Category: Anxiety

Insomnia – Is it all in your head?

A man looking at his alarm clock in despair at ten past two in the morning because he can't sleep.

Worrying about not getting enough sleep could be the very thing that is causing your insomnia. Although sometimes there could be factors preventing us sleeping such as our diet and health, in a large number of cases it could just be all in the mind. Many of us are actually sleeping much better than we think. What many people actually have is ‘paradoxical insomnia’ where they think they are sleeping much less than they actually are. This can especially be common in people that are a bit anxious or sleep lightly. They may not be getting as good a sleep as the average person but studies show that although they tend to wake up a lot they are still getting sleep in between looking at their clocks. Because the sleep is very light they get the feeling that they are not sleeping at all so accepting that they are actually getting some broken sleep is the first step to tackling insomnia.

Insomnia is often about fear. Fear of just lying awake, fear that they can’t sleep or fear that they will not be able to function at work properly if they do not sleep. This fear then becomes a cycle and then going to bed becomes a negative task and then the fear of sleeps sets in.

So insomnia can simply be as much of a problem as the individual decides to make it. The problem is in your head. So if you can think your way into a problem then surely you can think your way out of it. But how can you do this?

First of all don’t put pressure on yourself to sleep. Don’t think of yourself as going to sleep but think of it as going for a rest. Resting is very restorative. As soon as you put pressure on yourself to sleep it’s not going to happen. So, make rest your goal! Research shows that for some cognitive tasks the benefits of rest were indistinguishable from sleep.

Much of the time people have decided for themselves wether they are good or bad sleepers. Remember you get what you focus on so if you focus on being a bad sleeper then you are probably going to get a bad nights sleep. Maybe if you decide that you are a good sleeper then if you do get a bad night then it won’t be so much of a big deal. Good sleepers have a belief that they are going to be fine whatever happens in the night. People that get highly stressed about their sleep have more depression, tiredness and cognitive impairment than people with a more positive belief system about their sleeping habits.

Increase your confidence about falling asleep by determining what time you need to get up then set your alarm and count backwards five and a half hours and don’t let yourself go to bed before that time (so in this case it would be one am). Make sure that you get up with that alarm and that you do not allow yourself any little naps throughout the day. Once you have done this for a few days your body will try and satisfy it’s need for sleep by making those five and a half hours as efficient as possible. Your sleep will then become much more continuous and much deeper. Once you have developed the confidence that you will fall asleep you can start bringing your bedtime forwards until it feels right for you. People may try and tell you that you need eight or nine hours sleep but research shows that six or seven is enough for a lot of people.

Move away from defining yourself as an insomniac by taking your focus away from sleep. See if you can go a whole month without talking about it! If you are asked by anyone about it then just say you slept fine.

Sometimes if we haven’t slept well the night before we tend to go to bed early in order to make up for it. This is a common mistake. It’s far better to go to bed later rather than earlier so that you make your sleep more efficient and don’t lay there in bed putting yourself under pressure to sleep.

You can start your bedtime routine as early as in the morning. Pick a wake up time and STICK TO IT! The brain loves consistency so if the brain has routine then it knows what is coming. Exercise is also a great idea. Early in the morning and outside in the fresh air is even better.

Sometimes it can be a case of an overactive mind. If I find my mind racing when I go to bed I find it very useful to use Emotional Freedom Technique to shut down my thinking. Hypnotherapy can also be very useful either by finding the root cause of the problem or using suggestions to help you sleep and get back into a routine.

For more information about hypnotherapy and EFT in Essex please contact me.

Don’t Worry…… Be Happy!

Don’t worry…….Be happy!

A picture of a person jumping into the air in front of a sunrise with the words don't worry, be happy

A short blog this week but a VERY important one to remember……

How much time and energy do you waste worrying? How many times have you spent so much time worrying about something negative that you thought ‘might’ happen only for it not to happen anyway or for the outcome to have been much better than you expected? It’s these everyday worries that get in the way of you being happy and living life to the full. One of the most common regrets of somebody dying is that they wished that they hadn’t wasted so much time worrying.

Anyone who knows anything about the law of attraction could tell you that we draw to us whatever we are predominantly thinking so that your life will reflect those things. Whatever you are thinking about is very much like planning a future event. So, when you are appreciating things you are planning. When you are worrying then you are also planning. Remember worrying is using your imagination to create something that you don’t want. Instead how about using your imagination to create something you DO want.

Every thought and every idea that you have is vibrational so that when you focus your attention on something, even for a short time, the vibration of your being will begin to reflect the vibration of that which you are giving your attention to. That vibration will begin to increase until you change your thoughts to something else. Use those thoughts wisely.

Sometimes we have automatic thoughts that come from our subconscious, especially if you are suffering from anxiety or panic. If this is the case it’s always good to try and record these thoughts and make a conscious effort to re-frame them. You can do this using a thought diary. Look at those thoughts and see if they are really valid. When you look back on those thoughts I wonder if they were ever really as bad as you thought they were going to be in the first place? This is a process often used in cognitive behavioural therapy. Hypnotherapy and Emotional Freedom Technique are also very good for helping you to turn those negative thoughts around.

Appreciate everything that you do have, wherever you are in your life. I know these words may seem a little strange if you are going through a bad patch and are at a place in your life where do not want to be but if you can understand the power of feeling good now , no matter what, you will hold the key to achieving any state of being that you desire. To think like this isn’t hard, it is easy but it does take practice. It’s a re-training of your mind. You don’t train a dog overnight but we know with some perserverance and patience it gets there in the end. It is the same for you. Don’t give up. The more you train your mind to think positively the easier it will become. Visualise how you want to be. Our imagination is such a powerful tool so use it positively. Remember to think about what you WANT to happen instead of what you DON’T WANT to happen.

If you need help along the way feel free to book a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION. You can contact me here.

KEEP POSITIVE AND KEEP CALM EVERYONE! DON’T WORRY! BE HAPPY!

 

Fear of flying. Plane stupid?

A man flying in the clouds with an ipad attached to his chest looking panicked.

Fear of flying. Plane stupid?

Hello again everyone. Welcome to my latest blog about fear of flying. I apologise for there not being a blog for the last couple of weeks but this is due to me taking a much needed holiday. I always choose to go away somewhere nice and warm as it is coming to the end of winter here. It’s nice to soak up the sun after the many months of early darkness and dreary grey days knowing that on my return home that it is nearly spring and the days are getting longer and the sun is beginning to shine much more warming us both physically and mentally. Sometimes it’s not until you actually go away that you realise how much the rest is needed. While I was away it got me thinking about people that have a phobia of flying (aviophobia) and how awful it must be not to be able to just escape to another country when they feel like it. The interesting concept of phobias is that there is not normally a rational fear behind them. Even if the fear doesn’t actually prevent a person from travelling anywhere it can greatly impair their enjoyment of the journey. We all know that flying is actually one of the safest forms of transport but many still hold a fear which is out of their control. So, what can they do about it?  After all there is far greater risk, statistically, of being kicked to death by a donkey than dying in a plane crash.

I have had a very high success rate with fear of flying using a combination of Hypnotherapy and Emotional Freedom Technique. EFT is a great self-help tool that can be used to bring down any anxiety about flying and the beneficial aspect of this therapy is that, once learned, it can be used anywhere. On the way to the airport, at the airport or sitting on a plane. That is the wonder of emotional freedom technique. I would, however, look deeper into the root cause of the problem to help clear the phobia using hypnotherapy. In my experience the majority of the time it’s because of one issue – CONTROL. People feel out of control in a plane. The average person does not have is a great understanding of how planes work and what the noises are that they hear and where there is a lack of understanding people feel out of control with many not able to put their trust in a pilot that they don’t know and a machine that they don’t understand. If a client feels out of control in their life then this problem will just be exacerbated. This may not  necessarily mean that the client is feeling out of control presently but using hypno-analysis we can look into the past and find out the originating cause of the phobia. This may not necessarily even have anything to do with flying or planes but may just simply be a control issue or a deeper set condition.

I once had a client, many years ago, that had never flown and even if she saw a plane flying overhead she would duck in panic! Hypnosis regressed her to eight years old where she remembered watching a news report about a plane that crashed onto a motorway. This had made the news as it was such a rare occurrence but the fear of seeing that at her young age was repressed into the subconscious causing her phobia. Reliving this event as an adult helped release the negative emotion stuck in the subconscious and we used some suggestion therapy for another couple of sessions re-framing any negative thoughts related to flying. She wrote to me after, happily informing me she had taken a short flight and actually enjoyed it and had booked a much longer flight for her honeymoon.

So, what should you do and not do should you suffer from fear of flying?

  • Don’t avoid flying. It is a treatable problem. Fears and phobias have one of the highest success rates for treatment of psychological problems. We tend to make ourselves feel safer by avoiding things but we truly grow by stepping outside our comfort zone.
  • Think about the destination you are going to. Really focus on all the positive things about being there.
  • Challenge any negative thoughts. There is a big difference between discomfort and danger. Think about your triggers. If turbulence is a trigger, for example, think about it logically. ‘Ok I might spill my drink but the plane isn’t going to fall apart.”
  • Learn some relaxation techniques. Deep breathing exercises, meditation and of course emotional freedom technique will all help. Reading is also a very good distraction or listening to music.
  • Keep hydrated. Try to avoid alcohol and drugs. Before and during the flight, it’s important to keep blood sugar levels up. Stick to water and juices to keep hydrated and remember to eat little and often to maintain your energy, which can help control anxiety levels. Rest if you can, though sleep is not essential.

To learn more and for further support with any of these issues please contact me for a free initial consultation.

Happy Holidays! 😉

Having a bad day? What can you do?

Having a bad day? What can you do about it?

A sign with a flower in the background that says "It's just a bad day, not  bad life"

Hello everyone and thank you for taking a look at my latest blog. It’s a funny time of year as there is a sense that we are coming to the end of winter and soon the greyness will be going out of our lives. We have had a couple of days of sunshine which gives us a real indication of what is to come and it’s suprising what a positive effect that this can have on our feelings. I happen to like all seasons. I love the sunshine and warmth and that in the summer we can do so much more outside. I also love the cosiness of winter and curling up in front of the fire on a cold night and watching a nice film or becoming engrossed in a good book. I love it when Spring arrives and the garden starts coming alive again and I love the beautifully natural colours of autumn. But whatever time of the year it is we can all have bad days. Even the most minor of things can trigger a bad day. A falling out with a friend, getting stuck in traffic making you late for work or even just, as the cliché goes, getting out the wrong side of bed. Just one unkind or critical word from someone can put you in a bad mood and onto a negative vibe. Even I am not immune to this and have to check myself sometimes to get myself back onto a positive  vibe. We all know that one negative comment can make all the energy drain from your body. So what can we do about this?  What tools can we use combat negativity and get us back onto a positive vibe?

Sometimes just getting back to nature can help raise your vibration. A walk in the park or local forest. Breathing in the fresh air and reflecting on things. Even walking on the grass in bare feet can be very grounding.

If you are feeling low it’s always a good idea not to go onto social media. Looking at other peoples lives can sometimes give us a feeling of inadequacy if things aren’t feeling right in our own lives. There are a lot of positive benefits to social media but not always when we are feeling down. I do also believe that all these wifi networks and different radio frequencies  traveling through our air waves are taking us away from natural energies.

Exercise is always good to make us feel positive wether it is going for a run, going to the gym or partaking in our favourite sport, bike rides or an exercise class. All these things stimulate blood flow and let off our endorphins which are our natural feel good hormone.

Another good technique is to put onto paper what is bothering you. I would recommend to do this by hand and not just type onto a computer because I believe there is a much more powerful discharge of emotion by putting pen to paper. If it’s someone who has bothered you then maybe write them a letter. You don’t have to send it to them. You can burn it after. You can also burn anything written about what is bothering you in your own life. It’s a good way to get negative feelings off your chest. LET IT GO! Once you have done this you can write a list of all the positive things in your life that you are so grateful for.

Meditation is  great for relieving stress and reducing our anxiety. Deep breathing exercises and positive visualisation will help stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, quieting down your stress response.

Any of you animal lovers spend time with your pets! Petting or stroking an animal can have such positive and soothing effects on us. If you haven’t got a pet but like animals then visit someone who has or even go to a local petting farm.

HUGS HUGS HUGS!!!!  I think hugs solve so many things. As humans we are becoming so detached from each other. I know some people that stay in the same room and exchange words on social networks or even texts!   If you are feeling down grab your partner, a close friend or a family member and share a loving hug with them. It is amazing how much better you will feel.

Book something to look forward to. Wether it is a holiday, a weekend away or even a theatre show or a visit to a faraway friend that you have not seen in a long time. Make that positive move and have something exciting to feel excited about in your future.

Listen to your favourite music! Listening to music can really alter your mood and help to alleviate depression. It could be a good idea to make a feelgood playlist for you mp3 player or phone. Put in it all the songs that make you feel good!

If I am feeling particularly negative I take a shower!  I imagine that the water is washing all the negativity off me and disposing of it down the drain. I find this to be very effective. Also you can alternate the hot and cold tap to help increase your circulation and get rid of negative energy.

Another good idea is to watch a funny comedy even if it is something that you have seen before. If you can laugh then I believe that is the greatest form of therapy anybody can have. Sometimes just watching a few funny you tube clips can help lift your spirits.

If all else fails then learn Emotional Freedom Technique. I do believe this to be such a positive tool and you can see a video of me teaching the basic recipe to learn this fantastic tool here.

If these bad days are getting more often than not then I offer a kind and confidential therapy service including Hypnotherapy and Emotional Freedom Technique in Essex. For information on this please complete this contact form here or contact me on 01702 233323 or 07795573280.

I hope that you have  found some of this information useful and I hope that you all have a fantastic and positively Calm week !

 

 

 

Help For Hoarders

Help for Hoarders

living

This week I attended the CCVS Community Marketplace at the Firstsite venue in Colchester. I was here working alongside  a community interest company ‘Your Living room’ who have started using my therapy services this last year for their unique person centred approach to decluttering for  their clients that are affected by a hoarding disorder which is impairing their quality of life. Their vision is to make a home as functional, comfortable and organised as possible, according to the preferences and personality of the individual client, whilst improving their quality of life and maintaining their dignity.

Their fully trained staff work closely and empathetically with the client’s family, social landlords, support groups and the diverse professional Essex network. They look to ensure that a realistic support plan is maintained for the client, beyond the decluttering process.

Their clients ‘Care and Support Plan’ aims to ensure that they are able to return to living, in a safe, manageable and agreeable existence, by encouraging them to be involved in the decision making process throughout and help them re-establish their independence.

The care act (2014) states that self neglect, a form of abuse now encompasses hoarding as a safeguard concern. Your living room does some great work in that not only do they help with the decluttering  process but they offer  emotional support throughout and after. That’s where my therapy services are often used. I could explain it as that where they work with decluttering in the home I work with the decluttering of the mind.

For the most part to begin with I use some cognitive behavioural therapy to identify a hoarders regularly occurring cognitive distortions which have created the psychological distress leading them to suffer from depression/anxiety leading them to hoard. These are what would trigger automatic subconscious thoughts influencing their actions creating a subconscious fear. Normally these would have been formed around their early years. By recognising these emotions and and the thought pattern attached to it we can use therapy to reframe those negative thought patterns and also clear repressed negative emotions. Often with hoarders this can be loss which makes sense that in their minds they need to hold onto everything feeding their fear of ‘losing’. This is not always the loss of a loved one, but, as in one case that I worked with, can also be the loss of material things or having things stolen from them. Off course, as always in therapy, we cannot presume that the originating problem is always going to be loss either.

Normally after doing reframing work using congnitive behavioural therapy I would then be looking at using Emotional Freedom Technique. What I love about this form of therapy is not only the work that we can do one to one but also that it is a fantastic self-help tool that I can teach the client so that they still have something to use when we are no longer there to support them. EFT or ‘tapping’ as it is often referred to can be described as emotional acupuncture without the needles. It is a way of tuning into a negative emotion that we feel about an event and decreasing the intensity of that negative emotion. When I first became involved in EFT it was a difficult concept for my mind to grasp because as a hypnotherapist I was always so used to working with positive suggestion that to focus on the negative was quite an alien idea to me. When I started using the process in the hypnotherapy consulting room in Essex though I found that I was not only getting quick but also lasting change with clients. I have to say that I also have used it on myself for many things including pain relief with fantastic results.

Not only is it a good tool for the hoarder because they will be suffering from a lot of anxiety about letting go of some of their things or they could be suffering from depression which EFT can also take a load of their shoulders. It is also a good way of back tracking through feelings to get to the root cause of what may have caused their symptoms. If this can be done then it is possible to get everlasting change which could make such a difference to their lives.

Working alongside your living room is an absolute pleasure because I know that I am working with good professional people who have a genuine compassion and empathy with their clients.

Your living room also have a sister company viventium which they use for training. They offer hoarding awareness training in which I also go along and talk about therapy for hoarders. I am also hoping to work with them in the future with some training packages that I am putting together.

 

 

 

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