HYPNOSIS CAN HELP YOUR SHYNESS OR SOCIAL PHOBIA

   Do you struggle with making friends?  Do you have a hard time in maintaining friendships? Do you identify yourself as being shy?  Do you work from home and rarely interact with other people in person?  How isolated are you?  Hypnosis can help you to come out of the house and out of your shell.

    There are a number of reasons people struggle with shyness.  People perceive their world and place in it in different ways.  Researchers have found that even babies have different temperaments.  Some infants reach out to be held while others cry or crawl away.  Some preschoolers race into the school and never look back.  While others have great difficulty leaving their parents.

    Your basic temperament will determine your need for social contact.  Our lifestyles also can make it difficult to make and maintain friendships.  Some jobs require constant moves with demands for learning new skills and setting up a new home.  There is little time or energy for making new friends.  As people move and old friends also move, even close friendships may be hard to maintain. Isolation can become so familiar, people may no longer even make the effort to try to meet new people.  

     For many people, the combination of natural shyness and particular circumstance can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.  Studies have shown that this isolation from others can lead to a predisposition to illness.

       Social phobia is an anxiety disorder which may be described as extreme shyness. Psychologist Richard Heimberg defined social phobia s "shyness gone wild.  It cuts people off from the good things of life - social interaction, love."

    If you recognize yourself in this description, know that hypnosis can be a valuable tool to help you overcome the fears and anxieties that keep you from developing and maintaining friendships and enjoying social interaction with others.

      

      

EXERCISE HELPS PREVENT ALZHEIMER'S

    Are you fearful of developing Alzheimer's?  If you are trying to figure out what you can do to prevent dementia.  Another study reinforces the need to get moving.  If you need help, hypnosis can be a valuable tool.

   You may not have had genetic testing.  But genes are one of the many risk factors for dementia.  A gene called APOE epsilon4 allele (e4 gene) which is present in approximately ten to fifteen percent of people can influence your risk for late-onset Alzheimer's.  Stephen Rao, Phd, professor and director of Schey Center for Cognitive Neuromanaging at the Cleveland Clinic was leader of a study of 97 people with the e4 gene which was published in FRONTIERS IN AGING NEUROSCIENCE.

    The 18 month study found that the brain scans of people with the e4 gene who exercised moderately a few times a week had far less shrinkage in the hippocampus, an indicator of Alzheimers, than those the gene who were not physically active. 

    So once again, we find it's time to get up and move.  If you need help to start moving and protect your brain from shrinking, hypnosis can help. 

 

     

HYPNOSIS CAN PROTECT AGAINST THE RISK OF DEMENTIA

    If you are suffering from chronic stress, you may be at increased risk for dementia.  Lena Johansson, PhD, a researcher at the University of Gothenburg, Moindal, Sweden, reported on a study of 800 women over a period of nearly 40 years.  The research found that midlife significant stress such as loss of a child, divorce, widowhood or mental illness in a loved one was a predictor of developing Alzheimer's disease.  In fact, 21% of those experiencing midlife stress were more likely to develop dementia.

    Researchers believe that stress may cause functional and structural changes in the brain.  These changes may last for years after the stressful event.  

    If you are experiencing midlife stress, use tools to deal with the stress.  Check this blog for tools for dealing with stress including yoga, psychotherapy and meditation.  Hypnosis can be a valuable tool to deal with stress and help to protect you from the risk of dementia and BE WELL.

RELIEVE ANXIETY AND REDUCE STROKE RISK WITH HYPNOSIS

   Anxiety is not only uncomfortable for a person suffering its symptoms.  It also can cause significant health risks  According to the National Comorbidity Survey as many as one in four of the men and women in the United States may experience an anxiety disorder ranging from a phobia to panic attacks to long-term chronic anxiety such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

    Most people have a general awareness of symptoms of anxiety disorders which may include over-whelming fear, avoidance of certain places or situations, worry about situations, avoidance of situations, having sleep problems in falling or staying asleep and fear of losing control.  It's good to know that early recognition and treatment including hypnosis can prevent much suffering from anxiety.

   Research in an over 22-year study of 6,000 adults reported by Maya Lambiase, PhD,  and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, indicates that people with high levels of anxiety were 33% more likely to have strokes than those with low levels. It is believed that anxiety caused higher levels of stress hormones, elevated heart rate and high blood pressure.  In addition, smoking and physical inactivity which were identified as anxiety-related behaviors may have raised the risk for strokes.

   The good news is that there are treatments which can help including medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy.  Self-help techniques such as breathing exercises, avoiding caffeine and quitting smoking can also be of value.  In my own hypnotherapy practice, I often work on referral from psychotherapists for anxiety.  As an adjunct to the therapists own work, I may do one to a few sessions of hypnotherapy to reinforce their work and support the self-help techniques.  

    With treatment from physicians, cognitive-behavioral therapists and hypnotherapists, anxiety can be relieved and your health risk of strokes caused by anxiety can be eliminated.  Get the help you need.  Hypnosis can help you to feel better and BE WELL. 

EXERCISE MOTIVATION AND HYPNOSIS

    Are you trying to lose weight, get into better physical shape, boost your mood or get your heart beating faster?  Nothing beats exercise.  If "thinking about starting" to exercise, is as far as you have gotten in actually getting started, hypnosis can be a great motivator to get you going.

    If you have read this blog for a while, you have seen reports on some of the research about the value of exercise.  A study done in the U.K. reviewed several years of health research and found that just 30 minutes of exercise on most days decreases the risk of depression, heart disease, obesity, certain cancers and Type 2 diabetes.

     It helps to plan in advance what type of exercise you plan to do.  And, be specific so your goals are measurable.  For example in planning a walk or run:

       1.  WHEN will you exercise? A specific time helps. Rather than thinking, "I need to exercise.",  think, "I will walk four mornings a week from 9:00 till 9:30".  

       2.  Be specific about WHERE you will exercise.  If you enjoy nature, your goal may be to walk in the park or nature trail. If you don't like to get too cold, or too hot, grab a mile at the mall.  Most mornings, the mall is still relatively empty.

       3.  Set GOALS for distance.  If you walk at a brisk pace for 15 minutes you should have walked about one mile.  A pedometer is a great way to keep track of your distance.  One mile is about 2,000 steps.  Health experts recommend 10,000 steps a day.

       4. TRACK your progress.  Write down your accomplishments in a log.  Draw a happy face on the calendar when you finish your work out.  The reason children like gold starts is that they are motivating!

   Your exercise goals may include home equipment, videos, a class or going to the gym.  When you go to a hypnotherapist for exercise motivation know WHAT you want to do for exercise, WHEN you want to do it, WHERE you plan to do it, For HOW long you plan to do and WHY you want to exercise.  Clear goals can be incorporated into your hypnosis session to make it strong and personalized for you.

     If you've decided, ""It's time!", hypnosis can be a valuable tool for you to to be motivated to exercise and BE WELL.  

 

HYPNOSIS IS NOT MAGIC BUT A GREAT TOOL FOR CHANGE

     The first thing I tell potential clients is that I can't make people fly by flailing their arms no matter how much hypnosis I do.  Hypnosis is not magic.

     Habits like smoking and overeating are very resistant to change.  Hypnosis will not "make" someone lose 84 pounds in six weeks no matter how good my services are.  Hypnotherapy cannot be used to force change.  It can only motivate a willing client to change.

     Once in a while someone will ask me, "Why would anyone come to see you if they didn't want to make that change?"  In actuality, sometimes clients come because someone is pressuring them - "If you don't quit (drinking, gambling, etc.), I'm going to leave you."  They are not in my office to change.  They are there to pacify this other person.

    Sometimes parents come in with a teenager saying  "make this kid quit running around with the wrong set of friends or drinking or drugging" while the child sits there with her arms crossed and defiance written on her face.  There is little likelihood of real change in such a situation.

   Medical doctors and psychotherapists send clients to me as an adjunct therapy to their work.  If the person is coming only to pacify their doctor or therapist and does not want to deal with their issue, hypnosis will be another failed attempt.  Hypnosis is not magic.

   But when the client is ready and wants to change, hypnosis can be a valuable tool to make wonderful changes physically, mentally and emotionally.

     

HOW CAN I FIND A PROFESSIONAL HYPNOTHERAPIST

      Over the years several people asked me how to find a professional hypnotherapist in their area.  I know this can be difficult. Rural areas with small populations may simply be unable to support the brief therapy of a hypnotherapist.  But hypnosis can be so valuable in making positive changes, it is well worth traveling to find the right person for you.

    One of your job as a potential hypnotherapy client is to do everything you can to make sure you are working with a highly trained professional.  Do your homework! 

      Ask referrals from your medical doctor, counselor or therapist.  I get referrals from all of those sources.  Ask your friends whose judgement you trust, if they have used a hypnotherapist they could recommend.

    If you have not been able to find a trusted referral, the internet and phone books are just a place to start.  Call a number of professionals in your area.  Many hypnotherapists work in one person offices, so you will probably be dealing with voice mail or an answering machine.  Leave your number and ask for a call back.

    It is highly likely you will have questions as hypnotherapists return your call. Most are willing to answer your questions over the phone. Others may have you meet with themI offer a free half-hour consultation just so potential clients can be with me and get their questions answered.  

     When you find the right professional hypnotherapist,  hypnosis can be a valuable tool to make wonderful changes physically, mentally and emotionally.  Find that person to help you BE WELL.

HYPNOSIS FOR ANXIETY AND TO LESSEN DEMENTIA RISK

   If you experience high anxiety regularly, you have a higher risk of developing dementia.  Andrew J. Petkus, a PhD research associate at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, reported on a 28 year study of people who reported experiencing high anxiety.  Those people were found to have a 48% higher risk of developing anxiety than those who reported low levels of anxiety.

    The researchers noted that chronic anxiety is a precursor to higher levels of stress hormones.  In turn, those hormones can damage the parts of the brain involved with memory.  If you suffer from chronic anxiety, get help.  Your first step is to talk to your doctor about the right treatment for you which may include psychotherapy, anti-anxiety medications or alternative therapies such as acupuncture and herbal treatments.

    Hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool to treat chronic anxiety either as a stand-alone treatment or as an adjunct therapy to medication or psychotherapy. Lessen your anxiety and dementia risk with the use of hypnosis and BE WELL.

THE MEDICAL RISK OF LONELINESS

    People suffering from loneliness often recognize that it affects their overall emotional well-being.  They may not be aware that it can also influence their physical well-being.  Carla Perissinotto, MD, assistant clinical professor of geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.  reported on a study which tracked 1,604 people over a six year period who reported feeling lonely at least some of the time.  The average age of the subjects was 71.  

    Those who reported feeling lonely at least some of the time were 59% more likely to experience functional decline, such as finding climbing stairs more difficult.  And, even more concerning, those who reported feeling lonely at least some of the time were 45% more likely to die within six years than those who did not report feeling lonely.  This indicates that loneliness is a medical risk factor similar to having diabetes or high blood pressure.

    What can you do to cut that risk?  First of all, your medical doctor may not ask about loneliness so be sure to report those feelings at your physicals.  As people age, old friends may not be available due to moving, ill health or even having passed away.  Find ways to add new people into your life through activities such as service to your community, joining a club, taking a class at the community college, attending a religious service.  Hypnosis can be a valuable tool to motivate you to make the changes necessary to alleviate loneliness that can hurt your health.  

AVOID THE HOLIDAY BLUES

    December is here and while some people are anticipating a month of fun and happiness, others are dreading a month of too many activities and too many expectations.  Often they may turn to food or drink for comfort when the demands of December leave them feeling down.

     There are a couple of important things to avoid if you've got the blues.  The first is alcohol.  Although when initially consumed, alcohol can produce euphoria and cause you to be less inhibited and more animated, in fact, alcohol is a depressant of the central nervous system.  With continued drinking, the depressant effect predominates as alcohol crosses the blood-brain barrier.

     Avoiding baked goods can also help you avoid the blues.  This is particularly important during the holiday season when we are absolutely surrounded by baked treats.  High-fat and high sugar carbs are sitting out at the office, served at every social function and on the table throughout the holidays.  Like alcohol, the sweet treats give a temporary lift and good feelings.  But often the excess sweet, fat food intake results in feeling heavy, drowsy and depressed.

    If you consume more alcohol and baked goods during the holiday, these can certainly add to those holiday blues.  If you need a tool to avoid those depression triggers, hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool.  Control your eating and drinking.  Avoid the holiday blues, feel good and BE WELL through the holidays.

ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION LINKED TO MEDIA MULTITASKING

          If you are a person who takes pride in all you get done by multitasking, you may not have realized that some kinds of multitasking can lead to emotional issues like depression and anxiety.  An article published in CYBERPSYCHOLOGY, BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL NETWORKING reported on a study on media multitasking by the its leader, Mark Becker, PhD, professor of psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing.  The findings of the study indicate that people who immerse themselves in multiple feeds of information are up to 70% more likely to have symptoms of depression and anxiety than people who do not media multitask.  Examples of media multitasking including browsing web sites on your computer while talking on the phone or or sending text messages while watching television.  

        If you are suffering from either anxiety or depression, see your family physician who may prescribe a medication or refer you to a mental health professional.  If you are a media multitasker suffering from depression or anxiety, cut back on all your media technology and use one feed of information at a time.  If you need help to cut back on your use of media technology or media multitasking, hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool.  

      

WHAT YOU DRINK LINKED TO CHANCES OF DEPRESSION

         If you've been feeling depressed look at what you are drinking.  A study of almost 264,000 people, ages 50 to 71, by researchers at National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina found that sweetened drinks are linked to depression.  The study presented in San Diego at the annual meeting of the American academy of Neurology reported that people who drank more than four servings of regular soda per day were thirty percent more likely within a decade to develop depression.  People who drank fruit punch were at a thirty-eight percent greater risk for developing depression.  Substituting diet soda and diet fruit punch were found to be at even greater risk for depression. Coffee drinkers rejoice - the researchers found that drinking four servings of unsweetened coffee per day had a ten percent lower risk of depression.

      If you are suffering major depression, see your medical doctor or mental health practitioner immediately.  If you are feeling a little down, examine your lifestyle habits including what you are drinking.  Remember hypnotherapy can be another tool in your arsenal in dealing with depression so you can BE WELL.  

HYPNOSIS, A GREAT TOOL TO PREVENT NAIL BITING

    You may have never heard of onychophagia but a simple show of hands may reveal you have this challenge.  For onychophagia is the term for chronic nail biting..This behavior occurs in different cultures and on different continents.  Nail biting occurs slightly more in males than females.  It is also very common at all ages.  Studies have shown that nail biting occurs between 28 and 33 percent of the time in children between seven and ten. Nail biting peaks in adolescents with 19 to 29 percent of teenagers. As young adults mature, the incidence of nail biting drops but 10 to 20 percent continue to chew their nails.  

     So why do people bite and pick their nails?  There are a lot of different opinions.  Although the old Freudian view of oral fixation is no longer popular, some older studies still lean to psychological reasons.  Newer studies often identify nail biting as a relative of obsessive-compulsive disorder. While some experts describe this as an exaggerated grooming behavior similar to monkeys and apes, others believe there is a genetic link since the behavior is often seen in families,  Stress relief may be important to some nail biters while for others it may simply be a matter of habit.

     In any case, though it can seem like a fairly unimportant habit, I often see clients who complain about it affecting their lives.  Some complain about the embarassment of a behavior that seems childlike or unprofessional while others talk about the discomfort of sore, raw or even bleeding fingers which makes their hands unattractive. And others are very concerned about nail biting being unsanitary.

     Among techniques people have used to overcome onychophaiga are:  keeping a journal  about the behavior to help identify triggers to nail biting, using a relaxation technique like meditation, keeping hands busy with an activity like playing with a stress ball or even the old Internet favorite of painting the nails with a bitter or hot liquid such as something flavored with peppery flavors like Tabasco sauce.  Be aware that some people actually start to like the hot flavors.  Some medical doctors will prescribe medications such as Prozac when the nail biting is severe.  Hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool to help you overcome this habit.  Stop nail biting, feel good and BE WELL.

SECRETS TO BE HAPPY

   Usually during the clinical interview that is part of my hypnotherapy sessions, I will ask clients what they hope to have happen because they came to see me.  Often the answer is, "I just want to be happy."  Social scientists believe that though life circumstances and genetics play a big part in happiness, about 55% of happiness comes from personal choices.

    In 2011, Dan Buettner, a National Geographic author and explorer, released the book THRIVEbased on five years of research and talking to researchers in the areas identified as the world leaders in happiness - San Luis Obispo, California, the Jutland Peninsula of Denmark, Nuevo Leon, Mexico and Singapore.    In his books he identified the secrets of the happiest people in the world.

    Among the secrets were: 1) OWNING ONE TV.  Americans spend an average of more than four hours a day watching TV.  This is time not spent in real interaction with family and friends. 2) CREATING A "FLOW ROOM".  A flow room in Danish society is similar to the American family room.  But it has no television or computer screens.  3) EXPERIENCING WHAT BUETTNER CALLED "THE SUN BONUS".  Sun exposure produces Vitamin D, often called the "happiness vitamin" because it increases seratonin.  People in sunnier climates consistently indicate higher levels of happiness than those of us who live farther north.  So get out and enjoy the sun. 4) STOP SHOPPING.  Many people who get satisfaction from buying things take fewer vacations and work longer hours.  Americans are inundated by media and social expectations and to want more.  Make good memories through experiences with those you care about.  5)  BE SELF-EMPLOYED.  Business owners and self-employed workers report some of the highest levels of happiness perhaps because they are doing work they like or because they have more control and autonomy.  6) VOLUNTEER.  Research studies have shown that altruism creates feelings of well-being with an effect on the brain similar to addiction.  So get "hooked" on the rewardsof volunteering including better health and increased self-worth.  Buettner also recommends having some kind of 7) FAITH.  Whether through organized religion or spirituality, people of faith tend to be happier than those without.    If you would like to be happier, explore adding these recommendations to your life.

     Hypnotherapy can help you get motivated to make these changes.  A qualified hypnotherapist will guide you to identify your goals to dd changes so you can BE HAPPY.

 

 

FAST FOOD LINKED TO DEPRESSION

   If  you are a fast food junkie and suffer from depression, a 2012 study finds those two conditions  may be related.  The study of 8,964 people was done by researchers at the University of Las Palmas. Gran Canaria, and the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain and was published in PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITION.

    The study findings indicated that those eating the most fast food during a six-year period were 37% more likely to become depressed than those who ate the least fast food.  Those who ate large amounts of commercially baked goods such as doughnuts and muffins also were more likely to be depressed.  

     The largest consumers of the commercially baked goods and fast food tended to be younger, less active and single.  So the depression might be caused by lifestyle rather than the specific foods studied.

     Poor eating habits, lack of exercise, depression are all things that can be helped with hypnotherapy.  Change bad habits with the help of hypnosis and BE WELL.

HYPNOSIS AND SOCIAL CONTAGION

   You may not have heard the term "social contagion" before.  But I expect you have observed its influence.  New scientific studies are identifying how our family and friends can influence the choices we make.  Some choices are quite obvious like choosing where we live or where we work.  But less obvious choices are also often the result of the impact of the people we are around .

     Choices like whether we stay married or divorce, whether we exercise and eat well or become obese, whether we have professional success or failure are often highly influenced by those around us. In fact, research indicates that behavior and emotions are extremely contagious.  This might help to explain why before the Great Recession millions of people bought houses they could not afford.

    Nicholas A, Christakis, MD, PhD, was named one of one hundred most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2009 for his work on social contagion.    With his colleague, political scientist, James Fowler, PhD, he researched the issue of overeating and obesity which has been identified at epidemic levels in the United States.  He found that nine states in the USA report that more than 30 percent of their residents are obese.  Christakis and Fowler used a study that had been done in Framingham, Massachusetts over thirty years.  This tracked the details of thousands of people and their connections and how they interacted.  The researchers found that the spread of obesity followed a pattern similar to the way the flu spread.  The Framingham study indicated that if you had a family member or friend who was obese, your risk of becoming obese was 45% higher.  Even if a friend of a friend was obese, it increased your risk of obesity by 25%.  So the health of your extended social network is a key factor in determining your health.

     The researchers went on to study other issues moving through human networks like suicide, sexual practices, back pain and suicide.  They found that there were "Three Degrees of Influence"  That choices and actions could be influenced clear out to friends' friends' friends. Issues like divorce are considered so personal but the ripple effect of social contagion found that if you have a friend divorcing, that increases the likelihood that you will divorce by around 147%.  

     Christakis and Fowler found that behaviors such as smoking and overeating, can be influenced by friends who live hundreds of miles away.  Obviously individual thinking, cultural upbringing and genetics all contribute to our behavior, but this research found that social contagion is also a power influence.  If you socialize with family and friends who are obese, it can change your idea of what is acceptable body size.  If you are around heavy smokers or drinkers, you may allow yourself those options as well.

    So what can you do with this information?  Do NOT abandon friends and family.  Know that the benefits of being connected are far more important than the costs.  The researchers found that the most consistently happy group of people were those who had lots of friends.  But  remember your actions and choices can influence others as well.  So ask what you can do for those in your group of family and friends.  When you quit smoking, start exercising or lose weight,  your influence will benefit not only you, but your friends and family as well.

      If you need help to make those changes, hypnosis can help you quit smoking, lose weight or get motivated to make some other positive change.  Use hypnosis and BE WELL.

 

HYPNOSIS FOR SOCIAL ISOLATION

    Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, and associate professor of psychology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, reported on the findings of researchers who reviewed 148 studies that compared the frequency of social interaction and health over a period of 7.5 years.  They found that strong relationships with the people in their lives including family, friends and coworkers increased the likelihood of survival by 50%.  

    Holt-Lunstad suggested that to live longer open your life to more social interactions like volunteer work, joining a club or hosting events in your home.  If you feel you are naturally shy or anti-social and want to get motivated to make those changes, hypnotherapy can help you no longer be socially isolated and BE WELL.

HYPNOSIS FOR BEREAVEMENT

    If you have recently lost someone you love, you are at increased risk for heart damage.  Thomas Buckley, PhD, and senior lecturer at the University of Sydney Nursing School, in Australia, has reported on a 2010 study on bereavement.  The researchers tracked the heart health of 78 adults who within the previous two months had lost a child or spouse.  This was compared to the heart health of adults who had not been recently bereaved.   They found that during the six-month period after the loss, the bereaved had nearly twice as many rapid-heartbeat episodes as those who had not had such a loss, increasing the heart attack risk.

     The researchers theorized that bereavement and mourning is a highly stressful time for sufferers and that the stress may damage the heart.  It is believed the changes usually settle down after six months.

    So what can you do if you have suffered a recent loss?  Buckley suggests that those who are recently bereaved have a physical which includes a heart checkup within the first month after the loss.  In addition, working with a therapist or hypnotherapist to deal with the loss and to build stress coping skills can be of great value.  Even in times of loss, hypnosis can help you to BE WELL.

REMOVING NEGATIVE LABELS WITH HYPNOSIS

    Too often when things don't go to suit us, we find blame in  things outside our control.  We find myriad reasons to make excuses for our faults and bad habits.  Our bad luck, our genes, our parents all get blamed for the problems in our lives.  Unfortunately, as we avoid responsibility we begin to use those excuses as truths about who we are.  Theses excuses become limitations to making changes and overcoming old labels.

    How often have you labeled yourself?  If you identify yourself as "lazy", "fat",  having a poor memory: being"a shopaholic", a klutz or any other negative label, you are limiting yourself.  These limiting labels can be the basis to self-actualize that belief.  Soon you don't move because you are "lazy, don't lose weight because you are "fat" or over-spend because you are a "shopaholic".  

   So what can you do to change this pattern?   It's time to stop accepting negative labels.  If you want to change old habits that are holding you back,  consciously remove the old negative label and give yourself a positive affirmation.  Create a positive affirmation that resonates for you.  For the negative label of laziness perhaps you could create a positive label like "  I am capable and accomplish my goals."  For the negative label of being fat, a new label could be: "I make good choices to create a strong, healthy body."  For the negative label of poor memory, a positive affirmation could be "I live mindfully and remember well."

    Know that how you think creates who you become.  So work on removing negative labels and create positive affirmations to create a more positive life.  A qualified hypnotherapist could help guide you through this process and do a hypnotherapy session to reinforce the new positive labels.  Remove negative labels, create new positive labels and BE WELL.

TECHNIQUES FOR MINDFULNESS

    Dealing with stress and learning to relax are two reasons I often see clients in my hypnotherapy practice.  From daily life stresses like work issues and family relationships to dealing with major traumas like sexual assault, car wrecks and returning from war,  people need tools to manage the stresses they are experiencing in their lives.

     Amishi Jha, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, who studies stress-fighting techniques to help military personnel has said that "The mind needs support - we call it 'mental armor" - just as much as the body does" She notes that "Research shows it's possible to cushion yourself against stress and the tactics we're using with soldiers also apply to real folks and more common types of anxiety."  

    Stress is dangerous.  Stress over time causes anxiety and persistent anxiety can actually kill neurons in the brain dealing with decision-making and memory.  This destruction is so damaging it is even visible on brain scans.

     Among the coping techniques new PTSD science is teaching is how to deal with stress.  The researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are using the practice of mindfulness meditation with military personnel to help stress resilience.  Results have shown that Marines were more alert, exhibited better memory and less reactive to stressors after just eight weeks of meditation training.

    If you have tried meditation before and found you could not do it or felt too busy to meditate, here is a simple technique the Marines use even in a war zone.  Sit upright while focusing on your breathing.  Then begin to pay to attention to a physical sensation such as the feel of your chest moving or air in your nostrils.  When your mind wanders, just note the disruption and then return your attention to the physical sensation.  Some people meditate for half an hour or more each day, others find that it is easier to simply meditate for five to ten minutes at a time for a number of times a day.

    Hypnotherapy is another great tool to deal with stress and help you relax.  A qualified hypnotherapist can help you learn techniques for mindfulness so you can BE WELL.