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What Are Cognitive Biases?

What Are Cognitive Biases?

What Are Cognitive Biases?

How to make better decisions...

What Are Cognitive Biases?
Would you love to make more rational decisions? Do you sometimes look back on the choices you've made or the things that you've said and wonder what on earth possessed you to act that way? Understanding Cognitive biases can help you to improve your decision making processes. Read on to discover how.

Would you love to make more rational decisions?

Do you sometimes look back on the choices you’ve made or the things that you’ve said and wonder what on earth possessed you to act that way?

To help you make more rational decisions, I’m going to help you discover the cognitive biases that are already affecting your decision-making processes.

Cognitive biases  have an enormous impact on our decision making and a huge impact on our lives. The best way to control for that impact is to be aware of it.

The more mindful of cognitive biases you become, the easier it is to pick up on them and you’ll be able to make more rational decisions. If you can account for, allow for and understand the impact of those biases, you can begin to take more control of the choices you are making.

What Are Cognitive Biases?

Cognitive biases are something that we all have, something that we all do as human beings, they are effectively shortcuts that help us make decisions.

Where Do Cognitive Biases Come From?

There’s a lot within how we act and how we behave that ties in with our caveman ancestors, our animalistic selves.

Part of what we are designed to do is preserve energy because we want to get the maximum gain possible for the minimum amount of effort.

Ultimately, our biggest driver is to survive and part of that is the three Fs: we need to feed, we need to fight (protect and defend ourselves and our tribe) and we need to fornicate to continue our bloodline (you didn’t think I would use a different ‘F-word’ did you?) Those are the things that matter most to us on that deeper subconscious level.

Our brains are one of the organs that take up the most energy, so we want to minimise the amount of unnecessary work for our brains. As animals one of the ways to reduce the amount of brain energy used is we take a lot of shortcuts. Some of these are simple, obvious ones that are quite sensible, but others we have taken a bit too far.

On a basic level, these shortcuts are building an understanding of the things around us and how they work, for example, sitting on a chair. Every time we see a chair, we know how to sit on it; we don’t have to look at it, examine it and work out how to use it.

What's The Downside Of Cognitive Biases?

We have taken these shortcuts beyond this basic level and in this modern world, things are more complicated than we were initially designed for. Thanks to our ability as humans to communicate and be self-aware, we have a great foundation with opportunities to grow and develop ourselves in any direction that we choose. A big part of us being self-aware is that we also make mistakes, we are fallible.

This leads us to cognitive biases, They come in to play when we need to make a decision. That could be a decision we don’t even realise is a decision, making a snap judgement about a person, or identifying something as a threat, all of which happens before we are consciously aware we are doing it.

We have certain structures and systems, shortcuts, in place to make the decision-making process easier for us. This evolved from really simple examples, like if someone is smiling, we assume they are happy and that makes them less of a threat.

These processes can get in our way as well, we can trip up and stumble over different things, which can get confusing. One of the most obvious examples of a cognitive bias is cognitive differentiation. An example is when we drive, we see loads of cars but we barely notice them unless the driving is poor and then we end the journey thinking that everyone was driving ‘like a nutter today’, completely forgetting all the drivers that were sensible. This is just one example of the many cognitive biases that are out there and lead us down different paths to making decisions.

Where Can You Find Out More About Cognitive Biases?

I’ll be regularly posting blogs  which will cover one bias in more detail each time, so make sure you are signed up to receive them all.

You can check out my YouTube channel for my videos on cognitive biases:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8H_l1_C5_gIgY6KF9dBzKQ

You can join my Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/MindAffinity

Feel like you keep making “Stupid Decisions”?

Check out my blog post: https://mindaffinity.co.uk/why-am-i-so-stupid

Watch the Cognitive Biases Introduction Video

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Why Relying On Willpower Will Fail You

Change you habits without willpower

Why Relying On Willpower Will Fail You

With 9 Tips To Enjoy Positive Change

Change you habits without willpower
If you’re currently relying on willpower for something you may not want to read this. Reading this will make it much much harder to make the change you want to make if you’re relying on willpower alone. If willpower is working for you, please scroll on now (but come back to this if it doesn’t work out). If relying on willpower is hard work and you’re wondering why you’re “so weak” and keep giving in to temptation or habit then this blog is for you…

There I was, tucking into that third slice of cheesecake. It had been a long day and I had worked hard all week. Tomorrow was my day off and I was tired. I had told myself that I wouldn’t keep doing this. I needed to loose weight and get healthier but there I was having gone back for ANOTHER slice. But it’s okay, I’m tired and that means my willpower is weaker than normal. And I really have worked hard all week, I deserve this relaxation. Sat in front of the T.V. feeling full but still eating, I fool myself into believing that this IS what I really want and that I DO deserve it, even though I’m already aware of the regret and disapproval I’m feeling about my choices.

It’s important to be nice to yourself though and I know that willpower is limited, I can only do so much so I may as well forgive myself, go with it and try again tomorrow…

Except that’s simply not true. It’s all a myth and a great way to justify my choices. Hey, It leads to extra cheesecake so it can’t be all bad, right?

This is a familiar story. It may not be about food, maybe it’s quitting smoking, eating healthily or cutting out other bad habits. If you find yourself relying on willpower and struggling, there is another way. I know there is because it has worked for me and countless clients I have worked with.

What is willpower?

When people speak about willpower they are likely talking about it as a kind of determination to NOT do something. It’s something that takes energy and is required for you to ‘win’ a battle against some kind of drive, urge or habit. This is a very traditional way of looking at willpower but it’s based on the theory of ‘ego-depletion’ which gained scientific popularity in the 90s but is actually a bit outdated and inaccurate.

Willpower And Ego-Depletion

Ego-depletion is probably not a new idea to you, even if you’ve not heard it called that before. It’s simply the idea that as we go through the day we exhaust our limited mental energy reserve requited to maintain our self control and without it we run out of willpower. It makes sense, right? You can see how this would lead to bingeing on cheesecake at the end of a ‘long’ day.

There was a study conducted where subjects in a room with a plate of fresh cookies and a plate of radishes were instructed, as they waited for a puzzle, to eat either ONLY radishes or ONLY cookies. Not eating cookies being used as a way to ‘drain’ people’s resistance/willpower. The subjects were then asked to complete an impossible puzzle, Those who restricted themselves to only radishes gave up on the puzzle much quicker than those who had eaten the cookies.

It was concluded that this proved that we have a limited supply of willpower and that it depletes and decreases with overuse. Subjects had ‘used up’ all their will power by not eating to cookies and so gave up more quickly on the puzzle. Those that ate the cookies lasted longer as they had more willpower to commit to the task.

This study was a good one and the results have been supported in a number of studies and meta-analyses. There has been much further study based upon these findings BUT…

This has all be brought into question and a number of studies attempting to replicate the effects have not been able to do so. The initial meta-studies didn’t account for studies that weren’t published  and there have been a number of other concerns. Correlation (a link between two things) doesn’t always mean that one thing causes the other. BELIEVING that you can exhaust your willpower, however, has a great deal of influence over your decisions.

It turns out that this belief can be harmful in itself.

Set Yourself Up To Succeed

So if this traditional view of willpower and ego-depletion is so harmful – not least because you are effectively setting yourself up for failure, then what should you do instead?

I’ll break this down into some simple steps that can make it a lot easier to change your habits but before I do, let’s not gloss over the importance of the above. Realising that willpower doesn’t work in the way we think it does has the potential to be empowering in itself. We can free ourselves from being restricted by this limiting belief that we may not have even realised was holding us back. Isn’t that freeing in itself?

A New Way Of Thinking About Willpower

If we are no longer thinking about willpower as a limited energy which will ‘run out’ then we need a new way of thinking about it.

Willpower is more like an emotion. You can run out of Joy or sadness. You can’t have used up so much anger in the day that you have no choice but to smile at someone for punching you in the face. Much like other emotions, your beliefs and thoughts, your surroundings and circumstances and your chosen responses all work together to influence your willpower at any given moment.

If I don’t want to write a blog that I’ve been meaning to write, I’l easily find myself procrastinating and scrolling thorough Facebook. As with any other emotional state, it’s important to recognise how you are feeling. This gives you the chance to question and understand why you are feeling that way and what influences are acting upon you. It could be stress, hunger, boredom, or any number of other things that are acting upon you to influence how and why you are feeling that way. 

If I’m writing something that excites me, I don’t find myself running out of willpower to complete it or struggling to stay off social media. I just get stuck into what I’m doing and get lost in it. Before I know it, an hour or three have flown by and I’m still going.

Forget about willpower and setting yourself up for a fight and start creating the right positive influences around yourself and being more aware of what is having an impact on how you feel in that moment.

What To Rely On Instead Of Willpower

Here are some things you can do that will make it far easier to change your habits.

Focus On DOING Rather Than NOT DOING

If you spend your time and energy focusing on the things you DON’T want to be doing then don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a constant battle to not do it. Instead decide what you DO want to be doing instead. What activity can you replace the unwanted behaviour with that moves you closer to your goal rather than further from it. Make it enjoyable, make it something that you WANT to be doing.

Change The Way You Think

You can’t directly control how you feel, or even what you think in any given moment. You CAN influence yourself to think differently about things and in doing so, how you feel in certain situations. Remind yourself of your new outlook on willpower and use your new understanding to explore new thoughts and behaviours that support you better.

Believe In Yourself

Building your self belief will make it far easier to change your habits. This isn’t done through beating yourself up but through BUILDING yourself up. Remember to celebrate your wins and victories, look at what you HAVE achieved and know that you don’t need to fight yourself to get to the results you are working towards. You can and WILL get there, one step at a time.

Be Nicer To Yourself

The language you use and the way you talk about and to yourself have a huge impact on your ability to achieve positive change. Think about the way you talk to yourself and what changes you can make to be nicer to yourself. (Check back here soon for a post on how to do this better).

Make It Easy

Just because willpower doesn’t work the way we thought it did, doesn’t mean you should just leave things to chance and attempt to make you decisions when you have least energy and are at greatest risk. If you know that getting home from work has traditionally been a weak point for your healthy eating or that moment after a meal is when you are most likely to crave a smoke those are the times to target most. What can you do to replace the behaviours in those moments and what can you do IN ADVANCE to make those times easier for yourself?

Make It A Priority

There’s often so much going on in our busy modern lives that even the most basic self care can take a back seat. If you really want to make a change, make it a priority. What can you do first thing in the morning that builds a positive change? Start the day with it as a priority and it’s easier to maintain it. Plan around your new habit rather than trying to fit the change around everything else. MAKE it work. Decide in advance that it matters enough to do this.

Create Accountability

Sometimes just the act of telling the world that you are making a change can be enough to feel like you have some positive pressure to make it work. Use social media to make it public. Scary but powerful. Or find accountability though friends and family. Maybe a daily or weekly check-in with someone else who has a similar goal or wants accountability for their own goals could suit you well.

Mindset Is Everything

Your mindset around the changes you want to make plays a huge part in how easy it is to succeed. There are a number of things that you can to to maintain and improve on that including meditation, mindfulness and related things. You may find Relax Club to be an invaluable tool in helping you maintain your mindset and enjoy positive change. Find out more here.

Hypnotherapy

Of course, working one-to-one with a professional therapist with a wealth of experience in empowering people to enjoy positive change isn’t necessary for you. It could make things a lot quicker and easier for you though. If you’d like to find out more about how I can help you speed up the process and enjoy it more, book a free chat with me here.

Know Someone who could benefit from this blog post? Why not share it with them and help them to embrace positive change without the constant willpower battle.

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Are you procrastinating sleep?

How To Overcome Sleep Procrastination

Looking to overcome sleep procrastination?
You’ve done it too, right? Stayed up to watch “just one more” episode on Netflix or just one more game on your phone and before you know it – it’s the early hours and you’re dragging yourself wirily to bed, already regretting your choices?

You’re not alone – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Why Am I So Stupid?

Why am I So Stupid‽ Blog post image

Why Am I So Stupid?

And What Can I Do About It?

Why am I So Stupid‽ Blog post image
Does it sometimes feel like you just keep making ‘stupid choices’ and bad decisions?
 Do you feel like you’re constantly beating yourself up for being so stupid? You are NOT alone and you CAN change it. Read on…

Most, if not all, people have asked themselves at some point “why am I so stupid?” Or similar. Maybe you keep making the same mistakes and just don’t seem to be able to change you behaviour. Maybe it feels like you can’t get through the day without saying something embarrassing. Maybe there’s a whole load of different reasons you find yourself asking this question, let me help you find the actual answer to the question.

Spoiler alert! – You’re NOT stupid.

What Does It Mean To Be "So Stupid"?

Before we answer the question, let’s actually look at what the ‘stupid’ really means.

When we talk about being stupid or not what we are normally referring to is intelligence. This is generally measured in IQ (Intelligence Quota). This is the first mistake that people make with this question… Often when we ask “Why am I so stupid?” We are asking the wrong question. If we were really stupid then we would be unlikely to look back and realise the error we made. It actually requires intelligence to reflect back on our actions, question them and come to the conclusion that we could have done something better.

Chances are, you’re reading this because you find yourself feeling stupid but have the intelligence to notice it and question it. Questioning and researching – that sounds pretty smart to me.

To put it another way – whatever made you ask the question “Why am I so stupid?” Was probably nothing to do with being stupid. You’re not stupid.

Emotions Aren’t So Stupid

One ‘guideline’ (because guidelines are better than rules) I have in my clinic for my individual clients is that we replace the word ‘stupid’ with ‘silly’. See, a lot of the things we do are silly. Overreacting, getting in a flap, making nervous errors, repeating old habits and behaviours and generally making ‘silly’ mistakes – These are all silly things that people often feel stupid for, but aren’t anything to do with logic and intelligence.

When we feel a certain way or impulsively act upon a feeling or stimulus it’s often caused by past learning or old beliefs. We generally know how we would prefer to act, especially when looking back on it rationally, we just don’t act that way in the moment.

Judging your logic and intelligence based on your emotional reactions is inaccurate and unfair. It will make you feel far worse than putting it in context and realising that it’s not your intelligence getting in your way. It’s your learned behaviour, habits and beliefs.

In short – you are not stupid.

Forgive Yourself

No one ever beat themselves up into feeling better about themselves. If you’ve been feeling stupid the chances are you’ve been pretty mean to yourself about it to. That’s normal but that doesn’t make it right. Recognising that your errors are guided by emotion and not logic should make it easier to see that it’s not about you not being good enough, it’s partly about you not being good enough TO YOURSELF. If a toddler repeated behaviour that wasn’t acceptable you wouldn’t beat them up the way you beat yourself up, would you? You’d probably be a lot more patient and understanding, knowing that this will help them learn. If a toddler does just get yelled at without fully understanding why it can be detrimental to their development and they are less likely to learn from the situation because they will be too overwhelmed with the emotions to really engage the logical think required to reflect on it. You’re not so different.

Beating yourself up makes it harder to think rationally, making you feel even more stupid but… You are not stupid.

Learning Not To Be So Stupid

If your mistakes were caused by stupidity, then you would learn from them and wouldn’t find yourself repeating them so readily. But there’s good news – You can learn to be less silly too. The first step to take that will make it much easier to learn and grow from your mistakes is to forgive yourself, as above.

You can’t change the past. What is done is done and will never not have happened. You can, however, use the past to change the future. Once you forgive yourself, it becomes much easier to focus on learning and growing from it. If you’re struggling to forgive yourself then focusing on learning from it, may make you better able to forgive yourself as you begin to grow from it anyway.

Every silly mistake is another opportunity for growth and learning. The “stupid” mistakes I’ve made in the past have become a part of the person I am today and I have learned a LOT more from my mistakes than I have ever learned from things going to plan.

The very fact that you landed here shows that you are looking for answers. This implies that you are not as stupid as you think.

Awareness Isn't So Stupid

It took self-awareness to decide that this blog was worth reading. You’re already on your way to improving.

Awareness plays a huge part in turning things around too. How can you expect to improve something if you don’t know what could be improved? By being prepared to forgive yourself you make it easier to recognise and notice your emotional reaction before you take action. Being aware of how you are feeling and reflecting on how you were feeling when you made questionable decisions in the past makes it much easier to choose to respond in different ways going forward.

Take the time to reflect (without prejudice) on how you were feeling at the time, what may have caused those feelings, what other times you displayed similar behaviours. The more aware you are of how and why your reacted the way you did in the past, the easier it will be to increase awareness of how you are feeling (and reacting) in any given moment now and in the future.

By now, I’m hoping you are aware that you are not stupid.

Accept The Stupid

Okay, so I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t think you’re stupid. That said, we can all make foolish decisions from time to time. Some more than others. On some occasions we may even do things which are more ‘stupid’ than they are silly. That’s okay too!

Part of being human is being fallible. We all make mistakes and poor choices but no decision can truly be described as a bad decision until after the fact. We are really good at judging our behaviours and decisions by the outcome. It seems like sound reasoning, right? Wrong. The problem here is that after the result we have more information than was available to us at the time. ANYONE who has had the same experiences as you, with the same beliefs etc would make the same choice in that moment as you did. Regardless of how it turned out you did what felt best in the moment. Whether that was based on emotion rather than logic or a lack of understanding of the bigger picture. it’s just part of being human.

In summary, you are not stupid but you may sometimes act as if you are and that’s okay.

Know Someone who could benefit from this blog post? Why not share it with them and help them see that they aren’t so stupid after all?

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Sleep better – Feel better – Focus better
Boost Focus – Boost mood – Boost positivity

Check out my other articles:

Are you procrastinating sleep?

How To Overcome Sleep Procrastination

Looking to overcome sleep procrastination?
You’ve done it too, right? Stayed up to watch “just one more” episode on Netflix or just one more game on your phone and before you know it – it’s the early hours and you’re dragging yourself wirily to bed, already regretting your choices?

You’re not alone – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Why Do I Struggle To Learn Names?

How to Remember Names

Why Do I Struggle To Learn Names?

7.5 Simple Ways To Get Better At Remembering Names

How to Remember Names
“I’m great with faces but terrible at remembering names.” Does that sound familiar? I bet you’ve said something like that before. If you have you’re not alone. Most people would love to be better at remembering names. With this being such a common problem you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was really difficult to fix but that doesn’t have to be the case.  Read on to find out more...

As I write this I am reminded of my old headmaster from primary school. He used to remember the name of every student in the school. Not only that, he was also able to remember the names of their siblings and parents too. I remember seeing him years after I had left the school and him asking me about each member of my family by name. I didn’t realise at the time just how rare and impressive that was but if an elderly man right up to the point of retirement could recall names with such ease, why is it so hard for the rest of us?

In truth – it isn’t. It’s not hard for us to remember names, we just don’t do it right. How often do you find yourself already “knowing” that you’re not going to remember someone’s name before you’ve even finished the introduction? We make it hard for ourselves and, as with so much in life, create barriers for ourselves that don’t need to exist.

Why Is It Easier To Remember Faces?

Often those who have a hard time remembering names quickly jump to their own defence by professing how good they are at remembering faces. As great as that is, they are two completely different skills. Remembering a name requires you to access the memory of that information whereas recognising a face relies on your ability to recall the face that is ALREADY there in front of you. A very different way of using your memory entirely. That said, if you are one of those people there’s some great news – Being good a recalling faces can help you remember names, if you follow the steps below.

Why does it matter?

Do you remember a time where someone didn’t remember your name and it left you feeling less valued by that person. Or a time when someone you didn’t think would remember you well actually dresses you by name? Remembering someone’s name is a way of showing them that you care, that they matter to you.

“A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language”

– Dale Carnegie

I’ve not always been great at remembering names. If you ask me today the name of an actor I still probably won’t be able to help you but I’ve also run networking meetings with rooms full of new people and been able to introduce them all by name. The biggest difference? Deciding to remember them and using some or all of the tips that I’m about to share with you now.

1. DECIDE To Remember

It may seem too simple but so often we forget names for the simple reason that we weren’t really paying much attention to remembering it. When we are first meeting someone and hear their name, it’s fresh in our mind and we are naturally over confident in our ability to remember information if we aren’t under pressure to recall it. (Think about how many times you look at your watch/phone for the time and then have to look again a moment later because you weren’t really giving it your full attention). Be present in the moment and decide to remember.

Recognise that, though it’s not difficult, it does require intention and attention to remember a name.

2. EXPECT To Remember

While it’s good to acknowledge that it takes effort to remember a name it’s also helpful to know that you CAN do it and that you ARE doing it in that moment. If I offered you a large sum of money if you can remember a name when I introduce you, I recon you’d do a dam good job of remembering that name, right? So you know that you CAN do. Rather than assuming you’ll just forget the name (which your subconscious will gladly allow you to do if that’s what you’re accidentally instructing it to do through your belief and expectation), remember that you are going to remember the name this time.

3. Repeat It Back, Repeat It Back.

When you are introduced to someone, repeat their name back to them. Ie: “Nice to meet you [NAME].” By repeating the name you are physically engaging with the name, hearing it in your own voice and resonating with the sound in a way you wouldn’t if you were just listening to someone else saying it. This will vastly improve your ability to recall it later. You could boost this by writing it down too but that may be less practical in a setting where you are meeting someone new.

4. Test Yourself

If we expect, at the time of learning, to be tested on information at a later stage, we become better at recalling that information. It’s no surprise really, if we think someone will ask us the question we will put more focus on actually storing the information in order to later recall it. Plan to test yourself on the names of the people you are meeting and have that thought in mind when you are introduced. Use this to create some positive pressure that encourages your memory.

5. Build associations

What’s the first thing you notice about the person you’ve just met? Maybe a particular facial feature sends out to you. It could be a mannerism or how they talk. Focus on that thing as you make the choice to commit their name to memory. By doing this you will establish an association between that feature/trait and the person’s name. This will make it easier to recall the name when you next see that person.

6. Use mnemonics

You may have used mnemonics in the past and not known what they were called. It’s just a way of creating an easy memory link. It could involve a rhyme, a list of letters or other things. A common example is remembering how to spell ‘because’ – “Big Elephants Can’t Actually Use Side Exits”. They can also be rhymes (we are even better at remembering rhymes), such as “I before E except after C.” (Even if that rule is rarely actually true).

To use this when remembering names, find something that rhymes with the persons name or something about that that helps them stand out to you and like the association above, link it with their name. Maybe you’ve just met Tim and you notice he is rather tall and seems like quite a clever bloke. Tim – that Tall Intelligent Man you just met could be an easy one to remember. How about Daisy – doesn’t she seem kinda ‘crazy’ to you? It’s not a perfect system but when combined with the others it forms a trail of breadcrumbs that helps you get back to where you stored that memory.

7. Say Goodbye

After you’ve done all of that (or chosen the bits that suit you best), Remember to use their name again when you say goodbye. This will help enhance all the other points, you will have decided to remember, you will have known thatches test was coming, you will be repeating the name again and enhancing the associations. The other benefit to this is the Primacy and Recency effect. We are better able to remember things that happen at the start and at the end of a situation. Saying goodbye will help make their name one of the last things you remember about that encounter and therefore easier to recall in the future.

7.5 PRACTISE

Here’s the extra half a tip. Practise. the more you practise remembering names using the tips above, the easier it becomes. You really can improve your memory by using it more.

What are your thoughts? have you used any of the ideas above or do you have some mnemonics that you still remember and use today? let me know in the comments below.

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Arrange a chat or
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Duncan is the right person
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EMPOWER YOURSELF
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Enjoy the benefits of hypnotic relaxation and professionally designed meditation tracks in the palm of your hand.

Sleep better – Feel better – Focus better
Boost Focus – Boost mood – Boost positivity

Check out my other articles:

Are you procrastinating sleep?

How To Overcome Sleep Procrastination

Looking to overcome sleep procrastination?
You’ve done it too, right? Stayed up to watch “just one more” episode on Netflix or just one more game on your phone and before you know it – it’s the early hours and you’re dragging yourself wirily to bed, already regretting your choices?

You’re not alone – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Read More »
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How To Keep Cool In A Heatwave

A Cooling fan on a hot day

How To Keep Cool In A Heatwave

A Cooling fan on a hot day
Feeling hot hot hot? It can be tough to cool down in a heatwave but here's some top tips to trick your mind into feeling cooler.

Wow, it’s hot!

We British love to complain about the weather. Too hot, too cold, too wet. Personally I believe that there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. The exception to that is the heat, there are only so many layers you can remove in civilised company. If the weather gets too cold you can always add more layers, grab a blanket or even go for a run to warm yourself up. It feels like there very little you can do to cool down unless you work somewhere with a walk-in chiller. So what do you do to cool down when it’s too hot and there are no layers left to remove?

Well, The mind really is amazing and there are things you can do to feel cool by getting your mind to work on your side. Here are a few ideas on how you can trick yourself cooler:

1) Chewing gum is cool

Do you love that fresh, cool feeling that you get from strong mints or the refreshing sensation that comes with brushing your teeth?

The scent of mint activates receptors which also detect cold (specifically TRPM8 if you want to look it up.) The signal the receptors send doesn’t distinguished between cold or mint and therefore your brain interprets the sensation as cooling. Or to put it another way: eating mints, chewing gum & brushing your teeth can make you feel cooler.

During a heatwave I generally make sure I have a supply of mints with me to help keep me feeling cool.

2) Cool the right bits

Unless you’re lucky enough to work with a walk-in fridge, it’s unlikely that you will be able to cool your whole body in this heat. Use cold, wet cloths or ice cubes/packs to cool the most important areas:

WRISTS

Because the blood travels fast and is close to the surface around the wrists. If you cool the blood at this point it will quickly travel around to cool the rest of the body.

HEAD

Because you store a lot of your heat in your head if you cool your head you cool your body. To help you sleep consider chilling your pillow in the fridge for a while before bed – sounds odd but feels so nice on a hot night. If you don’t have the space or desire to stuff your whole pillow in the fridge then you can use just the pillow case.

3) Have a hot (or cool) shower

A hot shower may not sound all that appealing but it will help to reset your homeostasis (body’s equilibrium). You can have a cold shower too and it does give relief from the heat but coming out of a HOT shower will help you appreciate the ambient temperature as though it was cooler.

4) Wear Blue – look cool

You probably already know to avoid wearing black in the hot sun but most people assume that white will be the best alternative. Looking at cool shades of blue will help you feel cooler so why not wrap yourself in the right shades so you can look ‘cool’? It is also suggested that blue is the best colour for reflecting the U.V. wavelength thus reducing the heat absorbed by your clothing.

5) Cut down on sugar.

Poor sugar, it’s the bad guy in so many stories and this one is no different. Your liver and pancreas heat up significantly when digesting processed sugar. Reduce your sugar intake and reduce your temperature.

6) Look at cold things

Looking at images or videos of cold things and places can help us to feel cooler. This is because our subconscious doesn’t really know the difference between reality and imagination. Watching as David Attenborough talks about the polar regions can help you chill out in more ways than one.

7) Chill your pillow

The heat can make it harder to sleep. A little tip that I find helpful is to put my pillow case in the fridge to cool before bed. It may sound a little odd but the coolness of the pillow makes me feel much more comfortable and helps me drift off.

Share in the comments what tips you find help you to stay cool and if you’ve tried any of these.

If you are struggling to sleep because of the heat (or in general) – get your free ‘Sleep Well’ guide here: www.MindAffinity.co.uk/sleepwell

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What Is Hypnosis?

What Is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis sometimes seem shrouded in mystery. From hypnosis for entertainment to hypnotherapy it has a range of uses but has often been portrayed as way of controlling people. That's not an entirely accurate way of looking at it, read on to find out what hypnosis really can be...

Hypnosis sometimes holds a lot of misconceptions.

Many people, when asked to describe what hypnosis is think of stage hypnotists, the classic cheesy image of a dangling pocket watch and the words “you are getting sleepy…”

In this blog post, I shall explain what hypnosis is for me and how it can work for you to empower yourself to make the changes you want to make.

What hypnosis isn’t
Let me start by highlighting that hypnosis isn’t sleep – despite the name (from the greek ‘hupnos’ – meaning sleep). Even the man who created the term ‘hypnotism’ (James Braid) realised this and sought to re-name it but by then the term had caught on.

Two elements of hypnosis
There are two main elements to hypnosis, as used by Mind Affinity, and you have actually experienced both of these to some level already. Those two elements are ‘trance’ and ‘suggestion’.

Trance
Think about a journey you make (or made) regularly (on foot or by car). If you have made this journey often enough, the chances are you remember a time (probably many) where you got to a point near the end of your journey and suddenly realised that you were unaware of the passing of time, you ‘zoned out’ and habit just took over. Before you knew it, you had made most of your journey on ‘autopilot’ consciously unaware of anything around you.

Maybe you’ve found yourself waiting in a queue and all of a sudden you are being called forward as the next in line. Maybe they call you twice. “oh, sorry. I was in my own little world there” you say as you ‘snap out of it’.

These are just a couple of examples of natural trance-like states which people, like yourself, experience regularly. For hypnotherapy with Mind Affinity, I induce a trance-like state, not dissimilar to the examples above, but deeper and more relaxing. During this enjoyable, trance-like state your conscious mind is free to wander and switch off, allowing me to focus on working directly with the subconscious mind delivering positive suggestions.

Suggestion
Suggestions are all around us all the time. This could be an advertising board suggesting that you need that new product or service, Your friends suggesting that “you know you want to” come out for a drink, your family telling other people you’re the quiet/loud/funny/serious one in the family.

Some of these suggestions are easier to ignore than others, some can reinforce beliefs you have and some can challenge and change those beliefs. Some suggestions are positive and some can have negative impacts but on the surface they are all just suggestions.

As a therapist I work with you to help you and your subconscious to take positive suggestions on board and negate the negative ones (or even translate them into a positive).

Hypnotherapy
As a hypnotherapist I will help you to access a deep level of hypnotic relaxation (trance) where I can work directly with you subconscious to enhance the power of positive suggestions tailored for you and re-focus your mind to empower you to make the changes you wish to make.

Summary
So hypnosis (in therapeutic terms) is a combination of a very relaxed altered state of consciousness and carefully worded suggestions.

This is a brief and basic summary of hypnosis. There are many ways to use it and many different techniques, Everyone is unique and individual and as such hypnotic experience can be different from person to person but one thing I have found is that no matter how you experience it, it is always good for you and good to you.

For more information on what Hypnosis is, how it works and what it feel like: Subscribe to this blog, follow us on social media or sign up to our mailing list. If you want to know more, give me a call on 07840829758.

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Click the image below to join now.

Arrange a chat or
book a consultation to see if
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EMPOWER YOURSELF
and embrace positive change today.

Enjoy the benefits of hypnotic relaxation and professionally designed meditation tracks in the palm of your hand.

Sleep better – Feel better – Focus better
Boost Focus – Boost mood – Boost positivity

Check out my other articles:

Are you procrastinating sleep?

How To Overcome Sleep Procrastination

Looking to overcome sleep procrastination?
You’ve done it too, right? Stayed up to watch “just one more” episode on Netflix or just one more game on your phone and before you know it – it’s the early hours and you’re dragging yourself wirily to bed, already regretting your choices?

You’re not alone – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Read More »