Novelty Presents and Resolutions (my January column from the Peterborough Telegraph)
In the whirlwind of secret santas, novelty socks and painfully long visits from the in-laws, it can sometimes feel like the Christmas season stretches on without end. Then all of a sudden January is here and we are facing a brand-new year. A good time to start afresh and take another look at what we want from life.
Whether it’s giving something up, like alcohol or cigarettes; or starting something new, like going to the gym – change can be daunting.
Motivation can fade. Bad habits can creep back in. We discover that changes we thought we’d made for good were only on the surface and, before too long, our hopes for renewal are like last year’s toys, abandoned and face down in the shed.
That’s why I stopped making resolutions twenty years ago. But then something changed. I got a wake-up call.
After years of being perfectly healthy, I found myself in and out of hospital having surgery for a blood clot on my brain. It was a shocking and scary time. I was single, I was hard up – and I was in real need of a change.
That time of illness did me a good turn though, as my long recovery gave me the headspace to reassess my life and ask myself some uncomfortable questions. Am I really happy with my job? Is my lifestyle as healthy as it could be? Am I carrying emotional baggage from my past that is holding me back? What do I really want?
To get some answers, I went to see a hypnotherapist. It took some time to find someone I felt I could trust (I found the cheapest were cheap for a reason) but it changed my life forever – and inspired me to retrain as a hypnotherapist myself.
Writing this now, six years later, I find myself healthy and in a happy relationship. I opened a very successful hypnotherapy practice in London and have recently moved to Peterborough. Not only do I feel great, I have helped hundreds of people to change their lives for the better.
When I was taken ill, the future felt unassailable. Life was like a bunch of bills and credit card statements, shoved in a drawer, unopened. I couldn’t face it. It took that dose of fear to wake me up.
Now I keep a notebook of all the things that I want to achieve. So this month I have a handful of new resolutions. If you want to make a change, what are you waiting for? Don’t suffer another moment. If not now, when?
You don’t need to face things alone. I see so many people who suffer from anxiety and fear who walk away changed forever.
Hypnotherapy works on our deep, unconscious patterns. It is a brilliant way to make new beliefs and delete old, unwanted behaviours. It isn't mystical and you'll remember everything. You won't run around like a chicken or bark like a dog. Unless you'd really like to, that is.
Happy New Year. And happy resolutions.
John Cooper (Peterborough Telegraph, January 2019)