Grief Awareness Day

30 August is National Grief Awareness Day. If you have not experienced grief yet in your life you have been very fortunate, but it’s highly likely you will at some point. This day is about examining grief and raising awareness both of how to cope with grief yourself and how to help others.

Grief is a complex response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone you loved. Although usually less extreme is can be a response to the loss of something else, such as a large amount of money, a job or a cherished pet. Grief is usually thought of as an emotional response but it can have physical, cognitive, behavioural, social, cultural and philosophical dimensions as well.

Many believe in the five stages of grief and this is a good way to describe the process. The stages are;
• Denial. The first reaction is disbelief. Some sort of mistake must have happened. It is natural to cling to some hope no matter how unrealistic it might be.
• Anger. When denial has run its course then frustration and anger at the situation is common. Responses such as ‘Why has this happened?’, ‘Who is responsible?’, ‘Why me?’.
• Bargaining. This involves the hope that the crisis can somehow be avoided. This may include negotiation with god to have time to achieve something, perhaps attend an important event, in exchange for a lifestyle change.
• Depression. You despair at the reality of the situation. In this stage you may become withdrawn, sullen and mournful.
• Acceptance. You embraces the reality of the situation and the inevitability of the outcome. In the case of people who are dying, this acceptance often is reached before the loved ones around them.

What these steps don’t convey is that the stages are not always sequential. A grieving person may not always go through them once and you can bounce between them for minutes, hours, days or even months. For example, when my Partner’s father died, he was extremely busy with work. He dealt with practical aspects, arranged the funeral, etc., but did not really grieve. It was the first anniversary of the death that triggered a grieving process. Each person is different, as is their methods of grief and coping.

Grief is a normal reaction to a loss and in most cases will lessen over time and not cause any lasting problems. The amount of time spent grieving and in each stage of the process can vary from person to person and depend on the nature of the loss. But, some people find it difficult to move on and this can cause problems that may need some additional help. Hypnotherapy can help to:
• Reduce the symptoms of grief
• Organise their grief so that you can grieve but not all the time
• Find a way to grieve that doesn’t overwhelm you
• Change your perception of the loss
• Deal with feelings of (survivors) guilty or regret
• Reconnect to memories of the person, without painful feelings or distress
• Allow you to access feelings of calm and strength
• Assist you to socialise and reintegrate into society
• Empower you to achieve necessary goals and tasks

When someone has experienced a loss it can be hard to know what to do or say. I know when I have lost close relatives, some of friends withdrew not knowing what to do or say and not wanting to make things worse. But in fact, a helping hand, a laugh and a joke or a comforting presence can go a long way. So, offer that helping hand, lend an ear or a thoughtful message and be there for them. Help, how and when you can, and if they are struggling then encourage them to seek expert help. If you or someone you know could benefit from hypnotherapy then contact me.

And finally, remember, as George Elliot (British Author) said, “Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them”.


Just because

27 August is National Just Because Day. Why? Well, just because. It’s a day to stop worrying about why and just do.

As we become adults we tend to develop routines, always doing what is expected of us or what works well for us. But on this special day those unspoken rules no longer apply. It’s a chance to be a little spontaneous. It’s also a good opportunity to spread some positivity to others. The possibilities are endless. The only thing holding you back is you.
This idea is closely related to innovation and creativity. Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ways of thinking or doing and develop new and original ideas, methods, etc. Trying new things, challenging the status que and keeping an open mind are important steps to improving your quality of life. As Henry Miller (American Author) said, “All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience”.

“Just Because” activities usually stem from a “what if” train of thought. Try a new route to work, you might find a better / shorter one. That brand of coffee you have been drinking for the last ten years, perhaps try a few new ones, you might find something better. As Benny Hill (British Comedian) said, “Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect”.

On a slightly grander scale, perhaps go on an impromptu road trip, send a message to someone you haven’t spoken to recently or surprise a friend or relative with flowers. Why? Just because.

Doing something like this could create a positive ripple effect for everyone they meet. Don’t forget to teach your friends about Just Because Day, you can encourage them to spread the good news. Be the bearer of good vibes. Doing something like this could create a positive ripple effect for everyone you meet and everyone they meet.


Just for laughs

16 August is national Tell a Joke Day. So here goes. What’s the best thing about Switzerland? I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus.

It’s nice to share a good laugh, but did you know it can actually improve your health? It brings people together in a way that triggers healthy physical and emotional changes. Laughter also helps to strengthen your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.

When we are children we laugh all the time but as adults life tends to be more serious and laughter less frequent. But by seeking out opportunities for humour and laughter, you can improve your emotional health, strengthen your relationships, find greater happiness and perhaps add years to your life. As Jasper Carrot (British Comedian) said, “Laughter is the best medicine. Unless you’re diabetic, then insulin comes pretty high on the list.”

So, how does it work? Well, the benefits of laughter are many. It relaxes the whole body. A good laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. This also decreases the production of stress hormones and increases immune cells and antibodies.

Laughter not only burns calories but triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. It also improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular issues.

Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without bitterness or resentment. It can also help you shift perspective and allow you to see situations in a more realistic, less troubling light. A humourous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and so diffuse conflict.

Laughter draws you closer to others, which can have a profound effect on all aspects of your mental and emotional health. Also, a study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humour outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.

Humour can also aid creativity. As David Ogilvy (British Businessman) said, “The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible”. So, perhaps you are brainstorming ideas and someone says something funny and everyone laughs. But what if we could change this or that, perhaps it becomes a great idea.

In truly dark times, laughter can gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh, or even simply a smile, can go a long way toward making you feel better.

Here are some ways to start:
• Smiling is the beginning of laughter, and like laughter, it’s contagious. Recall something pleasant or fulfilling and smile.
• Count your blessings (You could literally make a list). The simple act of considering the positive aspects of your life will distance you from negative thoughts that may block humour and laughter.
• When you hear laughter, move toward it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”
• Spend time with fun, playful people and people who laugh easily, both at themselves and at life’s absurdities, and who routinely find the humour in everyday events.
• Try to bring humour into conversations by making humorous observations or telling funny stories.


Introspective Hypnosis

If I can inspire one spark of awareness or get a spark of introspection or reflection about someone else’s life, that’s a beautiful thing, in my opinion. – Noah Centineo (American Actor)

As you may know, one of my passions is past life regression. But I am also a qualified practitioner of Introspective Hypnosis. So what is Introspective Hypnosis? Well it was originally created by Aurelio Mejia and has been adapted and taught by Antonio Sangio and Alba Weinman. It’s a collection of overlapping and complimentary Hypnotherapy techniques that help you to explore and heal the body, mind and soul. These include Hypnosis, Forgiveness Therapy, Role Change, Past Life Regression, Spirit Assistance (aka Spirit Releasement), Soul Fragmentation and Recovery and Entrapment of the Soul.

Now that may sound a little complicated, but in practice it means getting access to a person’s subconscious and look for the origin of psychological problems or psychosomatic symptoms such as fears, phobias, addictions. Often these are caused by a past event in this life or in a previous one. Other techniques within the Introspective Hypnosis family are then used to deal with these problems and bring relief.

Yes, I did just say that the root of a problem may be in a previous life. Deep in the mind we have traces of past experiences that it is not convenient to remember. Past-life recall comes from long-term memory stored in your subconscious. The soul’s history is stored in the Akashic Records which you are able to contact through your unconscious mind. Exploring your past lives can reveal a new understanding of your personality. This can explain why you are drawn to certain places, types of people or have a particular interest in something.

So, knowing the source of a problem is a key step towards solving it. Introspective hypnosis is used to release emotional conflicts and look for the origin of psychosomatic diseases in order to find and remove the triggering emotion from the problem. Regression therapy is a technique in which hypnosis is used so that a patient safely remembers the moment at the root of their phobias, fears, sadness, anguish, eating disorder, low self-esteem, insecurity, pain, obesity, obsessions, allergies, addictions, etc. Other techniques, such as Forgiveness Therapy or Soul Fragmentation, are then used to understand the reason for a condition, forgive, accept and reprogram their mind to generate a healing effect.

This is a very powerful, but gentle, technique and experience over many therapies has shown me that, in most cases, one session is enough to provide relief if not a full cure. If you feel this is something that can help you, then contact me.


You need friends

“Friends are the siblings God never gave us”, Mencius (Chinese Philosopher)

Sunday 1 August is National Friendship Day. It encourages everyone across the world to connect (or reconnect) with friends or even make new ones. It was originally founded by Hallmark in 1919 and was intended to be a day for people to celebrate their friendship by sending each other cards. The world has changed a great deal since then, but the basic idea lives on and, in 1998, Winnie the Pooh was named the world’s Ambassador of Friendship by the United Nations

We begin developing friendships when we’re very young and do so throughout our lives. When we are children we explored the world with our school friends and neighbourhood pals. Together we shared experiences and made plans for the future. Eventually, paths diverge, perhaps going to a different school or university. But each new friend expands our experience, our view of the world and our culture changes. Their experiences contribute to new meaning in our lives. Through friendships, we grow and broaden our horizons. Eventually, the world becomes smaller and more connected. I am lucky enough, for example, have friends in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

With the advent of social media it’s easy to accumulate “friends”, but are they true friends or acquaintances? As Marlene Dietrich (American Actress) said, “It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter”. How many of your friends would answer your call at 4am?
But as we get older we lose friends and can find it more difficult to make new ones. This can lead to loneliness, isolation and can exacerbate stress and burnout. So it’s important to nurture and cherish your friends and perhaps try to find some new ones. Use this National Friendship day to celebrate the friends you have and the new ones you have yet to meet. Perhaps try some of the following:
• Get in contact with your friends for a chat or visit.
• Accept an invitation to meet new people.
• Share a memory with old friends.
• Tell your friends how much you appreciate them.
• Challenge your circle of friends to share an experience they think none of your other friends have had. You’ll discover new things about your friends and find out just how unique each of them is.
• Send a card / e-card to your friend. It was the original goal of the day.
• Post on social media using #NationalFriendshipDay to encourage others to connect with each other.