HYPNOSIS FOR ANXIETY AND TO LESSEN DEMENTIA RISK

   If you experience high anxiety regularly, you have a higher risk of developing dementia.  Andrew J. Petkus, a PhD research associate at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, reported on a 28 year study of people who reported experiencing high anxiety.  Those people were found to have a 48% higher risk of developing anxiety than those who reported low levels of anxiety.

    The researchers noted that chronic anxiety is a precursor to higher levels of stress hormones.  In turn, those hormones can damage the parts of the brain involved with memory.  If you suffer from chronic anxiety, get help.  Your first step is to talk to your doctor about the right treatment for you which may include psychotherapy, anti-anxiety medications or alternative therapies such as acupuncture and herbal treatments.

    Hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool to treat chronic anxiety either as a stand-alone treatment or as an adjunct therapy to medication or psychotherapy. Lessen your anxiety and dementia risk with the use of hypnosis and BE WELL.

CAFFEINE AND PANIC ATTACKS

      If you are one of the 90% of Americans adults who drink caffeinated coffee, tea or soda, be aware you are consuming a potent drug.  According to Wilkie A. Wilson, Jr. PhD, a neuropharmacologist and research professor of prevention science at the Social Science Research Institute at Duke University, caffeine is in so many beverages and foods, it is likely you may be consuming more than you realize.  Even some over-the-counter-medications may contain caffeine.  For example, the pain medication, Excedrin, has 65 mg of caffeine per table. The FDA recommends no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day.  Since one cup of coffee can have as much as 200 - 300 mg of caffeine per day, it's easy to see how we can go beyond that recommendation.

     Some consumption of caffeine can actually have positive health effects. Studies have shown positive results such as headache relief, fewer gallstones, less Parkinson's disease and less cognitive decline in those consuming caffeine products.  Unfortunately, there are also negative effects in caffeine use including, high blood pressure, incontinence, sleep problems and impaired glucose regulation.

     If you are suffering from stress or panic attacks, be aware caffeine increases the hormone, adrenaline, which is already higher during times of stress.  And Dr. Wilson has noted that large amounts of caffeine, defined as about three cups of coffee, can actually trigger a panic attack.

     Hypnosis can be a valuable tool in cutting back or eliminating caffeine in your diet. Use hypnosis, feel better and BE WELL. 

    

ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION LINKED TO MEDIA MULTITASKING

          If you are a person who takes pride in all you get done by multitasking, you may not have realized that some kinds of multitasking can lead to emotional issues like depression and anxiety.  An article published in CYBERPSYCHOLOGY, BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL NETWORKING reported on a study on media multitasking by the its leader, Mark Becker, PhD, professor of psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing.  The findings of the study indicate that people who immerse themselves in multiple feeds of information are up to 70% more likely to have symptoms of depression and anxiety than people who do not media multitask.  Examples of media multitasking including browsing web sites on your computer while talking on the phone or or sending text messages while watching television.  

        If you are suffering from either anxiety or depression, see your family physician who may prescribe a medication or refer you to a mental health professional.  If you are a media multitasker suffering from depression or anxiety, cut back on all your media technology and use one feed of information at a time.  If you need help to cut back on your use of media technology or media multitasking, hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool.  

      

HYPNOSIS, A GREAT TOOL TO PREVENT NAIL BITING

    You may have never heard of onychophagia but a simple show of hands may reveal you have this challenge.  For onychophagia is the term for chronic nail biting..This behavior occurs in different cultures and on different continents.  Nail biting occurs slightly more in males than females.  It is also very common at all ages.  Studies have shown that nail biting occurs between 28 and 33 percent of the time in children between seven and ten. Nail biting peaks in adolescents with 19 to 29 percent of teenagers. As young adults mature, the incidence of nail biting drops but 10 to 20 percent continue to chew their nails.  

     So why do people bite and pick their nails?  There are a lot of different opinions.  Although the old Freudian view of oral fixation is no longer popular, some older studies still lean to psychological reasons.  Newer studies often identify nail biting as a relative of obsessive-compulsive disorder. While some experts describe this as an exaggerated grooming behavior similar to monkeys and apes, others believe there is a genetic link since the behavior is often seen in families,  Stress relief may be important to some nail biters while for others it may simply be a matter of habit.

     In any case, though it can seem like a fairly unimportant habit, I often see clients who complain about it affecting their lives.  Some complain about the embarassment of a behavior that seems childlike or unprofessional while others talk about the discomfort of sore, raw or even bleeding fingers which makes their hands unattractive. And others are very concerned about nail biting being unsanitary.

     Among techniques people have used to overcome onychophaiga are:  keeping a journal  about the behavior to help identify triggers to nail biting, using a relaxation technique like meditation, keeping hands busy with an activity like playing with a stress ball or even the old Internet favorite of painting the nails with a bitter or hot liquid such as something flavored with peppery flavors like Tabasco sauce.  Be aware that some people actually start to like the hot flavors.  Some medical doctors will prescribe medications such as Prozac when the nail biting is severe.  Hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool to help you overcome this habit.  Stop nail biting, feel good and BE WELL.

TECHNIQUES FOR MINDFULNESS

    Dealing with stress and learning to relax are two reasons I often see clients in my hypnotherapy practice.  From daily life stresses like work issues and family relationships to dealing with major traumas like sexual assault, car wrecks and returning from war,  people need tools to manage the stresses they are experiencing in their lives.

     Amishi Jha, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, who studies stress-fighting techniques to help military personnel has said that "The mind needs support - we call it 'mental armor" - just as much as the body does" She notes that "Research shows it's possible to cushion yourself against stress and the tactics we're using with soldiers also apply to real folks and more common types of anxiety."  

    Stress is dangerous.  Stress over time causes anxiety and persistent anxiety can actually kill neurons in the brain dealing with decision-making and memory.  This destruction is so damaging it is even visible on brain scans.

     Among the coping techniques new PTSD science is teaching is how to deal with stress.  The researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are using the practice of mindfulness meditation with military personnel to help stress resilience.  Results have shown that Marines were more alert, exhibited better memory and less reactive to stressors after just eight weeks of meditation training.

    If you have tried meditation before and found you could not do it or felt too busy to meditate, here is a simple technique the Marines use even in a war zone.  Sit upright while focusing on your breathing.  Then begin to pay to attention to a physical sensation such as the feel of your chest moving or air in your nostrils.  When your mind wanders, just note the disruption and then return your attention to the physical sensation.  Some people meditate for half an hour or more each day, others find that it is easier to simply meditate for five to ten minutes at a time for a number of times a day.

    Hypnotherapy is another great tool to deal with stress and help you relax.  A qualified hypnotherapist can help you learn techniques for mindfulness so you can BE WELL.

Hypnotherapy for Cell-phone Addiction

    Look around you when you are sitting at a traffic light, walking down the street or sitting in a restaurant  It is likely you will see almost as many cell-phones in use as you do people.  A recent study found that one in every three teen-agers and almost one in every five baby boomers checks his or her cell phone at least once every fifteen minutes.

    Larry Rosen, PhD and past chair of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, has written a book on this problem called iDISORDER: UNDERSTANDING OUR OBSESSION WITH TECHNOLOGY AND OVERCOMING ITS HOLD ON US.  He identifies this obsession as being a compulsion rather than an addiction.  The difference is in why the user feels the need to check the phone so often.  Addicts are triggered physiologically because the behavior releases the pleasure chemical, dopamine, into the brain.  Compulsive use is triggered because the use relieves anxiety.  The cell-phone users become anxious that they might be missing something like breaking news or someone trying to reach them or using the phone reassures them they haven't lost the phone.

    The compulsion to constantly check the phone can cause serious problems both personally and professionally. People who are around cell-phone compulsives can feel diminished.  A person who is constantly looking at his phone is sending the message that the person he is with is not as important. This harm relationships and it can harm job performance.  A person who keeps her phone on her bedside table may not rest as well if she is constantly checking for incoming messages.

    Get a feel for how often you are checking your phone.  Then begin to stretch out the time between checks.  If you were checking every fifteen minutes, push the time to twenty,  Put the phone completely away while driving or with other people.  Place the ringer on silent or turn the phone upside down so you can't see messages coming in.  If you feel that cell-phone compulsion has become a problem in your life, hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool to find new ways to relieve anxiety, control phone use and BE WELL.

BUILD SELF-ESTEEM WITH POSITIVE SELF-TALK

     Self-talk is the conversation we have with ourselves all day long.  Unfortunately, too often, these messages are quite negative.  The messages may include irrational beliefs and distorted thinking about ourselves.  They may also include a running commentary about our personal failures or inadequacies.

     Sometimes these negative messages are subtle.  But other times, the negative self-talk is quite blatant.  If you catch yourself often thinking negative messages like "I'm so fat",  "How could I be that stupid."  "I'll never be able to pass that test", you are suffering from negative self-talk which can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety and depression.

     The good thing to remember is that our moods and how we feel about ourselves are not determined by actual situations but by how we think.  We get upset and depressed not because of the bad situation but because of how we think about it.  If you are upset about gaining five pounds and you begin to beat yourself up about your weight with negative self-talk, it is not the number on the scale but your own thoughts which are making you feel anxious or depressed.

    But the good news is that negative self-talk is a bad habit.  And, like other bad habits, it can be changed.  It takes a desire to make the change and a consciousness about your self-talk, but you can learn to recognize the old patterns and choose to change the way you think.  I compare the process to changing the channel of your mind.

     When you become aware through living more consciously about your negative self-talk, you will learn to recognize the old pattern.  Then take a moment to stop and identify the negative pattern and then change the channel of your mind.  I compare this to changing the channel on a television.  Begin to give yourself positive, self-affirming messages.  "I'm making better choices in my eating.", "I am studying with great focus for my class."  "I am capable."  Whatever the negative messages were, change then to positive, confidence-building positive messages.

   Like any other skill, changing negative self-talk into positive self-talk takes practice. Hypnotherapy can help you in recognizing and shifting old patterns to new  and change your entire way of thinking.  With positive self-talk, you will feel better, have a more positive outlook and build positive self esteem.  Try positive self-talk and BE WELL.

MEDICAL HYPNOSIS

    Guy Montgomery, director of the Integrative Behavioral Medicine program at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and the leader of many studies on use of hypnosis for medical reasons once said, "Hypnosis is like a good kid with a bad reputation.  Everybody is interested, but in the back of their minds, they're thinking of Bela Lugosi."  Many people have images of hypnosis based on old movies, tv shows and comedy club hypnosis performances.  Sometimes I will meet with a first time client and they will joke, "I don't want to bark like a dog, quack like a duck or cluck like a chicken."  But people with illnesses also ask if hypnosis can be used for medical issues.

    The good news is that hypnosis used for therapeutic purposes can be a valuable tool to give clients more control over their bodies.  Over the past few years increasing studies have been done on hypnosis for medical issues. Studies have shown diminished side effects from chemotherapy after using hypnotherapy.  Medical situations such as high blood pressure, asthma attacks, hot flashes and migraine headaches have been shown to improve with the use of hypnotherapy.

     In 2012, two Swedish studies found that symptoms of irritable-bowel syndrome (IBS) eased 40% in patients after a one hour a week hypnotherapy session for twelve weeks.  The researchers reported that the positive effects could last as long as twelve weeks after the hypnotherapy.

    Over the years, I have worked with cancer patients.  These people often undergo grueling treatments including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.  These patients often work with me not only to control pain but also to control the anxiety that goes with the treatment and a frightening diagnosis. David Spiegel, a psychiatrist and director of the Center for Health and Stress at Stanford University who has studied hypnosis for 40 years, noted that "We can teach people how to manage pain and anxiety."

    Hospitals are using medial hypnosis as part of a broad program of services for their patients.  Tanya Edwards, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic says that about half of the center's patients are referred, particularly by primary-care physicians, gastroenterologists and primary care physicians.

   Anxiety is often an underlying problem for medical issues.  Even taking the medical tests can provoke extreme anxiety in some people.  Having an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a painless procedure unless you have a fear of enclosed spaces.  MRIs are confining and the loud banging, clanging sounds that are a part of the procedure can also cause discomfort. A bronchioscope pushed down the throat in a lung exam can be frightening as can an instrument inserted to go down your throat in an upper-GI endoscopy.  A hypnotherapy session before the test could make this much easier on the patient.

    From trying to conceive, to dealing with nausea, to delivery, hypnobirthing is a specialty of  medical hypnosis. Another specialty is dental hypnosis which is particularly valuable to patients who are phobic and have avoided the dentist for years. Preparing for surgery by doing a hypnosis session can be very valuable as well.

    In my practice, I always ask for a medical referral before working on a medical issue.  Sometimes people come in and say, "I'm having headaches.  Can you do a session for me?"  I always say that I would be happy to work with them on referral from their medical practitioner.  I certainly don't want to help disguise a serious medical issue such as a brain tumor.

    If you or a loved one has a medical issue, call a hypnotherapist to see how hypnosis could help you deal with the issue so you can BE WELL.

HYPNOTHERAPY CAN HELP WITH PHOBIAS

     Do you know what the most common anxiety disorder is?  The answer may surprise you.  Phobias are the most common affecting up to 14% of Americans during their lifetimes.  The word phobia comes from the Greek word phobos which means mortal fear.  If you are extremely anxious about flying, being in an elevator or exposed to heights, your life may be limited by these fears.  A phobia is considered to be an unreasonable and persistent fear that limits the person's ability to freely socially interact, work or play.  Sufferers with phobias will often make unreasonable or irrational choices in order to avoid that fear.

      Some people suffer with phobias by simple avoidance which often limits their lives.  Others become so uncomfortable by the physical symptoms that often often occur with phobias.  When such symptoms as shortness of breath, trembling, rapid heart beat and the strong desire to flee become too strong, they take medications like alprazolam (Xanax)  or clonazepam (Klonapin).  

     Be aware there are other treatments to reduce the severity of a phobia or even help it to disappear.  Therapy can be a non-medication way to treat phobias.  Your medical doctor may be able to recommend a mental-health professional who works with clients suffering from phobias.  There are a number of different therapies, including talk therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and exposure therapy.

      Hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool to alleviate or eliminate your phobia. You can free yourself from the limitations caused by phobias.  Hypnotherapy is brief therapy.  I work with most phobics only one time and allow the client to record the session for reinforcement at home.  Get the help you need, free yourself and Be Well. 

HYPNOTHERAPY FOR MOTIVATION

     Many of my clients are surprised to learn that hypnotherapy can be a great tool for issues besides quitting smoking, losing weight and reducing stress.  I recently received a thank-you note from a client who had come to me feeling depressed and unmotivated after she lost her job when the executive she worked for left the company.  She just wanted to get on with her life.  This is the note I received, "Hi, Dr. Johnson    You are amazing!  when my phone rang during my session yesterday, it was from a company asking me if I was interested in interviewing for an Executive Assistant position next week:)  when I got home, I started cooking up a storm - pasta with meat sauce and spice cake with frosting.  This morning I got up at 6:15 and went for a two mile walk with my husband then I went to the office and packed my office and my executive's office.  I feel good today.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!"

     Congratulations to her and all the people who have used hypnotherapy to improve their lives.  Personal issues such as motivation, anxiety and depression can also be addressed with hypnosis.  

HYPNOTHERAPY WORKS!

    I love to get calls where clients tell me about their experiences after using hypnotherapy to help correct a problem or challenge in their lives.  This morning I had a call from a former client.  When she first came to see me, she was very anxious.  She had been in an accident while showing a horse.  A champion rider before the accident, she was fearful and having a real problem doing something she had enjoyed for years.  We did one session of hypnotherapy.  Her call this morning was one of joy and victory as she reported the horse show over the past weekend was a great experience.  She concluded it was "the most wonderful experience, I'd had in a long time."  Hypnotherapy can be a great tool to meet the challenges in your life as well.

"BLOWN AWAY" - A VOICE MAIL MESSAGE

     One of the joys of my profession is knowing that the work hypnotherapists do with their clients can change lives.  This morning when I arrived at work I had a voice mail from a recent client.  She had been referred to me by her psychotherapist for some adjunct hypnotherapy for generalized anxiety disorder.  She did one session with me and then she returned to her regular therapist.  Her voice sounded so good on the phone as she thanked me for the session saying, "It was really something else!" in a very positive tone.  She talked about some ways in which she had already seen the hypnotherapy session working in her life and how it had opened up new discussions with her psychotherapist.  She concluded, "It was well above and beyond what I though it (the hypnotherapy session) would be.  I'm just blown away".  If you are working with a therapist and would like to experience hypnotherapy, ask for a referral for hypnotherapy.  If you are in northern Virginia or the Washington, DC, area, check out my website: www.JenniferPJohnson.com. And thanks to the client who took the time to share the results of her experience with hypnosis.

BOOST YOUR MOOD

    Been feeling down or anxious?  If you want to reduce anxiety and improve mood, walking at a moderate pace or practicing yoga are often suggested.  A 2011 study of 34 adults who practiced yoga or walked was reported by Chris Streeter, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at Boston University School of Medicine.  The study found that those who practiced yoga reported significantly greater mood improvement and anxiety reduction than the walking group.  In addition to the study participants reports, brain scans were done of the participants which showed that the yoga group had higher levels of the brain chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which produces calming effects.

   If you want to add yoga or walking to your daily life to boost your mood, but are having trouble getting started, hypnotherapy can be an excellent tool for motivation.  Get moving.  Feel great.  Be well.

ANTIDOTE FOR LONELINESS

        Researchers at the University of Buffalo have found that reading fiction eases feelings of loneliness.  If you have been feeling isolated or lonely, reading a novel for just thirty minutes can boost mood as much as being in a group for thirty minutes. The researchers found that participants in the study felt like they "belonged" within the character's world which satisfied their need to connect in real life.

       Loneliness not only affects emotional health but physical health as well.  Researchers in a Tennessee study found that of the 61 people age 60 and older that they studied, those who scored the highest on a "loneliness index" were most likely to consume too few calories and too little calcium.  When people are lonely they are more apt to have poor-quality diets and skip meals. Poor nutrition in turn can lead to poor health.

     So try reading that novel and offering to share a meal with an acquaintance.  A professional hypnotherapist can help you plan ways to alleviate your loneliness and use hypnosis to reinforce your plan.   

DEPRESSION TRAPS AT THE HOLIDAYS

     "It's the most wonderful time of the year" sing the carolers.  But for many people, the holidays from Thanksgiving till New Year can be cause for depression.  The holidays are times of high expectations, jammed calendars and memories of the past.  All of these things can trigger depression which can cause behaviors that may make things worse.

    Every year many people put great stress on themselves by trying to create "the perfect" holiday. There are homes to be decorated, food to be prepared, gifts to be bought and wrapped and people to be entertained. Trying to do this while still maintaining work schedules, school schedules and regular homelife can be overwhelming.  As time to the big day gets closer and closer, a feeling of failure can trigger depression.

    Because people are busy, some important self-caretaking can be dropped. The time demands and the darkness outside may have regular exercisers dropping their routine. Exercise increases levels of the mood-boosting brain chemicals, serotonin and dopamine.  When people don't exercise they lose those helpful chemicals. Then there are all the food choices to be made around the holidays.  Most of us do not usually have six dozen fat and sweet cookies sitting on the table year round.  Gaining weight through the holidays is typical and can be depressing.  In addition, we tend to eat more sugar.  Sugar is a substance which will originally elevate mood, but then comes the sugar crash and depresses the mood. 

     As depression begins to occur, many people try to relieve the anxiety that comes with depression by drinking alcohol. This self-medication may be a temporary fix for depression but soon causes more harm than good as it interferes with sleep, depresses the central nervous system and may interact with any antidepresants being taken. While some people drink, other people begin to withdraw from family and friends.  Social withdrawal will in actuality increase depression.

    So avoid the depression traps of overeating, self-medicating with alcohol, food or sugar or social withdrawal.  Hypnotherapy can be a great tool to help you deal with the stresses and depression traps of the holidays.  BE WELL and have a happy holiday season.

QUIT SMOKING AND REDUCE DEPRESSION

    A study published in NICOTINE & TOBACCO RESEARCH reported that quitting smoking reduces depression.  The study by Christopher Kahler, PhD, research professor of community health, Warren Alpen Medical School, Brown University, Providence was the author of a study of 236 people who were trying to quit smoking.  He found that people who quit smoking were happier than those who remained smokers.  He also reported that those who quit smoking even for a short amount of time were more likely to be less depressed while they were not smoking.  Once a subject returned to smoking, the symptoms of depression reoccured.

    If you are a smoker suffering from depression and want to feel better, now is the time to quit smoking.  Know that hypnotherapy is a great way to become a nonsmoker.  Check out my website:  www.BeaHealthyNonsmoker.com and get rid of the chemicals in the cigarettes and the depression they can cause.

TRYING TO GET PREGNANT AND HYPNOTHERAPY

   If you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant for over a year of unrestricted intercourse, you are considered infertile.  For every 100 couples trying to get pregnant, 85 to 90 will be pregnant within one year of trying.  The majority of the ten to fifteen percent who do not conceive will have a medical defect that often can be corrected by some kind of medical intervention. But as many as twenty percent of infertile couples have no physical cause for their infertility.

   Before you give up on having your own biological child, you may want to consider hypnotherapy as a tool in trying to conceive.  To my knowledge there are no extensive research studies on the use of hypnosis with infertile couples, but there is certainly anectdotal evidence of cases of infertile couples becoming pregnant after a hypnotherapy session. 

     Why would this even be possible?  Many physicians theorize that stress can prevent conception.  This could be for a couple of different reasons.  Some doctors believe that stress or anxiety create muscular tension causing the egg to be unable to travel down the fallopian tube.  Another theory is that stress and anxiety may upset the woman's hormonal balance and causes the sperm to be killed when entering the woman's body.  In addition, if people are less stressed, they will likely feel more happy and optimistic which may lead to more frequent sexual relations.  So less stressed people will likely have more opportunities to get pregnant.

     Hypnotherapy is brief therapy and much less expensive than many things couples try for infertility.  If you are dealing with this issue, hypnosis might be just the tool you need to finally get pregnant.

HYPNOTHERAPY FOR FEAR OF FLYING

     It's that time of the year.  A lot of us are traveling at this time of the year.  For many, the idea of taking a vacation is very appealing.  But if you are afraid of flying, a holiday may lose its appeal.  If you fear flying, it can limit your life.  If this is an issue check out some of the old posts on this blog for dealing with phobias and anxieties.  Hypnotherapy can be a great way to set yourself free from the fear of flying.  I'm leaving for a few days at the beach. Don't let your fear of flying keep you from having the vacation you want.  

HYPNOSIS AND PERFORMANCE ANXIETY

      Have you been watching the remarkable performances at the Olympics?  Most of us will never have an opportunity to perform on a world stage in any kind of event from athletics to public speaking to singing a song.  But almost all of us will at some time or another go for a job interview, attend an event where we don't know someone or make a presentation at work.  If just the thought of doing any of those things makes you nervous, you may have performance anxiety.

     Clients often come to me and describe the many physical manifestations of the nervousness that they experience when having to perform in such a situation.  They will describe their hearts racing, hands shaking, sweaty palms and even feeling queasy.  In fact, what they are describing is the perfectly normal release of the hormone adrenaline by their adrenal glands.  Adrenaline is released when we feel threatened.  It dilates blood vessels and breathing passages and boosts our heart rate giving us a burst of energy.  This was very useful when humans were being hunted by large, wild animals.  But, this adrenaline rush, is not so effective when we have to give the presentation at work and can't afford to run away.  If time permits, use your muscles to burn off adrenaline.  Take a brisk walk, tense and relax your muscles or push against a wall with your hands. Deep breathing can be a useful technique to overcome an adrenaline rush.  Slowing yourself down by breathing slowly and deeply, walking more slowly than seems natural, taking a moment before speaking can allow your heart rate to slow and keep you more comfortable. 

     Focusing outwardly rather than inwardly will help as well.  When we are anxious we tend to focus on our own behavior expecially shortcomings and mistakes.  Instead, focus outwardly.  If you are giving a speech, look into the eyes of your audience.  Connect with individuals as real people rather than a collective audience judging you.  As you connect, remember your subject (not you) is the important thing.  Instead of worrying about how people are thinking of you personally, delight in giving your audience the information they have come to hear about.

    And don't expect to be perfect.  Perfectionists often focus on one problem or error and that causes them to lose their confidence or focus and make more errors.  Make your goal to give your performance at your best.  This does not mean perfect.  Be aware that no one else expects perfection.  Those enjoying your performance have made mistakes, too.  People will probably like and relate to you more if you seem human enough to make a mistake.  Instead, focus on sharing why you are there - to compete, to inform, whatever.  If you make a mistake, smile, acknowledge, correct if you need to and move on.

    Of course, performance anxiety is more likely to happen if you haven't prepared.  Do what you need to do - practice, study, rehearse.  Hypnotherapy can be a great way to deal with performance anxiety.  Then go out and enjoy!

PUBLIC SPEAKING AND HYPNOTHERAPY

      Just got back from my trip to my high school reunion.  As part of our classes' reunion we attended an Alumni Banquet designed for anyone who had graduated from the school.  The oldest person there graduated in 1934.  Part of the program included speeches from representatives of three honored classes.  I spoke for my class and had a great time reminiscing about my time in that small town and the years we spent together as classmates.  The evening reminded me how many people find public speaking terrifying.  Several people came up to me afterwards and told me they could never do that.  Yes, you can!.  Hypnotherapy can be a great tool to help you overcome public speaking anxiety.