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10 Tips to Manage Stress

Stress

 

Stress is an unavoidable part of everyday life and can come with many guises:  tight deadlines, finances, difficult relationships, job insecurity, a noisy work environment, being expected to do something you haven’t been trained to deal with and, the biggest stressor, just having way too much to do.

Untreated, it can play havoc with your health, with your relationships and your career.  This article will give you 10 tips to manage stress more successfully so you can enjoy a greater sense of calm and resourcefulness in your life.
 

  1. Recognise that some stress is actually good for you.  If you didn’t have any stress at all, you would be pretty bored.  Some stress is motivating and energising – the trick is to have it in proportion so it doesn’t have a negative impact on you.
  2. Acknowledge that stress is a valid emotion with a purpose for you:  it is calling for your attention to whatever is causing the feeling of tension or overwhelm so that you can deal with it. If you listen to what your stress is telling you and take appropriate action, you will notice yourself feeling much less stressed.  It is a survival mechanism, intended as a fight or flight response if you are in danger.  In more everyday terms, if you ignore it, the stress will increase until you take remedial action.  If you address it, you can become more stress-resilient.
  3. Identify your top stressors and give them a score out of 10 as to how much stress they are causing you.
  4. From this list, evaluate the stressors according to the following criteria:

     

     

     

     

    • Is it something which you can control in any way?  For example, the weather is something you can’t control.
    • Is it something you can influence?  While you can’t control the weather, you can control what you wear for it, whether you go out in it and the temperature in a room.
    • Is it something you just have to accept?  If you are outside and there is a sudden downpour with no shelter in sight, and you are dressed for the summer sun you were promised in the news bulletin before you left, then it is just something you have to accept.
  5. Once you have determined whether something is within your control or not you have two options:

     

     

     

     

    • Do whatever you can to control or influence the situation.  Saying ‘no’ to someone who is overloading you, for example.
    • If it is something you just have to accept, knowing this, rather than resisting it, can really relieve a lot of stress for you.  You can then focus on things you can do something about.
  6. If the list is overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, sometimes breaking a big stressor down into smaller chunks can really help, or dealing with a small stressor first to give you a sense of moving forward.  The worst thing to do is nothing, so even starting small can be a big help.
  7. Do not confuse dealing with stress with distracting from it.  Many people use distractors like comfort eating, drinking alcohol, smoking, spending, over-exercising or gambling as a way of managing how they feel.  But distraction is not a stress-management technique which works in the long-term.  It provides short-term relief but causes bigger problems for you in the long-run.
  8. Learn mindfulness, EFT or self-hypnosis as a way of handling stress.  They all make a positive and significant difference on what you can handle on a day-to-day basis.
  9. Learn to say ‘no’ and mean it.  For many people, a lot of their stress is just saying ‘yes’ to things they should be saying ‘no’ too.  This causes ongoing problems as deadlines are missed and disappointment, resentment and guilt results.  Learning to say ‘no’ kindly and respectfully is an incredibly helpful stress-management technique.
  10. Balance your life with time to yourself doing things you enjoy and making sure they include regular exercise, time out in nature and just being in the moment.

These are a good starting point.  Stress has many sources, many affects and many consequences.  Everyone is different and some solutions will work for you and some won’t.  If you need further guidance or support, or you don’t find the answer is in these tips, why not call to arrange for an assessment so you can conquer it once and for all?  Tricia Woolfrey can be reached on 0345 130 0854.

10 tips to  manage Stress

 

© Tricia Woolfrey 2015

Is Snoring Affecting Your Sleep?

Snoring Help by Tricia Woolfrey

Snoring can sound comical, but it isn’t funny being kept awake night after night and it can put a strain on your health and your relationship.  It is very difficult to feel loving towards someone who keeps you awake all night while they are enjoying blissful sleep.

There are two aspects to how snoring can affect sleep:  one is from the perspective of  the snorer and one is their unlucky bed companion.  Sometimes the snorer will wake themselves up, or suffer from sore throats.  Often, however, the snorer is completely unaware of the problem.  Not-so their partner.

Snoring can be defined as a coarse sound made by vibrations of the soft palate and other tissue in the mouth, nose & throat (upper airway). It is caused by turbulence inside the airway as you breathe.

If you are the snorer, there can be a number of physical reasons which are causing your snoring.  Often it is exacerbated by alcohol, weight, smoking or medication.  Other physical causes of snoring can vary from mispositioned jaw, blocked sinuses, allergies, deviated septum, polyps, the size or position of the tongue, or narrow airways. 

It is useful to have a wellness check to see if there are any underlying issues which are causing it and this can be arranged by calling 0845 130 0854 or visit the Self Help Resources website to find out more about Health Screening and Food Intolerance Testing or Asyra Pro.

Often, just changing your sleep position and/or losing weight will help to resolve the problem. Other remedies include stopping smoking, reducing your alcohol intake and treating allergies. Occasionally the problem can be rectified, with either a mouth guard, or through surgery, depending on the cause of the snoring.

If your partner snores and you find yourself staring at the ceiling night after night thinking murderous thoughts, the issue is more around your focus.  I remember living under a flight path for several years. Planes, including Concorde, would fly over every 3 minutes and we thought we would go crazy.  In time, we learned how to tune out and pause before resuming our conversation like nothing had happened.  You have also probably had the experience where you have a headache or a toothache, but some good news or a funny program on the TV, makes you forget all about it. These are all examples of changing focus.

So, instead of waiting for the snoring to start – which makes you hyper-sensitive to it – focus your attention on something else.  Self-hypnosis is a terrific way of doing this.  Self-hypnosis can be used simply to relax, or to get you to focus on something else – a change you want to make perhaps.  You might also want to think about having hypnotherapy with a professional who can help you to not notice the snoring so that you can enjoy a restful and restorative sleep. My book "An Inside Job" teaches you how to do this for yourself simply and effectively and even has a CD to guide your self-hypnosis practice.  Another option is to listen to a hypnosis recording such as Sleep Well which will ease you into relaxing sleep.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2014

Tricia Woolfrey is a hypnotherapist, coach, wellness practitioner and author based in Byfleet Village and Harley Street. www.yourempoweredself.co.uk. 0845 130 0854.

Cellular Health

Cellular Health by Tricia Woolfrey

Did you know that you have an estimated 10 trillion cells in your body?  They are the building blocks of your body and are the smallest part capable of processes that define life.  They are so tiny – you would need about 40 to stretch across the size of a full-stop, yet they are vital for human life.

The cells are responsible for:

  • Processing nutrients
  • Converting food into energy
  • Building your body’s structures
  • Carrying out specialised functions

Good health or bad health is often determined by the health of your cells.  All health starts at a cellular level and any disease can exist at this level years before you experience any symptoms.  Because your cells need nutrients, nutritional deficiency can lead to disease.  We are often told about Recommended Daily Amounts.  What we are not told is that this is the absolute minimum that the body needs.  This does not account for environmental or emotional stressors you may be suffering which deplete nutrients more quickly.  In addition, due to farming methods, and how we store and cook foods, your food is simply not as nutritious as it was years ago.

Some people are lucky enough to mistreat their bodies and get to live a long life.  But your health is not something you want to pay Russian Roulette with.  When you support your cells nutritionally, you protect yourself.

To perform their function well, they need specific nutrients so that they are recognised by other body cells as friend rather than foe.  When cells see each other as an enemy, this can cause autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus:

  • Amino acids which are derived from proteins
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Healthy carbohydrates
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Trace elements
  • Antioxidants to protect them from free radicals
  • Water

It is also helpful for cellular health to:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Manage negative stress

When your cells do not receive the nutrients they need, they become unhealthy and cannot communicate their messages to each other.  This leads to disease over time including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and cancer.

When you are ill, conventional medicine will treat symptoms rather than causes and the medication offered may affect other body systems and create side effects which require yet further medication.

By taking care of yourself naturally, you are taking preventative action and helping your body to heal itself when you do have a health challenge.

So, eat healthily and make sure you use good quality supplements (food state) so that your body can absorb them, rather than the synthetic ones more easily found in the High Street.  As someone once said, there is no greater wealth than health.  For a health consultation contact Tricia Woolfrey on 0845 130 0854.

© 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.

How to Have a Stress Free Christmas

Sress Free Christmas

You may wonder why on earth I am writing about Christmas in November, but already the shops are streaming Christmas music, the shelves are full of gift ideas and, it seems, ‘tis already the season to be jolly.  If you don't start planning now, it will be too late to have a stress-free Christmas.  And we all know that Christmas can be a very stressful time. It’s the pressure of the family being together and everyone having unrealistic expectations. Many anticipate an idealised experience yet the reality can be more challenging.  It is a time to be realistic about what can be done to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone. Here are my tips to help you:

Planning is Key

Whatever you do, you need to plan Christmas well in advance to minimise the pressure.   This is where your time management and delegation skills are really useful.  Plan what to do and by when.  Just because this is the season of goodwill, doesn’t mean it all has to come from you!  Make it a team effort, in the spirit of goodwill.  Give everyone a job for the lead-up.  One person buys the groceries, another picks up the turkey, another organises the drinks, yet another arranges the tree, etc.  Make this the year that you teach people how to treat you – you are not the do-er of all things!  And, if you are one of those for whom Christmas just happens, do help out, you have no idea how hard it is to pull everything together alone.

Remember that a lot of things can be ordered on the internet – make the most of it and you save a lot of trudging around in the madness which is the Christmas crowds.

Avoiding Debt at Christmas

Budget how much you have to spend – and only what you can afford.  Christmas is about being with people you love, not about buying the most expensive present possible or having a table full to brimming with food which would feed the whole street.

Allocate how much of this budget can be spent on food and how much on presents.  Then allocate how much you will spend on each person.   Make a list of what you will buy each person and stick to it.  Sometimes the simplest presents are the best.  One of the nicest gifts I received were some hand-made biscuits beautifully packaged.   If funds are tight, consider making it a family rule that no present should exceed a nominal amount.  This can be really fun and will waken up those creative juices, avoid the family rivalry of who spent the most money and bring Christmas in line with what its really all about.

Now, make a food shopping list, and stick to it.  Many people waste a phenominal amount of food.  There’s no excuse to over-buy now as the shops are open almost every day so you can always pop out for extras.  And you don’t need every type of chocolate and every type of cheese and twelve deserts to choose from.  Moderation is key. It will help your waistline too!

The Good, The Family and the Ugly

For the actual day, delegate someone to keep the drinks topped up, another to make sure the CDs are changed regularly, a diplomat to defuse any arguments, a washing up team, someone to organise the party games and a kindly, patient soul to look after Great Uncle George.  In terms of organising the food, perhaps someone could bring a starter and someone else can bring the dessert.

You don’t have to be a hero – it’s your day too!  Involving everyone can really help develop a convivial family atmosphere if done in the right way.

High expectations often lead to disappointment and Christmas is renowned for family disputes.  Keep your Christmas sweet by being realistic about what to expect so that tiny spats don’t develop into full-blown rows.  If you see a row developing, use some diversionary tactics such as asking someone to help in the kitchen, or take the dog out for a walk or have a fun forfeit for each transgression of the peace.  The transgressor can then set the next forfeit so people know what to expect and it can be all part of the fun.

Perfect Balance

Allow yourself not to be perfect.  The most fun can be had by what goes wrong rather than what goes right.  Don’t take it all too seriously and you will enjoy it more.  Too many people suffer from sense of humour failure and this can really feed into family tensions.

Typically, we will see more of our family and more family members at Christmas than any other time of the year.  It can be pretty intense and it’s important to take some personal time out on your own.  Perhaps a leisurely bath, a walk, read a book, reflect on all the highlights of the  year.
Enjoy this season of goodwill by planning early for it.  Do you have any tips that can help others plan for their Christmas with more Merry and less stress?  Do share!

And may I take this opportunity of wishing you the best Christmas ever – it all starts now!

Warmest regards,
Tricia

PS  For gift ideas to help create positive change for the people you love, visit www.self-help-resources.co.uk.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2013

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.

Can You Prevent Cancer?

Cancer Care By Tricia Woolfrey

 

Today is World Cancer Day.  With cancer causing one in four of all deaths in the UK and one in three people likely to contract cancer in their lifetime, it makes sense to take preventative action to ensure that you don’t become a statistic yourself.

There are more than 200 types of cancer and causes range from lifestyle, genetics and environment.  Whilst nothing is guaranteed, there is a lot you can do to help safeguard yourself against this disease:

  • Eat organic food whenever possible – especially meat
  • Eat plenty of fibre
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Cancer feeds off sugar so keep your sugar intake to a minimum
  • Have a supplement program to make sure that your body is in tip-top condition
  • Enjoy regular exercise
  • Reduce your exposure to toxins such as pesticides found in non-organic food and parabens found in cosmetics and toiletries
  • With smoking causing almost 20% of all cancers, make sure you aren’t exposed to tobacco smoke
  • Keep your weight within a healthy range
  • Reduce your exposure to the sun and especially sunbeds
  • Keep your alcohol intake moderate
  • Manage stress – self hypnosis, effective problem solving techniques and EFT are great ways of doing this
  • Express your emotions constructively –bottling up emotions is toxic
  • Let go of negative emotions such as unforgiveness and anger
  • Practice meditation
  • Nurture loving and supportive relationships
  • Practice positive thinking
  • Have regular Asyra Pro assessments

It makes sense to take responsibility for your body and your health have an assessment to make sure you are in tip-top condition.  To celebrate World Cancer Day, I am offering a 25% discount if you book before the end of the week.  Call 0845 130 0854.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

Tricia Woolfrey is a hypnotherapist, coach, wellness practitioner and author based in Byfleet Village and Harley Street. www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk. 0845 130 0854.

Meditation – A Mirror Within a Mirror

When I was a child I accidentally discovered a way to contemplate infinity using only two mirrors, one handheld and one on the wall.

I was wondering what would happen if I looked at a mirror reflected in another mirror.  I played around and then suddenly there was a moment when an endless tunnel of reflected mirrors opened up, a window into infinity.

In my excitement, I took my father's tripod and mounted the handheld mirror onto it, trying to make it as still as possible to make the tunnel as deep as possible.

As the chain of reflections fused into a dark vanishing point in the "distance", I felt that this dark point was a piece of the same infinity that I saw when I looked at sky at night.

I repeated this experiment often.  It became one of the visual meditations that I loved then and still love to this day, like staring into an open fire, star gazing, watching the sun set, waves rolling onto the shore, snow flakes floating to the ground.

Later, when I started to meditate, I found the same sense of infinity behind closed eyelids in an inner space that deepened and expanded with time.

Go and explore this inner space in yourself, have glimpses of your own infinity!  Unlike the virtual space between facing mirrors, your inner space is full of life, light and spirit.

How do you go about this?  Find out here www.reiki-meditation.co.uk/meditationcourses.asp

About the Author

Michael Kaufmann is a Meditation Teacher, a Master & Teacher of Reiki Healing, a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Time Line Therapy™ and an Ericksonian Hypnotherapist with many years of clinical experience.  He has practices in the City of London and in Canterbury, Kent.  He can be reached via www.reiki-meditation.co.uk.

Tips for Having An Amicable Divorce

Divorce Help

 

Whatever the circumstances for the breakdown of the marriage, it is important to approach your divorce amicably.  This will enable both of you to salvage a post-divorce relationship (important if you have children); save money on solicitors’ bills and keep stress levels to a minimum.

At the time of the split, it may seem almost impossible to imagine you could have an amicable divorce. Emotions are running high and you are most probably feeling very negatively towards your husband/wife.  So how do you have an amicable divorce?

 

Here are 6 top tips:

  1. Be business-like
    This may sound cold but it is important to put aside your personal feelings for your spouse, when approaching the divorce process.
  2. Be respectful
    You may be feeling quite negative about your spouse at the moment. But remember, you once loved them, have shared your life with them and perhaps had a family with them. Respect their point of view even if you don’t agree with it.
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff
    Fighting over every small detail during the divorce is bad news. It will increase your stress levels as well as your legal costs. There can be no winners and losers in a divorce case.
  4. Put the children first
    All decisions must be made in the best interests of the children. This creates a positive environment for an on-going co-parenting relationship.
  5. Be honest
    Not being up front about information is going to cause animosity between you and your spouse when you are trying to resolve issues in the legal case. Be honest with your solicitor and your spouse.
  6. Live in the present
    Try not to dwell on the past. Unfortunately, you cannot undo what has been said and done to bring about the divorce. Live in the present to ensure you make the best decisions for your future.

©Rhiannon Ford 2012

Rhiannon Ford is a divorce coach and consultant. She provides practical help and emotional support to people going through divorce and separation. Rhiannon practised as a family law solicitor for many years, and is also a personal development coach. She uses her legal experience and coaching skills to provide clarity and comfort to help navigate her clients through the complexities of the divorce process. Find out more about her divorce consultancy services at www.rhiannonford.co.uk.

Reflexology – so much more than just a lovely foot rub

If you’ve not had a course of reflexology treatments you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is simply a relaxing foot massage.  Of course it is a relaxing foot massage, but it is also much, much more than that.   It is a therapy which can have a profound influence on your health and well-being, both physical and emotional.

Reflexology is based on a system of reflex points, or areas, on the feet which correspond with the organs and systems in your body.  These reflex points are a map, if you like, to the rest of your body.  A trained reflexologist will work over each of these reflex areas using different techniques – thumb walking, pinpointing, flexing, massaging – to stimulate the area.  Their sensitive fingers will pick up subtle differences in the reflex areas and they may linger over a spot where they detect an imbalance.  And all of this is done whilst you just sit back and relax, enjoying the sensations.

After a single session, some customers will feel deeply relaxed, will probably sleep better and feel calmer for a few days.  Some will feel energised and raring to go, as if their batteries have been recharged.

But it’s with the regular sessions that I have seen real improvements in the well-being of people.  My customers find that it helps them in many ways:

  • Managing and easing the pain of their arthritis*
  • To reduce feelings of anxiety and has helped rebuild confidence
  • They are less troubled by insomnia
  • As a nurturing, supportive, calming therapy, it is helping a customer who is grieving after their spouse passed away
  • Feelings of stress were lowered and my customer become pregnant when she had previously found it difficult to conceive
  • Feel calmer and healthier
  • One customer is eating more healthily, her periods are starting to return and she is hopeful that she will be pregnant soon
  • Stress-related digestive problems disappeared when she was having regular sessions
  • A busy business women found she did her most creative during treatments, enabling her to grow her business
     

However, you don’t need to have a particular condition to enjoy the benefits of reflexology.  Regular treatments will help you relax, improve mood, help sleep, relieve tension and improve a sense of well-being.  Reflexology is a gentle, deeply relaxing and non-invasive therapy and is suitable for people of all ages.  And it is important that we look after ourselves – if we don’t then how can we look after others?

Please note that reflexology cannot cure or diagnose anything, and it should not be used instead of conventional health care – always consult your GP or health professional for medical attention or advice.

*Reflexology is not suitable if you have arthritis in your feet or ankles.

About Julia McPherson

Julia is a complementary therapist, specialising in reflexology to help people find balance and wellbeing.  She offers a home visiting service for people in and around Sunbury on Thames, Walton on Thames, Hersham, Weybridge and Cobham.

Julia McPherson
Harmony Treatments
Email: Julia@harmonytreatments.com
Website: www.harmonytreatments.com
Phone: 07831 611261

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.

Substance Abuse, Addiction or Habit?

Substance Abuse by Tricia Woolfrey

Have you ever wondered whether you, or someone close to you is addicted to a substance, or if it’s just a bad habit?  Or perhaps that they abuse substances?  There is a lot of confusion between these terms which I would like to clarify in this article.

A habit is simply an automatic action, without any dependency.  It is something you do without thinking.  Like always having a biscuit with your tea, or brushing your teeth as soon as you get out of bed in the morning.  You do them automatically.

Addiction refers to being unable to stop a particular behaviour, despite repeated attempts to do so.  It is more a psychological dependency which can build a tolerance requiring more and more to get the same effect.  It is no longer about pleasure, it is about need as though the person can’t function without it.  The tolerance build up can fool the person into thinking they don’t have a problem, such as the heavy drinker who doesn’t get drunk.  This actually means that he has built up a tolerance which can hide the dangerous consequences for his health.  An addict will experience withdrawal symptoms – both psychological and physical which can be extremely unpleasant.

An addict will also be unable to stop, will exceed self-imposed limits (I’ll only have one), the behaviour will cut into the time they would usually spend doing other things and they will use despite the negative effect it has on their health.

An addiction can involve substances such as drugs (prescription or recreational), stimulants, cigarettes and alcohol. It can also include compulsive behaviours such as internet use, sex, gambling, shopping, or work.

Substance abuse, by contrast, involves getting into recurrent trouble as a consequence of the behaviour.  It is defined as one or more of the following over a 12 month period: reckless behaviour such as driving under the influence; the behaviour affecting work or school; continued use despite the impact on personal relationships; legal and/or financial problems as a result of the behaviour such as being charged with disorderly conduct, or going into debt to fund the behaviour.

A habit can easily lead to an addiction and addicts can kid themselves that it’s only a habit.  So, good questions to ask yourself are “is this habit positive and balanced?  Or is it negative and out of balance?”  “Can I stop now?” If it has become out of balance and you are unable to stop – it has become an addiction.  Addictions can also build up as a means of distracting from what else is happening in your life.  Distracting yourself is not a healthy way of coping so it’s important to build up your internal resources so that you are able to deal with life’s stressors without the need to resort to distractions.

It’s also important to beware that, in stopping one addiction, you don’t start a dependency on another addiction, for example moving from a dependency on alcohol to over-spending.  This becomes the doorway to start drinking again.  It’s always helpful to see a professional to deal with these complex issues.

If you would like to find out more about any of this, contact Tricia Woolfrey www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

© 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.