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Five ways to increase your stop smoking success


It’s that time of year when many people decide to stop smoking for good – only for their healthy intentions to go up in a puff of smoke a short time later.


Actually stopping smoking is something that most smokers intend to do. Yet it can seem quite daunting to actually stop smoking. After all, you’ve probably tried and failed before and you may be surrounded by others with similar tales of failure and frustration.


If you really want to stop smoking and you want to start feeling healthier, happier and wealthier right now, then here are five things that will help give you that push and increase your chances of success.



Ending Anxiety and Panic Attacks


Recently I was working with a client who told me she was suffering with anxiety and panic attacks. Even as she told me she was clearly on edge, anxious, and even a bit desperate to end the cycle of anxiety she now found herself in.


The anxiety had been creeping up for a while and then seemed to explode into all areas of her life. She had been signed off work and she felt many of the symptoms that go with anxiety and panic:


  • Feeling restless and on edge
  • A loss of confidence to do things she used to do
  • Avoiding crowded places and preferring to stay at home
  • Constant worry and anxious thoughts and feelings
  • Hot and cold sweats
  • Sleeping very little or not at all
  • Worrying if she would ever ‘feel better’
  • Worrying whether she would have another panic attack


Yet a few sessions later she strolled into my room with a spring in her step, a sense of calmness and a smile on her face.


She told me she felt good, happy and confident and was looking forward to going back to work. She’d been doing all the things she used to do and was happy going out for the day or being in crowded shops. She was looking forward to feeling better and better into the future.


Overcome Your Fear of Spiders


Do you struggle with a fear of spiders?


Recently I’ve helped a number of people conquer their fear of spiders. One of the first things that nearly all of them told me was that they knew it was irrational – but they still couldn’t stop their fear and panic around spiders.


One of my clients would visibly physically flinch at just the thought of a spider. She told me she couldn’t even look at a picture of one without getting that panicky feeling, and she had countless examples of times she had needed to call for help to get a spider out of the room. She even had times she dreamt about them and woke in a panic.


Other clients check places in their houses where they had seen them before, and the sight of a spider on TV, especially a moving one, can start that feeling of fear.


No more fear of spiders


Yet after just a few sessions, you can soon be free of your fear of spiders.


Coping With Grief


As many of you will know, I lost my dad to cancer last November. It’s naturally led me to think about grief and the impact of losing someone close to you. I’ve probably written elements of this article in my head dozens of times over the past months.


And because it is probably the most personal article I’ve written, I’ve hesitated to actually publish it until now. I’ve only put this here now because losing a loved one is something we all have to face at some point in our lives and I hope that these words may be of help to others.


The stages of grief


It’s often said that there are different stages of grief, from numbness, denial and isolation, through pain, anger, sadness and acceptance. I’m sure I experienced most of these at different times in a varying order and to different degrees.


Of course there is no requirement to experience all of these elements of grief. Indeed, I remember working with one lady who had lost her partner and was


Are we all sugar addicts?


There’s been a lot in the press recently about the amount of sugar in our diet and the potential negative consequences for our health and weight.


When you look at the figures, the amount of sugar in our diet has increased massively. And whilst you would expect to find a lot if sugar in ‘full-fat’ fizzy drinks, sweets and chocolate, it can be surprising to discover the amount of ‘hidden’ sugar where we wouldn’t necessarily expect to find it. For example, there is often plenty of sugar in products that are labelled low fat and even in bread and soup.


So why is all this sugar being added? Are we really all sugar addicts?


Our love affair with sugar


There’s a school of thought that our ancestors developed a ‘sweet tooth’ to be able to easily identify foods packed with energy to help them survive.


Yet these days we are swamped with choice and availability and our sweet tooth shows no signs of diminishing. Sugar is a relatively cheap ingredient for manufacturers and we consumers keep buying sweet products, even if we don’t always realise we are doing it.


And perhaps one of the critical factors with sugar consumption is that


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