The secrets of slim people

The secrets of slim people

If you have ever wondered what the secrets of slim people are, your questions might be answered tonight in a show called ‘The truth about slim people’

The truth about slim people

We will get to see how two people; Anne-Marie and Yemi, manage to stay slim despite it seems eating whatever they like, whenever they like.

It is a true case of nothing being as it seems as I read the article about it.

Anne-Marie is a 42 year old mother of two who was trained as a dancer but now runs a dance classes for kids. She is 9 stone a size 8. Every aspect of her life was filmed for 5 days.

Yemi is a 37 year old father of 2, has a 32 inch waist and weighs 12 stone. His childhood nickname was ‘Dustbin’ because of his large appetite. He did a lot of sport in his younger days.

Neither of them eat ‘healthy’ food and they both at what they like in the quantity they desire. Or so it seems.

As part of the programme they both have medical test and it is found that neither of them have ‘magic metabolisms’.

The findings tell this story (see if you can spot the key ones that I, as a Hypnotherapist, will talk about today):

  • They don’t snack in the day
  • They fully satisfy themselves at mealtimes by eating what they fancy.
  • They both eat enough to feel full until the next meal.
  • Neither of them are ‘emotional eaters’.
  • They don’t drink much alcohol.
  • If they eat a lot one day, they eat less the next day
  • They unconsciously seem to balance their calorie intake
  • Anne-Marie is found to be a ‘fidgeter’. Never sitting still and using up lots of energy just ‘being her’.
  • Yemi walks at a very fast pace
  • Both sleep well
  • Both have good gut bacteria
  • Neither of them are ‘hung-up’ on food
  • They are both ‘self-regulated’
  • The conclusion from the show was that the secret to staying slim is mindset.

From the list above I am going to talk about the emotional eating aspect today.

So what is an emotional eater?

Emotional eating

It’s safe to say that an emotional eater will not see food as fuel only. If you are an emotional eater food is more of a friend that you call on when you need to feel better. When you feel negative emotions you will use food as a way to take your mind off them. Because your mind is distracted by the emotion, it means you don’t recognize when you are hungry or full so eat you fulfill an emotional need rather than a physical one.

Emotional eaters use food as a crutch rather than a source of pleasure to be enjoyed for what it is.

So what emotions might trigger an emotional eater to eat? Well any negative emotion really such as:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Depressed
  • Unhappy
  • Shame
  • Tiredness
  • Dislike of yourself
  • Feeling unloved
  • Worry
  • Tiredness

 

Eating numbs the emotion and therefore feels comforting. But the bad news is after you’ve eaten you will probably feel more negative emotions about yourself like hating yourself for having no control, guilt, not liking your body, feeling fat or ugly or shame (especially if you eat in secret).

If you are unhappy being overweight, you may feel you have to wear make up to ‘hide’ yourself or even feel ugly without it and you may feel the need to behave in a way that distracts from your body which only adds to your feelings of internal discomfort. You may not be happy in your own skin.

Before you beat yourself up for what you crave and eat….

Why is it that certain foods seem to feature highly for emotional eaters? Foods like cake, biscuits, ice cream? Well your cravings can be justified for good reason. The blend of carbohydrates, sugar and fat can be delicious. A multi-sensory and temporarily satisfying experience. The feel in your mouth, the smell, the flavours and the taste exciting your senses and providing a distraction from anything else at that moment. And they are so easily available.

These type of food also provide instant gratification.

But did you know that your brain chemistry actually changes when you eat. “Carbohydrates set off a series of chemical reactions that ultimately lead to a boost in brain serotonin,” says Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., the former director of the Research Program in Women’s Health at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Clinical Research Center. The higher the levels of serotonin, the more content you feel (at least temporarily).

There have also been studies around fatty foods making people feel less sad because fatty acids can induce a signal from your gut to your brain, which may influence emotions.

So how can an emotional eater change?

Keep an emotional food diary

Keeping a food diary to track what you’ve been eating alongside what how you are feeling at the time can help you identify what triggers emotional eating.

I’ve made a food and emotion diary download for you which you can download here

Knowing what these triggers are can help you break the emotional eating habits and deal with triggers instead of turning to food.

 

How can you deal with emotional triggers?

So if you’ve done your food diary and spotted some emotional triggers for you, you need to know how to do something other than eat when they occur.

Although there are many ways that you could find something other than eat to do, it is a good idea if you try and find something that satisfies your reward centre. What I mean by that is the place in your mind that needs to feel good and satisfied (known as a reward centre). If you don’t do this, you are merely distracting yourself from the thought of wanting to eat (this strategy can work well for some people too).

If you think about how your emotions are soothed and the deep connection they have with food for a minute.

Ice cream at the seaside – this often starts in childhood. There you are having a great time with your family and your treat is an ice cream. Not only is the ice cream delicious in itself, but it anchors those happy feelings of your time at the beach probably with people you like to be with.

Popcorn at the cinema – going to the cinema is a sensory experience. you are going to watch a story that you can be absorbed in undisturbed for a couple of hours. You will see things that might be amazing and open your unconscious mind and emotions right up (think Disney or Hollywood). You then eat some sweet popcorn which anchors the experience.

Candy floss at the funfair – you are surrounded by fun and people laughing. you may have been spun round and round or been taken on a ride up in the air. Everyone there is happy and laughing. There are bright lights and your adrenaline, serotonin and oxytocin which make you excited and happy will all be in full force. The candy floss anchors the experience.

These experiences are bonding tastes and food with experiences. Your brain will want the same feeling if you don’t give it the food it thinks it wants.

So you need to get creative to think of things you can do which may make you feel good. Maybe excited or like you’ve accomplished something. Get thinking about what they might be now. What are you craving and how can you get it another way than eating?

 

If you need help

Good food choices

If you need help with your emotional eating or weight loss then I can help you by seeing you as a one to one client for 4 sessions. It is 4 sessions because we work on any emotional healing that needs to take place to allow you to move on. We work with the inner voice that damages your self-esteem and I help you to love your body (yes in its current form) so you want to care for it and nourish it. We also work on making better food choices, sugar cravings and confidence. The whole works.

If you want to be part of a group and spend 47 days working on your relationship with food, your relationship with yourself, sharing recipes, participating in challenges and listening to Hypnosis audios to help you, then you can join my next Project 47 group which starts on January 9th 2018. Please email me and I will put you on the waiting list.

Sending you some positive emotions today

Honey x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book review: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

Book review: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

I’m so excited to do this book review of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers because it is one of my all time favourite books. One everyone should read! Especially people who are scared of change and embracing the new.

Who is Susan Jeffers ph.D?

Susan Jeffers (1938-2012) was an American best-selling author and sought-after public speaker. She appeared on many radio and television shows internationally. She saw herself as someone meant to do something in addition to raising a family. And boy did she, even thought at the time it was against society’s expectations.

When her children were young she attained a BA, Master’s Degree, and Doctorate in Psychology. She then became the Executive Director of The Floating Hospital, New York’s Ship of Health.

She survived a divorce, a mastectomy and a decade as a single working parent. She is a true example of someone who felt the fear but did it anyway.

She helped millions of people throughout the world overcome their fears, heal their relationships, and move forward in life with confidence and love.

Susan’s reading list

You only have to look at her recommended reading list to get a feeling for her and what she was all about. Here are some of the books from that list:

 

The book

Susan explains how fear seems to be everywhere in our lives. We ‘fear beginnings and we fear endings’! We also fear:

  • Change
  • Staying the same
  • Success
  • Failure
  • Living
  • Dying

 

I see fear of these on a regular basis in my Hypnotherapy practice. People who want help getting through a job interview, exam or driving test have fear.

People who are ready to change their lives but are scared. People who have had enough are scared of what their lives have become and will continue to be.

Scared of not being about to lose the weight…scared of what they will do instead of smoking….. and anxiety is full of fear of course.

Teenagers who are scared of bullies or being themselves. I would say people are even scared to fully relax sometimes. And there is definitely fear around what others think.

But when you remove fear. You get better things in its place. You get power, energy and excitement.

Fear is an energy

skydive

Fear can be a useful response because it warns us of perceived danger and gives us a ‘boost’ to avoid getting hurt. Very useful for cavemen who had to avoid wild animals and also useful for that run you do to get out of the way of a car. But not always useful for some of life.

Level one fears are those on the surface

Susan lists fears are those that just happen like getting old, being alone or not having enough money.

And then fears that need action like changing career, losing weight or stating or ending relationships.

I would just like to make the point that fears do not need to be ‘big’ to feel big. The fear someone feels is not related to society’s perceived view of whether that is a justified fear. Fears that cause extreme fear are called phobias.

Level two fears are held within you. Susan gives examples of those as:

  • Being rejected
  • Succeeding
  • Failing
  • Being at risk
  • Being tricked
  • Being helpless
  • Being disapproved of
  • Losing yourself

 

These kind of fears are around your sense of sense and often difficult to understand on your own. They seep into all areas of your life and cause problems. This is what the self-help industry is built on. An of course, as a therapist, I help many clients with this sort of thing.

 

Susan then details level three fears under the title of ‘I can’t handle it!’

These fears are ‘major’ and will probably hold you back. They include feeling like you can’t handle:

  • Illness
  • Mistakes
  • Being alone
  • Your job
  • Losing money

Do you have any level three fears and what impact are they having on your life? I can help you.

The good news is that Susan’s work aims to impart the knowledge and feelings which she poses as this question:

Question – If you knew you could handle anything that came your way, what would you possible have to fear?

Answer – NOTHING!

By lessening or removing your fear you gain more trust in the knowledge that you can handle anything that comes you way 🙂 Sounds great doesn’t it? As you continue to read the book (or listen to it as I did on a very long car journey!) you will feel this amazing sense that you can handle whatever comes your way. It is so empowering.

 

We believe what we tell ourselves

spaceman

 

Our brains don’t know the difference between fact and fiction. So if you tell yourself good things, you will feel good. It is such a simple concept and one to teach your children for sure.

As Susan says in the book. We tell our children to be ‘careful’. This is giving messages that the world is full of danger. We say this because we don’t want them to hurt themselves and we will hurt too if anything happens to them. We are projecting our own fear onto them.

Can you imagine if Richard Branson had been fearful. Things would be very different.

If everyone had been to scared to go into space?  

Or Columbus had been scared of sailing?

You can push through fear

There are many strategies for pushing through fear. Susan’s approach is to push through one fear, into the next! She sees the growth that this gives. I was looking at Amy Porterfield’s webpage recently and saw she has 250,000 Facebook fans! She does webinars to help people with their websites and stuff and I thought, I bet she felt nervous on her first webinar! But she has pushed through the fear each time.

Another example of pushing through fear is when people hold spiders to get rid of their fear of spiders. This can have some bad consequences (I know because I have had clients in my Hypnotherapy practice that I have had to sort out because they have done this). But for many people, this works!

Overcoming fears makes you feel good!

It is natural to feel fear when you have to do something you haven’t done before. Whether that’s having a baby or a job interview!

One of the truest things I feel Susan says in her book is ‘pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the constant fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness’. How true this is!

Your mind is amazingly powerful, brilliant and creative and as much as it comes up with wonderful ideas that are helpful, it can also really go to down with feeling fearful, catastrophising and making you dread things that could be wonderful and exciting for you.

 

Fears I help people with in my West Sussex Hypnotherapy practice

fear

 

One of the best uses of Hypnotherapy is overcoming fear. Phobias are far more common than many people realise. It is estimated that more than 11% of the population have some kind of irrational fear. Here are some of the common fears I help people overcome:

  • Flying
  • Public speaking
  • Interviews
  • Driving tests
  • Exams
  • Claustrophobia
  • Sickness
  • Insects
  • Heights
  • Needles
  • Dentists
  • Water

 

Fear can stop you living the life you want to and doing things that you would enjoy or flourish at.

Get in touch and get rid of your fears and phobias today

 

Honey Lansdowne

I am ready and waiting to help you.

When I feel nervous about something I always think of that saying ‘it’s the things you didn’t do that you regret, not the things you did’.

So don’t regret not following me on Instagram or liking my Facebook page! See you there for inspiration and motivation 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These song lyrics reflect my work with clients I help with emotional healing

These song lyrics reflect my work with clients I help with emotional healing

In this post I am going to use songs to reflect the work I do with clients that I help with emotional healing. This is such a precious element of my work and one I am very committed to and passionate about. I want you to hear where I am coming from with my energy and intention. Though music.

There are some healers and coaches who don’t have any official qualifications and are still doing a good job!  They have natural intuition and are able to help others. And others have intuition and like to back it up with skills and qualifications. The point is when people need help with emotional healing, they need to feel they are in safe, caring hands. The relationship and trust is so very very important in this kind of work. I feel honoured when I work with people in this way.

 

I think these songs say it all.

REM – Everybody Hurts

When your day is long
And the night
The night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life
Well hang on
Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone (hold on)
(Hold on) if you feel like letting go (hold on)
If you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
Well, hang on
‘Cause everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts
Don’t throw your hand
Oh, no
Don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone
No, no, no, you’re not aloneIf you’re on your own in this life
The days and nights are long
When you think you’ve had too much
Of this life to hang on
Well, everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts

The Pretenders – I’ll Stand By You

Oh, why you look so sad?
Tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now Don’t be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
’cause I’ve seen the dark side too
When the night falls on you
You don’t know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you lessI’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by youSo if you’re mad, get mad
Don’t hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me nowHey, what you got to hide?
I get angry too
Well I’m a lot like youWhen you’re standing at the crossroads
And don’t know which path to choose
Let me come along
’cause even if you’re wrong
I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I’ll never desert you
I’ll stand by you
And when, when the night falls on you, baby
You’re feeling all alone
You won’t be on your own
I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you

Bob Marley – Three Little Birds

“Don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright
Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright!”
Rise up this morning
Smiled with the rising sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singing sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying, “This is my message to you”
Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright
Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing (don’t worry)
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright!”Rise up this morning
Smiled with the rising sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singing sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying, “This is my message to you”Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing (worry about a thing, oh)
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright (don’t worry)
Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing (I won’t worry)
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright!”Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright (I won’t worry)
Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright!”Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing (don’t worry about a thing)
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright

 

Nina Simone – Feeling Good

Birds flyin’ high, you know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by, you know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me.
Yeah, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, ooooooooh…
And I’m feelin’ good.Fish in the sea, you know how I feel
River runnin’ free, you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree, you know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me,
And I’m feelin’ good Dragonfly out in the sun, you know what I mean, don’t you know,
Butterflies all havin’ fun, you know what I mean.
Sleep in peace when day is done: that’s what I mean,
And this old world is a new world and a bold world for me…Stars when you shine, you know how I feel
Scent of the pine, you know how I feel
Yeah, freedom is mine, and I know how I feel..
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me
And I’m feelin’… good.

 

The message I want to get across is…

When you’re sure you’ve had enough

Sometimes everything is wrong

If you think you’ve had too much

If you feel like you’re alone

Hold on

Come on and come to me now

’cause I’ve seen the dark side too

I’ll stand by you

Don’t hold it all inside

You’re feeling all alone

You won’t be on your own

Don’t worry about a thing

Cause every little thing is gonna be alright

This is my message to you

Rise up this morning

Singing sweet songs

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me

And I’m feelin’ good

Sleep in peace when day is done

Yeah, freedom is mine, and I know how I feel..

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me

And I’m feelin’… good

 

More about the emotional healing another day but if you need to sort something out please contact me. Even if we just have a chat, it’s worth it.

Honey

Everything you think about Hypnosis is probably wrong

Everything you think about Hypnosis is probably wrong

So how can I be so sure that everything you think about Hypnosis is probably wrong? Well for two reasons. When I have free consultations with clients they usually have questions about Hypnosis which I like to sort out and answer as fully as I can before their sessions. And also, in preparation for this blog post I invited questions so I could answer them fully here.

 

Assumptions about Hypnosis

1 – You are under the Hypnotist’s ‘spell’ or control.

Hypnosis is not control. You can ignore suggestions given in trance if you want to, or if they are not in line with your wishes.

2 – Hypnosis is sleep

You are not asleep while in Hypnosis. Hypnosis is not sleep. In fact your mind is super alert! But you will probably feel deeply relaxed as relaxation is a wonderful by product of Hypnosis.

 

Questions people asked about Hypnosis

 

1 – Will it brainwash me?

Suggestions made in Hypnosis are hugely powerful. But they only take affect if you truly want them and accept them. For example… if you really want to stop smoking, Hypnosis will enhance all the reasons you already affirm are good reasons to stop.

One of the meanings of brainwashing is ‘to pressurise (someone) into adopting radically different beliefs by using systematic and often forcible means’.

So my diplomatic answer to this is – it can help you make true the things you already believe, but can’t achieve alone. NLP can change your beliefs but more about that in another post.

2 – Does it last forever?

This will vary for everyone. Some smokers stay stopped. Some don’t. I don’t have any stats around it, but many people change their lives and remove their unwanted habits with Hypnosis.

It’s like saying if someone gets rich, will they be rich forever. Well, they might maximise on their wealth or not, depending on the decisions and actions they take.

 

Think you can

3 – What if I don’t want to change?

Then Hypnosis is not for you. You have to want to change for it to work. Although you might still enjoy the relaxation elements of Hypnosis.

4 – Will Hypnosis erase my personality?

No cases on record 🙂

5 – Can Hypnosis give lasting mindset changes?

Your mind does not know what is real and what is not. If you watch a movie you know it’s actors, in costumes, on a film set, playing a story in front of a huge film crew. You still cry and laugh like it’s real don’t you?! Your mind believes it and the emotions are real.

If the suggestions you receive during Hypnosis are consistent with what you REALLY want, it will give you the change you seek.

6 – What happens in a trance?

Hypnosis is a natural state of mind; people are often surprised that they hear every word and could get up and walk out of the room at any moment. Unless you enter a deeper state, you may not feel much different. 

7 – Why do you speak directly to my subconscious?

I will talking much more about your subconscious mind in a separate blog. But an analogy is making changes in your conscious mind is like clearing your inbox, it helps at a surface level but real improvements happen at hard drive or cloud level and that is your subconscious! Your subconcious is much more powerful than your conscious mind so makes sense to use it!

Your subconscious is like the film of your life and your conscious like the photos. The subconscious knows everything and the conscious just has snapshots. So review the film to remind you of things from the past and address them so you can move on and feel better.

8 – I’ve had Hypno before but it didn’t work, should I try again?

I’m not going to be critical of my fellow Hypnotists here and put them at fault. I would say we all try things that don’t work at some point in our lives… relationships, diets, gym memberships, holidays, restaurants! Sometimes the time is not right, sometimes it’s the chemistry and sometimes it just is.

9 – What happens if I go to sleep?

The feeling can be similar to drifting off to sleep at night when you are not quite awake and not quite asleep but it is not sleep. If you were to fall asleep your Hypnotist would be able to sort this out and bring you back up to a suitable state.

10 – Will you make me do things I don’t want to?

Never.

11 – What’s the difference between stage Hypnosis and what you do?

A number of factors make stage Hypnosis different to therapeutic Hypnosis. When someone knows they are going to a Hypnosis stage show, they have probably decided if they will volunteer before they even arrive. They then put their hand up at the show and volunteer. They are giving their consent for Hypnosis to happen and they fully know some silliness will be involved! It is more likely than the volunteer is of an extroverted nature and enjoys being the star of the show.

12 – Will I definitely wake up?

You are not asleep. Please see answer to question 9

13 –  I find it hard to shut my brain down so struggle with meditation too. Can Hypnosis break through that?

Firstly, here is an interesting video about meditation myths:

I get loads of clients who can’t meditate but desperately want to relax. Meditation can take years to perfect! Think monks lol.

Hypnosis puts you in the hands of a skilled professional who can facilitate you reaching your desired or acheiveable state.

14 – Can I get stuck in Hypnosis?

Even from the deepest trance state (which is delicious), you will still emerge or fall into sleep when you are ready. So no. You can’t get stuck in Hypnosis.

15 – Can I be Hypnotised?

I’m going to be honest with you here. The level of success depends on two things. Your allowance to yourself to let it happen and removal of any fear to it happening (although there is nothing to be scared of). A Hypnotic trance is a feeling of relaxation, it is different for everyone. The more you do it, the better it gets!

There is also expectation. If you expect your Hypnotherapist to lay you out cold, this might not be your experience! During Hypnosis you are aware of everything that is being said and you can bring yourself at anytime you decide. But you probably won’t want to!

16 – How do I choose the right Hypnotherapist?

 

Honey Lansdowne

 

I’ve put myself in your shoes here because of course I want to say contact me! Some might give you recordings. Some might offer group sessions and 121. Some may specialise in certain areas like PTSD, weight loss, stop smoking, working with children, anxiety or phobias. I specialise in depression and what I call ‘work of the self’ (but I treat anything I consider feasible after a client consultation aswell).

When choosing your Hypnotherapist you might want to consider the way they work. They might favour a quick approach or prefer to see you for more sessions. Not every issue is a ‘quick fix’ although many can be. Some therapists (like myself) integrate Hypnosis with other therapies such as NLP for really deep work with their clients. You can cover so much ground and make real purposeful transformations in just a few sessions. I love the satisfaction of knowing that my clients have had the opportunity of an ’emotional deep cleanse’ which they often haven’t been able to fix even with weeks/months/years of Coaching, Counselling or Pyschotherapy. They walk away with a spring in their step.

To summarise:

You can’t be hypnotised if you don’t want to be hypnotised.
You can’t be made to do things that you don’t want to do.
You can’t get “stuck” in a hypnotic trance.
It is NOT mind control by one person over another.
It is your journey. The therapist is more like a guide.

 

So what do you think about Hypnosis now?

I loved writing this blog! And I would love to answer any other questions you might have in the comments so please type away!

Or like me on Facebook (it’s free lol) or on Instagram where I am just myself (photos without makeup and EVERYTHING).

Sending you Hypnotic vibes 🙂

Honey

Do employers care about your mental health?

Do employers care about your mental health?

Your mental health – How much do you honestly think your employer cares about it?

Do you feel that they care more about business results than the mental health of the people they manage?

I was motivated to think about this question and write this post as a result of another blog post I saw. A woman that sent an email to her boss to say she needed to take a mental health sick day got a really cool response. You can read about it here

What do you think your boss would say if you sent an email saying you were having a mental health sick day? Would they respond kindly or would they respond asking for an update on your work! In many cases bosses lack empathy towards employees.

Is mental health in your workplace taken as seriously as physical health?

It might be slightly different of course with an obvious physical illness. You know the sort of thing, leg in cast, swollen eye, streaming cold or sporting injury. Or even an operation where you are actually in hospital and completely unable to work ,so the boss can be satisfied you are no good to them whatsoever for a while.

Most people have sympathy towards physical illness don’t they? ‘Awwww, that looks sore’ or ‘you poor thing, hope you are feeling better soon’. But is there the same level of sympathy towards mental health or is there still a bit of a stigma? Many people are not keen to openly talk about depression although mixed anxiety & depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with 7.8% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis and 4-10% of people in England experiencing depression in their lifetime.

Is there still a mental health stigma?

Hard day at the office

Why is there any stigma or lack of support for mental health issues in the workplace? Luckily, high profile people like Price Harry are really helping matters by talking about it. He has openly said how the death of his mother, Princess Diana affected his mental health and wellbeing.

 

You might not think there is a stigma as you may be lucky to be in a workplace that is supportive of mental health issues like Laing O’Rourke. But there clearly is a huge problem 49% of people saying they would be unlikely to tell their boss about problems such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. Only 35% said they’d be happy to tell colleagues.

They say people leave companies because of bad bosses….

Some workplaces are almost archaic in their support of mental health issues. Managers that are so wrapped up in their own careers and living and breathing ‘work’ that they forget the people that work for them are PEOPLE. It makes a real difference when your manager bothers to get to know you as a person. Asks after your family, makes you feel like a human.

And when you have a mental health issue and you manager is supportive, wow! That can really make or break your happiness at work. Maybe they support you be making changes to your hours, or your workload or support appointments for you to get professional help.

Or maybe they simply respect that not every day you are able to put in your most amazing performance or effort.  It doesn’t make you a less committed or able employee. Businesses are obsessed with number of hours worked when actually you can be just as efficient and if not more in less hours if you are happy and supported.

It’s time for employers to wake up and smell the bachs remedy

Mental Health in the UK

It is so shortsighted for employers not to consider the mental health of it’s employees part of its strategy and company ethos.

In business speak, the costs of not doing so are massive with mixed anxiety and depression estimated to cause one fifth of days lost from work in Britain.

 

Things that don’t help mental health at work are:

  • Unsupportive company ethos
  • Bullying
  • Systems and processes that cause stress
  • Regular overworking
  • Lack of ‘Wellbeing at work’ initiatives
  • Lack of support from managers and HR
  • Lack of appropriate training
  • Unrealistic targets and timescales

The things on this list cause stress and anxiety in abundance. Both of which can lead to depression and absence from work.

Some companies are wellbeing aware

Time to change

Luckily 500 smart companies have signed up for the Time to Change Pledge to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination across England.

 

 

In a really great guide from Mentalhealth.org.uk they explain that good mental health practices have to start with managers. They advise looking out for these things in employees:

  • Irritable
  • Sensitive to criticism
  • Loss of confidence or humour
  • Making more mistakes
  • Indecisive
  • Lack of concentration
  • Not taking breaks
  • Becoming introverted or extroverted
  • Displaying stress
  • Looking tired
  • Lack of motivation

 

Prevention will pay dividends

There is also a great deal that can be done at prevention level which starts with having an open approach to mental health. Talking about it in the company and being supportive of people working their contracted hours and not regularly expecting more. Have realistic job descriptions and treat people like people.

Of course people want to do a good job and be successful, it’s good for self-esteem and motivation. But they also want lives and energy to enjoy themselves!

Some companies cottoned onto the benefits of having a workforce who nurture their mental health a while ago. Some of the best are mentioned here

If you know a company that are good at caring about the mental health of their employees, please give them a shout out in the comments of this blog. They deserve it 🙂

There is a very simple sum too which sums up why employers should care about mental health.

Happy staff = staff that want to make customers happy = happy business = attracts high quality employees that want to work there = happy business etc

In short, caring about your brain is a no brainer 🙂

A quick word for the self employed

As you are your own boss, you are responsible for your own mental health. Self employed people can be so enthusiastic about their businesses that they let their self-care slip. Don’t let this be you! If you are in business you will know that you need to play both the short game and the long game and this applies to your physical and mental health too.

Schedule days off and holidays. Make sure your customers and clients know your working hours so your ‘free time’ does not become ‘work time’.

So many people leave Corporate life to enjoy the benefits of being self employed and actually ending working harder and longer. Nothing wrong with passion for your business, but if you burn out you won’t be able to do very much at all.

You have personal responsilbity for your own mental health too

Of course, work is not the only cause of mental health issues. Problems can arise after a life changing event, illness or for no reason at all unfortunately. There is loads you can do to take care of your own wellbeing and keep mental health issues at bay. Then you can enjoy your work and the rest of your life to the best of your ability.

Sign up for the free 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge

I’ve seen enough ‘frazzled’ clients to understand that prevention is always better than cure when it comes to mental health.

You might want to sign up for my free 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge which is an easy to follow plan for busy people. Just sign up via the pop up here on my website.

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