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Depression afflicts millions of people in America and the UK every year. For some, it is a brief episode which occurs only once in their life time. However, for many it is either chronic or recurrent, and can significantly impact their lives. It can become a very debilitating condition, and for a small percentage, it leads to suicide. While drug companies tout the effectiveness of their latest anti-depressant, anyone who has battled the disorder knows that medication does not always help. Not to mention, most medications are fraught with side effects. Psychotherapy can also be helpful, but again, does not work for everyone.

Depression is a mood disorder and it’s much more common than you’d think. In fact MIND, the mental health charity, believes that around one in four people in the UK will suffer depression every year. Despite this, it’s much misunderstood, is often seen signal of personal weakness, and not everyone who experiences it recognises what they’re going through.

How do I know if I’m depressed?

Although depression ranges from mild to severe, it’s more than feeling ‘down’ or ‘sad’ for a few days. It’s one of those conditions which affects each of us differently, but you might have depression if you

  • feel hopeless (‘what’s the point?’) or deeply unhappy
  • can’t be bothered to do things you used to enjoy
  • feel tearful or find yourself crying for no specific reason
  • feel tired or listless a lot
  • find concentrating on things more difficult than usual
  • change your behaviour patterns around food, sleep, sex,
  • think about self-harm, death or suicide

People who are depressed often experience stress or anxiety as well.

Hypnosis for depression can help address the underlying cause as well as help individuals find much more effective coping behaviors. It can also help people achieve a happier mood and decrease or dispel the pessimistic and negative thoughts that generally accompany depression. Hypnotherapy for this disorder will typically use a combination of suggestion and imagery to bring about positive changes in the unconscious processes of the depressed individual. People who undergo hypnosis for this disorder will often experience a new sense of freedom and a greater sense of control over their thoughts, their mood, and their life in general.

Since anxiety often goes hand in hand with depression, hypnosis can also be very beneficial because it helps reduce and often alleviate the anxious thoughts and feelings. Rather than remain stuck in the vicious cycle of painful thoughts and feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and hopelessness, hypnosis can help the person to develop a more positive outlook by using powerful self-suggestion. Rather than going through life reacting to difficult situations that would previously have felt overwhelming or hopeless, the individual learns how to respond effectively.

With hypnotherapy, I can go down to the deepest level of any traumatic experiences, memories and stored emotions to release them from the mind and body. When this hypnotherapy process is completed, the client most often reports that their depression has lifted, that they have stopped the compulsive thoughts or behaviour, and that they are ready to resume living their lives again. With each healing session of clinical hypnotherapy, I can replace the fearful repetitive thoughts that often haunt people following a traumatic experience. Positive affirmations now work because the underlying emotional release has been accomplished.

Hypnotherapy helps you use the power of hypnotic suggestion to create long-term improvement and provides an effective way to access the individual’s ability to affect the physical body. Once self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviours have been resolved, the individual can begin to use hypnotic suggestibility to improve the body’s functioning. Hypnotherapy can be very helpful in correcting patterns of restless sleep, low energy or libido, headaches or chronic pain. And one can use hypnotherapy to increase motivation to exercise and eat properly.

 This article for those affected by anxiety/depression. It is basically using a form of self hypnosis and I have witnessed countless times how visualising oneself in a more positive situation actually changes the present.

Your subconscious is the far faster and more powerful part of your brain. So powerful that it can heal you if only you choose to listen and speak its own language. But it doesn’t speak English. It speaks through our intuition (emotions, pictures). And it doesn’t understand English. Again, it understands emotions and vivid images.

If you intentionally project a different reality to it through visualizing things differently, it quickly starts believing you and seeking proof for those new beliefs.

Here’s how to make the visualizations:

1. Visualize your life with no sign of depression. Down to the last detail – what kinds of things you do, with whom you do them, how you look, where you hang out, how you feel, how you’re dressed, what new thoughts you think, how much energy you have.

2. Engage all your 5 senses. Imagine what the air feels like on your skin, what your favorite person smells like, what that delicious desert you’re eating tastes like, what that great song you’re listening to sounds like. Remember – you need to persuade yourself this is reality, if only for a while.

3. Do it in the present tense. Ignore this only being in your head and visualize all this happening now, in front of you, feeling awesome. It feels stupid at first, but I’m telling you – if this made me believe I could sleep and eat again, it can make YOU recover too.

4. Be patient. At first you might not do it well, so it might not work right away. But learning how to control your brain will change your life forever. Give it some time and patience. In my case 2 weeks were enough to get me back on my feet, feeling better than ever (not joking – Better. Than. Ever.) In your case it might be a little more, but it’s worth every second invested in it.

5. Feel free to dream. There are no boundaries here. Visualize your life normal again, filled with positive people, adventures, great friends and lots of love. Anything that makes your subconscious feel better, so it starts releasing the happiness hormones again.

6. Write it down! Writing makes visualizations slower, which in its own turn makes them more mindful. The first time I felt the change happening in my brain, I wrote it down. For the first week, I wrote it down every day, then I started updating it once a week and kept that habit for months.

7. Do it twice a day. Trying to trick your brain is tricky itself. First, it needs repetition and devotion. Don’t skip and if you accidentally do, NEVER skip twice (until you’ve recovered). Also, do it when you wake up and before you go to bed.That’s when you’re sleepy because your logic’s resistance is weaker then and your subconscious is more open to “inception”.

8. If you can’t visualize, try this: Pick a small object at home, hold it in your hand and study it from all sides for a minute. Then close your eyes and try to visualize every detail of it. Repeast 2-3 times every day, change objects if you want. This will make you better at visualizing.

You need help and support. Depression is an awful enemy. Find a depression partner or a mentor to walk with you, step-by-step until you can “walk” by yourself. Someone who understands what you’re going through (any experience with depression is a great benefit) and will have your back no matter what. Try doing the visualizations together. This is great to do on it’s own but also a helpful exercise to accompany hypnosis with a trained Hypnotherapist who can use several other techniques at a far deeper level to help you on the journey back towards happiness.

Anger!

Anger, Angry, Bad, Burn, Dangerous       I have learned many skills along the path of my life to help me stay calm and  centred     but every now and again something surfaces that throws any semblance of balance right out of the window. I think when certain sensitive spots are hit, we regress back to early childhood and a tantrum erupts. Sometimes anxiety can create tension leading to anger. Not only does this often wreak havoc in our personal lives it can often have quite dramatic consequences in our professional lives. We often regret things we’ve said and done in a heated exchange and then spend considerable time beating ourselves up for it. Feelings of guilt lower our self esteem and before we know it we are in a downward spiral whereby everything irritates us. We try to suppress the irritation so as not to upset anyone but the energy needed to keep it pushed down and out of site just leads to more and more irritation and frustration. Before you know it, boom! off you go again!

“Anger is a sign that something needs to change” – Mark Epstein

What is anger? where does it come from? and why does it have the ability to boil our blood so much! A face of the ego, anger can come knocking for a variety of reasons. Anger is a sign that you aren’t satisfied with your current situation, whether it be emotionally or psychologically. To be plain, your basic needs are not being met and your ego “I” is letting you know loud and clear that you need to serve yourself a little better. When you realise you are becoming annoyed with a person, take a little time out.   Go and make a cup of tea or have a moment to yourself.  While you are doing that, think what you would like them to do, or not do in order to help the situation.  Nearly always, instead of anger, you will find that there is a request you can make. Make the request in a reasonable manner and most times people will oblige. Be specific, use a neutral tone and keep it brief. Often some small step towards a positive change will make you feel lighter inside and diffuse some of that anger. Trying to tackle a big issue in one go or just going on a rant generally just escalates the problem and changes nothing. Of course more serious issues would probably require outside intervention but for small, everyday irritations that build up, using the above strategies could begin to turn things around. For more help and advice follow the link below,Good luck!

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-freedom/201102/four-strategies-cope-anger-in-healthy-way

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We will all experience a form of anxiety at some point in our lives and during those times it can feel as though we are completely alone.

But it is important to remember that even the stars we see on TV, who appear confident and in control, will still suffer bouts of anxiety.

Celebrities are no exception when it comes to panic attacks. Whether it’s a one-time event or something they consistently struggle with, dealing with a panic attack is never easy — and many celebrities are the first to admit it.

Who else suffers?

Not so long ago Robbie Williams, who is well known for his anxiety, was helping Grammy- winner Adele to overcome her severe stage fright whilst preparing for her first Oscars performance.

The ‘Rolling In The Deep’ songstress  has suffered with terrible stage fright since she was 16, but it became worse than ever as she’d been out of the spot light for some time and needed something to help her with it. Robbie and his wife, Ayda helped her with breathing and relaxation exercises.

Zayn Malik, former member of One Direction, cancelled a show in Dubai due to ‘extreme anxiety’. In a message sent to fans, Malik explained how, while he is learning how to deal with nerves, he didn’t feel comfortable playing a live show.

However, it’s not just stage fright with some famous stars. Below are six celebrities who have suffered from panic attacks:

  • Amanda Seyfried.
  • Lena Dunham.
  • Oprah Winfrey.
  • Emma Stone. …
  • Ellie Goulding.
  • John Mayer.

In a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone, singer/songwriter John Mayer admitted to suffering from panic attacks set off by his fear of ending up in a mental institution.

Actress Amanda Seyfried told a well known magazine that she regularly sees a therapist to cope with her panic attacks.  “I still do get terribly nervous, and that’s partly due to the fact I think too much and overanalyze things,” she said. “I’ll start worrying about my parents or my dog, and I’ll picture him opening the window of my apartment and falling out, even though I can’t get that thing open myself.

During an overwhelming period at work in 2013, even Oprah Winfrey had a panic attack. She was filming Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” alongside doing a number of celebrity interviews.

You are not alone

When you are going through a bad time, remember that you are not alone. You are not the only one who is experiencing these issues, even though it may feel that way. Talking about how you feel and explaining what you are going through can be very helpful, though we understand that you may not feel comfortable talking to a loved one. While everyone may experience anxiety differently, there are steps you can take to reduce symptoms and hypnotherapy can help you to cope when feelings start to reappear, if not get rid of them altogether.

Hypnotherapy for anxiety

Hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment in reducing feelings of anxiety. The process looks to discover the root cause of the problem, then working to change the thoughts and feelings associated with it.

A hypnotherapist can begin to teach you how to regain a sense of control. You will discover how to alter negative or distorted thoughts that may be operating subconsciously using the reframing tool NLP. This will help remove the triggers for your anxiety and replace them with powerful, positive and confident thoughts enabling you to take on new challenges easily.

In trance you can replay stressful situations visually whilst viewing them from an emotionally detached perspective enabling you to gain new insights which help to resolve long standing problems.

I include EFT in many of my sessions, this is a tool which helps to calm the amygdala part of the brain, which keeps us on high alert, and reduces the cortisol(stress hormone) levels in the body.

Mindfulness is also very helpful in reducing mindfulness. For a great free course follow the link https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/mindfulness-wellbeing-performance?utm_campaign=Share+Links&utm_medium=futurelearn-run_details&utm_source=email

 

There’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when?

Your life will always be filled with challenges. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. By waiting until the problem is fixed in order to be happy, you simply keep yourself suspended in anticipation and anxiety. A quote comes from Alfred D. Souza. He said,

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”

This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time…and remember that time waits for no one. So, stop waiting until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until winter, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink…. there is no better time than right now to be happy.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination. Be happy in the present and make the decision to be happy right now!

Work like you don’t need money,

Love like you’ve never been hurt,

And dance like no one’s watching.

Robert Westerburg

 

A strange thing happened as I got older;  I got to know myself. It turned out that while I was still the outgoing, social girl I had always been, at my core I was quite introverted. It restored my batteries to have time alone. I felt more in control of my life when I had time to reflect. Having lived in my own place without roommates or partner, having brought up a child and started working for myself, having come through a difficult and devastating illness, I learned to treasure who I was as well as my time alone. But this can be very confusing for people who have known you in the past and expect you to still be the same and often treat you accordingly. What helps is to let close friends in on the things you’ve discovered and learned about yourself. I know what I value and what I believe in, I know what makes a true friend and who to avoid so it’s difficult to pretend in the face of superficiality anymore. Consequently, I find myself a little impatient in certain social situations!

Whether these new personal notions came through a breakup, serious counselling, illness or a spiritual experience, expectations are everything in relationships. People will be much more understanding and agreeable once they know what to expect. Then you get to stop feeling like you’re either letting people down, or letting yourself down.  Change is a huge part of growing older. Tastes change, hobbies change, habits change. Don’t just embrace it, help the ones you love embrace it too.

For tips on feeling young https://www.britishseniors.co.uk/life-over-50/stuart/how-we-grow-old-part-2/

 

 

Just a little addition as I haven’t blogged for a long while. Been having lots of success with phobias recently. A man who was trapped in a blanket box at the end of his bed whilst playing hide and seek as a young boy, has totally recovered from his fear of confined spaces, particularly lifts since working with me. He had let the lid go down completely and it wouldn’t open again. Even when shouting to his mum in anguish, she couldn’t hear because she was hoovering and he was imprisoned in the box for hours, believing he would die. Obviously this has led to an extreme fear of being trapped in closed in spaces. We used a fast rewind technique to reframe the original trigger and then he remembered how he’d played this game many times before with his brother and had always been able to get out due to placing his fingers just under the lid and not allowing it to close properly. This new realisation changed his perception a great deal. He was able to view the space as far larger when re-imagining the scenario and was able to allow himself to breathe deeply and easily by anchoring previous relaxation techniques. So much so he told me he was enjoying the feel of the soft fleecy blankets! Since then he has been up and down in lifts dozens of times at his conferences where previously he was only ever able to take the stairs! He’s also just got back from his holiday to Spain where he flew in a plane without the usual need for alcohol to allay the anxiety. Great results I’d say, really pleased for him.

Top 5 Mindfulness Tips

Mindfulness is an everyday practice which can help you cultivate the inner peace that personifies the season.

1. Eat consciously. 
Turn off the TV, put aside your phone or the newspaper and make your mealtime an event all its own. Take in the color and the smell of your food, feel its texture in your mouth and savor the flavors. Eating is an amazingly rich and complex symphony of sensations when you really pay attention.

2. Pause at the light and when you’re in line. 
Wait times are opportune times for mindfulness practice. If you’re stuck in holiday traffic or waiting in a department store checkout line, take a breath and bring awareness to the present. Notice your surroundings, and check in with how you feel. If impatience or some other emotion arises, just note it with curiosity and return to the breath.

3. Take a mindfulness moment when tensions rise. 
When emotions are triggered, our normal impulse is to take action – to fight, flee or freeze. Yet these are the times when mindfulness can serve us best. Rather than react impulsively, pause and take a full breath or two. Relax the body and soften the mind. It can help defuse the charge of a potentially challenging situation.

4. Really listen. 
Listening is a mindfulness practice that builds connection. When you’re in the company of another person, put aside your need-to-do list and thoughts of what you’ll say next and really listen. Your full attention is one of the greatest gifts you can give to another.

5. Be kind. 
Kindness feels good – for the person who extends it and the one on the receiving end. It also cultivates a happy, peaceful mind that’s less judgmental and more able to be present in the moment. And kindness isn’t just for other people; remember to extend it to yourself, too.

For more tips on mindfulness go to http://www.londonmindful.com/blog

Stress is my friend!

Often, when the pressures of life are building up and we are rushing around trying to keep on top of it all we can become exhausted and our bodies start to release stress hormones which keep our bodies on high alert. Sometimes this creates sensations in our bodies which can feel uncomfortable and frightening, for example, our hearts begin to pound and we can find ourselves short of breath! Although this feels alarming it is actually a clever function in our bodies designed to help us meet a challenge! Instead of interpreting these sensations within as our body preparing to ‘freak out!’ and cause us damage we should be viewing them as our body becoming more energised!

These stress hormones are helpful to you,  your pounding heart is preparing you for action, as you breathe faster, more oxygen gets to your brain. Another  hormone which is released when stressed is Oxytocin, often known as the cuddle hormone, as it is released when you hug! It invests your brain with social instincts and makes you reach out more to others, crave physical contact and strengthens relationships by giving you more empathy and compassion. Therefore, in a way, it is urging you to seek support by telling someone when life is hard. Your body wants you to be surrounded by those that care! It also protects your cardiovascular system from the effects of stress, helping heart cells to regenerate and heal quickly from stress damage.

So the message here is: don’t fear stress, see it as your friend! Respond to your instincts by reaching out for help or even connect to others through helping them. There is evidence a plenty to demonstrate that the bodies of those people who spent large portions of their time helping others showed no harmful effects of stress compared to those who didn’t. When you see your stress responses as helpful, it transforms fear into courage!

Stay happy and healthy!

Becky