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Published 06 March, 2019 | Thinking Skills
Do you ever feel like you should be positive but you just don't feel it? No matter how hard you try to look on the bright side?
Published 26 February, 2019 | Relationship Advice
Ever been toyed with by a psychopath? Conned? Manipulated? Ever dated or been married to one? Worked for one? Voted for one? Perhaps you've even been attacked by one? Maybe you just know one?
Published 29 January, 2019 | Personal Productivity
Here are five steps to confront a bully at work
Published 04 December, 2013 | Relationship Advice
As with any of life's difficulties, having a strategy to help you through heartbreak and come out stronger makes the difference between extended emotional agony and a swifter-than-you-could-have-believed recovery.
Published 06 October, 2011 | Sleep Problems
Have you ever noticed that the average amount of sleep people seem to need is always 'five more minutes'? The dreaded alarm goes off or your partner yells at you to WAKE UP! And it's "just give me five more minutes" - as if 300 more measly seconds will replenish the awakener all they need for the day ahead.
Published 13 September, 2011 | Communication Skills
My girlfriend said she was impressed; but I wasn't pleased with the way I'd 'handled' the situation. For years afterwards (and still now, it appears), I would use this incident as an example of how not to be assertive.
Published 08 September, 2011 | Relationship Advice
We're all interested in human personality and motivation. Personality tests, quizzes, and analysis are massively popular search terms. Sit down in any public space for a little while and eavesdrop on conversations people have about the people in their lives. We all love to talk personality types.
Published 18 August, 2011 | Social Anxiety
One grave problem with chronic approval seeking is that it leaves you vulnerable to being manipulated by others. People pick up that you're anxious to please them, that your main priority is that 'everything be okay'. Another problem with being too eager to gain approval is that it can get in the way of actually being effective in a situation.
Published 04 August, 2011 | Stress Reduction
You're being hunted. It's 20,000 years ago. The terrible truth filters into your prehistoric brain: you've become separated from your tribe and are alone in a land packed with predators.
Published 13 July, 2011 | Communication Skills
People are perverse or - let's be fair - they can be. You think you read them right and wham! They do something to confound your expectations. Were there any clues you missed?
Published 01 June, 2011 | Thinking Skills
If you really are a perfectionist, you've probably already found it troublesome; possibly even a deal-breaker in some instances - a royal road to disappointment and anguish, not to mention impaired relationships.
Published 27 May, 2011 | Relationship Advice
Many people want a main relationship in their life. But for some people, it's harder for new relationships to 'take', to grow and thrive.
Published 10 May, 2011 | Personal Productivity
People seldom mean to sabotage themselves. It's not generally a conscious decision to spoil things - and that's a problem. We can be left with the feeling: "Why did I do that?!" Many of our emotional drivers remain unconscious, which is why chronic self-saboteurs will often use conscious justification (or what seem like excuses) to explain their actions.
Published 28 March, 2011 | Relationship Advice
'Fear of commitment' is a well-known phrase. We hear it in the media, as well as use it to describe ourselves or other people who seem chronically unable to decide whether to commit properly to a relationship. Fear of commitment might range from a little uncertainty about your relationship to an absolute terror of 'settling down'.
Published 19 March, 2011 | Weight Loss Help
Whether male or female, it seems our modern Holy Grail is the ideal body. We're all encouraged to idealize physical perfection and to make our own bodies as near to ideal as possible. Of course, the 'perfect body' is perceived as different for both men and women.
Published 01 February, 2011 | Thinking Skills
Being able to think strategically, rationally, and objectively is a vital tool to be used alongside more direct, intuitive 'gut feelings'. But most of us are never taught how to think. We can all learn to think better by knowing what the more common critical thinking mistakes are, so as to avoid them as far as possible.
Published 08 December, 2010 | Relationship Advice
He wasn't just determined to get his ex-girlfriend back; he wanted to marry her. Trouble was, she was just about to marry another man - she was literally at the altar. But true love won out and he got her back anyway, just in the nick of time. Movies - don't you just love them? 'The Graduate' has got to be one of my all-time favourite films.
Published 01 December, 2010 | Parenting Skills
Children do exasperate you. The problem is, they have minds of their own! And sometimes, no matter how understanding, reasonable, and morally didactic you are, they still behave like Fagin's urchins from 'Oliver Twist' (even after you've read the latest childrearing bestseller).
Published 02 November, 2010 | Stress Reduction
In your twenties, if you take up a new hobby or decide to travel, it's just seen as you being who you are. But in your forties, any new decision or change in direction leaves you open to diagnostic mutterings of, "Ah, midlife crisis!" Life is full of transitions, but when you make them in your middle years, it's labelled a crisis.
Published 25 October, 2010 | Confidence and Self Esteem
"You are not meant for crawling, so don't. / You have wings / Learn to use them, and fly." ~ Mevlana Jelalu'ddin Rumi, 13th century
Published 19 October, 2010 | Confidence and Self Esteem
Basil just couldn't bring himself to admit liability. We've all known people like this. It's never their fault, is it? It's their parents' or children's or bunny rabbit's fault. It's their star sign or the cat next door or you! "You made me do that!"
Published 23 September, 2010 | Personal Productivity
"Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them." (Albert Einstein) True creativity is fresh, new, and unexpected. And it can be shocking.
Published 30 August, 2010 | Bad Habits
I'm all for people living their lives how they choose. And I love wine; but, as we all know, more is most definitely not better, not in the long- or even short-term. It's easy to kid ourselves we're not drinking too much wine, to pretend it's harmless. But millions of people have let an innocent nightly tipple turn into a mortally threatening compulsion.
Published 23 August, 2010 | Stress Reduction
Chronic moodiness can be a symptom of prolonged stress (in which case dealing with the stress should make you less moody), and blood sugar imbalance or hormonal fluctuations can also affect mood. But it's also true to say that moodiness can become a way of life, a habit. And whatever the cause of our moodiness, we can all get better at managing our emotions.
Published 16 August, 2010 | Overcoming Fears
Fear of failure is closely linked to fear of rejection and criticism from others, as well as to procrastination and excuse making. You can always create an excuse not to do anything, no matter how potentially valuable and rewarding. It's just whether you choose to believe those excuses.
Published 09 August, 2010 | Depression Treatment
Feeling depressed is horrible. Depression saps motivation, energy, sociability, optimism, and peace of mind. And what does it replace these things with? Despair, anxiety, regret, 'restless sleep', loss of confidence, hopelessness, and exhaustion. Find out what you can do about it, now.
Published 04 August, 2010 | Relationship Advice
Divorce, whether it was something you wanted or not, can leave you feeling sad, even hopeless. Guilt, anger, resentment, bitterness, a sense of betrayal, feelings of hatred even, all cloud your brain as you try to continue life as 'normal'. But within every change lies opportunity.
Published 20 July, 2010 | Personal Productivity
I'm sure you've had times when your intentions were good, when you really believed what you wanted to do was positive and for the best...but somehow the actual doing of the exercise, focusing on that project, sticking to that diet, or building that business didn't really materialize. Willpower matters because it helps make the possible real.
Published 13 July, 2010 | Depression Treatment
Knowing both how depression works and why you may be feeling a bit depressed at the moment can help you begin to combat it more effectively. The first question I want you to ask yourself is: What is my life lacking at the moment, causing me to feel depressed?
Published 28 June, 2010 | Relationship Advice
Research shows that most of us are terrible at spotting a liar, because we have all been trained to look for body language signals that are not actually associated with lying. I want to encourage you to forget all the body language clichés and focus on signs of lying that will tell you the truth.
Published 16 June, 2010 | Thinking Skills
The present and future didn't seem to exist for her. I suspected she'd had lots of the kind of 'therapy' that feels it's best to dig continually into the past. What had all that historical focusing actually done for her?
Published 22 May, 2010 | Communication Skills
"Don't talk to strangers!" To which a pedantic (and annoyingly bright) seven-year-old might reply: "What, never! How about when I'm forty; at a party or having a job interview?"
Published 08 May, 2010 | Overcoming Fears
He wasn't merely anxious about using the phone; he was terrified. But he had good reason. During his wartime experience in the trenches, a shell had exploded just as he was dialling the telephone.
Published 04 May, 2010 | Personal Productivity
A lack of punctuality is one of many ways to relay that special little signal: "You don't really matter!"
Published 28 April, 2010 | Stress Reduction
Performance anxiety gets in the way of performance because it clutters the mind just when your consciousness needs to be clear and 'light'.
Published 21 April, 2010 | Health Tips
The paradox of hypochondria is that the sufferer often knows they are a hypochondriac even whilst maintaining they are justified in believing they are ill.
Published 12 April, 2010 | Dealing with Difficult People
If we're caught in an avalanche, it's a natural instinct to adopt the defensive posture and make like a foetus. But being emotionally defensive as a general strategy is self-destructive.
Published 10 April, 2010 | Work Skills
Starting a new job feels daunting, like the first day in school. The unfamiliarity coupled with the stress of wanting to please can feel overwhelming...and too much stress makes it harder to concentrate and do a good job...causing more stress...! What can you do?
Published 08 April, 2010 | Thinking Skills
When you are proactive and put plans into action, you may find you don't always have to wait for the 'cage door' to open. You may just find you can force it open yourself.
Published 06 April, 2010 | Relationship Advice
Sibling rivalry can be complex. You might love your sibling but resent them. What's more, the intensity of your resentment can leave you baffled: "I'm an adult now; why does it still hurt so much?!"
Published 28 March, 2010 | Depression Treatment
I am not anti-medication, per se. But I am against medication that isn't really medication at all. It wouldn't matter so much that antidepressants are basically active placebos if the side effects weren't so potentially nasty and dangerous.
Published 22 March, 2010 | Confidence and Self Esteem
Our bodies are an important part of who we are. It's not that we have to shove nudity in people's faces (unless we're lap dancers) to show how wonderfully un-uptight we are. However, life becomes a little easier and more enjoyable when we can relax about nakedness when it does happen.
Published 18 March, 2010 | Communication Skills
Let's face it: Lois Lane just didn't fancy Clark Kent, did she? But why not? He was good-looking, gentle, kind, thoughtful, sensibly dressed...
Published 17 March, 2010 | Overcoming Fears
She fears she's going crazy. He wants her to think she's going mad so he can have her locked up in an institution. This scary plot from the 1944 film Gaslight hits a real nerve for many people. After all, who hasn't sometimes worried they might be...well, losing it?
Published 16 March, 2010 | Relaxation Techniques
"What's the difference between meditation and hypnosis?" I have been asked this question a thousand times. Both meditation and hypnosis require a certain kind of focus of mind - often (but not always) purposefully directed. I have a great deal of experience using hypnosis but less so with meditation, so the differences I cite here are my personal opinions. I welcome and encourage any meditative types to please comment if you feel I've missed anything.
Published 13 March, 2010 | Personal Productivity
As a prisoner of war in the steamy jungles of Vietnam, he held out for months, repeatedly refusing to sign documents decrying American aggression in Southeast Asia presented to him by the North Vietnamese after his crash and imprisonment. During these times, he drew inspiration from the memory of how his grandfather had been the only person in their village strong enough not to vote for Hitler during elections, despite threats of execution.
Published 10 March, 2010 | Overcoming Fears
David explained to me how he'd been traumatized at school when having inoculations. More recently, he'd tried to overcome his needle phobia by attempting to give blood. The terror had been so intense, he'd ripped out the needle and fainted.
Published 08 March, 2010 | Weight Loss Help
Hypnotherapy isn't a pill (even most pills don't work instantly). It's not just a case of telling someone to be a certain way and that's it, now they're sorted...forever. Obesity is a condition that can have many different contributing factors.
Published 05 March, 2010 | Overcoming Fears
Natural fear of death - such as any of us would experience if, say, confronted by an axe-wielding maniac or an aggressive illness - had for Gillian become an obsession, something that ate into, chewed up, and spat out her good times and kept her awake at nights.
Published 02 March, 2010 | Confidence and Self Esteem
Most of us compare ourselves to others. Mass media beams in the finest looking, richest, and most talented people into our lives 24/7. This creates the illusion that we 'know' all these beautiful, clever, younger, athletic, rich, able people. Because we compare ourselves to people we know, this illusion of knowing air-brushed 'have-it-alls' can make us feel correspondingly worse about ourselves.
Published 02 March, 2010 | Addiction Help
"Am I an alcoholic?" Lionel asked me with a tinge of desperation. I studied his face. Broken veins, dark under-eye circles, sunken cheeks. Lionel was thirty.
Published 26 February, 2010 | Confidence and Self Esteem
Self-confidence isn't just about what you think or imagine, although that makes a huge difference. It's also about actions. The activities you do, how you act and stretch yourself, are a vital part of building your self-confidence.
Published 25 February, 2010 | Addiction Help
Geoff had come to see me for help with depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Toward the end of the session, he casually mentioned: "Yeah, I love coffee; I drink twenty cups a day!"
Published 22 February, 2010 | Dealing with Difficult People
Some people profess to being attracted to moody types (unpredictability can be interesting), but if you're over thirty (chronologically or emotionally), then moodiness in others has probably lost its appeal.
Published 22 February, 2010 | Exercise and Fitness
If you want to get the psychological edge (bearing in mind that the mind will always influence the body), then try these tips to up your running endurance to get fitter and/or to perform better in races and even smash records.
Published 20 February, 2010 | Relationship Advice
The concept of unrequited love may sound out of date. But, as evidenced by the huge number of people searching the term online, human concerns haven't really changed all that much since good old Will Shakespeare purportedly wrote: "Love is the most beautiful of dreams and the worst of nightmares."
Published 18 February, 2010 | Bad Habits
My teeth missed the hors d'oeuvre for which they'd been aiming and I bit painfully into my own lip. Ouch! You'd think that after a lifetime of eating practice, these kinds of nibbling errors would have been ironed out. I winced, pretending that nothing was awry as pain stabbed my lower lip like Norman Bates in a motel shower.
Published 12 February, 2010 | Health Tips
It used to be believed that warts were caught from handling frogs or, more specifically, toads (warts are viral, but not toad-related). It was also believed that the local practitioner of magic could 'charm them' away.
Published 12 February, 2010 | Sleep Problems
Deep sleep is something we all need for physical and mental health. Here I want to discuss specific ideas to help you drift back off to sleep after night time awakening.
Published 08 February, 2010 | Obsessive / Compulsive?
A woman joked to me once that she wished her husband could develop an addictive fascination with tidying! Could I, she wondered, help implant a "mania for cleanliness" in her husband using the dark arts of hypnosis?
Published 03 February, 2010 | Health Tips
Elaine was well into her seventies when she came to see me, hoping that hypnosis could help her reduce her high blood pressure naturally and avoid the need for drugs. I asked her about her lifestyle and found that she had done - and was doing - all the things you too should do to naturally lower blood pressure.
Published 29 January, 2010 | Overcoming Fears
Once, a beautiful princess sat by an ornate pool in her palace grounds. As she peered down, admiring her beautiful reflection in the surface of the clear pool, her priceless crown suddenly slipped from her head and into the waters with a splash.
Published 27 January, 2010 | Overcoming Fears
"It's 'nyctophobia'. I feel embarrassed to admit it! I'm twenty-eight. It's normally kids that have it. I manage eight people at work. I shouldn't have this phobia, but I have. Can you help me?"
Published 26 January, 2010 | Relationship Advice
Your self-esteem shouldn't be totally dependent on the person with whom you happen to be in a relationship. But the fact is, relationships do have a big impact on the way you feel. And that includes the way you feel about yourself.
Published 22 January, 2010 | Hypnosis Reviews
I have to confess right off to being a non-smoker. Personally, I never had the willpower to start smoking by working through the initial revulsion until it felt okay. But I've helped hundreds quit smoking over the years, so was intrigued to review The Non-Smoker's Edge.
Published 20 January, 2010 | Hypnosis Reviews
You've heard it before - life comes without an instruction manual. You get cast out there, expected to fend for yourself, and no-one really knows how best to stay healthy and happy. Or do they?
Published 19 January, 2010 | Addiction Help
You've maybe heard it said that as a person is drowning, their whole life plays before their eyes. But imagine if most of your memories are not yours at all but made up of thousands of hours of other people's experiences. Many people's future memories will be passively absorbed chunks of other people's lives glimpsed from tens of thousands of hours glued to the television. Will you be one of those people?
Published 18 January, 2010 | Sleep Problems
What makes you happy? Riches? Beautiful clothes? Come on, we can do better than that. What about wonderful experiences? A glimpse of sunshine gently sliding though winter trees? A job well done? A skill mastered? Shared time with a friend or lover? Skipping through a meadow?
Published 15 January, 2010 | Relationship Advice
There it was again: a fresh but already yellowing circle around her eye. I swear the month before she'd carried, for a while, the puffed signs of a swollen jaw; not long before that she'd been wearing dark glasses on an overcast morning. She worked in our local post office. She always looked diffident, unsure, depressed. I never felt able to ask her about herself; the context was all wrong somehow. But I guessed that whoever she was going back to, again and again, was the centre of her Universe - and not in a good way.
Published 13 January, 2010 | Overcoming Fears
Being alone can be a pleasure, a self-imposed state induced by social anxiety, or enough to cause a fear amounting to phobia (sometimes called monophobia) so bad that it drives people to do anything other than spend time alone. The person who is terrified of being alone feels fundamentally unsafe and unable to look after themselves. Other people are related to as surrogate parents rather than, say, romantic partners.
Published 12 January, 2010 | Sexual Problems
What did I do to help Philip with impotence? Well, you can read about some of the approaches in my article "Male Sexual Enhancement Techniques" - such as how to maximize your psychological attitude to sex, as well as some exercises you can do to strengthen erections (here's a hint: they don't involve gym membership). But here are some other tips and techniques to help rectify the 'collapse of stout party' and get you relaxed and hard during lovemaking.
Published 29 December, 2009 | Relationship Advice
Strange one, this: how can we live with someone, see them every day, sleep with them (Biblically and otherwise), share all kinds of experiences, but still not feel emotionally intimate with them? Candice was telling me the reasons why she felt she'd had to divorce her husband.
Published 23 December, 2009 | Communication Skills
I was enjoying a self-righteously healthy salad in a café in town the other day, minding my own business, craning to hear other people's conversation. Two young women with one guy were chatting:
"So, he's like, you know, 'No way!' So, I goes, 'Way!' And he's like, 'What?' So I goes, 'What what?' So he goes, 'What you on about?' So I'm like, 'What are you like!'"
Published 21 December, 2009 | Overcoming Fears
Some people should be scared of driving. I refer, of course, to the maniac driver. You cower in the passenger seat rapidly finding God (any god) to pray to furiously. Your foot involuntarily applies imaginary brakes and you energetically decline any future lift offers with the excuse that walking is good for your blood pressure (at least more so than being in a car with that maniac). But some perfectly capable drivers don't drive due to fear. What can be done?
Published 18 December, 2009 | Confidence and Self Esteem
If you have low self-esteem then you are better than you think you are. This is the definition of low self-esteem. When your self-esteem improves, it's because your self-knowledge has improved; just as the ugly duckling in Hans Christian Anderson's famous tale had to learn its true nature before it could become fulfilled.
Published 17 December, 2009 | Social Anxiety
She was intimidating - twenty years older than my 23 summers - but I had to confront her. I was her manager and her bullying of another female member of staff had to stop.
Published 08 December, 2009 | Addiction Help
Alcohol withdrawal needs to be approached in just the right way and if you have been drinking profusely, then I urge you to seek medical assistance. The tips in this article can be used as an adjunct to supervised medical alcohol withdrawal.
Published 04 December, 2009 | Sleep Problems
"Sleep. That's all I need, just some sleep. I've suffered insomnia for years and it's got worse." Natalie was in her fifties. She told me how she had driven around New Zealand recently and barely slept a wink the whole time. "I've always had trouble switching off, getting to sleep, and staying asleep. I was on sleeping pills but they didn't help. I've tried hypnotherapy, exercising during the day, even faith healing! You'd think driving all day in New Zealand would have worn me out enough to sleep, but it didn't."
Published 02 December, 2009 | Relationship Advice
There they sat, both about fifty. I guessed they'd been together since Paleo times, but even so, I was struck by the sheer boredom emanating from each of them toward one another. They didn't speak; not an angry silence, but a "What possibly else can there ever be to talk about? We've said it all." Maybe I'd caught them on an off day, but I'd seen them having lunch in this pub before and it was always the same.
Published 01 December, 2009 | Social Anxiety
I've met people who don't care at all what others think. These may be lovely people in some ways, but they tend to do to social situations what, say, an unseasonable heat wave might do to the Winter Olympics. Still, in some ways you can envy them.
Published 23 November, 2009 | Bad Habits
Turns out Claire had lied since she was little. Recently she'd lied at work, telling everyone she was terminally ill with cancer. She'd got a huge amount of sympathy and attention, not to mention extended time off. Now she'd been found out and fired.
Published 19 November, 2009 | Bad Habits
I could understand Marilyn pulling out her own eyelashes, but even she sounded shocked with what she went on to tell me: "I've taken to obsessively tearing out my three-year-old daughter's eyelashes and nibbling them! It's sick, I know; but it's become such a compulsion."
Published 17 November, 2009 | Confidence and Self Esteem
Once there lived an old man who kept all different kinds of animals. But his grandson was particularly intrigued by two tigers that lived together in one cage. The tigers had different temperaments; one was calm and self-controlled whilst the other was unpredictable, aggressive, violent, and vicious.
Published 16 November, 2009 | Stress Reduction
"They called me 'Mr Cool'. I was the guy that diffused live bombs. I was totally calm, detached, and professional before, during, and after an operation. But all I can say is I've lost my cool."
Published 13 November, 2009 | Stress Reduction
"She's had a nervous breakdown!" Half whispers, hushed tones, fear; something strange, to my young mind, had happened to "the woman down the street at number 36." I had no idea what a nervous breakdown was or what the symptoms were, but I sensed it was an awful, mysterious, terrifying thing.
Published 12 November, 2009 | Health Tips
Noise sensitivity - technically known as misophonia - isn't just a mild irritation or dislike of noises. For the sufferer, the noises become over-riding obsessions and can lead to depression, anxiety, and severe anger.
Published 11 November, 2009 | Addiction Help
Dan had a shopping addiction. I doubt whether he even used that £10,000 camera and, thankfully, I talked him into taking it back and getting a refund. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Published 04 November, 2009 | Bad Habits
5 tips to help you overcome trichotillomaniaShe was a glamorous woman, no doubt: a lovely complexion, beautiful teeth, and full luscious hair; only it wasn't. Laura removed the wig shamefacedly to reveal shredded follicles and patches of bare raw scalp like a ravaged crop field. Her eyes welled up.
Published 30 October, 2009 | Health Tips
"I've been told I've got poor blood circulation and if I don't do something about it, I could be dead before I'm fifty!" Brian was morbidly overweight, stank of cigarettes, and admitted to a "terrible temper" - all these things individually can contribute to high blood pressure.
Published 27 October, 2009 | Sexual Problems
"I was the first woman George ever slept with. I'm far more sexually experienced than him, but it feels ridiculous telling him what to do. He's got no idea! He's clumsy, sometimes he can't get it up at all, or he ejaculates in less time than it takes the kettle to boil!"
Published 26 October, 2009 | Dating Advice
I had merely exclaimed to a pal (perhaps a tinge enviously) how women seemed to fall at his feet. How did it happen? I was still under the illusion that looks were all when it came to dating, but Matt didn't have looks, he wasn't tall or rugged, but he was funny, razor sharp, confident, knew how to talk, and he had his own unique style. In short, he had 'something about him' in bucket loads.
Published 26 October, 2009 | Stress Reduction
Joan had been a model wife since the "stabbing incident" and her husband loved and appreciated her despite the squabble twenty-eight years before that had ended up with him in hospital
Published 23 October, 2009 | Relationship Advice
The 78-year-old man looked at me and sighed, "I'd give anything to have an erection again!" I'll speedily add that this was in a clinical setting, not a social one. He'd been depressed and had lost his libido in the bargain. Depression and, to some extent (though less than you might think), age certainly do have a dampening effect on sex drive.
Published 22 October, 2009 | Personal Productivity
"My problem has always been that I can't study. By trying one study technique after another, I scrape by, but I never really get the grades I could be getting. But there's no scraping by with these tests. I've got to knuckle down and study!"
Published 21 October, 2009 | Confidence and Self Esteem
Robert had become stuck in a vicious cycle: he blushed when he was embarrassed, then became embarrassed because he was blushing! So he blushed some more. Recent research shows that the more we think we are blushing, the more we blush
Published 20 October, 2009 | Health Tips
Okay, we've all been there (help me out here, fellas): you're standing at the urinal; you want to go, but...you just can't. Anxiety, embarrassment, self-consciousness, feeling pressured around others; whatever the cause, most of us have sometimes experienced shy or 'bashful bladder'.
Published 19 October, 2009 | Overcoming Fears
I'd never had a fear of heights until now, but as the crane took me higher, I noticed with increasing alarm the sounds from the ground far below now becoming muted; the crowd distant. Oh no! I began to breathe rapidly and sweat like a dressed up pig in a sauna whilst my thoughts raced away quicker than a missed train.
Published 16 October, 2009 | Personal Productivity
We males have much higher levels of testosterone pumping around our systems, making us more naturally suited to risk taking, competitiveness, and physical activity. To deny masculine traits is to deny our birthright.
Published 15 October, 2009 | Confidence and Self Esteem
Okay, right off, you might think: "Who the heck is he, a man, to tell me, a woman, how to be more feminine! How dare he? Humph!"
Well, I figured women write about men and masculinity, so I'm going to write about femininity.
Published 14 October, 2009 | Overcoming Fears
"I used to have this recurring nightmare. I'd be standing on a rain swept street corner - utterly alone - totally abandoned, lost...I always wondered why I had that dream. Then one day, it happened for real. My ma walked out on all of us!"
Published 13 October, 2009 | Confidence and Self Esteem
Self-confidence isn't there just to make you feel good. We need self-confidence to drive our aspirations to make them real; it's as much a vehicle as a destination in itself. What's more, when you are self-confident others feel it and can't help but respond.
Published 09 October, 2009 | Stress Reduction
Tension may be okay in the short-term, but long-term it's a warning. Here are some ways for you to relieve tension to make sure you can become more productive, healthy, and satisfied with your life.
Published 08 October, 2009 | Personal Productivity
You are able to be incredibly self-motivated! It's true. We all are, given the right context. If I park my car on your toe, your true motivation for action would manifest immediately - motivation for me to get my darn car off your foot! If you develop a terrible itch, the really intense kind on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the itchiest), how compelled are you to scratch it? Motivation in these contexts is easy to produce.
Published 07 October, 2009 | Overcoming Fears
Some people think they have a fear of flying when what they really experience is claustrophobia; not liking to feel 'shut in'. Here I want to focus on fear of flying proper.
Published 06 October, 2009 | Communication Skills
He'd been so terrified of his best man's speech he drunk half a bottle of whisky, tripped over the microphone, and belched casually at the audience before stumbling away. He'd made an impact all right, but not the one he (not to mention the bride and groom) had hoped for.
Published 05 October, 2009 | Overcoming Fears
I had expected to pass my driving test the first time, but as the little old lady dived out the way like a stunt extra from a Die Hard movie, doubt began to creep in. I swerved and she leapt, somersaulting down a grassy knoll (I exaggerate slightly).
Published 02 October, 2009 | Thinking Skills
As someone once said: "Life's problems reveal who we really are!" and that's true; negative thinkers can "yeah, but" when things are going great. On the other hand, the more resilient of positive thinkers can remain upbeat when times are tough.
Published 01 October, 2009 | Sexual Problems
Worrying about outcome blocks performance. And sexual performance anxiety is no different. Sex needs to be relaxed, spontaneous, and fun; a chance to deepen intimacy and be absorbed only in the immediate... Instead, many men feel it is a test of their manhood. But 'tests' can be passed or failed - and that's the problem.
Published 30 September, 2009 | Memory and Learning
Concentration is vital if you want to achieve anything. How and on what you focus determines what kind of life you have. Any great piece of music, painting, tennis stroke, surgical procedure, book, hoop shot, building, movie, or computer programming can only come about through the transforming power of deep and prolonged concentration.
Published 29 September, 2009 | Social Anxiety
"I'm okay in a work context or when things are a bit more formal and organized, because I know what to talk about. But as soon as it's kind of unregulated - you know, just mixing with other people - I go to pieces. It's like I need a well-defined focus or I panic!"
Published 28 September, 2009 | Obsessive / Compulsive?
"It's as if I'm hypnotized, sucked into the moment. I just forget everything: the mortgage, my kids. All I see is what I want and it's as if getting it will make me happy! And it does...for a few moments."
Published 25 September, 2009 | Relationship Advice
"If he's quiet I actually start panicking! I'm thinking: What's he planning? Is he going to finish with me? Has he met someone else? If I don't know exactly where he is I get suspicious. He constantly has to reassure me. What can I do?"
Published 24 September, 2009 | Marriage Help
Some couples argue passionately but still have a happy marriage. Others argue less but when they do, the relationship is severely damaged. What's the difference?
Published 23 September, 2009 | Relationship Advice
Sure, most of us argue sometimes and it would be a boring world if we all saw things in exactly the same way. But destructive arguing can destroy valuable relationships. The opposite of arguing isn't agreement in all things, it's knowing how to disagree and still maintain mutual respect and liking.
Published 22 September, 2009 | Addiction Help
Think of the words we use to describe taking alcohol: A quick 'jar', a 'nip, bevy, wee dram' - we have affectionate terms for drinks and that's a problem. Seeing something as a supportive friend when it's undermining your very existence makes it all the harder to quit. Of course no 'friend' should be a problem. A thief may seem charming, companionable, and cute - but they are still a thief.
Published 21 September, 2009 | Personal Productivity
Exercising self-discipline can make the difference between an averagely talented person doing something amazing with their lives and a naturally talented person realizing very little of their potential.
Published 18 September, 2009 | Relationship Advice
Kevin admitted that when they went out in public, he would insist she sit toward a wall so that she couldn't see (or be seen by) other potential attractive mates. If he caught her chatting or joking with male neighbours or colleagues, he would assume right off she was having an affair. She had stopped seeing a really good male friend she'd known since childhood and he'd "banned" her from chatting to a 70-year-old married man who lived next door. This was maddening.
Published 17 September, 2009 | Social Anxiety
Fear should keep us alert and safe - like the beam from a lighthouse warning ships of submerged dangers. But too much fear, like a super-beam of light blinding the ship's captain, can cause the loss of the very thing we feared losing.
Published 16 September, 2009 | Bad Habits
Teeth grinding used to really bug a pal of mine. He'd wake in the morning with an aching jaw, he'd catch himself grinding absentmindedly during the day, and pretty soon his teeth started to look like crumbling tombstones in a bad western movie.
Published 15 September, 2009 | Dating Advice
Dave felt uncertain about his looks, he thought his conversation was boring and felt he might run out of things to say. He reminded himself that women find confident men attractive. Somehow this thought made him feel even worse. And he knew he was thinking too much. The trouble was he'd known (even through the alcoholic haze) that Sue was the kind of woman he could really get to like. He sat waiting...
Published 14 September, 2009 | Obsessive / Compulsive?
Obsessive thoughts breed compulsive actions. The mother who feels that unless she waves five times at her son as he goes to school something bad will happen to him, the anxious businessman who has to 'avert disaster' before boarding a plane by clearing his throat thirty times, or the young girl who can keep her parents safe by walking around her bed 50 times before sleeping. Obsessive thoughts often have this element of superstition about them.
Published 11 September, 2009 | Addiction Help
"It feels compulsive now," he told me. "It's worse when I'm stressed and I've even started doing it in the restroom at work! It's as if I can't have an erotic thought or even a stressful situation without feeling I have to go masturbate!"
Published 10 September, 2009 | Dating Advice
If you're in the market to be more charismatic, here's a riddle for you: What makes you attractive even if you're ugly? What moves people to take notice even if you're penniless? What invisible 'magic' can seduce, convince, inspire, and mesmerize others? You're ahead of me - it's charisma, of course. Like gravity, which cannot be seen but has powerful effects, we can't 'see' charisma but we know when someone has it.
Published 08 September, 2009 | Confidence and Self Esteem
Her shyness was typical: Fear of meeting new people, lack of self-confidence, self-consciousness, and feeling by turns 'invisible' or all too visible. But she now reckons she has got rid of 95% of her shyness. I'd like to share with you some of the tips and techniques I used to help her.
Published 07 September, 2009 | Addiction Help
Internet porn addiction, like online gambling, is easier to fall into, because what once involved going out and meeting others face-to-face can now be done easily and covertly at the click of a button. This availability makes it all the more potentially devastating. So why does porn addiction happen?
Published 04 September, 2009 | Memory and Learning
It was a beautiful Spanish spring day. I sat in a café in a small southern village, the light lazily playing on my face as it filtered through intertwined branches above. The smell of fresh oranges wafted on the warming breeze and a church bell sounded from the other end of the valley. Then something amazing happened.
Published 03 September, 2009 | Overcoming Fears
"One moment I was driving along thinking about work. The next, I felt like I was going to die! I got really hot, started breathing hard, began to sweat, became tearful, and my pounding heart felt like it was going to burst!" She trembled as she spoke; even recalling it made her tearful.
Published 02 September, 2009 | Personal Productivity
She had two weeks to complete her degree dissertation. The culmination of three years of study, the key to her chosen career - and was she getting down to it? No. As she told me bitterly of her endless procrastinating: "I'm a rabbit caught in headlamps!"
Published 01 September, 2009 | Sleep Problems
We all know that caffeine and nicotine stimulate and should be avoided for at least three hours before bedtime, but there are other kinds of stimulants just as hazardous to a good night's kip.
Published 31 August, 2009 | Communication Skills
A great speech should feel like you and the audience are discovering things together. As if you are making connections there and then from a solid base of knowledge. It needs to feel spontaneous, not like a pre-recorded playback.
Published 09 August, 2009 | Pain Relief
What was happening to me? One moment I was feeling fine among high school classmates gathered around the piano as another boy played; the next, I was nauseous, seeing flashing lights, and feeling like a number twelve boot had been solidly placed, at great speed, into the side of my head.
Published 04 August, 2009 | Pain Relief
The taxi driver loved to talk. On dropping me outside my hotel in Glasgow, he graciously opened the door for me. One second, comfort; the next, the sort of all-encompassing pain that, in my opinion, should not directly follow an exchange of cash. He'd slammed my hand in his door.
Published 04 August, 2009 | Bad Habits
Uncontrolled nail biting - that horrible soreness and knowing it looks pretty awful - can be exasperating, but there are things you can do. First off, become aware of what triggers the nail biting. Is it boredom, stress, tiredness, anger, loneliness, hunger?
Published 04 August, 2009 | Work Skills
There were once three lazy sons. While their father worked hard on the farm, they lounged, squabbled, ate, and drank. Eventually the father died and left them a will. They were greedily delighted when they saw what it read...
Published 04 August, 2009 | Sexual Problems
Premature ejaculation plagues millions of men. It can leave both you and your partner dissatisfied, disappointed, embarrassed, and with feelings of guilt. But how does the pattern of premature ejaculation begin?
Published 28 July, 2009 | Weight Loss Help
She came to see me. Sheila was her name: "It's always the same. I get motivated for a few days, lose weight, then something happens and I pile it all on again and more! I'm getting married in three months! You'd think that would be motivation enough but my weight's been even more all over the place lately!"
Published 28 July, 2009 | Social Anxiety
Nasrudin's heart began to pound. His mouth became as dry as his palms became wet. He shook from head to toe and found himself breathing like an unfit man running to the finishing line of his first marathon.
Published 28 July, 2009 | Relationship Advice
To end a relationship is a big decision, worsened by that heart-sinking feeling of knowing you have to tell them. The actual thought of breaking the news to your soon-to-be-ex can make you feel anxious, even terrified. Sometimes it seems easier to continue with what isn't working than to 'upset the applecart'. But if the relationship isn't right for you, then, ultimately, it's not right for them either, and the longer an unfulfilling relationship continues, the less chance we have of finding better, happier relationships.
Published 28 July, 2009 | Thinking Skills
"Why limit yourself?" The old man looked at me unwaveringly. He was a client I'd helped hypnotically control his blood pressure. He had shown a great deal of interest in my therapy business. "Think big, Mark! Why only see eight people a week when you can teach one hundred, a thousand others to do what you do who could, in turn, each see eight troubled souls a week? 8,000 people a week!"
Published 28 July, 2009 | Exercise and Fitness
The following are motivation tips that work for me (and for many of my clients who need to exercise). If you need exercise motivation, they'll help you, too.
Published 28 July, 2009 | Dating Advice
She was out of - no, infinitely beyond - my league. In fact, my team should scrap thoughts of ever being in any league again. She radiated gorgeousness, a knowing blend of Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly (both of whom would have been dimmed by her radiance). Alabaster skin, curves like the Amazon, and a smile that lit the bar like a prison flashlight. But could it be true? She was smiling at me!
Published 24 July, 2009 | Stress Reduction
It used to be thought that it was 'healthy' to express anger - to 'let it all out,' so as to prevent the damage it would do you if you 'bottled it all up.' But modern research into health and mortality has found that extreme anger is just as damaging to the heart and immune function if it is released as it is if you keep it in.
Published 24 July, 2009 | Confidence and Self Esteem
Self-belief is vital. How many things have you not done or tried because you lacked belief in yourself? If you sometimes have trouble believing in yourself then read, absorb, enjoy, and practice these self-belief tips.
Published 24 July, 2009 | Dealing with Difficult People
Is there a control freak in your life? Maybe you're in an intimate relationship with a control freak or perhaps you work with one. Here are some ideas that helped me deal with a control freak.