National Simplicity Day … it seems like 2020 has been anything but simple these past few months. However today is all about taking a step back and reflecting on what truly matters in our lives, and putting together a plan in the ‘new normal’ to achieving our goals.
We spoke with Clinical Hypnotherapist and Founder of Mindology App (an app to calm and empower the mindset), Claire Aristides about the best practices to put into place in your own life in order to look at the positive, move forward, and achieve …
How would you define wellness & wellbeing?
I am a firm believer that wellness and wellbeing is both what makes you feel good and is good for you. You need to find what works for you, curating and selecting wellness choices that work for you. I also think there are no quick fixes – so embrace a journey of wellness for you.
For me wellness means long walks, healthy food and feeling empowered and confident about myself. My focus is on creating a mindset that brings me both self-love, but also self-evolvement, so I stretch myself and grow as a person. I want to be the best I can be and at the same time accepting myself for who I am.
Today is National Simplicity Day, how do you live your own life with a simple & holistic approach?
One silver lining to Covid has been on slowing down in some ways … I have become more aware of the importance of a ‘less is more’ philosophy. Rather than running around trying to achieve 10 things a day, what are the 1 or 2 big things that really move you towards achieving your goals in life – get them done and then if you have the time and energy for all the rest then get to them. Tick off those fundamental steps (or mini goals) each day that move you in the direction of your vision for yourself. And keep goals simple, don’t over-complicate it.
You’re an advocate for self-hypnosis, how does this work and what do you find to be the benefits?
Self-hypnosis has been a part of my life for over 20 years. It’s a process that gets me into a mindset where I can relax myself and empower myself. I use self-hypnosis to de-attach from overwhelming emotions and stress, so I can get perspective and I also use visualisation to imagine scenarios of where I want to be in my life – my goals. The combination of self-hypnosis and visualisation has been powerful for me personally with fertility issues, my daughter’s heart surgeries and also in my business development. It’s a technique that allows you to tap into your imagination – stretch yourself and start to really create your vision for yourself.
Pretty much all of us have experienced some level of hypnosis before too, as it’s simply a meditative trance like state. For example, watching your favourite TV show – fixated on the show, all other things in your mind are tuned out – this is a kind of hypnosis. So not scary or bad at all.
When we purposely do self-hypnosis, we aim to tell our unconscious mind what we want for ourselves. In this state we quieten the busy conscious minds (the mind that says don’t forget to pay the electricity bill, should of got bread from the shop today, must email Mary tomorrow … etc etc) we switch off or turn down all that noise, and that’s when we can make a connection with our unconscious mind is which is where all our habitual thinking happens.
What was the idea behind creating Mindology? What was your journey?
I found in my hypnotherapy clinic work with clients often the same themes of self-confidence, self-belief, positivity and overthinking came up again and again. So the app allows you to listen to the sessions over and over – repeat listening to the sessions to build a new habit of thinking and move yourself forward into a more positive more confident mindset. I also believe the app will evolve and can be part of the journey of self-growth. As I said above there are no quick fixes, so the app aims to be a more supportive tool for you.
What do you feel is the link between self-care and productivity?
Our brains need downtime. Our minds need to recharge – sleep is critical, it’s where we recharge and refresh – think of sleep as time when the body does all it’s housekeeping from storing memories, organising things and cleaning up.
By embracing self-care, you are looking after yourself, giving yourself some downtime. We can’t work at full pace all day every day, you need periods to slow down and switch off so you can come back and perform at your best.
Covid has caused a lot of stress and anxiety for many of us, what are some of the best tips you give to your followers to bring some inner-calm?
Stress is relative. What stressed me, might not stress you. So you can look at your stress triggers as triggers, things that you can choose to let get to you and overwhelm you, or something you can learn to manage because you don’t want it to control your life. There is no getting away from some level of stress, but being consumed by it is not healthy.
You are stronger than you give yourself credit for …
Take a moment to look back at how well you have coped, if you had been told 12 months ago – you couldn’t go out, you wouldn’t have coffee with friends, couldn’t travel, you would need to home school … all the things we have done – you would probably have said I can’t do that. But you have. Yes, it’s been tough, but you have one it as best as you can.
Remember to breathe …
The breath is an incredible source of energy to calm and nourish our entire body. The simple act of focusing on our breathe is not only meditative, it is restorative. Deep breathing is powerful, it ignites our body and mind at a fundamental level. It stimulates the vagus nerve which is one of the longest most important nerves in the body connecting your brain to your gut, stimulating it affects your mood, stress levels, digestion, heart rate and immune response. Activating the vagus nerve works wonders! Deep breathing can literally tell our mind and body to calm down … and that no, there isn’t a tiger about to eat you. The Mindology app (www.mindology.app) has a session called BREATHE in the meditation section, it is a 4 minute breathing session, so easy to fit into your day, and will help calm and focus your mind.
You are not your thoughts …
Many of us have habits of how we react, how we feel and we can create negative emotional habits. Try to become more self-aware of your emotions, rather than being ‘in them’ and feeling stuck. It does take time and practice, but if Covid has shown us anything, it’s that we can be adaptative and resilient. Change is possible, it’s not always easy.
Tell us a bit more about your Inner Calm 7-day Program
The program aims to teach you the techniques and tools that you can use day to day to manage stress in a productive way. We look at what stresses you – your triggers, how to change your automatic responses, techniques to change your perspective and to create goals around how you want your relationship to be with stress.
What are you currently reading?
‘Little People, Big Dreams‘ series with my 3 year old daughter – we are reading Frida Kahlo, Coco Chanel, Maya Angelou
What are you passionate about?
My kids. I also love to travel! So Covid has meant travel plans have been put on hold, but you can take your imagination to holiday memories. It’s not quite the same, but definitely worth connecting to feelings of fun happy memories of nostalgia.
I also want to do something meaningful with my life, so I am passionate about hypnotherapy as a valuable technique for change.
Do you have any role models?
I admire Natalie Massenet – she changed the fashion retail world and was super clever about it.
Any final words of wisdom?
You are what you repeatedly think. Take note of all those throwaway lines you repeatedly say about yourself to others and to yourself … start to flip them around, tell yourself what you want for yourself.