Stress – mind & body links!

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We have known for some time the affects that emotional stress has on the body. Particularly the increased risk of cardio vascular disease, this includes high blood pressure, and the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Some of this can be due to negative coping mechanisms – such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol…

but more recently a direct link between the psychological processes and how this impacts our health has been identified.

Research has found a link between our emotions and heightened activity in the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain which processes emotions such as fear and anger.

By measuring activity in this part of the brain, using CT scans, and measuring the levels of inflammation in the arteries, heightened activity was identified. By following up participants over several years, following a period of perceived stress, the researchers were able to show an association between the likelihood of a cardiac event and increased stress.

They also showed that higher levels of activity in the amygdala were associated with the occurrence of cardiac events sooner.

Further studies have added weight to these findings. Participants stress levels were significantly associated with activity in the amygdala and arterial inflammation.

Keeping your stress levels in perspective are more important than ever.

Look after yourself by:-

  1. Recognizing stress within yourself

  2. Journal your thoughts and feelings – reducing mental stresses and observe your growth

  3. Practice meditation, mindfulness or self hypnosis

  4. Increase physical activity levels to maintain body wellbeing

  5. Eat as healthily as you can

  6. Nurture sleep

  7. Connect with others and communicate your challenges                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 stressed-desserts

    At times this may be challenging and we may reach for the very things which worsen our health!?

    In which case seek support. As a Hypnotherapist I support clients to make changes, which over time helps to improve their well being, particularly emotionally.

    This may be something you would consider to help you take the first small steps of change?

     

    Jo Copland-Dando is an Integrated Hypnotherapist with a background in Health. She works from a purpose built, safe and confidential space and specialises in Anxiety, working with AnxietyUk to support clients.
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Why try hypnotherapy?

cropped-water-drop2.pngEver wanted to change something about yourself?

Improve a response, a habit, or a way of interacting with others?

Known what you needed to do, but felt like the steps to make the change, particularly sustain change, were too difficult?

Hypnotherapy has the advantage of bypassing the conscious mind, allowing you to access your subconscious and unblock thoughts and behaviour patterns which are influencing you, which you may be unaware of. Hypnotherapy helps you connect with your inner resources and encourage change to occur more readily.

A small change in your responses or actions can cause a ripple effect, which over time, and with practice, can bring great change.

A little nervous about visiting a Hypnotherapist?

Please don’t be! We enter hypnotic states naturally everyday, such as when we daydream or are lost in reading something, and this state can create a feeling of calmness and inner focus. Whilst in a hypnotic trance like state we can still hear what is happening around us and do not respond to anything we do not wish to do. We are also in a state of heightened awareness and are more suggestible to making changes which will benefit our life.

By working with a Hypnotherapist this natural state can be utilised to build your confidence and motivation, so you feel more empowered too.

A boost to your confidence and self efficacy enables you to take the steps to use skills. This is the beginning of the change process. Practice of the new skills helps to make these small changes become the new habit.

Contact me today to discuss the health and well being issues you wish to work on.

You can check out my skills on the Hypnotherapy Directory.

Jo Copland-Dando is an Integrated Hypnotherapist with a background in Health. She works from a purpose built, safe and confidential space and specialises in Anxiety, working with AnxietyUk to support clients.

Anxiety

Such a little word…

But it creeps into so many peoples lives and sets up in the background of their mind. Always ready…

 

anxiety

Ready to set off and take hold of your thoughts, at the slightest invitation.

I know this to be true for myself, in my own thinking.

In my work as a Hypnotherapist…

anxiety is regularly present in people’s thought processes:-

– about what has happened in their life

– what concerns they have right now

– how they can change things

– where they are going…?

I use hypnotherapy to access inner resources for myself and clients…

to build on skills we already have, but have lost sight of!

Isn’t this true?

We are busy, life changes and we forget the strategies we have been regularly using or used in the past. Once you have felt anxious, at times of stress, rational thoughts can go out of the window!

We all have to work on our thinking skills and notice our negative thoughts, in order to avoid being kept in the same place.

Hypnotherapy helps you change habits by accessing inner resources, via your subconscious. It raises your awareness to the skills you already have. With practice you can establish or re establish new neural pathways, so you can function better in everyday life.

The process takes commitment from you, the client, too but the experience is pleasant and relaxing.

The outcome is to enable you to feel more in control of your thoughts.

The mind is very powerful, so harness its potential to work for you!

When you want to change something for the better:-

feel more in control of your weight

stop smoking

manage feelings of anxiety

get rid of a phobia

perform better in a situation

improve your health and sense of well-being

seek support from a Hypnotherapist.

You can learn skills to practice in everyday life.This starts you on a pathway to new habits or ways of thinking and being.

A small change over time leads to larger changes – the ripple effect.

Consider hypnotherapy to start and sustain change!

Preparation for student life!

uni-sign

Where am I going?

Am I studying the right subject?

What are the halls like?

Who will my friends be?

Will I miss home?

Am I ready?

So many questions when preparing for Uni and equally as many for the parents!!

Having supported 3 young people on their journey to University last year I am aware of some of the feelings both before they head off and as they settle in.

There are a lot of expectations about how students behave and what a party lifestyle it will be. Students may feel overwhelmed, anxious and alone when the reality to what they have heard is often quite different in the short term and takes time to establish.

As parents the ‘fun’ times you remember are often the celebrations along the way, when friends have been made and towards the end of study. The feelings of bewilderment at negotiating a new way of life, in a new town or city, may be long forgotten.

Being a student is often a period of making great friendships and learning a lot about yourself. How to live in shared accommodation, to manage your time, perform academically in a new environment, access sports and societies and socially negotiate the drink, drugs and partying culture. There is good and bad but this doesn’t happen instantly.

Taking time to listen to your young person’s worries and concerns can help them negotiate this new phase of life. Being kind in your listening skills and available to them emotionally can be of great benefit.

So many young people head of to Uni nowadays and due to changes in how they have been parented, the materialistic focus in society, social media and the pressures on how you look, to name just a few, means there are added pressures on young people. Not all parent ‘helicopter’ their children but there is generally a much more responsive relationship with them, which amongst other factors such as high expectations and excess choices, may not foster young people to be as resilient as they were once expected to be.

This contradicts my previous paragraph in that it looks like parents create and need to continue to be supportive of their young people, but they do. Research has shown that the final period of growing into an independent adult extends as far as 25 years old. Long gone is the idea that you get to 18 years old and you are out there and independent – society does not make this easily possible for all kinds of reasons. Lack of affordable housing and lack of varied work opportunities for young people, to name a few.

In my work as a Hypnotherapist I have supported many students with anxiety over recent years and much of this has been around mixed expectations. Taking a step back from all the choices and beginning to understand it is a big transition but they will be okay, is the first step. They do have the skills to cope well, if they can just re engage with their resources. Hypnotherapy can help them to do just this.

Universities have been developing services to support students health and well being. Each campus should have access to someone to talk to as the initial place to seek support. This can make all the difference and is available on the website of relevant organisations.

Being connected with feelings and open with someone you can trust, such as a well being professional or your friends and family, is important to prevent escalation of low mood. Encouraging the young person to speak to their Gp is also important, if you are worried about mood issues, as this is the access to mental health services.

Often waiting lists for further support are long and this is where my work in my practice as a Hypnotherapist and with Anxiety Uk has been invaluable. Students have contacted me directly for a few sessions, with good affect, during this transition phase. For longer term anxiety and a small fee students can access support through this charity with resources online to read and download. There are several therapy options to access like Hypnotherapy at a reduced cost.

For students, and parents, it is feeling like there are some options to support young people as they head off on their new journey.

 

 

Boundaries

boundaries

Feeling put upon?

Think people take advantage of your good nature?

Take many things in your stride on a daily basis and then suddenly everything goes pop!!

Maybe you like to think you are easy going and accommodating of other people.

Are you kidding yourself?!!

Is it really that you are not standing up for yourself and not setting a boundary?

 

We all need boundaries to feel safe but also to perform well.

Boundaries:-

– set limits for ourselves and others.

– are guided by our beliefs and values.

– help us identify with the ideals and principles we live by.

– draw a line between what is acceptable for us and what is not.

Boundaries need to exist in most aspects of our lives.

Without them, or with blurring of the edges, we can become anxious, stressed and muddled.

Do you need to wake up and establish where yours are?

They may relate to habits, hobbies, career choices and leisure time.

They may be different in lifestyle, friendship and living norms.

Which boundaries do you need to review?

Exploring concerns with a therapist may help you to define yours!!

Feeling anxious?

 


As someone who has struggled with anxious feelings for over 10 years and not being influenced by these thoughts prior to this, I find it frustrating to continue to have to manage both anxious thoughts and feelings from time to time.

 

ARRRGH!! 

When these feelings present themselves what can I do?

 

Generally I find the following helps to improve my state:-

-Take the time to look at something beautiful – really notice and enjoy the moment…

Use all my senses to really pay attention to an item eg. flowers picked from the garden?

-Eat a balanced, healthy diet

-Walk in the countryside and connect with nature

-Keep active – walking, gardening, running, cycling, swimming

-Go to bed at a regular time, avoiding screen time before bed and prioritise sleep

-Connect with people who are aware of  my challenges and empathetic, not dismissive

-Make time for meditation and/ or relaxation

-Socialise with family and friends in a familiar situation

 

However when there are different situations, where these routines and habits are less able to be incorporated into daily life, or extra factors need to be accommodated  and this can be much more difficult.

Emotional challenges and feeling stressed can exacerbate the anxious feelings, so pacing and planning for time out to adapt and acclimatise to challenges are essential.

My primary tip!

Take time out to accept feelings and not be so hard on myself!

 

If this is difficult to achieve seek support. Services can be accessed via your Gp.

Alternatively a hypnotherapist can help you to change your thought processes and in turn your feelings and behaviours.

Complete the contact form attached if you have any queries.

Reflection, mental well being and mobiles

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Was that a snap or message?  Was it a ‘like’?  How do I look? Why is nobody responding to me?

Many of us are tied into constantly checking our phones.

The constant pressure of having our mobile phone next to us (often in the hand) so we can respond to any minor connection or feedback we may get, is burning out our energy and frazzling our brains!

How can we hope to function well living like this?  We are social animals.

Human connection and bonding within a social group, developing our skills so we can have  interactions, conversations and laughter, gives us a group role. This feeds into our sense of purpose and sense of belonging. All essential ingredients for our general well being.

University is one a big change for young people, who are often taking the first big step away from their tried and tested social network. (This is one example there are many other times when there are changes in life and the same challenges of social connection are present).

Following an increase in suicides amongst young people, particularly in later teenage years and young adulthood, the Vice Chancellor of Bristol University highlighted mobile phones as being one of the factors creating increased mental health distress.

Having ‘time to reflect’on what we are experiencing, before we communicate, reinforces what I’m observing in my work as a Hypnotherapist.

Just taking time at any stage of our day to be in the moment, reflect and enjoy those sensations of ‘being present’, allows our mind to calm.

If the brain has no down time to assess before responding, how can we function well? This constant bombardment of information and lack of time out is effecting mental well being.

We are being reactive and constantly available, but not really connecting satisfactorily!

What about face to face connection and personal feedback? With more time working from home I’ve noticed for myself you get more reliant on technology for communication and it is the personal interaction which boosts well being.

Take every opportunity to talk to people either face to face, when out and about, connect with friends by talking on the phone if meeting is not possible. Put some social meet ups in your diary…

Stay in the moment – chat, engage and talk – communicate!!

Reconnect with people to feel good!

One of the hardest jobs!

All of us moms know the truth… Life isn’t easy. Parenting is the hardest job I’ve ever done. Being a mom is so rewarding and wonderful, but it is also physically and emotionally exhausting. I love my children (who are now ages nine and seven). They also frustrate and infuriate me at times, but I […]

via Create a Parenting Routine and Be Willing to Break that Sh*t — Wonder Mommy

Exam stress!!

 

exam-revision

Its that time of year again!!

Teenagers all over the country are beginning to feel the pressure…

poor motivation?

dis-organisation?

apathy?

erratic moods?

impending sense of panic?

anxiety?

As parents of a possibly uncommunicative, yet stressed teenager, where the young person may have great difficulty expressing their concerns, can be a challenging time for the whole family.

Knowing where to go to seek support can be tricky!

If the teenager is demonstrating anxiety and depression symptoms, where they appear to be not coping with erratic emotions, have significant changes in eating and sleeping habits or are expressing feelings of low mood, particularly suicidal thoughts, then a Gp consultation is necessary.

For many teenagers it can be much more subtle than this and who may improve the situation can be less obvious.

The schools and colleges are getting better at offering sessions on tips and strategies which enhance the students planning for revision, so they feel better prepared and more able to cope with the pressures.

Encourage the teenager to access support at school with lunch time and after school sessions and talk to their teacher about difficulties they are having.

With the multiple demands on teenagers this preparation is getting harder to focus on.

It relies on the teenager not being too hormonal, influenced by their peers (which has long been the case), but magnified by the massive influence from social media.

This constant distraction of messages, apps and the internet is pervasive and often difficult to manage alongside their rapidly developing brains. As many study skills need to be accessed on line it is increasingly difficult to avoid the pull of the internet.

Personal discipline is crucial and the challenges many:-

  • addiction to social networking and the phone constantly in the hand
  • a fear of failure making even starting to think about study difficult
  • performance anxiety making focusing a challenge
  • a lack of engagement with their studies
  • no clear sense of direction

Accessing resources to improve the teenagers ability to remain calm, focus and commit to performing in the way that does them justice is hugely beneficial.

A session or 2 with a Hypnotherapist who can offer NLP techniques to promote these skills, either with or without hypnosis, can help the teenager to set the intention and take the steps towards achieving their goals.

Contact me if you want to explore this conversation further.

Sometimes recognising what is happening for the student is the first step.

 

Glimmers of spring

Hoping for some more days like this!

Feb 18 022

We’ve had a few sunny days, but it’s not long after the snow and the changeable weather often brings a chilly wind. Its tempting not to venture far from your hopefully warm and cosy home.

To boost well being its always good to get out and about.

Reasons to get outside include:-

As a dog owner or befriender you can wrap up warmly and get out there, as they insist on this several times a day!!

Explore with children the parks, woodlands or public footpaths and observe the bursting buds of bushes, trees and plants or of new animal life. Help them to learn about the wonders of our nature and countryside.

The garden is always beckoning at this time of year so small jobs to clear, tidy and prepare for the bursting forth of plants and vegetables, during any clear spells, helps to boost positive feelings. Plan the garden of the summer!

With an improving picture, planning to meet friends and family for gatherings out and about in new places or old haunts. Helps with reconnecting after the winter hibernation.

Lighter nights,with the clocks going forward this weekend, ensures more daylight and opportunities to attend all kinds of social events. Consider taking up an activity in the evening of these lighter nights. Get out on your bike, join a club or find an exercise buddy? Keeping active to improve your health.

Community events are planned in parks, villages, halls and the countryside which engage people with all kinds of skills and entertainment. This brings a sense of hope and interest. Opportunities to connect in many different ways, socialise and have fun are more abundant.

Volunteering time and skills to benefit your local community, gives the volunteer a sense of  well being too. Skills may involve working in buildings to offer services for individuals or organisations, connecting with others and may involve activities outdoors too. A great benefit of this work for the individual is the sense of contribution and involvement locally, which can boost powerful positive feelings.

So it all looks good!

Certainly it is an improving picture. All activity and connecting with nature is good for our body and minds, so it is great to be able to plan more of both of these into the coming weeks.

What about those niggling health and well being issues, which need some small shifts for you to be able to engage in these opportunities?

Motivation to:-

get more active

eat more healthily

reduce negative thoughts

feel confident talking to new people

reduce addictive habits

incorporate better ways of living your life

Need support to start the changes? A Hypnotherapist can start you on your journey…

Wherever you are, I hope you can get planning and enjoy some sunny, warmer moments in the coming weeks.