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Happy New Year! 2024 here we come!

Jan 01, 2024

Well now, the last 12 months have certainly been interesting on all fronts! Our brains don’t like change, and they don’t like uncertainty, and there’s been plenty of both to keep us all on our toes. The good news is that, if we take steps to keep ourselves in a good headspace, we can ride the ups and downs of life. When we view challenges as a stimulating opportunity for personal development, magical things can happen.

As far as my hypnotherapy business is concerned, there have been massive changes this year. In the first half of the year, two of the three therapy centres where I worked closed down, and that gave me the opportunity to review how I wanted to evolve my practice. I turned 65 in December, so I took the decision to retire from in-person sessions just before Christmas and give up my remaining therapy room.

The good news is, I can continue to provide hypnotherapy services to clients online via Zoom, so I can still help people who need support coping with anxiety, low mood, confidence issues, motivation and a whole range of other emotional issues. It’s so rewarding to be able to help people on a one-to-one basis like this.

Plus, because I’m not travelling between different therapy venues, I’ve had more time to develop resources for the online self-help course I launched in June 2022, ‘3 Powerful habits to overcome anxiety’. To complement the course, I launched two supporting products: a monthly blog showcasing ways to overcome anxiety, and a regular newsletter packed with news and articles to inspire readers to adopt a Solution Focused attitude towards life. I’m currently working on a free mini-workshop as an introduction to the main course, and that’s due to launch soon. I wouldn’t have had the capacity to develop any of these additional resources had I continued to work at all three therapy centres, so things have worked out really well.

How about you? What changes have you adapted to in the last 12 months? It’s worth taking time out to think about and give yourself a pat on the back for surviving any wobbles that life has thrown your way. By recognising you’ve successfully overcome unexpected hurdles, you can be more confident that you’ll cope well with future challenges. It all helps to build inner resilience and maintain that positive headspace I talked about earlier.

One of my favourite ways of keeping my brain nicely positively oriented is to seek out good news stories. There’s a ‘good news’ section in every newsletter, and here I’ve selected some of my favourite inspirational UK-based stories from 2023:


Reviving old traditions to support the local community

I never realised, but in days gone by, after bakers had finished baking their daily bread, they would allow local people to bring meals to cook in the residual heat in the bread ovens. So I was fascinated to read about public-spirited North Yorkshire baker, Ed Hamilton-Trewhitt, who revived the tradition after energy prices went sky-high in 2022. He invited local people to bring their home-made uncooked Christmas cake to his bakery on a Friday, and collect it baked on the Monday, all free of charge. So, rather than individuals having to heat their ovens for several hours each, he used the capacity of his bakery ovens to do the job for free for the whole community. Genius!


Helping to give former prisoners a fresh start

A couple of months ago I was watching a news item about a charity supporting homeless people living rough on the streets of London. In one scene two volunteers were talking with a young man about his circumstances. He told them he’d just been released from prison that morning and had nowhere to go. And that’s just awful. How can he hope to rebuild his life if that’s the situation he finds himself in? The story really stuck in my mind, so I was delighted to read about a Great Yarmouth charity, ‘Take a Chance on Me’, that helps to open doors for jobseekers who wouldn’t normally be selected for interview, perhaps because of their conviction history. As a further example of the community pulling together, a local menswear shop donates suits to the charity to lend to interview candidates, and hairdressers offer free haircuts, so they can look their best. So heart-warming.


Lateral thinking to find lost jewellery

From time to time I get calls from people who’ve lost jewellery asking if hypnotherapy can help them remember where they’d put it. I explain that I can help them by reducing any anxiety around the issue, so there are no mental barriers getting in the way of them recalling the location of the item. In this story, a woman lost her late mother’s precious rings that she kept on a chain around her neck, but in this case she knew exactly where she’d lost them. In the sea while swimming! In a moment of pure insight, it occurred to her that a metal detectorist might be able to help her find them. As luck would have it, the chap that she contacted, Matthew Kneebone, was familiar with the local tides and when conditions were right, off they went to the beach. Within half an hour Matthew not only found the chain, but all three rings as well. Wow! What are the chances of that?


Good Samaritan saves the wedding day

When bride Sharon Travers was a half a mile from the church where she was due to be married, the beautiful classic car she was travelling in broke down. All efforts to get the car started failed, and there was a real risk Sharon wouldn’t get to the church on time. What a nightmare! Fortunately, the chauffeur flagged down a passing car, explained the situation, and the driver and his wife were delighted to help. These Good Samaritans ferried the bride to church in style – their car happened to be a lovely Mercedes Coupe. Nice one!


Free holidays for carers

My favourite publication is a quarterly magazine called Positive News. It does exactly what the title suggests, delivering good news stories from around the world. My final story comes from one of the magazine’s articles about three organisations who offer free or pay-as-you-can holidays to people who really need it. The free or low-cost spaces are available to people who may need respite from caring for a loved one, people working for the common good like campaigners, artists or community leaders, or carers who have recently lost the person they were caring for. It’s so lovely to see that there are organisations who are willing provide support to the community in this way.

Stay motivated for positive change!

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