How many times have you been making breakfast and suddenly the smoke alarm starts screaming FIRE! FIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRE!!!!! And you’re standing there frantically waving a tea-towel shouting IT’S JUST TOAST!

Wouldn’t it be good if we could put the alarm into sleep mode and adjust the settings so that from then on, it knew not to go off at the mere wiff of a slice of bread!

This is what we do in hypnosis… you see there is a part of our brain called the amygdala which is responsible for keeping us safe, it is our internal smoke alarm. It’s very good at keeping us alive.

However, at times of heightened or prolonged stress, it can become super sensitive to the slightest of triggers causing us to become highly anxious. At it’s worst, this could lead to panic attacks, anger or depression.

In hypnosis we put the amygdala into sleep mode and give it a mental reset – a restore to factory settings if you like. Once the amygdala is back to working as it should, we no longer experience the constant feelings anxiety and dread.

But rest assured, if the toaster does catch alight and there is an emergency, the smoke alarm will do it’s job and let you know to keep you safe – just like the amygdala will.

But until then…. remember IT’S JUST TOAST! 

Stress vs. Anxiety: How Hypnotherapy Can Help You Move Forward


Have you found yourself in a constant state of uneasiness, or irritability? 

While stress and anxiety may look similar, there’s still a fine line separating the two. 

Stress and anxiety can often exhibit many of the same symptoms – both physically and emotionally, however, they have different origins and different ways they impact your life. 

Feelings of stress and anxiety are perfectly normal responses to threatening or troubling circumstances in life, as these emotions indicate our fight or flight response is alive and well. However, when these feelings become relentless and don’t give us time to recover, they can cause major issues. 

So, how can you tell the difference between stress and anxiety? What can be done to overcome these uncomfortable feelings?

That’s what we’re here for! Stay with me so you can better understand what you’re going through, and how hypnotherapy can positively change your life. 

How Stress and Anxiety May Appear Similar:

Stress can trigger anxiety, and anxiety can trigger stress. It’s a vicious cycle. Some people experience both at the same time, causing even more emotional pain. 

Stress and anxiety look similar in how they present themselves. 

Physically, stress and anxiety may show up as:

  • Insomnia 
  • Trouble concentrating 
  • Memory loss 
  • Exhaustion 
  • Muscle tension 
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Stomach pains 

Emotionally, stress and anxiety may show up as:

  • Irritability 
  • Agitation 
  • Anger
  • Uneasiness
  • Tension
  • Sadness
  • Impatience

How Stress and Anxiety Are Different:

As you can see, stress and anxiety can walk, talk, and act the same. From an outsider’s perspective it can be incredibly difficult to spot the difference. With symptoms that can often appear interchangeable, understanding when to meditate and journal, vs when to seek professional help can become confusing. 

That’s why it’s crucial to understand the differences between the two, so you can determine which one it is that’s calling the shots. 


Stress is our body’s physical and emotional response to pressure. This can be a deadline at work, or an overwhelming mountain of tasks on our to-do list. Whatever the case may be, stress can show up when we feel threatened, unable to cope, or like we have little control over a situation. 

While stress is certainly a feeling of being overwhelmed, there are actually three (3) types of stress you can struggle with:

  • Acute Stress: This is our reaction of stress to any new, challenging or unfamiliar situation. Think of starting a new job. You may feel overwhelming stress as you get up for work in the morning and start your day. However, as the day goes on those feelings fade over time. Acute stress is characterized as ‘short term’, meaning our bodies and emotions return back to a normal state relatively quickly. 
  • Episodic Acute Stress: This type of stress is similar to acute stress, however, episodic acute stress happens when we experience short term stress on a regular basis. Think of a bartender at a high volume restaurant. Every shift they work gets chaotic, increasing their stress levels. However, as the night comes to an end those feelings dissipate… only to come back the next night. 
  • Chronic Stress: Chronic stress is experienced when stressors continue for an extended period of time. This could be a toxic relationship or living in a high-crime part of town. Chronic stress has devastating long-term effects on our immune systems, brain function, emotional wellbeing, and relationships. 


Anxiety, on the other hand, is a sustained mental illness that can be triggered by stress, however, doesn’t have to be. Oftentimes those who struggle with anxiety find themselves feeling anxious for no reason at all. Anxiety is like a friend who said they’d sleep on your couch for a week, a year ago. Anxiety sticks around for the long haul, and likes to pop up at the most inopportune times. 

While there are a few types of anxiety, the most common form is Generalized Anxiety Disorder. 

People who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder often experience excessive worry about everything (real or imagined), for more days than not. The intensity of anxiety is often inflated compared to the likelihood of a certain scenario happening. Anxiety can make small situations feel threatening and dangerous, sending our body into fight or flight mode, all day long. 

Anxiety can cause significant distress in social, emotional, relational, financial, and physical aspects of someone’s life. 

Judith Heron
Judith Heron
I was in my darkest days when I found Ricky and he was amazing, I suffer ptsd and was in a bad place and kept putting him off then he messaged me asking if I was up to a phone call I said said yes, it was probably the best call I’ve ever taken. Ricky put me at ease talking me through everything, would I use Ricky again? The answer is yes and I would also recommend him to anyone he sent me an audio to listen to as I’ve not been sleeping I listened to it once and have slept solid ever since. My friends have noticed a real difference in me. I have had knots etc in my stomach for years and used to wake up most mornings feeling sick etc. it’s hard to describe because now after talking to Ricky this as all disappeared I can’t ever remember when I felt this normal. He goes above and beyond as he messaged me a few days later to see how I was I would recommend him 100 percent
Sheryl Brown
Sheryl Brown
I booked in to see Ricky following the end of a very traumatic and toxic relationship. Even before my first session he was more than helpful answering my queries and concerns. I was surprised how relaxed and engaged I was from my first session and Ricky always made me feel comfortable, listened to and that he understood my needs and aims. The rewind technique I found particularly effective and also the other methods he used in helping me move forward and also with self worth issues. I can honestly say that family and friends have noticed a big difference in me and I feel the best version of myself that I ever have. After having psychotherapy in the past and feeling that I had gone as far as I could with it, I read that the subconscious mind is where you sometimes need to go to heal. I went to see Ricky as a sobbing anxious mess and left feeling like I could move into a new chapter as a healthy, happy and confident person. My self worth has flourished since my sessions and I feel content, happy and full of self love. I have already recommended Ricky to friends and I don’t think I could ever put into words just how much he helped me and I can’t thank him enough
Oliver Boni
Oliver Boni
I had always been hesitant to try any kind of therapy like this but trying turned out to be the best decision of my life. I’ve struggled with a problem for over 20 years that I could never imagine going away and was leading to health problems, but seeing Ricky has changed my life without feeling at all judged. Thank you again Ricky, I would recommend to anyone.
Debbie Lawther
Debbie Lawther
I asked Ricky to help me to make a specific behavioural change, and that is precisely what he did. Beyond that, his intuitive sense added joy. His manner is calm, kind, and attentive, and professional.
Tigist Asefa
Tigist Asefa
Very Happy happy with the experience, great therapist 👍🏾
Andrea Erzkine
Andrea Erzkine
Ricky is incredibly patience and understanding, I can’t believe how much I have learnt and progressed in our sessions together. I highly recommend Ricky to anyone who needs guidance with anxiety and stress. Once again thank you so much!
Joanne Lawless
Joanne Lawless
Great Hypno therapist a wonderful experience,I highly recommend.
Janet Burden
Janet Burden
Fantastic nights sleep listening to this just before bed. I’m on long term medication that can prevent a good sleep and this relaxation really helps. Thanks Very much.
Lewis Livings
Lewis Livings
Ricky really helped me with the anxiety I was having. Learning about how the mind works helped me to see how I could regain control.  The trance work was very relaxing and I noticed very quickly, improvements in my sleep and how I handled things.  I can't thank you enough for your help!
Tracy Clarke
Tracy Clarke
I'd like to thank Ricky at Calmer Minds for his help over the last few months. He put my son at ease and helped him feel relaxed and Ricky knew what to say to help with his anxiety. I'd certainly recommend Calmer Minds Hypnotherapy


Now that we know how stress and anxiety differ, let’s talk about the most important aspect differentiating the two. The trigger. 

With stress, the trigger is an outside source. Like I said, an approaching work deadline, job loss, or financial burdens. 

With anxiety, the trigger is internal. These persistent feelings of dread, doubt, worry, or fear, or uneasiness last even in the absence of any external trigger. 

While stressful situations can cause anxiety, it’s the duration after a stressor is gone that determines which one is in the driver’s seat. 

When Should You Seek Help?

If you’ve noticed your stress or anxiety is impacting your physical health, it may be time to reach out to a trained professional. This can look like a significant change in appetite or weight, trouble breathing, or rapid heart rates. Insomnia and disruption of sleeping patterns can cause major trouble for our bodies and minds, as the body NEEDS sleep to recover and recharge for the next day ahead. If you find you can’t sleep due to stress or anxiety, it may be time to seek help. 

When it comes down to it, if you feel trapped or you feel as though your life is run by your anxious or stressful thoughts, there are many mental health professionals with the skills and knowledge to assist you in overcoming these negative thinking patterns. 

If your stress and anxiety prevents you from being social, or enjoying activities you once used to, there is no shame in asking for help. 

What Is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a form of guided hypnosis practiced by certified mental health professionals. With the use of relaxation, extreme concentration, and deliberate attention, clients are guided into a “trance” or altered state of consciousness. 

Hypnotherapy utilizes the mind in order to relieve a patient of a wide variety of issues such as: 

When a client is in hypnosis, the hypnotherapist is able to explore areas of the mind typically hidden through the subconscious. This may include things such as past trauma, or repressed memories that are too painful to recount when the patient is awake. 

Under this guided, safe altered state of consciousness, a patient is much more susceptible to the suggestions and guidance of a therapist. This makes hypnotherapy extremely effective at helping a patient heal from old wounds and recover from distressing emotions.

How Does Hypnotherapy Help With Stress?

Through the subconscious mind – the area of our brains that operates automatically – hypnotherapy works to break negative thoughts and behaviours surrounding stress. When our subconscious mind is in a deeply relaxed state during hypnosis, suggestions from a hypnotherapist on how to manage and let go of stress in more healthy, positive ways is received openly. 

Short term stress, such as an important work meeting coming up, has been proven to be highly responsive to hypnotherapy. Hypnosis for brief stress inducing events can help you respond in a more relaxed way. 

In addition, hypnotherapy can help you gain confidence and boost your self-esteem, making it much easier to set boundaries with people. Setting boundaries is a crucial aspect of stress management. 

How Does Hypnotherapy Help With Anxiety?

While Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and medication are common forms of treatment for anxiety, more people than ever before are choosing Hypnotherapy.  But how does Hypnotherapy help with anxiety?

During a Hypnotherapy session, our minds are incredibly focused, relaxed, and open to suggestion.  This enables the therapist to help you remove unhelpful psychological barriers and behaviours.

What Should I Know Before Starting Hypnotherapy?

First and foremost, the therapist is there to guide you – not control your mind. Hypnotherapy isn’t exactly like the movies, and you won’t turn into a zombie or chicken afterwards!

As long as you’re visiting a qualified, professional hypnotherapist, the use of hypnosis for treating stress, anxiety and a host of other mental health concerns is very safe. 

When searching for a hypnotherapist, first check the provider’s qualifications. Professionals such as a hypnotherapist, psychotherapist, psychiatric nurse practitioner or medical doctor with a speciality in hypnotherapy are all excellent, safe choices. 

Keep in mind, anxiety and stress are a spectrum. If your anxiety is severe, your therapist may suggest trying other methods in conjunction with hypnotherapy. These can include other forms of talking therapy and psychotherapy. Hypnotherapy alongside other methods of treatment has been proven incredibly successful. 

Stress and Anxiety vs. Hypnotherapy:

So, we’ve learned about the differences between stress and anxiety. While stress is triggered by external events such as unexpected expenses, anxiety is triggered by inner feelings of fear and worry. 

While these two psychological disturbances look similar, you can easily tell them apart by what’s causing it. Remember, anxiety may be caused by nothing at all. It’s often a lingering feeling that refuses to acknowledge its expiration date. 

Whatever the cause may be, stress and anxiety are both effectively treated through hypnotherapy. During hypnosis, you will be guided into a calm, focused, intense state of relaxed attention. As the session proceeds, your brain’s subconscious will be opened to suggestions and affirmations by the hypnotherapist. This can significantly impact your thinking and behaviour following the session. 

Don’t allow stress and anxiety to run the show anymore. Take your life and your mind back with hypnotherapy. 

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    How to heal our smartphone-addled, overworked brains…


    The biggest casualty of everyone being so connected is productivity. No one is getting much done at the office. A few ways you can maintain a healthy brain at work.  By David Rock

    FORTUNE — When cars first became popular 100 years ago, there were no road rules or speed limits to begin with. Inspired by the freedom of their speedy new toys, drivers zoomed around as fast as they could. Crashes were a constant.

    Today’s speedy new toys, the smartphone and tablet, help people work when, where, and how they want. Excited by their newfound freedom, people are staying connected 24/7, working as fast as they can. The crashes this time are less obvious but still producing pain.

    A creative team that used to debrief with their client by video once a week from the office is now on video daily from their tablets. A software project that took six people a few months to complete is now broken into hundreds of parts for micro developers to finish in a week. While these ideas may sound enticing, there are implications to moving this fast, as HP (HPQ) discovered with tablets and Apple (AAPL) with maps.

    Traveling at the speed of confusion

    Perhaps the biggest implication of our new speed is what this is doing to our lives, and in particular to our brains. Recently, I was in the boardroom of a government organization outside the U.S. that was in charge of regulating what should be a slow-moving industry. They were decades old, with around 10,000 employees and mountains of money. Their biggest challenge? “Our people are so overwhelmed, no one has any time to think, it’s all too much,” their executives explained.

    MORE: What to do when networking isn’t working

    The fire hose of information was driving folks more than a little crazy. This was a wake-up call for me. I often hear firms, including my own, fantasizing how much better life would be once they had years to get organized, better systems, the right number of employees, or plenty of capital. Yet here was a firm with all that and more, with the same chaos I see at startups.

    Ironically, the biggest casualty of everyone being so connected is productivity. No one is getting much done at the office. One survey of 6,000 workers by the NeuroLeadership Institute found only 10% of people do their best thinking at work. “I have to go home and work at night to get anything done” is a phrase I hear all too often. Working nights and weekends leads to less time with families and friends and even less sleep, with 30% of Americans not getting the sleep they need today.

    We won’t let people work 20-hour factory shifts anymore, but we’re okay to let them respond to emails 24/7. We organize workplaces to minimize physical injuries, yet we expect people to process huge volumes of data for hours on end. We mandate that people have vacations, yet more people are connected on vacation than ever. We are not respecting the needs of the brain largely because they are not obvious. Maybe it is time we made them more so.

    In a recent edition of the NeuroLeadership Journal, UCLA psychiatrist Dan Siegel and I, along with Jessica Payne and Stephen Poelmans, outlined the deeper science behind the “Healthy Mind Platter” that Siegel and I launched in 2011. The “platter” outlines seven types of mental activities the brain needs for optimal healthy functioning.

    Shutting down

    One activity we all need is sufficient down time, when the brain is refreshed through being non-goal focused. Like other organs, our neural circuits benefit from a period of recovery after being stretched. Down time is also a critical component for complex problem solving. The incessant beeping of mobile devices raises our ambient neural activity too high to notice the quieter, non-conscious brain providing a solution to everyday (or really big) problems. With the “buzz” always on, we drown out the so-called eureka moments in the morning shower, on the walk to work, or the drive home. We should be making it okay for people to disconnect for blocks of time. If folks are not good at switching off (just as we are not good at driving at sensible speeds), perhaps we need to install some limits here. Volkswagen in Germany has started switching off their Blackberry email servers for 12 hours a day to let people rest. Other firms are experimenting with similar ideas, including minimizing or even banning internal emails.

    MORE: The new United States of Booze

    For real down time, people need vacations where they fully switch off. This may require changing how we think about annual leave. Instead of expecting people to take long vacations, we can encourage a shorter annual break, with an extra-long weekend each month to enable recovery. Four days offline can be truly restful. Whereas a two-week break can be two weeks of hellish preparation, two weeks of rest, followed by two stressful weeks digging out from under 2,000 emails. Maybe we need a rule that requires total down time every few months for a minimum of a few days.


    Another ingredient of the “Healthy Mind Platter” is focus time. This is when we focus intensely on a single task, making deeper connections across the brain. Focus time is important for long-term memory as well as overall brain health. We need to design workspaces where people can focus, totally undisturbed, for blocks of time as needed.

    My research shows that people have one to two peak performing hours a day at best. What if those hours involve being bombarded with constant distractions? As well as having fewer insights and not being able to go deeply into an idea, the task switching exhausts our brains. Recently, I was pleased to notice some private, quiet working rooms at a large company’s offices, before I noticed a sign saying “for conference calls only.” As if talking to others is more important than focusing. Do we need a rule to make being able to focus at work a basic workplace right, like physical safety?

    Two other critical ingredients of the “Healthy Mind Platter” are connecting time, when we be social with others, and playtime, where we make novel connections in the brain. Having connecting time turns out to be more important to our well-being than even maintaining a good diet. By helping people get their work done at work, people can have more social time and playtime outside work, not to mention get more sleep.

    We have some fast and shiny new machines that are speeding up everything about how we work. Travelling at this new speed has dangers that may not be obvious at first. Maybe now is the time to build in some limits and boundaries for our hyper-connected lives, to reduce the number of accidents along our information superhighways.

    David Rock is cofounder of the Neuroleadership Institute, a consultant and author of Your Brain at Work.

    Burn Off Anxiety and Defeat Depression!

    When you have anxiety or depression, exercise often seems like the last thing you want to do. But once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference.

    The toll of anxiety can be high: it increases a person’s risk for other psychiatric disorders like depression, and can contribute to diabetes and cardiovascular problems. One sobering study shows that people with anxiety tend to be more sedentary and do less intense forms of physical activity, if any. That’s ironic, because lacing up your trainers and getting out and moving may be the single best nonmedical solution we have for preventing and treating anxiety.

    John J. Ratey, MD says “As a psychiatrist who studies the effects of exercise on the brain, I’ve not only seen the science, I’ve witnessed first-hand how physical activity affects my patients. Research shows aerobic exercise is especially helpful. A simple bike ride, dance class, or even a brisk walk can be a powerful tool for those suffering from chronic anxiety. Activities like these also help people who are feeling overly nervous and anxious about an upcoming test, a big presentation, or an important meeting.”

    John J. Ratey, MD,  is the author of the book ‘Spark‘.  This new scientific revolution will teach you how to boost brain cells, protect yourself against mental illness and dementia, and ensure success in exams and the workplace.  The book Spark will change the way you think about exercise – and, for that matter, the way you think.’

    How does exercise help anxiety and depression?


    Regular exercise may help ease anxiety and depression by:

    • Releasing feel-good endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids) and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being.
    • Taking your mind off worries so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety

    Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you:

    • Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
    • Get more social interaction. Exercise and physical activity may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
    • Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage depression or anxiety is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how you feel, or hoping depression or anxiety will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.

    Is a structured exercise program the only option?


    Some research shows that physical activity such as regular walking — not just formal exercise programs — may help improve mood. Physical activity and exercise are not the same thing, but both are beneficial to your health.

    • Physical activity is any activity that works your muscles and requires energy and can include work or household or leisure activities.
    • Exercise is a planned, structured and repetitive body movement done to improve or maintain physical fitness.

    The word “exercise” may make you think of running laps around the gym. But exercise includes a wide range of activities that boost your activity level to help you feel better.

    Certainly running, lifting weights, playing basketball and other fitness activities that get your heart pumping can help. But so can physical activity such as gardening, washing your car, walking around the block or engaging in other less intense activities. Any physical activity that gets you off the couch and moving can help improve your mood.

    You don’t have to do all your exercise or other physical activity at once. Broaden how you think of exercise and find ways to add small amounts of physical activity throughout your day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a little farther away from work to fit in a short walk. Or, if you live close to your job, consider biking to work.

    How much is enough?

    Doing 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for three to five days a week may significantly improve depression or anxiety symptoms. But smaller amounts of physical activity — as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time — may make a difference. It may take less time exercising to improve your mood when you do more-vigorous activities, such as running or bicycling.

    The mental health benefits of exercise and physical activity may last only if you stick with it over the long term — another good reason to focus on finding activities that you enjoy!

    If you would like some help decreasing anxiety or depression naturally and healthily, Call 07498096214 to arrange a Free Initial Consultation or book via the button below.

    Hypnotherapy – A 93% Success Rate

    In 1970, Alfred A. Barrios undertook a ground-breaking study, which led to the mainstream acceptance of hypnosis as an extremely effective form of therapy.

    Barrios compared hypnosis, psychoanalytic therapy and behavioural therapy and noted the overall lasting success rates of the different therapies.

    He found that hypnotherapy had a massive 93% success rate after only 6 sessions compared to only a 72% success rate with behavioural therapy, and only 38% success rate with psychotherapy.

    This led him to conclude that for changing habits, thought patterns and actual behaviour, hypnosis was not only the most effective method, but that it needed less time/sessions than any other type of therapy.

    If you would like help to change unwanted habits, thought patterns or behaviours, get in touch to arrange a free Initial Consultation.

    Book Now:


    What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and how can it help?

    What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH)?

    Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a type of ‘talking therapy’, that combines the use of psychotherapy with hypnosis. Hypnosis or ‘trance’ is a very natural, relaxing state, Read More…

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