27 Oct 2020

BY: Janine Mitchell


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Navigating challenges, our inner critic, the ego and how to change it

Want to understand why we experience an ‘inner critic’ and why we struggle to be in a positive mindset? Also, how can you change this? (Especially during present times when there is so much negativity and uncertainty around!)

I listened to a podcast which featured Exhart Tolle recently and it inspired me to write this article.

Much of what Exhart spoke about I resonated with and is often what I share with my clients when I am supporting them through periods of change to help get them to a place of positivity, happiness, inner peace and clarity.

There is one thing that each of my clients have in common when they come to see me.

There is something they want to change.

However change can be very difficult. Thats why we get stuck in the same routines, habits and negative behaviours for years.

More often than not, humans won’t change unless they are faced with obstacles and adversity. However, every challenge is an opportunity for ‘waking up’.

What do I mean by waking up?

Very often, when we are faced with a challenge, it can push you more into negativity, understandably. A challenge can make you more unconscious. When we fall into our unconscious, we go onto automatic. A response from our past, so we essentially go asleep. We go into what I like to call a load of BS. A Big Snooze!

This can also push you more into the part of your mind called the ego. Your ego is the part of your identity that you consider your “self”. When this happens, conflict with others can then become magnified and this can then make you more deeply entrenched.

On the other hand, a challenge can force you to become more conscious. Rather than go into reactive mode and become even more unhappy or depressed, you can utilise the adversity in a positive way and use it as an opportunity to become more conscious (either on a personal level, or as a collective).

More on awakening

The ego is a mind made of self-personal narratives and your own internal thoughts that you identify with. Many often refer to this as the ‘inner critic’.

The word ego actually comes from the story of Narcissus, which originates from ancient greek mythology. This story is told, it was before the invention of mirrors. Narcissus was out and about one day. As he walked past a lake, he looked into the water and saw his own reflection. The story goes he was so fascinated with his own reflection, he fell in love with himself. Or rather to put it another way, he became obsessed with his own image.

This story lends itself to the ego needing some kind of superiority. It compares itself to others and has to be seen as having a superior identity (It seeks superiority and feels validated as a result). This is all done as an unconscious process.

It however never feels fulfilled there is always an underlying sense of insufficiency. “I am not enough”

However, this is just associated with a narrative in your mind, so the ‘inner critic’ which is connected to our own self image, or rather lack of self esteem.

Animals do not have this, that is why they are so happy and in the moment! They are not still feeling negative about the past, or in a state of worry or anxiety about the future, for something that hasn’t happened yet. They are present.

The self is mental construct. It’s not really who you are. Rather, it’s a set of re-occurring thoughts. So not our own thoughts, thought we may have been programmed by. For example, through others, society, or the media. We are in essence conditioned by our thoughts.

The majority of thoughts are under the surface, so in your unconscious mind. We are therefore in the main unconscious of our thought process and are in the continual grip of them! We are ASLEEP!

Waking up means to recognise that you are not who you are. You are merely a representation of thoughts and emotions you pick up elsewhere. Everything you interpret you do through the conditioned mind, which is the ego. When you are faced with adversity, the negativity of the ego is magnified and makes you more reactive and creates more suffering. 

Awakening is realising you are not your thoughts that go through your mind. This is awareness!

You are not the content of your mind.

Waking up can be vital so we can be more in the present moment and experience it as it is rather than being over run by thoughts that aren’t even ours!

What can you do to practice being in the moment? i.e letting go of the past or not worrying about the future about something that hasn’t even happened yet?

The present, ie the now is the only place you can be, but we spend most of our lives in either the past or the future.

I will explore some strategies you can learn in my next article, be sure to watch out for it!

Janine x

Janine is founder of Change for Success.

She is an experienced hypnotherapist, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and NLP practitioner. She holds a Masters degree in Psychology, is a published author and is the host of Success Mindset TV.

She is based in Manchester in the UK and works with clients both nationally and internationally in person and online. She delivers private sessions, workshops, training and consultancy in the areas of mental health, mindset, stress management and resilience.

Contact her via the form below to book in for a FREE Consultation.

Request a free consultation

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08 Sep 2020

BY: Janine Mitchell


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How I Survived an Abusive Marriage and Turned my Life Around

April 2008

I had experienced a string of bad relationships and my Dad had recently been diagnosed with cancer. It was the most unimaginably difficult time. As a family we all tried to support each other as we went through this extremely challenging time.

In the midst of all this, I met James. I fell for him straight away. He was charismatic, attractive, caring, funny and very attentive. It felt right, exactly what I needed during this very difficult time.

After a six month battle, we lost my Dad, aged just 61. I did everything I could to hold the family together. I was signed off work by my GP. I was working in the most stressful job, working with high risk offenders. I had excruciatingly high case loads and there was no wellbeing or psychological support. It was an extremely challenging job. My caseload was mainly men and consisted of drug dealers, murderers, lifers, sex offenders, violent offenders and domestic abuse offenders.

Very soon into the relationship with James, cracks began to show. What I thought was a loving, kind and caring person dissolved into someone who became abusive. The first time it happened I was in complete shock. He apologised profusely afterward and promised it would never happen again.

But then it did happen again, and it became more regular. I didn’t even realise or see it at the time (sounds completely nuts now). There was a lot of control, manipulation, psychological and emotional abuse. When you are experiencing a vulnerable time in your life and the abuser is telling you everything is either your fault, or the fault of situational factors, over and over again, over time you begin to believe it. Whenever James would become violent, abusive or aggressive in any way, he would always blame his anger on anything but him.

It would build up gradually at first. Then after any outbursts there would be an immediate apology. I’m so sorry he would say, I really don’t know what came over me, I promise it will never happen again, we are both under a lot of pressure (he was trying to get a new business off the ground).

These outbursts would become more and more frequent. I was in a very vulnerable position emotionally and psychologically, having just lost my Dad. I also took on the role of trying to keep the family in the best place I could both mentally and emotionally. My mum struggled hugely, she had lost the man she had been with since a teenager.

As the abuse continued on a regular basis, my confidence got eroded away, I became so low. I was on edge and constantly treading on egg shells. It was often easier to stay quiet to keep the peace, to stop any outbursts erupting. James kept promising that things would change. When we had kids, when we got married, when the business did well. The list went on, but ‘when we got married’ seemed to be the golden nugget. I kept hoping things would actually change as he continually promised.

We soon got engaged. Inside I was hoping and praying with this commitment that things would now definitely change. He must really ‘love’ me as we have made this commitment to each other.

The following year we got married. There were constant dramas and outbursts leading up to the wedding. I kept this continual hope within me that things would change when we got married, after all thats what James kept promising. We were making this life commitment. Surely then, he also wouldn’t keep accusing me of having affairs and flirting with other men. Marriage would surely show our commitment to each other.

The wedding days itself was amazing. I organised it all, so it definitely was! We had a big white wedding in a huge church that my Dad used to go to. All our friends and family were there. It was the best day. James was on top form, he kept saying how amazing I looked and he was so happy and gregarious, loving being with all our friends and family on our special day. He gave the most amazing speech, gushing about me and how happy that I was now his wife. It felt so special. Yes! He has changed, things can only get better from here!

We then went to a very romantic Italy for our honeymoon. It was breathtaking, we were having the best time, I felt so happy, James really did seem like a different person, the one he had promised to be all along.

Three days into the honeymoon James started an argument. Before I knew it, he was calling me all the names under the sun, shouting and swearing at the top of his voice, accusing me of having an affair with one of my co-workers who had been at the wedding.

My stomach was in my mouth and I felt physically sick. We were straight back to square one. Nothing had changed.

Once we got back to the UK, things carried on the way they had been. I was hardly sleeping, I was constantly emotional, crying and upset and my energy levels would deteriorate to an all time low. I felt anxious all the time and my mood was so low. Any confidence I did have was being eroded away on a daily basis. At the age of 35, I felt and looked like a shadow of my former self. I looked worn out and old, about fifteen years older then I actually was.

Because I felt like a complete failure, I kept everything to myself. I didn’t want to share with others that I had failed, that my marriage was a sham and that I was being treated like something you would find on your shoe.

The irony of the situation was that although I worked with domestic abuse offenders within my client group, teaching them about different types of abuse, and how victims were affected, I couldn’t actually see that I was in this type of relationship. After yet another night without sleep, I dragged myself into work. I began to fill out one of the forms I used to give my domestic abuse offenders to help them come to terms with their offences. As I completed the form, I came to the dreaded realisation that this was actually happening to me.

A big part of me couldn’t believe it, but deep down, I knew. In some strange way it was a sense of relief.

I knew I had to get out of this relationship. I couldn’t carry on like this, enough was enough.

I tried to leave on several occasions. However James would make it extremely difficult every time. He would beg me to stay, would get extremely upset and at times show glimmers of hope that he accepted some responsibility. He would say it would never happen again, profusely apologising, promising he would get help. He’d present as very vulnerable, like a little boy lost. I would fall for it every time, it was so convincing.

Several attempts later, I did finally manage to leave. Had I really left though? No, not really. I was 40 minutes down the road at my Mums house. James kept messaging, calling and turning up.


The most high risk time for someone to be abused is when they try to leave a domestic abuse relationship. This is when the abuser is loosing control. This and manipulation are integral parts to an abusive relationship.

Two women in the UK alone each week are killed as a result of domestic abuse relationships.


Throughout this time, I was managing to hold down the most demanding, stressful job. I would at times joke to a close friend saying I had a high case load of 70 offenders, add another to the mix when I got home, totalling 71.



What should have been my downtime after a long day in a very stressful environment was actually high chaotic and anxiety provoking. Most of the time I didn’t know what I would be walking into. Hoping that James had a good day, walking through the front door was often like walking in a big dark misty cloud of dread, fear, tension and anxiety.

So when I finally did manage to leave, there was a small sense of relief, but one that was short lived, given James was in constant contact, begging me to come back convincing me he had changed. He started to become very charming again, trying to get into my good books making all these suggestions about the grand ways in which he was changing his life and that he wanted to be a better person.

A friend who I confided in advised me to book in to see a highly recommended therapist. I was of the view I could cope on my own and I also felt like there was a lot of stigma around going to see a therapist. I’m an independent strong female, why do I need to go and see some bloke to talk about my problems? I was thinking, isn’t it only people with bad mental health problems that see therapists? Nevertheless my friend convinced me and even though I felt really scared and anxious, I booked an appointment.

The day of the session arrived. I had a typical manic and super stressful day in work dealing with very difficult cases. This included a paedophile I had very demanding hour long sessions with. I was feeling so stressed, everything was completely getting on top of me.

After days of being very charming and convincing me he had changed, James phoned me. He was shouting and screaming saying he was at my mums house and that he was going to take my dog. I went into a blind panic and ran into the toilets crying, my worst ever nightmare was coming true. My dog had been by my side through everything. I knew I had to call to the police, even though I didn’t want to. Just as I was about to, James messaged me to say that it was all an idle threat like usual like many previous times he had threatened me.

I was wholeheartedly exhausted. As I left work I looked at the building with thoughts running through my mind that I would never be able to face the place again.

I couldn’t face my life I couldn’t face anything. I didn’t know which way to turn.

I cried uncontrollably all the way to the therapists, a mixture of dread and anxiety consumed me.

I didn’t want to go, I wanted to hide from the world.

As soon as I arrived and this gentle man greeted me with the most calming and friendly face, all my nerves started to dissipate. I felt immediately at ease and remembered what my friend had said. I knew instantly I could trust this man.

For the next two hours I poured my heart out and cried, a lot. By the end of the session I started to feel better.

What was to follow was a conversation we had that would completely change the direction of my life.

It was as if a light bulb had gone off in my head. I had this sudden realisation that none of this was my fault. Not one single thing. And that this all went back to old beliefs about myself around my own lack of confidence and self-worth. Deep down, I subconsciously didn’t think I deserved any better than this. However, consciously of course I knew I did. I needed to do was to do some work on myself to create the balance and alignment. To create self worth and confidence again. It was simply old garbage (beliefs) I had been holding onto. I suddenly felt this surge of inner strength that I hadn’t felt before, it was amazing. I couldn’t wait for the next session to make lots of changes and start a path of self discovery and learning that I had never experienced before.

A day later I went to my GP. I needed support. I was adamant I did not want any medication. And I needed to get as far away as I could, as soon as possible. My doctor signed me off work for four weeks. That very same day I booked a flight to Bangkok and two nights in a 5* hotel. I didn’t know where I was going from there. I just knew I needed to get away.

A couple of days later as I walked up the airbridge to the plane, I blinked back teas as I felt the biggest sense of relief and freedom for the first time in years. I messaged a couple of friends to tell them I was on my way. As I was about to board the plane I messaged James to tell him I would be going away for a few weeks and that I would be in contact on my return (this was before smart phones)! I opened the phone, took the sim card out and put it somewhere safe out of sight. I felt so empowered for the first time in years!

What was to follow was a three week solo exploration of Vietnam. I’d never been before and didn’t even know where I was going.

It was the most liberating, freeing experience of my life.

After years of upset, sadness, anguish and feelings of utter worthlessness and despair, I had finally set myself free and was on my path to my new journey.

I met so many people during the life changing trip and told them my story.

A few days later I was looking at the most beautiful view on the veranda of my beach house. As I stood on the beach and felt the sand on my feet, the warmth of the sun on my face and could see the waves lapping against the shore, for the first time in years I felt totally free.


I walked back into my life there and then.

It was the best feeling ever, that and many other epic memories in Vietnam will never leave me.

I came home feeling like a changed person. I carried on my weekly sessions with my therapist. I lapped them up, it totally changed my mindset towards myself. I learnt so much about how I operated and why I was staying stuck in this pattern, attracting these types of relationships. It was so fascinating and I would spend many additional hours learning and reading about my passions, psychology and neuroscience. It allowed me to create such a different outlook, it was truly incredible.

I went back to my job, but knew things needed to change. I began to rebuild my life and I created a fresh start for myself in a new area. I kept learning and learning and knew one day that I wanted to teach what I was learning to others.

My undergraduate degree was in psychology and I had worked with the most demanding, severe and complex mental health cases over the years. I knew my background stood me in good stead. I began to retrain. During a session with my therapist he said that he could envisage me teaching workshops in the future. Me! From the man who had not only helped transform my life, but thousands of others over the years. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

That’s exactly what I did. I worked hard and dedicated myself in my pursuit to retrain to become a therapist. I loved every minute, I was learning so much and it felt so right.

A few years later I took the huge leap of faith to hand in my notice from my permanent, full time job. The one that had security, guaranteed hours, a pension, holidays and annual leave, all the usuals.

I decided to go travelling again, I explored Malaysia, Australia and South America for three months, it was totally amazing, such a special experience. I then returned back to the UK and set up my business.

I can honestly say I’ve never looked back. To now be in the position I am where I get to help amazing clients on a daily basis is an absolute privilege. Those who come to see me with long term anxiety, clinical depression, negative thoughts or stress or perhaps want help with self-esteem and confidence. Being able to work with organisations to help their staff manage and lower their stress levels to help them become more resilient and productive is truly so rewarding. I can honestly say it doesn’t even feel like work I love it that much. From a life of constant strain, stress and upset to a life where I get to choose how I work and operate and get to help and support amazing clients make the most phenomenal changes really is very special.


There are a couple of message I want to leave you with.

If I can do this, so can you. No matter how low you get you can always bounce back, trust me, you can.

If you resonate with anything you have read, always know there is support out there. Whether you are experiencing an abusive relationship, or your mental health is suffering. I urge you, whatever you do, please don’t suffer in silence. Talk to someone. A friend, a family member, or professional. This is not your fault. Once you open up and speak to someone I can guarantee you will start to feel better, a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel.

When I was in the midst of that abusive relationship, I thought it was all my fault. Thats what I kept being told and thats what I believed. It took me the time to do the work on myself to understand that none of this was my fault. Once I started seeing things in a new perspective, it was a game changer.

Know that you don’t need to suffer. You deserve more, you deserve the best. There is a life out there for you, you can do what it takes. If I can, you can.

I’m proud to say that Eamonn, my therapist is now my mentor, supervisor and friend. He has taught me so much over the years. He would say I changed my own life, but I owe so much to him. He is now in his 70’s and still runs a private practice in Liverpool. I’m eternally grateful that he’s in my life.

As I write this, a journal was delivered in the post today. In it is an article I wrote that got published this year.

Trust me, if I can make these changes, and turn my life around and go from complete depths of despair to a life of happiness, feeling in gratitude every day, so can you.

Janine x


Janine is an experienced hypnotherapist, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and NLP practitioner. She holds a masters degree in Psychology, is a published author and is the host of Success Mindset TV. She is based in Manchester in the UK and works with clients both nationally and internationally in person and online. She delivers private sessions, workshops, training and consultancy in the areas of mental health, mindset, stress management and resilience.

Feel free to follow her on her social media channels and if you would like to speak with Janine personally, send her a message, she would be happy to speak with you.

08 Jul 2020

BY: Janine Mitchell


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12 simple steps to manage anxiety

Anxiety can affect so many of us!

Here are some simple and effective techniques to help you manage anxiety.


1. Deep-breathing.

If you’re not focused on how to calm your body through slow, intentional belly-breathing, you’re missing out. Belly-breathing is free, location independent, and easy to implement. Here’s how to get started:

  • Sit with your eyes closed and turn your attention o your breathing. Breathe naturally, preferably through the nostrils, without attempting to control your breath.
  • Be aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. Place one hand on your belly, and the other on your chest. Take a deep breath for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of three. Exhale for a count of four. The hand on your belly should go in as you inhale, and move out as you exhale.
  • Concentrate on your breath and forget everything else. Your mind will be very busy, and you may even feel that the meditation is making your mind busier, but the reality is you’re just becoming more aware of how busy your mind is.
  • Resist the temptation to follow the different thoughts as they arise, and focus on the sensation of the breath. If you discover that your mind has wandered and is following your thoughts, immediately return it to the breath.
  • Repeat this as many times as necessary until your mind settles on the breath. Don’t wait to begin belly-breathing. The sooner you make this a daily habit, the quicker you’ll feel relaxed.

When you implement belly breathing, you start the day in a here-and-now state. Better yet, you’re not wasting time worrying about the future or reliving the past.


2. Meditate.

Calm is an inside job. Start the day with 10 minutes of solitude and positive energy. Think calm, measured, and open-minded, and your daily activities will correspond. There are many wonderful guided meditations on YouTube. Or, drop me an email and I’ll send you a FREE one! 


3. Practice self-care.

Have a bath. Light some candles. Watch your favourite movie. Cuddle up with a pet. Engross yourself in a good book. Book yourself a treatment like a massage. Or get a friend or partner to give you one if money is tight!


4. Eliminate fizzy drinks

If you’re accustomed to that 10am or 3pm fizzy drink switch it to water or a herbal tea. Not only does the caffeine mess up your central nervous system, but it also depletes vitamins and minerals from your diet and wreaks havoc on your smile. Teeth become susceptible to cavities when the acid level of your saliva falls below a certain point.

If you drink fizzy drinks all day, the outer layers of your teeth begin to lose minerals and cavities form.


5. Trim the fat from your budget.

Financial stress is a common reason people contact me for  therapy. Debt will keep you up at night and contribute to feelings of low self-worth and hopelessness.

Take charge of your finances and stop spending on non-essentials.

Track your daily expenses for a week or two and decide where you can cut back. Notice the items you accumulate mindlessly.


6. Get rid of the clutter.

Do you ever wonder how much time is lost when you can’t find your car keys?

Chances are you’ve got too much stuff clogging up your living space. It can play havoc with our mental health and mindset!

Try this quick organisation hack:

  • Choose a drawer or cabinet.
  • Categorise the stuff you don’t use.
  • Make three piles for a) Items to throw away, b) Items to donate, and c) Items to sell on Ebay.

What you sell on Ebay use the money to…


7. Plan a day trip.

When you spend time in nature, you give your mind and body a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle which causes you to Google things like “How to get rid of anxiety” in the first place.

Chances are, no matter where you live, there’s a serene, interesting, and charming place within a couple of hours.


8. Go to bed early.

This may sound impossible if you’re accustomed to staying up late to catch up on the to-do list. But this one’s a must.

Sleep deprivation is a huge anxiety culprit. Inadequate shuteye can amplify the brain’s anticipatory reactions, upping overall anxiety levels, according to research. Having good sleep has been proven to have huge benefits on wellbeing and mental health. Check out the amazing book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker who takes into account all the most up to date and groundbreaking research.


9. Practice Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Tapping

This amazing scientific technique, likened to acupuncture without the needs is proven to reduce anxiety. Have a go every day when you wake up, or every time you feel anxiety coming on. You will notice great benefits.

Much more information here (click the link below) how Tapping works, where it came from and how it can help you.

What is EFT?


10. Reduce caffeine, sugar, and processed foods.

Caffeine can cause heart palpitations if you ingest too much. Caffeine also can trigger panic or anxiety attacks, especially if you have an anxiety disorder. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can also cause palpitations.

Sugar acts as an adrenal stimulant and can cause anxiety or even panic attack. Other offensive foods include those containing refined flour products and even wheat, since this causes inflammation.


11. Practice gratitude

As bad as your situation is, there’s always someone in a worse predicament. Read a chapter of Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, or check out the headline of the daily newspaper. Be thankful your life is not the feature story.

Write down every day at least three things you are grateful for. Or make a mental note of it along the way.


12. Exercise!

Exercise is nature’s anti-anxiety remedy. Besides clearing the mind, firing up the endorphins, and helping you sleep soundly at night, researchers have found that individuals who exercise vigorously and regularly were 25 percent less likely to develop an anxiety disorder within five years.


Do let me know how you get on!


Janine is the Founder of Change for Success.
She specialises in working with people to transform their lives by working with mindset and mental health.
She works with private clients either online or at her consulting rooms in the heart of Manchester city centre.
Janine runs stress management workshops and helps companies and organisations improve their performance by reducing stress in the workplace. She is a published researcher, hypnotherapist, EFT and NLP Practitioner.
Contact Janine if you would like to arrange a FREE consultation.

BY: Janine Mitchell


Comments: 1 Comment

what is Emotional Freedom Techniques?

What is EFT?

Those who are unfamiliar with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT),  otherwise known as Tapping often ask what it is. This blog will not only help you understand what EFT is, but it will give you an insight in how it makes such transformative change with those that use it over and over, but also the scientific understanding behind EFT and the huge growth there has been in recent years.

EFT is best likened to acupuncture without the needles. It is an ancient Chinese acupressure therapy, combined with a modern talking psychology.

EFT involves gently tapping on certain meridian points, known as acupressure around the face and upper body, while talking through the issue we wish to resolve.This can be done by yourself, as an amazing self help tool. Or together with a licensed EFT practitioner.Tapping can help with a wide range off issues including –

  •  Trauma
  •  Pain Relief
  •  Stress
  •  Depression
  •  Anxiety
  •  Abuse & PTSD
  •  Self-esteem
  •  Confidence
  •  Fears

This type of therapy has actually been around for many thousands of years, used by the ancient Chinese.It has been innovated in more recent year by Gary Craig in America in the late 1980’s after he trained in Roger Callaghan’s Thought Field Therapy (TFT). By tapping on certain meridian points and gently talking through the presenting issue, we can actually energetically release the mind and body from old programmes and patterns that are keeping us stuck.

Psychological, emotional issues and physical pain are all connected to negative old emotions, that no longer serve us. And guess what? – We can release them and let them go!

How can EFT help you?

At a very basic level, EFT works as an amazing stress reduction and stress management tool. To work on more ingrained negative thought patterns and limiting beliefs, EFT works directly with the subconscious mind, allowing you to gently let go of limiting beliefs that are no longer serving any useful purpose and are keeping you stuck.

We tap directly on meridian points which are all connected to organs within the body. Thus breaking the energetic connection which is keeping you stuck in the same patterns and unwanted behaviours.

Tapping directly on these meridians does several things. Firstly, by tapping, we reduce the stress hormones in the body. This is done by calming down a part of the brain within the limbic system called the amygdala which is responsible for encoding negative emotions, including stress, anxiety and trauma.It is also the part of the brain that controls our stress response and emits stress hormones such as cortisol or adrenaline.

Think back to our caveman ancestors. They were in survival mode  the entire time. They were constantly living by the hormones of stress. So on high alert, ready for danger.

Our bodies were very cleverly programmed in this way. So faced with a bear in the woods, we would be prepared for the dangerous situation and immediately go into whats called ‘fight or flight’. We could either decide to fight, or run off in the opposite direction as quickly as possible – our stress response would be triggered.

The body would immediately prepare us for this situation, in order to survive. We are no longer generally in any real live danger zones. However, we are living in a world where stress is common place. Even though we have many systems in place to manage ourselves in modern day society, so the Internet, cars, technology. We are still living by the hormones of stress. Any time we respond to any type of negative situation – a complaining boss, a traffic jam, watching the news: our body reacts for that short period by going into the same response.

So although we are not generally faced with danger in modern society, our brains remain wired to create the same internal response. And this builds up. Through the day, the weeks, the months. Our body flooded by stress hormones. This can lead to a wealth of both physical health and mental health complaints.Tapping rewires the brain.

Our brain isn’t actually fixed in place. Our brains are constantly being shaped by experience. Most of us have very different behaviours and thoughts today than we did 20 years ago. This shift is whats called ‘neuroplasticity’ in action; changes in brain structure and organisation as we experience, learn, and adapt.

With every repetition of a thought or emotion, we reinforce a neural pathway – and with each new thought, we begin to create a new way of being. These small changes, frequently enough repeated, lead to changes in how our brains work.

What tapping does is helps change these neural pathways. It does so by sending a new, calming signal to the amygdala. So, rather than holding onto the negative emotion, or belief that is linked to that emotion. we can let it go.If we have any kind of negative experience, we will often struggle to let that go and keep repeating similar behaviours. The same neural pathways will keep being signalled in order to do this.

What tapping does, is it takes away the negative emotion connected to the old event or experience, thus changing the new behaviour. We can literally change our emotion linked to past experiences, we don’t need to hold onto them anymore. How amazing is that!

Negative emotions are literally stored within the body. How do we know? Because it has been measured. All modern neuroscientists are saying the same thing. Our mind controls our thoughts, our body our feelings. Every time we have a thought, it creates a feeling, so on and so forth. When you know you have a problem, you can feel it right? Tapping resolves that, working directly with the energy centres in the body.

We may have had certain experiences in the past, that continue to shape us now. The good news is that the past has gone. EFT will gently and effectively help you let go of the past, whereby you can make positive and lasting change.EFT is now much more widespread, and is much more commonly used. It is used by medical practitioners, and within organisations. Why? – Because it is a simply yet highly effective technique that works!

What is the evidence?

I see outstanding results with my clients time and time again. EFT has been scientifically researched in peer reviewed journals across the world. Here is a link to some of the research conducted. You can easily check out the research on line too, click on this link below:


Perhaps you’re thinking, does this actually work? It’s too good to be true? It is new! Everything mainstream was new once. The great thing about EFT is that I can teach you in sessions to use it successfully for yourself- it is the most fantastic self help tool.

If you want to know what tapping looks like, and how it can help you, please go to my YouTube channel CLICK HERE where you can learn it for yourself. I am SUPER proud to say I’m also a researcher in this field. My research has been published in a peer reviewed journal the Journal of Energy Psychology.

We are paving the way for this research, which has witnessed exponential growth in recent years.

If you would like a copy of the research, send me a message I’d love to share it with you. 

I do hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about EFT in this article. If you have, it would mean so much if you can share with others in your network. 


Janine is the Founder of Change for Success.
She specialises in working with people to transform their lives by working with mindset and mental health.
She works with private clients either online or at her exclusive consulting rooms in the heart of Manchester city centre. 
Janine runs stress management workshops and helps companies and organisations improve their performance by reducing stress in the workplace. She is a published researcher, has a Masters Degree in Psychology and is a hypnotherapist, EFT and NLP Practitioner.
Contact Janine if you would like to arrange a FREE consultation. [email protected]


01 Nov 2019

BY: Janine Mitchell


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Gratitude – simple tips to a happier, successful life

Why is gratitude so important? How does it help us feel happier, reduce feelings of stress and negativity? How does it support our mental wellbeing?

We often tend to focus on the negative. It isn’t our fault. We are predisposed to think and feel this way. It is actually much easier to focus on the negative, rather than the positive. We are often living by the hormones of stress as we are in ‘fight or flight’ much of the time. We are also often surrounded by negativity. Think of the news, or when you open a newspaper. We feed off negativity.

So how can we change this?

There is often so much to be grateful for in life. However, we miss much of what is around us. We have a preference to focus on the negative. It’s inbuilt.
“I haven’t got this” “ I haven’t got that” “I’ll be happy when….” You recognise this, right?

So how can we focus on the positive? How can we focus on what we have got rather than what we haven’t? How can we make powerful change?

We always have a choice.

I am going to share some powerful, yet simple tips with you.

Before I do, I want to tell you that scientific research shows that being in gratitude leads to happiness.

Further, in a survey on gratitude in adult professionals, British psychologist and wellness expert Robert Holden found that 65 out of 100 people selected happiness over health, although they indicated that both were equally important for a good life. Holden, in his study, suggested that the roots of many psychopathological conditions like depression, anxiety, and stress are unhappiness. Science also shows us that gratitude improves health.

This diagram shows us how the neuroscience of gratitude can affect the brain. Gratitude actually changes the neural structures in the brain, making us feel happier and more content.

Tips for gratitude

  1. Complete a Journal

Set some time aside every day. Focus on the things, places, experiences you are happy and grateful for in your life. What did you achieve today? Who did you impact? Who impacted positively on you? What new choices or decisions did you make? Any type of journaling about your day can get you off autopilot, be more focussed and allow you to be more in the moment. We often let life pass us by. This will allow you to focus on all the good, happiness, successes and wins that are happening in your life.

2. A Gratitude Diary

Buy a small notepad. At the end of every day, either before bed or when you get into bed, write down at least five things you are grateful for. They can be something little like what you had for breakfast, to something huge, like a big life decision. This is the thing. You always have to get to five. Some days they will roll off your tongue and onto the paper and you will write reams and reams. Other days you may struggle to get to five. You aways have to get there. Do this every day, and you will soon start noticing big changes.

3. Breath

We fail to breath properly. Shallow breathing happens when we are in stress, anxiety or worry. Once we become mindful of good strong breathing from the diaphragm, this can make huge changes. Find a nice quite space and sit up straight. Firstly start by getting quiet, and noticing your breathing. Then practice a technique called 6-7-8.

With your mouth closed, breath in through the nose for the count of six. Feel the tummy expand. Hold the breath for the count of seven. Then release slowly through the mouth for eight. Try this several times. It is naturally proven to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. It will get you in a space feeling much more calm and relaxed. This is so good, you can do it mostly anywhere! Practice as much as you like throughout the day, you will see wonderful benefits. It also sets you up amazingly well for the day the moment you wake up!

4. Gratitude Alphabet

This is a great one to help you get to sleep at night, or if you wake up in the middle of the night (poor sleep affects a huge amount of people). As you close your eyes and think of what you are grateful for that begins with A. The with B. Then with C. So on and so forth. I can guarantee if you focus on this fully, you will fall asleep before you get to Z!

All these exercises help rewire the brain. They allow us to focus on the positive, rather than the negative. Forcing us to look for the positive. And trust me, there is so much around….if we chose to look for it! Its also helps us be in the now, rather than being depressed, upset or sad (the past) or anxious and/ or worried (the future, it hasn’t even happened yet).

Janine work with organisations and individuals.

01 Feb 2019

BY: Janine Mitchell

Change consultant

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What are the signs of anxiety?

We can all experience a little anxiety or tension now, and that’s okay. For example if we have to stand up and deliver a talk, or if we take a test or an exam.

But what if you are suffering with crippling anxiety that is taking over your life and you are unsure of the signs or symptoms?

Anxiety can come in many different forms – panic attacks, social anxiety, fears or worries.

I will run through some common signs.

Sleep problems

If you commonly find yourself awake in the middle of the night finding yourself consistently worried or agitated, this may be linked to anxiety. Or perhaps you find your mind continually racing, whereby you can’t calm yourself down. These can be common symptoms. Poor sleep can lead to health complaints, can impact on poor decision making ability, and interfere with your ability to stave off infections. Poor sleep is often a real issue for those suffering with anxiety.

Muscle tension

Regular tensing of certain muscles including clenching your jaw and flexing your muscles across your body can often be linked to anxiety. More regular exercise will help, as will stretching the core areas. Exercises in general is great for reducing any kind of mental health complaints.


Panic attacks can be debilitating and scary. They will usually involve an overwhelming feeling of helplessness accompanied by difficulties breathing. This will also include chest or stomach pain, racing heart and a gripping fear. A panic attack can last for several minutes at a time.

Not everyone who has panic attacks suffer with an anxiety disorder, however if you experience with panic attacks on a regular basis, than the two could be linked.

Stress can then often be a causal factor. If you are worried about panic attacks, please speak to your GP. My advise would also be this. If you feel a panic attack coming on, or you could be in a situation where one my arise, I would suggest actually to go with it. Allow it, accept it and breath into it. You will find the symptoms will be much lessened and reduced. You often find with panic attacks, if you try to resist them, this will often cause more of an issue.

Lack of social confidence

Anxiety can be caused in regular every day occurrences and interactions. This can bring on feelings of panic, nausea and a feeling of overwhelm. This can lead to difficulties in social situations or daily interactions. This can be often linked to anxiety, and can be debilitating in many ways. In the most serious scenario, the sufferer may even struggle to leave their home for fear of being faced by others they don’t know in a social situation or a a place in similar context.

Excessive worry

Worrying about every day occurrences, whether they are big or small, can be the hallmark of an anxiety disorder. A certain amount of worry now and again can actually be perfectly normal. This is often common human make up. If, however you are persistently anxiously worrying, and it interferes with daily life and is accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, this is likely to be linked to anxiety disorder. In addition, it is likely to be an issue if emotional reactions are causing suffering and dysfunction.

Compulsive behaviours

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be described as compelling ‘ritual’ tasks over and over, whereby you’re anxiety is heightened, until the task gets completed. This can include obsessive hand washing, or the need to check switches and locks lots of times. Often, intrusive thoughts can be accompanied by compulsive behaviours. This can include the sufferer telling themselves to do something over and over, until the level of anxiety is reduced. If you are concerned about this type of behaviour affecting you, or someone you know, please contact your GP.


This is the experience of reliving a a traumatic event that may have happened in the past. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can play a huge part in this type of behaviour. Any trauma that has been experienced can be so stressful and create anxious feelings or emotions, it can keep returning in the form of flashbacks. They may occur with other types of anxiety as well, and all may not be attributed to PTSD.

Indigestion problems

Anxiety may start in the mind, but it often manifests itself in the body through physical symptoms, like chronic digestive problems. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), can be described as anxiety of the digestive tract. IBS is something that a sufferer can deal with for many years and can often be triggered by stress. The onset of problems can then lead to further anxiety. If you do suffer with any problems, please consult your GP for support.

If you are currently suffering with any form of anxiety, or resonate with any of the problems above, you don’t need to suffer alone. There is much support and all the above symptoms can be alleviated or removed actually much quicker than you might think.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need more information or to find out how I can help you, or someone else you know. How much is anxiety costing you, and how debilitating is it to you and for those around you? You don’t need to suffer.

Janine is the Founder of Change for Success.
She specialises in working with people to transform their lives. She does this by helping them overcome stress, anxiety and depression.
She works with private clients either online or at her prestigious consulting rooms in the heart of Manchester city centre 
Janine also runs stress management workshops and helps companies and organisations improve their performance by reducing stress in the workplace.
Check out her website for more information and to see what others have said –
07 Nov 2018

BY: Janine Mitchell

Change consultant

Comments: No Comments

How can I relieve stress?

Stress is now so commonplace in the world we live in. Things are meant to be getting easier, but life appears to becoming more stressful, right? So what can we do to relieve stress?

I am going to share with you six simple and very effective stress busting tips that will help you to relieve stress.

  1. Exercise. Get yourself moving, get out and get some fresh air. If you are based in an office, don’t be slumped over your desk every lunch time shovelling a sandwich in your mouth while you answer emails. Go outside, even if it’s for just ten minutes. It will actually make you more productive and it will get some much needed fresh air in your lungs. Exercise is a wonderful way to naturally produce happy hormones. From gentle exercises and walks during the day, to gym sessions, classes or yoga. Make sure you have your regular dose. Even a ten minute walk every day can do wonders.
  1. Avoid caffeine. Drinking lots of drinks full of caffeine throughout the day can actually lead you to feel more lethargic and tired. You might think it’s a quick fix, but it’s really not going to help. Instead, get used to drinking lots more water. If this isn’t something commonplace for you, then start off small. Have a water bottle with you, and ensure you are drinking plenty throughout the day. Water will also help flush out toxins in the system as well. It will also improve your energy levels and will actually make you look and feel more youthful! Many studies have been conducted in this area. You want to be aiming for two litres a day.
  1. Breath. It is commonly known that we don’t breathe correctly. We often take shallow breaths, and don’t fill the diaphragm correctly. This can also impact on our heart rate and stress levels. Sit down and take several deep breaths throughout the course of your day. This won’t only help you start breathing more correctly, but by focussing on your breath, this will allow you to take yourself away from familiar stressful or worrisome thoughts.
  1. Turn off all devices before bed. The bedroom is supposed to be a haven for sleep and relaxation. The majority of clients that come to see me will usually suffer some kind of sleep complaint. More and more we are attached to our devices, and they follow us to bed. Leave all those items in another room. Allow yourself to wind down two hours before sleep time. Read a good book, or have a nice relaxing bath. A host of electronic gadgets in the bedroom will just disturb your sleep either when you are trying to go to sleep, or if you wake up in the night time.
  1. Meditate. Mediation has been proven to reduce stress time and time again, for years. It doesn’t mean you have to be all zen and sit crossed legged on the floor for hours on end. It may simply be 5-10 minutes of closing your eyes and gently focusing on your breath. If any thoughts do pop in (which they will!) simply accept them, and allow them to move on. There is also a whole host of mediation apps you can download. You can also find many different meditations on YouTube.
  1. Check your diet. Are you getting enough vitamins and nutrients? A poor diet lacking in fresh fruit and veg and high in sugar and fat can most definitely contribute to stress. Convenience food isn’t going to cut it, it’s full of all kinds of rubbish and usually high in sugar and salt. The more bad food we are going to put in our bodies, the more it can’t do us any good, and can actually contribute to stress. Prepare food from fresh wherever possible. The actual ritual of spending time as a family preparing fresh and healthy food together and talking though how your day has gone, rather than relying on takeaways and all spending time on your separate devices can reduce stress alone. You literally are what you eat!

Please do let me know how you get on, I would love to hear more. Work though what you can of the strategies above and see what works for you.

Rather than become disheartened or disinterested, look at these new habits and routines as the new you. Set yourself goals to achieve the ones that are right for you. You will be surprised at how you get on and the wonderful changes that you will see!

Janine is the founder of Change for Success. She specialises in working with people to transform their lives. She does this by helping them overcome stress, anxiety and depression. She works with private clients at her consulting rooms in Manchester city centre. She also runs stress management workshops and helps companies and organisations improve their performance by reducing stress in the workplace.
Check out her website for more information and to see what others have said –
10 Sep 2018

BY: Janine Mitchell

Change consultant / Stress management

Comments: No Comments

Stress and burnout affects nearly half of all employees work performance

How does stress impact staff?

Your wonderful workforce by the way is incidentally your one biggest asset. It’s the nuts and bolts of what drives your business to success!
Your biggest asset isn’t the latest marketing strategy, or a highly visible presence on social media, or a big glitzy advertising campaign. Its your employees. The driving force of any business, plain and simple.
So how does stress negatively impact on staff and then inadvertently on business and productivity?

A survey was conducted in 2012 by ComPsych (www.compsych.com) in which they surveyed 2500 employees. Its main findings were that stressors like workload, people issues, lack of work/life balance and job insecurity are likely to cause reduced levels of productivity at work. Yes people, poor productively in your business!

The World Health Organisation calls stress “the health epidemic of the 21st century.

There has been a wealth of studies conducted that have researched what factors affect work performance, including how this is impacted by stress levels and how valued staff feel in the workplace.

A study was conducted by the University of Bahrain which is published in the Business and Management Research Journal. This is titled ‘How stress can affect your work performance’. This research paper was conducted by Dr. Muwafaq Alkubaisi (2105) One of main findings of the study was that work stress has a negative impact on employee’s performance.

This is one of a plethora of studies, which show similar findings.

The long term thing is this. Stressed out employees are negatively impacting on business growth. Sapping away the longevity of the success of the business which then leads to financial constraints and many other related problems.

The ComPsych survey as referred to above reportedly established the five main reasons why stressed out employees are killing off your economic growth –

Increased absenteeism

Nearly 15% of respondents surveyed said that stress causes them to miss days from work. You may think they just have a bad immune system, but the truth is that at least some of the time, employees are having to stay off work out of necessity.

Missed deadlines and mistakes

Over 20% of the surveyed employees directly attributed stress to missed deadlines and mistakes in their work. Not only is work taking longer to get done on the first pass, but mistakes are causing additional slowdowns.

Lack of focus

It’s hard enough for some workers to focus in an office environment; add in extreme levels of stress, and you have a perfect recipe for distraction. Over 56% of participants reported that they had trouble focusing due to stress. When this manifests in your office, employees may look like they’re working, but it’ll take longer for them to complete tasks than usual.


That once-bright employee who is suddenly 15 to 45 minutes late several times a week? This is directly linked to burnout. Over 14% of employees said that job-related stress increased their lateness.

Interpersonal difficulties

Over 15% of participants said that stress within the job made it difficult for them to connect or get along with superiors and coworkers.

So take some time out now to consider how you are looking after your employees. Or how you feel yourself as an employee within your organisation. Do you feel valued? Do trip into work with a sense of motivation and pride? Do you notice a positive energy within your team, or is it constantly full of doom and gloom? Do you feel a real sense of worth? Are you able to approach your manager with ease if you have any work or personal problems you need to share?

CEO’s/ HR people/ Managers – what to do? Get down to staff level. Are your staff satisfied in their job role? Do they feel listened to and heard? Are they on burn out much of the time? Is there regular moaning and complaining going about the office? Are your staff away from work with regular sickness? Are staff able to talk about any work or personal issues to their direct line manager? No really, are they? What is the culture of staff and the way they work, is it in the dark ages? Are staff constantly putting in extra hours to catch up?

These are just some simple things to think about.

One absolutely amazing organisation to check out if you don’t know of it already is UKFast, a web hosting and cloud company, based in Manchester in the UK run by the amazing and award winning Laurence Jones. You can pick up the tangible atmosphere the minute you walk into the place. They have a slide in the building and a fully stocked bar. The staff bounce around the place eager to help anyone who comes into the building. It is no wonder they are currently in the top ten companies to work for in the UK as decided by the Telegraph.

This, in my view is a perfect example of how to run an organisation.

Employees can massively receive value in stress management and resilience training. It will allow them to look at things in a new perspective and give them a great ability to cope with work pressures placed on them. It will in turn improve productivity, reduce staff absenteeism and will improve staff morale.

Here are are some useful tips I would like you to take away 

  • Ensure no staff are eating at their desk and that they get proper lunch breaks. This will improve energy, enthusiasm and ability to get things done. Working ‘over lunch’ will just make things worse.
  • Consider installing a fresh water fountain and encourage staff to drink more water which will keep them hydrated and energised. Typically, 8 glasses a day is good. Steer as far away from the caffeine as possible which will actually cause more of a slump and dehydrate.
  • Arrange so ‘away days’ where staff can all participate in fun activity together and ensure there are regular arranged social events. This can be anything from a game or a quiz once a week from social occasions arranged either after work one evening, during lunch break or on a weekend. We don’t have to reserve social events to Christmas/ once a year!

Please let me know if you enjoyed reading the article and let me know what you are putting in place for your staff, I would be very glad to hear how you are doing!

Until next time!


Janine is a stress management expert. She offers bespoke packages to organisations both in the private and public sector to help their staff and managers to be more productive and to be happy and successful in their roles.

For more information give Janine a call on 07854273916 or on email [email protected]

22 Aug 2018

BY: Janine Mitchell

Change consultant

Comments: No Comments

How to let go of stress
Did you know that over 70% of visits to your GP in this country is through stress related illness? The same statistics applies to hospital admissions.
It is plan and clear, our health as a nation is suffering as a result of stress.

Life is supposed to be getting easier. With all the easy access to various types of technology at our fingers tips and all the technological advancements around us. However, we continue to get more and more ‘stressed’.

Our ancestors lived in constant survival mode. Their stress response would always be deployed as a means to deal with potentially dangerous situations. We rarely face danger in the modern world. No sabre tooth tigers are usually around. Yet we appear to be more stressed then ever.

What impact is stress having on you?

Are you worrying about everything and anything? Is it causing problems in your relationships? Have you lost your relationships? Are bad habits increasing? Is it having financial implications? Is it affecting your sleep? Is it having a negative impact on your heath?

How would you like to get off the cycle of stress for good and become more focussed, relaxed and calm? Would you like to cope with stress and change this mindset forever? How would it feel to actually achieve more through being less stressed? Whether it’s jobs at work, personal goals or a better work life balance.

Would you like to be free from stresses and strains of daily life and to lead a life that is calm, focussed and relaxed? A life that is one of resilience, rather than one where constant stress is constantly getting in the way of abundance and freedom.

Work directly with me, I can help. There is no price you can put on banishing stress and the related symptoms for good.
In three months I will teach you how you can say goodbye to stress. I will show you how you can be resilient and allow any old stresses to be completely eradicated.
Here are the answers to some common questions –
How will I benefit?

In three months, you will change your relationship with ‘stress’. Your work life balance will improve dramatically. Your relationships will be happier. Your health and vitality will improve significantly. You will actually be in more in control, you will be able to make decisions with ease. You will have much more energy and your sleep will improve no end.

What will I learn?

You will learn proven highly effective stress management techniques and strategies to eliminate stress. This will include relaxation techniques that you never dreamt possible. You will develop a super strengthened resilience. You will learn how to not focus on the negative and develop new mindset techniques that you will be able to feed back into your daily living.

You will have a new understanding on your thought processes and how this is linked to emotional management. You will find your approach to daily tasks is much more solution focussed. You will understand the links with a new and improved healthy routine, which will impact on overall lifestyle.

What does the package look like?

You will be signing up to a three month support programme. This will include the following –

• Weekly sessions
• Direct access to Janine in between sessions
• Recordings to listen to in between sessions
• Practical tools to be used out of sessions.

Contact Janine to book in for a FREE consultation to talk through your needs.


Janine is the founder of Change for Success. She specialises in working with people to transform their lives. She does this by helping them overcome stress, anxiety and depression. She works with private clients at her consulting rooms in Manchester city centre. She also runs stress management workshops and helps companies and organisations improve their performance by reducing stress in the workplace.

09 Aug 2018

BY: Janine Mitchell

Change consultant

Comments: No Comments

I owe you my life!

“I owe you my life”!

This is what a client told me this week. She further went on to say, you made such a huge difference and helped me so much in a matter of weeks that I cocktail of meds, Counselling and CBT couldn’t do in years.

How amazing is that! This client came to me having suffered with anxiety and depression for years. She had tried and tried to get help previously, with little or no success.

This is a familiar story I see with clients who come to me.

So why has the work that we have done together been so successful, and in a relatively short space of time, compared to other treatments?

When I first start working with a client, I firstly gain a full understanding of exactly what we need to work with. I quickly discover this is a pattern of behaviour that has often kept the client stuck for years.

What I do, is I firstly explain to the client why we are the way we are, and why unhelpful behaviours might have been keeping us in a familiar pattern of lets say, anxiety, stress or depression.

I provide a sound understanding about how the subconscious part of our mind works. Why? – Because this is the part of the mind that controls who we are (at least 95% of the mind!), and its the part we need to work with if we need to make necessary and lasting change. The operating system if you will. The place where we are comfortably holding onto all our limiting beliefs about ourselves that are keeping us stuck. Often the root of presenting problems that can then debilitate us for many years, if not a lifetime.

Once we let go of these, including the negative self talk, and begin to change this around, transformation then takes place.

Client find themselves free of the old pattern and behaviours. And they learn tools and strategies that transform their lives, from the dark and difficult place they used to be in, to a place of feelings of calm, being in the moment and being totally in control.

Who wouldn’t want a bit of that!
Life is so short. And I often say, life is a decision. We can let these old ways of being control us, and keep us stuck. Or we can chose to change it head on, and learn life changing strategies in the process.
This is why I LOVE what I do.
Janine is the founder of Change for Success. She specialises in working with people to transform their lives. She does this by helping them overcome stress, anxiety and depression. She works with private clients at her consulting rooms in Manchester city centre. She also runs stress management workshops and helps companies and organisations improve their performance by reducing stress in the workplace.

Check out her website for more information and to see what others have said –