Happiness Personal Development self-help

You Don’t Have To Be Shot At To Be Stressed At Work

Are you stressed at work? Is it your job or the people you work with? I came across an article recently where a job search site was looking into stress in the workplace.

Military personnel and fire fighters came out top, while audiologists and hair stylists came out as having the least stressful jobs. However, even when no one is shooting at you, they recognised that “public relations executive, newspaper reporter and event coordinator are among the most stressful because of tight deadlines and scrutiny in the public eye”.

So if somebody is shooting at you; your job has the potential to kill you; or you are expected to meet demanding deadlines then you might consider your job stressful. But, according to this study, if you are a hair stylist, jeweller, university professor, tailor, or dietician, then you have no business getting stressed at work.

A significant part of my work is helping people to cope with stress. The stress generally comes from either the workplace, or an unsupportive partner. In my distant past there were times when I could barely function because of the stress of having to go to work. No one was shooting at me, nor did I have tight deadlines. I just wasn’t emotionally able to cope with the demands imposed upon me. That seems to be true of most of my clients. It isn’t so much what’s happening outside of them, it’s the way they process those events on the inside.

The particular style of processing is down to beliefs about life, the universe, and everything. Those beliefs are largely formed by childhood experiences and the attitudes, beliefs, and insecurities of the significant adults who care for us.

If you are a sensitive soul who appears to experience stress more readily than most, then, yes, it’s a good idea to have a job that doesn’t add to your burden. But, in my experience, it can take just one over-bearing individual in a position of power to make working life hell. It can take a company that has about as much interest in the welfare of its employees as an anteater has about the ants on which it is about to lunch. It can take having so little spare cash that life is just a struggle from dawn to dusk.

A stressful job is one that is stressful for you. It really doesn’t matter whereabouts it fits in someone else’s top ten. But that stress is down to your view of your world – even if that looks like an over-bearing manager. It is possible to change your view of your world. As you do so your stress levels reduce and life becomes easier. It takes a little time, but if you put in the work to retrain your thinking style then you will produce miraculous results and your world will change before your very eyes.


If you want to find out how then check out my book Change your Life with Self Hypnosis.

health weight control

Weight Loss Isn’t Just About The Calories

The trouble with science is that it has no soul.

It says if you do this and this and this, then that will always happen.

That’s what happens when science gets involved with weight loss – it says if you eat this many calories and burn this many calories then what’s left turns into this much fat.

I’m not suggesting that this isn’t true, but it isn’t as true as it seems because what you burn isn’t just about physical activity. A supremely fit athlete burns many more calories just sitting watching TV than someone who is overweight and covered in flabby muscles and fat.

It does seem a little unfair though, doesn’t it? Imagine two people sitting on the couch next to each other watching TV. One is covered in muscle, the other is covered in fat. The muscley one is getting thinner just sitting there, while the fat one is getting fatter just sitting there.

Why is this?

Muscle tissues needs energy just to live and breathe. Muscle burns calories just by existing. Fat just sits there. Of course in order to maintain that muscle, physical exercise needs to take place. The more exercise you engage in, the more muscle you build, the higher your metabolic rate, and the more calories you burn.

Of course science likes to deal with numbers, and you want to know how many calories going to the kitchen for a snack is going to burn.

1lb of fat converts to 3500 Calories (that’s big C Kilocalories for the scientists). This is great news because all you have to do in order to lose 1lb a week consistently is burn 500Cals a day more than you eat.

So how easily can you do that?

Moderate walking (3mph) burns about 250 Calories an hour; birdwatching 140; dusting 180; golf 350;  Cycling (easy, less than 10mph) 300; yoga 300; gentle skipping with rope 600; cross country walking 470; swimming breaststroke 800; weight lifting/body building 470; and housework 250.

You don’t need to join a gym to burn calories. You just need to move. But you need to move daily and consistently and for at least an hour. Remember, that Mars bar is going to take two hours walking to pretend it never happened.

But that’s just the sums that scientists like to do. You see when you do that hour of yoga, hour of housework, or hour of walking every day, you build muscle tissue. When you build muscle tissue your metabolic rate goes up and your resting heart rate lowers. So over time, you burn more calories during the day and so your weight loss increases rather than drops – for the same effort. You also get fitter, your body shape moves in the direction that you desire, and your endorphin levels increase. This means you feel happier, more alive, and more interested in enjoying life rather than spending it watching mind numbingly boring TV shows. When your body feels fit and well, you are quite naturally and effortlessly attracted to healthier foods, and the fats and sugars that used to fill your plate gradually drift away. No resistance, no battle, no struggle, just a gentle natural movement towards foods that you enjoy.

It isn’t just about Calories. It’s about you feeling good. You achieve that by making a conscious choice now to move a little more today than you did yesterday and to make that same choice tomorrow, and the next day, and…



If you’d like to find out more then check out my book How to Lose Weight and Free Yourself from Diets Forever

Happiness Personal Development self-help

Reducing Stress At Work


Thinking back to those times in my life when I had what I considered to be a proper job, those times were always filled with stress, anxiety and worry. People placed demands upon me that I was not at all comfortable with. They attempted to pressure me into doing what I was told rather than what I believed was right. They even tried to develop skills I didn’t have rather than those that I excelled at. Every one of those jobs, bar the first, I left because of the level of stress I was experiencing. It was generally bad enough that my doctor medicated me in an attempt to help.

The medication helped me function; it never removed or dealt with the source of the problem. It damped down my emotional responses so that my affect was rather zombieified.

Working for myself is much more fun. There are no fewer stresses, worries, or anxieties, but because I am in charge, I can do whatever I want to in order to deal with them.

I have become powerful, rather than powerless.

I am in control rather than out of control.

There lies the biggest part of the problem – other people with their demands and expectations. However, we are social creatures and we need to interact with others. So how can we achieve that while retaining our cool?

Mindfulness is something that is growing and being recognised as a way to remain in control in the workplace even while there are pressures upon you. You see the only problem is your thinking. You can’t help doing that. I’ve been working towards stopping doing it for years and am no closer. What I am much closer to though is a state of peacefulness, even when things are not working as I would wish. It takes decades of dedication to achieve an empty mind. Most of us have better things to do. But what you can do is rein in your wild beast and train it to do your bidding rather than its own.

Mindfulness is a way to do that.

There are books and websites devoted to this, but I like to simplify things first and then get complicated later. All mindfulness is, is being aware of whatever you are aware of right now. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, not in that meeting in an hour’s time, not those hurtful words that were spoken to you moments ago – right now.

Let’s say you’ve got a supervisor at work who is a bit of a bully, has no social skills, and lacks the ability to motivate using positive reinforcement. This is on your mind a lot of the time. You hate going in to work, maybe even throw up before you leave, you wish she would leave or die or get a sideways promotion or something… …anything.

So you find your thoughts returning, time and again, to this subject in whatever way is your mind’s way of reminding you that you are weak and powerless. What you do now is, whenever you notice that your thoughts have drifted into this territory again, take a deep breath, let it out slowly and become aware of all the sensations in your body associated with that movement of air. You might choose to focus on the sensations of the air in your nostrils, or the falling of your chest. Do that once or twice and then, if you are still present (and you may not be) move your awareness to those sensations where your body is in contact with something. Maybe your fingers on a keyboard, your hands on a desk, the pressure of your thighs against your chair, or your feet against the floor – even your clothing against your skin.

Throughout the day whenever you notice your mind is on your supervisor’s behaviour, return to this mindful activity.

Ok! You think. That’s great (sarcasm). How exactly does that destroy my supervisor?

Well it doesn’t. Yes, your supervisor may be out of order, but that isn’t the first order of business. The first order of business is for you to take control of your thinking. If you never gave what your supervisor did a moment’s thought – she would not be a problem. If you never gave your supervisor a moment’s thought, then when she made an unreasonable request, you would be able to respond spontaneously, without fear, and do or say whatever was appropriate.

Yes, some people are unsuited to the positions they hold. And, yes, sometimes they get to be in charge of more intelligent, kind and sensitive people that they really don’t know how to handle. But that’s not your problem. Your problem is your mind and where it takes you. You can leave it wild so that you live in fear – or you can start on the journey to train it so that you can live in peace.

The choice is yours.

Mindfulness is the first step.

Check out my book Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis if you would like to explore this further.

Article inspired by:

health self-help weight control

Weight Loss Is Not About Fighting Hunger


Feeling hungry isn’t really the issue with weight loss. By that I mean that people who are overweight eat regardless of whether or not they are hungry. Sometimes the problem is simply that they are so out of touch with the sensations their body produces that they just respond to external stimuli as the trigger for eating. But most of the time it’s about the tricks other people play with our minds.

It’s really difficult to watch an evening of tv with all of those food & snack adverts and not, at some point, decide you need something to eat. This is the subtle hypnosis of tv. It puts ideas in your mind purely because of the associations it creates. When was the last time you saw any food advert with fat people in it? When was the last time you saw any food advert with unattractive people in it? When was the last time you saw a food advert with miserable people in it? Unless, that is, they were miserable because they were not getting the food that was being advertised.

I especially remember a series of food adverts that M&S ran. It stuck in my mind because of two things – the stunning quality of the photography, and Dervla Kirwan’s sexy, seductive voiceover. No people appeared in these ads just the food. But there was a hidden promise if you buy this stuff.

It doesn’t mean that you are weak-willed if you are influenced by this stuff. It’s designed to do that. It’s designed by experts to make you want to eat, and to become familiar with the brand so that you automatically pick it up on your next trip to the supermarket. That way, when you next see the advert there will be some of that in the cupboard. The subliminal message is that you too will have the lifestyle and body shape of the people who eat this stuff on tv.  

What you actually get is fatter.

Feeling negative emotion is another eat trigger. Anything from boredom to despair can trigger a trip to the kitchen for something to eat. It passes the time, it reminds you of getting treats as a child and knowing you were loved. Watching an evening of tv is quite likely to fill you with negative emotion even if you didn’t have any to start off with. That’s why the food manufacturers’ advertising is so effective. The soaps are dreary, the news is never good, and reality tv is nothing like reality. It is hardly surprising that we seek a distraction and food is the easiest and quickest solution.

It would be great if it actually worked though. If food truly made us feel better then we’d all be happy fatties and the world would be a better place. But we’re still miserable fatties the next evening and the next and the next and we never stop to question whether or not the feel bad-eat, or feel bored-eat strategy changes anything except our weight.

If you want to change this then next time you realise you are heading to the kitchen in a commercial break go to the staircase instead and walk up and down ten times, then return to watch tv.

Don’t forget to check out my book How to Lose Weight and Free Yourself from Diets Forever.


The ABC of Anxiety Relief

Watch on Youtube at:

Not written anything here for ages, because I’ve been exploring the possibility of using video to communicate my message to a wider audience. So here is my very first attempt at video production.

I hope you enjoy it and find it of some value. I’m a one man show so performing, filming, editing, & titling are all new skills I’m having to learn, and that’s one of the things I’d like to write about here before I get on to the main topic – the subject of the video.

Learning new skills, even if they are highly complex, is a wonderful way to keep your mind young, healthy and active. There was a point where I was ready to tear my hair out trying out figure out how to get my titles out of Adobe After Effects and into my video editing software. Two weeks later I can do simple stuff relatively easily. The rolling credits at the end were the biggest challenge and I’m not totally happy with the outcome but I’m pleased that I’ve done as well as I have.

Keep your mind engaged with new, difficult and fascinating  challenges. It keeps you young. It keeps you healthy. And it expands your world.

Expanding your world is another way to reduce anxiety levels. The bigger your world, the less impact any change will have because your world is so big that even losing your job is only a small part of what you live for.

But anxiety interferes with fun, enjoyment and learning. So it is hugely important, if you are a worrier, that you learn techniques to help you reduce your anxiety load. I have designed this video to help you do just that by following three easy to remember steps and repeating them as often as you need to throughout your day. It takes just a moment and, like video editing, it might seem complicated at first but if you keep at it, it will soon be second nature and crippling anxiety will be a thing of the past.

If you enjoy the video please leave a comment below.


Self Hypnosis Book Preview


Self Hypnosis Book Availability

I’ve been busy over the last few months making my book Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis available through more outlets than just Amazon’s Kindle. It is now available for download for Nook’s from Barnes & Noble, for Sony e-Readers, for Kobo, and is also available in Apple’s iBooks for use on just about any iDevice. You can download it directly from the appropriate retailer’s website, or you can get it in any electronic format directly from Smashwords. The beauty of buying it from Smashwords is that once you have paid for one copy, you can download as many times and in as many formats as you wish. So if you ever change your electronic reading machine you can still get another copy without any additional expense.

But the best news is that the book will very shortly be available in paperback. I’ve just approved the proof copy so it will be available on Amazon in this format probably by the end of the week.

Comments from the back cover:

“If you have tried other hypnosis books that have you responding critically to the suggestions, give this book a try. It contains numerous techniques that really bypassed my inner skeptic. One simple and powerful technique that I used helped me to reduce my “white coat hypertension” allowing me to drop my systolic number by approximately 10 and diastolic by 3. This significant drop occurred in just a couple of days. I have never had such pronounced and easy success with any other hypnosis tools.”

Lawrence Bandini

  “This book is amazing! Michael not only writes a powerful book, but he walks you through everything. I was able to slowly put my past behind me, and start working on the now and the future. I have learned to relax and renew myself everyday, which is something I have needed for years but could never quite get the hang of it with previous books and cd’s I had purchased in the past. You can’t go wrong by reading this book, it is powerful work in a simple and helpful way. Very easy to comprehend.”

 Patricia Springer


I very much enjoyed your book, Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis.

Your book taught me things I had never realized before, and highlighted some things I knew. I very much enjoyed the visualizations and techniques you use.

I am using some of the different techniques, and would rate this book 5 stars.

Thanks for a wonderful new experience.”

Bob Thomason


Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis now more widely available.

Change Your life with Self Hypnosis has been available on Kindle since February earlier this year. After four weeks of zero sales, I organised a five-day promotion when it could be downloaded for free. This resulted in almost 1800 copies being downloaded.

From that point onwards it has been selling steadily. It currently occupies position 2 on the UK Amazon site when you do a Kindle search for ‘self hypnosis’, and position 8 for the same search on At one point it reached No 1 in the Kindle category for Hypnosis.

All this is very rewarding for an unknown author – but do you know what the best bit is?

The best bit is the wonderful emails I receive from readers telling me about how much they enjoyed my book and how valuable it has been for them – quite life-changing in some cases.

So I thought it was time to make it available to more than just Kindle owners.

I’m aiming now for Apple’s iBookstore, Nooks (Barnes & Noble), Kobos & the Sony Reader, as well as any PC or Mac. So I spent a couple of days of totally re-formatting the text. What this actually means is pretty much removing most of the text formatting. Electronic reading devices require free-flowing text, so things like pages no longer apply. The Kindle at least allows me to have page breaks for new chapters, these other readers don’t.

So after a bit of trouble with the table I had in the appendix, I finally got my book past the first stage in the process and it is now awaiting review before being submitted to Apple et al. It is however available from the distributor’s website in pretty much any electronic format you desire.

If you ‘d like a copy I’ve got a Coupon Code LM68U that you can use at checkout to get yourself a 50% discount. So If you want to grab a half price copy go to
and download your copy now.

What’s next is to start work on the print version. This again requires a total re-formatting, but at least I will have total control over the appearance of the finished product and I really like it when I have control.
Oh! The half price offer is only until 24th August, 2013 so get your copy now – before you forget and miss out on a great deal.


Great New Book on Self Hypnosis – Free on Kindle until 27/03/13

My book change your life with Self Hypnosis is on promotion this weekend and until Wednesday, so download your free copy now.




This is a self-help training guide for self hypnosis. It teaches you how to use your mind to change your world. There is a powerful connection between mind, body, and the external world. This book explores that connection and takes you through the steps to achieve mastery. Discover how to calm emotional disturbance, exert control over physical problems, and live a life of happiness and freedom.

If you’d like more details check out the book’s website at:

By the way you don’t actually need a Kindle. Amazon provide free apps for all smartphones, tablets, laptops, notebooks, MACs, & PCs so whatever you have you can get your own copy of this book

So grab one now.

…and I hope you enjoy it.



Putting Down Roots Is The Best Way To Start Working With Chakras

Root chakra – Muladhara

In the Chakra System the Root Chakra, or Muladhara, is the starting point for any work you may want to do that involves self-healing. This chakra is located at the base of your spine and is your main connection with the physical world. Muladhara is associated primarily with survival, security and the satisfaction of your basic needs. This is the base upon which your wholeness and spiritual development rest so it needs to be firmly anchored.

One of the problems we face in our desire to reach enlightenment, fulfillment, or other lofty spiritual goals, is that we get so distracted by our dreams of peace, oneness, and contentment that we neglect those things that are important, but related to the physical reality we experience. The consequence of this is that we experience frustration and an inability to make any real progress towards these higher targets. Then, because our spiritual work is so much more important than dealing with the illusion we just get bogged down and end up either making no progress at all, or just kidding ourselves that what we are doing is making a real difference.

Yes, we want to get to the good stuff.

No, we don’t want to spend time working on the mundane.

The good stuff can only be reached right through the middle of the mundane.

The mundane starts at the base of your spine in your Root Chakra – Muladhara.

So how can you tell if your Root Chakra is functioning correctly or needs some work?

You can look outwards towards your world and see if your world reflects back to you those problems that are associated with your Root Chakra. If it does then Muladhara needs some work. If it doesn’t, then check out Svadhisthana and so on up through your chakras. My book, Chakra Balancing, is an excellent resource that you can use to guide you through this process.

Each chakra is connected with specific physical areas of our bodies. They are also attached to psychological aspects of our personality – or if you prefer – our experience of Self.

Root Chakra physical connections

You might consider that Muladhara is the good health valve for the legs, lower back, and the internal organs of the lower abdomen. Therefore, if you suffer from: varicose veins, lower back pain, elimination problems, haemorrhoids, rectal tumours, or sexual dysfunction, then you might want to consider working on your Root Chakra.

Now, you may well be aware of the idea of Maya that all is illusion and the world we experience is nothing more than our interior psychological landscape projected outwards. But, until you can walk through walls, be aware that, illusion or not, the physical body occasionally malfunctions and often hurts. Working with chakras is one way to positively impact these physical problems.

Root Chakra psychological connections

Muladhara’s emotional focus is primarily on those areas that relate to our sense of security and safety in this physical reality. The emotional problem areas associated with the Root Chakra are: excessive anger, fear, insecurity, loneliness, guilt, greed, and addictive behaviours like eating and smoking.

Problems with Muladhara can also show up as financial difficulties – an inability to keep your head above water; or even as a problem with your letting go of the past and embracing the new. This might be especially tricky when a relationship ends and you find yourself longing for what was.

Inside or Outside

Our chakras do not reflect our inner landscape – they are our inner landscape. So changes to chakras can be brought about either by working on the problem, or by working on the chakra. The reason for this is that it’s all you. The chakra and your personality is all you. It is also this same you that decides to bring about change by working either directly on the chakra or directly on the problem.

In my book on Self Hypnosis I explain how the subconscious mind uses mental images to create magical physical changes. It is this facility that we tap into when we use a visualisation technique to open up or unblock a chakra.

Making those changes can be as simple as listening to a guided meditation, or playing with images in your mind.

Remember, your mind creates your world so if you don’t like your world all you have to do is change your mind about it.