So as a Hypnotherapist working with people’s mental health on a regular basis, I had a real choice of things to write about before I settled on this World Mental Health Day 2017 – Help for teenagers title.
I’m not going to bombard you with stats about Mental Health in this post because you will know if your teenager (or you) needs help and support and that is the purpose of this post.
The reason I chose to blog about teenagers for World Mental Health Day
I love teenagers, I was one once lol. And I remember not liking it much and losing my way. I had wonderful parents but I didn’t go to them for help or talk to them about how I felt. It wasn’t their fault and it wasn’t my fault. It just was that way.
In my Corporate life I mentored teenagers to get into the workplace and now I help teenagers to deal with life 🙂
The biggest rise I have seen in my client base over the past year have been teenage girls. I could say it’s because of the rise of social media; Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest (not sure the teenagers use that as much?) because there is a lot of research that suggests that social media is damaging for self-esteem. But fighting social media or helping a teenage girl become more comfortable in her own skin? I know which is the easier option.
So let’s look at how I help teenage girls really get more of a sense of themselves and have more confidence and resilience, so they can deal with life better and be happier.
Issues that teenagers are facing:
- Body image
- Feeling sad
- Hiding from the world
- Being bullied
- Pressure of school
- Academic performance
- Lack of confidence
- Relationships with others
But most of all:
The relationship that they have with themselves
Now I’ve been helping adults on their relationships with themselves for a long time. At the route of most depression is not liking yourself. People live miserable lives for a very long time for 2 main reasons (in my opinion):
- They don’t understand themselves enough to know what their strengths are and to remember why they are amazing as their unique selves
- They have lived a life full of events and sometimes traumas and believe the stories in their head.
What I mean by a story is when things have happened in your life and they give you a particular belief. Let’s take a relationship breakup. You might think that you are not loveable and that is a story that starts to become true for you. When you meet a potential partner or love interest, you (in your head) are living and believing your own story that you are not loveable. This may leak into your body language and the way you communicate and affect this potential relationship. So that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; the relationship is not a success and that backs up your belief that you are not loveable.
The life of a teenager
A teenager has a childhood behind them but during their teenage years they are exploring and discovering life and themselves. So any little chink in their armour, comments, arguments, negative comments or implications (we all know that so much can be implied by just a look) all sink into them. We all pick up tiny subtle movements from each other because we are similar to animals in that way and communicate continuously through body language.
All the while, teenagers are receiving chinks in their armour. Reminds me of one of those soft crabs that needs time for its shell to harden so the birds can’t hurt it. They are finding their way and every chink in their armour hurts them and stops them being as tough as they need to be to face this world of ours. And we all know how tough life can be. Not always, but it has its moments.
All you want for your kid is for them to be able to handle it, be happy and for them to succeed at the things that are important to them. That’s all you want isn’t it.
And so when your kid comes to you (or maybe doesn’t) and tells you that they are not happy and life isn’t going well or maybe even that they hate themselves, that is really heart breaking 🙁
Help available for teenagers
Most teenagers that I see in my Hypnortherapy practice in West Sussex and Worldwide on Skype, have never been taught about positive thinking. Or techniques on how to protect and nurture their mental health. Many (and their parents) won’t like the term mental health, so I am very cautious of the language that I use with teenagers.
Some schools are becoming more aware of the need to educate their students on how to look after mental health and physical health. Things that today’s society are feeling the ill effects of. But schools have ciricculums to stick to and targets to meet, so the time and resources allocated to these matters are limited.
As parents we are often not proficient in the art of managing mental health ourselves. So many adults have stress, anxiety and depression themselves. They are just trying to scrape through life and doing the best they can for their children.
Many families have a working mum and dad and then there are single parent families and there are just so many demands on people’s time and energy. But more so, people just don’t have the skills and techniques to bring these teenagers through it and show them how things can be different.
And often the last person a teenager wants to hear from is their parents or teacher! So there is this huge gap to fill.
How I help teenagers
What I do with teenagers is to focus on the positives. Build them up strong. A teenager has plenty of time to understand their areas of development and flaws. The last thing they need to be brought tot their attention is to focus on their flaws. They need to be rebuilt and taught resilience.
So we focus on the positive and we do lots of positive work. We focus on how to change their state. State is the way we choose to feel at any given time. There is a great big range of emotion from sad to elated and everything inbetween and believe me, teenagers can feel those full range of emotions on what seems like an hourly basis.
The first thing that I teach teenagers are easy techniques so they can discretley manager their own state. From the first session they go out the door knowing that they have tools for life. and these tools are cool! Only 250 practitioners Worldwide are using these skills (separate blog post another day) and they are amazing. Teenagers love them.
I give them skills and tools for life to help them manage how they feel and get out of sticky emotional situations and shift those blue days where everything feels terrible.
I give them a maintenance plan to take with them, so they don’t have to worry about remembering things and it doesn’t feel like homework!
The next sessions I do work are what I call ‘work of the self’. Looking inside at what’s good about them and what’s important to them. And why they need to protect that to make them strong against the storms.
I use Hypnosis too which is perfectly safe on children age 5+. Hypnosis on a teenager is practically the same as an adult but you use language that appeals to a teenager. I use that to introduce a huge feeling of calm into their lives because they are usually so tense and anxious and worried and stressed with all that’s going on. They can just escape all that and float away to relax and find that calm place inside themselves. They can reconnect to that calm place whenever they need to with a recording that I give them.
Another skill for life. How to unwind your mind and take yourself away from the things that are bothering you and come back feeling relaxed and refreshed and ready to roll.
And what about mum and dad?
Supporting teenagers can be testing, tiring and thankless! So if you need help unwinding, keeping your cool or getting creative on strategies to cope. Make your appointment 🙂
The working mums easy recipe for a stress free life
Do you feel stressed? Maybe you have a stressful job or you find raising children stressful. Or are you just very busy and no one really understands that stress is unavoidable for you? Maybe you feel like stress is just the norm and you need to ride it out, wait for the children to get older or wait for retirement.
Being stressed due your circumstances is actually a bit of a myth. Some people can cope with a lot going on and not feel stressed at all. Others feel stressed more easily. The difference is the way we handle our minds; that is our thoughts and how we respond.
What is true is modern life is getting busier and busier and mind management might not be at the top of your to do list. A lot of people now make time to work out and keep their body fit as they have realised they can be stronger and healthier for longer when they do this. But the mind needs work do. It controls the body after all!
Maybe you don’t often find time to cook. There are plenty of tasty things available that you don’t need to cook right? But how about a recipe to reduce your stress? That doesn’t take a lot of time and effort. That you have all the ingredients for already. That will be delicious when you savour it and you will be delighted that you discovered it.
You brain is constantly being reshaped throughout your life by your experiences and thoughts. You can weaken or strengthen pathways in your brain by the thoughts you have. The more you worry or stress the stronger those networks get. But if you focus on being calm or positive, these pathways can also strengthen (even when you feel overwhelmed).
There is a part of the brain called the Amygdala which manages your fight or flight response and the productions of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Although the Amygdala is two small almond shaped areas of the brain (the structure is actually a bit bigger) it is very important and powerful. Mindfullness and meditation are great techniques for focusing attention and awareness so the Amygdala has less control. Regular meditation settles your mind and helps you manage your emotions more effectively. Regular meditation and mindfullness practice reduce the size of the Amygdala (your brain almonds).
It should only take about 10-15 minutes a day to meditate or practice mindfullness but in my experience of treating stress as a Hypnotherapist, a lot of stressed people won’t find the time. Or they can’t do it by themselves. Or they haven’t truly felt the benefit of deep relaxation because if they had, they would want it again!
To change your state from stress can just a couple of minutes with the right recipe. For a deeper relaxation and to let go of what’s worrying you or stressing you takes about half an hour.
This dish is best served to those that are feeling stressed, worried or overwhelmed. If you are having trouble sleeping, concentrating or feeling any of these physical symptoms as a result of stress you need to make this recipe:
- Heart racing
- Red face
- Uncontrolled breathing
- Finding it hard to concentrate
- Mood swings
The ingredients to a calmer life are super easy to get hold of! You need:
- A body
- A brain
- A quiet place (although once you’ve got the hang of this recipe you can whip it up almost anywhere)
- A relaxation recording
- Candles if you like that sort of thing
- Good intentions
You will also need
If you would like to relax and feel good in 12 minutes you can get my free recording by signing up here. This recording will be yours to keep and can be listened to whenever you want to feel relaxed and refreshed. This is the equivalent to a guided meditation or mindfulness session.
One in 4 people will suffer from a mental health issue. Prevention is key. By learning to manage your stress you will lower your chances of suffering or continuing to suffer in these areas
- Depression and anxiety
- Weight problems
- Auto immune diseases
- Skin conditions, such as eczema
- Heart disease
- Digestive problems
- Sleep problems
- Cognitive and memory problems
If you already suffer from any of the above you will no doubt have noticed how they are aggravated by stress.
I don’t know if you know any stressed people but you might have noticed that they can’t engage properly as they are so caught up in their own stress. They may be fractious, unsettled and rushed. Stress can affect relationships greatly.
So what’s the recipe? How do you make this stress free life?
1 – Know or admit that you are stressed. Don’t fight it. It is not a sign of weakness, in fact you are being strong by taking control of your own thoughts and emotions and managing your health to prevent something nasty.
2 – Own your stress and the management of it. This is a really important step in making changes and applies to weight loss, stop smoking and depression too. When you own your problem, you are becoming accountable and are responsible for the making things better. You will also get great satisfaction and sense of achievement once you have overcome the issue. Changes last if you own them and learn strategies and techniques for making changes yourself.
3 – Find something that works for you. There are numerous books, audios, online programmes, mindfulness classes and courses. But just like there are many types of recipe for paella, there will be some you like more than others and then you will find your favourite.
4 – If the recipe doesn’t work. Modify, find new ingredients and try again. The number of clients I get that say they tried mediation or mindfulness and it didn’t work. Then we do Hypnotherapy and they are amazed at this relaxation that becomes theirs! Once they have connected to that calm place they will want to get back to it and make it their mission to do so. Maybe with my help for a few weeks, but then I teach them self hypnosis and off they go. I give my clients personalised recordings to listen to whenever they like.
5 – Make it often. Make it your signature dish. Savour the flavour and welcome it into your life. Tell other people about it and share the fantastic flavour of calm for a more creative, productive and enjoyable life.
The thing with stress is that people think that it’s part of modern life. And another misconception is that you need to be busy and ‘switched on’ to be effective. This is a complete myth as being calm and in control can give you better creativity and ideas and make you achieve much more (without the angst).
Mindfulness has become popular but Mindfulness, Meditation and Hypnotherapy have similarities in that they all work on slowing the brain down and accessing our subconcious. Hypnotherapy is different in that it can make changes in the subconcious by taking things that are not useful away like phobias, anxiety, smoking and overeating and putting more useful things in like calm and confidence. Hypnotherapy achieves a much deeper level of relaxation than the other practices.
Commit to making changes that will make you feel lighter and brighter and put you back in control. Become accountable NOW. All the power to manage your mind is in you, you just need to learn how to do it and practice often. This can become part of your life.
This is your recipe for a stress free life. You can tweak it, add flavours and spices of your own choosing to really make it your favourite dish.
The cherry on top
If you are feeling stressed and would like to change how you feel, connect with a deep sense of calm within yourself and understand how to manage your thoughts then email me for a free 20 minute consultation. Even after 20 minutes, you will feel different!
Hug (which are known for being calming)
Which is best for you? Hypnotherapy or Counselling?
Maybe you are someone who has had an issue your whole life or maybe issues seem to have found you during your life, but are you someone who is considering getting help? Maybe you know you don’t ‘feel right’or you’ve had a trauma at some stage in your life which has affected you and you feel like you need some help.
I really think there are specific issues and issues that seem to join forces and make us feel bad. What I mean by that is if you have say a fear of something like flying, snakes, spiders, heights… that’s a specific issue. But issues that join forces might be things that have hurt you over the course of your life and taken some of your happy away, affected your confidence, made you feel depressed and maybe make you behave in ways that don’t make you feel good. Life feels like a bit of a struggle.
And seperate to that we have weight loss, smoking and other addictions which can be a combination of habits, addiction and root causes combined.
You know you need help
So you feel like you need some help but how do you know who to go to?
You might go and see your doctor. Some doctors are sympathetic about such matters and others less so. your doctor may prescribe anti-depressants or ‘time to talk’ therapy which is available on the NHS. If the problem persists, they may put you on a waiting list for counselling or CBT for which the waiting list at the moment is about 8 weeks long in West Sussex.
I’m lucky enough to know some holistically minded doctors who know that I specialise in depression and do refer patients to me for Hypnotherapy if they feel that is appropriate.
- You might open up to friends or family and they might know someone who can help or have a friend who knows someone who can help.
- You might buy a self help book. 561,969 and counting currently on Amazon. But how will you know which one is right for you and will really make a difference to how you feel?
- Or you might Google something like ‘help with depression Worthing‘ and see what comes up (mostly counselling services).
The rapport with your therapist is important
I don’t know about you but I don’t air my dirty laundry to everyone! I like to have rapport and trust with someone I’m going to talk to about my problems. My advice when choosing is call them up or email them and ask for chat to see if they are the right person to help you. Do the ‘chemistry’ test. Are they the person that you will choose to hep you? you don’t want to be a someone that goes through their sausage machine of referrals, you want to be someone that they want to help make a significant difference to your life.
So what are the differences between Hypnotherapy and Counselling?
||Around 2 weeks
||Around 8 weeks in West Sussex for an NHS referral
|Price per session
|Length of a session
|Number of sessions required
||1-2 for anxiety, phobias and stop smoking. 4 for weight loss and depression
|Where does it take place
||Face to face or on Skype
||Face to face, group, email, phone
|How does it work
||Hypnotherapy relaxes the conscious mind to make changes in the subconscious (90% of the mind). Read more about this here
||Counselling is a talking therapy which focuses on reflecting on your experiences and understanding how they impacted you.
|What happens in a session
||Your Hypnotherapist will relax you and put you into Hypnosis (not scary, usually pleasant) and guide your subconscious into changes things that are not helpful and introducing things that are
||Your counsellor will ask you questions to help you open up and discuss issues that are affecting you. Your councellor will ask lots of ‘open’ questions to help you reflect and understand things
|Who is it suitable for
||Not Epileptics, Schizophrenics, Psychotics or people on Lithium or Halperidol
|Is it safe
||Yes with a qualified professional
||Yes with a qualified professional
|Is it confidential
|Is it available on NHS
|Is there follow up care
||Yes, often Hypnotherapists provide recordings for you to revisit for ‘maintenance’
|Does it change your life
||Yes. If you have a fear of flying you can go on holiday. You can stop those panic attacks. You can get confidence. You can get slim, stop smoking… Be happy!
||Maybe for some
|Is it suitable for children?
||Age 5+ but use a Hypnotherapist who has special training to work with children
||Yes lots of schools use counselling
|Who should choose what and why?
||Anxiety – quick lasting changes to how you feel and how you cope.
Phobias – can be removed in minutes
Stop smoking – in 2 sessions for good
Weight loss – not a diet but a new way of nourishing your body and losing weight for good
Sleep – clear your mind and sleep better than ever
Depression – release yourself from depression and feel happier
Stress – switch off like never before, relieve stress and learn self-hypnosis for a calmer life
|I think there are some matters that are very deep and personal. They need expertise and time.
Couples – relationship counselling can really help
Rape – highly sensitive
Alcoholism – expertise required
Bereavement – talking can really help (although Reiki is great for grief)
Bulimia and Anorexia – need expertise in most cases
Suicidal thoughts – call the Samaritans
Attitudes to therapy (taken from NHS website)
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