All About Sleep & Serotonin

Welcome to Octobers Blog.

Wow, where is the time going? I trust you are all well and enjoying the lovely colours of the tress as we head in to Autumn, those ruby reds, golden yellows and rustic oranges’, I love this time of year, picking blackberries for a pie or crumble, with custard or cream? and maybe I’ll pick some sloes for some gin making, ideal for Xmas presents !

I’m glad to be 80% of the way through my Level 5  Advance Hypnotherapy Diploma, the highest level available in Hypnotherapy, its so interesting, fascinating and  natural, the power of the mind really is fantastic and powerful. The finish line is in sight !

Also I’m very pleased to do my bit for conservation and we have released a rescued hedgehog into the hedgerow opposite  our house and hopefully he will set up home.

 

I was thinking about how so many people are struggling with sleep and how it’s the first thing to be affected when anything goes wrong in our lives whether its a big or a small thing.  You know those nights when you can’t stop your thoughts going round and round or waking you up at night and then cant get back to sleep,  so I thought I’d add sleep in this month.

How does a lack of sleep impact our emotional brain? Why does that lack of sleep make us so emotionally irrational and hyper-reactive? It’s not just your imagination — you’re more irritable when you’re low on ZZZZZ’s. Sleep scientist Matt Walker explains how our nightly slumber affects the emotional centres in our brains, and why we can think of sleep as first aid for our feelings.  It well worth a watch and is just under  4 mins. Click this link Matt Walker: How sleep affects your emotions | TED Talk

If you don’t already have my audio to help sleep at night please email me or text me and I’ll send it over.  Louise 07516 962361, or info@louisebarneshypnotherapy.co.uk

So Lets Talk About Serotonin.

What about it, well it make us feel braver, less fearful, enables us to cope better with day to day ups and downs and can help with physical pain.  Maybe you  have negative thoughts racing through your mind? Do you notice that you are more lethargic, irritable, or sad for no reason? Our brain requires a balance of vital neurotransmitters that help to control our feelings of happiness or positive mood.

You may have heard about dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins as being contributing factors to feeling happy. Similar to these neurotransmitters, serotonin plays many important roles in the brain’s biochemistry and is intimately involved in facilitating sustained and deep sleep, maintaining healthy mood and self-confidence, even supporting a healthy appetite and social engagement.

So what is Serotonin?  Its a naturally soothing neurotransmitter  that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happi

ness. Additionally, it helps decrease our worries and concerns and is associated with learning and memory.

People who are clinically depressed often have very low levels of serotonin and some studies suggest that women produce 52 percent less serotonin than men. Levels seem to fluctuate with menstrual cycles, which may explain why women are more prone to depression. Less sunlight may also cause a drop in the neurotransmitter (chemical messengers that help the brain to function) serotonin, which in turn can initiate low mood. While serotonin levels may dip with less exposure to sunlight, many people suffer from low serotonin year-round.

When your serotonin levels are too low you’re more likely to become irritable, anxious, and perceive the world as unfriendly. You may feel depressed, pessimistic, and have irregular appetite and sleep.

The good news is serotonin can be increased in the brain, here are some tips how?

  • Positive Action /Get the heart rate up – Daily if you can!
    Exercise is a serotonin intervention – it boosts serotonin in your brain, exercise is very effective and a consistent daily physical activity is one of the best ways to improve your serotonin levels and your overall brain health.
  • Eat Healthily To Keep Your Gut in Check
    Much of the serotonin in your body is produced in your gut, eat a healthy diet , hydrate well to help optimise your mental health.
  • Think Positively
    When we increase serotonin, you may begin to see the incredible benefits in your life including increased calmness, positive mood, and healthy weight management.
  • Achieve a Goal
    However small a task is , when you achieve it you feel good and this can be a real motivator for doing the next task. If it’s a big task break it down into smaller more achieve able steps, take the first step you will be glad you did.
  • Connect With People
    Keep talking to
  • people, seeing them when you can, chatting on the phone whatever works for you do it , ideally face to face but its not always possible. If Covid has taught us anything its how important interaction is with other people, so go on pick up the phone.

Have a great October, Halloween too,

Best wishes,

Louise

September’s Blog

Welcome to September’s blog,

Where has the year gone? I hope you have enjoyed the Summer and the good weather we have been having as well as relaxing with friends, family and loved ones.

I’m feeling lucky to have visiting hedgehogs!  They are so cute and they are in such decline so I’m supporting them with fresh water and food each night, just kitten biscuits as these are suitable for them.  I was able to recharge my batteries too as we went camping with Thorn and two other families and their children and a good time was had by all and we were very fortunate with the weather, not too hot or cold , just right.

There are lots of changes happening as we enter Autumn, the children and young people are back to school, many starting school for the first time or starting a new chapter at secondary school, for them and for their parents/carers this can have its challenges.

How can we help children (and their parents) who are feeling anxious?

When a child is feeling very anxious they may feel frightened, agitated or worried and have physical reactions to this such as sweaty palms, fast breathing , a tightness in their tummy to name just a few of the symptoms, every one is different. The important thing to do in the moment is to help them calm down and feel safe.

These strategies can help to calm these feelings down:
Breathe slowly and deeply together. Longer to breathe out than in! For example you can count slowly to four as you breathe in, and then six as you breathe out. If it works for them, gradually encourage your child to breathe out for one or two counts longer than they breathe in, as this can help their body relax.

  • Sit with them and offer calm physical reassurance. Reassure them that it is ok ? Some anxiety is ok, and it will pass.  Feeling you nearby, or holding your hand or having a cuddle if it’s possible, can be soothing.  If you cant be with them perhaps draw a heart or a kiss X on the underside of the wrist that they can press when feeling anxious t remind them of you, this works well and is discrete.
  • Try and use all their five senses. Ask them, What they can see, touch/feel,  what can they hear, smell and taste to help reduce the intensity of their anxiety.
  • Ask them to think of a safe and or relaxing place or person that makes them feel safe, relaxed or happy. It can be anywhere or anyone and sometimes a memento of this can help, perhaps a seashell, a pebble, a photo for example.
  • Encourage them to do something that helps them to feel calmer. Maybe listening to music, drawing or colouring-in, reading a good book, writing in a journal, or watching a favourite film.
  • Exercise can really help too, going for a walk or a run. At the moment there are lots of blackberries to pick whilst out on a walk.  Maybe do some baking together to use those juicy blackberries or make a nice fresh smoothie !

Remember that everyone is different and over time your child  and you will find the things that work.

For each and every one of us it’s important to keep our brains fit and healthy and here’s a few tips how-

  • Get some sleep – at night, ideally 8 hours !
  • Stay active with some form of exercise.
  • Connect with other people, interaction is key.
  • Eat well , a good balanced diet will help enormously.
  • Learn and challenge yourself however small it may be.

For now I say goodbye, Enjoy the month, stay safe,

Best wishes, Louise

 

August – It’s OK to say “No”

Hi,

I trust you are well and for those with children I hope you are enjoying the Summer holidays, the occasional lay in and not to have to worry about the school run!

As we begin to venture out more from Covid restrictions and a very difficult year, many people are experiencing feelings they have not had before, or feelings have returned in a more severe way than ever before. Some are deciding to get fit and healthy, re-assess how they want to be, what they want to do whatever that might look like.

I was really pleased to help a client give up his 40 year smoking habit who recently survived two heart attacks.  He has decided to live life to the full, addressing eating habits, getting some exercise in order to grasp life with both hands and live every moment to the full.  Life is too short for regrets so live for the moment.  I was proud to be a part of his journey.

With this in mind it made me think and ask the following:

  • Do you want to take back control?
  • Do you need to feel ok with saying NO?
  • Do you need to rebuild those personal boundaries?
  • Are you allowing other people to live your life for you?

Do you put everyone else needs before your own because you think that everyone else’s needs are more important than yours? Do you say “Yes” as a habit because you need to feel needed?  Are you yearning for validation and approval from others?  Do you think other people will think you are lazy, uncaring, or selfish if you don’t say yes to their needs? Do you think that your friends, family and/or colleagues will dislike you if you say no to their requests?

Your reasonable needs are exactly equal to everyone else, and therefore giving your power away to others allows unscrupulous people the opportunity to exploit your good nature and to totally disregard and disrespect your needs.   Some may try and manipulate, flatter or coax you into saying ‘yes’ to them.

Give yourself thinking time, tell them you will think about what they have asked you and will get back to them.   If you truly do not want to do something, say no, you do not have to explain or excuse yourself, or apologise.   Respectful people will accept that you are unable to what they have asked you.

The benefits to you are that you will have put clear boundaries in place, and your self-worth, self-esteem and free time will increase.   You will no longer be normalising the abnormal, accepting the unacceptable and excusing the inexcusable. You will no longer be imprisoning yourself in the needs of others and ignoring your own needs. You will also learn to ask for what you need and ensure that you are treated with dignity and respect.  If you have been a people pleaser all your life you may need help to stop this automatic process.

Hypnotherapy will encourage and help you to make choices which best serve you instead of feeling that you ‘must’, ‘should’, ‘ought’ to put everyone else first. You are important and you need to look after yourself, you are number one.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy combines hypnosis and Psychotherapy. Unlike other talking therapies we do not focus on the issue, instead we give you the tools to be able to move forward so you can achieve whatever you want to achieve. Hypnosis creates a state of relaxation which enables us to access the subconscious mind – this is where the magic happens inside our brains.

Using hypnotherapy, we can gently and effectively teach you to relax and move out of the stress, worry and anxiety response, activating the parasympathetic nervous system to return you to a state of balance in body and mind. We can also make sure you are focusing on the positives in life, and therefore thinking in a much more constructive and helpful way. With repetition and practice, positive thinking will become a habit as we work to literally rewire your brain with new, more helpful habits. With positive thinking, you create calm, sensible assessments, rather than emotional stressful reactions. We also work to build up your confidence so that you know you are able to deal with whatever life has in store.

If you would like to find out more about what hypnotherapy can help with, please visit www.louisebarneshypnotherapy.co.uk

Have a lovely Summer, take care of yourselves and feel free to share the newsletter far and wide,

Best wishes, Louise

July 2021 Support For Menopause & Why Do I Feel So Angry

July 2021.

Welcome to Summer, its been a busy time for everyone as we begin to start getting out and about more.  Children will finish soon for the summer holidays and those that have year 11 students have already finished and they start their next steps as young adults into the wider world of adventure and experience, exciting times.

I have been busy training some more and I have decided to expand and offer sessions specifically around the subject of menopause.  I have found this to be a subject that is not openly talked about, so, I’m hoping to be a small cog in a bigger wheel of changing that.

Do you find yourself asking these questions?

  • Can all these feelings really be the menopause?
  • Why is it people only ever talk about hot flushes?
  • How can I feel fine one minute then totally lost the next?
  • What are the symptoms ?
  • Why do I feel like this?

I will be offering support to those who may need it or want to find out more about the menopause and how hypnotherapy can be helpful.  As soon as its ready to launch I will let you know !

Its been lovely to get out into the town that now it has people on the high street exploring the shops and to walk in the dappled woods around, to see the wildflowers and see the baby animals and birds and see the bees collecting their pollen.  It’s good for exercise, general well-being and is great for winding from those busy days.  If you haven’t tried it give it a go, it’s worth it !

Enjoy July, the sun, the BBQ’s in the garden and seeing friends and family safely.

Keep well, stay safe, Best wishes,

Louise

For now here is how anger can affect us and what we can do about it.

Anger – Why do I get so angry?

I have worked with clients who find themselves getting frustrated and angry at work, or find that they are calm at work but lose it at the slightest thing when they get home.  We can also feel anger as irritation, annoyance, frustration, and lack of patience.

When we react with anger it is one of our brains responses to dealing with stress and worry in our life. The other types of responses our brain can have is depressive or anxious behaviour, it could be its just one element or it could be a combination of all three.(anger , anxiety, depression)

Clients that often exhibit depressive or anxious behaviour are met with concern and are encouraged to find help, however, anger is often viewed less favourably.

I’m sure you have probably heard of the ‘fight/flight/freeze’ response, this is an automatic response that happens when we feel under threat/stress. Anger is the result of the ‘fight’ part of that stress/threat response, to defend ourselves or our family and loved ones.

When we experience anger, our body produces adrenaline and other stress hormones, and our upper body (especially the arms) can become flushed with blood to provide extra strength so we can fight. This is why people often go red in the face or neck when angry.

We are all individuals and we all respond differently when we feel threatened. The threat doesn’t have to be a physical, it can be an argument, feeling left out, feeling overwhelmed or guilt at making a mistake.  The part of our brain is responsible for keeping us safe from threats.  This part of the brain can’t tell the difference between a physical threat and an emotional threat!

When a client tells me they are easily annoyed, I treat them no differently than I would if they came to see me with anxiety or depression. The fact is their brain feels that they are under threat.  I’ll explain to my client how that works and what they can do about it.

We now know that venting anger does not help to relieve it. Put simply, anger leads to more anger and if anger gets out of control, it may lead to violence. Therefore, its important that we learn to control angry thoughts and feelings, to enable us to choose a more helpful way to deal with stressful or difficult situations.

Hypnotherapy helps to calm down the stress response, thereby reducing the amount of anger you are feeling. Hypnotherapy can help to put you back into control by teaching you how to remain calm, relaxed and confident enabling you to cope more effectively with day to day life and the ups and downs that life brings.

There is no need to delve into the past and I don’t need to explore why you may be angry.  Instead we will explore how you’d like life to be without anger.
If you or anyone you know needs support I offer a free initial consultation, to book you can call, text on 07516 962361.

June Blog 2021

June 2021

Well hello, I hope my blog finds you well.
Its so nice how the weather has started in June, it makes such big a difference to have the sun out, the blue skies, leaves and flowers blooming and the birds twittering and hopping from here to there, and when we are lucky enough its nice to see the hedgehog out in the evening scurrying around for food, hopefully for its hoglets !

I apologise for no blog in May, its been exceptionally busy with seeing new clients now I can see them face to face and to continue with the clean downs etc that are needed to keep us all as safe as possible and lateral flow testing.   It really is lovely working with people on line and hypnotherapy is just as effective, however, the interaction face to face with a client is so nice and I’ve missed it.

Many clients are contacting me saying things like:

  • “I’ve never had a problem with this in the past”
  • “ I’ve always been able to do…..”
  • “I’m feeling different than I have before and I can’t put my finger on why or what has caused it”
  • “I’ve never had tic’s before” or “my tic’s have got worse or are different”
  • “My fear/phobia has come back and I’ve been fine for years”

Maybe you are feeling this too so don’t feel alone in this.  Covid has a lot to answer for.  Some of the strongest, confident, most determined people of all are finding themselves feeling different than they have ever imagined and they aren’t sure why and what to do.

As we begin to come out of the lockdowns and restrictions are slowly lifted we could start to feel a little anxious and this is ok and completely natural , but if its affecting everyday life then it’s not so helpful so it’s good to get some support and get back on track.  Maybe its you or someone you know, lets get a free initial consultation booked in.  In the meantime there some handy hints to help :

  • Question your thought pattern. Negative thoughts can take root in your mind and distort the situation, try and think of three positives each day,
  • Try focused deep breathing. Breathing in for 4 counts and breathing out for 6 counts for 2 mins or so,
  • Do something you enjoy, listening to your favourite record, watch a film, have a long soak in the bath, self care is important.
  • Get some exercise, go for a walk, do 15 minutes of yoga, getting the heart rate up especially outdoors can be so beneficial.
  • Eat healthily really does affect our mood.

A couple of really nice tenants I like to use are this and they are very true.

The future is both created and negotiable”
&
“No problem happens all the time”

During lockdowns I’ve have been completing various units for my L5 Advanced Hypnotherapy Diploma, its been so interesting and my most recent advanced training has been around working with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and Working with Children, just two of the ten units I need to cover.  I’m making good progress and am three quarters of the way through and I’m looking forward to getting it finished, I have four years to do it, hoping to do it in two, I’ll keep you posted !!

Anyway, a big well done to all of you reading this as you have done well, you are doing the best you can and no one can ask more than that so take some time for you, even if its only a few minutes you deserve it.

Stay safe and well and if you need help and support you can always give me a ring on 07516 962361,

Best wishes

Louise

 

 

Happy Easter

I hope you have enjoyed the good weather over the Easter Holidays and the extra hour of daylight, it makes such a difference.

I’m excited to be able to offer face to face appointments from 12th April providing the Governments road map continues to go well.   It will be so nice to see clients both old and new face to face whilst still implementing social distancing and precautions in place from previous lock downs.  I will still offer online appointments as this has proven to be useful to those further afield from me and those less mobile.

Its an exciting month too for my best friend Caron who has published her first book.  She has worked incredibly hard and it’s a great book that has been written from personal experience.  Caron also runs a thriving successful business as a Divorce and Separation Coach specialising in Domestic abuse.

Her book is full of useful information explaining domestic abuse in all its forms.  It contains simple, practical and effective strategies and techniques to move forward, rebuild and recover that will leave you feeling empowered.  This book can be used as a helpful tool to start that conversation around relationships and mental health with adults and young people.  Here is the link to the book , its great value at £9.99

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/183815566X/ref=cm_sw_r_wa_api_fabc_68N72KEGE237G4468WCW?fbclid=IwAR2okvSvyGfp96q9vUZVbH_hYyIynBcwmUWCpVERd8-mRr1IkOu89QfmsWw

Abusers don’t change, their victims do – either because they finally get the courage to leave and the abuser finds another, or worse the victim gets injured. If you are worried about a new partner and want to see if they have been reported for domestic violence, you now can under Claire’s Law. If you are worried about anyone you care about, please do not wait to offer help. You are not interfering. You may even save a person’s life. National Domestic Abuse Helpline  – 0808 2000 247

Hypnotherapy can support you to take back control of your thoughts and your life, to build confidence, self esteem and get the real you back again, empowering you to move forward into future relationships confidently in the knowledge you deserve a loving , stable relationship. Hypnotherapy can help you heal, to relax, reduce and manage stress.   I have worked with many victims of domestic abuse and have volunteered co-delivering the Freedom Programme in the past and understand well how all the tactics used by perpetrators can leave you feeling.

If you feel you would benefit from an informal chat or would like to book your initial consultation please get in contact on 07516 962361.

Enjoy the brighter, longer days,

Best wishes,

Louise

Spring 2021

Wow it’s March

Thank goodness the weather is on the up ! The sun has been shining and its been dry, yes there have been some frosty mornings but Spring is on its way.  There are signs of life in the garden with the daffodils out and tulips sprouting nicely and the birds have been busy singing and looking to make their nests.
For details on the steps out of Covid please use this gov.uk link:
COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 (Summary) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Face to Face Appointments Are Back

The other good news is that we now have roadmap from the Government helping us come out of the Covid lockdown slowly and steadily and fingers crossed this goes to plan.  Providing all goes well the exciting news is that I’m open for face to face appointments from 12th April and I cant wait.  Online is great and just as effective but it’s not quite the same as working with a client in person , I love , love , love it.

Hats Off To Those Home Schooling !
Well done to all those parents and careers that have been home schooling, having to juggle working from home , schooling , running the house, the shopping , cleaning , tidying up, You have done a great job.  Good news for many is that the children and young people have gone back to school and many can’t wait however its not the case for all so here’s some tips to help if your loved one is feeling anxious.

Hypnotherapy is considered to be a very effective treatment for anxiety and stress. It continues to become increasingly difficult to deal with. Recent reports show over 9 million people suffer from anxiety during their lifetime. Many people have heard of the fight/flight response, this is a primitive response , which is necessary for modern day living.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy uses proven techniques that work, and you will be given explanation as to how stress and anxiety is created and why we suffer the way we do and what we can do about it. During therapy you will learn how to prevent / manage negative thoughts and stress, and how to deal with situations effectively, how to prevent anxiety and stress escalating in a positive way.

If you or someone you know needs support hypnotherapy can help with many issues, the free initial consultation is available to find out more, just give me a call to have a chat or to book on 07516 962361,

I hope you enjoy March and the start of Spring,

Stay safe and well,

Louise

Nature and Hope

Welcome to Feb 2021

At this time of Lockdown 3 many are finding it harder than ever and those who would consider themselves well are also seeing differences in their feelings, thoughts and behaviours. Its important that we look after ourselves, each other and keep supporting those on their own.

One of the things I really like to do is spend time outdoors walking, running and just sitting in the warm sun with a cup of tea listening to the birds singing their hearts out.   Its nice to get out at lunch time for some fresh air and get away from the screens for a while.

Back to Nature, it can really help your wellbeing.

Spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. For example, doing things like growing food or flowers, exercising outdoors or being around animals can have lots of positive effects. It can:

https://www.mind.org.uk/about-us/

 

Online Hope Programme for people living across the South West

The HOPE programme in Devon has gone digital and is available (and FREE!) to anyone living in the South West!  From February 2021, the NHS and Hope For The Community CIC are running 12 digital courses running in 2021 and these are available to anyone struggling with a long term condition, mental illness or with lockdown in general, this also includes people now living with symptoms of Long Covid.

Hope aims to teach you how to become more relaxed, improve your confidence in setting positive goals, learn stress and fatigue management skills and explore any worries you experience when living with long-term physical or mental health condition.

The digital HOPE programme is different to the face to face and virtual course as it is available 24/7 for 6 weeks meaning participants can complete the programme at their own pace but still with full support from trained facilitators.

  • Focuses on you and your wellbeing
  • Learn whenever you like, at a pace that suits you. Please note that the course is not delivered in a way for people to be on “at the same time”
  • You can access the course on desktop, tablet or smartphone. (Wi-Fi needed)
  • cover topics like: smarter goal setting • priorities and values • living positively • character strengths • physical activity • eating well • managing stress • coping with fatigue • finding things to be thankful for.
  • The course includes quizzes, worksheets, audio and video materials, interactive gratitude and goal setting and social networking via email and forums.
  • To register, visit http://bit.ly/HOPESW

Hypnotherapy can help you identify positives, take back control and cope with the day to day changes, ups and downs that every day life can throw at us.  Online sessions are effective and can help those who are shielding or want support at home to start off with.
For your free initial consultation or to find out more please get in contact on 07516 962361.

Stay safe, stay well,

Best wishes

Louise

 

New Year, New You & Online Sessions Available

Happy New Year !

I trust you are safe and well and have enjoyed or made the best of a festive time that will have been quite different to what we have been used to in the past, it will be remembered that’s for sure !  I know over the festive period I’ve eaten and drunk more so now’s the time to get back on track with a healthier diet, back to exercising and getting rid of those “corona festive pounds” I’ve put on. It can be hard to get started again but the first step is a good one to start with, the rest will follow !!!

How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? We’re making our way through January and many of us may be finding it tough to stick to the promises we made at the start of the month as well as cope with another national lockdown that maybe affecting our mental health.

Perhaps you’ve vowed to give up smoking or maybe it’s a healthier lifestyle, or better financial control, or finally tackling that fear/phobia. It’s also becoming important for a lot of people to find a good balance in their lives – getting outdoors more, cutting down on technology, meditating and practising yoga. These goals are realistic and manageable, and we know if we achieve even one of these goals it would make us feel a lot better.

Is it time that you took back control?
Whatever it is that you want to achieve this year, you may find that hypnotherapy is a great place to start. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you to focus positively on moving forward, build your confidence, and sharpen your intent, so that you are in a much better place to achieve what you want to achieve. We can set realistic weekly goals, and using the power of trance, we help you visualise exactly what it is that you want, allowing you to take the steps that are right for you. We can also work on reducing stress and anxiety issues, depression, PTSD, IBS, obsessive thoughts and behaviours and a great number of other conditions and symptoms.

Solution Focussed Hypnotherapy is a positive, and powerful tool. You can make life-changing strides forward with increased confidence, calmness and control. I offer a FREE Initial Consultation to discuss how hypnotherapy can help!

So if you’re ready to take the first step, get in touch and call , text me on 07516 962361 or email me at info@louisebarneshypnotherapy.co.uk

Top ten tips to help you stay on track with your goals.

  1. Set realistic goals.
  2. Plan and prepare well.
  3. Make sure you really want to make the change, and you are not just doing it for someone else. tell someone about it , that way its happening !!
  4. Don’t rush, it’s not a race.
  5. Don’t repeat the past.
  6. Make sure you have the right support around you.
  7. Tick off your achievements.
  8. Reward yourself.
  9. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  10. Enjoy the journey!

Online or Face to face ?
Online sessions are available as face to face sessions have been put on hold for the lockdown.  Online hypnotherapy sessions are as effective as face to face and can allow you to get support whilst staying safe. For more details please contact me to discuss this.

Stay safe and well,

Best Wishes,

Louise

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