Stress – mind & body links!

stress-1024x536

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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Reflection, mental well being and mobiles

cell-phone-hand-28016421.jpg

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!

Improving health by writing!

writing-1209121_960_720

We all have heard a problem shared is a problem halved…

but what if no friends are available and you need to express yourself?

Writing down your thoughts to express your concerns, worries and connect with your feelings may be an option.

Writing can give many therapeutic benefits:-

  • help to calm your mind by giving you a focus

  • document a journey

  • help to express feelings and release emotions

  • help to reduce worry

  • assist in processing difficult situations

  • create a sense of direction

  • help to formulate some goals

  • give a sense of achievement

  • improve sleep

 

Writing can take many forms:-

journaling

documenting, to help process your thoughts

a letter to yourself or others (best not to send, but can help to clarify your feelings)

blogging

free writing

a gratitude diary

list making

doodling

 

There is a body of evidence developing which indicates that if you write a list of specific tasks you need to do for the next day, as you go to bed, it helps reduce rumination (repetitive thoughts). This reduces the time you take to go to sleep.

Better sleep helps the processing of challenges in your life and improves well being.

 

Pick up a pen!

 

Managing negative thoughts?

At times managing negative automatic thoughts can be difficult.

Any holiday period…with a change in routines, interacting closely with family members, or not as you would like, more time on your hands to think, plus the enhancements of alcohol or lots of rich food etc can amplify the thoughts running through your mind.

The Christmas holidays can be one of those times. Or the weeks following this when the debts need to be paid and the hangover of social events may be on your mind.

 

negative-thoughts

There are lots of quotes and suggestions on how to bannish these negative thoughts and focus on positive thoughts.

This can be really difficult to do!!

Working hard to stop negative thoughts and somehow not managing to keep them from from popping into your head and lodging there, as a rumination – going round and round, can add to the negative cycle.

Dr Judith Beck, a Psychologist and President of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in USA carried out research in 2013 which demonstrated that women were more likely than men to ruminate. However some people are more prone to negative thinking than others and this can be genetic and/or as a result of childhood experiences.

As constant negativity can interfere with happiness, add to our stress levels and eventually damage our health we are increasingly aware ongoing negative thoughts are not good for us.

This can add to increasing feeling of failure, due to not managing these negative thoughts.

 By not trying to stop these negative thoughts, worry and obsession can be reduced.

 

9-negative-thoughs

The basic premise of mindfulness meditation is acknowledging your negative thoughts which can lessen their weight. Acknowledgement and acceptance of these negative thoughts is the way forward!

Once the negative thought is accepted force yourself to challenge it.

There are many exercises you can use, based on cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT. Google or access ‘get self help’.

If your negative thoughts are making you feel overwhelmed – practice taking some deep breaths. Controlled breathing can help reduce the stress reponse and calm anxious thoughts.

Practicing meditation or self hypnosis can boost your positive feelings.

The more you practice acknowledging, accepting and challenging negative thoughts the sooner this can become the

However if your thoughts are making you feel distressed  or are interfering with your work or social habits, seek help from a mental health professional.

Stress – mind & body links!

stress-1024x536

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. Recognising 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. Nuture 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.

     

                                                                                                                                                                                          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.

Improving health by writing!

writing-1209121_960_720

We all have heard a problem shared is a problem halved…

but what if no friends are available and you need to express yourself?

Writing down your thoughts to express your concerns, worries and connect with your feelings may be an option.

Writing can give many therapeutic benefits:-

  • help to calm your mind by giving you a focus

  • document a journey

  • help to express feelings and release emotions

  • help to reduce worry

  • assist in processing difficult situations

  • create a sense of direction

  • help to formulate some goals

  • give a sense of achievement

  • improve sleep

 

Writing can take many forms:-

journaling

documenting, to help process your thoughts

a letter to yourself or others (best not to send, but can help to clarify your feelings)

blogging

free writing

a gratitude diary

list making

doodling

 

There is a body of evidence developing which indicates that if you write a list of specific tasks you need to do for the next day, as you go to bed, it helps reduce rumination (repetitive thoughts). This reduces the time you take to go to sleep.

Better sleep helps the processing of challenges in your life and improves well being.

 

Pick up a pen!

 

Teach children to deep breathe to calm worries

As promised, here is a post on helping your child learn deep breathing techniques or belly breathing. Deep breathing is a quick trick to help alleviate anxiety and calm worries. When teaching a child this technique, there are 2 different ways I approach it, depending on the child’s age, developmental level, and comfort. Most children are […]

via Deep Breathing for Children — Dayna Sykes, LPC-S, MHSP

Reduce anxiety by deep breathing

One of the most common tools I teach teens and adult clients is belly breathing. It is one of the most successful tools when treating anxiety and fear. This trick can calm you down quickly and can be used ANYWHERE, which is what I love about it. Belly breathing is also known as deep breathing. […]

via Belly Breathing — Dayna Sykes, LPC-S, MHSP

Stress – mind & body links

stress-1024x536

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 a direct link between the psychological processes and the impact 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 occurence 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.

Basics:-

  1. Recognise stress within yourself

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

  3. Increase physical activity levels to maintain body wellbeing

  4. Eat as healthily as you can

  5. Nuture sleep

  6. Connect with others and communicate your challenge

    At times this may be challenging, in which case seek support.