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How To Use Your Brain’s “Delete” Button

By Addiction, Anxiety, Depression, Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness, OCD, Smoking Cessation

How To Use Your Brain’s “Delete” Button Neurons that fire together, wire together. Back in 1949, Canadian Neuropsychologist Daniel Hebb first used this phrase to describe how pathways in the brain are formed and reinforced through repetition. This means that every experience, thought, feeling, and physical sensation triggers thousands of neurons, which form a neural network. When you repeat an experience over and over, the brain learns to trigger the same neurons each time. Our brain cells communicate with one another via synaptic transmission; one brain cell releases a chemical (neurotransmitter) that the next brain cell absorbs. This communication process is known as ‘neuronal firing’. When brain cells communicate frequently, the connection between them strengthens. Messages that travel the same pathway in the brain over and over begin to transmit faster and faster. With enough repetition, they become automatic. You’ve heard the saying that ‘practice makes perfect’; this is the scientific explanation of why it does. This is essentially how we create those unconscious programs that run who we are; the way we think, the perception we see, the experiences that form the beliefs we hold, and the habits that we do. Of course, this can be used in a…

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Review: Avicii True Stories

By Addiction, Anxiety, Counselling, Depression, Habits, Happiness, Mental Health

Review: Avicii True Stories Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll You might wonder what place a review of a documentary about a dance music producer should have in a blog dedicated to mental health and wellness. For those who are unaware of the meteoric rise of Avicii (real name Tim Bergling) and his untimely passing, then this is a documentary that hits hard and raw. Avicii was only 18 years old when he was first discovered and began his career as a music producer and DJ. While performing in public never came easy for him, he performed over 800 shows in a short amount of time before finally retiring from touring at the start of 2017. What ‘Avicii True Stories’ really offers us is an insight into the torture that being on the road can be like for those people who suffer from stress and anxiety, and who really just want it to stop. As time goes on and it becomes more and more apparent that the touring lifestyle was taking too much of a toll on Avicii, we see his management continuing to push harder and harder for him to continue and to do more. Even in the final…

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What Does That Smoking Habit Want For You?

By Addiction, Habits, Parts Therapy, Smoking Cessation

What does that smoking habit want for you? Part of you wants to smoke and part of you wants to quit As with any form of habit that can be perceived as ‘bad’ for you, there is often an internal conflict going on within a person as to why they maintain that habit. Smoking is absolutely the classic example here as nearly everyone who comes to see me about becoming a non-smoker has studied up on ‘the facts’ around smoking and they know all the reasons why they should quit but seem to struggle with fully embracing their identity as a non-smoker. Some may even recognise that inner-conflict and be confused by it, saying that as a logical, rational adult, they should be able to take control of the situation and to make that decision to give up that smoking habit and yet they just find it hard. Perhaps what they need to really look at is the intention behind that part of them that has the smoking habit. Each part has a positive intention Often when we sit down and begin to talk to that part that has been maintaining the smoking habit, we discover that it has a…

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Ten Myths About Smoking That Will Not Die

By Addiction, Smoking Cessation

Ten myths about smoking that will not die Simon Chapman, University of Sydney Across forty years I’ve come to recognise many factoid-driven myths about smoking that just won’t die. If I asked for a dollar each time I had to refute these statements, I’d have accumulated a small fortune. Their persistence owes much to their being a vehicle for those who utter them to express unvoiced but clear sub-texts that reflect deeply held beliefs about women, the disadvantaged, mental illness, government health campaigns and the “natural”. Let’s drive a stake through the heart of ten of the most common myths. 1. Women and girls smoke more than men and boys Women have never smoked more than men. Occasionally, a survey will show one age band where it’s the other way around, but from the earliest mass uptake of smoking in the first decades of last century, men streaked out way ahead of women. In 1945 in Australia, 72% of men and 26% of women smoked. By 1976, men had fallen to 43% and women had risen to 33%. As a result, men’s tobacco-caused death rates have always been much higher than those of women. Women’s lung cancer rates, for example,…

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OUTthink – Stuart Fenton – Talking about Addiction

By Addiction, Inner Child, LGBTQI, OUTthink

OUTthink – Stuart Fenton – Talking about Addiction Talking About Addiction Drug addiction, especially ice addiction, has sadly become a little more commonplace in the LGBT community. Chemsex amongst gay men has seen an increase in recent years, usually involving a mix of methamphetamines, GHB and Viagra resulting in ‘play’ that could potentially go on for days. For some gay men, despite doing it on a weekly basis, they believe they’re still in control. For others, they recognise just how out of control they actually are and know that they need to stop to reclaim their lives. There are functioning addicts and there are those who will go for a bender and then need days in bed before they can do anything. The question remains though – when does a user go from being a user to becoming an addict, and is this something that they recognise within themselves or is it something that is greeted with denial and secrecy. While there is a lot of talk around ice use within the LGBT community, those who indulge in the activity tend to feel like it is there ‘shameful little secret’, and this lack of willingness to discuss it and the…

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OUTthink – Dr Tracie O’Keefe – Equality, Addiction and Resilience

By Addiction, OUTthink, Podcast, Relationships, Trauma

OUTthink Podcast: A Chat with Dr. Tracie O’Keefe about Equality, Addiction, and Resilience A bit about Dr O’Keefe Tracie is an internationally renowned Clinical Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Mental Health Professional, Motivational Speaker and Trainer who has extensive experience in family and couples therapy, sex therapy and addictions therapy. With over 20 years experience, Tracie specializes in building resilience and staying motivated as well as overcoming crisis and trauma. She has helped over 20,000 clients over many years in her clinics in London and Sydney to change their lives for the better. Currently, the Director of the Australian Health and Education Centre, Tracie is the author of seven books, including her latest Amazon number 1 bestseller ‘Inspiration for Survive and Prosper: Personal Transformation Out of Crisis’, a practical self-help book that helps people to recover from any crisis or trauma – fast. For more information on Dr Tracie O’Keefe, you can visit her website. About OUTthink – An LGBT Podcast OUTthink is a fortnightly podcast aimed at shining a light into topics of mental health and mental wellbeing relating to the LGBTQIA+ community. As a community, we need to be able to discuss topics that are uniquely related to the gay,…

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Facts About Habits That Might Surprise You

By ACT, Addiction, Habits, Smoking Cessation

Facts About Habits That Might Surprise You I want you to imagine that you’ve just woken up in the morning. What’s the first thing you do? Do you head to the bathroom first? Do you make yourself a coffee? Do you start off each day with a meditation or mindfulness exercise? When you have a shower or bath, how do you dry yourself off? What about how you get dressed? For many people, this exercise highlights one vital point; they have a habit of doing the same thing as part of their ‘morning routine’ each day. Within each morning, there are a series of habits that help them to structure their morning and to get things done. This article has collected some interesting facts about habits that may make you look at them and what you do a little differently. What is a habit? A habit is a routine of behaviour (action) that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously with very little conscious decision involved. It is repeated over time and generally done in the same way for the same reason each time. If I was to ask you to describe in great detail each step of how…

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Midsumma Festival Has Begun – OUTthink Update

By Addiction, Anxiety, Depression, LGBTQI

Midsumma Festival Has Begun – OUTthink Update Midsumma Festival Now is the perfect time to be in Melbourne as the annual Midsumma Festival has begun. The Midsumma Carnival last Sunday was an excellent opportunity to get out, enjoy the sun, and to take in the diversity that exists within our local LGBTQIA community. It can often be all too easy to forget that the LGBTQIA community is more than just a handful of gay clubs and the immediate circle that we associate with. It’s event likes Midsumma that help to get us out and about and to reconnect with our community. The importance of connection Research has shown the value and importance of connection to our own mental well being. It reminds us that we belong to ‘a tribe’ and that we can find people who understand and empathise with us, worts and all. Without this connection, we can often find mental health issues arising including stress, depression and anxiety, and even addiction. With that in mind, and despite Melbourne’s notoriously unreliable weather, go on and get out there. Connect with our community. Enjoy the sun and get the Vitamin D. OUTthink Update It still is a little way off…

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Maintaining Mental Health and Surviving Christmas

By Addiction, Anxiety, Counselling, Depression, Habits, Mental Health, Mindful Eating, Mindfulness, Therapy, Weight Management

Maintaining Mental Health and Surviving Christmas As I wrote last year, while Christmas is a time of joy and family for many, it can also be a source of pain, discomfort, and anxiety for others. For those who have lost or have no family, it can be a period of sadness with constant reminders of a ‘family Christmas’ lurking everywhere. For those who suffer from anxiety, it can be an extremely stressful period as they consider if this overload to the senses (or to their wallet) may leave them feeling apprehensive and on edge. Even just as a ritual in itself, Christmas can potentially trigger a lot of uncomfortable feelings for people that they would rather not experience annually. Then you have those people who are trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle. For those who are trying to lose weight or reduce their drinking or stop smoking, Christmas can prove to be a series of obstacles making their end goal just that little bit more challenging. Let’s face it, you would need to be a saint to get through Christmas without at least a handful of moments of self-indulgence. For some people, giving into this temptation may leave them feeling…

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It’s Time To Manage My Weight Again…

By Addiction, Habits, Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, Mindful Eating, Mindfulness, Weight Management

It’s Time To Manage My Weight Again Weight Management has always been an important topic to me. When I first started up the Release Hypnosis website a couple of years back, the first blog that I wrote looked at how I lost my weight and how I managed to keep it off. Realistically, I’ve been fairly successful at keeping it off over that time too and I can confidently say that I’ve managed to avoid becoming as heavy as I was then again. Then again, we are always constantly in changing situations and, with that, we can often find that old habits can resurface if we don’t bring an awareness to them. Over the past few months, my weight has begun to creep back on. I’m sure we’re all familiar with that feeling of stepping out of the shower, seeing ourselves in the mirror and feeling like we’re not being the best version of ourselves that we can be. This week, I’m making a change. I’m going back to basics. I’m stepping in on my habits now and making changes before I find myself in a state that makes me feel disappointed with myself, robs me of my self-esteem and…

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