Category: About Stress

Performance Anxiety: Is it just in the mind?

Have you ever had to make a public announcement, a speech or presentation and woken up feeling sick at the thought of it? Some call it stage fright but the technical term is performance anxiety.

The relatively harmless symptoms can make your life miserable – sweaty palms, a frequent need of the toilet, heart palpitations and a general feeling of dread.

You start to label yourself a failure, you second guess your worth and your inner mind starts reeling off all your short comings.

Anxiety and depression are medical conditions which should be treated by a doctor. There are medications that can help you sleep, calm your nerves and cope with stress’. But in the same way that curing presentation nerves come from adequate preparation, resolving performance anxiety come from both mental and physical preparation.

Everyone needs a moment of panic to motivate them, so when you find yourself stressing, take a moment to remind yourself that you feel this because you are passionate about what you are going to do.


life coaching with Chris Fleet at Fleet Hypnosis South Devon


A good rule of thumb is 1% panic for 99% hard work and preparation.


Avoidance Mode


The biggest disadvantage of performance anxiety is that you feel bad about something thus you avoid preparations. People feel so awful that they distract themselves with anything but the task at hand.

Typically, playing online games, talking on the phone, cleaning, organising, shopping, cooking, watching TV, and reading books are the most popular distractions.

This can create a vicious cycle – the more you avoid, the more stressed you will become as the even draws nearer. You may become even more avoidant that previously.

Clinical hypnosis can reduce and even remove this state of panic by training the unconscious mind to enable you to achieve.  The techniques apply to those suffering exam nerves, work based anxiety, sports and competitive anxieties, or any time where the spotlight is on you. Several professionals including lawyers, corporate leaders, athletes and performers use hypnosis to help them focus.


Breathe in, Breathe out


A hypnotherapist will generally teach you how to perform breathing exercise, which you can do yourself outside of the session. They are easy to do and take just a couple of minutes.

They will also teach you how to change your inner dialogue so that your inner voice becomes a source of positivity and encouraging words.

The minute you stop stressing your mind clears allowing you to think clearly and productively once again. This is when the hypnotherapist will speak directly to your unconscious mind helping to refocus on behaviours that will help you succeed.

Many feel rejuvenated and confident after treatment because the resistance holding them back has melted away to positive thoughts and actions.

The hypnotherapist will also help you to focus on how you feel after completing the task that made you anxious and use these positive emotions to boost motivation and confidence.

1 in 10 children have a mental health problem

The Education Policy Institute’s Independent Mental Health Commission published its final report of the year. It is the culmination of research into exploring challenges and transformation of children and young people’s mental health care and support.

One in every ten children between the ages of five and sixteen have a diagnosed mental health problem. And yet, children’s mental health services receive only a mere 0.7% of the total NHS budget. This equates to just 6% of the overall spending on mental health.

The commission found that, on average, 23%, that one in four, are being turned away. It also revealed a postcode lottery of waiting times, from two weeks in Cheshire or nineteen in Staffordshire. The average wait is two months for treatment, but that conceals the hidden wait times for ten months or more held by some areas of the country.

March 2015 saw the government publish a strategy, Future in Mind, with aims of transforming Children’s services, alongside an investment of £1.25 Billion over the next five years.

The Education Policy Institute analysed the progress. Every area was asked to develop a plan as part of the conditions of receiving the funding. The EPI found a wide variation in the quality of these plans. Of the 121 published plans, a mere 18 areas (15%) had “good plans”. 58 (48%) required “improvements”, and 45 (37%) required “substantial improvements”.

The EPI also identified significant barriers. 83% of trusts had stated that finding experienced staff members was difficult. They stated that they needed to advertise on multiple platforms and occasions to fill the roles. Mental health nurses were notoriously the most difficult position to recruit for, followed by consultant psychiatrists. These issues led to an 82% increased output of temporary staffing. 20016-16 almost £50 million was spent on agency staffing by 32 trusts.

Moreover, not all the investment has reached the frontline. Only two-thirds of allocated funds were distributed in the first year, and only half of that (£75 million) was distributed to clinical leads. It is not clear how much has been spent on frontline services, but reports show mental health providers indicate they have not yet seen this increased investment. For 20016-17, £119 million has been allocated to clinical commissioning groups, but this has been included in general budgets, so the risk that it will be spent elsewhere is high.

It is important to consider the wider picture when it comes to funding the NHS system. Cuts to both local and early intervention services will have a significant impact on child and adolescent mental health because these specialist services are contained within the wider system which includes local funded early intervention support. When those services are cut, the specialist referrals increase. The CQC (Care Quality Commission) found that reductions in funding, including those non-NHS services, contributed to increased waiting lists.

Therefore, the Commission is calling for a new Prime Minister’s challenge on young people’s mental health. Based on David Cameron’s Dementia Challenge, this would include research, prevention, early intervention and increased access to high-quality services.



hypnotherapy for driving


Research and prevention

The recommendations include the establishment of new Research Institute to research into the understanding of mental health and empowering young people to live safe digital lives.

Early intervention

The recommendation of a national programme on mental health and well-being to be placed within schools. Inclusive would be training for teachers and an inclusive curriculum as part of an updated PSHE lessons.


To increase access to quality care, the Commission urges the government to withhold funding for those areas who cannot demonstrate a robust plan of improvement. Proof should also be attained showing that the funding is being used in children’s mental health and not in offsetting cuts elsewhere. The commission also calls for a nationalised waiting time: that no one person should wait longer than two months to receive treatment.

Mental health can seriously affect a young person’s life chances, it can hold them back in education and development, and increase the risk of unemployment and ill health in their adult lives. These recommendations aim to ensure that this issue remains top of the agenda for at least the next five years.

Stress management – how to retrain your brain

Stress – can we learn to live with it in a healthy manner?

The perception of stress is that it is a modern villain nagging at us constantly to perform more than is physically possible in a twenty-four-hour period. Whilst a moderate amount of stress is beneficial to our general well-being high and constant tension isn’t.

A Cognitive Neuroscientist with Trinity College, Dublin, says that a chemical called Noradrenaline is secreted in the brain at times of stress. He goes on to say that when this level is spot on it acts like the best brain-tuner allowing us to appropriately respond to levels of stress. It is widely accepted that whilst too much stress can be debilitating, a moderate amount is extremely beneficial to the mind.

Noradrenaline helps the different areas of the brain communicate effectively and also makes new neural connections.

“As long as it’s not too stressful, we can build stronger brain function. If we have stronger brain function we’ll be happier, we’ll be less anxious, less depressed and we’ll be smarter,”

The problem is that not everyone is able to cope with varying levels of stress. stress relief
Some people can find themselves getting very anxious and find that their stresses become so large that they tend to hinder rather than help. Chris Fleet can teach you different techniques to learn so that we can reframe our approach to situations. He goes on to say that we can change our brain chemical levels just as easily as any medication can, we simply have to learn the habit’s to do so.

Chris thinks that rather than our brain having a chmical imbalance that causes stress or depression that stress or depressiopn causes a chemical imbalance and that we can change our brain chemical levels just as easily as any medication can, we simply have to learn the habit’s to do so.

Train your brain to thrive under stress.

The most important factor is our approach; do we have a “fixed” or “growth” mind-set? Based on the work of Stanford Psychologist, Carol Dweck, the ability to believe that we can change allows us to do so. With a fixed mind-set we are stuck in a continuous circle of achieving nothing but increased levels and duration of distress.
For those who believe they can change, it was pointed out that symptoms such as dry mouth and a racing heartbeat apply to not only fear but excitement.
In a short study, people were asked to answer maths questions in front of a panel. Those that told themselves their stress was merely excitement did better than those who didn’t. some people see this as evidence that it is helpful to think of stress’ as a challenge rather than a threat.

“Making a mental switch, just re-framing it reduces stress and improves performance”. shutterstock_98867201

Stress works in a similar way to the immune system.

Just like the immune system, the brain can only get stronger with light exposure to things such as stress and mild anxiety. Children need to experience a certain amount of diversity so that their body and minds become toughened. Too much adversity can be harmful but finding that spot in the first few decades of life can make you emotionally robust.

“And so learning to cope with stressful situations at a young age can be extremely beneficial. While nobody wants to be constantly chasing after stress, a little bit of it can be a powerful motivator”


If you would like to know more about stress management and emotional resilience, give Chris a call on 01803 557681 or fill out the form below.

Contact Chris Fleet

  • Section




Hypnotherapy and procrastination

Procrastination is the thief of time.

{Edward Young – poet}procrastination

Procrastination – according to wikipedia is “the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones.” putting off until tomorrow what could be done today. How many times have you been at work on the pc or laptop when you decide you just HAVE to check facebook? What about making excuses as to why something can’t be done? “I can’t exercise, not with my knee” is a common one I hear when people come in for weight loss.

So how can hypnotherapy help with procrastination? Well generally we end up putting things off for a good reason, it might be because we don’t want to be criticised for getting something wrong, or because the thing is just too, difficult, tiresome or boring. After all searching for pictures of cats of Facebook is much more productive isn’t it?

Hypnotherapy helps you to find the route cause of why we may procrastinate, once we find that cause we can then begin to address various different concerns and worries that our subconscious may have regarding why we can’t begin or finish a project.

There’s a link to my own story regarding procrastination here.

If you want to know how to  get things done now and finished on time then why not come in for a consultation?

Fill out the form below:

Contact Chris Fleet

  • Section




What is a hypnotic gastric band ??

With healthy eating regimes failing drastically people are thinking about a hypnotic gastric band.

The question is what is a hypnotic gastric band and how does it work?

More than that does a hypnotic gastric band work?

I’ll try to answer those questions as best as possible.

The mind can be so incredibly powerful to the extent that it causes physical changes. To some that may sound like a bold statement but in reality it’s easy to prove.

healthy eatingLook at someone who is scared for example, their heart rate increases, their palms sweat, pupils will dilate, their mouth goes dry (there’s perfectly normal reasons for this explained elsewhere on this site).

However can we convince someone that they have a stomach the size of a golf ball? Let’s face it, that’s a pretty tall order – it might be easy to do for a while – but what happens when they eat something the size of a cricket ball? Have you ever been head over heels in love and believe everything the other person says – only to find out they’re lying? If you have been that unfortunate then you will know that you then begin to doubt everything they ever told you. Well the hypnotic gastric band can be a bit like that if you get the wrong person doing it.

I went to a training course in hypnotic gastric band -ing. To me it was a waste of a day and several hundred pounds – although I did get CPD points for it so something came out of it.

The theory that this particular school taught is that you treat the client – sorry patient in this instance – as if they were going into hospital for a gastric band fitting, so the first thing you do is take their money. The second thing is to then tell them to come back when they’ve lost weight so that the liver will shrink – yup, they come in for weight loss and you tell them to come back when they’ve lost weight!
You then explain about healthy eating, this bit is fine although in my experience if someone is coming to see a hypnotherapist for weight loss they probably know more about diet and nutrition than the therapist because they’ve tried all the conventional means already.
You then explain how the gastric band works and all the possible side effects – that too is fine. You show them how much food they would be able to fit into a stomach the size of a golf ball – which isn’t much – some people will be motivated by this but I should imagine most would be horrified.compulsive eating

Then in the final session we get to do some hypnosis, you imagine going to the hospital, seeing the consultant and going into the operating theatre. The trainer at one point turned up in a white lab coat with a stethoscope around their neck – it was all I could do not to laugh out loud. They then went on to say that they poked the client with a pen 4 times around their abdomen and told them they were having key-hole surgery…

Now I am good at what I do – not a boast, just a fact – and if I started doing that to people I would feel a fraud and if I felt I was a fraud then what would the client think?

I have been practicing hypnotic weight loss for 12 years now with huge success rates, I don’t need to spray TCP round the room and poke people with pencils. What’s more people are paying to be hypnotised so they get what they pay for – hypnosis! Not everyone can be hypnotised so why take somebody’s money only to find out at the very end that you can’t hypnotise them?

So why do I advertise hypnotic gastric band then?

Well it is popular and great marketing – that’s the honest truth. However, I offer a free initial consultation where I explain all the above in detail and then go onto explain what i do for hypnotic weight loss.Train to be a hypnotist

  • Teach mindfulness – all too often we eat mindlessly wolfing our food down without tasting it properly
  • Teach the basics of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) this teaches us to think about the way we think.
  • Teach people to tell the difference between hunger for food, a craving for food or a desire for food
  • Use a combination of encouragement and aversion therapy in hypnosis
  • Use parts therapy (a part of me wants to do one thing another part wants to do something else) to work out what it is that drives us to eat.
  • Use direct suggestion therapy (you feel more full and satisfied with smaller quantities of food)
  • Use stress management techniques if required
  • Teach self hypnosis.

The results over the last 12 years have been fantastic – not 100% but nothing really is.

Consultations are always free and can be a real eye opener.

If you want to learn more about how you can use hypnosis for weight loss give us a call on 01803 500300 or fill out the form below.

Contact Chris Fleet

  • Section




Top tips to enjoy silence

Silence is golden – or is it?

When was the last time you sat in silence for more than 20 minutes?hypnotherapy

Our commute to work, the school run, doing the housework, watching a film, listening to the radio these are all noise filled activities.

Sometimes we demand that external stimuli just to quieten down our internal self talk. Some people become workaholics because they don’t want to face up to certain aspects of their lives, some people delude themselves that everything is absolutely fine when in fact their life is falling down around themselves so they keep busy to avoid the silence, because in the silence our thoughts begin to turn over ……..

However there are ways to enjoy and revel in silence – simply by becoming aware.

Try these tips to enjoy your own company more

  • hypnotherapy trainingFocus on your surroundings – with every out-breath say to yourself (silently) “right now I’m aware of” and then complete the sentence to yourself.
  • Begin to notice your breath – when was the last time you really paid attention to your breathing? Begin to notice the difference in air temperature when you breathe in through your nose compared to when you breathe out. See if you can feel the air entering and leaving your body, can you notice the rise and fall of your stomach or the rise and fall of your chest?
  • Smile to yourself – imagine somebody just told you something wonderful, perhaps someone saying they loved you or that you had done something exceptionally well.
  • Spread that smile throughout your body – I know, I know …. It sounds odd, but you know how some people have really smiley eyes? Well with your eyes closed just imagine that the thing that made you smile in the 1st place had made your eyes twinkle with pleasure – even though your eyes are closed. Once you’ve mastered that then you can learn to smile into yourself. You can then go on to smile into your work, your relationships any aspect of your life that you choose.
  • Notice how your body feels – when we get stressed or worried our body tends to hunch forward causing tension in our muscles, all too often we don’t even notice this tension until it’s too late. By becoming aware of how our bodies are feeling we can alleviate this tension before it gets too bad.
  • Visualise – How do you want to be? How do you want others to see you? By imagining yourself how you want to be and how you want others to see you you’re giving your subconscious mind a road map.

Are You Positively Positive About Facebook?

Facebook and Twitter are you positive or negative?


Have you ever noticed how some people on social media are posting posts that are incredibly positive? Some people post articles that are funny, many post pictures of their favourite things like family members, cats & dogs etc.

However there are some people who also seem unhappy with everything, it seems as though they just like to just moan and moan, and moan. “This isn’t right, that isn’t right, this is wrong, that is wrong.”passive aggressive

So why do people like to moan and criticise so much? Does it make them feel important, or maybe a bit smug and clever? If that’s the case then perhaps they need a bit of help with their self-esteem issues because putting others down to make themselves feel better really isn’t healthy.

Then again perhaps these people are depressed and may not realise it? Perhaps they’re angry and like to have a pop at the world. Whatever it is people that permanently have a dig at others really can’t be that happy in their personal lives can they?

Then again what about all the ultra-positive types that are permanently posting on about how wonderful their life is, we have a friend nicknamed “Happy Larry” because his tweets and Facebook postings are so incredibly optimistic and positive that it just seems unreal and impossible to us mere mortals, even those of us in the wellness industry – those that know him know that he really is a miserable wotsit at times.positive

So what are these people? Are they really genuinely positive or are they actually quite sad and in denial of the reality of their life? After all why would you want the world to know that you’re just a sad angry person fixated with the PC and other people’s lives?

My wife and I witnessed an extraordinary conversation between a married couple recently. Apparently she had locked him out of the bedroom and so an argument ensued over Facebook for all the world to see, the language was rude and offensive enough as it was so Lord only knows what their little girl made of it all. Let’s just hope she slept through it all….keyboard warrior

The truth is that you can try to make social media portray whatever to you want it to – but what does it really say about you and how do others really see it? Above all – what are your posts about and how do you portray yourself to the world?

If you would like to know more about this or anything else regarding the emotions please get in touch….

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message



Hypnosis and Gardening

Hypnosis and gardening have a lot in common.

hypnosis and gardeningThe other day I was up at our little plot of land at near the Haldon Hills in Devon – we call it “Our Piece of Heaven in Devon”

I had just put the horses away, lit the fire-pit and sat watching the sunset over Dartmoor. I began to think how lucky I really was. We had just eaten a completely organic meal grown out of our garden and were playing silly games with our daughter.  Not bad for a North London lad who had certainly seen the underbelly of society on more than a few occasions – but that’s another story.

Then, whilst wandering down to pick some fruit for a snack I realised that actually luck had very little to do with it at all.

I chose to leave my London environment for the Devon life, many people thought I was daft for coming down to Torquay, I didn’t have a penny to my name or a job or anything but it was my choice – not luck.ponies

Looking at the stables I began working out how many blocks would be needed to rebuild the back wall. Again I thought how lucky I was to have the skill-set to do such a thing. Well actually no that wasn’t luck either. I started my working life as a diesel fitter in a factory and hated it with a vengeance so I went into the building trade as a hod-carrier, from there I put myself through training both at college and on site to become a qualified bricklayer – that wasn’t luck, it was hard and often painful work. Now many years later I run a successful hypnotherapy practice and help people make some really positive changes in their lives so that’s quite lucky – or is it? I train people to Diploma standard in the art and science of hypnotherapy so that’s not bad – again I worked hard at it – it wasn’t luck by any stretch of the imagination.

So what about our beautiful bit of Heaven in Devon? Surely we are lucky to have such a wonderful spot? Well actually that wasn’t luck either, we didn’t win the lottery or get given it, my wonderful partner Carol and I stretched ourselves and took the plunge financially. Our vegetable patch used to be an old muck heap that had become overgrown with weeds, brambles and stinging nettles. We (well Carol mainly) cultivated it and turned it into a beautiful patch where our daughter can eat healthily. No luck their either, just hard work and determination. We planted seeds, we nurtured them and encouraged them to grow. Like it says in the bible ….. “for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” – just like hypnotherapy really. Whatever you say to yourself, whether it be positive, negative, authoritarian, angry, sad or just plain boring that is the internal message you are giving yourself.  It really is all about perspective.  Is there luck in the world? Well I think that there is, I also think that we have a lot more control over our own destiny than we may realise, we just need to change our perspective….


Coping with Grief

Coping with Grief

Top Tips on How to Deal With Grief

DepressionGrief is a natural response to losing someone or something you love or care deeply about.


Get Support The significance of support cannot be overestimated and is probably the most important factor in dealing with loss. There are a number of ways support can be accessed.


  • Friends and family- Often with grief we want to shut ourselves away however this is the time to call on those closest to us. Tell those closest to you what you need. Often people want to help but don’t know how, and accept the assistance that is offered. A shoulder to cry on and a listening ear is a positive way to work through and release intense emotions.
  • Hypnotherapy – Grief can be such an overwhelming experience that it becomes too difficult to cope with alone. Grief can feel very lonely even with a good support network of friends and family and in these cases an experienced therapist or specialist in grief counselling can often help you work through intense emotions and overcome any unresolved obstacles to your grieving.
  • Other therapies – Therapies such as Massage can help in times of grief. Taking care of yourself is usually the last thing on the mind when experiencing grief however, it is one of the most important things you can do. Allowing your body to fully relax can be one way of letting go of built up emotion whether it be anger, sadness or stress. Often with Massage, certain emotions are released whether you are expecting it to or not.
  • Another therapy that it useful in difficult times is Reiki. This is a healing therapy which also helps in the grieving process. People often say that they feel they have a lot more energy after a session of Reiki. Others say that they fall asleep during a treatment and feel very relaxed afterwards. The body can react in many different ways, it is usually depending on what emotional and sometimes physical state the patient is at the time.

Here at The New Devon Clinic we offer a range of treatments including the ones mentioned above.

If you are struggling with the death of a loved one and would like to take a step in the right direction please do not hesitate to give us a call.


  • Faith- Ones faith can often be a source of comfort. Solace can come through any spiritual activity that is meaningful to the individual. This may include prayer, meditation, going to church or groups where there is a shared unity and support can be drawn.
  • Support Groups- Sharing ones grief and sadness with others who are or who have experienced similar losses can be a great source of comfort there are often bereavement support groups in many areas. To find one in your area contact local hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, and counselling or holistic centres.
  • Keeping a diary- This will help you to recognise and be aware of your feelings. You will be able to reflect from day to day on your state of mind as often throughout the grief process one day so easily leads into the next. Also the diary can include special memories and thoughts etc as they arise. This can be useful in the future to look back on and to treasure.
  • Time- Grief can be quite a painful process which can uncover and bring to the surface a whole range of feeling and emotions. In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced what was to become known as the 5 stages of grief. These being: Denial, anger, Bargaining, Depression and finally acceptance and although not everybody goes through all the processes, or even any, the grieving process is an individual experience and one that should not be rushed. Just know that you’ll heal in time, there is no predictable timescale and however difficult it is it is normal. Time is crucial so allow yourself as much as you need.

If you feel that you need support please feel free to drop us a line or give us a call on 01803 500300



Perception. What is it?

A brief chat about what perception is and how our perception of ourselves can affect our life



As a much younger man I used to kick a football around on a regular basis, I thought I was quite good, that was my perception!

I then found out the painful way that I wasn’t good enough to make it at a decent level.


To say that I was gutted would have been an understatement of mammoth proportions, so what did I do as a young sixteen year old? Well I stopped playing football, I stopped watching football but above all I changed my perception of myself, I decided that I was useless. I decided I was rubbish not just at football but I kept finding reasons to berate myself, to tell myself I was no good.

As the years went by I began to take an interest in football again, and then to begin to play again (I still have a weekly kick around). I realised that I may not have been good enough to be a pro but I had plenty of other attributes and I love the game (when played properly – but that’s another story).

It wasn’t being big headed or arrogant but a natural self-belief based on facts rather than perception. In many ways I’d practiced CBT on myself without even realising it.

It may be that you detest football but if any part of this story resonates with you then why not give me a call on 01803 500300 and let’s see what we can do to change your perception.

Contact Chris Fleet

  • Section