How to Make Sure Your Vegan Diet Is As Healthy As You Think

A vegan diet can be great for your health and wellbeing if it’s done in the right way.

Unfortunately, it can be easy to fall into certain traps that make it a lot less healthy than you might think.

Here are some tips to make sure that following a vegan diet really does make you healthier!

The Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet

Some of the many health benefits that a vegan diet can encourage include:

  • Having more energy

  • Healthier skin, hair and nails

  • Better cardiovascular health including lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure

  • Eating less saturated fat (due to the lack of meat and dairy)

  • Lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure

  • Eating more fiber, which is great for better digestive health

  • Eating good sources of nutrients that are often lacking in non vegan diets including iron, magnesium, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E and plenty of antioxidants

  • Lower risk of Type 2 diabetes

  • Lower risk of some cancers, including breast,prostate and colon cancers

  • Lower risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration as you get older

  • Lower risk of developing osteoporosis

Potential Pitfalls of a Vegan Diet

There are a few things that can go wrong with a vegan diet so it’s important not to make these kind of mistakes when you go vegan:

Too much fat: Cutting out meat and dairy from your diet won’t lower your fat intake (and bring cardiovascular benefits) if you replace them with lots of high fat alternatives such as nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil and nut milks. These are all great in moderation but they add up to a lot of fat if they’re making up a large part of your diet. Some people find that they actually eat more fat on this type of vegan diet than when they were eating meat and dairy so it’s definitely something to keep a check on.

Not getting a balanced diet: If you’re not eating milk and dairy, it’s really important to make sure that you’re getting vital nutrients such as iron and calcium from plant based sources instead. This can protect against deficiencies and makes sure that your vegan diet is really having the benefits you think. Vitamin B12 is another area to focus on as it’s mostly found in animal sources and can be very lacking in a vegan diet. You may want to look at foods that are fortified with B12 (such as breakfast cereals) to make sure that you get enough of it.

Assuming that all ‘vegan’ foods are healthy: There are lots of vegan options on the market now and unfortunately not all of them are all that healthy. Sticking to unprocessed, wholesome food will help you to get balanced nutrition and will bring a lot more of the health benefits associated with a truly vegan diet.

Making Sure Your Vegan Diet is Really Healthy

How can you avoid making some of these common mistakes? These tips should help you to get the biggest benefits from a vegan diet!

Eat lots of fruit and vegetables

You can’t go too far wrong if fruit and vegetables makes up a big percentage of your vegan diet!

Aim for up to 75% and pad this out with things like legumes (such as beans and pulses), potato, whole grains and some healthy fats.

Ideally, healthy fats should be up to 10% of your vegan diet, which works out at around a handful of nuts or a third of an avocado.

Vegan Iron Sources

Non vegans can get iron from their meat intake but for vegans, it’s really important to eat the right foods to avoid iron deficiency anemia – especially for women.

Some good vegan sources of iron include:

  • Dried apricots

  • Raisins

  • Prunes

  • Blackstrap molasses

  • Dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, swiss chard and cooked green beets

  • Spirulina

  • Tofu

  • Quinoa

  • Kidney beans

  • Cashew nuts

  • Almonds

  • Sesame seeds

Vegan Calcium Sources

Calcium can come from some surprising sources in a vegan diet so it’s not too difficult to get enough of this nutrient. For example, dark leafy greens are a good source of calcium, especially kale and broccoli.

Other options include:

  • Dried apricots

  • Blackberries

  • Dates

  • Figs

  • Prunes

  • Oranges

  • Orange juice

  • Sesame seeds

  • Pulses

Vegan Sources of Vitamin B12

Vegans can easily become deficient in vitamin B12 as it’s largely found in animal sources and isn’t readily available in a plant based diet.

Vitamin B12 is added to quite a few fortified foods these days, including cereals, vegan spreads and some non dairy milks such as soy milk.

Vegan Sources of Vitamin D

A vegan diet can be deficient in vitamin D, especially if you aren’t getting much of this nutrient from exposure to sunlight.

This is another area where fortified vegan products are a good idea as vitamin D often comes from animal sources such as dairy.

Vegan sources of vitamin D can include fortified vegan spreads, fortified cereals and even soy drinks.

Vegan Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids can help to keep your heart healthy and is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

The jury is still out on whether omega-3 fatty acids from plant based sources offer the same cardiovascular benefits as those from fatty fish but as part of a healthy diet, they can still play a key role when it comes to heart health.

Vegan sources include:

  • Walnuts

  • Soya based foods such as tofu

  • Flaxseed and rapeseed oil (in small quantities)

A vegan diet can be incredibly healthy and protect against a number of diseases and conditions but it does require a bit of planning to make sure that you don’t become deficient in key nutrients. Once you get it right, there are so many benefits to a vegan diet!

 

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How to Treat 6 Common Skin Complaints

How to Treat 6 Common Skin Complaints

If you regularly curse your ‘problem’ skin and wish you were lucky enough to have a glowing, flawless complexion, you’re definitely not alone!

Far from being something that we leave behind in our teenage years, ‘problem’ skin is a common frustration for a lot of adults too and can cause a lot of distress and anxiety.

Here’s what you need to know about 6 common types of skin issues and what you can do to treat them, including blackheads, acne, pigmentation, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis.

Blackheads

Blackheads are tiny black bumps on your skin that form when oil and dead skin cells clog together in your pores and interact with oxygen. This is what causes them to be black – it’s not dirt, as people assume!

It’s always tempting to try to squeeze blackheads to get rid of them but you can damage the skin by doing this. If you can’t resist, it’s a good idea to open the pores up through steaming first so that there is less potential for problems.

While its true that blackheads are not caused by dirt, a good cleansing routine can help to prevent them by keeping your pores relatively clean so they don’t clog as easily. Cleansing once often isn’t enough and will only get rid of excess oil and make up whereas a second cleanse can go a bit deeper.

Acne

We often think of acne as being a facial problem but it can also affect the neck, chest, back and shoulders.

As well as the obvious red pus-filled bumps, acne can also come in the form of whiteheads, blackheads and bumps that form under the surface.

There can be a few different reasons why acne develops and the underlying factor plays a big role in how it is treated. This is why it can be important to look at the bigger picture rather than just looking to treat the acne itself.

Diet can sometimes play a part, and stress is another potential factor that can make acne worse.

Products that are targeted at spot prone skin can actually make acne worse if they strip the skin of vital moisture. This can encourage your skin to go into overdrive and produce more oils, which makes the situation even worse.

A gentle skin care regime that doesn’t dry out your skin can be a much better bet for acne prone skin.

Pigmentation

If you have pigmentation, you’ll have dark patches of skin that are usually uneven. This happens when the skin cells that create melanin start to produce more pigment.

There can be hormonal factors involved (for example, during pregnancy or if you’re taking oral contraceptives) and other potential causes include sun damage and post inflammation pigmentation (which can occur after an injury or sun damage and can also be linked to acne and rosacea).

You can minimise your potential for pigmentation with a good sunscreen, which can protect against sun damage.

Pigmentation peels can be useful for treating pigmentation and making it less likely to come back again.

Rosacea

Rosacea causes facial flushing which can be quite severe. It is a vascular condition that encourages blood vessels in the face to swell and this is what causes the redness associated with rosacea.

The redness can be exaggerated if you get too hot or too cold, if you eat spicy foods or drink alcohol so many people with rosacea avoid these factors. Stress can also make the condition worse.

Eczema

If you have eczema, your skin will be dry, red and itchy and prone to rashes in the affected areas. It’s common on the elbows and knees but can also occur on other parts of the body, including the face.

Eczema symptoms can come and go and can be linked to certain triggers. Some people find that it gets worse when they’re stressed, when they’re in environments that dry out the skin, when they wear ‘scratchy’ clothes or if their skin comes into contact with relatively harsh soaps or cleaning products, for example.

Mild toiletries that don’t contain lots of fragrance, colour and chemicals can reduce potential for eczema flare-ups that are linked to products that irritate the skin. You may also want to avoid using fabric softeners and harsh laundry products as these are also eczema triggers for some people.

When flare-ups happen, hydrocortisone creams can help to take the fire out of the itch and settle your skin down again.

If you’d rather go down the natural route, adding some oats to your bath water can help to relieve itching. Just make sure the water isn’t too hot as this can dry your skin and make eczema symptoms worse.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is usually characterised by red skin and silvery-white patches of dry, flaky, scaly skin. It’s caused by the skin cells turning over far more quickly than normal, which can lead to a build up of ‘scales’ on the skin.

As with eczema, psoriasis symptoms can come and go. Stress, cold temperatures and certain foods can be potential triggers for psoriasis in some people.

Keeping your skin well moisurised is key as the symptoms get worse when your skin is very dry

Eating more “good” fats in your diet can help to reduce inflammation, including oily fish, nuts and seeds.

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What Causes a Dry, Flaky Scalp? (& How to Get Rid of It!)

What Causes a Dry, Flaky Scalp_

Are you desperate to find a way to treat a dry, flaky scalp?

Dandruff occurs when the skin cells on your scalp turn over and renew themselves a lot more quickly than normal. This encourages them to flake off from your scalp.

This can hugely embarrassing, especially if those dreaded white flakes are obvious in your hair or on your clothes.

Anti dandruff shampoos are often the first port of call when you’re looking to treat a dry, flaky scalp but they can actually make dandruff worse for some people.

This is because it can be caused by a number of different conditions that affect the scalp, including dry scalp, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.

If any of these are the root cause of your dandruff, medicated shampoos can dry out your scalp even more and cause a vicious cycle that makes the situation worse.

Treatment varies depending on the cause of your dandruff so knowing what is really behind it is really important for treating it.

A Myth About Dandruff

Dandruff isn’t caused by not washing your hair often enough. In fact, many people with dandruff actually wash their hair too often and this exaggerates it.

Dry Scalp

A lot of hair care products contain harsh chemicals, notably Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. These can dry out your scalp and irritate it.

If your dandruff is caused by particular conditions (such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis), these type of chemicals can make it worse because of the drying effect.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis encourages skin cells to turn over very quickly and the process can take just days, rather than weeks. This causes a dry, flaky scalp that can be very red and itchy, and the build up of white or grey scales on top of this. It can also affect other parts of the body.

Treatment tends to involve topical shampoos and lotions that are designed to break down scales so they can be removed more easily. Coal tar shampoos are often prescribed and work to soften stubborn scales.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrehic dermatitis is linked to a yeast overgrowth on the scalp. This can lead to symptoms such as a red, itchy, flaky scalp.

For some people, the areas affected may also weep. Because it tends to affect oily areas, the skin that flakes off can often appear greasy.

As well as the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis can also affect oilier areas on the face such as around the nose.

Treatment is based around reducing the amount of yeast on the scalp. Specialist shampoos and creams are a common part of this and can usually be used in the long term without any adverse effects.

Natural Tips for Treating a Dry Scalp

What if you’d prefer not to use topical treatments on your scalp?

There are a few natural options you can turn to for some relief from dandruff.

  • Chemical free hair products can limit extra dryness on your scalp, especially ones that are designed with dry scalps in mind.
  • Coconut oil and olive oil can have the same effect as medicated shampoos in loosening stubborn scales.
  • Hair masques containing honey and oat can ease a dry scalp.

5 Reasons to Love Chia Seeds

5 Reasons to Love Chia Seeds.png

Chia seeds may be tiny but they really make a punch when it comes to their health benefits!

Chia seeds were highly valued by the Aztecs and the Mayans, mostly because of the energy boost they provided. Even their name bears testament to this as “chia” means “strength” in ancient Mayan.

This is just one of the reasons why they’re now considered a health superfood, and here are 5 more great health benefits of chia seeds:

They’re Full of Nutrients

Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, despite their tiny size. A 28g serving gives you over 10g of fibre, 4g of protein, 18% of your RDA of calcium, 30% of your RDA of manganese and a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.

All of this in what basically amounts to a couple of tablespoons!

They’re Packed With Antioxidants

Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, which help to protect cells against the damage caused by free radicals.

Free radicals are linked to a whole range of diseases and conditions, including cancer.

They’re Great for Bone Health

Chia seeds are highly nutritious and this means that they contain a lot of key minerals – including calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.

These are all vital for keeping your bones healthy.

Just a couple of teaspoons of chia seeds gives you almost 20% of your recommended calcium intake, and this is higher than dairy products.

If you don’t eat dairy, chia seeds can be an easy way to make sure that you’re getting calcium in your diet.

They’re Great for Heart Health

Studies have shown that chia seeds have great potential for reducing blood pressure, keeping cholesterol in check and fighting inflammation.

All of this makes these little seeds a great choice for improving your heart health.

As an added bonus, eating chia seeds can also reduce oxidative stress. This makes you less likely to develop atherosclerosis, a condition in which the blood vessels stiffen and over time, the artery walls harden. It affects how well blood can flow around the body and can be a big factor in heart attacks, strokes and even organ failure that happens out of the blue.

They Can Fight Some Cancers

Chia seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids, especially a type called Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA).

One study in particular has suggested that ALA has the ability to fight breast cancer and cervical cancer and stop these cells from growing further. This was highlighted by a 2013 study published in the Journal of Molecular Biochemistry.

The really significant thing here is that ALA seems to kill cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

How to Use Chia Seeds

how to use chia seeds

Chia seeds are incredibly versatile and can be added to smoothies, soups and porridge, sprinkled over salads or used in baking.

They don’t have a strong taste and are actually quite bland in this respect. This makes them perfect for adding to lots of different things!

5 Foods to Make You Feel Happier

5 Foods To Make You Feel Happier

If you’re struggling with low mood and feeling unhappy, it might be time to look at your diet.

What you eat can have a big impact on your mood, in much the same way that it affects your physical health.

Some foods can have a negative effect on your mood and wellbeing in general but on the plus side, there are also lots of foods that are known to boost mood and help you to feel that little bit better about life.

Here are 5 foods that can give you a natural mood boost:

Dark Leafy Greens

red-swiss-chard-2392728_640

Dark leafy greens in general are a great way to boost your folate levels. One study in particular has shown a strong link between depression and low folate levels so this is a really important nutrient when it comes to mental wellbeing.

Some of the dark leafy greens you can add into your diet include kale, broccoli, swiss chard and cabbage (the dark green kind).

Lentils

lentils can boost your mood and protect against depression

Lentils are another good source of folate and one cup can give you up to 90% of your recommended daily allowance of folic acid in particular.

Lentils have another important role to play for boosting your mood as they contain L-tyrosine, an amino acid that is used by the brain to make neurotransmitters (including dopamine). Studies have shown some promising results in using L-tyrosine to reduce depression.

Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds contain zinc and are a natural mood booster

Zinc is one of the nutrients that can be lacking in many people’s diets and a deficiency can make you more likely to experience low moods and even major depression.

Pumpkin seeds have another secret weapon for mood though. They also contain L-trytophan, which is a natural mood booster and can help with serotonin synthesis.

Get snacking on handfuls of pumpkin seeds to combat low mood!

Eggs

eggs help the body to produce serotonin and boost mood

Eggs are a great source of nutrition in general but they’re the perfect choice for boosting your mood too.

Amongst other things, they contain essential fatty acids that help your body to produce more serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is closely linked to mood.

If you have low serotonin levels, you’re more likely to suffer from anxiety, insomnia and depression.

Dark Chocolate

dark chocolate with cocoa can make you feel calmer

If you always want to reach for some chocolate when you’re feeling down, here’s some good news! One study showed that dark chocolate can help you to feel calmer and more contented.

There is a catch though – to get these benefits you need to be eating dark chocolate that contains a good amount of cocoa.

The flavanoids in cacao are the key factor and these aren’t present in chocolate that doesn’t have much (or any) cocoa.

Unfortunately this means that milk and white chocolate won’t boost your mood in the same way!

If you’re not already eating these kind of foods on a regular basis, try adding them into your diet and see if they can help you to feel a bit happier!

 

4 Ways Hypnotherapists Can Use Content Marketing to Get More Clients

4 Ways HypnotherapistsCan Use Content Marketingto Get More Clients

For most hypnotherapists, keeping a steady stream of clients coming through the door (or over the phone, if you also offer Skype and online sessions!) is likely to be one of your main stress points.

Most clients are only going to need a certain number of sessions before they’re able to overcome their issue(s) and move forwards and this can be just the one session for people looking to quit smoking, for example.

Word of mouth marketing from happy clients is one way to keep driving new business but what about reaching out to brand new clients who have no prior connection to you and may not even know that hypnotherapy can help them?

This is where content marketing can make a huge amount of difference to your business and help you to get in front of more potential clients.

If you’ve no idea where to start with this, I’ve got some tips to help you!

What is Content Marketing?

So, what exactly is content marketing?

It’s basically high quality information that will be useful and interesting for your potential clients, and it’s usually free for them to access.

This can come in quite a few different forms, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Lead magnets such as free downloads to capture subscriber emails
  • Guest posts
  • Emails (for after you’ve nabbed those all important subscriber emails!)

Why Use Content Marketing?

A lot of hypnotherapists are still relying on sites that are rather basic in terms of the information they provide and hoping that clients will reach out to them by phone or email to arrange a consultation or ask more questions.

The downside of this set up is that a lot of potential clients won’t do this, especially if they’re considering a few hypnotherapists in their area.

Most potential clients are going to want to know more about you (both as a hypnotherapist and a person), which you’ve probably got covered on your website already.

They’ll also be likely to have looked online to find out more about how hypnotherapy can help them with their particular situation. For example, maybe they’ve been looking for more details on whether they can quit smoking, lose weight or reduce anxiety through hypnotherapy.

If you’re not using content marketing, you’re relying on these clients deciding that hypnotherapy is the way to go and then looking up hypnotherapists in their area. This is fairly high risk as there’s no guarantees that they’ll ever come across your website, especially if you’re not optimising it for the kind of keywords that potential clients are using to find a hypnotherapist near them.

With content marketing, it can be a whole different ball game. If they can get this type of information on your site, there’s a lot more chance that they’ll find their way there when they start searching.

These same clients are more likely to find you and want to work with you so you can get ahead of your competitors and draw in more business.

This makes content marketing a great move for making you more visible as a hypnotherapist to the very people who are already interested in hypnotherapy as a solution to their problem(s).

Sounds good, right?

4 Examples of How Content Marketing Can Get You More Hypnotherapy Clients

Some of the ways that content marketing can help you to reach new hypnotherapy clients are:

Blog Posts

A regularly updated blog can bring more traffic to your website (some of which may then convert into more clients) and highlight your expertise as a hypnotherapist.

The key is to ensure that your blog posts are targeted at people wanting information of particular topics and writing with potential clients in mind.

If you optimise your blog posts for keywords that can help with this, potential clients are a lot more likely to find you.

Writing blog posts around topics that potential clients want information on can be a smarter move than having this same information on static pages on your website. Blogs are designed to be updated more than static pages so they’ll be crawled more often by search engines and are a great way to start ranking for keywords that can get you noticed by potential clients.

Having some information on static pages for the topics you treat a lot is still a good move as it can help you to rank for these keywords too but you can go into a lot more detail in blog posts. Google loves in depth, high quality content and it tends to rank better as a result.

Lead Magnets

Offering a free download on your website can be an easy and effective way to attract new subscribers to your email list.

For example you can do this through a free self hypnosis download or a short eBook with tips on how to choose a good hypnotherapist (to reach out to people who are looking for this kind of information).

Whatever you chose to offer, it should be genuinely useful for anyone who downloads (but not give away too much … you still want them to come and see you, obviously!).

Don’t have an email list at the moment? You’re missing a great opportunity to build trust with people who are interested in hypnotherapy but may not be ready to work with you right now. Maybe they don’t have the spare cash or just don’t feel ready to take that first step yet but they could be warmed up to the idea through your emails ready for when they decide to make contact with you.

Once you have potential clients on your email list, you can keep them updated with new blog posts that they may not see if they don’t visit your site regularly), offers and useful tips around issues you commonly treat, for example.

And if you want to take this to the next level, you can offer a range of lead magnets relating to specific issues that you treat and then arrange a series of autoresponder emails based around this. For example, you may offer a free download relating to weight loss and set up an autoresponder series that includes an offer specific to your weight loss sessions that are only available to people on your email list who have signed up through that particular download.

Videos

A short video on your homepage that features you talking about some of the main questions you get from clients can be a great way to build trust and show potential clients what they could expect if they come to you over another hypnotherapist.

This can be very powerful for hypnotherapy given that clients need to feel totally comfortable with you for hypnosis to get the best results. This video can help them to get a feel for how you speak, how you come across and whether they like the idea of working with you on a 1:1 basis.

If they’re considering more than one hypnotherapist, this could be just the push they need to reach out to you for a consultation.

Guest Posting

Guesting posting on other people’s blogs is another smart move and can help to grow your expertise/authority as a hypnotherapist, drive traffic back to your website and improve your SEO.  Ideally you’ll want to guest post on high quality sites that are read by potential clients.

Isn’t This Time Consuming?

If you’re already seeing at least a few clients, you’re probably wondering how to get time to fit content marketing into your busy schedule.

If you’re really pushed for time, you’re best to choose one tactic and do it as well as you can rather than trying to do them all and only skimming the surface.

If you just don’t have the time at all or you don’t relish the thought of doing content marketing, you can always look to outsource it to a writer who has experience in doing this for other hypnotherapists (like me!).

If you’re a hypnotherapist and have any questions about how to go about content marketing, feel free to email me and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Or if you want to know more about the services I offer to health & wellness professionals (including hypnotherapists – I’m currently working with quite a few) and what it’s like to work with me., just check out the links.

4 Reasons to Love Parsley

4 Reasons to Love Parsley

Parsley is often used as a garnish but there is so much herb than this. Adding a sprig to dishes has some impressive health benefits and a lot more nutrients than you might think!

Here are 4 of the great benefits of parsley for better health:

#1 It’s Full of Antioxidants

There are lots of flavonoids in parsley and these act as antioxidants that help to protect against damage to cells.

One of these is vitamin C, which can neutralise free radicals and stop them wreaking so much havoc in the body. Free radicals are linked to lots of different diseases so you may be able to protect against some of them if you have plenty of antioxidants in your diet. And parsley is definitely one way to get the ball rolling on this!

#2 It’s Heart Healthy

When you think of heart healthy nutrients, folic acid probably isn’t the first one that springs to mind. Its ability to reduce homocysteine in in the blood protects the blood vessels.

If you have a lot of homocysteine molecules in your body, there is a big risk that your blood vessels will become damaged and if you go on to develop atherosclerosis (a condition that affects the blood vessels), this can make you a lot more likely to have a heart attack or stroke,

Foods that are rich in folic acid can reduce this risk and parsley ticks this box too.

#3 It Can Protect Against Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis may be an autoimmune condition but some studies have suggested that you could be less likely to develop it if your diet includes the right nutrients.

Vitamin C could help with this and one study found that people who didn’t get a lot of vitamin C in their diet were more likely to develop arthritis compared to those that had diets rich in vitamin C . The study focused on polyarthritis, which affects two or more joints at the same time.

You don’t need to go overboard with how much vitamin C you get though as some studies have suggested that too much can be bad for the joints.

#4 It Could Fight Cancer

Parsley contains a number of volatile oils, some of which have been shown in studies on animals to have the potential to fight cancerous tumours.

 

 

5 Ways to Overcome Negative Thinking

5 Ways to Overcome Negative Thinking

Do you regularly find yourself thinking negatively about yourself and the world around you?

Most of us have negative thoughts every now and again but if negative thinking is a chronic, long term problem, it can have a very significant effect on your mental health and wellbeing.

At its worst, negative thinking can affect your quality of life and this can be a sign that you’re suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder.

Negative thinking can have a snowball effect and tends to be very hard to control. And the more you acknowledge them, the more these thoughts feel true.

Types of Negative Thinking

Negative thoughts can fall loosely into categories such as these:

  • Predicting the future – “I’ll fail at this” or “this will be a total disaster”
  • Reading other people’s minds – “They don’t like me” or “people think I’m boring”
  • Catastrophizing and thinking the worst -Expecting things to go wrong and seeing a potential downside to every scenario

Negative thinking is often “all or nothing” and very much black and white.

Whereas someone with a more positive mindset may see shades of grey in their thinking that they can latch onto, negative thinking tends to be at the worst end of the spectrum.

You’re likely to think about all of the things that could potentially go wrong rather than focusing on the more realistic outcomes.

Overcoming Negative Thinking

One of the great things about our minds is the ability to change things up. Your thought patterns aren’t set in stone and with the right tools, it’s definitely possible to swap negative thought patterns for healthier and more positive alternatives.

  • Find the “Grey” Areas in a Situation

Negative thinking usually leads you straight to the worst possible outcomes in a given situation so you’ll need to stop your mind from thinking in such extremes. There will almost always be a number of more realistic outcomes that you can focus on instead and these “grey” areas are where your mind needs to go to instead.

One way to do this is to write down the worst case scenario that is running through your head and then list some of the outcomes that are more likely to happen. This forces your mind to think about alternative outcomes rather than focusing solely on the original negative thought.

  • Reframe Your Thinking

It’s not always that easy to put a different slant on your thinking, especially if you’re so used to being negative with your thoughts. Being able to find a more positive take on a situation can help you to see things in a very different light but this often means that you have to go against your natural tendency to think the worst and this isn’t easy.

This is where Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or hypnotherapy can help you to refocus the way that you tend to think so that you can look at things from a different angle.

  • Not Over Generalizing Situations

Negative thinking often blows situations out of all proportion so that they take on much more significance than they probably should do. For example, a date that doesn’t work out can leave you thinking that “I’ll never meet anyone” or I’ll never be happy”.

If negative thinking wasn’t controlling your mindset, you’d be much more likely to chalk it up to just not being compatible with your date rather than fearing that it sets a precedent for the future.

  • Not “Mind Reading” Situations

Another big part of negative thinking is “mind reading” a situation when you don’t actually have the evidence to back up your fears.

If someone doesn’t text you back, you may jump to the conclusion that they don’t like you, for example. In reality, it’s a lot more likely that they’re just busy and haven’t had chance to respond yet or they were in the middle of something when they got your text and have forgotten to reply.

Neither of these scenarios is any reflection of how they feel about you

  • Spending Time in the Moment

Being “in the moment” gives you the opportunity to pull back from your thoughts and focus your attention elsewhere, namely on the things around you rather than yourself.

How Blogging Can Help Your Health Business to Grow

HowBloggingCanHelpYourHealthBusinesstoGrow

You may have heard that having a regularly updated blog on your website will help to grow your business but as a health/wellness professional, you may wonder whether this applies to you and what the benefits may be for finding new clients.

Here are a few of the ways that blogging can help you to reach out to more clients:

More Clients Can Find You

Having more content on your website gives potential clients more opportunity to discover you and it opens the door to being found by people who aren’t necessarily even aware of how your services could help them.

A potential client may go online in the hope of finding some information on how they can manage a health condition and come across your blog post on how that very condition can be treated through hypnotherapy or aromatherapy, for example.

This person probably wasn’t even looking for a hypnotherapist or aromatherapist before they started searching and may not have had any idea of how you could help them before they found your blog post. Having read your post and realising that you understand their situation and are perfectly placed to support them, there’s a good chance that they’ll have a look around your site to find out more about you.

The end result? You’ve significantly increased your chances for potential clients arranging an assessment or booking an appointment with you because you recognised the importance of creating content on topics your clients are looking for information on and using targeted keywords to help these posts to show up in front of these people.

You Can Convert More Clients

The main focus for your blog posts should always be based on delivering high quality content that your readers can learn from but that doesn’t mean you can’t include a reasonably subtle call-to-action in your posts to encourage potential clients to arrange an assessment with you or book an appointment. Just be careful not to do an overly hard sell as this can put people off and makes it hard to build trust.

Your Brand Will Be Stronger

Your business is also a brand and this can be really important for encouraging potential clients to come to you for help and support. If they are in the market for working with someone in your niche, they may be looking at some of your competitors too.

To stand out over others, you need a strong brand and a regular supply of quality content can help with this. If potential clients like what they see from your blog, they’ll see you in a very positive light and can be persuaded to choose you.

You Can Build Stronger Authority

High quality content doesn’t just build trust with potential clients. It can also strengthen your authority in general, especially if your posts are linked to by other sites and gain backlinks that increase your domain authority. This can help you to rank higher in search engines and gives you more potential to get in front of potential clients.

How Long Will Results Take?

It’s unlikely that you’ll suddenly see a big surge in clients when you first start blogging and it can take a few months to start seeing results. Don’t let this put you off though!

The more you blog on topics that potential clients will be interested in, the more chance you have to get in front of them and convert them into clients, especially if you’re targeting keywords that aren’t . Once you have a steady stream of content on your blog, you can start seeing the benefits but it’s important not to give up too soon. Like all forms of content marketing, blogging is a long term strategy.

What Does It Mean to Live in the Moment?

What Does It Mean to Live in the Moment_

Being “in the moment” is a big part of mindfulness and it’s been shown in studies to be really effective in helping us to feel happier.

A big study into wellbeing found that daydreaming, thinking ahead and going off track with our thoughts in general are a lot more likely to make us feel miserable.

Participants were asked to log in and say what they were doing at that particular moment, how happy they were and whether they were thinking about that activity.  In almost half of cases, their thoughts were elsewhere and this seemed to be directly linked to their mood.

This led researchers to claim a link between not being “in the moment” and feeling unhappy, even if this tangent includes positive thoughts about something that we like or enjoy.  They believe that the distraction is what was making a lot of the study participants less happy, rather than their emotions being the cause of their wandering mind.

The Importance of Being “In the Moment”

There’s a lot to be said about the wellbeing benefits of being able to stay “in the moment” with our thinking but it’s not always that easy to actually make this happen for any great length of time.

Our minds are very good at veering off on tangents, sometimes to the past or the future. This can work against us in some cases and encourage thoughts about things that may happen further down the line (but often never do!).

Most of our negative thoughts tend to involve dwelling on things that have happened in the past or worrying about what could happen in the future. Living more “in the moment” takes this away and forces us to focus on the here and now, which is often a lot less stress inducing.

A busy, active mind is only part of the problem though. Add in the fact that most of us also have incredibly hectic lives (and increasingly blurred lines between home and work in many cases) and it’s not hard to see why few of us spend much time “in the moment”.  The end result? Our busy minds take control of us.

You can change this through mindfulness, which is all about spending time in the present. This helps to distance yourself from your thoughts and take a step back from them.

How to Be “In the Moment”

Mindfulness doesn’t involve fighting against your thoughts. The key thing is to acknowledge your thoughts and let them wash over you. You don’t need to push away any of your thoughts or even pass any judgement on them at all. You just want to observe them.

Savour the Moment

Mindfulness can be practiced in lots of different scenarios but you may want to start off with something that you enjoy to get into the habit and experience the benefits.

Next time you’re eating a food or enjoy or doing an activity you really enjoy, take the time to really focus on what you’re doing and the way it makes you feel. For food, concentrate on taste and texture, for example.

Most of the time, we rush through everyday things including eating and drinking but they’re a great opportunity to spend some time “in the moment”.

Focus on Something Else

One mistake that people often make when trying to be more mindful is to overthink things.

Focusing your attention on outside things can help to distract yourself from the ‘talk’ that is happening in your mind.

It can also be a good way to make it easier for you to avoid attaching any kind of label to thoughts that come into your mind and judging them. This way, the thought come and go in your mind without it gaining the same significance compared to non mindful thinking.

Accepting Feelings and Emotions

A lot of the time, we’re actively trying to fight against emotions, especially negatives ones such as stress, anxiety, sadness and pain. Rather than making things better, this usually only makes us feel worse.

Being “in the moment” with your emotions means accepting that they may be out of your control. You’re not admitting defeat and you still have complete control of how you manage the emotion(s). The key thing is not to let it overwhelm you or to focus your attention on it. Acknowledge it by all means but then try to turn your attention to something else.