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Improve Your Memory in 10 Steps

Improve Memory

Poor short term memory is a common problem.  Usually there are very simple reasons for this.  For example, have you ever forgotten the name of someone you have only just been introduced to? For most people, it is a matter of being distracted at the time the name is given (how attractive they are, or not, what they are wearing, or worrying about what on earth you are going to talk about).

Or perhaps you have an important presentation or exam to prepare for and, no matter how often you read through the material, you can’t seem to remember even the most basic facts?  Your mind is probably focused on the worry of the presentation or exam rather than just allowing your brain to assimilate the information.  Your brain actually absorbs far more than you think.  It stores everything away without your conscious awareness.  For example, have you ever said something out loud and surprised yourself that you knew it?  That’s because your brain stored it for you from an experience in the past and just delivered it to you when you needed it.  No conscious effort involved.  Your mind can be very accommodating!  All you need to do is relax and let it happen.

As powerful as your brain is, it can be challenged from time to time.  The following are my top ten tips for improving your memory:

  1. Focus on what you need to remember.  If you want to remember someone’s name on meeting them, focus on their name, not the size of their nose!
  2. Stay clutter-free.  A cluttered environment can cause a cluttered mind and makes it far more difficult to remember the things you want to.
  3. Using mind maps can be very helpful as our brains can often remember images more easily than text.
  4. Keep your brain active – ie do puzzles, play chess, and read material outside of your normal range.  Learn a language or another new skill.  Use it or lose it.
  5. Exercise regularly and enjoy a good night’s sleep.  Exercise oxygenates the brain while sleep helps your mind to absorb the learnings from the day and to re-energise itself so that you can focus more easily the next day.
  6. The most important nutrient for the brain are essential fatty acids, especially omega 3s.  These are found in foods such as salmon and other oily fish, walnuts or eggs.  Or you can take a good quality supplement.
  7. Make sure you are getting plenty of B vitamins which are essential for brain function and nerve health.  Because our ability to absorb these lessen as we age, they become more important as we grow older.
  8. Vitamins C and E are also important to ensure that our brains get enough circulation.  For a good vitamin and mineral complex with very good levels of the B vitamins as well as C and E, try Family Formula.  It also contains zinc which is important for heavy metal detoxification (heavy metals can impair brain function).
  9. Some people find that some foods cause “foggy brain”:  especially wheat and refined sugars (including alcohol).  You might try to eliminate these to see the difference.  Do remember to replace the wheat with healthy, complex carbohydrates since these are important for health.
  10. Manage your stress levels.  Stress increases the need for nutrients so that even if you eat healthily, you may not be having sufficient to meet your body’s needs during stressful times.  Learning self-hypnosis can be a great way of managing your stress.

OK, I said 10.  But there’s another really cool way to help improve your memory that I wanted to give you, so let’s call it my bonus tip.  That is the use of laughter.  Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, says that “laughter… seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely.”  This is like oiling the wheels of your mind.  “How much fun can memory improvement be?”, I hear you ask.  Start by not taking yourself so seriously – this a sign of rigid thinking.  Rigid thinking and memory are not good friends.  I heard a recent quote I really enjoyed “life is for too important to take it seriously”.

There are other techniques and dietary advice which could help you.  Do call 0845 130 0854 if you would like to know more.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist and author, and utilises bioenergetics to help you be the best you can be.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

Hypnotherapy for a Change

Hypnotherapy by Tricia Woolfrey

Creating change in your life can be difficult – habits can be ingrained for many years and it can seem easier to stay stuck than move forward.

In the hands of a skilled professional, hypnotherapy is great at overcoming those blocks to achieving change, making change easier.  However, it’s success depends on your motivation, which a good hypnotherapist will assess in your first session.  Hypnotherapy can’t force change on you but facilitate the change through you, so that you regain control over your life.  It doesn’t take away your free-will in any way.

Would it surprise you to know that hypnosis has been around for thousands of years?  It was also accepted by the British Medical Association in 1958.  Hypnotherapy, is a process not an event and the number of sessions you need will depend on the complexity of the problem and the degree to which you are reliant on the problem as a coping mechanism for other things.

Your choice of hypnotherapist is very important – find someone who is well trained and who has a lot of experience.   Finding someone who really understands psychology is a must too, as there can often be subtle nuances to behaviour which will affect the approach taken.  Don’t be afraid to ask for their qualifications and what continuous professional development they do – it’s important to have someone with a strong level of skill who is motivated to keep their skills up to date.  You also want to find someone who you feel comfortable with.

So, what IS hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis allows communication with your unconscious mind – that part of you which is constantly influencing your thoughts and behaviour –  to help you achieve your goals and overcome any obstacles and unconscious blocks.

It is an altered state of awareness called trance, and is something we experience naturally every day – like when you drive from A to B and don’t recall the journey, because your conscious mind has been thinking about other things, or when you are out for a whole evening and feel that you have only been out for short while, or even when you cry at a sad film.  All of these are natural hypnotic states.  During hypnosis, you are in control throughout..  It is not sleep.  It is not even relaxation, though most people feel relaxed when they are hypnotised.

Hypnotherapy  is creating this naturally occurring phenomena for therapeutic effect – that which is good for your emotional and physical wellbeing.

Whilst hypnotherapy is not a magic bullet, it does need your active collaboration. It is a very powerful tool to help you on your journey.

You are in control throughout

Hypnotherapy helps you achieve what you want for yourself.  You can’t be forced to do anything you don’t want to do or say anything you don’t want to say – you are in control throughout.

Almost everyone can be hypnotised

Anyone from the age of around 5 with at least a normal level of intelligence can be hypnotised – if you want to be.  You cannot be hypnotised against your will so feeling comfortable with your hypnotherapist is very, very important.  I like to give the first half hour of my session free of charge and no obligation – so that my client can be 100% sure – and this really helps their progress.

What does it feel like?

Everyone experiences it differently, but most people simply feel as though they have their eyes shut, and able to hear everything that goes on around them.  Nothing more than that.  Others feel a tremendous sense of relaxation, yet others feel tingly or numb, heavy or light.    Or all of the above.  Or none of them.  The secret is not to expect a particular experience, not to try to relax, simply allow it to happen in whichever way is right for you.

How is it different to stage hypnosis?

People often think that hypnotherapy will be a magic cure where someone can make them do anything without any effort on their part – just like the stage shows.  And sometimes it is.  However, the only similarity with a stage show is that they both use the state of hypnosis.  A stage show uses this state for entertainment.  All individuals who participate do so because they want to.  The engagement is momentary.  There is no emotional agenda involved – just fun.  With hypnotherapy, this can involve working on problems which have often existed for years, through layers of self-awareness, vulnerability, denial, and even resistance.  If there was no resistance, you would have resolved the problem on your own.  Working with your subconscious mind with hypnotherapy, it is easier to overcome these, developing new ways of being so that you can live the life you want.

What people say about hypnotherapy

Here are some typical comments people make to show you the different ways people respond:

  • “I got immediate results – I was very impressed!”
  • “I didn’t notice anything until friends and family started to say how much happier and calmer I seemed – then I realised I was!”
  • “I’m still not sure if I was hypnotised but I do know that I have achieved what I wanted to – so I guess I must have been”

If you are looking to make changes in your life, do try hypnotherapy.  It just makes change easier.  It helps you deal with stress, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and insomnia.  It’s also great for weight loss, smoking cessation and IBS.  If you have anything which stress makes worse, hypnotherapy can usually make better.

My clients regularly tell me that they gained far more than they came for as often other problems are resolved at the same time.  Hypnotherapy could be the best investment you ever make in yourself.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist, and author and utilises bioenergetics to help you be the best you can be.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.