Challenges of life

Into the swing of 2019 ūüôā

Started the year with some goals to aim for, with a plan to stay calm so

you could work steadily towards what you wished to achieve…?

 

money101.co.za

Past week 3

and already having feelings which overwhelm??

 

Those challenges you could forget for some time, with festive food and cheer to distract you, are now a firm reality. The carefree December days of frivolity have dropped into the cold, short, debt ridden days of January and seem to stretch far into the coming months.

Hence talk today of #BlueMonday¬†–¬†I wont¬†spell¬†it out as some may feel it’s too negative to focus on!

Don’t despair… It’s difficult to find the enthusiasm and motivation when life is feeling like this but it will get brighter.¬†

 

Focus instead on small steps to feel more positive:-

– Eat nutritious meals when you can to boost your energy levels.

– Make time to get outside and connect with nature, to boost mood.

 РPlan social meet ups for a cuppa at home and a chat, if money is tight,   or incorporate a catch up with a dog walk or getting out in the           countryside.

РWrap up warm and nurture yourself Рconsider the art of hygge for  the winter months.

– Practice gratitude and start writing a journal as you go to bed, to build your skills.

– Talk to yourself kindly and focus on some positive affirmations.

 

Don’t try to achieve too much it is the winter after all and many creatures hunker down in the colder months and save their energy until the spring. Do what you have to but take it steady.

Don’t be too hard on yourself!

 

It’s more challenging to keep focused and upbeat when the reality of daily life seems relentless, but find the moments of peace…

In time consider possible plans for the summer so you have events or holiday time to look forward to…

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.

 

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New Year, new direction?

IMG_2514What journey of change do you want to start on?

New year, new you!!!

How does the 2019 ‘you’ look?

 

Now the Xmas decorations are down, we are looking forward to the weeks and months ahead. The early days of January are cold and gloomy, in the Uk at least, and how we might plan for the spring and summer ahead, starts to loom in our minds.

What needs a refresh, a clear out or a complete change, with new habits or patterns of behaviour?

How would you like things to be different?                                                                         Do you wish to :-

  • become more active or sneak activity into each working day
  • eat more healthily or plan to have a meat free day each week
  • focus on thinking more positively or introduce gratitude into your evening journal
  • connect with nature or plan with colleagues to get outside each day in your break
  • feel calmer and focused or incorporate meditation or self hypnosis into your day
  • become stronger in mind and body or start your day with yoga stretches

The more you are able to break your vision down into small achievable goals, the more likely you are able to practice them and incorporate them into your daily routine.

By visualising how you you would like things to be in the future you can begin to set a new direction. If you don’t put some time and energy into thinking about this, life will continue the same.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” Henry Ford

 

It’s about thinking about what you want for the new you!

Setting a new direction has never been easier. There are a whole range of ideas, information and resources to access via the internet. These will inspire you to begin your journey. Lots of people are discussing new challenges, particularly as we start the year and friends and family can help set you on your new journey.

Maintaining the journey is often the biggest challenge!

Sometimes we just need some moral support. By fully examining the habit with another person and breaking it down into achievable and maintainable steps can bring a much greater chance of success.

Seek help from those around you who can bring a fresh pair of eyes.

If this is not readily available look for local services which can support you.

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.

The challenges of the festive season?

“Tis the season to be jolly”

autumn-15-206

Socialising, eating, drinking and being merry with family and friends in cosy, sparkly and fun filled environments –

or so we hope!

Christmas bring lots of expectations of ourselves and others, to have a good time and for everything to be christmas advert perfect!

 

With family members absent, or living away, financial constraints, seperated parents, relationship challenges, physical illness and mental health issues, let alone the family dynamics when getting together, the reality can be very different.

So prepare for the onslaught to keep yourself positive through this holiday period.

Try:

  • Helping others or ask for support, as this may¬†prevent you from feeling too fraught.
  • Have the food menu and present list organised well in advance, if¬†you are hosting. Liaise with the other attendees for ideas to contribute to the smooth running of the celebration days.
  • Ask what your host would like you to bring, prepare or contribute if you are lucky enough to be sharing with others, so you feel involved too.
  • Keep things simple – focus on what is important – spending some quality time with family and friends in convivial surroundings.
  • Ask someone you know is alone at Christmas to share some celebration with your group.
  • Volunteer some time or money for the charities supporting the most vulnerable at this time of year.

Giving to others will boost your sense of well being.

Focus on gratitude!

 

For many people it is possible to pace and plan for the festive season, but for some the additional challenges at Christmas time make this much more difficult.

Mental illnesses such as anxiety or health issues worsened by overeating and excessive drinking, can be difficult to manage during the festivities.

Consider how you would ideally like to be, despite these challenges, if you functioned at your best?

Again planning beforehand can be useful.

To access resources which could help you to manage these feelings and anxieties in the coming weeks, input from a Coach or Hypnotherapist can be beneficial for developing new techniques.

Strategies which support you to access your inner resources at crucial moments.

 

Not always possible right now, but be aware these tools are available for you to access in the future…

Focus on the positive this festive period!

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.

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.

 

 

Journeys

We are all on a journey!

beach-run

After mulling this over for some time, I have a new blog where I aim to highlight the importance of:-

really listening to people

and the impact this can have on both our and their well being

 

but it does take two!

 

Check out- shutupndlisten.wordpress.com

 

My first post on this blog shows my big leap in a new direction in my life journey. Some of you may think this is hardly relevant to shutting up and really listening to people…

Throughout this new stage of my life I have needed people to really hear me when I have been struggling with how to move forward. 

From my own experiences, in this new strange way of living, those people interested in what was really happening for me have helped me to take a step at a time.

There have not been too many of them!

In a more isolated working environment I have needed to connect with people and learn to talk in a different way to people met along the way. If not loneliness, lack of motivation and low mood are just around the corner!

This is the reality for many home workers and finding new ways to network in our home and work environment can be an increasing challenge.

Really listening to people, on the phone, on the dog walk and understanding how life is for them helps to keep your own concerns in check.

A win win!

 

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!!

Daffodils = hope

I love sunshine falling on the dancing daffodils.

Jo April 17 1500

They bring such freshness and hope for the warmer weather.

This has a boosting affect on mood and sense of well being. Not always of course, but their blooming does signify spring time and renewal.

Time to clear out the old and bring in freshness – spring clean!

Not only physically, but mentally too.

What changes do you wish to make for this summer?

Any old habits getting you down?

Stuck in patterns which stop you from achieving what you would like from life?

Time to start thinking about feeling good and looking good, so you can enjoy getting out and about in the summer!!

Now is a great time for growth! Try new things?

A session with a coach or hypnotherapist can help you set your intention, look at how you live your life now and find the small steps that will put you on a different path.

Want to try something new and make a change? Contact me to discuss?

I look forward to it!

 

 

 

 

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.