I know the title ‘Why National Stress Awareness Day’ could save your life sounds dramatic, but it is true.
Stress is called the silent killer
According to the World Health Organisation Of the 56.4 million deaths worldwide in 2015, more than half (54%) were due to the top 10 causes. And the top 2 causes for the past 15 years have been Ischaemic heart disease and stroke. Stress is often a feature of these two causes.
Have you accepted stress as part of your life?
Society has really changed hasn’t it. More families with both parents working, single parent families, caring responsibilities. Expensive houses to pay for, images and expectations to live up to and of course social media to keep up with.
There’s children’s education, clubs, hobbies, social events and physical and emotional needs to attend to.
You might choose to study. Maybe while working, running a home and raising a family at the same time.
Then there is convienience food and spending a lot of time sitting in jobs that require computer work. And a competitive environment for well paid work.
Wow, it’s stressful even writing all that.
Everyone seems to be in such a rush and has accepted that as normal. Have you?
Hence the popularity of retreats!
What impact is this stress having on your life?
You know the drill. Work as hard as possible do everything as listed above. But you are not too worried because yes! You have a holiday to look forward to. Maybe even all inclusive. Everything done for you. You can really enjoy this time to relax and unwind and just ‘be’. You arrive on the holiday and spend the first few days in a vegetated state. Or even worse… ill! You can’t believe it. Where is your energy? And your joy? They seemed to have gone on a different holiday!
This is so common for people who are living in a stressed state most of the time. The body gets a glimpse of ‘stopping’ and it makes the most of it.
Things you may not have noticed as signs of stress
Thing is, when stress creeps up gradually, you don’t always notice it. You take on more and more. Do more and more. And you are so busy you don’t notice some of the symptoms of stress are upon you like:
- Muscular pain in our neck, shoulders or back
- Fatigue and low energy levels
- Raised blood pressure
- Increased pain thresholds
- Poor sleep patterns
- Poor breathing
- Suppressed immune system and increased susceptibility to infections
- Increases in blood sugar and cholesterol levels
Don’t ignore the signs
Left ignored these symptoms can build into bigger problems like burnout, depression and anxiety. It is your body and mind’s way of rebelling against the pressure it’s under.
Once you suffer from these they may affect:
- Your relationships with family or friends
- Your hobbies, interests and leisure time
- Your performance at work, school or college
This is the most important point in this blog:
Noticing yourself is the answer to good health. Noticing how you feel. Noticing your energy levels. Your mood. Your interactions with others. How your body feels.
Imagine you had a leaking tap in your bathroom? And you didn’t notice. And it kept dripping and started creating a small flow of water that needed to escape. So it finds a way through a crack in the tiles. And it keeps leaking and leaking. And then there is a funny smell. And you notice but don’t address it. And before you know it you have a damp issue and a big problem to fix. It’s important to notice.
So all I would encourage you to do as a first step is to notice how you feel.
Notice what might cause you stress and then you can work on a plan to reduce the stress in your life. I will be writing a couple of blogs around relaxation which will really help you reduce stress.
Take an easy step to reducing stress and relaxing by joining my free 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge
It is called a challenge but it’s easy! I promise you will feel less stressed at the end. Sign up now!
Self-care is a hot topic and the Spa is a booming industry but I want to explain why self-care is more than a Spa Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love a Spa and once spent a week at Champneys!
But the point I want to make in this blog is that twofold. Firstly, self-care is different things to everyone and secondly, small regular self-care is more beneficial for your mental health and more practical to incorporate into your busy life than a Spa Day..
What my friends said self-care is
I asked my Facebook friends of ways they self-care and here is what they said.
– Recognising the negative voice in your head isn’t you. And disowning it so you can be the real you ❤️
Self-care can be preventing stress
I once read that one of the biggest causes of stress is things that are broken or don’t work around the home. I agree! I’ve had a wobbly kitchen door for a long time and kept screwing it back in but it was never properly fixed and became irritating. Anyway it eventually fell off! So then I had a door-less cupboard which looked a bit strange. I had it fixed and for a couple of days kept admiring it. Who would have thought that a door could bring happiness?
And here are some practical ideas of self-care from me:
- Back up your computer. It can be a real trauma to lose your photos or work
- Store your photos in Dropbox or similar. Protect your treasure memories
- Online shopping – need I say more!
- Organise your wardrobe. Only have things that fir in your wardrobe so you don’t spend ages finding something to wear and feel bad about things that don’t fit right now
- Sort out your finances.
- Dal with letters ASAP
- Keep a calendar/diary
- Unsubscribe from emails that don’t add value to your life
- Subscribe to something that adds value to your life. That’s my FREE 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge
- Batch cook. Freeze some, eat some. Cost effective too.
- Declutter your house, create space
- Declutter your car, enjoy driving
- Declutter your loft, never panic about finding the Halloween stuff again
- Declutter your garage, yes you have 4 bicycle locks already
- Declutter your Facebook friends
- Declutter your Instagram
- Get your books on kindle
- Keep water and snacks in your car so you can always maintain your energy levels
And the best thing about self-care?
Self-care, like rest, is time for you. You enjoy your time and your life. To feed your joy. So it’s important to know how to do that! My theory is that people with a passion in life are very lucky.
I recently went to my favourite bird of prey centre and the passion the handlers have for their birds is amazing. They look them with love and one keeper said to his bird ‘come to daddy’! How wonderful to have an interest you never tire of and you love to bits. Not quite self-care but you get my drift?
When we understand what gives us joy, what makes up feel rested and happy. We can do it as often as we like 🙂
The list of things that gives us joy and makes us happy could be endless and they could be small things. Easy to do. Cheap or free. You’ve just got to experiment and find them. Children as very good at this. They are usually open minded and experimental. They try different clubs and hobbies to see what they enjoy and what they like the most. Children usually go where the fun (for them) is!
Take a little time for self-care today
What are you going to do to nurture and nourish yourself today? I would love to hear about it in the comments or share this blog with someone you care about so they can self-care before their next Spa Day.
In this post I am going to explain the secret of why you feel emotions that you don’t understand. And I want you to share this information with as many people as possible because it really could save a lot of heartache.
We all have two minds…
Did you know that your mind has two parts? The conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind could be called the more rational. It makes decisions based on logic and chooses our behaviour. Most of the time in day to day life we operate in a conscious state. The conscious part of our brain is the smaller less powerful part (although still very powerful!). The conscious part lets us work, study, operate on a daily basis.
The dominant part of the mind is the subconscious. We access the subconscious naturally when we ‘daydream’ or drift off to sleep. The subconscious is powerful when we dream. It tries to make sense of all the information it has absorbed or is processing.
The subconscious is like a blank canvas when we are born. We take in around 2 million pieces of information a day, which is far too much for the conscious mind to process. So the subconscious stores in using sight, smell, taste, sound and feelings. It codes our life experiences in this way which is why both good and bad experiences can have smells or noises attached to them. All this goes on automatically so we don’t really have much control about our built in ‘coding’.
So the phrase ‘in two minds’ is literally that. When we are making a decision we might use the conscious mind to think about it logically, but the subconscious mind will be the more feeling part. Kind of like head and heart centred thinking.
How you can harness the power of your subconscious mind….
Your subconscious is there to protect you and always acts in the way it thinks is best for you. This can become a problem if its ‘coding’ is not helpful. For example, it has learnt that when you are scared or worried you should have a panic attack, or when you are sad you should eat for comfort. People get confused about why they are behaving in a way that is not helpful or they can’t control. This is because the subconscious is the more powerful force and is leading behaviour and emotion.
You can use will power to try and beat an issue, but will power comes from the conscious mind so may only be temporary. Long lasting change needs to be made in the subconscious.
To access the subconscious mind and make changes you need to relax the conscious mind. You can do this with Hypnotherapy (trance hypnosis) or NLP (waking hypnosis). Once the conscious mind is relaxed, the subconscious is present and changes can be made. Sort of like recoding (in a safe and pleasant way).
You will experience wonderful relaxing feelings and connect to the subconscious part of your mind. The part that seems to be on a whole different level and you experience different thoughts that sometimes you can’t even put into words.
The reason you have emotions that you don’t understand
Because your subconscious is accessed by bypassing your conscious mind, when you rationally try and understand why you feel how you feel, the true reason may not be apparent because it is buried in the subconscious.
This is often the case for people who have experienced trauma that bury that stuff so deep inside, they never really think about it.
Sometime the case with grief too.
Because no one really likes pain do they. (Well maybe those lot on Ninja Warrior but not the rest of us!). So the good old subconscious (remember always aiming to look after you) buries that deep down inside. But as the saying goes, the truth will always out and oops there it is….
How the problem presents itself….
Now I have a fair few years as a therapist under my belt but I never assume because the subconscious is super clever and even my client may not understand the processing that takes place.
But what I can tell you is that behind most issues that we face there is an emotion and emotions are held where? In the subconscious!
Here are some the things that I see clients for where there are obvious and less obvious emotional connections:
Depression – often linked to emotions in the past that can be cleared up
Weight loss – often linked to emotions about self esteem
Anxiety – often linked to an emotion that is buried deep
Smoking – surprisingly often linked to the emotion that drives the habit rather than the nicotine addiction
Confidence – often linked to an emotion that is buried deep
Sleep – often linked to an emotions
Stress – often linked to the emotions of overwhelm and being out of control
So what can you do to feel better?
Many people get advice from their doctor first and some end up on medication or anti depressants. some seek counselling or Pychotherapy.
It isn’t as simple as saying to the subconscious ‘change this’. The subconscious is like a child. It needs to believe what is being said, it needs to feel its the right thing to do. It needs to buy into it and the conscious mind has to also want the change (that is usually the case where someone has got to the point they seek help unless there is a secondary gain).
A good Hypnotherapist or NLP Master Practitioner will work with you to make the changes to the emotions that drive the behaviours that made you seek help.
I call it ‘soothing and smoothing’. Sooth the pain and smooth the trigger and issue, Job done. Feel better 🙂
I am even able to work content free by working directly with the subconscious without talking about the issue specifically. I don’t need to know the issue/trauma necessarily but the subconscious does.
Children operate in the subconscious a lot! They have wonderful imagination and intuition. They respond to stories which appeal to the subconscious and significant changes can be made to their lives, meaning happier childhoods and lasting change through to adulthood.
The subconscious is also like a sponge for storing positivity as well as negativity. So accessing your subconscious and pumping it full of lovely positivity is really cool. This is what successful people do regularly! Just ask Tony Robbins 🙂
Get in touch so I can help you or your child.
I use Hypnotherapy, NLP, Reiki and life coaching to help children over 5 and adults overcome problems and issues. I work face to face in Lancing, Worthing, Shoreham and Brighton and worldwide on Skype. I love talking to people and would happy to have a chat with you about how I could help you or your child.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness?
In October I was at two Mind, Body, Spirit events speaking about Hypnotherapy and delivering a Hypnosis workshop. Both times I Hypnotised about 40 people and help them let some worry go and feel good about themselves. The feedback was good and I met some lovely people and bought a lovely Tibetan singing bowl (which I will write about separately another time).
One question that came up several times was how is Hypnotherapy different to Mindfulness, so I thought it would be good to answer that in full. Hopefully this table will allow you to compare the two therapies.
||Hypnotherapy is delivered by qualified Hypnotherapist who will use language and other techniques to relax your conscious mind and communicate with your unconscious.
||A mindfulness practitioner or audio recording will use language to bring your attention to the present and think less about other things.
|Can you do it yourself
||A good Hypnotherapist will teach you self-hypnosis. I use the example of a Hypnobirth client who has to know how to deeply relax when the need arises!
||Yes, lots of people do it themselves but lots can’t or don’t make the time to.
|Where did it originate
||In the 18th Century, an Austrian named Frank Anton Mezmer was credited with the discovery of hypnosis. Mezmer would hold large healing ceremonies at his estate.
In 1840 a physician named James Braid made hypnosis accessible to the medical community and many other physicians began to incorporate hypnosis into their practice. Dr. James Esdaile was one such physician, he performed over 2500 surgeries in Calcutta, India using hypnosis for anesthesia.
In 1950, both the British and American Medical Associations declared hypnosis to be a useful therapeutic tool.
|Mindfulness has its origins in ancient meditation practices.
It originated in India.
The founder of modern day Mindfulness is Jon Kabat-Zinn who founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the late 1970’s.
|Who offers it
|What does it feel like
||Deeply relaxing in the mind and body with long lasting connection to your ‘calm place’. You will be able to move but you probably won’t want to. You are not asleep and can even have your eyes open during hypnosis.
||Relaxing in the mind and body with connection to your ‘calm place’. You will probably have your eyes closed but are not asleep.
|What are the benefits
Connect to unconscious mind
Make long lasting changes
Own your mental state
Connect to unconscious mind
Be aware of the present
Connection to self
Own your mental state
|How much does it cost
||Between £65 and £100 a session with between 2 and 4 sessions required.
||Between £10 and £25 a session with the average course lasting 6 to 8 sessions.
|Where does it take place?
||In Hypnotherapist’s therapy room or on Skype.
||Widely available and usually in a group in a therapy practice or local hall.
|Is it safe for children?
||Yes, but I would recommend that the Hypnotherapist has special training to deal with children
||Yes, mindfulness has been introduced to many schools with fabulous results
|What it is
||A mental state where the conscious mind is relaxed and the unconscious is present. A relaxing feeling where different solutions can be found to problems and issues to make permanent changes for the better.
||A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
|What is isn’t
||A mechanism for making pyschological and behavioural changes
|What’s good about it
||Hypnosis accesses the unconscious mind where everything is stored, including our past experiences that affect our behaviour and emotions. If you have negative behaviours or thought patterns they will be because of something stored in your unconscious mind.
||For people looking for a way to relax, it is a superb practice. It can ease stress and give you a better sense of yourself. It also helps with worry as it focuses your mind on the present.
|What’s not good about it
||Some people are worried that Hypnotherapy will make them do something they don’t want to do, reveal secrets or control their mind. None of this is true. Stage Hypnosis is very different to Hypnotherapy.
||It doesn’t make changes in the unconscious to help with unwanted behaviours.
There are mindfulness books, videos, audios and online courses to help you gain the knowledge, skills and techniques to boost your mental wellbeing and make mindfulness part of your overall approach to life.
|What can it help you with?
||Relaxation and finding inner calm
Finding inner calm
Living in the present
|Is it approved?
||Hypnotherapeutic treatment has been approved by the BMA (British Medical Association) as a form of ‘orthodox’ practice (as opposed to complementary or alternative medicine) for over 70 years.
||Widely supported by the BMA and NHS.
|Where can I find out more information?
||Call me on 07530 890089 or email me for a free consultation. We can discuss your issue or requirements. To experience relaxation go to my free relaxing recording here.
||There’s a nice 2 minute video on mindfulness here
So what is it that you are looking for?
I hope the comparison of Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness is useful and gives you an insight into both practices. It might be that you are reading this because you want to manage your own mental state better. I just want you to know that there are lots of ways you can manage your own mental state and it is important for you to do so. You help prevent or help depression or anxiety Yes, really!
I’m currently doing daily videos on how to manage your own mental state over on my Facebook page. It would be lovely to see you there 🙂
Why sign up for my newsletter?
- You can get every new blog sent to you if you sign up here for my newsletter and you will also get a free relaxing recording
- You will be first to hear about special offers and other exciting things
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)