Tag Archives: Depression

Laughter is the best medicine

Laughter is the best medicine – unless you have an upset stomach.

Fortunately my stomach is doing just fine, because I’m off out tonight to watch Jimmy Carr do his live show – No pressure Jimmy, but I’m expecting it to be hilarious.

When someone is feeling down, low and generally a bit rubbish, laughter can really lift the spirits and get you back to feeling good again. Why?

Well first of all laughing produces lots of lovely hormones in our bodies that make us feel good. Endorphins and seratonins can become elevated which just cheers us up. Literally just the act of laughing.

Don’t believe me – give it a try. Laugh as mightily as you can for a minute or two. Do real ‘belly laughs’ and a few giggles. Even if you start out faking it, you will soon find you are genuinely laughing and that it feels good.

There are many laugh therapists all over the world who use this special aspect of laughter to help people to feel better in themselves. Quite often they will work with groups of people at the same time because laughter is contagious. It also brings me onto my second point about why laughter is good for you.

As a very general rule of thumb, when we laugh out loud we are in company. Now you might think about a time that you watched or read something and laughed to yourself, and you were completely alone. This can happen, but usually if we are alone we tend to smile, or just give a little exhale of air. This is NOT the same. Laughing is often considered to be a social cue to demonstrate to others in a group that we are on the same page, that we understand what is going on and we are participating in it. Have you ever noticed that you laugh much more if you are at a comedy performance than you do if you are watching the same or a similar performance alone on DVD? Being around others and having social interaction is incredibly important for your mental health. I’m not saying you have to be around people all the time to be mentally well, but those who spend more time isolated are much more likely to suffer from mental health issues. Whether you’re naturally an introvert or en extrovert, millennia of evolution has formed you into a social being. How much you crave and accept that social aspect varies from person to person, but we all need to have some interaction.

Another reason laughter is good for our mental health is that it’s distracting. When you laugh you are generally in the moment. Your conscious thought processes are working on whatever it is that is amusing you – you are not thinking about what may happen tomorrow (anxiety) or what did or did not happen in the past (depression). By simply being present in the moment you can distract yourself from a lot of other worries. This gives your poor old brain a break and lets it know that it’s not all about stress and worry.

So, I say again, Laughter is the best medicine – unless you have a serious illness – then maybe a visit to a health practitioner rather than the local comedy club is your best bet.

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My WordPress Birthday

I had a message from WordPress today to let me know it was my 2 year anniversary.

How time flies.

There have been times over the 2 years when I have blogged daily, there have been other times when I was lucky if I managed to write something once a month.

I started slow.

I don’t really know what I expected.

As I have said in previous posts, I had two main reasons to blog. The first was to share ideas that might help people. I come across all sorts of issues in my hypnotherapy practice and some of them are relatively easy to resolve. It just takes a change of perspective and a little practice. I’ve tried to share these things and I’ve had some lovely feedback from people who have given it a go.

Which brings me on to my second reason for blogging – to showcase an promote my business. This has had a really positive effect for me. Not only have I helped to increase the visibility of my website on Google and Bing, but I have also had a resource to send clients to when they are looking to find out a little bit more about me and what I do. I have also had clients who have found me from my blog, which was a little unexpected, but an absolute thrill for me.

Another unexpected bonus was that I have had a few more likes on my Facebook and Twitter pages – again, helping to improve my visibility to clients.

As with all things, people have to know you’re there before they can get to know you, so when I’m going through one of my more prolific stages I try to like and comment on other peoples blogs to advertise my presence. This has been one of the most rewarding things of all. Getting to know some of you, reading your wonderful thoughts and experiences and seeing your struggles has helped me enormously. If you want a better understanding of what people with depression or anxiety go through – read their work. If you want ideas on how to help and support them – understand them. If you want to see things from a different perspective – look for different perspectives. The people who write and share on here are heroes who have a wealth of knowledge and experience for you to see. Go and find them – it’s truly brilliant.

So I guess what I want to say on my two year anniversary is Thank You.

Thank You for clicking on my links.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Thank you for all the support and feedback you have given me.

Thank you for helping me with technical issues that confused and bothered me.

Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with me.

Thank you for helping me to understand.

Thank you for everything.

Hopefully we’ll all still be here in another couple of years – tapping away on our keyboards and sharing our thoughts with the world – but until we get to celebrate that milestone – Thank You.

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The power of belief

coventry hypnotherapy

Belief is a powerful thing.

We all believe in things.

Some people believe in God who has a hand in their life.

Some people believe that they are lucky.

Some people believe that everything happens for a reason.

Some people believe in fairies.

Some people believe that the sun will come up tomorrow.

Some people believe in themselves.

Sometimes the things we don’t believe in are just as powerful.

What if you don’t believe in yourself?

Do you try anyway?

What if you don’t think you can do it?

Do you give up at the first hurdle because it just proved to you that it was impossible?

What if you don’t believe you’re lucky?

Does every bad thing that happens confirm that you were right?

We all have something called confirmation bias.

That means that we give extra attention and credit to things that confirm what we already think.

For example have you ever noticed that if you don’t like someone, almost everything you do annoys you. yet if a person you really liked did exactly the same thing it probably wouldn’t bother you (well, not as much anyway).

So when we don’t believe in ourselves our confirmation bias just makes it even harder to believe.

As a hypnotherapist, I often work with people who don’t believe that they can do the things they want. Maybe it’s lose weight, maybe give up smoking, maybe be confident in public, maybe its to be unafraid around spiders. Whatever it is, the more they believe that they cannot do it, the more likely it is that they won’t.

Luckily I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

The first thing I have to do is to change their belief set.

Today I was working with a lovely lady who wants to lose weight. She said that she had been overweight since she was a small child. When we first started the session I asked her if she believed she could lose weight and she said ‘no’. When I asked her why she said that, she had never been a healthy weight, so didn’t see how she could be in the future. So, after finding out about her eating habits, how she felt about food and eating, going through her routines and requirements we started with the hypnosis. The first twenty minutes were all about changing her belief patterns – nothing whatsoever about eating, appetite or food. After we had worked on this I asked where she was now – how much did she believe that she could lose weight? She replied ‘90% sure’

So we went from 0 to 90% in 20 minutes.

We then went on to work on changing eating habits and food types and put in place all the things she needed in order to be able to lose weight easily.

The real work was done in the first 20 minutes. She now believes that she CAN lose weight. Her confirmation bias will prove to her every day that it’s possible and if she wants it, she WILL be able to do it. The other stuff was just making it easier for her.

Think about what you believe in and maybe more importantly, what you don’t.

It could change your life!

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Temet Nosce – know thyself

An easy one for today – or maybe not – that depends on you.

Try to be honest with yourself for the day.

If you are making excuses because you don’t want to do something – be honest with yourself. Admit that you just don’t want to do it and see if you’re OK with that.

If you are telling yourself that you can’t do something – be honest with yourself and decide whether it’s something you can’t do or you won’t do. If you really can’t do it, is it a case of ‘I can’t do it now, but with practice I’ll get there’ or is it a case of ‘this can never ever happen’. If it’s the latter – move on.

If you’re telling yourself that you are hard done by – look around – see what other people have to deal with.

If you are angry, sad, upset, fed up, jealous or feeling something you don’t want to feel ask yourself who can change that.

Know yourself by being honest with yourself.

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What are you defined by?

I read this cool post today… You are not defined by from The Persistent Platypus.

It talks about not being defined by your past, but by what good you do in the world – so what are you defined by?

For me it’s my little Family – my Partner and my Dog – they are my world and I hope I make them happy.

It’s also my friends – I have a small group of friends who mean a lot to me and a large group of friends that I have the most tenuous of connections with – but they are all important, as is the impact I have on them, so I try to make it positive.

It’s also my work. I’m lucky enough to do a job I love which helps people every day. As a Hypnotherapist I help people to make positive changes in their lives. Whether it’s helping them tackle personal problems or helping them achieve goals, I know I make a difference.

It’s also my community. I smile and say hello to people as I walk my dog. I chat to the people who serve me at the supermarket. I help out neighbours where I can. It’s not much, but when everyone does this we all get to live in a better place.

Am I changing the world – No.

Am I changing things for people – Yes.

I used to work in a bar. I’ve always been a chatty soul, and will happily make conversation with almost anyone. I’m sure it annoys some people.

After I stopped working in bars I started working for a Financial Institution. I was stood at the reception desk one day when a guy came up to me and asked if I used to work in a local bar. When I confirmed that yes, that was me, he asked if he could shake my hand. I laughed and said ‘of course’ – then asked ‘Why?’ His answer will stay with me for the rest of my life.

He said ‘I was suffering from depression. I had decided that I couldn’t go on any more and that I was going to kill myself. I was working up a bit of Dutch courage by having a drink in your bar, and you started chatting to me. It was the first conversation I’d had in ages. I decided to wait a bit before going through with the suicide. I came in every day for a week, and you always had a chat with me as I stood at the bar. That was 6 years ago, and I have never felt better than I do today. I promised myself if I ever saw you again I would shake your hand for saving my life’

I could tell you that I remembered these conversations, but I don’t. They were of no importance or significance to me at all. We probably talked about the weather or what had been on TV the night before. They were nothing to me – but everything to him.

Don’t undervalue a smile and a chat. Don’t think you don’t make a difference.

You do.

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You can’t win them all

I hate to break it to you but you’re not perfect.

Sometimes things will go wrong.

Sometimes things won’t work.

Sometimes people won’t like you.

Sometimes people will disagree with you.

The thing about not being perfect is it can be tough to accept.

People can be very hard on themselves.

This can lead to self hatred and depression.

Accept you’re not perfect.

Accept the fact that things aren’t always going to go the way you want.

Then forgive yourself for that.

If you can forgive yourself and accept your own flaws – yes you have those too – then you are more likely to be a tolerant and understanding person to others.

Be nice – to you and to them.

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and Relax

It’s Sunday

It’s time to kick off your shoes and relax

Relaxing is not just nice – it’s important.

Stress is bad for your health.

Seriously.

Relax.

Take some time today to switch off all your electronics, move away from any screens – TV, LapTop, Tablet and phone – yes all of them – and relax.

Be in the moment.

Listen to the sounds that you can hear.

Really listen to them.

What do they make you think of?

Smell what you can smell.

Feel what you can feel.

Notice your thoughts – see where they take you.

Go for a walk and find a flower.

Go into your garden and find something new.

Enjoy a shower or luxuriate in a bubble bath.

Put on some clean, comfy clothes and just relax.

if you start worrying about stuff you need to do – decide when you’re going to do it and relax until then.

Monday comes around before you know it,

until then,

Relax.

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Your Task for today

Here’s a simple little exercise that could change your life.

1. Write down a list of things that make you happy.

2.On another piece of paper write a list of things you do every day.

3. Compare the lists.

4. Adjust accordingly.

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Know yourself

Hi, my name is Sue.

I’m good at some things and not so good at others.

I am easily distracted – I think I may have been a magpie in a former incarnation. Shiny things (shiny ideas, toys, time wasters) can grab my attention.

I am good at finding creative solutions to problems.

For instance I get very excited at the start of a project – I come up with lots of ideas and think of imaginative and creative ways to do things. As time goes by I can become bored with my ideas and / or lose confidence in them and some of my plans and ideas fall by the wayside – my long term consistency can be lacking.

Other people can struggle with coming up with a plan, but once it’s made they will see it through to the finish, no matter what.

We are all different.

Now, of course, you can try to mould yourself into the person you want to be, but if you are fighting against your nature, then you are going to find it a difficult task to achieve.

The trick to achieving want you want is to understand yourself and try to work with your strengths.

Whenever I see a client who wants to change their life in some way, I ask them what they are good at, and what they are not so good at.

It constantly surprises me how difficult people find these questions to answer.

So – What are you good at?

– What are you not so good at?

Now think about a goal or plan that you have for yourself – maybe it’s to lose weight, get fitter, get a promotion, start your own business, grow your blog, change your relationship – whatever it is, think about how you can use your strengths to help you to achieve it. When you’ve worked out how you can get things changed, think about what might go wrong. Go back and look at the things you don’t do so well, and try to use your strengths to find solutions to overcome these potential obstacles.

This achieves two things.

Firstly you are working to your strengths – even when dealing with the things you don’t do so well. This means you are far more likely to succeed than if you are trying to change the things you struggle with.

Secondly – you have a plan. I know it’s a cheesy old saying but ‘Fail to plan and you plan to fail’. We are all at risk of forgetting what our goal is for thinking about what we want/don’t want right now. By having a plan – and writing it down – you achieve a different mindset. You keep your eyes on the prize and don’t forget about the overall aim so easily. If you set yourself mini goals within your overall goal it also helps to keep you focussed and motivated as you tick off the things that you have achieved.

Anyone can do anything the set their mind to – it takes work and dedication, but it can be done. I just think knowing yourself and acting accordingly makes it so much easier.

Good Luck with your goals 🙂

talktherapies

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Come sit down beside me

I just read a beautiful little poem – here it is for you.

Come sit down beside me, I said to myself.
And although it doesn’t make sense,
I held my own hand as a small sign of trust
And together I sat on the fence.

Michael Leunig

Sometime when we feel lonely or that we don’t quite fit in, we need to remember that we can sit beside ourselves and offer some comfort.

If you are religious, maybe you feel that your God is sitting beside you.

If you believe in an after life maybe it’s a lost relative or friend.

If you would rather believe in the universal energy, maybe that’s what will hold your hand.

Me, I’ll sit on the fence with me and make faces at everyone.

If you fancy it, come and join me 🙂

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