THERAPIES & TREATMENTS
Anger is a powerful state. It is a very normal, often healthy, human emotion and most people have experienced it at some point during their life. As a child, we learn how to express this emotion in either a healthy or an unhealthy way.
When anger is mismanaged or out of control, we cause problems for ourselves and others. The consequence of unhealthy anger are many, including damaging our health, our relationships, causing problems at work with colleagues, domestic abuse and family disharmony, road rage, violence. Anger can negatively affect the overall quality of an individual’s life and often the lives of others around them.
What is anger?
Being at the wrong end of an angry individual can be quite frightening. Anger causes physical changes to occur in a flash such as increased heart rate and blood pressure; adrenalin is pumped through the body as the fight or flight response is turned on. Tension builds up like a pressure cooker and the individual will need to express this anger and let off steam or suppress the anger and keep it inside. Releasing this tension either verbally or physically is the usual response. Suppressed anger usually leads to a build up of unexpressed emotions causing the person to “explode” when something minor crosses their path. Like the last straw to break the camel’s back. Such an explosive outburst can be harmful to the individual and to those in the firing line. Sometimes people go too far and cause too much damage.
Some physical signs of anger
Causes of anger
Anger has three components – thoughts, bodily reactions and expression.
Anger can be triggered in an instant or it can simmer away under the surface. Some of the most common causes of anger include frustration, hurt, threats, annoyance, harassment and disappointment. Also physical causes like fatigue, hunger, hormonal conditions and sexual frustration. Each person has their own tolerance level and react to situations in their own way.
Anger Management teach us
How can hypnotherapy help?
Hypnotherapy can help an individual to change the way they think or behave in situations that cause their anger to flare up. The empowering skills of anger management are taught as new pathways in the brain are created.
By accessing the subconscious mind, hypnotherapy can help to identify the root cause of the problem and help the individual to learn how to deal with it in a calmer, more relaxed and effective way.
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ANXIETIES, FEARS, PHOBIAS & PANIC ATTACKS
Anxiety can be seen as a normal and useful emotion designed as a warning to protect us from danger. It can also be seen as a focusing mechanism to pay attention to what’s going on around us. People usually associate anxiety as a negative state to be in. It can manifest as a gut feeling, a sense that something is wrong, a feeling that we need to get away or run from a situation. Faced with a real threat to survival, stress hormones kick in and take over, so we can fight back or run away from danger. Unfortunately, sometimes the result is sheer panic as the body freezes and the mind is flooded with thoughts of disaster.
A normal amount of anxiety is a helpful emotion as it can focus your mind and help you to prepare for events ahead as well as improving your performance, just as an actor about to go on stage may feel the sensation of nerves as he/she gets ready to perform in front of an audience. Then, once the actor is there on stage, the “part” takes over and the actor forgets all about feeling nervous. In this case, anxiety has been uses as a primer and it has done its job effectively.
If anxiety becomes severe and intense in a normal day, it is no longer useful; it starts to restrict the sufferer from enjoying a good quality of life. At this point the anxiety has become disproportionate. If you feel a lot more anxious than another person would in the same circumstances you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and panic attacks, all have anxiety symptoms at their core.
Imagine looking forward with excitement to hosting a big event, a party, a celebration with lots of friends and family. You may get butterflies every time you think of it. You may experience that “jumping for joy” feeling as you make your plans several weeks in advance. You organise the food, the music, the lighting, send out the invitations and anticipate a full house; an evening of fun and laughter shared by people who are close to you. Excitement is a wonderful state that fills us with joy and positive expectation. Unfortunately, for many people however, excitement is often replaced by anxiety and worry about an upcoming event that prevents the sufferer from enjoying it. Anxiety can creep into a person’s life and surface at the most inappropriate and untimely moments. Rather than being excited about the big event, an anxious person might worry that “things will go wrong, the weather may be awful, people might think I look silly, I won’t know what to say, maybe nobody will turn up” …the list goes on. As the day grows near, so the anxiety grows too and the anxious person might make themselves ill with worry. In extreme cases, an anxious person may not even consider throwing a party in their wildest dreams.
Fear of fear itself
Often, the fear of having an anxiety attack brings on even more anxiety and so it becomes a vicious circle. This is called anxiety expectancy. It's a fear of experiencing fear. Hypnosis can be combined with cognitive behavioural principles to overcome anxiety and help people to live a balanced emotional life without having to worry about when anxiety is going to strike next.
Some people however know exactly when an attack is going to happen, they can give a blow by blow account of what will take place when a phobic response is triggered by a certain stimulus, for example public speaking, driving on the motorway or seeing a spider. Phobias are extreme forms of anxiety. A phobia is characterised by an overwhelming fear or dread of certain objects, animals, events or situations. The phobic person may understand that it’s an irrational fear but feels completely powerless to control it.
Is a fear of heights really a fear of heights or is it a fear of falling from a height? It depends on how you look at it. Changing the way you frame a situation changes the meaning of the situation and this is exactly how hypnotherapy can help with anxieties, fears and phobias. Hypnosis can replace anxious feelings with relaxation and reframe the situation in your subconscious mind so you can think about the stimulus without setting off the phobic response. When a person is in a relaxed state they cannot be anxious. Anxiety and relaxation are two opposing qualities.
The symptoms of a phobic response can include sweating, trembling, feelings faint or dizzy, nausea, palpitations, hyperventilation and panic attack. It can be accompanied by a huge amount of embarrassment so people often go to great lengths to avoid being in any situation where they are likely to experience a phobic reaction or panic attack.
Agoraphobia – fear of open spaces;
Arachnophobia – fear of spiders;
Dentophobia – fear of dentists or dental procedures;
Hydrophobia – fear of water;
Trypanophobia – fear of needles;
Xenophobia – fear of strangers or foreigners;
Zoophobia – fear of animals
For a more detailed list of types of phobias, please click on the big pdf link. If you would like more information on any of these or other phobias, or you would like help in overcoming them, please give me a call on 07824 870959 or e-mail [email protected]
Hypnotherapy is a completely safe and natural way of dealing with all types of anxiety. It is an effective way of making contact with your subconscious mind, the source of many limiting beliefs and also the source of great strength and untapped potential. Many people find that hypnotherapy can overcome anxiety in a few short sessions as they learn to reprogramme the subconscious mind to work for them utilizing the skills and practices they are taught during the session. Free your mind from unwanted anxieties and enjoy life more. Contact me on 07824 870959 for an appointment or e-mail me
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Assertiveness means the ability to express your opinions and feelings in a mature and effective way, being able to say "No" sometimes. Maybe you love helping people and you are known for being helpful and kind. That's great....but when you are taken advantage of again and again, it's not healthy. Some might call it being a doormat.
Is this you?
These are all signs of a lack of assertiveness.
Assertiveness training can be life transforming. Some people are afraid that being assertive would lose them friends, or people might not like them, or someone might think they are being rude, this is not the case. With Assertiveness Training, you learn how to voice your opinions and say what you mean in a respectful and calm way. You can remain calm on the inside whilst expressing your point of view in an adult way.
Assertiveness Training teaches you:
General assertiveness skills
If you would like to find out just how assertive you are, have a look at the Assertiveness Inventory attached. Once you have the score you can see just how assertive you really are. If you find that you are lacking assertiveness, you can easily boost your confidence and increase your assertiveness with my techniques.
You can click on the big PDF link to take the test and find out your score. Back to top
SELECTIVE EATING DISORDER
Is your eating behaviour getting in the way of your social life or your job? Are you embarrassed by how fussy you are about food? Do you avoid going out with friends or your partner for a meal because you are a picky eater? If you answer YES to these questions, you may have Selective Eating Disorder (SED).
Selective eating disorder is a type of eating disorder that involves extreme pickiness when it comes to food.
Unlike traditional eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN), SED is not caused by or innately linked to perceptions of body-image or self-esteem.
Although it has the word Disorder in the name, SED is not listed as an Eating Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM5) published in May 2013.
SED can spoil a big part of your enjoyment of life
It can be a real pain when you are limited to eating only certain foods. It can spoil your life and your relationships as well as having a very negative effect on your health. Your body depends on a balanced diet to thrive. Although there is some evidence that SED could be inherited and have a genetic basis, the dysfunctional problems and distress that come with it can bring even greater suffering. Research suggests that persistent problems with picky eating may be associated with significant levels of family conflict and therefore avoidance of situations associated with eating is a coping behaviour. Whatever the cause may be, there are ways in which you can help yourself.
Save or Unsafe - Friend or Foe?
Sufferers of SED have an inability to eat certain foods. "Safe" foods may be limited to certain food types and even specific brands. Many people with SED will exclude whole food groups, such as fruits or vegetables. Sometimes excluded foods can be refused based purely on colour (they might not eat “green things”); they may only eat hot or cold food or they may prefer to only eat crunchy food and avoid anything they consider “slimy”.
Adverse foods are everything apart from what the sufferer considers to be a safe or likeable food. Sufferers can experience physical gastrointestinal reactions to adverse foods such as retching, vomiting or gagging. Social avoidance is a very common symptom of SED due to the unsocial eating habits. However, most suffers do not desire to change their eating behaviours unless there is a very strong motivating factor.
It’s quite common for children to go through a phase of picky eating and then grow out of it. This is a normal part of growing up. When it is still an issue when the child becomes an adult it can cause serious problems such as malnutrition, IBS, anxiety or OCD.
Neophobia & Supertasters
Sufferers of SED are usually unwilling to try a food they have never eaten before (Neophobia); they are sensitive to the smells of food and refuse to eat certain textures of food (Supertasters); they consider themselves to be picky or fussy eaters.
Neophobia is the avoidance of new foods. Certain foods that are eaten regularly are considered safe and anything outside the safe zone is avoided or rejected. A phobia can be overcome, just like any other phobia.
A Supertaster is someone who is sensitive to the smell, texture or taste of the food. About 25% of the population are thought to be Supertasters. These individuals have many more taste buds than the average person and experience flavours about three times stronger than most. Because of this, sufferers tend to stick to bland or sweet food, avoiding bitter or fatty foods and most green vegetables. Supertasters have a significantly lower risk of developing cardiovascular and weight problems but they run a much higher risk of colon and gynaecological problems. These are highly motivating factors to seek help. Some SED sufferers say that "unsafe" food just doesn't taste like food.
Research shows that people who are picky eaters aren't doing this just to be stubborn, or to make a fuss, but they are actually experiencing food differently to most people.
Nancy Zucker, PhD, conducted a web-bases survey on Picky Eating in Adults*. She talks about a condition called ARFID – Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder which used to be called Feeding Disorder of Infancy and Early Childhood. She says that reduced food intake (in children) is often due to an emotional disturbance related to eating, without concern for body shape or weight.
Research articles for SED and ARFID are mostly based on studies on children. However, for both conditions in adults, there are things you can do to help yourself.
Top tips to expand range and amount of food intake.
Don’t give up Studies show that it may take 10-15 exposures to new foods before it is accepted, so be patient and persistent. Foods do have a tendency to “grow” on you. You may not like avocado at the first taste, but after a few it could be your new favourite food.
Mix new foods with familiar safe foods When your taste buds recognise a familiar taste or texture it will be easier to accept a new taste as long as it has not been hidden in the food. You don’t want to try to trick your brain – it will only backfire and make you reject it all the more. Over time the amount of safe food can be reduced and the new food eaten separately.
Educate yourself The more you know about nutrition, the more motivated you'll be to expand your horizons. If you stick with it your taste buds will come to appreciate different types of foods that are really good for you. You need to make sure you are getting the balance right so you can become as healthy as possible, so it would be a good idea to do lots of research or get some advice from someone who knows.
Bring more colour into your life and onto your plate Bringing colour into your live is a great way to re-energise the way you think and feel. When you are changing one area of life it can enhance other areas too. According to some Nutritionists, eating across the food rainbow is vital for a healthy life - everyone should eat something from each colour range every day. By expanding your interest in colour generally, it can make life richer and more interesting.
Concentrate on what you eat Don’t watch TV or read whilst eating, instead focus on each mouthful of food at a time, chew slowly and really experience the taste, the texture and the smell. Describe to yourself what you are experiencing. If you don’t like it, just leave it, and try it again next time.
One at a time Introduce one new food at a time and take your time experimenting with it. Have fun and enjoy the new food as if you are getting to know a new friend – you can’t always develop a friendship overnight and likewise with food you need to try it several times before it becomes accepted as a new “friend”.
Don’t cook separate meals for yourself If you have a family, it’s important to be part of the family and eat the same as everyone else as far as possible. By eating a separate meal you are reinforcing the fact that you are different. Even if it’s only a small amount of everything, aim to eat the same food as the rest of the family.
Take a multi-vitamin Give yourself a boost of the vital vitamins and minerals you are missing from a restricted diet.
How can Hypnotherapy help?
Hypnosis reaches part of the mind that other therapies don't go - your unconscious mind, the place where our beliefs and learned behaviour lives. You can learn the tools and skills needed to overcome SED with hypnotherapy.
Get Desensitised Systematic Desensitisation can reduce the anxiety involved with trying out new foods. Most suffers will have had embarrassing situations where they have gagged or thrown up in front of other people. A key element of Systematic Desensitisation is deep relaxation where the person can learn how to relax and let go of the tension associated with the thought or the idea of trying new foods, thereby learning to feel comfortable instead. Gagging or throwing up is usually a learned response and the sufferer can be conditioned to respond differently by using this method.
Learn Mindfulness Mindfulness can help with sensory feedback. People with SED often have difficulty detecting or interpreting signals from their body. Mindfulness teaches how to read those signals which can then be reframed to allow new adaptive behaviour to replace old habitual responses.
Break the Habit Habit reversal can help to break old unhelpful eating habits and replace them with new empowering thinking and behavioural habits.
Set Goals You can’t expect a miracle to happen overnight. Setting step by step goals to increase the variety and amount of food you consume will help to make sure you are supporting your nutritional requirements. If you are unsure of what to eat, you could ask the advice of a Nutritionist.
Think Positively Skills can be taught to help manage negative thoughts and fears of certain foods. You can learn how to stop these thoughts from spiralling out of control and replace them with encouraging and helpful ones.
Learn CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy focuses on changing how you think about a situation, which in turn will affect how you behave. Hypnosis helps to integrate these new ideas in your subconscious mind.
Reduce Stress Stress can sometimes be expressed through a desire for control. Reducing the amount of stress in different areas of life can allow a person with SED to be more relaxed around food and more relaxed generally in all areas of life.
Get Motivated Ask yourself what the reasons are for wanting to change? how will your life be different as a result? What things will you be able to do that you are currently not doing? If your motivation level is high enough, you can change.
There is hope
When you start to become calmer and relaxed about the foods you eat, you can discover a whole new world of pleasure. You can begin to enjoy eating out with friends, colleagues and family a lot more. You will become stronger and more energetic. You will be able to happily say to yourself and others: “I enjoy eating whatever I want, whenever I want”. Won’t that feel good?
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To sleep deeply and comfortably for 7 or 8 hours is bliss. Many of us take it for granted as a normal part of good health. Waking up refreshed and re-energised is what most people expect from a good night’s sleep. However for some, this is not the case, and sleeping well has become something of a problem. Insomnia can strike when we least expect it, bringing with it restless sleep, racing thoughts, tossing and turning, drifting in and out of a light sleep, waking at the slightest noise or feeling “wired”. We all have the occasional restless night from time to time but if it’s more than once in a while we may need to address the problem and take action.
What can we do? Sleeping pills can be a quick fix but usually bring other problems which are just as bad – grogginess, brain fog, lack of co-ordination and concentration. They can also be addictive. There are also natural herbal remedies that help to calm down the body and the mind and they may help. What if there was a way to ensure a good night’s sleep, as if you had taken a sleeping pill but without the nasty side effects? Wouldn’t it be nice to switch off the light and switch off the tensions and worries of the day? The good news is you can do just that by following the Inner Space Sleep Plan.
HypnosisThe trance-like state of hypnosis is often likened to sleep and dreaming the most realistic of dreams. In a trance-like state we are in a relaxed state of focussed attention where we can tune in to our bodies and our minds, becoming aware of the mind-body connection and body mind communication. We can feel a sensation of our body sinking down lower and lower as paradoxically we feel lighter and lighter. Self hypnosis reduces the heart rate, slows down the breathing and changes the brain waves.
Sleep is a natural state that has to occur. Without it we would not be able to carry on. New mothers know this only too well when they are awakened regularly throughout the night to attend to a newborn baby. Luckily this doesn’t last too long, within a couple of months the newborn generally sleeps long enough for the mum to fall into a deep restorative sleep.
Some of the obstacles to a good night’s sleep
Emotions Suppressed negative emotions can keep you feeling energized as they bubble up under the surface. Things can seem much worse in the middle of the night especially if you have to get up early the next day. Learning to recognise emotions like anxiety or anger can be the first step to releasing those emotions.
Thoughts Some people are prone to worrying thoughts, going over and over a conversation or a scenario that caused upset, or trying to find answers to unresolved issues. At 4am irrational thoughts can seem overpowering and may be accompanied by a feeling of helplessness.
Physical tension Tension can stop the body from relaxing with symptoms like Restless Leg Syndrome as a person falls to sleep. Relaxation is the opposite of tension. They can’t live in the same body at the same time, the dominant one wins, so learning the skills of deep relaxation is key to a good night’s sleep.
Hypnotherapy is an effective way of understanding what is stopping you from enjoying peaceful rest on a regular basis. You learn to unravel the knots and watch the problems drift away.
ODE TO THE BED
I love my bed, it must be said, each muscle from my toe to head
Can snuggle up in eiderdown, and melt away a tired frown.
Egyptian cotton, silk and lace will wrap me in a warm embrace,
I sink into the memory foam, a sanctuary that I call home.
Each day you’re dressed with loving care, I think of you when I’m not there
Your pillows soft and feathery, from far away you call to me
You lie in wait for my return, the daily chores not your concern.
When darkness falls I cannot wait, your pleasures I anticipate.
Lying down will have to wait until I fully contemplate
The secrets of night ahead while I lay sleeping in my bed
And when I’m falling off to sleep there is no need for counting sheep;
The journey cannot be postponed, I’m heading for the twilight zone.
Imagination comes alive, whatever happens - I’ll survive
And then you take me by the hand, transport me to a distant land
Each night a new experience beyond the realm of common sense.
Where limitations are unknown and childish fears are all outgrown.
The hands of time do not persist and new dimensions can exist.
Letting go of all my fears, exploring strange and new frontiers,
Meeting loved ones long departed, Dr. Death can be outsmarted.
Dreaming of familiar faces, travelling to unknown places,
Finding answers in my sleep to questions that were buried deep.
When morning takes the place of night and darkness changes into light,
Emerging from my sleepy state my senses must co-ordinate
My dreamy escapades will fade but highlights of the night remain
And even though I’d like to stay, I leave my bed and start the day…
Mary Bowmer © 2011
If you need help with sleep problems feel free to call or e-mail Get In Touch
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