The Power of Simplicity!

Stay sane during COVID-19

Simple Routines to beat anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic

If you can…change it.

If you can’t…change the way you feel about it. (Eckart Tolle)


The Coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented and if you are feeling uneasy, frustrated, anxious or can’t see how you will manage, you are not alone. In crisis times the unconscious brain reverts to fight or flight and we can find ourselves more anxious and on edge.


So how can we cope in these uncertain times? The answer is that there is power in simplicity! Practicing simple daily routines and self-care will signal to your unconscious mind that everything is ok. If you have more serious concerns (such as financial difficulties or domestic violence) deal with these first – seek support and advice from a charity (e.g. National debt line, Shelter) or a local Citizen’s Advice Bureau. There is also general advice on the nhs and government websites.


Below are my top tips for staying sane during the crisis. They may seem common sense, but it’s the simplest things that have the most profound impact on our mental and physical health, and its often these basic things that get forgotten when our brain goes into crisis mode. The government has suggested that the social distancing is not going to go away anytime soon so get started with your new normal today!



This can be a new routine or a new pace. It’s all about adjusting your expectations…of yourself and others. Recognise that this time is challenging and it’s ok to feel a mix of emotions.


We are creatures of habit and with social distancing many of our usual routines just disappeared overnight. Some have had to increase their hours or work in more pressured environments, while others may not be able to work and are having to manage financial worries. Even those who are working from home, may still have to adapt to sharing space in the home with family members or have to fit in extra tasks like home schooling young children or supporting relatives who are shielding.


Whatever your situation set yourself a new routine and Include mealtimes, exercise, worthwhile tasks (work, home projects, volunteering), social connection and a bedtime routine.



It’s easy for healthy eating to go out the window when you are indoors all day, or working in a stressful environment. But healthy eating is a great way to support your body’s immune function, a key part of living well during isolation. This is particularly important if you are a health worker as research shows that a good diet helps your body cope with the stressors of crisis working.


You may not be able to get your usual food, so be creative and try new things. If you tend towards emotional eating be aware of this and find someone to talk through your feelings. Many professional therapists are offering online sessionsduring the crisis.



Even if it means just opening a window and doing leg raises! If you can, go for a walk every day or join an online exercise class. Many gyms are offering online classes and there are also lots of live and pre-recorded classes to choose from on YouTube, such as Louise Solomon Yogalates or Joe Wicks – find something that is right for you.



If you are working from home, great, but if you can’t work or do your usual daily tasks find new things to do in the house that give you a sense of joy or accomplishment – whether it’s gardening, clearing out kitchen cupboards, finishing a DIY project, getting back into a hobby or starting something new (art, craft, musical instrument, seed growing!). It doesn’t have to be big, just something that takes focus, has an outcome and makes you feel good!



We are all in this together! We are social beings so if you live on your own try to make a connection with someone over the phone or via video call as often as possible. If you can’t go out then call an old friend or relative, or volunteer to speak to other isolated individuals. If you live with others, be aware of how family members are feeling – everyone is responding in their own ways, and we all will have ups and downs.



Have a bedtime routine you can look forward to! This might include a warm bath, reading a book in bed or listening to an audio book. Make it something you really enjoy and you may even find yourself going to bed half an hour early!


Sleep is a critical factor in staying mentally and physical well. If you are struggling to sleep:

  • notice how what you are doing just before bed (especially social media use, gaming or alcohol) impact on your quality of sleep.
  • try out a meditation or self-hypnosis track to help you switch off.



DO what you can

DON’T worry about what you can’t (Dalai Lama)

Meditation for Health and Happiness

There is a wealth of research that suggests that spending just 10 minutes a day quieting the mind and practicing non-judgemental acceptance can have a transformative effect on your health and happiness, reducing anxiety and improving stress tolerance, as well as sharpening cognitive function, strengthening social engagement and improving personal relationships.

At the start of each year many of us reflect on what we can do more (or less) of to make the year happier and healthier. 20 years ago meditation wouldn’t have been high on many people’s lists, but in 2020 the stresses of modern life mean taking regular time ‘out’ is more imperative than ever. Meditation and Mindfulness have become buzzwords for wellbeing and here is why:

  • Stress Buster: It is now well accepted that having a regular meditation break is beneficial for wellbeing and helps relieve the daily build-up of stress.

  • Physical Health Booster: Scientific studies have shown that meditation can also boost immune function, improve cardiovascular health and be as effective as some medication for pain relief.

  • Work and Study Accelerator: Many schools and offices have incorporated meditation into the curriculum, or workplace, because of the positive effects it has on concentration and memory, and the benefits of increased empathy and social connectedness on workplace relations.

How does Meditation Work?

Meditation changes the way people experience stress, pain or anxiety by creating a non-judgemental awareness of those experiences.

Although more research is needed to fully understand the biological transformation that takes place through meditation, neurological research (neuro-imaging) now suggests that meditation may produce physical and biological changes to brain density and responsiveness. And it is not only those who have years of practice who can benefit.  One study in the US showed that after just 2 weeks of learning meditation, people’s bodies adapted more healthy ways of accommodating stressful situations. Their blood pressure was lower and their cortisol levels (stress hormones) were reduced, showing that even after a short period of regular meditation practice, people were coping better with stress.

How can I start?

Simple techniques in meditation such as the “mindfulness of breathing” and the “body scan” are easy to learn and can be practiced at home or even in a quiet space in the office. There are now many apps (such as;; and that support a home based meditation practice, as well as courses and retreats for those who wish to benefit from group meditation (such as;; ).

Why not try out some short meditations on my website.

Or come and join me for a weekly meditation group at the Worcester House Practice in Petersfield. You can also follow my facebook page where I regularly share meditations, posts and research on the benefits of meditation.

World Mental Health Day


No Shame!

Today is World Mental Health Day! Its a day we can openly talk about (and shout about) mental health awareness. When I speak to people about their mental health the word 'shame' comes up a lot. Not that people feel shame because of their mental health, but because others find it difficult when they mention their mental health experiences.

So today I want to talk about how to overcome the debilitating effects of shame and why it is so important for all of us to be open about it. If we are to create a healthy environment where everyone can talk about their vulnerabilities and overcome their fears, we need to bust out of the shame mindset.

When Brene Brown, author of the Power of Vulnerability, was invited to speak about her early research, she was asked not to talk about shame because it would put people off their dinner! What is it about shame that resonates so deeply, and uncomfortably with all of us? During our childhood many of us will have experienced occasions when we did something and were made to feel embarrassment or guilt, but shame isn’t about just those moments, it is about the moments when we unknowingly integrate those feelings into our very sense of self.

What is shame?

Shame is a belief not just that we have done something wrong, but that we ourselves are fundamentally wrong in some way. When we feel shame, we want to disappear and it can be very difficult to find peace with ourselves.

How does shame affect our lives?

While guilt is a passing emotion and can be part of a healthy process of dealing with our feelings (admitting ‘I made a mistake’ and moving on), shame often feels stuck, immoveable. Because it attaches to our sense of who we are and makes us feel bad about ourselves, it can be deeply damaging for our self-esteem and confidence. In the worst cases shame can lead us to respond to situations with severe anger, withdrawal, anxiety or depression.

This is because shame leaves us feeling exposed. This can be frightening, and fear triggers our fight or flight response. If this escalates into a fearful mindset, we may find ourselves constantly worrying what others will think of us, afraid we will say or do something that will lead to rejection or social isolation.

How can you manage shame?

We often learn shame during our childhood. As children we are told, sometimes on a regular basis, that we have done something wrong, or need to do better and it can feel like we have let others, and ourselves, down. These feelings can be confusing, frustrating and challenging and as children we don’t have the experience to put them into context.

By accessing the origins of a shame belief and making peace with it, we can release it, and its affect on our lives. Hypnotherapy techniques, such as regression, can help to discover the original memory or memories that boosted the shame response and change it. It can also help to change the negativity bias of the brain so that instead of looking for proof that reinforces a negative self-image, the brain begins to find evidence to support new beliefs that we are liked, loved and valued for who we are.

I am a Cognitive Hypnotherapist at the WOW clinic in Westbourne, West Sussex. If you would like to talk to a professional hypnotherapist, call me or message me on the contact details below.
Tel: 07949 736 553
Message me through Facebook: fauzknightCH
With thanks to Jo Pearse, WOW clinic.

Hypnosis for stopping smoking

This month is Stoptober and if you are reading this, you may be one of the thousands of people in the UK who have made the decision to stop smoking.

There are some immediate benefits to stopping smoking. Whatever your motivation, the day you stop smoking:

  • you feel and are healthier;
  • you’re spending less money, which means more cash for the things you love;
  • you’re creating a healthier environment for close friends and family who usually inhale second hand smoke.
There are lots of aids out there to help with the psychological aspects of stopping smoking, from apps that help you count the money you’re saving, or give you daily support and encouragement, to social groups where you can share your journey with others.
But ultimately it is down to you and when the craving hits it can feel like an uphill battle.

So how can hypnosis help with stopping smoking?

Hypnosis can help you break the habit of smoking  - Did you know that if you can stop smoking for just 28 days you are five times more likely to never smoke again? The reason for this is it takes 28 days for the mind to get out of a habitual behaviour, and smoking is often just that. Background craving for nicotine also subsides within the first few weeks.

Hypnosis can re-train the brain - For many people there is a strong compulsion to smoke that isn’t just a matter of habit. Subconsciously the cigarette is attached to some belief about themselves or the world around them. This can be something the person is aware of (e.g. ‘if I smoke cigarettes then I am being social and cool’) or it can be deeply rooted in the subconscious and less obvious.

Hypnosis can help overcome fears and worries – Sometimes people worry that stopping smoking will have negative side effects, like putting on weight, or they believe that smoking helps them cope, and worry how they’ll manage without.

Over the course of several sessions, hypnosis can help you to:

  • beat the craving and ritual of ‘having a cig’ at certain times;
  • unlock and change the subconscious belief that makes you pick up a cigarette;
  • reduce worries and anxieties, and improve motivation by focusing your mind on the future smoke-free you!
I am a qualified hypnotherapist and I run a 4 week program to help with stopping smoking. I work from clinics in Hampshire and West Sussex and can run sessions over skype also.
If you would like to get some help with stopping smoking from a professional hypnotherapist, call me or message me today to find out more about my stopping smoking program.
Tel: 07949 736 553
Message me through Facebook: fauzknightCH

Phobias – from fear to fascination!

Fears and Phobias

The summer months are often a time when seasonal phobias come to the fore, whether it is fear of flights, fear of closed spaces, fear of heights, fear of water, or of those ubiquitous flying and crawling insects. Fears and phobias can seem out of our control, as if our unconscious mind is taking over our actions.

But imagine what it would be like not to have to face those fears.

When I was young, wasps and bees seemed to find extraordinary ways to torment me. At the age of six I was sitting in my mother’s car when I felt something moving in my hand. A wasp - it had crawled up my dress and into my hand. I later found it had left a trail of stings up my body! During the course of my childhood I’ve had a queen bee land and doze on my eyelid, a wasp fall out of a tree into the gap between my glasses and my eye, sting me in my bed, fall down my top, and I could go on. Not surprisingly I grew up dreading the summer months. I was constantly listening out, and if a wasp or bee came near, I would go into fight or flight mode. Nothing terrified me more than that simple buzzing sound.

When fear becomes fascination

But this all changed. When I began training as a cognitive hypnotherapist we were encouraged to practice as much as possible and a colleague and I worked together on my bee and wasp phobia. During the sessions we altered just one of my childhood memories. At first I noticed subtle changes, I was still alert whenever a wasp or bee was near, but my response was different, less fear and more curiosity. But I wasn’t sure if it had worked…until one warm summer’s day. I was sitting in my in law’s garden when I heard a familiar buzzing sound, then a thump. A bumblebee had lazily flown onto my arm. I looked down and there it was, a little dazed, sitting just inches from my face below my right shoulder. Had this happened a few months earlier I would have jumped out of my seat, swatted it off, and run into the house! Instead I found myself staring with fascination at this tiny creature, its fur glistening in the sunlight. As I watched, it began to preen itself and I could see its soft fur spring back as it did so. It was honestly one of the most extraordinary things I’ve experienced and when it eventually flew off I felt very grateful, as if something amazing had happened. My gratitude wasn’t because it had flown off, but because I knew then that I was over my phobia.

How can Cognitive Hypnotherapy help with fears and Phobias?

When we respond to a fear or phobia our unconscious mind is trying to protect us from something it sees as dangerous. It is acting out 'rules' (‘this is safe, that is not’) that it has created based on past experiences. But it doesn't always get things right and fears or phobias can develop and worsen over time. Cognitive Hypnotherapy uses simple and gentle techniques to identify the original memory that is at the root of the fear or phobia and change it. The memory is stored in a different part of the brain as non-threatening, and the unconscious response changes.

If you have a fear or phobia you would like to change why not call for a no obligation chat to find out more about how cognitive hypnotherapy can help.

Tel: 07949 736 553


Message me through Facebook: fauzknightCH

I am a qualified cognitive hypnotherapy working in Hampshire and West Sussex at WOW clinic in Westbourne (nr Emsworth), Nutrivital Health in Petersfield and the Cowdray Hall Therapy Rooms in Easebourne (nr Midhurst).

Exam stress – 3 simple, super quick, stress busting tips!

exam nerves and stress

Hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool to help you beat exams stress.

Stress is a common experience during exam time:

  • It’s part of the body’s natural response to the challenges of exam pressure.
  • When you feel stressed, your body is producing hormones (adrenaline, cortisol and others), which are designed to help you to function in difficult circumstances.
  • They heighten your senses, increase alertness and, in short bursts, can improve brain function making you perform better.

However, if stress continues for long periods or if there are multiple sources of stress, it can have the opposite effect, triggering an imbalance in your nervous system and sabotaging your best efforts to perform at your peak.

Having a healthy attitude towards stress and wellbeing is vital around exam time.

Actively reducing stress and anxiety on a regular basis can help you to break the pattern of long term stress, and even make short term stress work for you.

Here are 3 quick techniques to help you keep the stress positive and reduce anxiety before and during exams.

✪ Panic buster: 7/11 breathing

This is a quick, simple technique that works with the body to bring about a change in your nervous system. When you breathe in and out you are activating two aspects of your nervous system.

  • the in-breath activates the sympathetic nervous system that perks you up (that’s why we take a sharp breath in when we panic) and
  • the out-breath activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which brings your heart rate down, restoring balance.

In this technique you extend the out breath to calm your nervous system and bring your body back into a relaxed state. Do this one, two or three times, then return to normal breathing.

Exam stress busting technique 1

Take a few normal breaths before you begin and relax your body. Breathe out to a count of 11…then in to a count of 7. Or make each one a bit shorter if you like (out for 5 and in for 3 is ok too). The key thing is to make the out breath longer than the in breath.

That’s it! You’ve busted out of panic and realigned your body’s system.

✪ Rest to be your best: concentration maximiser

Making sure you are getting good quality rest is vital to keep your brain alert and on peak performance. As well as getting a good night’s sleep, it’s important to take little breaks for your brain during the day.

  • Our brain’s concentration span is limited to 20-30 minutes. So by taking a pause every half hour to just stretch, walk about, drink some water, or just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, you are maximising your concentration.

Below is a link to a quick 6 minute self-hypnosis track you can use to relax.

Exam stress busting technique 2

Listen to a self-hypnosis track every day. You will find one on my website or follow the link on my Facebook page.

 Mindful moments: accept, it is what it is…

Sometimes we all have negative thoughts, and these can take up vital energy. Simply noticing those thoughts without judging them, and then letting them go can be a powerful way to turn things around. As Eckhart Tolle said ‘Whatever you accept completely, you go beyond…if you fight it, you’re stuck with it’.

  • What we resist persists…what we accept we move beyond

Try this simple technique inspired by mindful meditation practices and Emotional Freedom Technique.

Exam stress busting technique 3

The next time you have a negative thought (e.g. ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I’m going to fail’) just sit and notice it. Be curious…but not judgemental. Notice any tensions you are holding in your body as you have that thought and let them go. Allow the original thought to float away as easily as it came.

Say this affirmation: “Even though I have this feeling…I completely accept myself”.

So I hope you have found these helpful.

Sometimes stress and anxiety are harder to shift and a course of therapy can help you to move out of the stress paradigm. There are free resources online through charities (such as Young Minds, Mind, Childline, and Samaritans) that you may find helpful.

I offer cognitive hypnotherapy sessions in Hampshire and West Sussex (Emsworth, Petersfield and Midhurst) and over Skype. Contact me at; Mobile: 07949 736 553 or Facebook messenger for a no obligation chat. You can read more about Cognitive Hypnotherapy and how it can help with improving performance and many other things, on my website:

And remember the F.E.W rule….

Just a F.E.W little things can make a big difference during exam time.

Food* Eat well and regularly. Think about nourishing your body and mind as you eat.

Exercise* Raise your heart rate every day to boost your energy, clear your mind and relax your body.

Water* Just 10 minutes of concentration can dehydrate you, so drink water throughout the day.

Research shows Cognitive hypnotherapy effective for treating anxiety and depression

A journal article published in the Mental Health Review Journal has shown that Quest Institute Cognitive Hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for anxiety and depression. The study looked at how people’s levels of anxiety and depression, measured through the national standard measures (GAD-7 and PHQ-9 forms), changed after attending one-to-one therapy sessions with a Quest Institute Cognitive Hypnotherapist. Out of the 118 people who took part 73% showed improvements after an average of 4 sessions of Cognitive Hypnotherapy.

Many of the people who took part had high levels of anxiety and/or depression before treatment (e.g. anxiety disrupting their lives), and felt significant improvements or even recovery, after treatment. This response to treatment for anxiety and depression is significant. The research suggests that Quest Institute Cognitive Hypnotherapy compares favourable against other types of talking therapies. For example, talking therapies used by IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies project), such as CBT, on average have a success rate of 42%. This makes one-to-one Cognitive Hypnotherapy an important treatment option for people with high levels of anxiety and depression.