Managing negative thoughts?

At times managing negative automatic thoughts can be difficult.

Any holiday period…with a change in routines, interacting closely with family members, or not as you would like, more time on your hands to think, plus the enhancements of alcohol or lots of rich food etc can amplify the thoughts running through your mind.

The Christmas holidays can be one of those times. Or the weeks following this when the debts need to be paid and the hangover of social events may be on your mind.

 

negative-thoughts

There are lots of quotes and suggestions on how to bannish these negative thoughts and focus on positive thoughts.

This can be really difficult to do!!

Working hard to stop negative thoughts and somehow not managing to keep them from from popping into your head and lodging there, as a rumination – going round and round, can add to the negative cycle.

Dr Judith Beck, a Psychologist and President of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in USA carried out research in 2013 which demonstrated that women were more likely than men to ruminate. However some people are more prone to negative thinking than others and this can be genetic and/or as a result of childhood experiences.

As constant negativity can interfere with happiness, add to our stress levels and eventually damage our health we are increasingly aware ongoing negative thoughts are not good for us.

This can add to increasing feeling of failure, due to not managing these negative thoughts.

 By not trying to stop these negative thoughts, worry and obsession can be reduced.

 

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The basic premise of mindfulness meditation is acknowledging your negative thoughts which can lessen their weight. Acknowledgement and acceptance of these negative thoughts is the way forward!

Once the negative thought is accepted force yourself to challenge it.

There are many exercises you can use, based on cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT. Google or access ‘get self help’.

If your negative thoughts are making you feel overwhelmed – practice taking some deep breaths. Controlled breathing can help reduce the stress reponse and calm anxious thoughts.

Practicing meditation or self hypnosis can boost your positive feelings.

The more you practice acknowledging, accepting and challenging negative thoughts the sooner this can become the

However if your thoughts are making you feel distressed  or are interfering with your work or social habits, seek help from a mental health professional.

Anxiety

Anxiety,  is a  little word

but with a

big impact.

Anxiety

Anxiety is the sensation of being on high alert, otherwise recognised as the “fight or flight response”.

This is a normal body function. When faced with a threat, the body responds via the sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and shifts into gear to prepare you for action. Your body is mobilising resources to mobilise body and brain.

This normal response gives physical symptons of shortness of breath, fluttering in the stomach, racing heartbeat and sweating and emotionally you may start to feel fearful.

This sense of being ready for action was necessary in the days when we lived in caves and lived a primitive life. We often had to use our body physically and this gave an outlet for the energy build up.

Nowadays you may need to be on high alert in different situations, maybe to present a speech to a large group or a discussion with your boss if a confrontation is brewing which needs to be addressed. Then your body prepares, to sharpen your attention, so you can set about performing. This performance is an outlet for the build up of energy.

Unfortunately humans are unique in that a danger doesn’t have to be present to give us this response, we can conceptualise it. Neuroscientist Bruce McEwen says “the mind is so powerful that we can set off the [stress] response by imagining ourselves in a threatening situation”. Is it this ability that can cause people to be stuck rumminating and anticipating a stressful situation and being stuck in the stress response, leading to a state of anxiety?

We may have lost sight of where some of our body processes come from but we need to recognise them to make them work for us. Unchecked we can easily drift into symptons we know associate with anxiety.

How can we recognise our reactions, acknowledge them and make them work for us in modern life?

Sounds like action is needed!

  1. Recognition and understanding is the first step.
  2. Time out in the fresh air, dog walking, connecting with nature, or any exercise which suits your lifestyle, is a must.
  3. Relaxation of the mind, accompanying exercise, or in the form of meditation, mindfulness or hypnosis.

This gives you time to disconnect from your concerns and enjoy the physicality of movement and/or of emptying your mind – preferably both!!

If this is a challenge and you are finding activity difficult to incorporate into your week,  sessions with a Hypnotherapist can help you to identify what you need to focus on for yourself, to promote better well-being.

The outcome is harnessing the energy  of your body and mind to work with you!

Stress – mind & body links

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We have known for some time the affects that emotional stress has on the body. Particularly the increased risk of cardio vascular disease, this includes high blood pressure, and the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Some of this can be due to negative coping mechanisms – such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol – but a direct link between the psychological processes and the impact our health has been identified.

Research has found a link between our emotions and heightened activity in the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain which processes emotions such as fear and anger.

By measuring activity in this part of the brain, using CT scans, and measuring the levels of inflammation in the arteries, heightened activity was identified. By following up participants over several years, following a period of perceived stress, the researchers were able to show an association between the likelihood of a cardiac event and increased stress.

They also showed that higher levels of activity in the amygdala were associated with the occurence of cardiac events sooner.

Further studies have added weight to these findings. Participants stress levels were significantly associated with activity in the amygdala and arterial inflammation.

Keeping your stress levels in perspective are more important than ever.

Basics:-

  1. Recognise stress within yourself

  2. Journal your thoughts and feelings – reducing mental stresses and observe your growth

  3. Increase physical activity levels to maintain body wellbeing

  4. Eat as healthily as you can

  5. Nuture sleep

  6. Connect with others and communicate your challenge

    At times this may be challenging, in which case seek support.

Anxiety

Such a little word…

But it creeps into so many peoples lives and sets up in the background of their mind. Always ready…

 

anxiety

Ready to set off and take hold of your thoughts, at the slightest invitation.

I know this to be true for myself, in my own thinking.

In my work as a Hypnotherapist…

anxiety is regularly present in people’s thought processes:-

– about what has happened in their life

– what concerns they have right now

– how they can change things

– where they are going…?

I use hypnotherapy to access inner resources for myself and clients…

to build on skills we already have, but have lost sight of!

Isn’t this true?

We are busy, life changes and we forget the strategies we have been regularly using or used in the past. Once you have felt anxious, at times of stress, rational thoughts can go out of the window!

We all have to work on our thinking skills and notice our negative thoughts, in order to avoid being kept in the same place.

Hypnotherapy helps you change habits by accessing inner resources, via your subconscious. It raises your awareness to the skills you already have. With practice you can establish or re establish new neural pathways, so you can function better in everyday life.

The process takes commitment from you, the client, too but the experience is pleasant and relaxing.

The outcome is to enable you to feel more in control of your thoughts.

The mind is very powerful, so harness its potential to work for you!

When you want to change something for the better:-

feel more in control of your weight

stop smoking

manage feelings of anxiety

get rid of a phobia

perform better in a situation

improve your health and sense of well-being

seek support from a Hypnotherapist.

You can learn skills to practice in everyday life.This starts you on a pathway to new habits or ways of thinking and being.

A small change over time leads to larger changes – the ripple effect.

Consider hypnotherapy to start and sustain change!

Positive thoughts – mind power.

I love this poem.

To me it describes the power of the mind and of making our thoughts mindful!

Filter my thoughts

that my mind stays anchored

on the things that matter.

For in the mind

lies our center of power

and the birth of our dreams.

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha Filter – The Daily Post

via Mind power.. — a cooking pot and twisted tales

Teach children to deep breathe to calm worries

As promised, here is a post on helping your child learn deep breathing techniques or belly breathing. Deep breathing is a quick trick to help alleviate anxiety and calm worries. When teaching a child this technique, there are 2 different ways I approach it, depending on the child’s age, developmental level, and comfort. Most children are […]

via Deep Breathing for Children — Dayna Sykes, LPC-S, MHSP

Reduce anxiety by deep breathing

One of the most common tools I teach teens and adult clients is belly breathing. It is one of the most successful tools when treating anxiety and fear. This trick can calm you down quickly and can be used ANYWHERE, which is what I love about it. Belly breathing is also known as deep breathing. […]

via Belly Breathing — Dayna Sykes, LPC-S, MHSP

Looking forward…

It feels easier to be looking forward…

The targets to achieve have had to be found within myself, which has been tough!

Now that the worst of the dark days of winter are over, the weather is giving glimmers of brighter weather, moving forward is on the agenda.

I’m not alone in these feelings of finding it hard, am I?

Working for myself, has been a huge change in my way of life, and at times quite a lonely place. Never worse than in the dreary Uk winter!

No distractions of a team, but none of the pressures either, which has been liberating, but also difficult at times.

Some self reflection has been necessary to move forward.

I recognise this is part of my journey and time has given me space to look at:-

  • who I am emotionally

  • where my strengths lie

  • whom I like connecting to

  • what I find challenging

  • what I need to improve on

  • where I am in my life and what next

  • what opportunities are available to me

This will make me stronger in the long run and more able to focus on where I am heading.

I need to be able to set my targets to continue to be successful and build my practice!

I have tried to embrace these steps for happiness but not always found it easy putting them into practice.

july-2016-028

The first one is particularly relevant, with too much analysing becoming distracting, but may be necessary at my stage of working for myself?

Some exploring has had to be done to gain self acceptance, be able to love more and appreciate more. 

This process may be tough but is beneficial for your skills and experience when working with clients, to understand their blocks and challenges.

Personally I am now more connected with how fortunate I am to have this opportunity to work for myself and build a business.

I am able to feel proud of my achievements to date.

I am engaged with what I can offer others, in order to support clients to make changes.

The outcome is I am planning future services which will help and support people to improve their well being.      So all round benefits.

This is an ongoing journey but acceptance has enabled me to move forward from where I was in my life and feel more focused.

 

 

 

 

Mental health and sense of well being

Mental health affects our physical health.

beach-run

brain-image

The mind body connection is powerful.

Mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. Mental health shows the level of psychological and emotional well-being. Our […]

via What You Should Know About Mental Health – Psychology — rekhasahay