A friend recently sent this wonderful TED talk about vulnerability and it got me thinking about the last time I felt truly vulnerable.

Some years ago I was working for a large corporate as a sales agent selling data networks or ‘fluffy clouds’ as we called them. I had been feeling unwell for quite a while and had put it down to stress.

Despite a holiday and practising stress busting yoga I continued to get worse, until I felt that I was constantly suffering from flu, a hangover and jet lag all at the same time.

After several months and a series of tests the doctor suggested that I had Chronic fatigue syndrome and so began 7 years of life changing exhaustion.

I couldn’t concentrate, think rationally and sometimes even had difficulty in forming sentences. It affected my work, friendships, social life and my self esteem. I felt diminished, less valuable and out of control.

I took voluntary redundancy from my job with a view to ‘pull myself together’ but I got worse.

The lowest point for me was one afternoon when I decided to go to bed. With effort I made it from the sofa to the stairs but did not have the energy or the co-ordination to take even the first step. I couldn’t make it back to the sofa, so I slept where I was – curled up on the laminate floor in the hallway, at the bottom of the stairs.

Why am I sharing this? Because I felt I couldn’t at the time. Only a couple of people I worked with knew I had been feeling unwell. I didn’t want to burden my family or friends so instead I kept them at arm’s length. I didn’t want to be that belittled person, that ghost of the real me that I didn’t recognise.

This video made me question that decision. I can appreciate now how sharing my vulnerability could have been a positive thing. How it could of brought me closer to the people I chose to share it with and how if I had been more honest about my abilities at the time how life at work could have been easier for me. I wonder now if it would have changed my experience of being ill and of who I was at that time.

So I hope you enjoying watching it and find it as thought provoking as I did.


Take a holiday, leave your stress behind.

 As we’re thinking about where to go this summer, it got me thinking about why they are so important and came across this article from Psychology today. It is a useful reminder that holidays – or an activity that takes us away from our everyday routine should be something that we try to factor into our lives. So whether you are planning two weeks in the Sun or a day trip to the beach, pack your bag but don’t forget to leave your stress behind.

Spring clean your bad habits

As the geese return from warmer climes and the snowdrops appear it must mean that Spring is on its way. Although the origins of the traditional Spring clean are a matter of debate it is something that I like to honour. Removing the last trace of the winter to welcome in the Spring just seems right.

Spring cleaning doesn’t just apply to the places we occupy though. Many people turn their attention to Spring cleaning themselves with exercise, de-toxing and generally healthier lifestyle choices. More and more joggers, cyclists and walkers appear as the weather improves and the days get longer.

Spring clean your bad habits

How many of us consider spring cleaning our minds though? What thoughts, feelings or behaviours have been created in long forgotten winters that could be spring cleared away to leave you with a healthier, more positive you?

Our mental well-being is often over looked or silenced with negative self-talk such as ‘I can’t give up’, ‘I won’t be able to do it’ or ‘I’m just being silly’, but beliefs can be changed. Recognising negative or unkind thoughts about yourself and spring cleaning them into a positive alternative can help keep those negative thoughts from becoming a hard to break pattern.

So as you look forward into Spring don’t forget to keep aside some time to spring clean your mind and be a little kinder to yourself.


anxietyAnxiety is an unpleasant feeling of fear and apprehension. Under normal circumstances anxiety can be useful, helping us to avoid dangerous situations, making us alert and giving us the motivation to deal with problems. However, if the feelings become too strong or go on for too long, they can stop us from doing the things we want to, making our lives miserable. Symptoms can include; anger, tiredness, headaches, irritability, racing heart and poor memory.

Sunray Cognitive Hypnotherapy may be able to help. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements.

Panic Attacks

panic attackPeople who suffer panic attacks often say that it is the scariest thing they have ever experienced in their lives. They are periods of intense apprehension, terror or fearfulness and are often associated with feelings of impending doom. Physical symptoms can include; shortness of breath, accelerated heart rate, chest pain and a fear of going mad. The onset of a panic attack is typically unexpected and sudden and may or may not have an obvious trigger. Panic attacks are distinguished from other forms of anxiety by their intensity and their sudden, episodic nature. Sunray Cognitive Hypnotherapy may be able help. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements.

Love Languages

We are all unique and experience the world in different ways. In order to communicate effectively we need to make sure that we are communicating information in a way that the other person understands.   So as it’s Valentine’s day why not think about how you and your partner like to give and receive love.

Typically we give love in that same way as we would like to receive it, however, this isn’t always the way our partner would appreciate it. So why not take a look at the five different ‘love languages’ below and identify how you and partner would prefer to be loved. It can make a big difference to your relationship.

love languages

1.  Words of Affirmation

Compliments, encouragement, affirmations and kindness.  This could include thanking your partner for doing something for you or telling them that their hair looks especially nice.  We all have areas in our life where we feel insecure, words of encouragement or affirmation can be very powerful resulting in the increased belief that we are loved.

2.  Quality Time

Undivided attention, shared activities, listening and sharing. Learning to actively listen is a key skill. Sometimes people just need to share feelings and solve their own problems. If your mind is problem solving for them you aren’t really listening, you are busy inside your own head. This really emphasises Hilary’s previous blog ‘Better than Sex’. Talking is also important and involves sharing your inner feelings, not just your thoughts or opinions. Generally if you can use the word ‘think’ instead of feel then it is not a feeling. For example ,’ I feel you drink too much,’  isn’t expressing a feeling, it’s expressing a thought. However, ‘I feel worried when you drink too much because I’m concerned for your health’ is sharing a feeling.

3.  Gifts

Gifts can be simple, extravagant, home-made or shop bought. They can be gifts of time or affection. Receiving a gift, whatever it is can make us feel valued. Giving gifts can also make us feel good and both the giving and receiving is extremely important for some people.

 4.  Acts of Service

Acts of service are about doing something that your partner would like you to do , not what you would like to do or think is important. Sometimes this may mean stepping outside of your normal routine and really thinking about what your partner would appreciate.  You may already cook dinner, clean the car, walk the dog but what don’t you do that your partner would appreciate a break from? Clean the bathroom, take the rubbish out or something else?

 5.  Physical Touch

Touch is a powerful way of communicating emotional love and is some peoples primary love language.  It can include things like hugs, holding hands, kissing, physical proximity, and yes, sex.

Communicating love to your partner in their preferred love language can transform a relationship.  If you are still not sure what it is why not ask them and do something special for them