at times and  this can be due to a number of factors. Most common are anxiety and fear (fear of success as well as the more obvious fear of failure), low self-esteem and stress. Depression also tends to inhibit our ability to focus and make decisions.

The consequences of not getting things done range from the inconvenient to the serious. The stress of deadlines and unfinished tasks piling up is often accompanied by guilt. Both of these, when compounded and prolonged, can lead to depression, which makes it even more difficult to get things done.

Furthermore, there is the risk of being taken less seriously by colleagues, friends and family (we’ve all experienced that ‘yeah, right’ feeling when someone says they’ll do something but but we know that it will probably never happen). Finally, of course, there is the real risk of not
realising your potential and fulfilling your dreams.

It’s time to make a change.

Fortunately, there is hope.

As a hypnotherapist, I have seen great changes in my clients as we work through anxieties, fears and limiting beliefs that may have been there for decades. I also help people manage stress and build confidence in themselves, retraining the conscious and subconscious minds to shut out distractions and focus on tasks.

It is hugely rewarding when people visualise making the changes they desire and gain a sense of control. This visualisation, not only of having achieved the desired outcome (and how great that feels), but also of going through the process to get there becomes a mental rehearsal and sends a very powerful request for change into the subconscious mind, which then allows you to make these changes happen.

Alongside hypnotherapy, there are some strategies you can use that many people have found helpful.

1. Tell people what you are going to do. This will make it more likely that you actually do it because, let’s face it, we all care how we are perceived by others.
2. Make a deal with yourself that includes a motivating reward when you successfully complete an outcome. Rewards may include a trip to the cinema, a massage, a phone call to a friend etc – whatever is likely to make you feel good. Or include a penalty if you don’t achieve the task.
3. Break tasks down into smaller chunks. This is less daunting and makes it more likely that you will get there as each completed chunk will bring you a step closer to the overall goal.
4. Set yourself ‘minimums’. This means that, instead of telling yourself you will pay all your bills this morning, or write a paragraph by lunchtime, promise yourself you will pay at least one bill and write at least two sentences. Chances are high that, once you have done this less intimidating thing, you will continue until you have done more than the minimum.
5. Have a dedicated place to do your work – and a dedicated place to take breaks and switch off.
6. Get stuck in to what you have to do as early in the day as you can. This has two main benefits. Firstly, it means you are less likely to spend all day making excuses, procrastinating or finding something ‘more important’ to do. Secondly, that feeling of having accomplished something will set you up for the rest of the day, making you feel great and on a roll.
7. Keep your focus on what you can realistically achieve, rather than on what has to be done.
8. Avoid the temptation to multi-task. Keep focussed until you achieve what you have set out to achieve (the smaller task), then take a break, do something else, then come back and focus on your next task. Most people can focus for around half an hour, so plan for this.
9. Look after your body. Make sure you are exercising and keeping hydrated. Not only will this reduce distractions (including hunger and thirst signals from the body) and even mild dehydration has been shown to reduce attention, but the movement involved in exercise, particularly aerobic, causes the brain to release a chemical called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which enhances memory and focus.
10. Practise mindfulness. Learning to be fully present in the moment allows you increasing mastery over those distractions and anxieties that flit through the mind.

Many of these issues, of course, are common to ADD and ADHD. You might be interested to know that hypnotherapy can help you if you suffer from ADD or ADHD. In fact, as Nancy points out in an interview (below), it is often the case that the more ‘ADD’ they are, the more easily they go into hypnosis and can therefore benefit from this relaxing, drug-free treatment.


If you would like help in addressing focus issues, drop me a line!

Until next time,

Darryl McCullagh DIP HYP CS / Cert HYPb


EMAIL: darryl@mccullaghhypnotherapy.co.uk

WEB: www.mccullaghhypnotherapy.co.uk


Special Delivery

baby holding fingerIs natural birthing in vogue again?

HypnoBirthing is a natural birthing technique that can help with managing pain, but it is not for all mothers.  However, it is a technique that has been slowing gaining popularity, especially in the USA, United Kingdom and Australia.  You can now find HypnoBirthing practitioners in all four corners of the world and for a small minority of mothers this technique encourages natural birth.

So, what exactly is HypnoBirthing and can it deliver a calmer and easier birth for mothers?

HypnoBirthing teaches mothers to be confident about birthing her baby by letting go of her negative unwanted fears and worries whilst encouraging her to understand how her birthing body works which is ultimately designed for birthing.  The four to five sessions encourage the expectant mother to be calm, thus preventing the release of stress hormones, cortisol and catecholamine, which can slow down or even stop the natural flow of labour.  Instead HypnoBirthing is about positive thinking, visualisation and important breathing techniques that all help to change the mind’s physiology.  The three breathing patterns that are taught help mothers to stay calm and centred, so that during intense surges they are able to stay focused and relaxed.  When mothers are in this frame of mind endorphins and oxytocin hormones are released and intensify to naturally help the mother through active labour.  Furthermore, this also goes along way for baby too as mother’s breath is vital in helping to give more oxygen to him on his journey in to this world.  A lot of mothers report their babies come out looking pink and healthy rather than purple.  Also tearing is often not reported or to a minimum so that mothers can avoid episiotomy.  Something most mothers dread and wish they could have avoided because of postpartum perineal pain that can take up to a month or longer to heal.

What kind of mother and partner are drawn to HypnoBirthing?

To some extent it comes down to working out what suits each individual and a lot of mothers want a natural birth but do not always know how to go about it or how to trust in their instinct.  HypnoBirthing helps with these two main factors.  However, even if a mother does have to have a caesarean section the whole HypnoBirthing experience can truly help as one mother reported, “I was the calmest mother on the ward”.  Even when a mother wants a natural birth it is important to know when to let go of the birth plan and the course teaches mothers to be flexible as well as educated on all options in birthing by making them mindful of their choices.  The goal is to find out what suits each mother and be open as births can be unpredictable.  Elective C-section is an easier option for doctors as it only takes an hour and the time can be fixed.    The caesarean section in private hospitals in the UK is 50 to 90 per cent, which is staggering!  It is not that this is alarming but in most cases unnecessary in the absence of special circumstances and complications.  The World Health Organisation suggest that about 12 per cent of women should have a caesarean, however, this number has significantly grown from when this surgical procedure was first performed by a European gynaecologist in 1881.  The small minority of HypnoBirthing couples are growing and helping to change social stigmas regarding birthing by bringing it back to nature in a hospital setting.  A midwife with over 40 years of practising midwifery in London, New York and Shanghai, who supports HypnoBirthing births sums up our modern day dilemma,  “Women have been giving birth for thousands of years, unfortunately, with today’s modern technology, we are treating birthing as a medical procedure.  It’s time to bring it back to nature”.  Having a natural birth can be that extra gift with a special delivery.

Wishing for a special delivery?

Contact Darryl McCullagh DIP HYP CS / Cert HYPb


EMAIL: darryl@mccullaghhypnotherapy.co.uk

WEB: www.mcculaghhypnotherapy.co.uk