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Tips for dealing with anxiety and stress

The number of people suffering from anxiety and depression has unfortunately sky-rocketed even in just the last ten years. They may lack anxiety coping skills. (tips for dealing with anxiety)

World events, ever-increasing demands to live fast-paced, non-stop lives. Social media tends to make people compare their lives to others, times of recession. All of these and more are likely culprits for why so many individuals now find themselves wrestling with the beast of anxiety. So, how to deal with anxiety and stress?

But there is hope. There are methods you can begin right now to help you cope with anxiety when it comes. If you want to know how to control anxiety attacks and how to get rid of anxiety naturally, keep reading as we review simple tips you can do at home.

Then whether you want to find success and not using the anxiety self-help tips for dealing with anxiety without medication. You should still consider talking with a therapist to help ensure a proper foundation for staying mentally healthy and strong.

As a qualified clinical hypnotherapist & cognitive behaviour therapist, I have helped many people learn how to deal with anxiety attacks without the use of medication. You can schedule your free 30-minute session with me. Discover how hypnotherapy could help you learn how to overcome anxiety and depression.

How to Overcome Anxiety and Fear

For those who wish to avoid the often potentially harmful depression and anxiety medications, there are options. Many have found themselves capable of dealing with anxiety without medication. When they practice some of these mental exercises and habits (anxiety coping skills list).

Try one or all to see which ones help you overcome your anxiety:

  • Exercise: Physical exercise has incredible physical AND mental health benefits. When you exercise, the brain releases chemicals and hormones that cause relaxation and feelings of well-being and happiness. Physical exercise also decreases stress hormones. And helps the body get rid of toxins that could be contributing to an overall sense of poor physical and emotional health.
  • Self-soothe: When you feel anxiety coming on, learn methods to soothe and calm yourself down, such as:
    • Remind yourself that you will be okay and that this anxiety will pass – it won’t stick around indefinitely.
    • Practice deep breathing and count as you breathe. The action of deep breathing does actually soothe the brain. Counting will distract your thoughts from dwelling on your fears.
    • If someone came to you about fears or anxiety, odds are you could think up a couple of phrases of encouragement & comfort. Do the same for yourself, instead of feeding your anxiety with negative thoughts.
  • Avoid anxiety-inducing foods and substances:  Unfortunately, there are many substances in the average diet that can instigate or contribute to anxiety. These include caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine is contained in foods and drink such as coffee, sodas, tea, chocolate, etc & can trigger panic attacks, trembling, shaking. Having a healthy diet, in general, will also contribute to a healthy gut. Many studies have discovered is very important for mental health. So try cleaning up your diet in multiple areas.
  • Journal:  Many times, keeping our fears and anxieties in our heads causes them to perpetuate and keep us from being able to move on. But when we write things down, our minds tend to relax and allow them to be let go more easily. To that end, start a journal where you write out your fears and anxieties. This will help your mind to stop fixating on them. It also helps the more logical part of your brain see that these fears are often unwarranted. Further, keep a journal for positive things or a gratitude journal. Spend time every day writing about good things that happened and that you are thankful for.
  • Distract: While an anxiety attack often makes us want to be alone, that is actually the least helpful thing. It gives us room to fixate and be consumed by our fears. Instead, distract yourself. If you can, go out with friends, go to that event you had planned. Or even turn on a comedian’s podcast or show. Do something that distracts and redirects your thoughts.

It is OK to Seek Help

Read more about the other services I provide: https://hypnotherapyinsurrey.com/2017/03/27/5-things-can-boost-self-confidence/

While there are many methods for controlling your anxiety at home. But if you are struggling to figure out how to deal with anxiety attacks and fear in your life, there is no shame in seeking professional help.

If you feel like you need a boost in your journey to overcoming anxiety, contact me to arrange your free 30-minute consultation today.

Did You Get A Good Nights Sleep Last Night?

We all suffer from sleep deprivation at some time or the other. This can be due to air travel, anxiety, stress, medical issues or other interruptions in your sleep routine. Sleep problems can cause tiredness in your daily routine; and if it’s a regular occurrence and can lead to physical and mental issues.

This can manifest itself as weight gain, stress, memory problems, low mood, irregular blood pressure, loss of energy and a compromised immune system.

Sleep Disorders and Insomnia

How do you know whether your insomnia is big problem, an annoying issue or medical problem? Read through the following list and see whether or not you do these things:

  • Fall asleep on your desk at work
  • Are irritable and grumpy in the day time
  • Fall asleep early evening when watching TV
  • Find it difficult to concentrate
  • Look tired and other people mention this
  • Feel angry for no reason and cannot control your emotions
  • Take a nap in the day
  • Drink lots of coffee or caffeinated drinks

If any of the above answers are yes then you do suffer from a sleep disorder. We all have an internal clock that regulates our sleep patterns know as circadian rhythms. When it becomes dark our brain releases a hormone called melatonin that makes us feel sleepy and we go to sleep. But when it is light (a cue) in the daytime sends a message to our brain that its time to wake up influencing your circadian rhythms. These rhythms are linked to the sleeping problems, which when not in sync, can lead to anxiety, depression and winter blues or seasonal affective disorder.

How To Get A Good Nights Sleep

What are the things you can do to get a good nights sleep, overcome sleep issues and learn to deal with them effectively:

  1. Identify the signs and symptoms that causes you sleep problems
  2. What is your bedtime routine that causes you sleeplessness?
  3. Keep a diary of your sleep patterns
  4. What are the things you eat or drink before bed time – alcohol, hot chocolate (caffeine), chocolate biscuits, liquids and what time have you taken them?
  5. How long are you awake for and what were you doing?
  6. Did you feel relaxed before bed time or you were stressed, anxious or unhappy?
  7. Are you on any prescriptive medicines?

By identifying the factors that could be affecting your sleep you can take steps to avoid them, or work on these issues. For example if you are feeling stressed you can try relaxation techniques, or you may want to get professional help such as clinical hypnosis with cognitive behaviour therapy to address the underlying issues that are causing your stressed state.

Things you can do for yourself to improve your sleep patterns:

  • Be consistent about your bedtime routine including weekends (regular night-time schedule) – time you go to bed,
  • Regular exercise regime in the daytime and not too close to bedtime,
  • Don’t nap in the daytime and if you have to have a nap, limit it to power naps of 30 minutes,
  • Don’t consume caffeinated drinks, alcohol or stimulants,
  • Don’t eat your supper too late as rich meals or spicy meals can cause you to have heartburn and then you will find it difficult to fall asleep,
  • Your will find it easy to sleep when your bedroom is dark, cool and not noisy,
  • Turn off all screens (TV’s, Facebook, computers, iPads) an hour before you go to bed in order to let your brain relax and not get over stimulated,
  • Instead listen to some calming music, practice mindfulness, read a book, listen to an audiobook,
  • Don’t drink too much water or drinks as you might want to use the toilet at night and that can keep you up,
  • Listen to relaxing music or try a mindfulness exercise so that you drop of to sleep,
  • Keep a pad by the bedside to write a list of the things that are bothering you and postpone the brainstorming till the next day.

If stress from work, family, relationships or your career or school is causing you sleepless nights, learning to cope with your stress, anxiety and maintain a calm, relaxed outlook that can help you get a good nights sleep is important.

If you think you could benefit from some professional help, take advantage of my free 30 minute consultation to discuss your options and get advice and strategies to sleep better at night.

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How To Stay Cool, Calm And Collected During The Holidays!

The difference between getting stressed and staying cool, calm and collected during the holidays is self-caring. With the Christmas upon us, presents to buy and wrap, dinners to cook, families to entertain, and the cold and flu season too, many of us feel so tired that we cannot enjoy the Christmas season like we should.

You feel tired from all the racing around, stressed with the endless ‘to do’ list and are exhausted mentally and physically. During this time stress-related visits to the GP’s increases, and by January you are ready to collapse in a heap and need another break from it all – but have to go back to work.

Self-Care Helps Your Wellbeing And Others

Instead of resigning yourself to feeling stressed at this time of year, how about practicing self-care and still get through your ‘to do’ list?

By looking after your wellbeing you will increase your energy levels, find it much easier to deal with all the stress that Christmas inadvertently throws at us, and also have time to look after others.

Here are some self-care tips to help you:

  1. Don’t forgo your normal exercise routine over the holiday. Try to keep your normal exercise routine (or if you haven’t got one, now is a good time to introduce some regular exercise). Don’t allow that list of jobs put exercise on the back seat. Exercise will boost your energy, improve your mood and make you feel healthier. If you have children and they’re on holiday, encourage them to get out with you: it will elevate boredom, and make them feel better too.
  2. Practice mindfulness or relaxation techniques. It’s such a busy time of year with shopping, preparing your home for Christmas, entertaining, driving around the country to visit people or to collect family members from the airport. No wonder you feel stressed. Maybe it’s the first time you are attempting a festive meal for the whole family, or your mother-in-law is coming to Xmas dinner and you want everything to be perfect. Stay in the moment to stop your mind going in different directions and focus on relieving stress with breathing exercises or mindfulness techniques.
  3. Don’t be a superhero! If you get stuck – ask for help from friends and family. Make a list of all the things that need to get done for the Christmas festive season and delegate to all the member of your family. Kids can write the Xmas cards, tidy the garden, decorate the house ready for the festive season etc.. Your partner can help with buying some presents for his / her family so you can take that stress out of the equation. Learning how to delegate is one self-care practice that will last you a long time in the future.
  4. Watch what you eat and drink. Try not to indulge in too many treats or cakes, drinking too much or other sweet treats that you would not have any other times of the year. It is okay to indulge but in moderation which will be great for self-care. If you indulge in too much sugar, you will begin to feel tired and irritable with the ‘sugar rush’. So balance this by eating well and drink plenty of water during this festive season.
  5. Learn to say ‘no’. Try to schedule your time so you are getting enough rest. If you agree to attend 4 different parties, plan to host a big new year’s party, or agree to bake cakes for a friend’s children’s Xmas party, your stress levels will increase as you have taken more on that you can cope with. Don’t worry about missing out or turning people down. Yes, it can be difficult to say ‘no’ but it is also empowering! Say no when you want quiet days in with your family, or want to have a relaxing bath instead of partying, or have a night in with a glass of wine.

If you still feel like you need to do everything or there’s no time to fit it all in, think about how your stress levels will affect other people. Do your friends really want to spend time with someone who someone who is frazzled and can’t relax? Is it really that important to make your own mince pies if it means you stay up half the night and can’t keep your eyes open the following day?

By practicing self-care you will also ensure that everyone around you gets the benefit of the cool, calm and collected you! I’m sure they will all enjoy this version much more than the stressed one.

If you are struggling with stress, anxiety or overwhelm, hypnotherapy can help. Contact me for a free 30-minute consultation to explore more.

Coping With Christmas: Is It All Too Much?

Christmas can be a stressful time of year for many people. It can put a strain on relationships, bring old grudges and problems to the fore, and also be a very sad and lonely time for some people.

With the expectation that you should be enjoying yourself with friends and family, the expense of gifts and nights out, and the huge amount of work it takes to create a wonderful Christmas for your nearest and dearest, it’s no wonder that many people feel overwhelmed.

For those people who are far from home, lost a loved one, or perhaps have separated in the past year, Christmas can trigger anxiety, stress and feelings of loneliness.

This is perfectly normal and understandable. If Christmas is making you feel depressed or stressed, this is not because you are a modern day Scrooge.

Feeling Depressed At Christmas

Due to the commercialism of Christmas, we’re all under a huge amount of pressure to make everything perfect. The Christmas card perfect family, a stack of presents under the tree, your home looking like a cover shoot for an interiors magazine, a table laden with home cooked Christmas food.

If we can’t meet these expectations it’s no wonder that many people feel depressed and stressed. And some people go into the process of self-reflection and thought about the shortages in life and compare themselves to other people. This brings added pressure and they spend a lot more than they should on presents etc. that they don’t have. This can spiral out of control and get them into debt.

Some people deal with loneliness at Christmas due to loss of a loved one, while some deal with family conflicts, as it is the one time that everyone gets together. It may also be your ‘first’ Christmas after a life-changing event – for example, divorce, the loss of a job, or illness.

These factors can all come to a head over the Christmas period. Below are some of the steps that you can take to manage your stress and your finances:

  • Identify the reason that you are stressed: such as financial pressures. Set a budget and plan the things you can do and eliminate the things you cannot. Money saving tips can be saying to your family and friends that this year you will be buying gifts only for the kids. Or suggest a “secret Santa” for adults so to reduce the financial burden on everyone.
  • Research some cost cutting ways that you can have fun. Don’t let money saving spoil your fun. If you want to socialise organise a BBQ or a house party where all the guests bring a plate of food so that costs are shared.

Family Conflicts And How To Deal With Them

Some families struggle with getting on with one another and there is a lot of power play in the mix. Also, divorce among some of the family members means that unresolved conflicts can trigger stress and anxiety.

  • Be realistic about what will occur at the Xmas celebrations – it might not be perfect. Plan how you will deal with the stress and anxiety if it occurs.
  • If there are children from the different families getting together at Xmas time, be considerate and put the conflicts aside. Focus on having fun and making Xmas a special day for everyone.
  • Remember there can be conflicts but try to stay calm, don’t drink more than you have to and don’t use it to cope or take your frustration out on your loved one.
  • Know what your triggers are if your family argues on a certain topic avoid it.
  • Take baby steps when you are communicating with a member of your family that in the past there has been some friction, don’t bring up the past hurts or be sarcastic but try to improve the relationship by sticking to ‘safe’ subjects.
  • Breathe deeply if you get annoyed and something someone says, remember it’s what happens at Xmas and stay calm as it’s a special day.

Ways To Manage Your Loneliness

If you feel isolated if you have been recently divorced or a recent break-up, or have lost a loved one it can be really tough when everyone else appears to be having a good time. Here are some tips to cope:

  • Be honest and acknowledge that it is going to be difficult. Embracing the sadness will help with dealing with the grief. By doing this, being honest will release the sadness and loss, which will reduce long lasting, issues with blocked emotions.
  • Connect with new people, your friends and family. Call family even if they live far away, keep in touch via phone calls, emails. Also be patient if they take a while to respond as many people do get caught up with their own preparations.
  • Help or volunteer at a charity shop or a local shelter. They need help, especially at Xmas time. You will connect with different people and make friends and feel good.
  • Attend events like Xmas lighting ceremonies, Christmas carol singing, markets. Try to get out and be around people and this will help relieve loneliness.
  • Accept invitations for Xmas day and don’t stay in and feel lonely. Plan your whole day, have breakfast, attend the local church for a service, or take a walk and then have a wonderful meal and watch Xmas movies.

Cognitive behaviour therapy helps to recognise behaviours that will contribute to anxiety and stress during the Xmas period. If you are already feeling panicky about Christmas and think that it’s going to be hard, you could get help now.

CBT can help you to think positively, recognise the triggers that can lead to stress and feelings of depression, and act before they overwhelm you.

Get in touch if you would like to discuss how I can help today.

6 Quick Tips To Reduce Depression And Stress:

  1. Evaluate what your expectations are at Christmas so you are making doable plans.
  2. Be present and available when you are around your family – put cell phones and Facebook away and focus on having fun with them.
  3. Get enough sleep and eat healthy meals so it improves your mood and you don’t get irritable at small things. Also, take the time to exercise, it will relieve stress and pent up emotion.
  4. Delegating tasks and will reduce the overwhelm, also it’s a good opportunity to connect and spend time with each other.
  5. Set aside differences with members of your family, it will make the celebrations more fun, and improve relationships long term.
  6. Stay within your budget and do not allow yourself to compete with other people over expensive Christmas presents.

If you are worried about how you will cope emotionally over Christmas, please do get in touch to explore whether CBT and hypnotherapy can help. Call 0796 715 1790 or email [email protected]

Treating Anxiety And Stress: A Case Study

In this study, I share how hypnosis and cognitive behaviour therapy can be used effectively to treat anxiety and stress. Names have been changed but this is a real case study with one of my clients.

Hypnosis For Anxiety And Stress

Tom is a good looking young man in his early 30’s. He was brought up by an overprotective mother and was told that he had to be careful from a very young age. He was anxious about most things and found social situations difficult. He was shy at secondary school and struggled with making and keeping friends. He later married Maria who he met at university, but she was the only girl he dated. He has two daughters ages 6 and 9 and they go to their local village school.

When Tom first came to see me he was nervous, did not give me eye contact and shyly smiled a hello. As we chatted Tom relaxed noticeably and said, “I have been anxious and nervous all my life, even in junior school and secondary school. I struggled with knowing what to say then and now my wife takes all the responsibility at home and I let her so I don’t have to.”

He then admitted that his wife made the appointment to see me; she made all the appointments – to see the dentist, doctor etc. If the children had parent-teacher meetings at school, his wife Maria went. She made all the social engagements and at parties, she was the one that socialised, while he was quiet and talked only when he was asked a question. Even when they had takeaway meals, Maria made the call, as he was too shy and nervous.

Because of Maria, Tom was able to avoid social situations that made him uncomfortable and awkward. However, this problem was starting to affect his work as he had taken on a bigger role in his job, needed to do presentations, go to conferences, and talk to business colleagues socially. When Tom was younger he worked at a small local family company owned by someone in the village, and he never had to put himself in front of other people. However, when the owner sold the company Tom had to move jobs to a bigger company. Initially, he was still able to hide himself away, but he soon got recognised his talent and expertise and was forced to take a bigger role.

At the last business event, he was very nervous, spent a lot of time before the event in the toilet and when he finally spoke to the other people he was panicky and his voice was shaky. He said, “I was able to talk quickly and not give myself away. When I was asked a question, I struggled to get my words out due to my nervousness, when eventually I got my words out it was so very embarrassing as I stuttered”.

After that embarrassing situation and feeling humiliated, he started to panic, even more, could not even pick up the telephone without feeling panicky and he started to worry more. He asked himself – Why was he like this? – shy, timid and fearful of everything. He must be the only one in the world to feel like this; he just cannot seem to shake this off. After he spent his day at work feeling pressurised and anxious, he would get tired, fatigued and disheartened combined with negative thoughts, he wanted to give up work but could not as he was the main income earner at home.

As his wife was sociable and had a lot of friends, she took a lot of the responsibilities on her shoulders. The more she did, the more he would withdraw and let her take charge. He had no real close friends to speak of and their social life consisted of friends of his wife. Even when they were out with friends or had a party at home he never knew what to say and felt uneasy.

His anxiety took over when he was the centre of attention and this became very difficult due to expectations at work. When he knew he had to make important phone calls or do a public presentation his anxiety would overwhelm him and would find an excuse to pass this job to his colleague at work. But he knew that this could not continue, the negative cycle that he was stuck in had to change. It was affecting him both at home and at work, and putting him under a lot of pressure.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy With Hypnosis

Tom started cognitive behaviour therapy with me and used the cognitive strategy sessions to relearn the way he thought and felt about himself. He was ready and willing during therapy and progressed well, did all the homework and practice he was set. He did a number of practical presentations with me and then also went home and practiced with his family.

His family was enthusiastic and supportive because he was talking more, felt happier, and addressed his anxiety during these social and speaking occasions. When he made a mistake or the anxiety took over he was able to inject some humour in the sessions we had together. When he was anxious about his social skills or presentation he saw it for what it was, a chance to try and tell people about the subject he was passionate about.

As he found humour and de-stressed during the situation, he saw his anxiety for what it was, which was not as scary as he thought. He was able to put his fear and anxiety into perspective with my help and developed the chance to build his self-esteem. ‘Everyone makes mistakes so what?’ became his motto.

He started to slowly communicate socially more, taking charge such as speaking on the phone or ordering the family’s takeaway. He realised that in public he was not a centre of attention and he could make mistakes and it was okay. With cognitive behavioural therapy, he felt comfortable speaking at meetings and also started to do be more relaxed at public speaking events. He also took more and more of his own responsibilities at work where before he would shrink away or defer to others, and also at home. His wife Maria is happy and pleased with his metamorphosis, and his marriage is flourishing.

“I am happier and feel confident in myself now”, Tom said. “Whereas in the past I let the anxiety take over and I felt frustrated and angry at myself, I am now enjoying my new found freedom from the stress and negativity. I am giving speeches now and do make mistakes, but laugh at them. I am in control of my life and feel confident in my ability in dealing with any issue as it arises.”

Many people adopt behaviours that help them avoid stressful situations like Tom did by allowing his wife to run the social aspects of their lives. However, you could be missing out on opportunities to enjoy an exciting social life or a rewarding career by letting your anxiety dictate how you live.

Take the first step to getting some support so that you can control your anxiety, nervousness or negative thoughts, and gain confidence in being you. If you would like to speak to me about how cognitive behaviour therapy with hypnosis could help you, please contact me by calling 0796 715 1790 or emailing [email protected]

How to Use Self Hypnosis to Stop Anxiety Attacks

We all suffer from anxiety attacks from time to time, it’s perfectly normal. But when those feelings of panic and anxiety are a regular occurrence and threaten to overwhelm you, it’s time to get help.

Unfortunately, often the things that might trigger an anxiety attack are unavoidable. For example, a deadline at work, a significant upheaval in your personal or work life, or anxiety about a forthcoming event such as moving home, a wedding, holiday or Christmas. Fortunately, there are ways to manage these panicky feelings before they escalate into a full blown anxiety attack, and self-hypnosis is an effective way to do this.

How Self Hypnosis Works

Self-hypnosis works on your subconscious mind and helps you to control the triggers that start a panic attack. The aim of self-hypnosis is to allow your mind to go into a trance-like state, which in turn allows you to be calm and relaxed and be in control of your anxiety.

You can teach yourself self-hypnosis, but most people find it quicker and easier to be taught by a trained clinical hypnotherapist who can guide you through the technique and find the most effective method for you.

Below is a simple effective technique called eye-fixation method used in self-hypnosis. This will be more effective in a quiet room and all the distractions should be put away like the phone, Facebook, computer, Snapchat etc. Before starting you should make a list of positive statements designed to elevate your anxiety. This is something you can do with your therapist, choosing the most appropriate statements to use, that resonate with you fully.

  1. Make yourself comfortable on a sofa or a comfy chair. Stretch your legs in front of you and keep your legs uncrossed. Avoid doing self-hypnosis if you are feeling bloated or are physically uncomfortable in any way.
  2. Pick a point on the ceiling and look upwards by fixing your gaze on it. Breathe in and out (3 to 4 times) and let your body slowly relax down into the chair you are sitting on. Let your thoughts drift away and repeat to yourself ‘I feel tired and my eyes are heavy’. Then relax and close your eyes in a comfortable position. Say the words in your mind in a gentle soothing and calm manner.
  3. Allow your muscles to relax and then count yourself down from 10 to 1. Say in your mind ‘with each number I count down I am relaxing more and more’. Focus on your breathing in and out and become aware that you are drifting into a calm relaxed state without letting anything bother or disturb you. Let any uncomfortable thoughts drift away.
  4. You can now think of the positive suggestions that you have prepared and repeat them in your mind and tell yourself ‘I feel calm and my anxious thoughts are just drifting away and my stress is greatly reduced. I am going to be positive about how I perceive myself and will develop new skills to stay stress-free’.
  5. Just before you wake up fully give yourself an action or response, it is called a post-hypnotic response. These suggestions will be positive goals that you want to achieve. You are in a heightened state of suggestibility and will be able to let the words/ goals sink deep into your unconscious mind and make the changes you desire. You can say these confidently and as you mean it and be in the present tense, the words are phrased positively. ‘I can be relaxed or I feel calm and know when the anxiety thoughts are returning’.
  6. Work on one issue or goal at a time and be realistic about what is troubling you now. If you are able to repeat these suggestions while practicing self-hypnosis, this will be most effective for making a positive change.
  7. Try using imagery in your self-hypnosis practice by visualising the stressful situation and the action you need to take to be in control of it. Utilise all your senses hearing, smell and touch. You can use positive images from your past experiences and visualise your goal as a ‘crystal clear’ image as if you are watching a movie of your life and how you are overcoming your anxiety.
  8. When you are ready to count yourself back to wake up from 1 to 5. Once you’ve repeated this method at least 3 or 4 times on separate occasions, you will find that you will be able to go deeper and achieve a deep state of hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy and Cognitive behaviour therapy can teach you these techniques properly so they become second nature when you do suffer from a panic attack.

Here is a little script that you can use to release the anxiety and panic attacks:

Self-hypnosis can be used by most people when you want to be relaxed in order to deal with issues of daily living. It can help to change your thoughts, behaviours, improve your self-esteem and help you make positive steps toward your goals. It can be a stress reliever, can reduce your anxiety and you can be in control of your emotions and symptoms.

Imagine yourself that you have some helium balloons tied to a string and a basket. Put all anxieties and worries in this basket which is weighed down by a rock. You are then placing all the fears and issues attached to the anxiety in the basket. When you have released the balloons by taking away the rock the basket will lift up in the air and start to rise. This will then start to make you feel lighter and lighter and your fear is lifted and the weight is also lifted from your shoulders. Feel the sense of relief and relaxing feeling and say to yourself ‘ I feel relaxed and calm and have let go of my anxieties and stress’

Understanding your signs and symptoms of anxiety and how to deal with them quickly:

It is good to know and understand your panic attacks and anxious thoughts that you suffer from. This can be related to the acute fear and rapid discomfort you feel at the moment. This manifests itself very quickly and within minutes you will start to have increased breathing, sweating and shaking and panic with the fear that is going through you.

  • Understanding and distinguishing whether you are having a panic attack or whether it’s a heart attack, which many people say that symptoms feel like of anxiety attacks feel like.
  • Calm your body and breath in and out slowly. But if you feel its anything other than an anxiety attack or are worried and not sure please seek help from a Doctor.
  • Getting help from a Cognitive behaviour therapist and hypnotherapist to work through your anxieties and help to be in control and recognise your triggers. The therapist will teach you self-hypnosis and how imagery can help with moving forward from the anxiety and panic attacks. Through self-hypnosis practice and vivid imagery, you can visualise reacting the way you desire when you feel anxious and achieve your goal of being in control of the panic attacks.

To find out more about clinical hypnotherapy and to get support with anxiety and panic attacks, click on this link or contact me directly – +44 (0)796 715 1790

 

What To Do If You Think Your Partner Is Suffering From Stress

Stress caused by issues at work, worries about money, concerns about family members or health problems, can have a big impact on relationships. It can create a disconnection between a couple leading to communication issues; all at a time when a partner needs more support, not less, from their other half.

All of this can be prevented if you are aware of the subtle changes when your partner is stressed. Being vigilant about each other’s mental health as well as physical health is important, but often it can be difficult to address because symptoms of stress are misdiagnosed, or hidden by the person suffering.

Being proactive about supporting your partner when they get stressed can bring you closer to each other and develop a new level of intimacy.

Stress: Supporting Your Partner

What help can you provide to support your partner if they are suffering from stress?

  • Become aware of the signs and symptoms of stress: everyday life is busy and hectic and it’s easy to get wrapped in your own world. If your partner is stressed and not communicating enough about his/her feelings you will miss the signs. So make an effort to recognise these signs early when you see your partner struggling. How are they coping, are they eating healthily, are they sleeping well, what are their mood and energy levels like?
  • Be vigilant: women tend to get more stressed than men but hide their anxiety really well and don’t talk about their feelings. By staying vigilant, talking to your partner, providing love and support so when they are struggling you are present and this will strengthen your partnership.
  • Being compassionate: when you see that your partner is stressed and they withdraw and are agitated, help by showing them kindness. Show them that you care, even if they are difficult to empathise with. Don’t get cross because they feel stressed give them some space, and show compassion for yourself and for them too. In these circumstances, self-care is an important too as you need to be strong to support your partner and anchor your relationship.
  • Get your partner to talk to you: Communicate with your partner by asking them what is wrong. Say “You seem to find things difficult, are you OK? How can I help?” Let your partner know that you are there to talk and listen. They will feel supported when they are stressed, be present without judgements or irritation. This will require you to be patient with them and listen to their worries and concerns.

Understanding Our Differences

If you’re in a heterosexual relationship it is important to understand that your partner’s response to stress will be different to yours. Women and men have distinct reactions when they are stressed.

When a person is stressed the body releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which bind together. This causes raised blood pressure and higher levels of blood sugar. Then there is a release of oxytocin from the brain opposing the release of adrenalin and cortisol by relaxing the persons’ body.

When men get stressed less oxytocin is released than in women and therefore they react to adrenaline and cortisol more strongly. This results in a ‘flight or fight response’ that may cause them to be angry, or to repress their feelings and become withdrawn. Typically men care more about competing and their performance in the tasks they are involved in. They like being appreciated, are open to new ideas, like to push themselves to the limit and will accept assistance if they need to.

Women on the other hand, because of higher oxytocin levels, handle stress by nurturing their loved ones; this creates a desire to protect their family, particularly young children. Women’s feelings of competency in relationships are closely linked to their self-esteem and individuality. They like to feel wanted, cared for and like their partner to appreciate them and voice these expressions openly so that they feel good.

Getting Help For Stress

So how do you deal with stress that your partner is experiencing?

Every day as a part of daily life we deal with stress. When you are in a relationship, even if both you and your partner are connecting effectively, there will be some situations when one or the other is continuing to work but has no energy left. The love and support are all you both need to keep going. Keep your positive frame of mind even if you find it difficult and produce resources mentally and emotionally to assist your partner.

This will generate a healthy foundation and solid base for your relationship and build on the good feeling and connection between both of you. Create stress reducing habits and set up a system that both of you have to check in if there is anything you need support with. Do an activity together like a new gym class or Pilates to renew your relationship.

As the person closest to them, you’re also the person who might suggest that they need help from an outside source. This could be something you do together, such as taking a course in meditation and deep breathing, or you might want your partner to see a therapist to get one-on-one support.

It can be difficult to broach the subject of ‘needing help’, but it’s a conversation that you must have if you feel your partner is not able to manage their stress. Research suitable options that your partner is most likely to be receptive to, like cognitive behaviour therapy, and explain why you think they should seek help. Remember to be supportive, loving and share your concerns for their health. Sometimes a ‘do it for me’ approach will allow those people who are trying to hide stress or keep a stiff upper lip, open up and accept help.

Finally, remember to get support for yourself too. It can be very hard living with someone who is suffering from stress or depression, especially when you need to be the ‘strong one’. It may help to talk to trusted friends or just to get some time to yourself by going to the gym or other activities. It may also help to talk to a therapist who can help you look after your mental health, and support your partner at the same time.


If you would like to discuss any of the above with me please get in touch. Contact me on +44 (0)796 715 1790 or email [email protected]

 

Hypnosis As A Treatment For Anxiety

Most people ask what is hypnosis and how does it work? Hypnosis can be described as a natural state of mind (at an unconscious level) that alternates between the person’s alertness and wakefulness. Everything that has occurred in a person’s life is present in the unconscious mind, whether it is real or imagined. You can be in an everyday trance state or hypnotic state when you are driving a car on your familiar route to work or when you relaxing listening to a lovely piece of music or just before you drift off to sleep.

What Does Hypnosis Involve?

To answer the question what hypnotherapy involves, it uses different techniques for therapeutic reasons and works at the unconscious level of a person’s mind where the individual’s desires, decisions and long-term habits are located. Trusting and being present with the person who is your therapist giving you hypnotherapy is one of the factors required for the therapeutic session to be successful. The hypnosis state is a deep state of mental relaxation, similar to being in a meditative state, in which the client becomes aware of their own inner world more than in their normal conscious or waking state.

People fear the unknown and for this reason, some people worry that during hypnotherapy the therapist will control their mind, and perhaps make them do things they don’t want to. This is a myth that comes from watching hypnotherapists on TV or entertaining an audience at an event, it’s not the same thing but I can understand why you may be worried about it. Instead with Cognitive Behaviour Hypnotherapy, there is a collaboration between the therapist and the client, this brings a level of trust and enhances the therapy session. It is this deep state of relaxation where you are most responsive to suggestions and hence you can make changes to your habits and behaviours that may be causing your problems.

I have people ask me regularly whether I am going to make them ‘cluck like a chicken’ or ‘dance around the room’. Stage hypnotists like Darren Brown do get receptive people do ridiculous things but the people that step on the stage are willing to partake in these activities. All hypnosis is ‘self”- hypnosis and the hypnotherapist is a guide to your inner mind and the rest of the responsibility is on the client who wishes to be hypnotised as it is a collaborative process. Clinical hypnotherapy will not make you do what you don’t want to do and you are in total control of yourself during the sessions.

Does the idea that all your secrets will come out during these sessions fill you with fear? You are in control of your mind during the sessions and if you are asked a question that you wish not to answer just “say no”.

Does Hypnotherapy Still Work If I Fall Asleep?

If you do feel as if you have fallen asleep during the therapy session, don’t worry your subconscious mind is still hearing my suggestions and you are able to make the changes in your habits and behaviours. Each and every person has the insight and knowledge within themselves to recognise their issues and with the therapist support they go deeper within and find the root causes of these issues/problems. You will discover techniques and develop skills to access your subconscious mind and change habits and behaviours that cause the problem. Together with positive suggestions and strategies to stay in control you can change how you perceive the problems and let go of the hold the cause of this issue has over you.

Does Hypnosis Work And Can Everyone Be Hypnotised?

Hypnosis requires the cooperation and motivation on the part of the client, and this cooperation enhances the client’s experience in their unconscious mind level. Hence Hypnosis/hypnotherapy has been effective in the treatment of anxiety. The following techniques for coping with anxiety can be greatly enhanced when a client has undergone hypnosis sessions:

  • Stop or pause when you feel anxious
  • Focus your attention on the part of your body that is affected by your anxiety reaction, as well as your feelings associated with this.
  • Learn mindfulness where you notice to focus your attention on.
  • Learn to mindfulness breathing
  • Challenge your anxiety thoughts: are these thoughts your opinion or facts.
  • Do things differently by checking with yourself what you are worried about or anxious about and as you do it several times a day you will start to reduce the checking over time.
  • Avoid situations and things or people that cause you to be anxious.
  • Get support from friends and family
  • Ask yourself what else I can do (like going for a walk or doing an activity) that will stop yourself from reacting to these anxious thoughts.

Hypnosis can help you change your response to situations that cause you anxiety so that you cope with them better and they affect you less. Understandably you may be concerned about using this type of therapy to treat your anxiety, but because it addresses the way you respond to stressful situations rather than only the symptoms of your anxiety, it can be a very powerful tool.

If you like to talk to me in confidence about your anxiety, how hypnosis may be able to help and to get an idea of whether you feel that we can build a trusting client/therapist relationship, please get in touch. +44 (0)796 715 1790 or [email protected]

Anxiety Symptoms: Is Your Partner Or Friend Suffering?

Anxiety symptoms are the body’s fight or flight response kicking into action as a reaction to stress. It’s how our instinctive survival system copes with real, imagined or believed danger.

So, if you’ve noticed a difference in a loved one’s behaviour – perhaps they seem edgy, nervous, extremely alert, agitated or overly worried – it may be because they’re under pressure and stressed.

Spot The Anxiety Symptoms

If you know your friend or partner is under pressure, for example, if they’re going through a difficult time at work or in their private life, it’s a good idea to watch out for the following anxiety symptoms. This way you can help monitor how well they’re doing and offer support when needed. However, if you’ve noticed some changes in a loved one and don’t know the reasons why see if any of the following sound familiar:

  • Feeling tense, breathing fast, racing heart,
  • Staying in bed and not venturing outside,
  • Sweating and feeling light-headed,
  • Avoiding places, events or people,
  • Feeling tired all the time and unable to relax,
  • Either sleeping all the time or not sleeping at all,
  • Either eating the wrong foods or not eating at all,
  • They have lost interests in the things they love normally,
  • Unable to concentrate on everyday activities.

Most of us feel some anxiety during out everyday lives, it helps us focus and be alert on what we are doing and the jobs we have to do. However, excess anxiety and constant stress damage our lives and everyday connections with people.

Helping People Cope With Stress And Anxiety

Providing your friend or family member with your support, helping them in recognising their symptoms, and pointing them in the direction of professional services are all steps you can take to help them manage their stress. Here are 7 ways you can help:

  1. Listen and encourage them to tell you what is wrong,
  2. Don’t judge but accept them as they are,
  3. Plan a small outing so they feel comfortable and learn to enjoy these events again,
  4. Encourage them to join an exercise class or go for a walk or jog,
  5. Encourage them to eat a healthy balanced diet
  6. Ask them to make a list of their fears or distressing events that cause them anxiety and write them in the order of importance of how anxious they make your feel (10 –very anxious to 1 – little anxious),
  7. Ask your partner/friend these questions about what they are reacting to and to write it down.

The following are coping strategies that will help your partner/ friend deal with the physical symptoms of anxiety:

  1. Deep breathing techniques or mindful calm breathing – helping you to challenge the awkward thoughts and use positive affirmations;
  2. Note down these following: what are you reacting to, what will happen if you are faced with that situation, is it a fact, or you think the worst will happen, what is the worst that can happen if you are faced with that situation, are you thinking the worst of the situation or are you putting things in proportion and will this effect you in six months time. When you see these answers in written word you will be able to recognise your fears and what is causing your anxiety;
  3. When you feel that anxiety or panic sensation coming on Stop and take a deep breath before you let yourself react automatically. Observe what your mind is reacting to and why are you a feeling anxious at the moment and do something else;
  4. Pull back and question your automatic feelings and thoughts and check for yourself if it’s a fact or opinion;
  5. Imagine coping with that anxiety situation in your mind and take baby steps to do the things that make you uncomfortable.

Listening to and supporting your partner or friend as much as possible is a positive step towards them managing their anxiety and coping with stress. However, if you think that your partner or friend could do with some additional support there are therapies available that can help them change their response to stress and their long-term mental and physical health.

Cognitive behaviour hypnotherapy can help them understand the triggers that cause anxiety and change their unhealthy thoughts, feelings and behaviour. If anxiety attacks are damaging their relationships, work or enjoyment of life, cognitive behaviour hypnotherapy can be a very positive step to take control of their thoughts and behaviours and learn to deal with stress and anxiety in a healthy way.

If you are worried about someone close to you and would like to discuss what treatments are available, please get in touch in confidence – 0796 715 1790 or [email protected]

10 Signs That You Could Be Suffering From Stress

Many of us suffer from stress at certain times in our lives. Often it will be a response to a tangible trigger such as being overworked or worrying about a family member or friend. Generally when the cause of your stress is removed, i.e. work returns to more acceptable levels, or that friend or relative’s issues are resolved, your stress also dissipates.

However, many of us are under pressure constantly, living our lives in an almost permanent state of stress, and this is not good for our long-term physical or mental health. It also may mean that events that should be pleasurable can add to your stress levels, for example,

Christmas, a wedding or a pregnancy, making you feel that you can’t cope and enjoy the moment.

Could You Be Suffering From Stress?

Our mind and body are constantly sending subtle signals to each other that we’re under pressure and feeling stressed, but often we don’t recognise them, perhaps blaming other factors such as a late night or eating something that disagreed with us. However, these are the signs we should all be aware of so we can take action before they escalate.

Just as you listen to your body when you’re hungry or thirsty, listen to your body and mind when it says you’re stressed. Here are some of the physical and emotional symptoms you may experience:

  1. Sleeplessness,
  2. Migraines or severe headaches,
  3. Aches and pains,
  4. High blood pressure,
  5. Bursts of irritable agitation, short temper and annoyance,
  6. Out of breath,
  7. Tiredness,
  8. Tummy problems such as constipation, gas, pain, diarrhoea or heartburn,
  9. Feeling emotional,
  10. Anxious and feeling low (hopelessness).

If you recognise these symptoms, or perhaps you think a family member or friend could be suffering from stress, it’s time to take action.

Do you take care of yourself or regularly ignore signs of your stress? How do you identify your triggers that you are stressed? What causes you to get stressed and how do you deal with it? Sometimes when you feel stressed you may manage it with over the counter medication or perhaps alcohol; many people find a glass of wine at the end of a stressful day at work or looking after young children at home a welcome respite. These may work in the short-term, but they don’t address the underlying causes of stress or help you find ways to manage it long-term.

Of course removing the source of stress is one solution but not always feasible. You can’t necessarily quit your job or abandon your family! While avoiding situations that trigger severe stress attacks can buy you some time to get stronger, it may not be a tactic that’s sustainable. For example, if you avoid confrontation in a relationship because you find it stressful it won’t be helping the relationship overall, as problems do need to be aired and resolved openly. Similarly, if you avoid stressful elements of your job, you could be creating problems for your employer or colleagues and not fulfilling your contractual responsibilities.

So if you know that you need help managing your stress, or perhaps a family member or friend could do with some support, here are a few techniques that you can introduce into your daily routine.

Stress Busters

  • Try something different than you normal routine e.g. go for a walk, a new activity, exercise etc.
  • Relaxation exercises are done each day will help so you can calm your mind and body and have some fun in the process. This works when you create a balance between doing things that you enjoy and that gives you a sense of accomplishment, helping you connect and bring you closer to other people too.
  • Mindful breathing techniques and meditation,
  • Relax with some music that you can listen to, dance to, or exercise with,
  • Try grounding techniques hold an object that brings you comfort – see, smell and hear the comforting thoughts,
  • Positive imagery and self-talk,
  • Pamper yourself – spa days or days out with friends,
  • Look after yourself – eat healthily, drink less coffee and more water, sleep well, exercise a few times a week,
  • Write your SMART goals down and feel the sense of achievement when you succeed with some of them, increasing your dopamine (a neurotransmitter) levels. Also, weekly activity increases your serotonin levels making you feel calmer,
  • Connect and enjoy your friendships and relationships increasing your oxytocin level (a neurotransmitter) and promoting a sense of well-being,
  • When you do feel low distract yourself and do more enjoyable activities, not activities that drain your energy,
  • Last, but not the least, consider whether Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) with clinical hypnotherapy could help you manage stress and cope with the mental and physical symptoms.

CBT with hypnosis looks at ways of improving your physical and mental well-being by changing the way you respond to specific triggers, breaking the cycle of negative thoughts or feelings of being overwhelmed, and providing you with the strength to address stress before it escalates.

You may also like to read How To De-Stress At Work