22 March 2022
‘I Get So Emotional Baby’
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to solve other people’s problems? Why doesn’t he just stop drinking/leave her/find a job, we wonder. It seems so simple when it’s not our problem. That is because we are not emotionally attached to the issue. When it’s our challenge, well that’s a different story. We have all these conflicting emotions going on and we struggle.
Often if we are not reaching a goal, it is because we have not been clear enough in our intentions. We might want to lose weight but we still want to eat take away food four times a week. We may want to leave that destructive relationship, but we don’t want to feel lonely.
Research has shown that emotions often play a key role in our decision-making process. This can be helpful, however, it can also hold us back. Have you felt like going for a run when it’s cold and wet outside? Sometimes, we need to over-ride the dominant emotion; ‘I would like to stay warm, dry and comfortable watching TV from the sofa.’ Another powerful emotion that can hold us back is the fear of rejection; ‘I’ve applied for 15 jobs already and I am fed up of feeling rejected. I can’t apply for job number 16 as failure to get it would hurt too much.’
Hypnotherapy is very useful in helping to dial down the emotional intensity around our problems. This can be a very powerful tool when decision-making and wanting to feel less stressed. When we are anxious we are in a more ‘primitive’ part of our brain and that is not the part of the brain we want to make our decisions from. The ‘primitive’ brain is involved in our fight, flight or freeze response and is really meant for those situations involving physical danger.
During a hypnotherapy session, we may talk through a problem, (or we may not), but we also focus on building confidence and on the positive things that can be done. We use guided meditation or relaxation so clients can access their resourceful ‘intellectual brain’. Sometimes it surprises people just how resourceful that brain is. Solutions can be unexpected, but solutions are what the brain is good at. It is a natural human trait to want to solve other people’s problems or even the world’s problems from the comfort of our armchairs, as the brain is a problem-solving organism. We are here because our ancestors were good at solving the problems of their day. If you want to take some of the emotional intensity out of your own problems, then hypnotherapy may be worth a try.
12 July 2021
The word ‘depression’ derives from the Latin verb ‘deprimo’ meaning, ‘to press down (or under)’. It may be that someone with depression is feeling so overwhelmed that they feel they’ve given up and life holds no joy anymore.
Hypnotherapy can be very powerful in treating depression. The brain is typically nervous of change and can feel threatened by it. Certainly the ‘primitive’ part of our brain will be anxious about it. One of the reasons hypnotherapy is so successful is because the changes people make can feel quite subtle. Small changes will generally be made over the weeks, but it’s amazing what happens when these small changes add up and the client looks back at how far they’ve come.
We generally say that for treating anxiety and depression, you may need 10 to 12 sessions, however everyone is different and everyone will make changes in their own time.
17 June 2021
Did you know that exercise can actually make the brain bigger and depression can shrink it slightly? Our brains can continue to change size even in adulthood. This is exciting news, as we don’t have to be stuck with old ways of thinking and behaving that no longer serve us. Your therapist will be quietly rejoicing when you say you’ve gone back to running or had a dance around the living room yesterday because they know that these activities can make a big difference to your mental and physical shape. They won’t solve all your problems, but they will certainly help (unless you are doing them obsessively – that’s a different story).
Dr John Ratey explains this in his book ‘Spark’. The power of movement is greatly underappreciated in our modern society. Worth a read if you are interested in the science behind it all.
‘The effect on protecting the brain against cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease is greater in women because they are more prone to that as they enter menopause. Exercise helps prevent that cognitive decline. Also, women tend to get more depression than men, and exercise will help avoid that as well as treat it.’ (Dr. John Ratey, Kinesophy.com)
15 June 2021
It has been shown that when we are hypnotized or in a deep state of relaxation, our brainwaves change from Beta (12 to 30Hz), the usual state, to Alpha (8 to 12 Hz) or Theta (4 to 8 Hz). These are more suggestible and relaxed states allowing the subconscious to go to work. This is why so many people use guided visualization or hypnotherapy to achieve their goals or leave behind an unwanted habit or feeling. Most people find it a relaxing and subtle way to make lasting changes. If you would like to give it a try, please do get in touch.
19 May 2021
Einstein said ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.’
When we are stuck with a problem that we can’t solve, it can be really beneficial to let the creative subconscious mind go to work for us. Sometimes just articulating the problem out loud to a friend or a therapist can help, as they can talk it through with you, but ultimately our brains are our biggest resource and they can surprise us with just how resourceful we can be.
If you are feeling stuck, you may find it very helpful to have hypnotherapy, which will help you access the creative, resourceful part of your brain. Clients tell me they enjoy the process as well as it is very relaxing. It’s not to say we don’t have to put in some work, maybe do some research for example, but the idea behind solution focused hypnotherapy is that each one of us has the resources to deal with whatever life throws at us. It is just that we don’t always know consciously how to do this, especially if we are feeling negative emotions such as anxiety, which can cloud our judgment.
If you are struggling with something, please do get in touch. It would be lovely to help you.
20 April 2021
Up until the 1950s it was thought that when we went to sleep, we shut ourselves down completely. Only resurfacing on waking. Recent research has shown this to be completely inaccurate. There is so much going on when we sleep. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep in particular is very important for our mental health. During this time we re-run the events of the day and drain the emotion out of them. For example, if someone said something rude to you at work and it upset you, your brain would deal with that for you during REM sleep. It drains any anxiety, frustration, anger and so on, out of your response to the remark so you are able to simply move on. You may have forgotten about it in the morning but you would no longer be upset about it.
The trouble is, when we have had a lot of difficulties going on in our lives our sleep can get disrupted and this process can go wrong for us, so we stay upset and these negative emotions can build up. You may find yourself at the stage of feeling that an upset is ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ where something really insignificant upsets you, and then all sorts of problems start to occur. The amazing thing about hypnotherapy is that it is very similar to REM sleep. Although you would not be asleep during hypnotherapy, you would be deeply relaxed so your brain will deal with the emotional events from your day through hypnotherapy. It is a little like a ‘reboot’ on a computer. You can come out of the ‘trance’ feeling refreshed and ready to take on life’s challenges. It generally doesn’t happen in one session, as problems that have built up, need some time to dissipate, but it is wonderful to see clients emerge ‘lighter’ from our time together.
1 January 2021
We can often take our minds and our mental health for granted. Not really thinking about our minds much until something goes wrong. However, a little investment in our mental health can reap huge rewards and significantly contribute to our quality and enjoyment of life. The huge advantage humans have over the other animals that we share this planet with, is that we are creative creatures. Our curiosity, problem solving and creative abilities gives humans genius like qualities. It takes discipline and skill to make the most of these abilities we possess, but it is worth the time and energy investing in them.
A coach or a hypnotherapist can help you unlock this potential. Often with our own problems, we ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’. Sometimes even just talking about them brings us clarity and starts us on the road we need to walk down.
Happy new year! May 2021 bring you good mental health.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
(Traditional Irish blessing)
12 December 2020
Did you know, there is a special technique that hypnotherapists use to help people recover from PTSD? We call it the Rewind technique and we use it for all sorts of trauma recovery or phobias.
For example, if someone has been in a car crash and is now scared to travel in a car we would ‘rewind’ that particular memory (and perhaps a second memory that was unpleasant that involved car travel). Essentially with the rewind technique we are draining the emotion out of that event and turning it from being a ‘nightmare’ (something that makes us very anxious), into just a memory (something that is part of our history but no longer holds us back). We don’t forget the memory altogether, we have just dialed down the emotional intensity that accompanied it.
We get the client to picture this memory and rewind, fast forward it so many times that it becomes boring and loses its emotional intensity. It sounds a little odd but I’ve witnessed it work many times.
This technique ideally also needs to be accompanied by an emptying of the ‘stress bucket’. The stress bucket is an accumulation of our stresses and emotional upsets that can build up within us. This would ideally happen over the course of several weeks, if the client has had a particularly stressful time recently. There may be quite a lot to empty. If you think you might be suffering from PTSD or just feel very emotional generally, you might be amazed at how these techniques can help you and make you feel yourself again.