karen thomas mind coach
Creator of Change Your Life
I have made a point of training with the leaders in my field and I am a fully qualified NLP Master Practitioner, Certified Havening Practitioner, Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist.
I am fully insured and accredited with professional bodies and abide by their code of ethics.
A personal history
I have helped coach professional athletes, call centre staff, lawyers, musicians, actors, nurses, doctors, painters and decorators, teachers, business owners, tradesmen, bankers, financial workers, office workers, managers, CEO’S, accountants, house wives and assistants.
I pride myself on my ability to work with people from all walks of life, I am open, friendly, adaptable and non judgemental and offer a tailor made solution to suit each individual client. Our workings of the brain may be similar but we are all unique individuals with different needs and respond to different approaches.
I enhance my own development and expertise in working with the best in their field so I am constantly kept up to date with research.
I passionately believe in helping people to empower themselves to make the changes they need to.
I have personally used these tools first-hand which has inspired me to share these easy, life changing skills to help others.
Qualifications & Credentials
- 6th year studying Bsc (Hons) Psychology Degree specialising in Sports Performance
- Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma from The Clifton Practice
- Certified NLP Master Practitioner with Dr Richard Bandler and Paul McKenna
- Certified Havening Techniques ® Practitioner
- Full Professional Indemnity Insurance
I aim to bring the highest standard of care and expertise to you so you feel comfortable, reassured and at ease in the sessions.
By continually updating and developing my therapeutic and NLP expertise and by attending advanced trainings in the UK and abroad, I aim to further developing my Havening and Psychology competency.
I understand that a multi-therapeutic approach is beneficial as one therapy doesn’t ‘fit all’ and so I am able to integrate different styles to overcome any obstacles that are holding you back.
I CAN HELP YOU WITH
Have you wanted to give up smoking but felt you couldn’t break the habit? Have you tried giving up and felt frustrated when you relapsed back in to the habit? Do you feel that you will have this habit forever? You are not alone, look no further – “Hypnosis patients twice as likely to remain smoke-free after two years”. A study of 71 smokers showed that after a two-year follow up, patients that quit with hypnosis were twice as likely to remain smoke-free than those who quit on their own (Guided health imagery for smoking cessation and long-term abstinence. Wynd, CA. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2005; 37:3, pages 245-250).
Smoking actually increases stress and anxiety, so when you light up a cigarette to help ‘de-stress’, you are doing the exact opposite. Smoking increases heart rate and interferes with the production of serotonin – the essential neurotransmitter needed for our mental health and wellbeing. It is indeed no wonder that people who smoke throughout their lives are more susceptible to develop anxiety and clinical depression.
Smoking Facts & Figures
Here are some facts about what it can do to you:
1. About 100,000 people die every year in the UK from smoking-related illnesses.
2. Roughly half of all smokers die prematurely due to smoking-related diseases. The life expectancy of a smoker is about 10 years less than that of a non-smoker.
3. Most smoking-related deaths are long and painful, with many unpleasant symptoms.
4. Around 17,000 children under the age of five are admitted to hospital every year because of passive smoking-related illnesses. Smoking related conditions increases your risk of developing a wide range of health ailments and diseases including the following:
Lung cancer – more than 8 in 10 cases of lung cancer are directly related to smoking.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – again, 8 out of 10 cases of this distressing lung disease are caused by smoking.
Heart disease – considered the UK’s biggest killer, around 1 in 6 cases is caused by smoking.
Other cancers – including mouth, throat, nose, blood, cervix and pancreatic cancer.
Infertility – smoking affects the fertility of men and women, making it harder to conceive.
Gum disease – on top of staining your teeth, smoking can cause premature tooth loss due to gum disease.
The Benefits of Quitting
While all of the above information may make for a scary read, it is important to know that it is never too late to quit. The sooner you stop smoking, the faster your body will recover and your risk of developing life-threatening conditions will decrease.
1. Longer life expectancy:
If you quit smoking by the age of 30, you could increase your life expectancy by 10 years – just think what you could do with that extra decade. Even if you are in your 60s when you decide to quit, you can still add three years onto your life. Not only will you have a longer life if you stop smoking, you should also have fewer health problems, making for a happier, more independent later life.
2. More energy:
Carbon monoxide robs your body of oxygen, and without oxygen your body can’t work properly. When you quit smoking, you will be lowering the carbon monoxide levels in your body allowing your lungs and muscles to work the way they should. More oxygen to the brain will also help you to feel more alert, energised and awake. You should also find you can sleep better without that nicotine in your system.
3. Boosted immune system:
When you smoke, your immune system is lowered making you more susceptible to colds and flu. When you quit smoking your immune system gets a boost, which means you will pick up less illnesses and generally feel healthier all round.
4. More money:
If you have smoked 20 cigarettes a day for 10 years, you will have spent approximately £20,000 on smoking. Every time a craving hit – think about what you could do with that extra money!
5. Better breathing:
Within nine months of quitting smoking, your lung capacity should increase by as much as 10% helping you to do simple things like climb stairs without gasping for breath. You will also get rid of that smoker’s cough, and any breathing difficulties or conditions you have (such as asthma) should be dramatically reduced.
6. Reduced stress levels:
Many smokers reach for a cigarette when they are feeling stressed and while that immediate hit of nicotine after withdrawal may make you feel relaxed at first, in the long term, smoking only increases stress levels. Studies have shown that ex-smokers are less stressed than they were when they were smoking.
7. Younger looking skin:
Smoking prematurely ages the skin, making it dull, dry and prone to wrinkles. When you stop smoking, this effect is reversed as your skin receives the nutrients it needs. This means that in time, you should find your complexion brightens up and any lines you have may appear reduced.
8. Better sense of smell and taste:
The chemicals in cigarettes dull taste buds and affect the way you smell, making food and drink a bit of a bore. Quitting will bring these senses to life again, helping you taste and smell things at a greater intensity.
9. Protected loved ones:
Passive smoking can be as fatal as smoking a cigarette directly, by not smoking around your friends and family you will be reducing their risk of developing smoking related illnesses.
Addicted to alcohol? It can have a very temporary positive impact on our mood, but in the long term it can cause big problems for our mental health.
What is Anxiety?
We all experience feelings of anxiety, worry and fear from time to time. These are normal responses to certain situations. For example, you might be worried about an upcoming interview for a job, or that you are able to pay a bill on time. If you are in a difficult or dangerous situation, these feelings can help us be aware of the risks and what we should do.
If you have an anxiety disorder, these feelings are more noticeable and difficult to live with. They can make you feel as though things are worse than they might actually be. This can lead to you worrying all or most of the time and can affect your day to day life.
Symptoms of anxiety include:
Feelings of dread, panic or ‘impending doom’
Feeling on edge and being alert to what is going on around you
Wanting to escape from the situation you are in
You might also experience physical symptoms, which can include:
Heavy and fast breathing
Hot flushes or blushing
Dizziness and fainting
Stomach aches and sickness
You may feel you are going ‘mad’ or have some sort of biological illness, however nothing can be further from the truth as ‘hypnotherapy can help you to overcome your fears and anxieties, enabling you to walk forward positively and to be your best self. Part of your subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between something you imagine and something you physically do. The ‘what if’ scenario translates to the brain that something bad is going to happen so putting you in a fight/flight mode. This is the brain anticipating something bad happening but it is not actually happening… the projection of fear is into a future that hasn’t happened so its not based on ‘real’ events, however the brain cannot intellectualise this so will just propel you into a physiological change just in case. This is the survival part of the brain keeping you safe and why it can feel fearful and bad.
Hypnosis can help change the way you think and feel with practice.
The Truth About Depression and How to Lift It
It may have started gradually but you slowly become aware you are feeling miserable a lot of the time. The world seems less colourful and you can’t keep your mind on what you are doing. Worries go around and round in your head and you can’t get to sleep because of them or you wake up too early thinking about them. Whenever you do wake you feel exhausted and can’t motivate yourself very much, sometimes just wanting to stay in bed and make the world go away. You may feel restless, pacing up and down in a state of agitation and despair.
Perhaps you can’t eat and the simplest of things will seem too overwhelming to do. Nothing seems funny anymore and the pressure can feel so physical, weighing down on your shoulders and eyelids.
You have lost all confidence in your ability and feel useless. You may be scared to be alone or have suffered a panic attack.
Your biggest fear is that it will never ever end and the thought of suicide may well have crossed your mind, or you may even have attempted it. If you are suffering from depression some of these experiences may strike a chord with you and you may have others of your own to add. When you get that low you may feel in the grip of an illness so great you are powerless to stop it from consuming you, however this hideous soul-destroying experience can be banished and totally annihilated. For some people depression is driven by guilt (if only…), anxiety – founded or unfounded (“What if I get made redundant, fall ill etc”) or for others it can be anger (“If the Hospital treated my mother better, she wouldn’t have died”). Some can be a combination of all 3.
Symptoms of Depression
There are 9 considered symptoms of depression:
1. Depressed Mood
2. Loss of pleasure or interest in usual activities
3. Disturbance of appetite
4. Sleep disturbance
5. Feeling agitated or lethargic
6. Loss of energy
7. Feeling of worthlessness or guilt
8. Difficulties in thinking
9. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
The good news is that one of the most effective ways of beating depression is through ‘hypnosis’. Hypnotherapy may help identify the causes and origins of the depression. Once this occurs people often describe it as “a weight being lifted” or a “light going on”. Hypnotherapy can also help you recognise any patterns of negative thinking you may be caught up in and help change them. Hypnotherapy can help you replace old thinking patterns with more useful ones and to understand the impact of your past, to focus on the present in order to work towards the future you desire. The amount of sessions needed can be from 6-12 depending on the severity. There is a free telephone consultation offered up to 20 mins to established how we go forward in helping you.
The fact that depression has increased so strikingly in modern times affecting people of all ages tell us something crucial about depression. It’s not the events in one’s life that affect us but how we perceive them, however there are occasions where trauma is the underlying cause. Sometimes depression has an unexpectedly straight forward explanation and it isn’t the one you might expect. This is because the emotional arousal caused by so much miserable worrying keeps us in our ‘primitive’ brain and prevents you from seeing what is obvious to other people. The good news is that one of the most effective ways of beating depression is through ‘hypnosis’. Hypnotherapy may help identify the causes and origins of the depression. Once this occurs people often describe is as “a weight being lifted” or a “light going on”. Hypnotherapy can also help you recognise any patterns of negative thinking you may be caught up in and help change them. Hypnotherapy can help you replace old thinking patterns with more useful ones and to understand the impact of your past, to focus on the present in order to work towards the future you desire. The amount of sessions needed can be from 6-12 depending on the severity.
Overcoming Addiction: Alcohol Addiction
We often reach for a drink because we want to change the way we feel. Maybe we want to relax, to celebrate or simply forget our day at work. More concerning is that many people drink to try and mask anxiety or depression, or other mental health problems.
While alcohol can have a very temporary positive impact on our mood, in the long term it can cause big problems for our mental health. It’s linked to a range of issues from depression and memory loss to suicide.
Alcohol alters your brain chemistry
Our brains rely on a delicate balance of chemicals and processes. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it can disrupt that balance, affecting our thoughts, feelings and actions – and sometimes our long-term mental health. This is partly down to ‘neurotransmitters’, chemicals that help to transmit signals from one nerve (or neuron) in the brain to another.
The relaxed feeling you can get when you have that first drink is due to the chemical change’s alcohol has caused in your brain. For many of us, a drink can help us feel more confident and less anxious. That’s because it’s starting to depress the part of the brain we associate with inhibition.
But, as you drink more, more of the brain starts to be affected. It doesn’t matter what mood you’re in to start with, when high levels of alcohol are involved, instead of pleasurable effects increasing, it’s possible that a negative emotional response will take over. You could become angry, aggressive, anxious or depressed.
Alcohol can actually increase anxiety and stress rather than reduce it
Unfortunately reaching for a drink won’t always have the effect you’re after. While a glass of wine after a hard day might help you relax, in the long run it can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety and make stress harder to deal with. This is because regular, heavy drinking interferes with neurotransmitters in our brains that are needed for good mental health.
When we drink, we narrow our perception of a situation and don’t always respond to all the cues around us. If we’re prone to anxiety and notice something that could be interpreted as threatening in the environment, we’ll hone in on that and miss the other less threatening or neutral information. For example, we might focus on our partner talking to someone we’re jealous of, rather than notice all the other people they’ve been chatting to that evening.
Alcohol depression = a vicious cycle
If you drink heavily and regularly, you’re likely to develop some symptoms of depression. It’s that good old brain chemistry at work again. Regular drinking lowers the levels of serotonin in your brain – a chemical that helps to regulate your mood.
In Britain, people who experience anxiety or depression are twice as likely to be heavy or problem drinkers. For some people, the anxiety or depression came first and they’ve reached for alcohol to try to relieve it. For others, drinking came first, so it may be a root cause of their anxieties.
Drinking heavily can also affect your relationships with your partner, family and friends. It can impact on your performance at work. These issues can also contribute to depression. If you use drink to try and improve your mood or mask your depression, you may be starting a vicious cycle. Warning signs that alcohol is affecting your mood include:
feeling lethargic all the time
experiencing anxiety in situations where you would normally feel comfortable
Four ways to help prevent alcohol affecting your mood
1. Use exercise and relaxation to tackle stress instead of alcohol.
2. Learn breathing techniques to try when you feel anxious.
3. Talk to a psychotherapist or friends about your worries. Don’t try and mask them with alcohol.
What has been the source of the Mental Game
not improving whether it’s Golf, Rugby, Football, Boxing, Cycling or track?
#1 No Measurement
No tool to objectively measure where the
blockages are in the shot routine, on the range
and on the golf course or on the track or pitch.
#2 No Road map
Not being able to validate the mind state in
real time, leaves coaches & athletes in the
#3 Conscious Mind
Trying to solve the problem with the
conscious mind that created the problem.
Are fears holding you back such as dropping the ball, fear of missing a goal or shot, or just not feeling good enough to be picked for the team? Maybe you want to relax more, feel more focused or in control?
Using Havening and focusband to measure and train the mental process in order to achieve successful results.