Friday, 22 February 2013

Personal reflections: "Red thoughts"

I've had a couple of fairly major injuries over the years from snowboarding (inlcuding a torn ACL and a dislocated elbow) and last week unfortunately I misjudged a jump in the board park, landing on my hand and damaging a ligament in my wrist. I am now 'proudly' sporting a plaster cast on my right arm and managing to see the lighter side of things, however I have to admit my thoughts were not so positive in the first 24 hours after it happened. I now want to take this opportunity to share some personal reflections and some of my own learnings of how to deal with injury or setback.

You would be forgiven for thinking that because I am well aware of the "theory" of psychology that I would have no trouble putting all the same things I help clients with, into practice myself. Unfortunately however it's not always as easy as that - this stuff takes practice! So there I was last week, being told that my arm would need to be put in a plaster cast and instantly my head was full of "red thoughts" may be familiar with how they go - "What an idiot I am to have fallen over! Now I've ruined the holiday" and "This will probably take ages to heal now, I'm so stupid".

What is the result of these "red thoughts"? Generally feelings of anger, frustration, muscle tension and hopelessness... none of which are helpful in any way! So why do we do this to ourselves? Moving beyond mistakes and recovering mentally is much more important than re-playing the mistake in your mind. It's like self punishment and some people believe if they feel bad enough they can somehow make up for the mistake. In reality, all this achieves is an increased focus on unhelpful images, which in turn makes you feel even worse.

So what is the alternative?! Something I'm now using more and more is a practice known as 'Mindfulness', which is essentially a tool to help build mental flexibility. Mindfulness has recently received increasing interest, especially in the world of sport and injury recovey and I've just finished reading a great book entitled "Mindfulness and Sports Psychology for Athletes" by Kristine Eiring and Colleen Hathaway which presents the "Three A's of The Mindfulness Solution - Aware, Accept and Action".

So what can you do when you find yourself beating yourself up or chastising yourself for a 'silly mistake'? Firstly be AWARE that this is happening. Be mindful of what you are saying to yourself, which can be done by taking a deep breath and observing your thoughts. The key here is don't fight them - this is unproductive! Next, ACCEPT that this is happening and not argue about it in your head. Accepting that you are having these thoughts helps to isolate them which is a key step to acceptance. Finally, take ACTION which involves stopping throwing your toys out of the pram and telling your mind an 'Action' step. Recognise you have a choice in changing your thoughts and reaslise that action gives you other options to feelings of hopelessness... Using this process you can move yourself from the unhelpful 'red thoughts' to more constructive 'green thoughts' which help you move forward.

So how did I pull myself out of my hole of self pity and punishment? I've now worked through my own process of awarenesss, acceptance and creating action to build up more helpful green thoughts... such as "I am moving forward with recovery, I feel strong and positive and now looking forward to getting back into my training". And as a result will snowboarding become a thing of the past? Of course not, I'm already looking forward to getting back on the slopes!  

If you have suffered an injury in your sport or any kind of setback and would like to find out more about the mindfulness process, please contact Christy on 01252 334377 or email:

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Is Hypnotherapy for YOU?

Do you ever...
  • Find yourself saying unhelpfully self-critical things to yourself?
  • Have a tendency to focus on the negatives in your life?
  • Wish you could learn to relax more easily and be less stressed?
  • Wish you could be more confident in your work or social situations?
  • Say to yourself… "If there was one thing I could change about my life, it would it be …."?
  • Want to be able to overcome anxieties or phobias, such as public speaking or a fear of spiders, heights etc?
  • Find yourself procrastinating and wish you could be more motivated?
  • Wish you could stop smoking but feel you've tried everything?
  • Wish you could be a more balanced and happier person?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then hypnotherapy could most definitely benefit you.

The purpose of hypnotherapy is to ultimately achieve relaxation and rejuvenate the body to reduce stress. Other benefits include helping to teach self-control and to replace unwanted habits with positive, more effective patterns of behaviour, whether that be to stop smoking or to behave in a more confident way. Hypnosis can also be used in conjunction with other techniques such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to quickly help people overcome specific fears and phobias or to refocus limiting beliefs and enable you to literally 'turn your life around'.

For a little more information about NLP please see here:

Hypnotherapy is a very natural experience and there is nothing whatsoever to be worried about or afraid of. No one apart from you has the power to change the way you think and feel - hypnotherapy can help you unleash your own ability to tap into the power of your own mind and make lasting positive changes to your life!

If you would like to find out how hypnotherapy might benefit you, please call Christy today for a free no-obligation chat on 01252 344377 or email