Today is suicide prevention day which is a good way to raise awareness because there is a silence to suicide.
People that feel suicidal or deeply depressed often stay silent about how they are feeling
Each year, over 800,000 people die by suicide and up to 25 times as many make a suicide attempt. Every single one of the people in these statistics have felt that life is no longer worth living. But many of these people won’t have told anyone how they are feeling. Most people will have family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours but when they spoke to these people they didn’t tell them how unbearable they were finding their lives.
I wonder why it is that people suffering emotionally so deeply feel they can’t share their feelings with anyone. There may be a number of reasons:
- They may be embarrassed to tell someone
- They may feel guilty for feeling this way
- They might not want to burden someone else with their problems
- They might think how they are feeling will go away on its own
Could you save a life?
The theme of the 2017 World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘Take a minute, change a life.’ This means noticing is someone around you is struggling and checking in with them. You don’t have to have all the answers for them, just let them know you are there and you care. Offering a gentle word of support and listening in a non-judgemental way can make all the difference.
There is no need for silence about suicide. The more open we are in society and communities about it, the more help it will be. .
People who have lived through a suicide attempt have much to teach us about how the words and actions of others are important. They often talk movingly about reaching the point where they could see no alternative but to take their own life, and about the days, hours and minutes leading up to this. They often describe realising that they did not want to die but instead wanted someone to intervene and stop them. Many say that they actively sought someone who would sense their despair and ask them whether they were okay.
The International Association For Suicide Prevention Society have spoken to suicide survivors who said if someone had asked if they were okay, they had decided to talk to them and accept their support. Sadly, they often reflect that no one asked.
Can you imagine saving someone’s life. Just by asking if they are ok? I mean REALLY ok?
You don’t need to be an expert of any kind to help someone. You just need to listen. Often that first opening up to someone is therapeutic to the person feeling suicidal will seek help or be open to seeking help after they have opened up. Its like they are a pressure cooker and they’ve let a bit of the steam out.
The smallest bit of compassion and empathy can be all someone delicate needs to feel that life is worth living.
Suicide affects more than just one life
Obviously it is extremely sad that anyone commits suicide but the pain they leave for those around them can live on forever. A suicide is shocking for all involved. Even if you don’t know someone very well, it can still be shocking and painful.
People left behind often spend years with very raw and painful emotions.
What makes people feel suicidal?
It is often an event like divorce or redundancy that can really bring someone down. Or stress or depression just becomes unbearable. It is so important to look after your mental health and seek support if you feel you need it. Seeking help can make a tremendous difference to how you feel.
The stats around suicide
- Suicide is the 15th leading cause of death globally, account for 1.4% of all deaths and
- The global suicide rate is 11.4 per 100 000 population
- More males 15 in 100,000 are affected than females 8 in 100,000
- Suicide is the leading cause of death in people aged 15-24 in many European countries
- Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in people who die by suicide
- 50% of individuals in high income countries who die by suicide have major depressive disorder at their time of death
- For every 1 suicide 25 people make a suicide attempt
- 60 people are affected by each suicide death. This equates to 48 million people bereaved by suicide worldwide every year
This World Suicide Prevention Day and everyday take a minute to reach out to someone – this can change a life
There are numerous relevant resources on the websites of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (https://www.iasp.info/resources) and the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int).
You might choose to Light a Candle near a Window at 8 PM to support World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 to show your support for suicide prevention, to remember a lost loved one, and for the survivors of suicide.
The Samaritans are an excellent source of support if you need to talk to someone. Their number is 116 123. You do not need to suffer in silence.
Finally, if there is anyone you are concerned about, take a minute to check in with them. It could change their life.
Sending you healing and compassionate vibes.
What do I mean, depression is like burnt toast?
I know you might be thinking… how is depression like burnt toast! Please let me explain….
Last year, I put some toast in the toaster and it blew my electrical fuse. A friend suggested I empty the crumb tray as that might have caused the problem. So I did that and used it again.
I had a working toaster again for a few months. Until it happened again. I had been emptying the crumb tray regularly as suggested by my helpful friend but this time I just didn’t want to risk keep using it in case it did some real damage to my electrics.
So I found a way to get around it. I started using the grill on the oven instead. The problem with this is that grilled toast needs watching and with other things to do I would often end up burning the toast which caused problems!
This workaround to the real problem of no toaster that I had created has other issues too. Such as:
- Sometimes I would be low on bread and it would be annoying to waste that burnt bread
- It was time consuming as I would have to start again when I burnt it
- There was no control over how brown the toast should be like I had on the toaster
- It was slow for the grill to heat up
- I had to remember to turn the grill off again
I needed to take action and stop burning the toast
So yes, I know it sounds like I’m moaning a bit and I certainly didn’t lose any sleep about it, but this did go on for months and I could have done something about it much sooner!
I just needed to take action. I’m not sure why I didn’t do anything sooner.
Maybe life got in the way or there was just too much choice of toasters so I couldn’t decide which one to get. All I know is that it caused me irritation many times when it didn’t need to.
I found the right toaster for me
One day I was in Asdas and I saw a toaster which I knew would look good in my kitchen. I had a read of the features and liked what I saw. 4 slices could be cooked at once, you can cook from frozen wow and it even takes bagels due to it’s extra wide slots! So I bought that toaster and me and the toaster have lived happily together ever since.
I won’t say it’s changed my life but it does cook the toast perfectly and very quickly. And I just love a bit of brown seeded with peanut butter.
So how does this relate to depression?
As a Hypnotherapist who specialises in depression, I have developed a programme to help people overcome depression. The things that my clients who overcome depression always say are:
‘I never realised how much control I could have over my depression’
‘I wish I had done something about this sooner’
‘Life feels very different’
How much burnt toast are you going to put up with?
I want you to know that you do have more control and possibilities than you think. Please do get in touch if you would like a free consultation.
Yesterday was shrove Tuesday here in the UK which inspired me to write a flat as a pancake post.
You will probably live a long time. The UK comes 21st out of the 35 developed nations studied for female life expectancy, at 85.2 years, and 14th for men, at 82.5 years. So it’s probably a good idea to make as many years of those happy ones 🙂
It’s quite common for people to suffer a dip in life satisfaction at some point in their lives, with the most common age for this around early to mid forties. This is often referred to a a mid life crisis. Yesterday I took 2 bookings from people in this age range who felt they need to evaluate their lives and make sure that the rest of their life gives them satisfaction.
So what are the reasons for feeling as flat as a pancake? Although they will be different for everyone, here are some of the themes I see in my work as a Hypnotherapist and coach specialising in what is labelled as ‘depression’ but today we can call it feeling as ‘flat as a pancake’.
People fall out of love with partners and themselves. Even though I am reluctant to use the word ‘self-love’, it is important to value yourself or you will attract all sorts of trouble into your life. You may become a people pleaser who can’t say no to others because you don’t have enough self-esteem to do so and fear upsetting others. Or you might attract people into your life that don’t value you because you don’t value yourself very much. The good news is that self-esteem is easily increased with a bit of self reflection and work. This is a big part of my work with my clients. Some people find a new lease of love for others once they like themselves more. And some people find the confidence to end bad relationships in pursuit of happiness alone or with a new partner.
Many people build great careers and businesses in their twenties and thirties only to find that the money doesn’t give them the kind of happiness they seek in later life. Maybe the working hours or conditions clash with their desire to be with their family or the work/life balance is out of kilter. Often, people chase the ‘dream’ only to feel unfulfilled when they get it. This is because deep down inside money isn’t one of their key values so the sacrifice that has to be made to get the money (and there often is one) just doesn’t sit right. It’s really useful to uncover your values and align your life and the way you spend your time and energy to your values which means you feel more at home in your own skin and much happier with your life. This is a key part of the work I do with my clients and they are often surprised at what is really important to them.
You get a job and you are *insert your name* the manager, or the accountant, or the teacher or whatever. You get married and you are *insert husband or wife’s name* husband or wife. You have children and you are *insert childrens’ names* mum or dad. So who are you really. Seriously, try and answer that question now. It’s usually hard for people! When I do identity work with people, I help them rediscover parts of themselves that they have forgotten
Life can dampen dreams. When you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, they don’t wait and think will it pay their mortgage, will they be able to handle the commute, is there career progression and will it ever offer flexible working. They answer from their HEART. They say things like ‘pop star’, ‘astronaut’ or ‘football player’. They dream big in line with their passions, the things that excite them, where they think they will be happy. Dreams are different to goals. Goals are usually SMART (smart, measurable, achieveable, realistic and timebound) and yes, goals can leads towards your dreams. But dreams light you up and excite you and everyone should have at least one dream. Who knows, it might even come true 🙂
Pitfalls of being a pancake
If you find yourself feeling flat as a pancake you might sink into depression. People can stay in this situation for weeks, months and even years. But what people don’t realise is that you can do a lot to help yourself ease depression or even shake it off altogether.
You might find yourself comfort eating to counteract what’s missing in your life. Or emotional eating to avoid facing up to things.
Often people become anxious when they feel out of control or lost in their lives. Almost like a symptom for things that aren’t right. Anxiety sometimes follows stress or comes before depression.
Some people can tolerate stress for a long time before they ‘snap’ or ‘crumble’. Once this has happened they find themselves assessing their lives and looking to avoid the same situation. Don’t underestimate stress (it’s not called the silent killer for nothing).
So what can you do if you feel flat as a pancake?
It really helps to get some help when you feel as flat as a pancake. I help people smooth issues of the past and feel better about the future. Your thoughts will feel more organised and you will be able to think more clearly with a renewed sense of purpose.
Once you let the stuff you’ve been carrying for years, decades or a lifetime go, you will be amazed how much lighter and brighter you feel. I will help you get back in touch with yourself, understand your needs and what you need to do to meet them. We will look at ways to bring joy into your life so you feel happier and fulfilled.
It is never too late for a new beginning, every single day is a clean slate waiting to be filled by you.
Sign up for my mailing list as I will soon be offering a free programme to help you find your bliss.
Is your mind unsettled?
Settled is a nice word. We settle babies when they are restless. We settle down into families, house, places, jobs, gym routines, diets.
But being unsettled in not nice. Particularly if it’s your mind that feels unsettled because somehow your mind feels like it affects everything about you. If you have a toothache, it’s unpleasant and painful but it doesn’t upset your whole body. It’s isolated to your mouth and your mouth feels ‘unsettled’. You just want it to be ok and ‘normal’ again.
But when your mind feels unsettled, it will affect all of you. Your mood, your energy, your ability, your communication and it might make you feel very restless and uneasy. Maybe physically sick or dizzy and you want to escape these feelings but you can’t because it’s your mind and you are stuck with it.
The symptoms of an unsettled mind:
An unsettled mind makes for an unsettled sleep. The brain likes to empty itself of anything unnecessary during sleep. But if your mind is unsettled you might find yourself tossing and turning in bed when it’s time to go to sleep. Or you might be able to get to sleep but wake in the night and find it difficult to go back to sleep. This can be very frustrating and the more you get frustrated the harder it is to get back to sleep. Or maybe you know you operate best on 8 hours of sleep but you keep waking up early before your alarm goes off and you can’t get back to sleep.
Unable to concentrate
You know how this feels. You want to do something but you don’t know what. When you feel negatively aroused your brain can go into a survival state, looking and listening for danger so it can keep you safe. The problem is that if your brain believes there is a danger lurking it will want to concentrate on that, not what else you want it to do. This can actually turn into an anxious state. If you are focused on feeling anxious or unsettled, it’s unlikely you will be able to focus on anything else. The more you worry about not being able to concentrate, the more you flit from thing to thing, not achieving much at all. Sometimes you are better to just give yourself a break. Do something that will make you feel better rather than one of the things on your to do list.
Appetite can go either way when people have unsettled minds. But whether you overeat or under-eat the likelihood is that you will make bad choices. It’s unlikely you will feel as in control of your eating as you would like to be. When you feel strong of mind and in control, it is easy to meal plan and create healthy food to nourish yourself.
When your mind is unsettled you won’t feel your confident self. You will be distracted and you will not have your full power. Because you feel less confident you might withdraw. This could give you time to heal but sometimes the right people can help lift you up. Help you understand that this will pass and you can get control back.
Here are some things you can do to settle your mind:
1 – Give yourself a sense of control. Do something easy and small which helps you feel back in control.
2 – Relax. Reassure your mind that there is no reason to worry.
3 – Be kind towards yourself. Life is full of challenges and this means that we will feel unsettled from time to time so ride it out and it will pass.
If feeling unsettled is not an ‘every now and then’ occurence and it is causing you a problem. Get in touch and we can work together to settle your mind and give you techniques for the future.
This blog is one in a series about self-development and ways to help you manage your mental health. I’m providing techniques and advice a Hypnotherapist and coach working locally in West Sussex and Worldwide on Skype.
Quick review of yesterday’s list:
Yesterday you wrote a list of your favourite sounds. Are you going out of your way to listen to them to bring more joy into your life?
Your ‘getting ‘settled’ list.
For today’s list try to write a couple of things down that would make you feel more settled or things you can tell yourself the next time you feel unsettled. Then you have something to refer to in the future.
If you would like a free 20 minute consultation, please get in touch on 07530 890089 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Honey (Sussex based Hypnotherapist that helps people with stop smoking, anxiety, weight loss, stress and depression).
I use the word ‘depressed’ in a light sense here because it’s what people say when they don’t feel ok. But of course there are varying degrees of depression. Some people dip in and out of depression over the course of their lives and others maybe have it once or twice. If you never feel depressed in your life you are an exception.
But some people are uncomfortable with the word ‘depressed’ and would not like to openly say that’s how they feel. As a society we need to change this because 1 in 3 people will feel depressed in their lives and everyone will not feel ok at least once in their lifetime.
Maybe we need a new word or phrase for depressed! How about:
Low on beans
Find the pearls
Even if you don’t like the word or consider yourself to feel ‘depressed’, you would probably welcome some ways to feel better about yourself from time to time. Here are some ideas.
1 – Help someone. This doesn’t have to be a lot of effort but it will have a big impact on your self esteem. It could be as simple as sending someone an article you have seen that you know would appeal to them maybe for their hobby or job.
2 – Make something. You could cook something, or design something or write a letter or poem. The positive energy that flows when we are creative feels good. The secondary gain is that you have something at the end of it to eat, use or read.
3 – Take time to listen to someone properly. Really listen. Hear the subtle words that they use that tell you how they are really feeling. Take an interest in them. When we feel low, we turn our attention inwards. By turning your attention outwards you will be reminded that everyone has their problems, everyone needs support and everyone has something to offer the world. Including you 🙂
4 – Do some reflection. Look back on old photos and notice how fluid your life is. There will be happy times, times of doubt, times of change, times of adventure. Remember that you have survived everything that has happened to you so far and you will have the highs again. Pick a happy photo of you and display it somewhere. That is the same you as now.
5 – Plan something. We love to imagine, to visualise. It excites and interests our minds. Maybe you can plan a holiday or trip. Or changes to your home. Or a way to treat yourself or to learn something new. This is a world of possibility. A world in your fingertips on a keyboard (ok, or smartphone). There are millions of adventures you could take, some expensive, some free. alone or with others. Near or far. The world really is your oyster.
his blog is one in a 30 day series about self-development and practical lists we will be making to enhance our lives. I’m using these blogs to provide coaching and advice in my capacity as a qualified coach and Hypnotherapist working locally in West Sussex and Worldwide on Skype.
Quick review of yesterday’s list:
Yesterday you wrote a list of way breathing could help you get more control. Take 3 deep breaths to remind yoursefl.
Your feel better list
Today’s list is to write a list of ways you could make yourself feel better when you are not ok. Try and make them simple because keeping it simple is less overwhelming.
See you tomorrow.
Why getting motivated is as easy as changing your outfit
You know how it is. You’ve had sleep but you are still tired. You’ve got a to do list as long as your arm and people expecting things from you just don’t feel like doing anything. You need to get motivated! If only you could get some motivation juice and take a gulp! You know you are wasting your talents and you feel frustrated that you don’t seem to be able to get a handle of the situation.
So how can you get motivated?
We are in a state every second of every day. Some states are positive and some negative. It’s easy for us to slip into different states as we are so versatile but the more time we spend in a particular state, the more comfortable it will be for us to be there. and the easier we make it for our brains to access that state. Think about your ‘default’ state. What is it?
If you are prone to feeling depressed, that’s because you might have made it your ‘default’ state. You know how to feel that way and are not making changes to be in a different state. Sometimes making changes can feel uncomfortable or scary. And it might take effort. But the good news is the more you use techniques to changes your state, the easieryou will be able to do it.
Changing your state is as easy as changing your outfit!
Here are 5 ways to get more motivated:
1 – Do not hide. Get dressed, open the curtains, tidy up and make your surroundings ‘open’
2 – Talk to someone. Anyone. Even if you ask a neighbour a question or call a company to query a bill, you are having an interaction which will stimulate your brain.
3 – Watch or listen to something motivational. I wrote about people that inspire me in a previous blog but you will have your own list I’m sure. You only need one to get you going!
4 – Go outside. Even a 5 minute walk will change your state. Notice things you haven’t seen before.
5 – Listen to this 5 minute audio which will help you feel motivated
Change your state
When I work with clients in my Hypnotherapy practice in West Sussex and Skype, I get them to focus on the time they spend not doing the thing they don’t want to be doing or feeling the way they don’t to be feeling.
A client that come for help with anxiety or panic attacks won’t be in that state all the time. It would be exhausting. So we examine the times when they don’t feel anxious and work with that.
A client that comes for weight loss can’t be eating all the time. So we look at the times when they are not eating.
A client that comes for stop smoking will not always be smoking. So we look at the times they are not smoking.
A client who feels depressed, will have times when they do not feel depressed or as depressed so we extend those times to make it easier for the brain to know how not to be depressed.
A client who comes for help with stress may feel stressed a lot of the time, so we need to introduce a feeling of not being stressed and extend the time spent in that state.
Once you learn that you can choose you state it’s just like choosing what outfit to wear 🙂
This blog is one in a 30 day series about self-development and practical lists we will be making to enhance our lives. I’m using these blogs to provide coaching and advice in my capacity as a qualified coach and Hypnotherapist working locally in West Sussex and Worldwide on Skype.
Quick review of yesterday’s list:
Yesterday you wrote a list of negative thoughts you might feel. Were you surprised at how many of how few there were?
Your get motivated list
Today list is to write a list of ways and times you would like to feel more motivated and then choose your state to get more motivated.
See you tomorrow.
Honey (Sussex based Hypnotherapist that helps people with stop smoking, anxiety, weight loss, stress and depression).