Transform a Stressful Christmas into a Relaxed Christmas

Survive the festive period with relaxing hypnosis

Christmas should be a time of togetherness. fun and joy with family and friends.  But all too often Christmas can seem just like another life stress.  But Why?

So what makes Christmas so stressful?

Pressure can come from all angles – finding enough money for presents, cooking a large festive feast, socialising with family, everywhere seems so much busier – the list is endless!

But by far the biggest stress at Christmas comes from the very essence of what Christmas is supposed to be all about.  We are bombarded in the media with images and ideas about the “perfect Christmas”, yet such a thing doesn’t really exist.  This pressure can build unrealistic expectations that can lead to stress and disappointment.

How does this stress build up?

We can subconsciously allow stress to weigh us down and create stress.  When we suffer with stress our body produces the stress hormone Cortisol (which triggers our fight/flight reaction).   High levels can inhibit our brain function, slow our metabolism, breakdown muscle and increase our blood pressure.  It can also affect our immune system leading us to be less resilient and able to cope with the demands of the festive season.

For some, stress at Christmas can cause depression and anxiety.  For others, the will “self-soothe” with unhealthy coping strategies such as too much food, too much alcohol, or even other substances.

However, just like any potentially stress inducing event, it is possible to employ simple strategies to reduce the likelihood or impact of Christmas stress.

For a good end to the festive season, plan for a good start and a helpful route through the festivities

Here are some useful tips:

  1. Plan Ahead – make a thorough list of everything you need to do, things you need to buy and key timelines and events.
  2. Shop Smart – If you hate the hustle and bustle of shops then why not order online?
  3. Pace Yourself – Take time out each day to be calm.  Listen to relaxing music, practise self-hypnosis or meditation.  On busy days, eat little and often to avoid peaks and troughs.  Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  4. Avoid Overstimulation – “It’s not that load that breaks you down, but the way we carry it”.  Acknowledge your feelings.  If you are feeling over pressured, then address it as soon as possible rather than letting the feeling build to an explosive point.  Notice when you are using coping strategies that ultimately may make things worse like drinking a lot of coffee to keep you going when you are feeling tired.  We know that caffeine stimulates cortisol even if you are in a resting state.
  5. Balance Demands – “Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.”
  6. Keep Control – “Stress isn’t about what happens to us.  It’s our response to what happens to us.  A response is something we can choose.
  7. Use your support Systems – We can boost our immune system and resilience by strengthening our social networks.  So build and maintain strong relationships with family and friends.  And don’t just turn to them when we need support, but provide them with support too.

Hypnotherapy can help

Hypnotherapy can help to relax you deeply and prepare your mind to feel calm about Christmas and ultimately able to enjoy the festive season.

 

Exercise and Brain Chemistry

Depression is a mood disorder which causes persisting feelings of apathy and sadness. It is somewhat a complex condition, with several contributing factors. That said changes to your brain biochemistry is likely play a part.

“Simply put, most people who are depressed have something wrong with their brain chemis Continue reading “Exercise and Brain Chemistry”

Gratitude

There is always something to be grateful for, even when life is hard or when times are tough.
Every day is a blessing, and in each and every moment there are many things that we can be grateful for.
The world begins to open up to us when we live in a place of gratitude. In essence, gratitude has a snowball effect – when we are appreciative and express that gratitude, our brain releases those reward hormones and we benefit because the whole universe glows brighter and showers us with even more blessings.

There is always something to be grateful for, even when life seems hard. When times are tough, whether we are having a bad day or stuck in what may feel like an endless rut, it can be difficult to find those things that we can feel grateful for. And yet that is when gratitude can be most important. If we can look at our lives, during periods of challenge, and find something to be grateful for, then we can transform our realities in an instant.

When we are focusing on the negative aspects of our life, our abundance can be easy to miss. Instead choosing to find what already exists in our lives that we can appreciate can change what we see in our world. We start to notice one blessing, and then another. It becomes infectiios.
When we constantly choose to be grateful, we notice that every breath is a miracle and each smile becomes a gift. We begin to understand that difficulties are challenges and also invaluable lessons. The sun is always shining for us when we are grateful, even if it is hidden behind clouds on a rainy day. A simple sandwich becomes a feast, and a trinket is transformed into a treasure.
Living in a state of gratitude allows us to spread our abundance because that is the energy that we emanate from ourselves. Because the world reflects back to us what we embody, the additional blessings that inevitably flow our way give us even more to be grateful for.
The universe wants to shower us with blessings. The more we appreciate life, the more life appreciates and bestows us with more goodness.

Hypnotherapy for Back to School Anxiety

Hypnotherapy can be a very effective treatment for child anxiety and stress.

Children have wonderfully creative imaginations and usually find it easy to visualise; this makes them ideal candidates for hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy can help to change the child’s pattern of negative thoughts and feelings associated with returning to school and can also be useful to establish the real root cause of the problem.

Children often find it difficult to express how they are really feeling, and why they feel the way they do.  Our solution focused approach is a great way to help them imagine their preferred future and come up with solutions in a calm and relaxed way.

Children, by virtue of their open creative minds and vivid imaginations, usually find it very easy to go into a hypnotic trance. There is therefore an increased probability that hypnotherapy will succeed in opening the subconscious to powerful thought-changing suggestions.

The rerelaxing nature of hypnotherapy is also good for the child, in that an overactive imagination can often be the creator of negative thoughts and feelings (especially in relation to school). Indeed, many schools now have introduced meditation as a way to relax children, aid concentration and focus and to release the stresses associated with being young.

One of the other major positives about hypnotherapy as an intervention for children is that, compared to many other types of treatment, it can be both enjoyable and fun so the child is much more likely to take part in a positive way and even ‘look forward’ to sessions making success much more likely.

If you would like to explore the opportunity of introducing your child to hypnotherapy, I do offer a FREE no obligation consultation which gives you the opportunity to meet me and so that I can explain how the brain works, how we can suffer the way we do and what we can do about it.

A powerful metaphor….

An Autobiography in Five Chapters

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the pavement.
I fall in.
I am lost…I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find out how to get out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the pavement.
I look the other way.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
I am lost…I am helpless.
But it’s not my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the pavement.
I see it’s there..
I fallen…it’s such a habit…but my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It’s my fault.
I know how to get out.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the pavement.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down a different street.

By Anonymous

Hypnotherapy Puts the Joy back into Life

I know first hand just how powerful hypnotherapy can be in bringing about positive changes.

During therapy with Achieve Change, we spend very little time looking at our clients’ problems, in fact pretty much all of our attention is focused on how our clients want to feel and what they want to be doing – a far more positive approach which means our clients leave each session looking forward to the next! And regardless of what the issue is when we ask that question, ”how do you want to be feeling?” the response we very often get is “I’d be feeling happy again”.

It doesn’t have to be a major life crisis that brings a client to enlist the help of a hypnotherapist. One new client who came to see me this week summed up how many of my clients feel when they seek out my help, “Really, everything seems fine, I have an amazing husband who loves me and a great job.  I should be happy, but I’m just finding it incredibly hard to be happy”.

This is where our ‘solution focused’ approach to hypnotherapy really shines – helping people to re-connect with the joy and good things they have in their lives; by helping them understand what is happening in their brain, why their focus has shifted away from all the good things in their lives and helping them understand the small simple changes they can make to bring that focus back.

For Kate in Wittering it was a familiar story, “Before seeing Carrie I was feeling very low and sad, and nothing seemed to help. Since seeing Carrie I now take notice of the way I feel at the time when I’m feeling low or sad and I put positive actions in place to resolve it and that’s how I control the way I feel now”

For Paul persisting following an injury and a build up of stress had led to constant panic attacks, acute anxiety and a level of depression. “I could not sleep, could not eat, was in pain and permanently close to tears, resulting in my risking losing my job. My relationships with my family and friends were difficult, and I felt totally isolated at home and at work. By chance, I spotted Carrie’s advert and thought I would give hypnotherapy a ho as I had tried everything.  From the start, I felt hopeful as Carrie put me at ease, was warm, caring and positive.  As our regular consultations went on, my attitude and feelings improved. After two weeks, the panic attacks had stopped, I was beginning to take joy in my surroundings and everyday occurrences. With time and care, Carrie helped me to rebuild my self-esteem, treated my concerns, and taught me how to be happy again. I am now back at work, I look forward to the day ahead, and I have control over my own future.  I am no longer in jeopardy of losing my job.. Most importantly, my relationships with family is so improved, I am like a different person.”

If you’ve lost some of the joy in your life and you’d like to find out how hypnotherapy could help you get in touch to book your FREE initial consultation.

Do you struggle to get to sleep or stay asleep at night?

Perhaps you lay awake at bedtime with all-sorts of things flying around in your mind.  When you do finally get to sleep, perhaps you wake up several times in the night, or maybe even wake up really early and just can’t get back to sleep?  You might feel so tired, you struggle to find the energy to get up and face the day.

Do you find yourself getting grumpy, irritable or weepy?

Positive Thinking…why is it so important?

We are often being told that we should think positively, but many of us struggle to do it. It is also often argued that its not what we do that counts, but what we think.

What you think about, you bring about…
Being able to act differently to how we think or feel can definitely prove helpful in certain social situations. Sometimes, it may even save our life. Still, if what we present as the truth differs from our internal reality over a longer period of time, it inevitably leads to inner tension. This is because our thoughts trigger the same chemical processes as our actions.

The best way to illustrate this is perhaps when we are attempting to do something relaxing but find it impossible because our mind starts racing. Sometimes these intrusive thoughts can become more and more intense to the point of actually making us nauseous or gasping for breath. Sound familiar?

Your self-talk creates your reality
In the privacy of our own mind we allow ourselves to think whatever we like, maybe because we do not know that our thoughts eventually become part of our belief system. Moreover, our negative thoughts accumulate and are stored; in hypnotherapy we call this collection of negative thoughts our “stress bucket”. So, if we dwell on negative thoughts, we encourage our body to produce a lot of stress hormones which, once our stress bucket is full, will turn into anxiety and start waking us up at night. It sounds like a vicious circle, doesn’t it?

Words are alive
But we can stop this impacting our health.The first step is to become more observant of our self-talk. Now if we remember that even water crystals change their consistency when talked to nicely, imagine what effect this would have on your own life? Everything thrives with love, and there is no better love than self-love.

Practice can make it perfect
Now, I know it may not seem easy to suddenly switch this polarity around, but everything is achievable with practice! You can start by rewriting your negative thoughts into positive ones as this will direct your thought energy towards how you want things to be. By training our mind to think positively, we are actually acknowledging the potential for improvement and instinctively steering our actions towards solutions.

Every cloud has a silver lining
Even in challenging situations, instead of just labelling them as negative, adopting a positive attitude will boost our resilience, help us to persevere in the most difficult of times and even reveal some hidden potential.

Struggling to Sleep? Hypnotherapy can help

Do you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night? Perhaps you struggle to settle down for a decent night’s sleep? Do you find it difficult to sleep as work troubles start to go through your mind?

If the answers to any (or all) of these questions is a resounding ‘yes’ then Solution Focused Hypnotherapy may be helpful for you!

A course of sessions, each lasting an hour, is designed to help ease insomnia and help clients have a more restful night’s sleep.