Christmas – Looking forward to it or dreading it? Hints & Tips for Xmas You Can Enjoy !

Are you looking forward to Christmas or are you dreading it? Some people will be counting down the days in excited anticipation, whilst others will be wishing it was all over? It can be a particularly difficult time for those people who have lost loved ones or where separation of family members can be highlighted, causing further distress. Christmas is a time for re-igniting many emotional thoughts and feelings for many of us.

I really enjoyed reading this article by a fellow hypnotherapist, Katherine Finn so thought I’d share it with you.  In addition, I have put some hints and tips together to help you feel more relaxed, calm and in control during this festive period and to focus on the positives and what’s important……..

Finding Your ‘Happy’ This Christmas

I appreciate that even for those of us who usually look forward to the festive season, 2020 continues to challenge us – requiring us to compromise and adapt our hoped-for plans. But does this mean we are also forced to lower our expectations and restrict our opportunities for creating and sharing the magic of Christmas? I suppose it depends on what ‘Christmas’ means to you.

Perhaps if 2020 does have a silver lining, it’s the opportunity we’ve had to re-evaluate, prioritise, and appreciate the simple things in life – an ‘attitude of gratitude’ for the things and people we can sometimes take for granted. Plus, our constant attempt to focus on what we can influence and our recognition of the benefits in doing just that.

We’ve been asked repeatedly to practise thinking, acting, and interacting in a positive way – despite the pandemic – and what better time to reflect, acknowledge, and celebrate your personal strengths and the qualities that have helped you through this testing time?

Christmas may not be ‘normal’ this year, but perhaps you can utilise your skills to create a different recipe using the ingredients you have to hand. Let’s take back control with our imaginations, our creativity, our sense of humour, and our values – all of which are priceless, yet can be gift-wrapped to share with others at no expense. Small acts of empathy, kindness, and compassion can make a big difference, and they can bridge a physical gap allowing us to reach out and connect with one another. And it doesn’t stop there – there’s often a wonderful ripple effect and you’ll notice a rewarding bounce-back, which, in turn, gives you a lovely boost.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy helps you to combat feelings of anxiety, frustration, and low mood and gives you the tools to find your way into the best mindset possible – so that you can cope better, whatever the situation. Solution-focused hypnotherapists work on the premise that “problem talk creates problems, solution talk creates solutions” (Steve de Shazer). Using your imagination to your advantage is therefore key because neurons that fire together wire together and map new neural pathways in your brain for your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour to follow.

You can start now by putting any frustrations, stresses, or worries gently to one side and instead visualising what you wish for this Christmas – concentrating on what is possible and within your reach. (Written by Katherine Finn)

Hints and Tips for Coping & Enjoying Xmas.

  • Keep things in perspective
    On the run up to Christmas we often put ourselves under a huge amount of stress, emotional, financial pressure in trying for it being perfect – but try not to expect too much of yourself or others. Remember its one day.
  • Do one thing at a time
    I love a list and it can really help you to prepare for Christmas. Work your way through the important ones first crossing them out as you get them done, this is so rewarding. Just getting started can be tricky but then your off.
  • Ask for Help – Family including the children and guests can all help towards making your Xmas a good one and involves them , takes the pressure off of you and guests often like to help so let them ! Whether its bringing something , helping prepare,, laying the table, washing up, take the load off of you and enjoy Xmas you deserve as much as them.
  • Self Care – Take time out for YOU
    Take even 5 – 10 minutes and do something for you not to do with Xmas. Read a book, listen to your favourite song, get your nails done , if you can have more time, treat yourself to a long bath, a massage or watch a good film.
  • Live in the moment
    Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future it will drain your much needed energy. Easier said than done but focus your mind on the present and what is positive and what you are grateful for.
  • Talk about your anxieties
    Talking with someone about the things that are worrying you can help you to realise that some of them aren’t so important after all.
  • Don’t have a competitive Christmas
    Don’t be sucked in by social media. If you believe social media, everyone else will be enjoying merrier, better decorated, more delicious, better planned Christmas than you, Don’t be fooled. Although it can be fun to swap festive wishes online, a core driver of social media is the instinct to show off and out-do others. Don’t try to keep up, do your own thing and leave them to compete on social media.
  • Limit alcohol, eat well and keep active
    It can be tempting to turn to alcohol to cope with stress, loneliness, but alcohol is a depressant so limit your intake to within safe guidelines and avoid too much sugary food, which can leave us lethargic and feeling low. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit and lean meat, and drink lots of water in between the occasional festive indulgence. A brisk 20 minute walk will release endorphins, helping you feel relaxed and happy, as well as boosting your immune system, helping you avoid seasonal viruses.
  • Help others
    Helping others or performing small acts of kindness is great for our own mental wellbeing. Consider some festive volunteering, check in on someone living alone mindful of social distancing, maybe take a festive treat to a lonely neighbour, cook them a meal, or even tie a wrapped gingerbread Xmas tree on the door of each house in your street. Try it – you’ll feel good!
  • Sleep well
    Avoid using screens (smartphones, tablets or laptops) before bed as they disrupt our ability to sleep – try reading instead – and don’t sleep with a television on. Avoid coffee, cola and energy drinks for a few hours before sleep; caffeine is a stimulant and can stop us sleeping but recent research shows that it also resets our body-clock, postponing our sleep and subsequent wake times. A dark sleeping space will really help and try to relax before bedtime by listening to my relaxation audio MP3 before you go to sleep each night (If you need a copy just email me and l will send it over)
  • Breathe
    The simplest mental wellbeing trick of all. Whenever you feel stress or anxiety building, concentrate for a minute or so on taking slow, steady, deep breaths, emptying your lungs as much as possible in between each breath. Breathe in for four counts and out for six, in through your nose, out through your mouth.

“HANGXIETY” A few drinks can relax you – but, says scientist David Nutt, that morning-after feeling is the booze playing tricks with your brain

Ever wondered why you feel so awful the day after a few drinks?
It’s not just the headache or the sicky, nauseous feeling, it’s the niggling idea that you did or said something you wish you hadn’t. The worry of the morning after. The hangover anxiety, or ‘hangxiety’ as it is rapidly becoming known.

Well it’s all to do with the effects of alcohol on our GABA receptors. GABA is an amino acid produced in the brain that acts as a calming factor by supressing nervous activity. (That’s gamma-aminobutyric acid, if you want the full name!) Alcohol stimulates the production of GABA, which means that to begin with we feel happy and relaxed as we enjoy those first couple of drinks.

David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, explains in an article in The Guardian that after those first few drinks, a second relaxing effect takes place. We start to block a transmitter called glutamate, which normally excites the brain and causes anxiety. Therefore, increased GABA levels and decreased glutamate levels form a brain environment that leads to us feeling very chilled out and cheerful

Unfortunately (and I’m sure you know what I’m going to say), there is a problem. The chemicals in the brain are now well and truly out of balance, and the body responds by trying to correct the imbalance. So, it attempts to reduce GABA levels, and up glutamate levels.  Then you stop drinking, and once again your levels are out of sync. This time Gaba is very low, and glutamate high, resulting in those unpleasant feelings of anxiety. These feelings often begin when we are asleep, causing us to wake in a state of stress after about four hours or so. Professor Nutt says it then takes a day or two for our neurochemicals to return to normal.

Interestingly, because glutamate is also involved with forming and laying down memories, this process is adversely affected by alcohol. Nutt says, ‘once you’re on to the sixth or seventh drink, the glutamate system is blocked, which is why you can’t remember things.’ And, of course, not remembering what happened the night before also adds to the feeling of anxiety.

So, what does the Professor recommend ? Well its certainly not a hair of the dog! This can potentially lead to a ‘cycle of dependence.’ The obvious solution is to drink less if you want to avoid hangxiety, as well as the other problematic effects of a hangover.

And, if on the odd occasion we do have a few too many ciders or G & T’s it is somewhat comforting to understand what is happening in the brain, and that we can ride it out for a day or so until the balance has been restored!  Cheers !
Full article at https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jan/27/hangxiety-why-alcohol-gives-you-a-hangover-and-anxiety

Finally, I’d like to wish you all a restful, calm, and healthy Christmas and all the very best for 2021.

Best wishes,
Louise

Novembers News & More………………..

Hi,

I trust my blog finds you well.  The clocks have changed and the glorious colours of Autumn are all around us.  As we face another lockdown together we should try and take pleasure in the positive things around us and the good things we do have.  If you are worried about the negative effect the lock down may have on your mental health or those close and important to you here are three things that may help.

  • Try and exercise a bit each day, outside if possible and get some of that nice Autumn sunshine at the same time. Its important to be realistic and build up steadily.
  • Keep a gratitude/positive diary, List three different things each day. For example what do you have? What’s been good, What did you enjoy, what has gone well.  You can look back on these as a reminder / motivator for those days you need a boost.
  • Keep in contact with friends, family and loved ones, make that call you have been meaning to make for a while.  Interacting with each other is really important and helps us cope better.

Autumn Blues/SAD

Our young people are back to school/college and the nights are drawing in, its getting colder and it seems even harder this year having to cope with the ever changing world of Covid 19. If you are you feeling a little gloomier, you are not alone. During Autumn experts say that anxiety and depression can get worse.
Many people in the UK are thought to be affected by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) (SAD) between the months of September and April, according to NHS figures, up to one in fifteen.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. The exact cause of SAD is not understood but it is often linked to the reduction in light during the winter months. It’s this lack of light that is thought to affect the part of the brain controlling sleep and energy. Symptoms of SAD can be low mood, lack of interest in daily to day activities, feeling irritable, tired and weary, sleeping for longer and finding it a  struggle to get up in the morning, craving food (often the unhealthy options) and putting on weight.

Even for those not suffering from SAD Autumn and Winter can be a struggle and there is a few weeks yet until the next bank holiday over Christmas. Evidence shows that the sunshine really does help us feel better, people seem more able to cope when the sun is shining and we feel good.

What can help?
Try to change your lifestyle a little so that you are exposed to as much natural sunlight as you can. Exercising regularly can really help to improve your mood and reduce stress levels. Start off with a short walk perhaps it’s a start, take the first step, it can be a hard one but an important one and you can do it…go for it.  Grab some sun when you can and enjoy a cuppa outdoors in the warm morning sun.

Special light boxes are available which can be used to simulate exposure to sunlight. Practicing mindfulness can help beat the winter blues. Talking therapies such as hypnotherapy are an affective treatment. If you think you may be suffering from poor metal health it’s always a good idea to consult your GP.

Gift Vouchers Available

Now is the time to get planned and organised for Christmas and start looking for gifts for those who are important to you.

Hypnotherapy is relaxing, natural and can help with many things from anxiety, insomnia, fears and phobias to taking back control, improving confidence and getting the real you back again.
Why not consider giving them a voucher ? A unique gift from you to them that may change their life, help them get over a fear or phobia. Whatever their goal we can find a solution moving forward without dredging up the past.

I can adapt and change their voucher as you need it to be, if you’d like to discuss an idea please get in touch on 07516 962361 or email me.

PNI  !!
Psychoneuroimmunology or PNI for short !!
This training is part of my Advanced Hypnotherapy Diploma (Level 5) .  I really enjoyed learning more about how our psychological, neural (brain) and immune processes interact to shape our health and behaviour.  How the body and mind are connected and reflect each other, how we improve our health with positive thoughts, and how our psychological wellbeing affects our physical health? Its fascinating and so powerful and with hypnotherapy our techniques can help boost our immune system and hep with many conditions including CFS, ME and Fibromyalgia.

Celebrating 10 years Supporting Solutions this month. 

AfSFH are the ONLY professional association dedicated to the discipline of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) and by being a member I am required to demonstrate to the public my high level of commitment and professionalism to my clients, my practice and also my own ongoing development.
I am proud to be a part of an organisation that is dedicated to promoting high standards in Hypnotherapy.  Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a unique and effective therapeutic discipline in its own right and AfSFH are here to represent, support and educate everyone who is interested in this powerful approach that has helped countless numbers of people around the globe.

Enjoy those Autumn colours, if I can be of any help please do contact me.

Best wishes,
Louise

” Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath,……….. relax and let things go.
Focus on what matters to you and who matters in your life.
The rest will work itself out.
Just take one step at a time” 

Calm Pregnancy and Childbirth & Acorns To Oak Trees !

Its been a busy month for us all!
We have all been adapting and changing to cope with Covid restrictions as they change on a regular basis, our young people have gone back to school/college and this alone can be stressful for them as well as their parents/carers. My previous blogs can help you with tacking these issues, (the links are below for ease)

For me its been busy which is great,

  • Firstly, I’m pleased to announce I have completed my Calm Pregnancy and Birth training which was fantastic, enlightening and I can’t wait to share my knowledge. (more details below)
  • I’m having to restrict my face to face appointments to ensure deep cleans are completed to manage the risk of spreading Covid 19 so I’m operating a waiting list.
  • Online sessions are going well and are just as effective as face to face but do help to accommodate those who can’t get to me for many reasons.

October has come around quicker than ever, however, I love this time of year with all the lovely colours as Autumn sets in.  Whilst walking our dog it made me think of acorns and oak trees !!

From little acorns grow strong oak trees and we all have that potential. Imagine YOU are an acorn.  If you provide the right conditions and circumstances that exceed and fulfil the needs of an acorn, that acorn, YOU can become a magnificent oak tree, standing tall and strong with roots that go down deep in the ground that give the inner stability needed to live life to the full, weather those storms and deal with life’s ups and downs.

The challenge is that we can feel attracted by the skills and features of others. We usually think they are better equipped, more talented or more successful than we are. Others can look much more impressive than us, more flexible, much stronger, or better rooted. We look at others and want to be like them. So, we start to struggle.  Others around us can project their views on us and what is best for us and try and shape us into something they want, not what we want.  This may confuse us and may lead to chaos, insecurity, unhappiness, even identity crisis and we can lose confidence , self esteem and end up saying yes to things when really we want to say no.

You can become an oak tree.  Inside, you are going to be an oak tree, no matter the conditioning, affirmations, training, hearing what others say and so on.  It can take time to recognize who we are and what we aspire for. It takes time to accept ourselves and know ourselves. It takes courage to look behind the veil of conditioning, society and cultural norms, pleasing family and others and so on. It takes courage to accept who we are: our consciousness, our past, our deeds, our ideas, our purpose and our vision.

Through quieting of the mind, relaxation, you can start to listen to a little voice inside you. You, who wants to emerge from the shells of an acorn into a powerful, strong oak tree. Its time to let it happen.

Hypnotherapy can help you to achieve what you goals you want to achieve at your pace.  We use the natural state of trance that is a relaxing and calming experience where you remain in control at all times. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is what it says on the tin so there’s no need to delve into the past.  Focus on the positives, the strengths that you have, reach your aims and desires and full potential.

I offer a free initial consultation so please do give me a call to book on 07516 962361 or if you’d like to talk it through first that’s fine too.

Calm Pregnancy and Childbirth

Pregnancy is an exciting time for most women, however, some women find it stressful and a time of worry.
Using hypnotherapy I can help you relax and enjoy your pregnancy and birth, a precious time.  It has been found that after 17 weeks the stress hormone cortisol can be found in the amniotic fluid at the same levels as in the mothers blood! So its never too early to start hypnotherapy so give me a call.

Hypnotherapy during pregnancy is growing in popularity since it’s a natural process and it has no negative side effects and it can be used safely in pregnancy when a women’s other options are limited.  I can show you and teach you self hypnosis to help you keep calm during labour.  If you’re scared, anxious and worried your body will respond accordingly, producing hormones such as adrenaline that will make you tense your muscles more. This means your uterus has to work harder to contract and relax.

With effective hypnosis, your breathing is more steady and even, which means more oxygen is reaching you and your baby. Increased oxygen stimulates the production of oxytocin (a hormone that controls contractions or surges as I call them) and endorphins (the feel good/good mood natural chemicals that runners talk about). The ultimate goal is for you to have contractions that are more effective and less painful.

You can start calm pregnancy and childbirth at any stage.  If you’d like to talk it through before booking your free initial consultation please do, contact me on 07516 962361.

Have a great October,
Best wishes, Louise


Useful Links
Young Peoples Anxiety
https://louisebarneshypnotherapy.co.uk/2020/07/01/is-your-child-feeling-anxious-and-stressed/

Coping With The Worry of Covid 19
https://louisebarneshypnotherapy.co.uk/2020/03/25/help-to-cope-with-the-worry-anxiety-of-covid-19/

How Movement and Fitness Can Improve Your Mental Health

This is a really interesting article. It looks at the benefits of movement and exercise and is written by a fellow Solution Focussed Hypnotherapist, Sarah Stanley.

Imagine if there was a pill that would make you healthier, smarter, and happier! A pill that made you age more slowly and even improved your memory! I think there would be a pretty long queue, even if you did have to stand 2 metres apart!

But is there another way to achieve these fantastic outcomes?

We human beings are complex beings. To function at an optimal level, a number of things are needed. Nutrition, sleep, meditation, continuous learning, stress reduction, and human connection all play a part.

But there is one overwhelming factor that keeps us functioning at our best, and that is movement.

The Brain-Fitness Connection
Dr Ratey MD Harvard has established himself as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the brain-fitness connection. He says:

”Movement moving your body, moving the muscles, pushing yourself to do something more than you did before, boosts our capacity for focus and learning and lifts our mood, not unlike taking a little bit of Prozac and a little bit of Ritalin”

Exercise is proven to be one of the most effective ways of regulating our emotions.

Exercise can:

Reduce stress and anxiety
Promote good physical and mental health
Optimise our cognitive function and our ability to learn and process

Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Physical activity is nature’s way of preventing stress. Exercise can ward off the negative effects of chronic stress and even reverse them.

Studies show that people who add physical activity to their lives become more socially active, increasing their confidence and helping to build social connections.

The recent government report from ‘Moving Communities’ shows that the growth of group exercise in the UK has provided much needed social connection and feelings of togetherness, which are so important in reducing loneliness.

Improving Your Health. And Looking Younger!

AH360-Photography-Boca-Raton-Golf

Exercise increases your heart rate, which means more oxygen is pumped to the brain. This increases the plasticity of your brain and encourages the growth of new brain cells.

By increasing blood flow, sending more oxygen and eliminating waste, exercise also helps to keep skin healthy and looking younger. Plus, you get all the benefits of increased muscle tone and flexibility, and improved sleep quality.

And of course, exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight, reducing the risk of developing certain types of cancers, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

It is also likely that your diet will improve as you become more physically active.

Boosting Your Brain – Improving your memory and cognitive function
For me, the most exciting benefit of more exercise is the activation of BDNF.
What is BDNF? BDNF is ‘Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor’. Otherwise known as fertiliser for the brain!

BDNF is a powerful little protein that stimulates the production of new brain cells and strengthens existing ones. It helps to increase the size of the hippocampus, an area of the brain that plays an important role in memory and learning.

Low levels of BDNF can be associated with depression, anxiety, and memory and brain degeneration. Therefore, it’s not surprising that BDNF is a popular ingredient in mood elevating drugs.

In order to increase our production of BDNF by natural means, we need to stimulate the cells. And research shows that the best way to do this is to establish a regular exercise routine.

As little as 30 minutes intensive exercise three times a week can significantly increase brain function. For example, power walking, cycling, or running.

This is a great starting point achievable for most of us! But, if you want to maximise your brain’s potential, add a skills-based exercise. The brain wants to learn. If we don’t challenge it, atrophy and shrinkage can set in.

Skills-based exercise strengthens and expands neural connections. The more complex the movements the more complex the brain connections. Ratey 2010, states that skills-based exercise will activate areas of the brain areas that:

“control balance, timing, sequencing, evaluating consequences, switching, error correction, fine motor adjustment, inhibition, and of course, intense focus and concentration.”

Skills-based exercise includes dance, tennis, football, and boxing! If you prefer something more gentle, try yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates.

If you are struggling with a mental health issue, exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing. But if you can find the motivation to take that first step, the benefits can be really powerful.

As with any new goals, the best advice is to start small. Build your fitness slowly. Walk before you run. Find an activity you enjoy and make it a regular part of your routine. One of the best things about physical activity is that there are many options. You just need to find the one that suits you.

And get support if you can. Someone to share your challenges and achievements with. This can be a great motivator and help to keep you on track.

If you need help with motivation to get started , contact me for a FREE initial consultation on 07516 962361.

Remember small steps lead to bigger challenges.  

Face To Face – Available from 1st September

COVID 19 – ADDITIONAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR FACE TO FACE SESSIONS

I’m really pleased to be able to offer face to face sessions from 1st Sept. (Subject to further Government Lockdowns)

I have put in place the following guidelines from the Association of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH)  for everyone’s safety.  Where possible online sessions are still the preferred method of therapy to lower risk and threat of Covid-19.
At all times, I will observe strict hygiene practices for my clients, myself and others to prevent us or others becoming infected. The Government have allowed the ‘1m plus rule’, which means that people can be apart by 1m distance provided I use a visor.  However, please note that keeping at least 2 metres distance from others is still preferred and lowers risk. The use of face coverings is advised in small spaces where maintaining social distance is difficult.

I am fully insured and have carried out a full risk assessment of my working environment.  Social distancing measures and hygiene/infection control measures are in place.  I will have received clients consent before each session.  You the client are asked to understand, adhere and consent to the following:

FOR THE CLIENT

  • You acknowledge that in spending more than 15 minutes with me in a face-to-face session that this would be deemed as a ‘contact’ in respect of the UK Government’s Test & Trace system and agree to be contacted as such.
  • Any client using public transport or getting a lift with someone outside of your household to get to their appointment are acknowledging that they are increasing their potential risk of transmission of COVID-19.
  • If you are in the moderate risk group you are consenting to face to face therapy with the knowledge you are at increased risk compared to online sessions
  • You must declare if you are a client in the vulnerable/high risk /shielding group or live in a household with an individual that’s high risk etc. If this is the case then I’m sorry but no face-to-face interaction can take place and all sessions must be held remotely for your safety.

24 HOURS BEFORE THE SESSION/SYMPTOM DECLARATION

Clients being seen face to face are required to make the following declaration 24 hours before each session takes place.  This must be made in writing online by email or via text.  (Verbal declaration is not sufficient):

  • That they have not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past 7 days.
  • That no one in their household has experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days.
  • That they have not been asked to self-isolate as part of the UK Government Test and Trace program within the last 14 days.
  • Clients are required to notify me 24 hours before their session to confirm they or anyone they live with has symptoms.

ON THE DAY OF YOUR APPOINTMENT

  • Clients will be asked to confirm they have no COVID-19 symptoms and reminded that this is needed prior to the next session. If you develop any symptoms on the day of your session it will be rescheduled for at least 2 weeks’ time. Clients must self-isolate at home and then should request a COVID-19 test.
  • Please bring your own water with you if you feel it is necessary.

THERAPIST MEASURES IN PLACE

  • I will be leaving significant gaps between scheduled appointments. This will allow me ample time to clean and disinfect workspaces and touchpoints in between clients.
  • Please arrive on time for your appointment. If you are early please wait in your car until I call or text you when it is safe for you to leave your car and enter the building.
  • If you are being dropped off /picked up please ensure those individuals remain in their own vehicle or outside the premises in the open air, whilst observing social distancing.
  • At this time I am unable to offer accompanied appointments due to social distancing restrictions.
  • Sanitiser use – you will be asked to use hand sanitiser on arrival to the building and on leaving your session.
  • Couch roll – this will be used on the chair and couch and will be replaced after each session.
  • Windows will be closed during the session for your privacy (or opened on your request). The therapy room will be ventilated in between sessions.
  • Payment ideally will be made by Bank transfer although card payments can be made on the day. Cash to be used as a last option and correct money to be given as no change can be given.
  • Should I develop any COVID-19 symptoms I will inform you immediately and reschedule appointments for at least 2 weeks time or an online session can offered if practical.
  • As part of this precaution if a COVID-19 test is taken and comes back positive you will be notified. If the result is negative, face to face sessions may be able to commence before the 2 weeks.


Clients are required to give consent in writing that their contact data may be passed on to public health authorities if they should test positive for COVID-19. Contact details may be shared with the NHS in the interests of everybody’s safety and in the interests of wider public health.  Law in the UK permits this kind of data sharing with public health organisations in such emergencies.


I ………………………………………………………………………………………………….(your full name) agree to these terms in

full on todays date  ……………………………………………………………………………….

Signed…………………………………………………………………………………………(either written and scanned or typed in )

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me on 07516 962361.
Many Thanks

Louise


Helpful Information/Links
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-COVID-19/
If you or someone in your household has symptoms, you should have a test for COVID- 19 https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-COVID-19/testing-for-coronavirus/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

What Happens To Your Body And Brain If You Don’t Get Sleep

This is a really interesting video (5mins) with Professor Matthew Walker talking about sleep and why its so important to us.

Sleep is the foundation of good health along with healthy food and exercise.  He explains how a lack of sleep effects our minds, bodies and affects our ability to learn and retain information.  We have 40% less ability to make memories with a lack of sleep.  His research has shown that sleep deprivation can affect fertility, cardiovascular health our immune systems and the important link to illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.

https://youtu.be/Y-8b99rGpkM

Anxiety is a common cause of insomnia (onset and maintenance) and the more you worry the more the problem gets worse.  Now you are in the grip of a vicious circle and this makes it harder for you to sleep.  Is it time you got some help?
Hypnotherapy can help you to relax, to go to sleep and stay asleep.  It will help you calm your mind and regulate your sleeping pattern.  Using the natural state of trance you will find the experience relaxing and you remain in control at all times.

On line sessions are available including your free initial consultation by booking on 07516 962361. Not quite ready yet ? Don’t worry here’s 6 Top tips for better sleep you can do today

  • Regularity – go to bed at the same time and go to bed at the same time whether it’s the weekend or not. This will allow your body to reset.
  • Darkness is needed to released melatonin, dim the lights an hour before bed and stay away from those screens.
  • Keep it cool – ideally 68 F or 18 C , a cool room will help you fall asleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Avoid naps during the day.
  • Don’t stay in bed if you are struggling to sleep , get up and go to a different room that’s dimly lit and read but no screens, TV or food.  Return to bed only when you feel sleepy again. Allow positive association with bedroom and sleep to begin again.

For your free initial consultation contact me on on 07516 962361.

#daylightsaving #cancer #alzheimers #immunesystem #fertility #lackofsleep #sleepdeprivation #lookafteryourself #insomnia #sleepwell #loubhypno

 

Is your child feeling ANXIOUS and STRESSED?

Why Are Children So Affected By Anxiety?

The main reason for anxiety is that children, like us adults don’t always cope with change, when their routine has changed a lot such as during Covid 19.

Before Covid 19 they probably had a good routine.  Children thrive on routine and they know the rules and boundaries, it helps make them feel safe, when this is gone they feel lost.  They got up early, got dressed had breakfast, got to school, met and played with friends and then home around 3 o’clock. But then it all changed, due to Covid 19 our worlds were changed in a way no one could ever of imagined, no routine, nothing seems normal anymore.  For children they don’t know how to express this, especially if they are very young.  How to express they are scared? Worried? Sad? Lonely or confused etc. They don’t know how to react to us either as its tough for us too, and the likelihood is our behaviours have changed too. We will probably notice their behaviours and body language has changed; moody, tearful, started bed wetting or soiling underwear, not sleeping etc etc. This is their body showing us what is going on in their minds.

Covid 19 has meant that until recently we haven’t been able to see friends and family outside of our own households and this has a massive effect on us.  We as humans, especially children like to touch, hug, hold hands, play together and they have not been able to do this.  Yes we have facetime, whats app and telephones which we can be grateful for but it doesn’t make up for that personal contact they we also need as adults.

What Is Anxiety?

Firstly, It’s important to remember that anxiety is a normal human reaction to a perceived threat and not an illness.  When we face stressful situations, it can set off a fight, flee or freeze reaction in our brain’s natural alarm bell system.  Its telling us something is wrong and that we need to deal with it. We want the stressful situation to go away, so it makes us much more alert than normal and affects our thinking and doesn’t allow us to think about other things easily.  This stress response can make us feel panicky, increase heart rates, make our hands go clammy and help us run away.

We all worry sometimes; it shows we care about things and afterwards we usually calm down and feel better.  However, when it affects daily life, maybe going out, friendships and there is no stressful situation but you still feel stressed anxiety can become a problem.

Symptoms Of Anxiety Can Include:

If your child’s symptoms get worse or last longer than they should, it could be time to get some professional support such as your G.P or talking therapy such as hypnotherapy.

Symptoms can include:

  • feeling overwhelmed or full of dread
  • feeling nervous, on edge, or panicky all the time
  • feeling out of control
  • finding it difficult to concentrate
  • having trouble sleeping
  • bed wetting
  • low appetite
  • feeling tired and grumpy
  • getting very hot
  • heart beating really fast
  • having a dry mouth
  • trembling
  • feeling faint
  • wobbly legs
  • stomach cramps and/or diarrhoea
  • sweating more than usual

How Are Things Likely To Be?

First day at school is difficult for many children and now they have to look at going through this experience again! New routines, new friend groups, social distancing, different timings, its going to be a challenging time for them, for us and also for the teachers and staff.  We are all going to need to be flexible and adaptable to change but often we are reluctant to change, generally speaking we don’t like change.

Its important to be patient and to keep communication open, relaxed and calm with children that will want to talk about all the changes happening and to be honest with them.  Prepare them for what to expect at school and this will help to reduce their anxiety.

There are some positives.  Maybe they have learnt a new skill: interacted with teachers on line, used various video conferencing and maybe learnt to bake, helped with gardening.  Many of us have exercised more as a family, walking the dog or just going for a walk and this is really good for us physically as well as mentally.  We have learnt too how to be a part of the community, to be helped or to have help others in need.

Help Your Child Get Back To School

As summer holidays get closer and the thought of going back in September gets closer children maybe feeling many different emotions from excitement to dread.  The thought of a new school, new friends, new teachers may thrill and excite some children and they will feel just a little bit nervous but for some it’s a very daunting thought and their anxiety and worry can stop them attending school altogether.

Transition times such as moving or changing schools often carries more stress and anxiety and can affect children even more.

If you suspect that your child may be experiencing significant anxiety about returning to school hypnotherapy can help them gain the support and skills that they need to successfully navigate their fears.

How Can Hypnotherapy Help?

Hypnotherapy is a highly effective way of helping children and young people overcome anxiety.  It is a form of guided relaxation using trance, a natural daydream like state using visual imagery and positive affirmations to help them increase their sense of wellbeing. They are always in control and have an awareness of their surroundings.  I use extracts from our conversation, words they have used included in their relaxation to help the process.

Children are extremely receptive to hypnotherapy as they have great imaginations and don’t usually have preconceived ideas about what it involves like many adults do.  It is a relaxing experience but often they will have their eyes open and be wriggling and fidgeting around.  Children use their imaginations to relax, have fun and come up with solutions that work for them.

Hypnotherapy can help boost feelings of confidence and self-belief while reducing feelings of fear and intense worry. It can help children to feel more relaxed in previously challenging /difficult situations and help improve sleep.  Hypnotherapy can help children (and adults) develop the ability to access the relaxed state of mind needed to overcome the often-overwhelming emotions that come with anxiety.

Of course a child has to want to get better and engage in the talking therapy and generally they do. Its important to note that parents are important too, to support, guide and enable their child.  However, parents also need to consider the possibility that children are learning from their own behaviours.

If you would like help or support for your child please contact me for a chat on 07516 962361 or to book your FREE initial consultation.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Best wishes,
Louise

Fertility and Excercise

Welcome to Junes blog. Its been a busy month !!

I have now completed my training to help with people struggling with infertility with Calm Pregnancy and Childbirth due for completion early August.

I have been enjoying some of the good weather we have had spending time in the garden, walking our dog and exploring new routes and running a bit more. How good it feels to be outside, getting that heart rate up a bit and reducing the stress and anxiety of the day?

Here are some quotes from others also enjoying the benefits of exercise.
Judith: “A sense of normality, fresh air…. and a sense of normality.” For a few minutes I can enjoy the beauty of the outside and forget what’s happening in the world….. to be fair, that’s what I’ve always used running for. And because there are no races, I can just enjoy running for running’s sake…. it’s liberating.”
Nigel: “Stability and focus during these uncertain times. I’m a key worker and so grateful that I have running as my escape. I’m taking the permitted one period of exercise a day and using it to run every day during the lockdown.”

Edele: “It is a familiar friend that provides comfort from the stress and worry.”

Dr John J Ratey wrote a book called “Spark” which is a great read and explains how exercise will improve the performance of your brain. We all know that exercise is good for the body but did you know that it can transform your mind, boost your brain cells, protect yourself against mental illness and dementia, and ensure success in exams and the workplace.
His book will change the way you think about exercise – and, for that matter, the way you think.

My on line sessions are going well, which I’m really pleased about and enquires coming in as far a field as USA ! Unfortunately there is no movement on when I can start face to face sessions and that the professional bodies I am a member with also confirm that the current position on working with clients remains that all therapists should continue to only work with clients online or by telephone at the present time.

Covid Guidance
Although there has been some easing of lockdown measures in the UK, we should recognise that Covid-19 is still a highly contagious, potentially life-threatening virus and no vaccine exists at present.
Across all parts of the UK, the key messages remain in place:
We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

• stay at home as much as possible
• work from home if you can
• limit contact with other people
• keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
• wash your hands regularly.
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms:
• a high temperature
• a new, continuous cough
• a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

If you or someone in your home has symptoms of Covid-19 then please check the NHS website for further advice.
As soon as you or someone in your household has developed these symptoms, you should request a test for Covid-19 be sent to you: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-for-coronavirus/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/.

If you test positive, you must self-isolate at home for 7 days. Anyone you live with must also then self-isolate for 14 days. If the test comes back negative, you and members of your household do not need to self-isolate.

I hope you have enjoyed this, please feel free to share far and wide,
Take care, stay safe,
Best wishes
Louise

“The biggest failure you can have in life is making the mistake of never trying at all.”
(Unknown)

Online therapy – as good as the real thing?

This is a question I’m often asked and Trevor Eddoll has written this article which is a great read and may answer any questions  or doubts you may have about online sessions.

Since the Coronavirus pandemic started, hypnotherapists have moved to online working only – this means using things like Zoom or WhatsApp for video calls or simply talking on the phone. The worry that many potential customers (for this kind of therapy) have is whether online hypnotherapy works as well as actually sitting in the same room as your therapist. Will it work if you can’t look into the eyes of the hypnotist? Will you really be able to stop smoking – or whatever change they envisage – if all you’re doing is sitting in your dining room looking at a computer screen or your phone for a couple of hours?

The good news is that the answer is ‘yes’.

On the down side, you will need to have a reliable Internet connection. And you will need to have somewhere quiet where you can speak freely and relax without interruption.

On the plus side, you save time by not needing to travel to see the therapist and get home afterwards. You also save on the cost of travel – whether that’s petrol or bus fares. And you don’t need to find somewhere to park and pay for parking. If you have mobility issues, this is a big plus. Of course, if you live in a remote area, then online therapy at any time makes life so much easier. Also, if you are worried about going outside – whether that’s because you want to continue self-isolating for a while or because you have agoraphobia – your worries disappear. It also works well for people who find it difficult to accommodate visiting a therapist into their busy lives, such as key workers on shift, parents, and full-time carers. And there’s no chance of getting someone else’s germs. So, it’s ideal for people who feel more safe-and-secure being at home rather than going out to a clinic.

Another big plus is that you can work with a therapist anywhere in the country. You’re not restricted to local therapists. So, if you wanted a solution-focused hypnotherapist because you like the idea of working that way, you can choose anyone who is qualified and on the AfSFH register https://afsfh.com/find-a-therapist– no matter where they are based. Certainly, it is always worth choosing a therapist who belongs to an accredited organization, like the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, and who is also a member of the the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). The CNHC is the UK regulatory body that provides a voluntary register of complementary, rather than alternative medicine, therapists.

These days, people shop online – whether that’s Amazon, their local supermarket, and much else. They play online games. They ‘google’ plumbers and gardeners, etc. They book holidays online. So much of life is online that seeing a hypnotherapist is not that much different.

Certainly, any hypnotherapist will tell you that the number of people asking about online hypnotherapy is growing
Enquiries for online hypnotherapy sessions are growing in popularity. And online hypnotherapy can be very easy to access, even for people who previously might have described themselves as not very IT savvy. The technology, using Zoom and similar products, makes it all very straightforward and nothing to worry about. Most of the online meeting technologies are encrypted, so the communication and the whole session remain private and confidential.

You also need to ensure that the technology works at your end, ie there is a high-speed broadband link, and the camera and speakers on your laptop or phone will work in a therapy situation. Your therapist will probably test this before the first session. In the event of something going wrong, eg a power cut, the phone line being disrupted, or anything else, it’s a good idea to have a phone near you that the therapist can call. But if you don’t have these things, then you can simply talk on the phone. For online/phone sessions, payment must usually be made before each session starts. You will be given bank details in plenty of time to transfer the payment.

Since the lockdown started, many people have enjoyed online hypnotherapy, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of how well it works, but some people are still looking for evidence that an online therapy session is as good as a face-to-face session. The good news is that there is already some clinical evidence of the efficacy on online hypnotherapy. For example, there’s a 2014 study entitled  Internet-based versus face-to-face cognitive behavioural intervention for depression: A randomized controlled non-inferiority Internet-based versus face-to-face cognitive-behavioural intervention for depression: A randomized controlled non-inferiority trialtrialhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165032713005120 and published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. It found that treating depression using an Internet-based intervention is equally beneficial as regular face-to-face therapy. The study also reported: “However, more long-term efficacy, indicated by continued symptom reduction three months after treatment, could only be found for the online group.” Similarly, a 2018 study entitled, “SKYPE HYPNOTHERAPY FOR IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: Effectiveness and Comparison with Face-to-Face Treatment” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00207144.2019.1553766 and published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis said: “This study shows that Skype hypnotherapy is highly effective in refractory IBS”.

So, the anecdotal and the experimental evidence go to show that online hypnotherapy is definitely as good as the face-to-face version, and may, in some cases, be better! If you had concerns about giving it try, join the hundreds of people who are already benefitting from online hypnotherapy and let it help you.

Trevor is Head of IT & Social Media for the Association for Solution Focussed Hypnotherapy which I am also a member of .

If you are interested in finding out more please
contact me on 07516 962361 or email info@louisebarneshypnotherapy.co.uk 

Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH) logo

 

 

Struggling With Sleep? You are not alone!

Sleep is something everybody needs and Sleep is often one of the first things that is affected when we feel stressed, anxious or depressed or a change in routine. It plays a vital role in both our physical and mental health. Lack of sleep can lead to physical illness and increase your risk of heart disease. Mentally, not getting enough sleep can lead to anxiety and can make it hard for you to concentrate.

Sleeping problems such as not sleeping, laying awake at night, waking too early, waking during the night , unable to switch off, maybe you are sleeping too much and finding it difficult to wake up, perhaps feelings groggy and tired despite having slept for a long time.

Fortunately, sleep is something that can be greatly improved by hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy can help you learn how to relax and go to sleep, and stay asleep, to calm down the part of your mind that is wide awake and worrying during the night when you are trying to sleep, it will also help to regulate your sleep patterns.

There is an interesting article by The Sleep Foundation covering sleep during COVID – 19, full detail by clicking this link. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-guidelines-covid-19-isolation, however, here is some of the important information from within the article! It’s a little longer than my normal blogs but I feel its worth the read, see what you think!

Why is Sleep Important During a Pandemic?
Sleep is a critical biological process, and the truth is that it’s always important. When confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, though, sleep becomes even more essential because of its wide-ranging benefits for physical and mental health.
Sleep empowers an effective immune system. Solid nightly rest strengthens our body’s defences, and studies have even found that lack of sleep can make some vaccines less effective.
Sleep heightens brain function. Our mind works better when we get good sleep, contributing to complex thinking, learning, memory, and decision-making. For adults and children adapting to work and school at home, good sleep can help them stay sharp.
Sleep enhances mood. Lack of sleep can make a person irritable, drag down their energy level, and cause or worsen feelings of depression.
Sleep improves mental health. Besides depression, studies have found that a lack of sleep is linked with mental health conditions like anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Experts agree that getting consistent, high-quality sleep improves virtually all aspects of health, which is why it is worthy of our attention during the coronavirus pandemic.

Our Guidelines to Sleeping Well During the COVID-19 Outbreak
In spite of the daunting challenges, there are a handful of steps that can promote better sleep during the coronavirus pandemic.
If these efforts don’t pay off immediately, don’t give up. It can take time to stabilize your sleep, and you may find that you need to adapt these suggestions to best fit your specific situation.

Set Your Schedule and Routine
Establishing a routine can facilitate a sense of normalcy even in abnormal times. It’s easier for your mind and body to acclimate to a consistent sleep schedule, which is why health experts have long recommended avoiding major variation in your daily sleep times.
Sleep-specific aspects of your daily schedule should include:
Wake-Up Time: Set your alarm, bypass the snooze button, and have a fixed time to get every day started.
Wind-Down Time: This is an important time to relax and get ready for bed. It can involve things like light reading, stretching, and meditating along with preparations for bed like putting on pyjamas and brushing your teeth. Given the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s wise to give yourself extra wind-down time each night.
Bedtime: Pick a consistent time to actually turn out the lights and try to fall asleep.
Of course don’t forget to listen to your MP3 music file I sent you if you are a client of mine just before you go to sleep !
In addition to time spent sleeping and getting ready for bed, it can be helpful to incorporate steady routines to provide time cues throughout the day, including:
• Showering and getting dressed even if you aren’t leaving the house.
• Eating meals at the same time each day.
• Blocking off specific time periods for work and exercise.

Reserve Your Bed For Sleep
Sleep experts emphasize the importance of creating an association in your mind between your bed and sleep. For this reason, they recommend that sleep and sex be the only activities that take place in your bed.
This means that working-from-home shouldn’t be working-from-bed. It also means avoiding bringing a laptop into bed to watch a movie or series.
On any given night, if you find that you’re having a hard time sleeping, don’t spend more than 20 minutes tossing and turning. Instead, get out of bed and do something relaxing in very low light, and then head back to bed to try to fall asleep.
Frequently changing your sheets, fluffing your pillows, and making your bed can keep your bed feeling fresh, creating a comfortable and inviting setting to doze off.

See the Light
Exposure to light plays a crucial role in helping our bodies regulate sleep in a healthy way. As you deal with disruptions to daily life, you may need to take steps so that light-based cues have a positive effect on your circadian rhythm.
• If you can, spend some time outside in natural light. Even if the sun isn’t shining brightly, natural light still has positive effects on circadian rhythm. Many people find outdoor time is most beneficial in the morning, and as an added bonus, it’s an opportunity to get fresh air.
• As much as possible, open windows and blinds to let light into your home during the day.
Be mindful of screen time. The blue light produced by electronic devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, and computers, has been found to interfere with the body’s natural sleep-promoting processes. As much as possible, avoid using these devices for an hour before bed. You can also use device settings or special apps that reduce or filter blue light.

Be Careful with Naps
If you’re home all day, you may be tempted to take more naps. While a short power nap early in the afternoon can be useful to some people, it’s best to avoid long naps or naps later in the day that can hinder night time sleep.

Stay Active
It’s easy to overlook exercise with everything happening in the world, but regular daily activity has numerous important benefits, including for sleep.
If you can go for a walk while maintaining a safe distance from other people, that’s a great option. If not, there is a wealth of resources online for all types and levels of exercise. Many gyms and yoga and dance studios are live-streaming free classes during this period of social distancing.

Practice Kindness and Foster Connection
It might not seem critical to your sleep, but kindness and connection can reduce stress and its harmful effects on mood and sleep.
Despite all the bad news that you may come across, try to find some positive stories, such as how people are supporting one another through the pandemic. You can use technology to stay in touch with friends and family so that you can maintain social connections despite the need for social distancing.

Utilize Relaxation Techniques
Finding ways to relax can be a potent tool in improving your sleep. This includes listening to your MP3 file !, deep breathing, stretching, yoga, mindfulness meditation, calming music, and quiet reading are just a few examples of relaxation techniques that you can build into your routines. If you’re not sure where to get started, check out smartphone apps like Headspace and Calm that have programs designed for people new to meditation.
Another relaxation strategy during this pandemic is to avoid becoming overwhelmed by coronavirus-related news. For example, you can try techniques including:
• Bookmarking one or two trusted news sites and visiting them only during a limited, pre-set amount of time each day.
• Cutting down the total time that you spend scrolling on social media. If you want a hand in this effort, a number of apps can monitor and even block your time on social media sites or apps each day.
• Scheduling phone or video calls with friends and family and agreeing in advance to focus on topics other than the coronavirus.

Watch What You Eat and Drink
Keeping a healthy diet can promote good sleep. In particular, be cautious with the intake of alcohol and caffeine, especially later in the day, as both can disrupt the quantity and quality of your sleep.

Contact Your Doctor if Necessary
If you have severe or worsening sleep or other health problems, it is advisable to be in touch with your doctor. Many doctors are increasing availability via email or telemedicine to allow patients to discuss concerns without having to physically visit their office.

Trusted Resources About COVID-19
With news about the novel coronavirus moving at a mile-a-minute, it’s important to have resources for trusted, evidence-based information. Two such sources include the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their sites offer key information about COVID-19 including how to keep your family and community safe and how to avoid coronavirus myths
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-guidelines-covid-19-isolation for the full article.