Posted tagged ‘stress’

Mindful or Mind Full?

February 12, 2014

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The everyday stress, the challenges at work and the problems we are going through can all cause burnout, which in turn affects our mental health. And as you may well know, in times like this, it is very hard to concentrate and perform at your best.

Instead of being mindful, you tend to be “mind full”.

Whenever your head feels so heavy because a lot of ideas and thoughts go in and out, consider following these steps. They will not only help to clear your mind but also give you relief from stress, and help you regain some focus.

Write it down.

The best approach is not to get away from the problem, but face it courageously. Writing is a proven way to organise our thoughts. Adopt the habit of clearing your mind through writing. The more you try to ignore them, the more these thoughts will bug you. First off, get a pen and paper and go to a quiet place. Write down the thoughts that are bugging you – good or bad.

Don’t restrict yourself and don’t feel ashamed. Sometimes, we just can’t tell our brain what it should or should not think about. Create three columns and label them: “to be done”, “not now”, and “delete”. Sort your thoughts. Be honest and try to place each thought to the right column. You will realise that most of your thoughts can be deleted or can be put aside for now.

Sketch it.

Can’t write? Why not draw a picture? You probably have thoughts that can’t be described by words. You need not be an artist to draw. After all, your output is something you just have to keep for yourself. Just let your emotions and thoughts flow. You can create images, graphs or charts – whatever that best describes your thoughts. You don’t need to ask permission. Draw simple pictures of what’s on your mind.

Take deep breaths.

Deep breathing is a relaxation technique that is a great strategy for regaining your mental clarity. Deep breathing increases the oxygen levels in your body, which in turn benefits your brain.

Find someone to talk to.

Sometimes, we simply need a friend to clear our mind. You are probably confused of what decision to make, or unsure about a certain project or task you’re doing. That’s where a good friend comes in.

He or she can help you organise your thoughts effectively, and clear those unwanted thoughts. Sometimes, to clear our mind, we just need someone who will listen – someone who will listen to your hopes, fears, and questions without judgement.

Hang out with your furry friend.

There’s no scientific evidence showing that having a pet can help clear your mind. But there’s vast evidence suggesting that it can make your life better in many ways.

It eases your depression, lowers your blood pressure, boosts your mood, and helps you deal with stress better. If you are happier and healthier, you are in a better position to organise your thoughts easier.

Remind yourself of what’s more important to you.

Sometimes, our minds become flooded with lots of thoughts that are not really important. In times when your mind is full, it’s really helpful to try looking back on things that matter more to you. They may be your children, family, friends or loved ones, perhaps your job or even your goals in life.

Self Hypnosis / Meditation.

Mental clarity can be one simple step away. Consider making this mental practice a part of your daily routine. Afford yourself just 15 minutes or so, close your eyes and begin to focus on the following. Firstly pay attention to your breathing – try to slow it down. Now in your mind, visit a place you enjoy going to and make it all as real as possible.

Try to imagine the sights, the sounds, the smells, any tastes or sensations of touch. Give yourself a few moments to let all of these fantastic sensations soak into you. Take a few extra deep, slow breaths to lock in all of these sensations.

Now it’s time to return back to real-time and bring with you all of those good feelings ans sensations. Simply count yourself back to being fully awake by counting up the numbers from 1 to 5 and opening your eyes on number 5.

This exercise might be challenging at first but it gets easier and easier the more you do it. Go on, give it a try. Let me know how you get on.

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist
http://www.greymatterz.co.uk

@RichGreymatterz

facebook.com/greymatterzhypnotherapy

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Find out how to create optimism!

December 23, 2013

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Everyone experiences challenges and difficulties in life which result to anger, frustration, disappointments, and the like. Sometimes we can’t avoid negative experiences. But despite hardships, happy individuals seem to get through them easily and bounce back to their happy and healthy life. Whilst it is not possible to avoid pessimism completely, here’s why we should all strive hard to inject optimism in our everyday life.

The Hidden Wonders of Optimism

Optimism has long been linked to low stress levels, whereas pessimism is known to boost the levels of stress hormones in the bloodstream, resulting to poorer immunity and increased risk of health problems. But in what other ways does optimism promote good health?

Mounting evidence suggests that keeping a positive view of life could help people recover faster from surgery and effectively cope with serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, and AIDS.

The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published a study showing law students who were optimistic at the beginning of the school year had better functioning immune cells than their worried peers by the middle of the first semester.

Optimism also appears to play a crucial role in helping people cope with the challenges and frustrations, even failures that they experience in life.

The surprising thing is, these difficulties are also necessary for one to cultivate positivity. According to research, kids who are protected from failure and adversity are less likely to develop optimism. It’s because when these children make mistakes and learn from them, they develop the resilience needed to overcome the challenges that likely lie ahead.

How to Become More Optimistic

Being optimistic doesn’t mean we should all interpret each and every calamity as a blessing. It simply means that when calamity does strike, we don’t easily give in; rather, we try to learn from it.

And don’t worry if you find it hard to see the glass half full.  There are several ways to cultivate the ‘positive thinker’ in you.

One way is to recognise that your grief and pain, no matter how real and deep they are, are only part of the bigger picture. And that picture also has positive aspects – success, happiness, pleasure, etc. Many people who have developed serious illnesses are still able to find goodness in the painful experiences they have gone through.

For instance, some people who have suffered from life-threatening or incapacitating disease are able to value each day, appreciate the moment, spend more time doing things they are passionate about, inspire others, and get their priorities straight.

Another great strategy to develop optimism is to practice gratefulness. By recognising your strengths, as well as the positive experiences you had, no matter how small they are, you can teach yourself to become optimistic. Let go of the assumption that the world is against you, or you are born ‘loser’.

This assumption has no logical or scientific basis anyway.  Furthermore, understand that the past does not equal the future. You may have gone through difficult experiences in the past. But that doesn’t mean that the same events will happen now.

You can also practise positive affirmations. For example, write down at least three statements about what you want to change in your perspectives (e.g. “Anything is possible”, “I can live my life the way I choose to”, “Never say die!”). Put them in places where you can see them every day, such as your computer monitor (you can probably make a desktop background containing these affirmations), on your bathroom mirror, on your door, etc.

You may not be able to change the circumstances in your life today, but you can change your attitude towards them. If you need help, talk to a health professional to know what methods can help you. Hypnotherapy has been shown to rapidly help people develop a more positive outlook in life.

As always I welcome your thoughts and comments.

regards

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist
greymatterz.co.uk

Part of the Core Health Centre

Follow me @RichGreymatterz or
www.facebook.com/greymatterzhypnotherapy

12 steps to a great, stress-free Christmas

December 11, 2013

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Christmas is, according to whichever survey you read, always somewhere in the top 20 most stressful events of life – it’s often ranked as highly as sixth. 

Most of the other events are infrequent for most of us (deaths, marriage, divorce, house moves etc), but Christmas comes around with great regularity!

According to one survey, 86% of people say they find buying presents hard work and 65% find Christmas shopping stressful. 

The same survey said that 60% of people felt stressed when finding that a gift they bought for someone proved to be a disappointment. 

However much fun it is, there is no doubt that Christmas is stressful – even for the kids!

So, here are 12 tips for making your Christmas less stressful:

1)      Don’t Take Too  Much On
You are not superwoman (or man) – so if you’ve already agreed to host a party and go to a further 2, do you need to accept extra invitations? 

Think of the stress and not just the potential fun.  In this busy period, there has to be some rest as well as fun. 

Build in plenty of down-time and time to flop.  If you are reading this and thinking, “No chance!” then that merely emphasises just how much you do need to build it in. so insist upon it – everyone will benefit if you have more energy at the key moments.

2)      Plan Ahead with Presents

Buying presents over a few months takes away the stress of having to find them all at once and also spreads the financial burden. 
It’s can be atmospheric to shop when the lights are in the shops and it can be fun, to buy a last special present on Christmas Eve – but you don’t have to do all of your present buying in December.

It’s also not wise to wait too long for something that’s likely to sell out. 

This year, tablets and iPads are expected to be in short supply nearer the day. 

It can be extremely stressful to find that an important present is out of stock everywhere.

3)      Buy Some Things Online

Shop checkout queues can be a really stressful, and some people even suffer trolley rage. 

It is possible to order some food and drink for delivery to your house if you get in quickly enough. 

The few pounds you have to pay for this is worth it for the loss of stress!  Do it early or you’ll worry about whether it will arrive in time or not.

4)      Remember that You Can’t Make Everything Perfect

You are not responsible for everyone’s happiness. 

It might be your job to cook the dinner and pick the presents, but if Aunt Flo is in an awful mood, or Grandma insists on watching 3 hours of continuous soaps and upsets everyone else, it’s not your fault. 

Although, you can help to set the atmosphere, essentially people will make up their own minds whether they’re going to be in the festive spirit or not.  Which brings us nicely onto…

5)      Be Responsible with Alcohol/Going to Parties

Alcohol is either a friend or an enemy at Christmas depending how you treat it. 

Christmas is so stressful that many people (including myself) like to have a small drink just as it’s about to swing into action.

This can be relaxing and can help you to feel jolly – helping to create a festive atmosphere. 

Of course, this does mean just a tipple, as a drunken host or hostess is not a good idea!

If you’re cooking, why not get someone else to be responsible for drinks? 

They should make sure everyone has what they want but doesn’t overdo it.

Since tensions can be high, it’s not a good idea to get so sozzled that you tell your sister exactly what you really think of her and her children! 

That will greatly increase your stress for a long time to come!  This is less likely if you stick to an amount of alcohol you know you can handle well.

Parties are a great time to let your hair down, but it’s a good idea to drink soft drinks interspersed with the booze during the night and some water before bed. 

Overdoing it will often ruin what was otherwise a great night, so one way of dealing with that is to say, “I am going to drink only 4 pints tonight” (or whatever you know you can handle and not suffer the consequences).

If you plan it that way, then you will find you can stick to a sensible limit more easily.

6)      Coping with The In-Laws

Or, as a friend of mine calls them, “the Outlaws.”  If you have wonderful ones then this is no problem at all – move on to the next item.

If yours are hard work, then, you may just have to steal yourself and accept that it’s going to be a strain. 

Knowing what has made it easier in the past can help, as can the notion that you can take 10 minutes out from time to time – agree this with your partner beforehand and work together as a team.

7)      Observe Simplicity

Sometimes, less is more.  Although there are certain things you cannot avoid putting extra effort into at Christmas there may be others that are so stressful that they are not worth the payback.

Is it necessary to prepare every meal as a gourmet feast or to put up so many decorations that your house can be seen from space? 

Even the kids will appreciate doing something more low key for some of the holiday.  If they don’t chill out at some point, there will be tantrums.

8)      Give What You Feel is Reasonable for You

One way we can feel we have done something really useful as opposed to simply having over-indulged is to give something to a charity at this time of year – whether it is with money or with time. 

Don’t get stressed about giving. Just give what you feel is reasonable for you. 

Helping others to enjoy their Christmas can greatly help us to enjoy our own and make us feel connected to the wider world. 

9)      Be Prepared with Christmas Cards

I have got into the habit of starting mine in the last week of November. 

I don’t send them out at that point, but I do have them stamped up and ready to go. 

I find if I do 5 or 6 cards a night for a couple of weeks, it makes life a whole lot easier.  You can do this in front of the tv, so it’s really not much effort this way.

It’s also useful to have a Christmas card list (which you can amend every year). 

Christmas can be a good time to accept that some people go out of your life as well as come into it. I keep a note of who I send to and who sends to me every year. 

Except for very special reasons, if someone doesn’t send me a card three years in a row, I don’t send them one next time. 

Why feel obliged to people who aren’t bothered?  It may be sad, but it’s a part of everyone’s life, and can be stress reducing to realise that you don’t have to hold on to people you met five years ago on holiday or you lived next door to twenty years ago.

10)   Give Time for Relaxation and Time-Out

It is important to have something planned that is stress free around Christmas. 

Many people book a massage or spa session either just before or just after (or both if you have the time and money). 

Perhaps a round of golf or playing some other sport can also do this –if it’s not too cold! 

And of course, there is the Boxing Day football schedule.

Counsellors often have very busy January’s when new clients want to unload the stresses they underwent over the Christmas period.  It can be good to unburden this to an empathic ear.

11)   Go For a Walk

It can be a relief to go for a walk on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day.  It can be a blessed relief from TV, relatives, broken toys and over-indulged stomachs!

Getting out in nature, especially if there is festive weather can really help to lower stress levels.

12)   Having a Spiritual Moment or Keeping the Faith

If you are a religious person it can be the highlight of Christmas to go a Carol Service.

If you’re not it can be lovely just to stop and listen to the Salvation Army play some carols – don’t walk past, however busy you are!

Try to enjoy this non-material aspect of the Festive Season and perhaps stop to throw some money in the box whilst enjoying a bit of the more spiritual side of Christmas.

It can be a relief to take ten minutes out from the manic pace of shopping and lower your pulse rate. 

Christmas is a happy occasion of celebration. Thinking peaceful thoughts towards others helps put the stressful parts into some perspective and keeps our emotions balanced.

If you do find Christmas stressful then remember keep this list handy and it might ease the burden just a little.

Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Richard Scott
Clinical hypnotherapist
greymatterz.co.uk

Core Health Centre

15 tips to a succesful marriage.

October 18, 2013
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In her book “Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up”, relationship expert Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., talks about the simple rules for a remarkable couple relationship:

Be appreciative.

Make at least two positive comments each day. Tell your partner what you admire most about him or her. It could be the delicious barbecue your wife prepared last night or the stunning appearance of your husband in his new shirt.

Lie low on criticism.

Criticisms appear to be more helpful in the beginning of a romantic relationship. But it gets annoying over time. Lie low on giving criticisms, especially those you have already pointed out in the past. Also let go of the unimportant negative remarks that can make your partner feel embarrassed or could reduce his or her confidence.

Give a little more time for yourself. Connect with your friends and family. Pursue your passion. Do things you enjoy. Being married doesn’t mean you have to let go of your individuality.  When your energy is directed to living your life in the best way you can, you don’t get to “over-focus” on your partner in a negative way.

Listen.

Sometimes, the most powerful way to connect and comfort a person is to say nothing but listen.

Take time to listen to them without interrupting, or giving judgements. Listen with an open mind and an open heart. It’s where understanding, empathy and communication starts.

Do it when you say you would.

Never think that your contributions to the relationship compensates for the things you have failed to do or the promises you have broken.

Don’t hesitate to say “I am sorry”.

Even if you know your fault constitutes only 20 per cent of the entire problem. Remember the fact remains that you also did something wrong (no matter how small or insignificant it is) so it is just proper to apologise. This will also encourage your partner to do the same.

Don’t demand an apology.

Just because he or she doesn’t say the magic words “I’m sorry” doesn’t mean your partner doesn’t want to reconcile with you. Some people say “sorry” through deeds rather than words. Be more sensitive towards your spouse’s way of communicating his or her feelings.

Say it short.

A distant partner may avoid conversations because it may feel ‘awful’ to him or her. So slow down your speech, lower your tone, and speak gently.

Stop the emotional pursuit.

The more you chase a distant partner, the farther he or she gets away. So focus more on living your life in the best way you can. A distant partner is more likely to move towards you when he or she sees you are taking good care of yourself.

Exit a conversation when you start to feel you are being hit “below the belt”. During a heated argument, it’s easy to get flown away by emotions and say words we don’t really mean. If your partner starts to become rude, tell your partner that you are going to stop the conversation until he or she is ready to talk to you calmly and with respect. Be firm.

Cultivate good family values.

Take time to assess your dysfunctional family patterns and make effort to change them for the better.

Turn your partner “on”.

If it’s your partner who always initiates sex, be the one to do it sometimes. This will make your spouse feel more appreciated and loved.

Pursue your own hobbies, wants and goals.

Take a dance or a baking class, travel with friends – cherish life outside your relationship. Keeping the balance between your married and personal life can reduce your stress levels and boost your well-being.

Set boundaries with technology use.

Technology is essential to our daily life but too much of it can affect the quality of our personal relationships. Agree on “time-out rules” where each one of you is prohibited from using mobile phone, computer or any gadget. These rules are best during mealtimes, at least an hour before bedtime, during intimate moments, vacation trips, and the like.

Be willing to compromise for your partner.

But not to the extent that your core values, beliefs, goals and priorities are compromised. Set limits and let your partner know about them.

There you go, sounds quite simple. Do let me know how you get on.

Richard Scott

Clinical Hypnotherapist / Psychotherapist

SNHS Dip.CH, SNHS Adv Dip.CH.Psy, PHPA, ICHM, NHSTA

GREY MATTERZ
Core Health Centre, 55 Beverley Road, Hull HU3 1XL

Hull Office:          01482 22 71 25
Or Mobile:           07843 012 712

Email: info@greymatterz.co.uk
Website: www.greymatterz.co.uk

Why Stress = Weight gain.

September 6, 2013

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Every day, stress is there to make things complicated and difficult and embarrassing and exasperating. It makes us incapable of being productive.

Worse, it makes us engage in unhealthy lifestyle that could lead to weight gain. For instance, some people find comfort from calorie-dense, nutritionally empty foods when they are stressed.

Stress and Weight Gain

Stress signals your body to consume and store fats.

When we are under stress, our body’s ‘flight or fight’ system is activated. During this period, your body releases a cascade of chemicals, including adrenaline, CHR and cortisol.

These are hormones that make you feel alert, ready for action, and able to withstand injury.  In a short term, adrenaline would make you feel less hungry because your blood flows away from your organs to your muscles and make them ready to face the ‘threat’.

But as your adrenaline levels wane, your cortisol levels remain high, signalling your body to replenish your food supply. So your tendency is to eat, eat and eat, with more preference on sugary foods.

Stress gives you ‘belly fat’.

In this modern world – where most people spend hours sitting and working on the computer, it has become a challenge to stay lean and fit. If you are chronically stressed with the demands of work and life, you become more likely to develop ‘visceral fat’ deep in your belly.

Unfortunately, your belly has plenty of supply of blood vessels and cortisol receptors, making the production of visceral fats so easy and quick. What’s more, belly fat is unhealthy and is linked to increased risk of stroke and heart disease.

It is also difficult to eliminate. Unless you exercise more often and eat low-calorie foods, the fats accumulated in your belly are likely to grow and ‘bulge’ even more.

Stress fuels emotional eating.

Eating to feed your emotions, not your stomach, can jumpstart obesity. Anxiety and stress are so energy-draining that too often; we end up looking for something to eat. Unfortunately, stress makes us choose cookies and cakes over fruits, crisps and pizza over vegetables, and fizzy drinks and beer over water.

Another thing, when we are stressed, we tend to eat ‘mindlessly’, resulting to overeating. No need to further explain why this in turn causes weight gain.

Stress affects your sleep.

So what does sleep have to do with weight gain? For years, scientists have suspected that sleep and obesity are linked. Research has found that stressed people who stay up late at night are more likely to reach for plain carbohydrates like cookies, doughnuts and pastries.

“It’s not like they’re going for whole-wheat pasta,” according to Taub-Dix, the spokesperson of the American Diabetic Association.  Also, when you lack sleep, your willpower to resist food cravings also decreases, so you tend to eat more.

Quick and East Anti-Stress Strategies

Whether you’re undergoing a weight loss programme or considering one, here are some stress-busting techniques that you may find useful.

Eat or Drink more Vitamin C

A study by the University of Alabama found that vitamin C stopped the secretion of stress hormones. So have a look into food and drinks that are rich in vitamin C.

‘Pet’ your pet.

Give yourself time to take a break from your stressful work and pamper your pets. Researchers at State University of New York found that pets give more stress relief than our two-legged companions.

Shake it out.

When you’re highly stressed, pause for a moment and shake your arms, hands and the rest of your body. It relieves tension, boosts blood flow and clams your mind.

Bring your music player to work.

Research by Pennsylvania’s Wilkes University suggests that listening to music lowers your stress levels at work and at the same time, reduces your risk of common cold.

Smile.

Even if you don’t feel like doing it, just smile. Just the act makes you relaxed and in control.  

Exercise.

This doesn’t just help you lose weight but also boosts the release of feel-good chemicals in your brain that relieves stress and boosts your mood.

A study by the University of Missouri at Columbia found that 33 minutes of high-intensity exercise helps lower stress levels more than working out at a moderate pace.

Can you suggest more ways to fight stress?

Feel free to post your comment below.

Wishing you a stress-free weekend.

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist
greymatterz.co.uk

Part of the Core Health Centre

15 things that ruin your sex drive.

June 12, 2013

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For many people, sex drive is like a roller coaster ride. One second you’re up, another second you’re down. Well, there are plenty of factors that affect our sexual desire. Here is a compilation of the most common things that could ruin your sex life.

Relationship Issues

Among the top sex drive killers is relationship problems. Of course, no partner would be in the ‘mood’ when he or she is mad at the other. Reaching out with your partner and tackling issues as they arrive is critical for a happy, romantic relationship. Try not to let the night pass without resolving conflicts between you and your partner.

Poor Sleep

Anything that messes with a good night sleep also messes with sex. Sleep deprivation leads to poor energy, fatigue and stress. And when you are experiencing all these things, the last thing that would probably enter your mind is sex. Check with your doctor if you have sleeping disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnoea. Having a regular bedtime schedule, exercising, proper diet, and trying aromatherapy or self-hypnosis all help in promoting good sleep.

Medication

There are drugs that could reduce a person’s sex drive. They include blood pressure medications, chemotherapy and anti-HIV drugs, birth control pills, and antidepressants. Switching drugs or doses may help tackle this issue but it is always recommended to consult your doctor first.

Obesity

There are plenty of reasons why obesity could lead to low sex drive. It may be because it hinders a person from performing well in bed or it reduces self-esteem. Obese people tend to have poorer stamina which some see as being very important for satisfying sex.

Low Testosterone

In men, the T hormone fuels sex drive. As men age, their testosterone levels drop a bit. However, this does not always lead to reduced libido. But low testosterone could cause undesirable symptoms such as erectile dysfunction which slashes a man’s confidence to have sex.

Menopause

For many women, sex drive dims as they reach the menopausal stage. This is probably because of the symptoms that plague them, such as mood swings, vaginal dryness, and sex during pain. But then again, there are women whose sex lives are still thriving even during menopause. Most of the time, they are the ones who give high importance to their health.

Lack of Intimacy

There are couples who you wouldn’t notice that they are couples until they tell you. Lack of closeness and communication does not just spoil sex desire but could also trigger other conflicts that may lead to breakup or separation. If lack of closeness is your issue, try to find ways to express love without involving sex. Maybe you can travel together, talk about different things, snuggle, play a sport together, etc. When closeness is there, a satisfying sex comes next.

Depression

Being depressed can make a person feel disinterested on many things in life, including sex. It is important to seek appropriate therapy right away, hypnotherapy has been very successful in helping sufferers overcome depression. Just like lack of intimacy, depression does not just impact a couple’s sex life but everything else in their relationship.

Erectile Problems

Men suffering from erectile dysfunction often worry about how they will perform in bed so they choose not to have sex at all. But most of the time, this problem is treatable. There are plenty of treatments that can keep this problem from affecting a relationship.

Poor Body Image

Poor self image affects a woman or a man’s desire for sex as it takes away their confidence. Work on accepting your body as it is today even if you are in the process of improving your physical shape or appearance. Feeling good about yourself is a big factor that puts you in the mood for sex.

Having Kids

This does not directly affect a couple’s sex life of course but having less time together could. Consider hiring a babysitter once in awhile so you can have some intimate time with your spouse. Or, schedule ‘loving’ time when kids are in school or when the lights are out already.

Alcohol

Don’t think that alcohol can definitely turn you on. In most cases, when taken in excess, it does nothing but numb your sex drive. Perhaps you have a small shot of wine every night as part of a balanced health regime, but any more than the recommended alcohol intake is not going to help.

Stress

Who doesn’t get stressed? We all have our own stressors to face. Learning how to handle them is the trick. Don’t forget to give yourself a little ‘me’ time to relax and engage in enjoyable activities. When you are not stressed, you are more likely to be eager for sex.

Boredom

Doing the same thing over and over again leads to boredom and lack of desire to have sex. Maybe it’s time to be adventurous and try something different. Just make sure to gain consensus. Both of you should love what you are doing. Otherwise, it aggravates the problem.

Poor Health

Your body and your mind are connected. When you are healthy, you are more likely to experience positive mood on a regular basis (which helps turn your sexual drive on). If you’re ill, sex may not be a good option. Thus, making sure you and your partner are healthy is critical to a satisfying romantic life. Eating properly, exercising, not smoking, and getting quality sleep are some of the most essential lifestyle habits you should follow. 

As always I welcome your comments,

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapistwww.greymatterz.co.uk

Part of the Core Health Centre

10 things you might not know about STRESS and ANXIETY

May 31, 2013

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Stress and anxiety are among the most common issues confronted by the society today. Knowing their causes and how they impact your life is a great way to protect your mental and emotional health.

Below are ten interesting facts about stress and anxiety that will increase your understanding of these two potentially debilitating issues.

Stress and anxiety are not the same.

You may often come across with articles using the words ‘stress’ and ‘anxiety’ almost interchangeably. However, they are not the same. Stress is your body’s response to a change in the environment, whether positive or negative. You can experience stress even in situations that you are happy about, just like starting a new job. Anxiety, on the other hand, refers to an emotion that is characterised by a feeling of fear, apprehension or nervousness.

Anxiety has an essential role to play.

Feeling anxious may not feel enjoyable. However, it is a natural response critical to human survival. Anxiety can give you the level of alertness and focus you need during difficult situations.

Chronic stress may lead to depression.

Chronic stress increases the risk of major depressive disorder – an intense form of depression that lasts for a long period of time and often prevents a person from living a normal life. So if you think you are chronically stressed, speak to me or any other professional therapist right away.

Causes of stress are NOT the same for everyone.

People deal with different stressors. But a situation or event that may be stressful for someone else may not necessarily be stressful for another. For example, the thought of getting on stage and speaking in front of hundreds of people may be a source of stress for other people but not for you, or vice versa.

Weight loss could be a sign of stress.

Whilst eating problems could be a symptom of chronic stress, it is not limited to the loss of appetite. In some cases, individuals who are too stressed tend to overeat which leads to weight gain. Other indicators of too much stress are lack of energy, use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, and conflict in relationships.

Irritability is a sign of too much stress.

Stress can affect your overall well-being. Aside from being easily annoyed and irritable, other warning signs for too much stress are having short temper, being moody, and having problems concentrating.

Mixed anxiety is very common in Britain.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, mixed anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorders in Britain, with almost 9 per cent of people meeting the criteria for diagnosis. In the Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity 2012 report, it was reported that between 8 to 12 per cent of the population experience depression in any year.

Anxiety disorder is more common in women.

Women are twice more likely to experience generalised anxiety disorder than men. This mental illness is characterised by persistent excessive, unrealistic worry over everyday problems that goes on for six months or more.

Chronic stress and anxiety disorder are treatable.

Anxiety disorder can be treated using medication or psychotherapy. The latter is usually chosen by many sufferers because it targets the root cause of the problem, and does not only mask the symptoms. Medications may provide temporary relief but it does not break the cycle of anxiety or stress. These drugs may also come with side effects.

Undergoing therapy is necessary.

About 70 to 90 per cent of people with mental illness experience significant improvement in their quality of life after receiving appropriate treatment and support. Hypnotherapy in my own experience has proven to be an extremely effective form of treatment for stress, anxiety and depressive disorders.

Some of my clients who have suffered from depression for decades or more have used the powerful hypnotic techniques that I have shown them in order to break the negative thought patterns and have seen life-changing transformations from as few as 3 sessions.

The relief for chronic stress and anxiety disorder is not the same for everyone. However, making positive lifestyle changes is the key to protecting your health from the debilitating effects of these two mental illnesses.

You can start by creating a healthy eating plan, giving more emphasis on nutritious foods, and making some form of exercise a daily habit. Then, incorporate fun activities into your life to refresh your mind and keep you going amidst all the stressors around you!

As always, I welcome your comments.

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist
http://www.greymatterz.co.uk
Part of the Core Health Centre