Stress And Your Mental Health
As always, I hope that the last few days have been filled with peace, focus and joy!
As I ponder on what my area of focus for this week's blog entry should be, I am reminded of one topic in particular which has held quite a lot of media attention this past week alone, and it relates to the problem of mental health in Britain. Mental health conditions and their adverse consequences create many challenges, especially so for poor and more disadvantaged of society.
As I read through the news articles, I found myself asking what can we do, both individually and collectively to improve mental health in our society? Mental health statistics show that the most common mental disorders in Britain are anxiety and depression. One adult in six has experienced a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression and one in five adults has considered taking their own life at some point. Put together anxiety and depression have been estimated to cause one fifth of days lost from work in Britain. Mental ill health at work is thought to cost UK employers £26 billion each year.
Mental health problems and stress
Because many of the symptoms of stress and a mental health condition are similar, it could be difficult for an individual to distinguish when the stress they are experiencing turns into a mental health problem or when an already existing mental health problem becomes aggravated by the stress. There are however, two key differences to look for: (1) the severity and duration of the symptoms, and (2) the way(s) in which these affect everyday life.
It is also important to note that stress and mental health conditions are different and can exist independently of each other. What I mean is that people can have stress without experiencing anxiety and depression. But they can also have anxiety and depression without experiencing stress. However, stress, if left untreated can lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
Dealing with stress at work
Work is the most commonly reported cause of stress. If you feel under stress at work and think that you may have a problem, the earlier you take action the better. Early action can help prevent you becoming more unwell and developing mental health problems. Those close to you can play a key role in helping you identify when you are behaving out of character. So don't be afraid, or ashamed of asking them for help, and don't take offense if they approach you first and tell you that something is wrong. You can also talk to your employer who could make adjustments to ease your stress, but they can only help if you talk to them about how you feel.
If despite support, you continue to feel unwell then you should consult your GP.
I send you much love and good wishes.
"To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life." - Spinoza -
Are you at a point in your life where you feel that despite all your efforts and practices your emotional problems have not healed and will NOT heal?
You may have felt good for a few days and think that you have tackled your problem(s), only for them to re-surface, or perhaps they never really go away and you live with a constant ache in your heart and mind?
Does it seem that no matter what you do these stubborn emotional conditions remain deep-rooted?
Most of the conditions we experience are the result of excess tension and arousal combined with unhelpful or poor thinking habits. This naturally leads to our experiencing negative emotional states such as anxiety, depression, irrational fears, over-sensitivity, lack of confidence, fear of being alone, phobias, difficulty sleeping, grief that won't heal, jealousy, constantly comparing yourself to others, feelings of inadequacy, obsessive compulsive disorder, nervousness, mood swings, eating disorders and stress.
One of the reasons why these conditions persist is because they have only been addressed on a superficial level and require a much deeper method of treatment.
This where hypnotherapy can help you. Hypnotherapy has an impressive record of clinical effectiveness and allows for effective and rapid treatment that lasts. Hypnotherapy uses the natural state of hypnosis which includes focused attention and imagination on specific ideas to allow you to influence and change the habitual associations and associated responses of your mind and body. Through this natural state of deep absorption and openness, new thought habits, new emotional responses and new behavioural habits can be introduced deeply into your mind.
If you are ready to enjoy freedom from unhealthy negative emotional states, and want to experience greater ease, empowerment and effective living, leave me a message with your details here on my website, and I will get back to you as soon as I have received your request.
You can also subscribe to my Newsletter to receive powerful healing techniques delivered to your email box monthly.
In the meantime, I wish you love and the very best.
Feeling Overwhelmed? This Simple Technique May Help:
What is overwhelm?
Whenever I have experienced overwhelm, it has felt like a 60-foot wave crashing into me like a tsunami, knocking me right off my feet! But more accurately defined, overwhelm is a feeling of being completely overcome in mind or emotion. If you have felt it, you will know what I am talking about.
Having said that, I think that overwhelm is experienced by different people in different ways.
It may present as intense emotions such as anger, irritability, worry, anxiety, negative thinking, depression, doubt, helplessness, crying, or panic attacks. Other responses may include a fast heartbeat, sweating, tingling, chest pain or shortness of breath.
What causes overwhelm?
Feelings of overwhelm can occur when we actually face or when we think about responsibilities, challenges or any other stressors that we appraise, or judge too great for us to manage. Overwhelm can also peak from a long to-do list that we can’t seem to finish or an emotional event like bereavement or birth.
However your overwhelm manifests, I am going to share with you a simple but effective technique that I have used and doing so has completely change the trajectory of my life, and I know it can help you too.
This simple strategy is - acceptance-:
In my last blog post, I wrote about the importance of 'letting go and accepting what is, no matter what is'...
You see, during my darkest days I learned that whatever I resisted persisted. In the beginning I did not understand that by not being willing to 'feel my feelings' I was in fact ensuring that I would feel them. It took me a while to realize that the more I fought my emotions the more reinforced they became. So, I had to learn acceptance. I had to learn to let go and to accept my feelings whatever they were. Whether they were feeling of overwhelm, fear, stress or anxiety.
In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), the idea is that trying to rid ourselves of painful and distressing feelings only increases them, and turns them into something even more traumatic. This leave us with only one alternative: - to accept it. -
Acceptance does not mean giving up, being defeated or agreeing with suffering. Rather, it is an acknowledgement of and a willingness to allow whatever we are experiencing to simply be. By accepting what is, we learn to make room for painful feelings, thoughts, and sensations, allowing them to be there, coming and going without us struggling against them.
Acceptance is like riding out a wave. Become willing to accept your feelings of overwhelm and anxiety in the way I had to. Accept that it is OK, even 'normal' to experience at least some degree of anxiety when the stressors you face are unfamiliar, unpredictable, or imminent. Anxiety is normal. We all feel it, and will all continue to feel it at various times throughout our lives.
So, the next time you feel overwhelmed, notice how your body responds to feelings and thoughts of overwhelm. Whatever you notice, don’t resist, struggle or fight. Just let it be, knowing that like the tide which flows onto the shore, the feelings will go away. Say to yourself and know that this too shall pass!
I wish you the very best on your journey.
Much love always,
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The Importance Of Letting Go!
Letting go of the desire to control unpleasant, stressful feelings and thoughts is hard to do. Believe me I know! This is especially true when trying to deal with intense feelings.
Have you ever noticed that the more you 'try' not to feel anxious for example, the stronger the feeling seems to get? A common example of this is often reported by those who have difficulty falling asleep at night. They lay awake worrying and willing themselves to drop off. In doing so, they appear to be fueling the very problem they are trying to solve. When these individuals stop struggling and willingly accept that they are lying awake in bed, paradoxically, they often fall asleep quickly.
The reason for this is because the more we 'try' to do something, the less likely we are to succeed. Whatever we resist, persists. This is also known as the Law of reversed effect or the law of paradoxical intent.
The answer? Become willing to accept whatever you are feeling in any moment, because when we are unwilling to accept psychological pain and discomfort , they will surely turn into genuine intense emotional suffering.
Accept whatever you are experiencing, and live in the present moment. Living in the moment requires letting go of anything that may be happening in that moment and reaching for the thoughts that feels best.
If in any moment you can make the best of what is, no matter what is, your life will keep
better and better!
You Are Awesome NOW!
In this post, I want to share what I have learned about the importance of focusing one's energy and thoughts on the present moment.
When we are facing daily challenges it is sometimes the tendency to look back at our past actions and decisions and perhaps to regret the decisions that we made. When we regret the past, we then look to the future and try to predict what might happen. It is true that the decisions we have made in the past have brought us to where we are today. But one important lesson I personally have learned is that yesterday is gone, and today is all there is. And because this is true, our only point of power is NOW.
What I mean is this: whatever you desire to achieve or to change in your life, you can only create that change NOW. In this present moment with conscious awareness.
Mindfulness is a wonderful way to practice present moment awareness. In fact, new research shows that present-moment awareness, a key feature of mindfulness, increases resilience to stress and overall well-being.
Buddha himself stated that "the Secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly".
I want to encourage you to practice present-moment awareness today and in every moment by monitoring and attending to your thoughts and current experiences instead of trying to predict the future or spending time dwelling on the past.
Remember, yesterday is gone and today is all there is. Your point of power is NOW. YOU are awesome NOW!
I wish you all the very best with much love.
The Restorative Power of Sleep
My sleep patterns have changed a lot lately due to my worrying about family members who are facing some serious health challenges since last Christmas. This has caused me to turn my attention to 'sleep', its wonderful restorative power and the impact lack of good quality sleep can have on our health and overall well-being.
You see, even though our sleep patterns change, our need for sleep, good quality sleep doesn’t. And we all need quality sleep. Sleep is the balm that soothes and restores us after a long day of work and play. Sleeping soundly is essential to good physical, emotional and mental health.
Good Sleep = Good Health
When it comes to sleep, everyone is different. Some people are able to function very well on just a few hours of sleep, while others may need at least eight hours or more. Whatever the case, a good night’s sleep is essential for good health. The consequences of poor sleep include obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, just to name a few. Sleep deprivation also affects our judgement and mental acuity, among other cognitive tasks.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who have sleep problems are more likely to experience psychiatric conditions than people who sleep well. Chronic insomnia can impact our general state of health and compromise the immune system.
The reality is that at one point or other most people experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. In fact, for many people, sleep is either completely elusive or at best troubled.
Thankfully there are some very simple steps we can take to make it easier to fall asleep, and to help ensure that whatever amount of sleep we get is at least of 'good' quality. Below are the two initial steps I have implemented recently and I am happy to say that they have made a significant difference to my sleep:
1. I have found that an ideal environment to induce sleep is one that is quiet, dark, and relatively cool, with a comfortable bed and minimal clutter.
2. I have removed the television, telephone, and any office equipment from my bedroom. In that way I got rid of all interruptions and at the same time reinforced the idea to my mind that that my bedroom is meant for sleeping only.
Try these to simple techniques to start with and let me know if they've helped.
Here is to many nights filled with wonderful, restorative sleep!
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View previous posts here
Do You Constantly Suffer From Feelings of Anxiety?
Entry # 6
This conditioned response has become a serious issue for many millions of people.
At one time or another in our lives, we have all experienced the feeling that we are about to lose control, or that your mind is so crowded with distressing thoughts that we find it difficult and in some cases, impossible relax or sleep or even breathe!
Many people attempt to find relief from stress and anxiety by using techniques such as yoga, exercise and by cutting down on caffeine or alcohol. These are all wonderful ways to temporarily relieve anxiety, but the benefits are often only temporary.
If you are ready to experience profound relief from the stress and anxiety learn about how Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy can help. Visit the 'SESSIONS' page of my website and request you FREE 30 minutes hypnosis session, and let's get you started on the road to full health!