Psycho-immu-neurology

It sounds like a mouthful – psycho – immu-neurology, but the concept has been around since the beginning of time. It has its roots back to ancient cultures and philosophies including Hinduism and Buddhism.

It describes the mind-body connection, the link between how we feel in our mind and the rest of our physical body.

Stress is a naturally occurring response and in normal situations is not harmful to us, and rather is beneficial. We have all experienced “flight or flight” response. This is the sudden increase in the heart rate, respiration, dry mouth, sweaty palms. What is happening is hormones are being released to prepare the body to either “fight or flight” against whatever pending threat. Hormone including adrenaline is entering into the system. The heart is pumping harder in order to get more oxygen and blood to our muscles to allow us to flee to safety. In the past, if we were faced with a sabre toothed tiger, then this was a relevant automatic bodily response to keep us safe.

The problem comes when busy lives and modern stresses and lifestyles, negative thinking or perceptions cause low levels of continuous stress hormone production on a regular basis. The brain cannot tell whether the threat is real or imagined, and therefore this switches on the negative hormone release. This over time then becomes chronic. Over time this causes inflammatory response within the body which negatively affects our physical health or psychoimmuneurology. There are many studies that have demonstrated this.

Studies have shown that exercise, optimistic thinking, meditation and hypnotherapy all promote the release of beneficial hormone which helps to reduce stress hormone levels in the body, and boost immune system.

Most acute medical care services have strained budgets  and mental health services have always been an underserved segment. if we want to take responsibility of improving our mental health then it is largely in our own hands. public healthcare is always going to be reactive in nature, ie when things get really bad. my work resides in the preventative space.

A good hypnotherapist helps you to reduce negative self talk and unwanted behaviours, and help you get to the real root of the issue in order to bring about positive and beneficial thinking. All of this serves to fundamentally improve psychoimmuneurlogy.

Hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool in combatting stress & mental health in the workplace

Despite slowly changing attitudes, Mental Health in the workplace has historically been, and still very much remains, a taboo subject – fear of being judged, fear of even losing one’s job if the issue is raised openly.

In a recent survey carried out by the CISI, out of 3,686 individuals asked, 23% said they were “unsure” and 31% said they were “not confident” talking to their line managers at work if they felt they were suffering from stress, anxiety or depression.

Much of the stress, which is particularly acute in the high pressured Corporate world, stems from workload pressures in such fast paced working environments. High expectations and the general perception of always having “to just keep going” no matter what magnify the likelihood of stress. Such pressures can easily be exacerbated if coupled with other home or health related issues be it separating from a partner, money (especially debt) worries, becoming a new parent, cultural/family pressures, personal or friend/family member’s illness.

It is important to speak to someone trained professionally and seek support. An independent hypnotherapist can be your port of call for such issues and is trained professionally to treat such matters.

 

What are the symptoms of stress and anxiety?

Stress affects people in different ways and you may have some of the following symptoms:

  • constantly worrying and thinking negatively (like a broken tape playing in your mind)
  • anxious feelings especially in stomach
  • low self-esteem
  • Feeling irritable/mood swings
  • unwillingness to socialise/low mood
  • drinking or smoking more than usual
  • inability to switch off
  • insomnia – unable to sleep/wake up early
  • a change in eating habits eg binge eating
  • unwillingness to socialise/low mood
  • low sexual libido
  • forgetfulness
  • difficulties concentrating on normal tasks
  • muscle tension and aches/pains throughout the body
  • headaches and migraines
  • bowel or bladder problems (irritable bowel)
  • feeling breathless

The main thing to remember if you are struggling with any of the above issues, that you are not alone and there is no need to suffer – help and support toward positive change is at hand.

Hypnotherapy can be an empowering tool to combat Stress & Anxiety

What is anxiety?

Anxiety, or feeling highly apprehensive or worried, is a normal reaction to stressful situations. In some cases, however, worry becomes excessive or chronic and can cause sufferers to dread facing everyday situations and not be able to function as they normally would.

Mental Health concerns, based on figures from an NHS survey show this to be on the rise consistently since the 1990s. Research carried out by The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute found that 2.3 million people in the UK were experiencing mental health problems that affected the amount of paid work they could do

Hypnotherapy has been around for a long time, with roots tracing back to ancient cultures in Asia including Buddhism and Hinduism. It can offer a powerful solution to anxiety.

As a clinical hypnotherapist having treated a wide range of cases of clients coming through my door, stress can manifest itself in so many different ways, sometimes gradually or even suddenly.
Many people at some point in their life will experience (a) situation(s) which causes them to feel stress; be it separating from a partner, money (especially debt) worries, becoming a new parent, facing redundancy, cultural/family pressures, personal or friend/family member’s illness or injury or unhappiness at work. It can be one or several of these things which gives rise to stress and/or anxiety to manifest itself.

Often individuals feel that they cannot speak to anyone at work about these things for fear of losing their jobs due to existing taboos around mental health. Sometimes the same is true for families – someone may find they cannot discuss such a personal issue with friends or family for fear of being judged and can often end up bottling up their concern.

How can hypnotherapy help with stress and anxiety?

Our ability to deal with stress, depends on our early years and how we learned to deal with such situations. The secret lies in how we were “taught” by our parents to deal with potentially stressful events.

A calm parent is likely to react in a totally different way to that of a nervous parent if their child falls off their bike and grazes their knee. Regression Hypnotherapy allows access to these early memories, and helps to uncover the root causes of the anxiety. This can then help the individual to digest and process the issue, helping them to feel empowered again and regain a sense of strength and confidence.

A clinical hypnotherapist is trained professionally in such issues and provides a confidential outlet for someone who seeks support. By relaxing the patient through regression hypnotherapy techniques, the subconscious mind can be accessed where the roots of one’s anxiety tend to lie.
An additional technique in the hypnotherapist’s tool box is to teach the client self hypnosis. This is an empowering technique which reduces the effects of stress on the body by deeply relaxing the individual, helping to lower the heart rate & blood pressure and relax muscles and reduce tension.

The subconscious mind represents 90% of the brains capacity. This is where memories are locked away behind closed doors, under the surface, if you like, behind closed doors and represents the bulk of the brain’s capacity. The remaining 10% is the conscious mind where logical and intelligent processing takes place. Therefore the wok done in hypnotherapy addresses the largest and core part of the brain ie the subconscious and can offer a powerful solution for the client.

Perfectionism and Procrastination are 2 Peas in a Pod

Most of us have put off a task to do later at some point in our life, but a serial procrastinator can often have more serious perfectionist character traits i.e. they put something off for fear of failure, for fear of being judged or shamed. The risk of feeling that pain is minimised or avoided by not carrying out the task, opting for always the easier route; avoiding altogether. Trust me, I know as a serial lifetime perfectionist and procrastinator. As a Clinical Hypnotherapist I have seen many cases of this and have worked through my own hurdles with self hypnosis over the years.

These character traits are stopping you from achieving your goals. Here are some of the most common things people say to me who come through my door – they don’t feel like they have the right skills yet to go out and market their products or set up their business or go for that amazing job, or do that thing whatever it is, they feel they need to do more or are “quite there yet”. They adopt a put themselves down attitude, or not quite good enough attitude. They convince themselves it needs more work and to do it later. In other words, they need to be “perfect” before they go out there and do whatever it is they need to do, often not getting to where they want to. This is damaging to self esteem and confidence.

This trait I also see in students who have exams and procrastinate their revision time, because they have a fear of failure of the ultimate pending exam. Often they tend to cram like crazy when the actual exam date is almost unbearably close, the sense of urgency kicks in. this can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety in turn and often end up not being able to achieve the grades they would like to.

Why do people do this? Fear of Failing, being shames as mentioned above. More than that, a perfectionist has an ideal image in their mind as to what they must be/have/achieve. Anything short of this is not acceptable to someone with these traits. This can lead to hurting our own sense of self worth.

The reality is that perfectionism does not exist, it is a myth drawn up in our minds. By accepting and opening up about this, we can have a greater connection with others .

Below are some suggestions that can help someone to better manage these traits to move forward:

  1. Focus on improving yourself rather than worrying on an external opinion/judgement. This takes away from wanting to be “the best” and moves you toward getting better yourself which is more rewarding and reinforces self-esteem.
  2. Take action and DO. Set goals in stages that feel more realistic without lowering the standards, so that they feel more achievable. Then acknowledge the progress you make at each stage. Keep the bigger picture in mind. I find personally if the start of the day gets off to a good start and I tackle a tough obstacle, the rest of the day goes more smoothly.
  3. Done is better than perfect – adopt the 80% rule – if you manage to get almost all of that list complete or manage to do 80% of the task, that’s fine, do it swiftly then move on to the next, don’t fixate on getting the last 10-20% “perfect” and waste time.
  4. Be kind to yourself, the way you are kind to your friends and others. Just think, if your friend made a mistake you would not be harsh on them, so why are you so harsh on yourself. Adopt the same outlook.
  5. Remember there is no such thing as perfectionism so stop trying to achieve it. Also remember that you will not please everybody and that is also OK. Be kind to everybody, but most importantly to yourself. Laugh at yourself, its ok!