photo-1534330207526-8e81f10ec6fc

Loneliness, don’t suffer alone.

Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self. May Sarton (Belgian – American Poet).


Loneliness Awareness Week is 14 to 18 June 2021 and is hosted by Marmalade Trust. It’s a campaign to raises awareness of loneliness and get people talking about it. In 2020, they reached around 271 million people with their campaign – all while in lockdown.

This Loneliness Awareness Week, they are encouraging us to view loneliness as an experience, not as a condition. Loneliness doesn’t have to define us. Everyone feels lonely from time to time. We are social creatures after all. We are designed for social contact and loneliness is simply the signal that we need more of it. So, by building greater awareness and acceptance of loneliness, we can help ourselves and others to better manage the feeling.

Covid-19 has meant that many of us are working from home over the past months, separated from our colleagues and many of our usual social connections. But even before the pandemic, an increasing numbers of people were experiencing loneliness in their working lives. The Co-Op and New Economics Foundation found that loneliness costs UK employers over £2.5 billion a year due to increased sick days, time off to care for others, burnout, to lower productivity and poor staff retention levels.

Loneliness can have a great impact on our mental and physical health. When someone suffers long-term loneliness, they are more likely to engage in unhealthy lifestyle choices. For example, poor diet, lack of exercise or increased use of alcohol, nicotine and other substances. This leaves them at a higher risk of obesity and other associated health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Studies have also discovered that loneliness and a lack of social stimulation is associated with long-term cognitive decline. This can affect memory and develop into more serious neurological disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Furthermore, chronic loneliness can impair the immune system, leaving us less able to fight off illness and disease. The Neuroscientist and Researcher, John Cacioppo, found that people who felt acutely lonely over prolonged periods had higher levels of inflammation in their bodies.

After more than a year of lockdowns, social distancing, and other restrictions, more of us are experiencing loneliness than ever and this is having an impact on our wellbeing. We need to remove the stigma and shame surrounding loneliness.

So, if you are experiencing loneliness then reach out to others. If you have conditions that restrict your ability to do this, such as low confidence / self-esteem or anxiety, then contact me and we can discuss how hypnotherapy can help. Additionally, if you are struggling to adjust to return to normal or have picked up unwanted habits or addictions, then get in touch to see how I can help.

photo-1419848449479-6c8a7d8d62c2

PTSD…

Peace, Tranquillity, Serenity, Diversion? Not so much.

June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness month in the US. While, 27 June 2021 is PTSD Awareness day more widely. PTSD is an anxiety disorder associated with traumatic events. It has also been known as battle fatigue, combat fatigue, combat neurosis and shell shock.

Many people think that PTSD is only something that happens to people in the armed forces, but this is not the case. Being part of or witnessing any traumatic event, particularly one characterised by fear, helplessness, or horror in response to the threat of harm or death, can cause some degree of PTSD.

PTSD is probably more common than you think. It is estimated that as many as 70% of Americans have experienced an event traumatic enough to cause PTSD or PTSD-like symptoms. Now, this does not mean that 70% all of Americans have PTSD. However, typically one in five people who experience a traumatic event will have PTSD symptoms to some degree.

PTSD can happen to anyone, at any time of life. It is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw. A range of factors can affect the chances that someone will develop PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control. For example, if you were directly exposed to the trauma or injured, rather than witnessing it, you are more likely to develop it.

PTSD can cause a wide range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms. These include panic attacks, flashbacks, hypervigilance, irrational anger or fear, nightmares, digestive issues, feeling numb and exhaustion. In more extreme cases PTSD can cause suicidal thoughts or self-destructive acts. Symptoms can vary in intensity and there is no standard case. They may come and go, or be more persistent for a time. Sufferers can be high-functioning, while others may be more debilitated by it. The person may use alcohol or other drugs to ease or mask symptoms.

As Peter A. Levine (Psychologist) says, “Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence”. So if you, or someone you know, has these symptoms, then seek help. Regardless of the severity of the symptoms or how long ago the trauma happened there is help available. More severe cases can be successfully treated by psychotherapies such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR) and Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). While milder symptoms can be treated with Hypnotherapy. If you contact me, I will carry out an initial consultation to discuss with you what symptom you have. If I can help you I will set out how and let you know how many sessions I recommend. If I feel I can’t help you, I will refer to a better suited health professional.

photo-1496449903678-68ddcb189a24

It’s OK to not be OK

The underbelly of the human psyche, what is often referred to as our dark side, is the origin of every act of self-sabotage. Birthed out of shame, fear, and denial, it misdirects our good intentions and drives us to unthinkable acts of self-destruction and not-so-unbelievable acts of self-sabotage. Debbie Ford (American Author).


One thing that frustrates me as a Hypnotherapist is that people are reluctant to ask for help. They suffer far longer than they need to before seeking assistance. You would not think about living with a broken arm, so why are conditions that are less visual any different. If you have conditions that effect your quality of life, even slightly, then don’t hesitate, get help.


Every human regardless of how successful you are has anxieties, insecurities and challenges. Anyone can suffer from mental health issues. Being rich or famous is no shield against it. Many celebrities, such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Michael Phelps, Marcus Trescothick and Lady Gaga have publicly shared their stories of mental health challenges. This has helped to bring the discussion much more into the general media and everyday conversation. We need to continue changing how people think and act about mental health problems.

For example, it is thought that about half of people with forms of mental illness don’t seek help for their disorders. This is often because people avoid or delay seeking treatment due to concerns about being treated differently or fears of losing their jobs and livelihood. Sadly, the stigma, prejudice and discrimination against people with mental illness is still a problem. But be assured, as a health care professional, all information you give is treated in the strictest confidence and not share with others without your permission.

Reach out, talk to someone you will be surprised find you are not alone. So, if you have a condition or other ailments that Hypnotherapy can help with don’t wait any longer. Contact me to find out how I can help you. I will carry out an initial consultation to discuss with you what issues you want to resolve. If I can help you I will set out how and let you know how many sessions I recommend. If I feel I can’t help you, I will refer to a better suited health professional.

photo-1527137342181-19aab11a8ee8

Nature, is in your nature

Time spent in nature is the most cost-effective and powerful way to counteract the burnout and sort of depression that we feel when we sit in front of a computer all day. Richard Louv (American Author). 

The Mental Health Foundation is holding a Mental Health Awareness Week from 10-16 May 2021. Their mission is to help people to better understand, protect and sustain their mental health. This preventative approach is the basis of what they do, as the best way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it in the first place. Their vision is good mental health for all. 

This year the theme of the week is Nature and its importance for good mental health. It’s easy to under estimate the importance of nature to our psychological and emotional health. For me it’s almost impossible to imagine good mental health without a connection to the natural world. Spending time in nature helps to calm, rejuvenate and energise me. For most of human history we have lived very close to, and as part of, nature. It is only in the last few generations that so many of us have lived and worked in cities and towns often with little or no assess to nature and the countryside.

As early as Victorian times, sanatoriums were set well away from towns and cities often in vast landscaped estates with private gardens for each ward. More recently, 1960s studies in the US found that patients who were treated in hospitals with a view of nature recovered faster.

Despite this sadly, many of us do not value or have access to the benefits of nature. It is thought that around 13% of UK households have no access to a garden. With greater pressure on land to build houses, green belt, gardens and park lands are being eroded.

If you are struggling with mental health issues, don’t suffer in silence. There is help available. With Hypnotherapy, for example, you are able to examine your thought processes and beliefs. These can be the cause of emotional, physical, mental or even spiritual problems. Once identified, changes can be made to address these issues and improve your quality of life. To find out more, click here.

photo-1616430652783-a0d093858026

Are you in a good place to die?

2020 was a year that seemed to be over shadowed by death and dying and although the UK and some other parts of the world are in a better place now, 2021 is not much better in places like India and Brazil.

Dying Matters has around 12,000 members, and are actively seeking those that are committed to supporting changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviours around dying, death and bereavement. Crucially, they want people of all ages to be in a good place when they die – physically, emotionally and with the right care in place.

This year’s Dying Matters Awareness Week runs from Monday 10 May to Sunday 16 May.  The idea is to open up conversations about death, dying and bereavement. The focus this year is on the importance of being in a good place to die and how you and your loved ones can plan for the end of life. There are five aspects of being in a good place to die.

Physically. Where people die is changing. More people than ever are dying at home and the pandemic has seen this trend increase. Have you thought about this?

Emotionally. Have you had an open and honest conversation about dying, how it would affect you and your family and associated feelings and emotions?

Financially. Is there a will? Are their wishes clear and well understood? Have you given any thought to the funeral? Remember that at the moment there is a limit to how many people can attend a funeral or wake. Are finances, insurance policies and other matters in order?

Spiritually. Are they at peace with their family, friends and beliefs? Are there any last wishes, desires or tasks to complete?

Digitally. Has access to social media, online banking and other digital matters been thought about?

If you are struggling with any aspect of death, dying or loss then Hypnotherapy can be very useful in a number of ways. These can include reducing the symptoms of grief, helping to find a way to grieve that doesn’t overwhelm you, changing your perception of the loss, help for you to deal with feelings of (survivors) guilty or regret and empower you to reconnect to memories of the person without painful feelings or distress. If you are struggling with a loss or bereavement click here to contact me.

photo-1563013544-824ae1b704d3

PayPal Free Credit

Did you know that PayPal offer free four month loans?

A friend of mine recently made me aware of something that PayPal offer that is really useful. They offer four month free credit on purchases over £99. Now, you need to think very seriously before taking on debt. You need to be sure you can keep up with the repayments and pay off the debt. But, if you were thinking of booking a session with me and are finding the money a problem, then this is a solution.

The agreement is between you and PayPal and I am not involved with it at all. I will not see your payment details and PayPal will not share any of your personal information with me. Also, I have no connection with PayPal, other than having a PayPal account to take payments. I do not receive any form of inducement or commission if you use this way to pay. I just thought it was a very useful way to get short term, free, credit.

To find out more then click here.

Freedom1

Could it be true?

Is Lockdown really coming to an end? What do we do now?

After more than a year of lockdown, fear of catching Covid19 and the rising death toll it does seem we have turned a corner. My partner  recently had his first vaccination and I feel things do seem brighter. The end does now seem to be in sight, but there is still some way to go. Perhaps, we can all start to think about how we will celebrate “getting back to normal”. It does occur to me as I write this in early April 2021 that this blog post may not age well if things go wrong from here, but this how things look to me now.

So, what is getting back to normal? We have all led different lives in the last year and have new routines. After lockdown I, for one, will have less free time and I will have to organise myself much better. I will have to think seriously about what activities I will continue with and which ones to discards. A year is more than enough time to develop new habits and even addictions. Perhaps you are not very active anymore or are drinking more alcohol than before. Now, addiction is an overused word.  An addiction is a condition where you do something and cannot stop, or have strong cravings if you stop, even though it’s harmful to you. So, being addicted to EastEnders is not really an addiction unless you cannot stop watching it and it’s somehow harming you. I know it can be depressing sometimes, but harmful? Similarly, if you have developed an “addiction” to regularly exercising during lock down, firstly well done and secondly it’s not really an addiction.

I have seen in the media that the feelings associated with coming out of lockdown have been given a name. The most common one seems to be re-entry syndrome. Going back to doing something you may not have done for a year or more will feel odd, be it traveling on a bus or train, being in the office or hanging out with friends and family again. This is normal and nothing to worry about – you will quickly adjust. But, it you are struggling to shed now unwanted habits or returning to how things were before, then help is at hand.

Some long ingrained habits that worked for you during lockdown, may not work well when you are not locked down. And these can be difficult to change. Lack of time or feeling outside your comfort zone can be stressful. Any major change in your life, not least society as a whole, can make you anxious and worry about the future. Hypnotherapy can help with addictions, unwanted habits, stress and anxiety. From mindfulness, to relaxation to hypnotherapy there are a range of techniques that can help. If you need assistant then ask. There is no need to struggle alone. Click here to find out how I can help. 

stress

Stress, what is it good for?

April is stress awareness month. Are you stressed?

We all feel stressed from time to time. Perhaps when we are busy or something unexpected happens. Stress is a state of physiological disturbance to your normal well-being, occurring due to environmental (external) factors. One way to look at stress is when the demands on you are greater than the personal resources you have. Perhaps, not enough time, information or money. Typical signs of stress include increased blood pressure, insomnia and irritability.

Some stress is not necessarily a bad thing and triggers responses in us to help deal with the situation we are in. When we are stressed, we release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which prepares the body for physical action – fight or flight. This reaction also causes physical changes such as blood supply being diverted to certain muscle groups and shutting down some secondary bodily functions such as digestion. These hormones provide us with a boost of energy to help us fight the danger or run away. This response is probably of more use to a caveman confronted with a dangerous animal, but it also has a place in the modern world. This response will be triggered by any stressful situation.

But, long term, unresolved, stress is not healthy and can have damaging effects on the body.  Raised cortisol levels can caused increase in blood sugar and blood pressure levels as well as a decrease in libido. Ultimately, if left untreated or unresolved, it can result in breakdown or even suicide. The problem comes when your body goes into a state of stress when it’s not appropriate or when this response is unnecessary. If you are stressed by a tight deadline, being ready to run or fight is not helpful. Also when blood flow is diverted to the most important muscles needed to fight or flee, brain function is impaired. This mean you can’t ‘think straight’ and this leads to poor decision making. A state that is not ideal in either our work or home lives.

Everyone experiences stress in different ways. For some it might be headaches or an eczema flare up. For others perhaps a change in personality such as being short tempered or impatient. Stress can also affect the immune system making us more likely to become ill.

Some stress is unavoidable, but managing it is the key. It critical that we recognise when we have too much demanded of us. Then we can take action to prevent ourselves from becoming overwhelmed – say ‘no’, delegate, prioritise or ask for help.

Hypnotherapy can help is a range of techniques including relaxation, mindfulness, boosting self-esteem and positive affirmation. These will help you to develop effective coping strategies for when you are stressed and ensure you remain focused and effective to resolve the stressful situation.

To find out more about Stress Awareness Month, click here

To find out more about how I can help you manage your stress then click here.  

Sleepless

Is there a yawning gap in your life?

This year marks the 14th annual World Sleep Day. It’s on March 19, 2021 and has the slogan, “Regular Sleep, Healthy Future.”

The importance of good quality sleep cannot be underestimated.  Especially when you think we spend up to a third of our lives asleep. You might think that time spent sleeping is not productive or useful, but that is far from the case. We restore ourselves while sleeping and remove metabolic waste that build up while activity. Also, studies suggest that a lack of proper sleep impairs the body’s ability to repair and heal wounds.

It is widely accepted that sleep plays an important role in memory, learning and other physiologic processes. It is thought it enables the formation of long-term memories and increases the ability to learn new information and recall it. It is also involved in the control of inflammation, hormone regulation, cardiovascular regulation and many other critical functions.  Put simply, sleep underpins our health, as well as our physical and mental wellbeing. Good quality sleep is crucial to ensure good health and quality of life.

Problems with sleep are very common. The Philips Index for Health and Well-being found that 35% of people do not feel they get enough sleep and that it impacts either our physical or mental health. Let’s not forget that sleep deprivation has been used as a form of torture and a lack of sleep can cause many psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety and, in extreme cases, psychosis. Longer term effects are being studied, but poor quality sleep or sleep deprivation are associated with significant health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, a weakened immune system and even some forms of cancers.

To help you here are some useful tips for better sleep.

  1. Try to go to bed and awake up in the morning at about the same time. A good sleep routine helps to signal to your body when to sleep and wake up.
  2. Try not to sleep in the day and if you do make it for less than an hour.
  3. Avoid alcohol consumption for four hours and caffeine for six hours before bedtime. Remember, caffeine does not just mean coffee. There is a lot of caffeine in tea, cola drinks and some other soft drinks, such as Red Bull.
  4. Smoking is bad for you anyway, but not smoking will help with sleep problems.
  5. Avoid a large meal or spicy food for four hours before bedtime. If you must eat, a small meal or snack before bed is fine.
  6. Avoid sugary foods for four hours before bedtime. Unfortunately, chocolate is doubly bad as it contains caffeine and sugar.
  7. Try to exercise regularly, but not immediately before bedtime.
  8. Make sure your bed and bedding is comfortable.
  9. Think about what is a comfortable temperature for the bedroom and try to keep it well ventilated.
  10. Block out or eliminate as much noise and light as possible.
  11. Where possible the bed and bedroom should be for sleep only. Try not to use it as an office, workshop or recreation room.
  12. Avoid using electronic devices such as mobile phones and tablets immediately before bedtime. The blue light of these device is thought to fool the body into thinking its dawn.

Using sleep aids, such as Nytol, can be a useful way to overcome short term periods of poor or disrupted sleep. These aids are only for short term use though and if you are suffering from long term problems you should seek help. Hypnotherapy can help you explore the reason for your sleeplessness and support you to address them.

To find out more about how I can help you with sleeplessness then click here

What is past life regression?

Progression through regression

What is past life regression? How does it work?

A Hypnotherapist has many techniques at their disposal to help their clients overcome problematic ailments and conditions. One of the most interesting ones, and one I specialise in, is regression. This is where the Hypnotherapist guides the client back in time to explore the root cause of a condition by finding forgotten memories stored in the subconscious mind. An example of this is a recent client who had been struggling with insomnia for many years. In his early working life he had worked at night. Using regression we were able to uncover the subconscious minds associating darkness with working rather than sleeping. Once this was discovered we were able to appeal to the subconscious to allow him to sleep at night and not prepare for work.

Interestingly, the amount of time you can go back is not limited to this life time. No one is quite sure why it works, but it does. It’s probably due to genetic memory, soul memory and reincarnation. This means our subconscious minds contain memories of other lives we have lived. It also means that these experiences and traumas can have an impact on the present day. Perhaps you are scared of dogs, even though you have always avoided them and have no real reason to fear them. Perhaps you had a bad experience with dogs in a previous life? Put simply we are a combination of all the experiences we have had over many lifetimes.

So why would I want a past life regression? Well, there can be several reasons. Firstly, if you are struggling with a problem that might be rooted in a past life this is the most effective way to resolve it. Past lives can affect many aspects of our personality, thoughts and behaviour. In some cases, past traumas can cause psychological problems or psychosomatic pain that cannot be easily resolved by conventional means.

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. This can be very rewarding and enjoyable. Frequent past life regressions mean you can start to understand your past lives in more detail, including places, names and historical periods. These can often be verified by research to provide a tremendously colourful view of your past.

One further aspect of past life regression is that groups of souls often reincarnate together. If you have ever met someone for the first time and immediately feel a connection, rapport or closeness, perhaps you have known their soul before.

To find out more about regression and what I can do for you, click here