A guest blog from Ali Tomlinson about Confidence and how to get some

There are many reasons why someone might find that they have lost their confidence.  And for some of us as life continues to be full of anxieties and stress it becomes more evasive as time goes on.  But there is some simple things which you could do to help, and I will get to that in a moment.

Firstly you need to understand a little on how your brain works.  You have a very intelligent brain, including your prefrontal cortex.  This is your computer system if you like.  It assesses every situation you find yourself in and will come up with the best answer for you.  Life is perfect and we have no problems.

However, we have another part of our brain, the Limbic system.  This is the brain we developed when we were cave men back in the day.  It is our health and safety team.  If it thinks that there is any kind of danger around, then it will kick in to help. It triggers various hormones and chemicals which make us feel very alert, stressed or anxious.  Most importantly for you however, because it feels there is imminent danger it overrides production of other chemicals because it is preparing us into flight or fight mode. Anxiety is a good way to trigger the limbic system.

One of the most important hormones it stops working properly is Serotonin, which is our happy, coping hormone, and without this and with Cortisol (stress hormone) in your system, you most definitely will not be feeling very confident about anything, your brain will be encouraging you to take care, it wants you to get ready for the danger. Self preservation.

So in answer to the original question, confidence and how to get some, this is what you can do to help switch off the cortisol and bring on the Serotonin:

1) Get some proper sleep – I think deep sleep is the best way to restore and reset your system.  You need REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.  On my website www.alitomlinsontherapy.co.uk there is a drop down box named relaxation CD.  It is passworded, and the password is alitomlinsontherapy.  Listen to this at night and let it help send you off to sleep.  Dont worry if you don’t hear it all. And use headphones.  Only listen to this when you want to sleep i.e. not in the car. It will teach your brain to relax when it hears the music and my voice, over time it will help you get into deeper sleep patterns.

2) Do positive things such as exercise or those jobs around the house you keep putting off.  This will help you to make Dopamine and endorphines, some of our happy hormones.

3) Interact positively with the outside world. Hug people or your dog, pet the cat, cuddle everyone you can! This will give you oxytocin which is yet another happy hormone.

4) Last but not least, start thinking positive thoughts.  This will increase your Serotonin levels helping you to move out of your limbic system back into your intelligent brain where you will find all the confidence and good positive decision making systems you need for a happy life.

Ali Tomlinson

Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist

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