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Tuesday 4 October 2016

MIAW  - October 2nd to 8th, 2016.


Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness.


We all want to be healthy and happy. Mental health is having a balance of mental, emotional, physical and emotional health.  No one can be truly healthy without positive mental health. Mental health involves how we feel, think, act and interact with the world around us.  Positive mental health isn’t about avoiding problems or trying to achieve a “perfect” life. It’s about living to the best of your ability and having the tools to cope with difficult situations, especially during life’s challenges. Each person’s path to mental well-being is unique. We all have our own goals, our own challenges, our own talents and our own supports. But positive mental health is within everyone’s reach.


Canadian statistics show that one in five people may have a mental illness in their lifetime.  10.4% of Canadians have a mental illness at any given time.  18% of PEOPLE aged 15 – 24 reported having a mental illness or substance abuse problem.  The group with the highest rate of hospitalization for anxiety disorders is those 65 or older! Personal relationships are affected and there is a strain on families.  Employee disengagement affects a company’s  ‘bottom line’ because of sick days and sick leaves that are taken by employees that can’t cope with workplace stress.


But people with mental health issues, such as Depression or Anxiety Disorders, often suffer silently.  So how would that affect those statistics? I’d bet they would likely be a lot higher.  The stigma of being judged and/or labeled as “crazy”, “unstable”, or “too sensitive” leads to hiding not just from others, but from themselves.  What they need is to seek help and even DEMAND it! 


A really important step in improving these numbers is eliminating the stigma that often accompanies a mental illness diagnosis. Just as we cheer those battling diseases like cancer, we should offer the same support to those with a mental health condition. Here is a list of online resources to promote better understanding and support of this critical issue, and I hope you’ll consider sharing it with your friends, family, and employer.  These resources are a great first step in reaching out for help. – See dropdown, “Hypnosis Helps with..”











Thursday 18 August 2016


Hypnotic Approaches to Anxiety Fear & Panic Attacks

Rosa Livingstone, CHt, CLC,

Clinical Hypnotherapist; Certified Life Coach; Mind Empowerment Coach

Anxiety is so prevalent in our world today.  Our lives go at a faster pace today society than it did during our grandparent's day.  Sure, we've benefited in many ways with technology, economics, etc, which have helped us all lead better lives.  But on the downside, we have less personal interactions(just watch teens on their Iphones and tablets), we have more 'things' to seemingly make us happier, and we do not have the support of large familial or community groups as was needed years ago in order to survive (psychologically and physically).
 There are many situations that come up in everyday life in which it is totally appropriate and reasonable to react with some anxiety. I call it "good anxiety'.   If you didn't feel any anxiety in response to everyday life challenges involving potential loss or failure, something would be wrong.
In my practise, a large percentage of my clients have come to me regarding their issue with anxiety.  It ranges from general anxiety (GAD), social anxiety (also known as social phobia), panic disorder (attacks), obsessive anxiety (OCD).  I would say that the percentage of clients that see me because anxiety is their main issue or in part it is included in the cluster of issues within their scope of goals, would be 75%.
 I was searching the internet for Canadian statistics on anxiety and it didn't surprise me that our numbers are high. The Statistics Canada Community Health Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing has revealed that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problems in Canada.  This recent survey estimates that 1,040,000 Canadians (3.2%) have social anxiety disorder, 480,000 Canadians (1.5%) have panic disorder, and 227,000 Canadians (0.7%) have agoraphobia.  The percentages may seem low but look at the numbers. 
I also cam across an article by E. J. Bourne, a well known psychologist and researcher.  He explains that, "Anxiety disorders are distinguished from everyday normal anxiety in that they involve anxiety that 1) is more intense (for example panic attacks), 2) last longer (anxiety that may persist for a months instead of going away after a stressful situation has passed), 3) leads to phobias that interfere with your life.
Anxiety can be distinguish from fear in several ways. When you are afraid, your fear is usually directed toward some concrete external object or situation. The event that you fear is usually within the bounds of possibility (not meeting a deadline, failing an exam, being rejected by someone you want to please and so on). When you experience anxiety, on the other hand, you often can't specify what it is you are anxious about. The focus of anxiety is more internal than external. It seems to be a response to a vague, distant or even unrecognized danger.  Anxiety is a physiological, behavioural, and psychological reaction all at once".
On a physiological level, anxiety causes many body reactions such as rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, queasiness, dry mouth, or sweating. On a behavioural level, it can sabotage your ability to act, express yourself, or deal with certain everyday situations. Psychologically, anxiety is a subjective state of apprehension and uneasiness. In its most extreme form, it can cause you to feel detached from yourself and even fearful of dying or going crazy. With panic attacks, you can also experience chest pain which is often mistaken for a heart attack. 
Surprisingly, there isn’t much written about this important subject in books about hypnosis. There are many hypnotherapists who won't even touch the problems of anxiety and panic attacks. This is an important and regrettable omission.
Causes of anxiety and panic
Extreme anxiety and full-fledged panic attacks can be triggered by single events or a series of events. They can arise out of ones own experience or from the experience of others.
Anxiety and panic can be triggered by accidents, illnesses or the deaths of friends or family members--incidents that suddenly thrust people before their own contingency. I still vividly recall the passing of one of my best friends. I looked at her as she lay in hospice and saw myself; I knew that my own life would come to an end one day. I was aware, suddenly, that there was no way I could be sure of just long my life would be, or how it would end.
For some individuals, anxiety attacks have a sudden onset and may leave as mysteriously as they began. In severe cases of anxiety or panic--those that dont go away—the symptoms are apparent, while the true causes remain unknown. There appears to be no particular incident or condition to cause the panic attacks; therefore, the cause, hidden from the person, remains a threat because it is unresolved. The fear response occurs when there is, seemingly, nothing to fear; in fact, soon, ones panic is over the fear of the panic returning.
Some panic attacks are triggered by seemingly innocuous incidents that are symbolic of some event or condition earlier in the person's life.  I had a client who is a long-distance truck driver who became anxious and panicked whenever he had to travel a road with a steep drop on one side - a very limiting experience for a driver. Although he quickly would catch himself and his conscious mind shrugged off each incident of fear as unimportant, the subconscious imprint remained, leading to his fear of falling off the edge.  And it only got worst.
Regressing him to the root cause of his phobia, he recalled that as a 5 year old child, he rode his bike too close to the side of the sidewalk, and fell onto the road.  He wasn’t hurt but it terrified him.  Once he was aware that his anxiety came from a long-past incident, and the slip off the sidewalk was a trigger for his current fear, once the event was reframed and he realized he was safe, it disappeared, altogether.
The Benefits of Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is effective in helping people with either mild or severe cases of anxiety. In mild cases, simple reprogramming with hypnotic suggestions can give people relief.  Hypnotic suggestions replace catastrophic thoughts or over-anxiousness with truthful statements about the nature of the symptoms and the realization that physical sensations can cause no harm. Hypnosis can slow the heartbeat, create a sense of balance and relaxation through deep breathing, free the throat to swallow, overcome sensations of temperature changes and stomach upsets, and promote clear-headedness.
Whether in the recent past or in the distant past, some events leave negative psychological imprints. Often they are forgotten or unrecognized for the detrimental effect they produce. Such negative imprints can be left by traumatic incidents, or by minor events that were misunderstood when they occurred. Hypnotic, or altered state, procedures can unveil these causal events involved in the initial development or onset of the problem. Regression Therapy is one of the most beneficial techniques available to people who suffer anxiety because it can be so effective in uncovering the cause. Hypnotic procedures using age regression simply help the client to go back in their memory to the time and place where a problem originated. In the case of anxiety or panic attacks,  in childhood.
Oftentimes, a simple understanding of the situation is all that’s needed to make a shift in perception. Sometimes, however, hypnotic suggestions that alleviate a clients presenting symptom or that change a long-term habit is enough for the client to feel truly relieved. In other cases, additional techniques may be needed to help release the hold that a long ago memory has on the client. When suggestions to reframe events dont bring about the desired results, it is as though a rejection from deep within the subconscious self is giving signals that more must be done. This is why regression to the cause is such an invaluable tool for permanent healing of an issue.
If you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety, panic or phobias, considering hypnotherapy to overcome it is a really good option to help take back control. Hypnotherapy can be a powerful ally in helping people to develop a sense of power and confidence, in spite of the normal anxieties that are a normal part of daily living.

Friday 12 August 2016

Is it time to do your inner healing?


Is it time to do your inner healing?

Is it time to do the inner healing to have what you really want in your life???

We're living in a very outcome-focused society, where all we seem to look at is the end goal.  

What I mean by this is, is that if we're in physical pain, we all want the quick fix, the pill, the magic surgery, the thing that will make it all go away.

If we're struggling financially, we long for that winning lottery ticket, that magical break-through that gives us the money we want.

Here's the problem with this approach, and a suggested solution:

If you're in pain, and you pop that little pill, and the physical pain goes away, who are you? You're a person who now isn't in physical pain because the pill took it away, but you're the same person, with the same emotional experience, the same inner angst, the same demons.

If you're poor or struggling and you win the lottery, money is given to you and you are now rich, but who are you?  You're the same person, with money, but with the same emotional experiences, inner angst and demons.  (this is a big part of the reason why, as I'm sure you know, most lottery winners lose everything in a span of a few years.)

What's the option?  The option is to do the deep inner work, to heal, to let go, to become more conscious, to forgive others, to forgive yourself, to release limiting beliefs, to connect to that deepest part of you that knows truth, that knows the essence of who you are and your value in the world.

THEN the pain goes away...

THEN the money flows in...

THEN the relationships appear and not just with others but more importantly, with yourself...

And who are you then?  You're a person who isn't in physical pain, you're a person who is wealthy by whatever definition you choose, you are whatever that end goal you wanted...but with inner peace, clarity, and joy.

So the question you REALLY want the white pill or the lottery ticket? Or are you ready to do that deep inner work and to truly transform? 

Up to you! :)

A Load Off Your Mind Hypnotherapy

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Going Into the Darkness to Heal

We all deal with challenges in our lives.  Maybe you call it Chaos or Crisis or Drama.  When we meet resistance, challenges and blocks in our lives, it may send us tumbling into the dark abyss of the unknown.  We may lose fingernails trying to catch a grip on the rocky walls of the tunnel or just fall in a tailspin with nothing to grasp. 

But the fall may be exactly what we need in order to shake us out of our self-sabotaging thoughts and actions.  It may be the call for leaving the security of what we know behind because it’s not helping us to grow.  Security is that which is familiar, not necessarily pleasant.  A crisis can be a call to action, to trust ourselves even when the world is lobbing lemons at us. 

I know that going to the “dark place” isn’t applauded in our society.  Generally, people think we’re weak, crazy, or unhinged if we do.  But in truth, by denying that part of ourselves, that Dark Space inside, we are denying our whole selves!  It’s like the movie, Pleasantville, a town where nothing changes. The temperature and weather are always nice, and it never rains. Sex is an unknown word, passion is outdated, and the most intimacy anyone sees is when people touch hands. But we know that’s not reality.  We need contrast in order to see the beauty of life and the fullness of ourselves.  By experiencing deep sadness, we can recognize great love when it appears. 

 The dark part of us isn’t evil.  It’s just the space that holds all the untruths about us. And these ‘untruths’ were birthed from perceptions of our childhood experiences based on what we saw outside ourselves such as angry looks, hurtful words, and/or striking hands.  We thought and felt that we were bad, useless, helpless, rejected, abandoned when these things happened.  And they did happen in some form or another.   It made us believe we weren’t worth of anything associated with love. But we didn’t know any better.  We didn’t have the experience and knowledge to understand that no matter what happened to us, it did not change us!  So the dark space is full of lies encrusted with pain, sadness and anger. 

But here lies the power locked inside us.  The darkness offers up an opportunity to change our paradigms, these patterns that repeat in our lives day after day based on what is false.  Denying the dark side of ourselves is what will weaken us, bend us, and torture us.  Going into it allows for redefining our relationship with ourselves, to undo the beliefs that we formed that had us believing we weren’t enough: smart enough, nice enough, capable enough, tall enough, slim enough.  ENOUGH of that. 

Our mind and body cries for balance, to bring light to the dark with courage as our lantern.  Yes, it does take courage to defy what we think we know is our worth.  But once we’ve regained the truth of what and who we are, always worthy, always deserving, always imperfectly perfect, we change the way we feel not only about ourselves but about how we see ourselves in the world.  And we then open up to the love that surrounds us in life as we now look with our inner eyes, healed and much more whole.

Thursday 10 March 2016

The Law of Reflection

The Law of Reflection
The struggles you see in your outer world are simply a reflection of the struggles in  your inner world.  How is that possible?

Well, look at it this way.  Have you ever woken up and immediately felt it was going to be a lousy day?  Or have you looked out your window first thing in the morning to see that it's raining buckets and thought the same thing? How did your day end up?  Did you forget your wallet at home?  Did you end up in a fender-bender?  Did you get into an argument with a work colleague, a friend or your partner that day?  Maybe it wasn't so drastic but be honest, once you decided it wasn't going to be a good day, didn't it turn out to be a crappy day?

How does this happen? It's about energy and Quantum physics.  Quantum physics proves that everything is made up of atoms, which are made up of particles called quanta.  Quanta is energy vibrating at a certain frequency, which attract other quanta vibrating at the same frequency. 

The particles that form everything, including our body (energy powers our body) and mind (thoughts with feeling) energy, are always vibrating so it's energy in motion.

Our thoughts are energy so they vibrate at a certain frequency and attract other thoughts (think "monkey-mind) or other energy that vibrate at the same vibration (getting into an argument with a co-worker).  This is why there's the saying, "like attracts like".

It's like a reflecting mirror.  You send out your vibrating energetic thought and what is reflected back to you is a like-energy.  And depending on the vibration, positive or negative, of the thought you had and sent out, you'll attract the same energy back at you.

But you can choose to direct your thoughts in a certain way.  The results of our thought don't manifest right away.  They are compounded.  It's having one positive or negative thought built upon by another positive or negative thought and the bigger the energy, the more you attract a like-minded energy. But sometimes the results of our thoughts are immediate.

Like attracts like so positive, compounded thoughts through repetition attract positive events and experiences into your life. They are reflected back to you.

You can begin to shift what you reflect by catching the thought.  Ask yourself if it's a positive thought.  If it isn't, dump it.  Let it go.  You can also just turn it around.  Rather than, "It's going to be a lousy day" (because it's raining outside), think, "It's refreshing to have cleansing rain".  It's the feeling behind the thought that will change the vibration.  Imagine feeling content as you drive to work knowing the trees are being watered, or, for that matter, that you have clean water to drink because of the rain.  You don't have to pull your car over, park, and start singing "Kumbaya".  Just find the positive feeling that comes up for you and let that flow out from you.

Practise. The energy of thoughts gathers momentum, and more thoughts that are alike will come to your mind. You can do this to brainstorm, to put yourself in a positive frame of mind, or even to bring calm and optimism into your day.

Thursday 11 February 2016

Some Easy Ways to Feel Happier in the Moment

Many people choose hypnotherapy to change the way they experience themselves – their thoughts, feelings, habits and actions. Often the causes of their discomfort are triggered by a past event which is associating the feelings of the past with a current situation.  These triggers can cause anything from severe anxiety, insomnia, depression, addictions to weight gain.

Many people would agree, myself included, that even when one is those heavy feelings, it isn’t always prolonged because we can’t sustain a feeling forever.  So we experience “manageable moments”.  Our feelings are transitory; they flow from one to the next in layers.

People look for all kinds of ways to feel better but unfortunately, these may be really unhealthy.  Some people turn to self medicating with drugs and alcohol or unhealthy activities such as eating their emotions, smoking, gambling, or even becoming anti-social.  Hypnotherapy can help those who want to change from the inside out so as to shift in their outlook, feelings and behaviour.

And we all as humans have ability to, in the moment, use our imagination and senses to direct and generate predictable and positive responses. So here are a few science-backed ways to shift to a happier state in moments:

Eat a Clementine. The scent of this fruit is one of the most positive and arousing things you can smell, according to a study conducted in the journal Chemical Senses.  I think they’re in grocery stores now (

Light a vanilla-scented candle. In the same Chemical Senses study, participants ranked the smell of vanilla bean right up there with Clementine as a super-uplifting scent that's even more relaxing.  (

Go out and do a “happy walk”.  We don’t always realize that our posture reflects how we feel.  When you are down, feeling overwhelmed, you likely round your shoulders inward and stoop. So stand up straight, roll your shoulders back, and add a spring to your step. Fake it till you make it because "happy walk" can actually make you happier, according to a recent study (

Make your desktop or phone background green. The calming color or green is associated with happiness, comfort, peace, and hope.   So bring some green inside.  (

De-clutter your desk! Clutter elevates stress levels, which it does for me.  So organizing your workspace can be the perfect anecdote when you’re feeling crappy. It “clears” the way for better vibes.  Or...clean your house! (

Cut out the sappy music and go for upbeat. People who listen to positive music with the INTENTION of improving their mood were happier and more successful than people who listen to any kind of music, according to a research conducted at University of Missouri. However, if you have a hard time having a good cry, go for sappy.  It will help you release the sadness and offer some relief

If you have a beloved pet, have a lovin’ sit-in.  Pets just make you feel good, whether it’s a dog, cat, bird or exotic snake, depending on your taste. Go and google puppies and if you’re human, it will bring a smile to your face as well as some needed ‘warm and fuzzies’

Find the Light. When I wake up and see blue skies, I’m instantly happier.  And if I’m walking outside in fresh air, I feel peaceful..calmer.  You can find those days, even in the world's worst mood in Vancouver in the Winter. When you can't get outside, open the blinds or turn on some lights: In a study where older adults suffering from depression were exposed to either one hour of pale blue light or one hour of dim red light (the placebo) every morning for three weeks, the blue light improved people's moods and reduced their stress more than the dim red light, with results that lasted into the evening. White light will do the trick too — the brighter, the better. (

Think in the now. Letting your mind wander makes you substantially less happy than focusing on the task at hand.  You can get trapped in the ‘monkey mind’.  This is shown in a study by Matt Killingsworth in which over 650,000 real-time reports from over 15,000 people were collected by the Track Your Happiness iPhone app, which monitors people's happiness in real time.

Mr. Killingsworth stated, “As it turns out, there is a strong relationship between mind-wandering now and being unhappy a short time later, consistent with the idea that mind-wandering is causing people to be unhappy. In contrast, there’s no relationship between being unhappy now and mind-wandering a short time later. Mind-wandering precedes unhappiness but unhappiness does not precede mind-wandering. In other words, mind-wandering seems likely to be a cause, and not merely a consequence, of unhappiness”. 


Think quick. Research shows that quick, varied thinking can lead to feeling happy. In six experiments, researchers at Princeton and Harvard universities made research participants think quickly by either problem solving, reading or watching a clip of I Love Lucy on fast forward.YIKES! The research showed that thinking fast led to the participants feeling more ‘elated’ and “creative”

Learn Mindfulness Meditation.  This involves quieting your mind and focusing it on one thought in the moment, like your breathe or the beating of your heart.  Observe without participating.  Lots of benefits here.

Try these out!  And if you need to go deeper to feel like your best-self, give me a call.

Monday 11 January 2016

Like engineers, we all draft and work from a blueprint, one that contains the history of all of our experiences all the way back to the womb. And within this blueprint is a series of expectations built from the foundation of our childhood bonding or disconnection with parental role models. No one escapes this.

Raised with secure loving patterns and expectations, we feel our own sense of worth in the world and we subconsciously expect the same in our adult relationships. We navigate our lives, which are filled with all types of relationships, in a state of ease vs. uneasiness.

When those patterns are stitched together with threads of criticism, fear and judgment, no matter how much or how little it is experienced in our early childhood, we sew these effects into our internal blueprint of self value.  All infants are born with an instinctual sense to bond with their caregivers, even before there is thought to apply to the concept and words to attach the though. Infants look for queues about their value through their connections with Mom and Dad.  This tie that binds children and parents leads the infant to experience pleasure, joy, and safely…or not. And these impressions form the blueprint we work from in what we expect from others we bond with or want to bond with.  Our cup is either flowing or seriously lacking with self worth and this is the paint with which we colour our relationships.

What you expect tends to be realized and so many of us expect less than we deserve or expect more than it’s possible for anyone to give back.  If we fed our own sense of self esteem we would be much happier because nothing outside ourselves can fill the void of self love. Self love is the ink that we use to redraft our blueprint.  Self esteem is an appreciative opinion of oneself based on being accurately and honestly aware of our strengths, weaknesses and everything in between.  It is realizing that no matter what we do or how much we measure ourselves against others achievements, physical attributes, status or material wealth, we will never be anything other than ourselves and that is imperfect.  We are perfectly imperfect. And there lies our uniqueness in the face of billions of people.  No one the same.  No one exactly alike.  And that allows for us to re-forge the blueprint of our lives with the knowledge that we are all on the same journey with different paths to follow, with unique strengths and creative abilities to bring to the world.  No ego required.  Just an appreciation for our distinctness and how irreplaceable we are.