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Hypnotherapy for Change

                        One step at a time.....

Blog

What exactly is stress?

03 April 2021

Stress is blamed for many things, from weight gain and poor sleep to acne and digestive issues; from anxiety and fatigue to high blood pressure and poor immunity. It is a huge problem and is the root cause of many common ailments that we experience today.


Fight or flight


The word ‘stress’ is defined as hardship, adversity, force, or pressure. When our body is faced with it, whether from internal or external sources, a vital response process kicks in.

This is referred to as the fight-or-flight response.

Millennia ago, the likely threat a human being would encounter to set off this response would be a wild animal, someone screaming at you, or weeks without food. It makes sense, then, that you’d need the strength to fight back or to run away fast.

When our body is in fight or flight mode, adrenaline and cortisol is released. The heart rate goes up and blood gets pumped to our limbs and away from our digestive and reproductive system. Pupils dilate to help us see and the mind becomes hyper-vigilant. The blood sugar levels go up, too.

In a healthy stress response, the cortisol level rises and falls quickly — as soon as the presumed threat is out of the way.


Cortisol is the stress hormone


Cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone and is intended to protect us from danger, damage, and inflammation. It responds to light and dark and, when functioning normally, it follows nature’s rhythm. It is part of regulating our circadian rhythm — the levels should be higher in the morning and then taper off throughout the day, so that by bedtime, when it’s dark outside, our cortisol level is low and we feel calm, relaxed, and ready for sleep.

Cortisol levels rise whenever our body notices a stressor - which could be an email from our work, sleep deprivation, or our own to-do lists.

So what happens when the perceived threat is always there? When our phones are notifying us every minute, emails are streaming in nonstop, and the work/life balance is non existent?

The cortisol level rises and then stays high! This chronic stress is a big issue in our modern society and can lead to weight gain, insomnia, anxiety, thyroid issues, fatigue, and even autoimmune conditions.


Signs and Symptoms of Stress


Stress can cause many different symptoms.

It might affect how someone feels physically, mentally and also how they behave.


Physical Symptoms include -

  • headaches or dizziness
  • muscle tension or pain
  • stomach problems
  • chest pain or a faster heartbeat
  • sexual problems

Mental Symptoms include -

  • difficulty concentrating
  • struggling to make decisions
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • constantly worrying
  • being forgetful
  • low sense of personal accomplishment
  • emotional exhaustion
  • depersonalisation

Behavioural Symptoms include -

  • being irritable and snappy
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • eating too much or too little
  • avoiding certain places or people
  • drinking or smoking more

However, not everyone who is stressed experiences every symptom.

The signs and symptoms of stress will vary greatly from person to person, as the experience of stress is very individual – it can show up in unpredictable ways, from sudden bursts of aggression to unexplained illness. Symptoms may be directly related to a specific stressful event, such as an argument with a colleague, or may be the result of an accumulation of pressures over time.


Did you know that approximately 50% of doctors visits are stress related!

In fact more people are missing work from stress related problems than ever before!


You can liken stress to “strain” on your bodies “alarm system”.


It is true that some stress is actually good and we need a healthy stress response! A little stress might make you perform better under pressure, increase your focus, and help you meet an important deadline.


It’s the chronic stress we need to combat and prevent.


It takes conscious effort in today’s busy go-go-go society to carve out the time to prioritise rest, sleep, and to generally slow down. 


Re-Light Your Entrepreneur Fire With The Power Of Hypnosis

06 March 2021

The current pandemic has without doubt changed business’s and the economy and many companies are now having to adapt to the new realities, and find ways to deliver their services in completely new ways.

All businesses are now having to re-evaluate, find innovative ways to survive, and look to come out in a stronger position in the market place.


Without doubt having the right mindset and focus is now more important than ever to find a way through these difficult days.


Entrepreneurs and business owners are a breed of their own. Their spirit and dreams at some point in the past made them brave enough to step away from stability in order to pursue their dreams. They applied a determined and focused mindset to achieve their goals.


Perhaps now more than ever that same entrepreneurial spirit can be deployed again, to overcome the challenges, and focus on a brighter future.


Following these six strategies can help reignite your entrepreneurial fire -


1. Reassess your goals.
Stay true to your vision and plan small improvements to refresh your business plan.


2. Recite accomplishments.

Remind yourself what it took to get your business off the ground back then. You did it before - you can do it again!


3. Change your outlook.

Consider this time a motivating challenge, rather than an insurmountable threat.


4. Read inspirational books, stories and quotes. 

Find research and history to demonstrate how businesses triumph even during hard times.


5. Read your customer’s success stories.

Remind yourself of how happy you made your customers in the past and have faith that you can do the same again.


6. Surround yourself with “radiators”, not drains. People who can help, inspire and support.

As an entrepreneur you have a unique ability to see things differently.


Your mindset and focus are more crucial now than ever.


Lockdown and Alcohol

03 February 2021

Have we been drinking more?


The effects of Britons drinking more alcohol during the COVID-19 lockdown could be felt for a generation, some experts have warned.

Alcohol sales rose by 67% just prior to the lockdown, as many prepared to drink at home.

The question remained, however – were people stocking up because they feared shortages?

Or were they actually drinking more?

The research suggests that around 8.6 million UK adults have drunk alcohol more frequently under lockdown.

Worryingly, nearly one in five (18%) daily drinkers have further increased the amount of alcohol they have consumed since lockdown.


Why does it matter?


Habits are formed quickly and can be hard to break. Alcohol intake - and its management - is particularly important for well-being and mental health during this pandemic.

And there are also risks beyond the individual.

One in 14 (7%) survey respondents felt that alcohol had worsened their household tensions since lockdown began.

Unfortunately, whilst alcohol can help us relax and give us a brief feeling of euphoria, the effects are short-lived and the long-term negative consequences of over-using alcohol can be harmful.

If you rely on alcohol to manage your mental health issues, that reliance can itself become a problem.

You may well find that your drinking gets in the way of other activities and puts a strain on your relationships and your work.

While some will find that cutting down without support is possible, others will need assistance.


What can you do about it? 


If your drinking has become a habit, it’s worth remembering that drinking is merely a mental “program” - you have “programmed” yourself to drink alcohol in just the same way that you have programmed yourself to ride a bicycle. And these mental programs can be re-set and re-written.


Hypnotherapy is an effective approach in dealing with the problems that excess alcohol can lead to - issues with relationships, weight and health.

It will identify those areas and aspects of your life that may require tweaks and modification.

In particular, it will enable you to adapt, change and to look at alcohol intake in a completely new way.


Hypnotherapy will help you realise that alcohol is not essential to relaxation, and is not necessary as a crutch or coping mechanism.

Hypnotherapy can help you take back control, and will lead the way to a fitter, healthier you!


And - it can all be done from the comfort of your own home, wherever you are in the world.



New Years Resolutions - have you made one?

04 January 2021

We do it every year - start with great intentions for the following year - make a “promise” to ourselves - and then feel deflated by breaking it.

Have you broken yours yet?

Whether you have, or you haven’t.......try this very simple and effective technique.


Close your eyes and let yourself relax.

See yourself in your imagination on 31st December 2021 having accomplished your goal, whatever it may be (eg healthier, happier, non-smoker, slimmer etc)

Now “feel” how it really feels......as though it’s happening right now in this very moment!


What does having achieved your goal give you in just ONE word?


Is it........

Happiness?

Peace?

Confidence?

Contentment?

Excitement?

Security?


Find just ONE word that describes what it has given you ..........and now “that” word is your word for the year!


Take a couple of deep breathes in and out.

Say your word out loud.

Imagine having achieving that word.

How does it feel?


Now write your word down and put it somewhere you go to regularly (eg cupboard door, light switch, bedside cabinet etc)


Even though you may forget to consciously look at it, be assured your subconscious will notice it every time.

This word will start to give you a very clear direction and you will begin to make decisions that will lead to you achieving your goal.


My word for the year to follow is “contentment”.........what’s yours? 

The Very Best Present!

24 December 2020

This Christmas is different for us all in so many ways. However, the one thing that the events of this year has hopefully taught us all is that love, people and connection are the most important things - not materialistic stuff!


More so then ever we need to look after ourselves - both our physical and mental health. The very best present you could have this Christmas is to “be present”.


Living in the present moment means not ruminating or worrying about what has happened in the past (leading to depression) .........and not fearing what may happen in the future (anxiety).

It means enjoying what's happening right now in the moment and living for today.


Every day is full of endless possibilities! You and only you are in control of your attitude every morning so try to smile, keep it positive and be expectant. If you do this every day, very soon you will be doing it without even realising!


Soak in as much of the day as you possibly can and fully appreciate it all – the sights, the sounds, the smells. These are in our daily lives but we often forget to take them in and truly appreciate them.


Finally, If you are holding resentment towards another human being because of past pain or hurt, make the conscious choice to forgive them and their actions and to move on. The hurt may have been their fault, but allowing it to continue to impact you is yours. Let go and choose to be present in the moment instead.


Remember Christmas Day is just one day - that’s only 24 hours!

That’s just one day out of 365 - so you can decide how you would like this one day to be.

Of course we would all love to be surrounded by our family and friends etc but this is likely not possible for many - so think about how you can make the day as enjoyable and as memorable as you possibly can and take this opportunity to use the day to be “present” and thankful.


I sincerely wish you all a very Happy Christmas and I hope that you all have a very special day.


How to Improve Relationships with the Power of Hypnosis

12 December 2020

The coronavirus outbreak is leading to big changes in the way we live our everyday lives.


Our relationships are hugely important to us just at a time when they are being placed under the most intense pressure.


Relationships are not built on the expectation that you'll be spending all day, every day with that person.


If you’re both working from home, with nowhere to go in the evenings, there’s a chance you may experience some friction.


Perhaps it’s happening already?


This is perfectly normal, particularly given the increased stress we’re all under right now.


But, as we could be in this situation for a while yet, it’s worth taking some steps to ensure we get through this period with our relationships intact.


We may even come out the other side stronger! Give these strategies a go:


1. Create the love with your differences


Write a list of the positive differences between you. This can help you begin to appreciate each other again.


2. No criticisms/No put downs


When niggles arise between you, or one is criticising the other, say something silly. Your partner will be so taken aback, it will throw them, and may even make them laugh. But, most importantly, it will break any tension.


3. Cuddle Time


Find time in the day, just for this, with no further expectation.


4. Allow the Dreams


Encourage your partner to fulfil their dreams and ask them to allow you to achieve yours, too. When you both feel free, you will both be happy.


5. Discuss Rather Than Argue


Turn irritating comments into humour – see the situation as a cartoon so that you can laugh at it.


6. Learn To Listen


Make a conscious effort to really listen to what your partner has to say


7. Love What Is Actually Real


Don’t set up your partner to fail by having expectations of them which are too high.


Hypnotherapy can be used to change thinking patterns, behaviours and outcomes. Relationship hypnosis deals with the relationship you have with your partner.


Relationship hypnosis can help you:

  • Deal with negative emotions
  • Have much improved communications with the people around you
  • Recapture those feelings of love and romance
  • Build strong relationships towards a brighter future

You too can shift the dynamics of your relationship.



Coronavirus – Coping with the with the chaos

19 November 2020

How To Manage Uncertainty in Uncertain Times


The world is currently in the grip of a global pandemic.

We are living in extremely uncertain times - and that uncertainty can be difficult to cope with.

You may feel worried right now.

You may struggle to keep anxious thoughts in check.

And you may feel unsure about the future.

But help is at hand - you CAN learn to live with uncertainty.


Facing Uncertainty is Scarier than Facing Physical Pain


In 2016, a group of London researchers explored how people react to being told they will either "definitely" or "probably" receive a painful electric shock. They discovered an intriguing paradox. Volunteers who knew they would definitely receive a painful electric shock felt calmer and were measurably less agitated than those who were told they only had a 50 percent chance of receiving the electric shock.


A new study shows that the uncertainty of something bad happening can be more stressful than the knowledge of something bad happening. Researchers recruited 45 volunteers to play a computer game in which they turned over digital rocks that might have snakes hiding underneath. Throughout the game, they had to guess whether each rock concealed a snake. When a snake appeared, they received a mild but painful electric shock on the hand. Over the course of the game they got better about predicting under which rocks they’d find snakes, but the game was designed to keep changing the odds of success to maintain ongoing uncertainty. And when we’re facing outcomes imbued with uncertainty, it’s the fact that something bad might happen that “gets” us. The volunteers’ level of uncertainty correlated to their level of stress. So, if someone felt “certain” he or she would find a snake, stress levels were significantly lower than if they felt that maybe they would find a snake. In both cases, they’d get a shock, but their stress was loaded with added uncertainty.


Archy de Berker from the UCL Institute of Neurology said: "Our experiment allows us to draw conclusions about the effect of uncertainty on stress. It turns out that it's much worse not knowing you are going to get a shock than

knowing you definitely will or won’t“.


Uncertainty Ignites our Primitive Survival Instinct

If we can’t neutralise a perceived threat, we engage in the unhelpful process called “worry”.

We grapple with whatever the problem is to find solutions to the threat, but there are none.

Does this make us feel better? No, of course it doesn’t - it makes us feel worse.

In our need for certainty, we are wired to “catastrophise” - we view or talk of a situation as worse than it actually is. This leads to worry, which in turn leads to anxiety.

The modern brain struggles to distinguish between real threat and perceived threat.


The result is that the primitive brain takes over and triggers the primitive survival instinct - fight-or-flight. It asks questions:


What is going to happen...?

What is around the corner for me...?

Should I be doing less...?

Should I be doing more...?

What if my business is threatened?

What if my livelihood is threatened...?

What if my life is threatened...?

The lack of answers can lead to:

Anger

Aggression

Frustration


What Can we do to Mitigate Uncertainty?


There are a number of things we can do to lessen the effects of uncertainty:


  • Awareness is your superpower - be aware of your feelings and emotions
  • Notice the “worry story” you are telling yourself - try to distance yourself from it
  • Focus on breathing - long slow breaths
  • Recognise the need to rise above fight-or-flight
  • Accept uncertainty - allow yourself to stop the struggle


Stand up to Anxiety with Some Mood-Boosters

  • Exercise and movement
  • Meditation, self hypnosis
  • Achievement-oriented activity
  • Something pleasant or fun


Just 15 minutes a day, focussing on yourself, will help you regain a sense of balance.


The more you practice all these strategies, the better you will become!