Re-train your brain for a more positive life
Every week, 1 in 6 people in England report a mental health issue, such as depression or anxiety. Mixed depression and anxiety is estimated to cause one fifth of lost work days in Britain. As a hypnotherapist, I often see clients with one issue but it soon becomes clear this is a symptom of something else. Very often, this is depression and anxiety.
Reports suggest that in the UK only around 1 in 8 adults with a mental health problem are currently receiving treatment, with medication being most common*. Everyone with depression will experience it in a different way. There is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment.
What is depression?
Depression involves the body, mood and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats, sleeps, feels about himself or herself, and thinks about things. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with depression cannot merely ‘pull themselves together’ and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people with depression*.
Signs and symptoms of depression
The signs and symptoms of depression include loss of interest in activities that were once interesting or enjoyable, including sex; loss of appetite, with weight loss, or overeating, with weight gain; loss of emotional expression (flat affect); a persistently sad, anxious, or empty mood; feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness; social withdrawal; unusual fatigue, low energy level, a feeling of being slowed down; sleep disturbance and insomnia, early-morning awakening or oversleeping; trouble concentrating, remembering, or making decisions; unusual restlessness or irritability; persistent physical problems such as headaches, digestive disorders, or chronic pain that do not respond to treatment, and thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts. Generally, to receive a medical diagnosis of depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks*.
Hypnosis and depression
Hypnosis can help in many ways. It can help a client to reduce and/or gain better control over their feelings, change negative behaviours and self-talk, and install more positive self-talk and affirmations. Hypnosis can help a client to regain control and feel more joy. It can help re-train the brain for a more positive life.
*https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/; and https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-depression; and https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=2947
World Diabetes Day 2018
14 November 2018 is World Diabetes Day. This is a globally-celebrated event which increases awareness about diabetes. The theme for 2018 is The Family and Diabetes. Designed to raise awareness of the impact that diabetes can have on the family, it also promotes the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of diabetes.
November 14th is a significant date in the diabetes calendar because it marks the birth of the man who co-discovered insulin, Frederick Banting. Banting discovered insulin in 1922, alongside Charles Best.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. There are 2 main types of diabetes:
- type 1 diabetes – where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin;
- type 2 diabetes– where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2.
Many more people have blood sugar levels above the normal range, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes. This is sometimes known as pre-diabetes. If your blood sugar level is above the normal range, your risk of developing full-blown diabetes is increased.
It’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated.
How can hypnosis help?
Lifestyle plays a huge part in the development of Type 2 diabetes. Risk factors include being over-weight, having an unhealthy diet and being physically inactive. People diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes may become depressed, anxious, angry and withdrawn.
Hypnosis can help you to take control of the stress and anxiety of such a diagnosis and help you to make better lifestyle choices, such as exercising more, making healthy food choices, reducing your sugar and alcohol intake, losing weight. It can help you to take control of your emotional responses, so you feel more positive and optimistic.
WHEN ANXIETY BECOMES A MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM
Anxiety becomes a mental health issue if it interferes with your ability to live your life as fully as you want to. For example, anxiety may be a problem if:-
- Your feelings of anxiety are very strong or last for a long time
- Your fears or worries are out of proportion to the situation
- You avoid situations that might cause you to feel anxious
- Your worries feel very distressing, or hard to control
- You regularly experience symptoms of anxiety, which could include panic attacks
- You find it hard to go about your every day life or do the things that you enjoy.
If you recognise yourself in the statements above, then talk to someone and seek help to move forward and do the things you want to do.
I had an interesting few days in January, as I was on retreat in a lovely country house in the middle of the Devonshire countryside. This was the first stage of a mindfulness teaching programme. By the end of the year, I will be able to teach mindfulness as one of the “tools” I can offer my clients.
The programme is run by Youth Mindfulness. It will help deepen my understanding and practice of mindfulness, and enable me to teach mindfulness to others.
Mindfulness gives me time out from the stresses of life, thereby bringing me back to the present. It can help anyone to re-focus and achieve calm and peace in an ever-changing, stressful world. It involves paying attention to what is happening in the moment, in a non-judgemental, kind and accepting way. It helps us to respond to the difficulties and stresses of life in a more resilient way, and enables us to cope calmly with anything that life may throw at us.
I’m really excited and look forward to being able to share this deeper understanding with my clients, with whom I already share basic exercises in mindfulness. I find mindfulness combined with hypnosis to be very beneficial with issues such as stress, depression, anxiety and self-esteem.
I am really glad I have started this mindfulness teaching programme, and look forward to the next retreat.
Today I have created a new YouTube Channel dedicated to Hypnotherapy and Counselling. On this channel you can access all my Talk Radio podcasts, and more content as I produce it.
You can access my YouTube Channel here.
Obesity crisis in the UK! Words we are hearing more and more. A new analysis of bariatric surgery, published in The BMJ, states that the UK has the second highest rate of obesity in Europe and ranks sixth internationally, with 25% of adults being obese and 62% being overweight. However, the number of people having bariatric surgery is falling (1), leading to calls today for bariatric surgery to be rebranded and called “metabolic and diabetes surgery” to make it more attractive to men in particular. However, surely such drastic surgery should be considered only as a last resort? We know that diets do not work, but why does hypnotherapy not receive greater attention? It is very effective for weight loss, and has none of the risks and unpleasant side effects of surgery.
Furthermore, many bariatric patients receive little, if any, counselling or other psychiatric and emotional support, even though many patients will have underlying issues that have led to their unhealthy eating behaviour. Many also lack confidence and self-esteem. Without help and support, they continue to the same eating behaviours after surgery, and continue to feel bad about themselves. If the behaviour is not changed, you can still gain weight, even after surgery.
Hypnotherapy on the other hand is safe and natural, without any unpleasant side effects. The hypnotherapist provides that psychological and emotional support, considering the reasons behind the unhealthy eating behaviour, working with the client to resolve any issues and increase feelings of self-esteem, confidence and positivity, using suggestion, visualisation and relaxation. Clients are helped and supported as they learn new, healthy, eating behaviours, such as #portion control.
If you want to lose weight, consider hypnotherapy before surgery, and make a real difference to your life.
Many smokers reach for a cigarette when they are feeling stressed. Even though they know that smoking hurts them and the ones they love, some smokers find it hard to give up cigarettes as smoking is their coping mechanism, their way of coping with stress. However, while the immediate hit of nicotine may initially help you to relax, in the long-term smoking actually increases stress levels. Stress is part of life, so a key part of becoming a non-smoker for many people is finding alternative ways to handle stress.
Studies have shown that ex-smokers are less stressed than they were when they were smoking. And with proposals to ban smoking still further, outside pubs, clubs, restaurants and theatres, is it now time to take that big step and become a non-smoker? Just think of the benefits to you and your family, not only to your health, but also to your pocket. Do you realise that if you have smoked 20 cigarettes a day for 10 years, you will have spent approximately £20,000 on smoking. Just think about what you could do with all that extra money!
Whether you consider yourself a social smoker or a heavy smoker, the thought of not smoking can be daunting. According to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), around two thirds of current smokers would like to stop smoking, however 60% say they would find it hard to last a whole day without a cigarette.
When it comes to becoming a non-smoker, a key aspect is to let go of the routine you once had and look at cigarettes differently. Hypnotherapy is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of treatment to help you do this. Hypnotherapy can also help you to address the stress in your life, so you no longer need to use that cigarette as a coping mechanism.
It is important to remember that hypnotherapy for smoking is not a quick fix. While for some people just one session is enough to quit smoking, others may benefit from a follow-up session. The ultimate aim is to empower you to take control of your addiction and develop new patterns of thinking that promote healthier behaviours.