Gratitude

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Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com

During the month of May I was part of a gratitude group where each member posted 5 things each day what they were grateful for.

For me this was usually in the evening time as I settled down for sleep!

Gratitude and the practice of being grateful either through writing in a diary, making a list or sharing with others has become popular in recent years. These varied activities  help to produce feelings of gratitude which can guide people towards meaning and better health.

Noticing and expressing gratitude helps to focus your attention on the positive things in your life.

Life has many ups and downs, twists and turns, creating conflict and at times we may feel overwhelmed by the challenges.

Trying to pick out the good points of the day was interesting and sometimes quite specific. However often it was a general feeling of gratefulness for the fullness of life and a connection to a meaning for what was occurring.


 

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes

to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have

contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in

your gratitude.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 


It is a feeling similar to appreciation and positive psychology research has found neurological reasons why people benefit from the practice of expressing thanks for our lives, even in times of challenge and change.

I noticed that over time it really focused my mind and my thoughts onto what was good or great in my life.

It kept the focus positive!

 

Hearing from people around the world, my friend has international contacts, who felt thankful for small pleasures, was truly heartwarming. Often they had definite health challenges, financial or relationship concerns but even in the darkest moments small gestures could identified. Their appreciation and hope was uplifting.

This month I have not been doing the gratefulness diary and my mood has dipped into more negativity than is useful. Is this a coincidence?

At the time I felt little benefit but in hindsight, oh the beauty of hindsight, a boost to positivity and feeling of well being was definitely felt.

I will be practising my gratitude again from tonight!

What about you?

 

Jo Copland-Dando is an Integrated Hypnotherapist and Coach with a background in Health. She works on many issues affecting well being. As a specialist in Anxiety,  she works with AnxietyUk to support clients. In a quiet space she supports clients from a purpose built, safe and confidential garden room, situated between Bath and Bristol.
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Managing negative thoughts?

At times managing negative thoughts can be difficult to do.

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Found yourself doing any of the above?

Any holiday period…with a change in routines, interacting closely with family members, maybe not as you would like and more time on your hands, to think, can amplify the thoughts running through your mind.

The dull and cold months of winter can be particularly challenging when the debts need to be paid and the hangover of social events may be on your mind.

Constant negativity can interfere with happiness, add to our stress levels and eventually damage our health!

So in reality how can I change this?

Acknowledgement and acceptance of negative thoughts is the way forward!

Once the negative thought is acknowledged, or even noted, it can be challenged.

There are many exercises that can be used, based on cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT.



Google to access resources – ‘get self help’.

AnxietyUk have many resources on their website – there is a fee to join -but with varied types of support available several may benefit you.

There are lots of quotes and suggestions on how to banish negative thoughts and focus on positive thoughts on social media. Use one that resonates and inspires.



By not trying to stop these negative thoughts, worry and obsession can be reduced. Letting thoughts come and go, as they do…

It is all a bit of a circle so the more we can accept thoughts and move towards more positive affirmations the sooner our beliefs, feelings and actions become more positive in outlook too!

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The more you practice acknowledging, accepting and challenging negative thoughts the sooner this can become your new way of being.

If your negative thoughts are making you feel overwhelmed – practice taking some deep breaths.

Controlled breathing can help reduce the stress response and calm anxious thoughts.

Practicing meditation or self hypnosis can boost your positive feelings or shift a state to a more positive one.

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.

Jo Copland-Dando is an Integrated Hypnotherapist and Coach with a background in Health. She works on many issues of well being from a purpose built, safe and confidential space. As a specialist is Anxiety,  she works with AnxietyUk to support clients.

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

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

  9. 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.
  10. This may be something you would consider to help you take the first small steps of change?
  11. 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.

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!

One small change…

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We all have habits we may wish to change…

or have an issue which is challenging our life and threatening us from feeling our best!

To function in the best way we can and get the most out of our life we all need to constantly review…

There is always room for improvement!!

 

However this can be tricky and takes time and effort.

Here are simple steps which enable change to occur:-

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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!

Improving health by writing!

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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!

 

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.

Looking forward…

One year on I find myself further along the road of self discovery, with greater positivity and more focus. Onwards!!

It feels easier to be looking forward…

The targets to achieve have had to be found within myself, which has been tough!

Now that the worst of the dark days of winter are over, the weather is giving glimmers of brighter weather, moving forward is on the agenda.

I’m not alone in these feelings of finding it hard, am I?

Working for myself, has been a huge change in my way of life, and at times quite a lonely place. Never worse than in the dreary Uk winter!

No distractions of a team, but none of the pressures either, which has been liberating, but also difficult at times.

Some self reflection has been necessary to move forward.

I recognise this is part of my journey and time has given me space to look at:-

  • who I am emotionally

  • where my strengths lie

  • whom I like connecting to

  • what I find challenging

  • what I need to improve on

  • where I am in my life and what next

  • what opportunities are available to me

This will make me stronger in the long run and more able to focus on where I am heading.

I need to be able to set my targets to continue to be successful and build my practice!

I have tried to embrace these steps for happiness but not always found it easy putting them into practice.

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The first one is particularly relevant, with too much analysing becoming distracting, but may be necessary at my stage of working for myself?

Some exploring has had to be done to gain self acceptance, be able to love more and appreciate more. 

This process may be tough but is beneficial for your skills and experience when working with clients, to understand their blocks and challenges.

Personally I am now more connected with how fortunate I am to have this opportunity to work for myself and build a business.

I am able to feel proud of my achievements to date.

I am engaged with what I can offer others, in order to support clients to make changes.

The outcome is I am planning future services which will help and support people to improve their well being.      So all round benefits.

This is an ongoing journey but acceptance has enabled me to move forward from where I was in my life and feel more focused.