Minimizing Holiday Stress

bigstock-Christmas-Seamless-Pattern-Wit-24446030Shopping for the holidays puts many people under additional stress: from spending money they don’t have, to long wish lists from kids or family members, to the time it takes to fulfill these desires-turned-demands.

My first suggestion is to trim your gift-giving list. In our family, we went from buying presents for 15 people to just the kids, which was initially 4, and grew to be 6, but is still much more reasonable. Also, my husband and I don’t exchange gifts as we take a trip for our anniversary the next month, and his birthday is right around Christmas, so he gets a birthday gift, which is usually an experience (comedy club, weekend trip, performing arts event).

To trim things even further, use The Rule of 4. I didn’t make this up, but I sure love it. Here’s how it works: Every person that you intend to buy gifts for gets only 4 things:

Something you need.

Something you want.

Something to read.

Something to wear.

For a 12 year old child, this could mean: a graphing calculator for school, a video game, a biography about their favorite sports star, and a nice shirt.

For a 4 year old child: finger paints and paper, a special toy, a book about their favorite animal, and new pajamas.

For a teenager: a piece of luggage with a special slot for their laptop, a new laptop (hidden inside the luggage?), a book by their favorite author – or one that you loved at that age, and a leather jacket.

You’re not limited by amount spent in this way, but it will cause you to be a more creative giver and your recipients will have less “filler” or “junk” items that will eventually get broken and tossed out. You’ll save yourself countless dollars in the impulse-buy section of the checkout lane on things that are “so cute and just $5”, and your gifts will be more thoughtful. Win, win!

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You CAN:Steps for Successful Progress

“I can’t. I don’t know how.” What more paralyzing words are there? This is how children think. Adults know that the information exists, if you only know how to find it. Adults say it and it means you don’t know where to find the information.

0plesi
http://whatdelilahdid.bigcartel.com

We live in a society of information overload. However, we also live in the Technological Age and nearly everything can be answered by your friend and mine, The Great Wizard Google. What he can’t explain, he’ll allow his sidekick YouTube to illustrate for him.

 

I found a pattern online ages ago called Argyle Octopus for cross stitch, one of my hobbies. Also recently, Subversive Cross Stitch offered a pendant kit. I thought this was the perfect marriage. I ordered the round pendant kit and went looking for that argyle octopus pattern, only to find it was no longer available. I found loads of silhouette patterns available, like the hibiscus hippo and the plaid plesiosaur, both fantastic, but not what I wanted.

I don’t know how to make a pattern. I don’t draw well. I can’t. 

 

Except that I can.

 

0hippo
https://www.etsy.com/people/alicealan

I do know how to search online and have been doing so for years. Using the word “silhouette” that I’d found in my Etsy and Pinterest searches of similar patterns, I asked The Great Wizard Google for an octopus silhouette and he showed me tons. I wanted one that was “square” so it would fit in the pendant. I found this one. I pasted it into Word and made it small enough to fit the pendant opening, then meticulously cut it out, removing the curly suckers. I do know how to cut out shapes – I learned that in elementary school. I then traced the pattern with a special pen onto the fabric. Tracing is a skill I also learned in elementary school.

 

0traceThen I opened Excel, a program I do know how to use. I counted the number of squares covered by the outline and figured out approximately how the pattern would look. I guessed and did not worry about being precise. Close enough would be close enough. I then drew the pattern in Excel. I’ve never done this before. I don’t know how. But I figured it out because I do know how to draw on graph paper, and I had nothing more than digital graph paper on my screen. Once I had it filled in as an outline, I went back to Google and looked for an argyle pattern in cross stitch. I adapted what I found to my pattern. It’s ugly, definitely, but was all the guideline I needed to get started. Who cares if this is not the “right” way to make a pattern? It works.

0trace2I chose some colors by knowing I needed 4 colors total (based on the pictures of argyle I’d just seen) and wanting to keep at least 2 of them as blues for the underwater nature of the octopus. I used a red and a yellow as my contrasts. I chose colors I already owned, and decided that the color-variations thread would be interesting-looking. I chose the area I thought would be easiest and just began.

0step1Once done, I followed the directions to trim the excess fabric and adhere it to the back of the pendant. That was somewhat difficult as it involves a “running stitch” which is a sewing term and, although I’ve been cross stitching since I was 9, I do not know how to sew; it is a completely different skill set. But, what I do know is how to follow directions and there were photos in the instructions, so I gave it my best shot. I bet it is messier than someone who sews, but I got the job done, and it’s on the back where no one will ever see it. I also used some masking tape to hold things in place. I improvised. That is also something I know how to do – fudge it until it looks right, when necessary.

0step2Then, I realized I’d made an error! I forgot to wash the fabric and still had the blue outlines. I removed the backing and rinsed it off, holding the fabric ever so gently as not to undo my stitching. I put it immediately back on the pendant backing and pulled the thread tighter, then used my blow-drier to dry the fabric onto the backing. Here’s something I guessed: blow driers make my hair smooth, and will probably smooth any wrinkles in the fabric if it is on a smooth surface like the pendant backing.
0step3Not knowing what I was doing in assembling the pendant, I merely followed directions, something I have had a lot of practice at. And it is done! It is imperfect; I don’t care. If I were to do this project again, I’d choose colors with higher contrast, not two blues. I also considered outlining it so you can see each arm, but none of the silhouettes I viewed used back-stitching (outlining) so I skipped it.

Even if you think you can’t, you can. Break the task into small pieces that you DO know how to do. Even something challenging is not, if you think in small enough pieces and focus on what you do know.

Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. –Henry Ford.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

User Manual – Guest Blog by Julie Davis, LMFT

0julieA friend called me the other day raving about the new gadget that she had saved for, shopped for, invested in, and finally owned. Two weeks later I asked her about it:

“It’s too complicated. I can’t figure out how to make it work.”

“What about the User Manual?” I suggested.

“I don’t have the time. I’m just going to get rid of it.”

Unfortunately, I find this to be a similar way of thinking in many relationships:

“Why does he do that?”

“What were they thinking!?”

“Doesn’t she know…?”

“How could he…?”

We get confused, angry, disappointed, and eventually get rid of relationships because we can’t figure out how to make them work.

This week, I invite you to complete the following User Manual and forward it to people close to you. Exchange, listen, share and discuss to grow rather than get rid of your relationships. 

MY USER MANUAL

  •  To get my attention it’s best to….
  •  If I seem distant it’s probably because…
  •  When I get grumpy it’s helpful to…
  •  The best time/place to talk to me seriously is…
  •  The worst time/place to talk to me seriously is…
  •  If you need me to do something it’s useful to…
  •  When I feel insecure I tend to…
  •  I feel happy when …
  •  I feel sad when …
  •  I feel loved when …
  •  I feel scared when …
  •  I feel encouraged and supported when …
  •  I feel angry when …
  •  I feel the best when…
  •  When I malfunction, the best thing to do is:
  •  When I’m tired please…
  •  When I’m stressed please…
  •  When I get home from work please…
  •  Fun things I like to do:
  •  I need help with…
  •  Someday I would love to…
  •  Favorite authors:
  •  Favorite music:
  •  Favorite topics:
  •  Other:

Julie Davis, LMFT
Licensed Marriage Family Therapist 
Certified Rapid Resolution Therapist 704-807-1101, appointments available in California, New York, & North Carolina. Website, Subscribe to weekly article

 

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Changing Habits: From I CAN’T to I DON’T

Diet. Dieting concept. Healthy Food. Beautiful Young Woman choosIf you are ready to make a change in your eating habits, workout routine, motivation, substance abuse, smoking habits, parenting habits, or any other thing, hypnotherapy can move your item into the Not Box.

I read an article on changing habits that discussed change as moving an item from “I can’t” to “I don’t.”

I don’t, in hypnosis terms, is the “not box.” It’s where things simply are not. It’s the place in subconscious mind where things you would never do, but have heard of, exist. I might ask if you would punch a baby or rob an old lady, and you would [hopefully] said “no, never.” That’s your Not Box.

I can’t, on the other hand, is everything you feel you should not do, but definitely would or might do. This is still in the realm of possibility, so it is still in Yes. “Yes, I would,” and “Yes, I might” exist in the same plane of the subconscious.

If you want to change a habit, the item needs to move from Yes to to the Not Box. It needs to get out of the realm of possibility and become something you simply don’t do.

For example: If you want to quit smoking, I could ask if you would ever smoke and – because it’s not nearly so horrendous as punching a baby – you might say “yes, I might, but I don’t want to.” My job, then, would be to move the act of smoking from the Yes plane to the Not Box. A person who never took up smoking, like me, would simply say, “No, I don’t smoke.” A person who quit smoking and plans to never return to smoking will respond, “No, I don’t smoke anymore.”

If you are a person who has quit drinking, if I offered you a cocktail, you’d say “No thanks, I don’t drink.” Exactly the same, is the response of a vegan when offered a steak, “No thanks, I don’t eat meat.”

Having something in the Not Box makes it so “I don’t” is a natural response without any emotional connection attached. If there is fear of use, it is still in the plane of Yes because it is still attached to “I might” or “I know I shouldn’t.” That is the mark of unfinished work. There is no interest in something you simply don’t do. If you offer me a cigarette, I simply say “no thanks” but am neither offended or tempted as it is something that merely holds no interest for me.

If you are ready to make a change, call today. 954-612-9553

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Overcome Test Anxiety

0pencilOf the most common fears, test-taking ranks one of the few that we are legitimately made to face. We can avoid heights, spiders, and death for a time, but in order to get through school, get into college, or finish an advanced degree, test-taking remains one of the fears we have to repeatedly face.

 As with any fear, the symptoms tend to be expressed in the anxiety cluster and may include:
  • Physical symptoms – sweating, increased heart rate, tingling or numbness in the arms or fingers or face, increased body temperature, feeling of dizziness or being light-headed.
  • Visual symptoms – hives or red blotches, pink/dark flush of the face or chest, increased blinking.
  • Internal symptoms – increased rate of thinking, feeling of panic, feeling of inability to move or react, pain or tightness in chest or stomach, digestive issues such as increased need to vomit or void bowels, digestive and gastric noises, headache.

0zebHow an individual experiences distress from test-taking varies, but each of these symptoms is an appropriate physiological response to stressors, if the stressor is life-threatening, which exams may feel like they are, though they are not. When zebra sees a lion, zebra responds physiologically as human may be responding in the event of test-anxiety. However, test is not a lion.

I utilize a form of clinical hypnotherapy called Rapid Resolution Therapy® which works directly with the subconscious to teach the mind that test is not lion and allow the appropriate response to continue to turn on in the event of an emergency, but to then turn off when the emergency has passed, and to cease to confuse events that may not be actual emergencies.

RRT is a short-term therapy that is done on an outpatient basis. It is fast, effective, and cost-efficient. Unlike talk-therapies, months and years do not need to elapse before change is felt. Most clients feel relief after just 2-3 sessions, and many people have finished clearing their issue after just 5-6 sessions. It is also useful for trauma, other anxieties, depression, grief, and addiction.

To make an appointment for a consultation appointment, please call Autumn at 954-612-9553 and specify you want to overcome test anxiety.

Pop quiz

The fear of taking tests is also known as:

a) testophobia

b) examphobia

c) nitophobia

d) sollicitudophobia

If you answered a), you’re correct. They were not thinking very far out of the box on that one, were they?

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Not Mine- Reframing Technique

0notWe cannot control others. You’ve heard this. The good news is: we don’t have to! We need only control our response to others, which is totally doable.

There are always going to be people cutting us off in traffic, people talking down to us, people undervaluing our work, and those who don’t believe in us. We need not give them any more of our attention than the bare minimum, but we need to categorize their words and actions as “theirs” and “not mine.”

Not Mine is a particular technique wherein you learn to control your response to the words and actions of others and take in none of it as your own.The problems (anger, fear, stress, resentment) begin when we internalize what belongs to another as if it need have any affect on us. But this is untrue; we need only feel our authentic response to any situation. You can do so from within a protective bubble of reframing knowing “that opinion is Not Mine and I need no response to that opinion.”

Make an appointment to learn this useful technique and reclaim your emotional boundaries. Call Autumn at 954-612-9553

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebookand Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Cure Insomnia

0insomCure your insomnia once and for good with self-hypnosis.

Attend a 2-hour training on self-hypnosis and learn a customized script to get to sleep quickly and effortlessly. I’ll teach you what to do, what not to do, and how to best work with your mind to accomplish deep, restful sleep with each application of the technique.

This technique is useful for adults and adolescents.

Please note: If your insomnia is the result of substance use, trauma, or chronic anxiety, it would be most beneficial to clear those issues so the symptom of insomnia is no longer present. I not only treat those disorders, but am also a specialist!

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Emotional Pain and Returning to Therapy

0massI was fortunate enough to receive a massage this week. The masseuse started on my back, which was tight. Once it loosened, I noticed pain in my neck which was later rubbed out.

When clients come to therapy, they often know what needs to be done, where they want to start, where it is tight, so to speak. Once we massage that area and the original item is loosened, sometimes there is a noticing of a pain elsewhere. Removing one problem does not create any other, but allows us to see where it was tight, but not as necessary to fix as something else.

Often, clients will come back to therapy in some months or a year because that new tight spot becomes uncomfortable. Or, there has been some new issue that causes inflammation to be massaged out.

If there is pain, there is a cause. Physical pain is a signal from the body that something needs to be changed. Emotional pain is a signal from the mind that something needs to be changed.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Decision Making with Hypnotherapy

0decAre you a person who has difficulty making decisions?

When faced with a number of choices, do you freeze or avoid doing anything at all?

Would you like to be more decisive and know that the decision you’ve made is right for you?

Use hypnosis to light the correct path for you.

The process is simple:

  1. Make a single-session appointment that will include the intake and the clearing of your issue (2 hours total).
  2. Gather the information needed to solve the problem, answer the question, or make the decision.
  3. State this information at your session. We’ll ask subconscious mind what the right thing to do is and the answer will be instantly illuminated.

This process involves no outside input or advice on the part of the therapist and is always what your subconscious mind desires.

You’ll be surprised how fast and easy it is to make a decision today! And I’ll teach you how to use the technique on your own to keep making the right decisions for yourself every day.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Thoughtful Gift Giving

I am one of the best gift givers most of my friends and family members know. I pay attention to the little details and give small, generally inexpensive, thoughtful gifts. I also give very few gifts, often a single item. This reduces waste and clutter, often re-purposing something from a thrift store or sale store into something unique and new, and leaves the recipient with no obligations to me or to display or use the gift. A gift, once given, is for the recipient to do with as they choose.

This holiday season, and going forward, I encourage you to use the Rule of 4 when giving to those that you would usually give abundantly. A child loves a pile of presents, but only plays with a few and it feels like a waste of time, money, energy, and storage to have such overkill. Give thoughtfully, and consider:

0xmas
Money Saving Sisters

Something he/she Wants

 

Something he/she Needs

Something to Wear

Something to Read

It’s good for the pocketbook, the environment, teaching people to value what they have, and keeping the place tidy.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.