Hypnotherapy can conquer bad habits like gambling

According to the UK’s Gambling Commission, some students have run up gambling debts of £10,000 or more and the organisation is concerned about the impact gambling is having on undergraduates.

Director Ben Haden told the BBC the commission wants universities to provide the same level of information and support about the risks from gambling as they do for drugs, alcohol and safe sex.

Haden added: “Clearly with the raft of new students heading to uni at this time of year we should do more for the student population.”

He told the BBC the Commission had appointed research agency YouthSight to conduct an online survey of 1,000 people and results suggested that three out of five students had gambled in the four weeks before they responded to the August survey.

Furthermore, one in eight undergraduates surveyed said they had missed lectures or seminars because of gambling. If the results were reflected across the UK, the Gambling Commission said that more than 100,000 students may be in some gambling debt.

The NHS says the anticipation and thrill of gambling creates a natural high that can become addictive and that there may be as many as 593,000 problem gamblers in Great Britain.

The internet has made gambling more accessible and problem gamblers are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety, stress and depression.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy, the largest not-for-profit professional organisation for hypnotherapists in the UK, says treating problems like stress, anxiety and low-self esteem is common for therapists but addictions can be effectively treated through hypnotherapy too.

An unwanted habit or addiction is something you feel you have no control over which affects your life and the lives of those you care about,” says the NCH. “Habits such as overeating or smoking are the most common, but there are many other behaviours that affect people’s lives, make them unhappy or cause a risk to their health and the health of those around them.”

But, adds the NCH: “The good news is that you are in control, you can change how you react to certain situations, and you can protect yourself in ways that are healthy and which allow you succeed and grow stronger in body and mind. You just need to know how to change it, and to believe you can.”

Hypnotherapy works rapidly with bad habits and behaviours because it works directly with the subconscious, bypassing the critical mind and getting to the root of the issue so that changes can be made quickly and efficiently.

Says the NCH: “Depending on what you are seeing the therapist for, they will assess your habit and write a treatment plan for you based on a range of different techniques. Each hypnotherapist will work with you differently. Your hypnotherapist will then assess your commitment to the treatment, as the desire to stop the behaviour or change the behaviour must come from you.”

National gambling help charity Gamcare says it dealt with more than 46,000 calls last year to its helpline, of which 78% were gamblers and 28% under the age of 25, adding that a total of 40% of callers had been gambling for less than four years.

It is not too late to seek help to break the habit. Contact an NCH therapist near you by clicking here to access their directory.

Fuelling the UK obesity crisis

The marketing ploy ‘upselling’ is fuelling the obesity crisis in the UK, health experts warn, saying by businesses are pushing unhealthy food and larger portions on to shoppers. The most common upsells taken by the public included larger coffees, bigger meals, sweets and chocolates and extra sides such as onion rings and chips.

Royal Society for Public Health chief executive Shirley Cramer told the BBC the industry was pressuring the public into buying extra calories, which then added up ‘without us noticing’.

She said businesses needed to stop training staff to upsell high-calorie food and instead focus on healthy alternatives adding that tactic involves shops, cafes and restaurants encouraging customers to upgrade to larger meals and drinks or adding high-calorie toppings and sides.

She said the findings were drawn from a poll of more than 2,000 UK adults by the RSPH and Slimming World.
Those who had experienced upsells had been targeted more than twice a week on average, with younger people the most susceptible. The most common place for it to happen was restaurants, followed by fast-food outlets, supermarkets, coffee shops and pubs and bars.

The research showed many of the upsells were unhealthy options, with the average person who fell victim to the technique consuming an average of 17,000 extra calories a year, enough to gain an extra 5lbs over 12 months.

Weight gain through unhealthy or ‘unconscious’ eating can be controlled through clinical hypnotherapy and managing weight loss is one of the most effective results of hypnotherapy, says the National Council for Hypnotherapy – the largest professional body for hypnotherapy in the UK with more than 1,800 members.

“Rather than just reducing calories that you are likely to put on again in the longer term, hypnotherapy gets you in touch with the reasons why you unconsciously eat,” says the NCH. “If you are the type of person that struggles to stop after a small piece of chocolate and feels compelled to finish the packet then a hypnotherapist can help you understand why and help you create new healthy self-management techniques.”

The national body adds: “When you see a hypnotherapist for weight loss they will ask you lots of questions about when you eat, what you eat, what triggers you to reach for food when you are not hungry.”

The therapist then will draw up a programme of treatment that will provide motivation top eat less and even exercise more.

Hypnotherapy for weight loss is about changing your habit with food for the rest of your life, so unlike crash diets it changes the root of your compulsive eating or lack of interest in exercise so you are free to enjoy the rest of your life – eating and exercising sensibly without having to think about it.”

Hypnotherapy has been proven to help people reduce portion sizes so they can lose weight healthily, steadily and for the long term.

Losing weight with hypnosis is essentially about teaching you to feel good about yourself, whatever size you are. It focuses on making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle that will remain with you for the rest of your life.”

Sick notes for mental health issues show alarming rise

Nearly a third of illness notes issued by GPs is for psychiatric problems, says an NHS report with a 14% rise in notes relating to anxiety and stress between 2015-16 and 2016-17. The Royal College of Psychiatrists said the findings were ‘alarming’ and pointed to a need for more to be done to help get people back to work.

The BBC reported that this report showed that mental health issues were the most common reason for people to take time off work, ahead of musculoskeletal diseases.

The new NHS data analysed more than 12 million ‘fit notes’ (formerly called sick notes), issued over almost two and a half years from GP practices across England. Around half of the notes had a known diagnosis.

The NHS Digital report also revealed that fit notes for psychiatric problems were being issued for longer periods of time than other types of illness. For example, more than one in five psychiatric sick notes were issued for longer than 12 weeks, compared to only 3% of notes for diseases of the respiratory system.

Jed Boardman, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said not enough was being done to facilitate a person’s return to work.

“GPs will write suggestions on the fit note, such as staggered work days or agreeing specific goals for the returning employer – both parties need to be more active in tailoring these suggestions to that person,” he said.

Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, told the BBC: “These figures explain why the NHS is now putting mental health front and centre, in what was recently independently described as ‘the world’s most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses’.”

Dealing with stress and anxiety has become more common for clinical hypnotherapists, says the National Council for Hypnotherapy – the UK’s largest not-for-profit professional association for hypnotherapy, with more than 1,800 therapists across the UK on its directory.

“Hypnotherapy helps people to make changes in their behaviour. It cannot force you to make any changes against your will. Hypnotherapy commonly helps with conditions including stress and anxiety,” says the NCH.

The national body adds: “Stress is one of the major reasons people take time off work, and investing in stress reduction schemes companies can increase productivity, happiness and subsequently loyalty in their employees.

“Many hypnotherapists offer special offers to businesses for stress reduction schemes at work. It is worth talking to your employer or to a local hypnotherapist to see if that this is a possibility.”

Psychiatrist Dr Boardman told the BBC the NHS data ‘may underestimate the scale of the problem’ as discrimination can mean those with mental health issues are out of the labour force completely.

“Almost half of benefits claimants of Employment and Support Allowance in England are receiving payments as the result of mental and behavioural disorders,” he pointed out.

Anxiety can also manifest itself in different worries, explains the NCH. “It may be fear of being around other people, it may be anxiety in specific social situations, anxiety in your relationships with particular people at home, at school or at work.

“Anxiety is a fear or concern that is exaggerated, and is out of proportion to the situation, although sometimes it may not feel like this.”

An NCH hypnotherapist can help assess a person’s anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship. They will then work with the person to overcome this and lead the life they would prefer to live.

Unlike GPs, NCH hypnotherapists offer treatment sessions outside of office hours. To contact an NCH therapist near you, click here to access the NCH directory.

Autumn blues can cause anxiety

So, that was the summer and now it’s the back-to-the-grindstone blues. If returning to work or school in September and shorter, colder days seem like a gloomy prospect, you’re not alone as experts say autumn can worsen anxiety and depression.

Part of this is down to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a condition that can bring on low moods and even depression during autumn and winter.

SAD affects about one in 15 people in the UK between the months of September and April, according to the NHS, and the lack of light is thought to affect the part of the brain that rules sleep and energy levels.

It can prevent more serious sufferers from functioning normally during the autumn and winter months.

SAD is thought to be caused by lack of light, as well as other factors such as colder temperatures and the return to normal routines. Anxiety UK, a mental health charity, also says it expects to receive more calls to its helpline in September. It told the BBC that far fewer people contact the charity about anxiety and depression when the sun is shining.

With SAD, the lack of light is thought to affect the part of the brain that rules sleep and energy levels, says Anxiety UK, and even for people without the disorder, September can be a difficult time as school starts and workplaces get busier coupled with worsening weather, shorter days and the long wait until the next holiday over Christmas and the new year.

“We see it every year; summer really does impact people’s moods,” Nicky Lidbetter, chief executive of Anxiety UK, told the BBC. “People feel more resilient and able to cope when the sun is shining. Summer is a time when it’s a more relaxed atmosphere in general, there is less traffic on the roads, it’s not as structured.”

While going back to work offers some structure and order to life, it can lead to stress and anxiety which, says the National Council for Hypnotherapy, can see about one in seven people in the UK suffering from this at any one time.

“We live in a society where great demands and responsibilities are placed on us,” adds the NCH. “And while some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.”

But people wanting to overcome their stress and anxiety can be effectively treated by clinical hypnotherapy and the NCH has more than 1,800 therapists across the UK who are trained and registered with the national body.
A therapist, says the NCH, will assess the anxiety, find its root cause and then work with the client to achieve a goal of being free of that problem.

After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you,” adds the NCH. “Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily. People who have experienced side effects of anxiety such as insomnia, find that they are sleeping much better and as a result are able to work more effectively.”

If you are feeling the autumn blues, contact an NCH-registered hypnotherapist near you by clicking here to access the directory of members to arrange a session. It will be worth it…

Escalation in mental health issues is cause for concern

Mental health issues in the UK seem to be getting worse and it is affecting policing with Commander Richard Smith, head of safeguarding at the Metropolitan Police Service, saying one in four Londoners would experience ‘a diagnosable mental health condition’ in their lifetime and that included the ‘large number of people’ held in custody who would need an assessment and a care plan.

And, speaking to the BBC, Labour’s police spokeswoman Louise Haigh MP said people on long waiting lists for mental health help were turning to the police as a service of last resort. Calls to the Metropolitan Police about mental health have risen by almost a third in five years, figures show. There were 115,000 calls with a mental health element to London’s police force in the 12 months to July.

“While facing a savage cut in numbers the police are increasingly being asked to pick up the pieces of a scandalous lack of mental health provision,” Haigh said.

The BBC reported that call-outs included to people involved in or suspected of crime, those in crisis, support to other emergency services and local council health assessments. Forty thousand of the calls had a police unit assigned – or sent out – to them, the detail showed.

A Department of Health spokesperson said there had been ‘major improvements’ to mental health support in recent years – including setting up access and waiting standards and increasing spending to £11.6bn in 2016/17. But the spokesperson said there was ‘more to do’ and the government was working with NHS England to improve access to services across the country.

And this is where clinical hypnotherapy can play a crucial role as it can effectively treat issues like stress and anxiety which may lead to depression and other mental health issues.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy, with more than 1,800 qualified therapists on its directory across the UK, is the largest not-for-profit professional organisation for clinical hypnotherapy in the country and is well-placed to provide help where the NHS and other services may not cope.

Says the NCH: “Hypnotherapy is an evidence based therapy, with over 70,000 research references worldwide, but which is often misunderstood by the public. It is important to understand that hypnotherapy is not a magic pill.It requires that the client be committed to change and prepared to make the effort to make that change a reality.”

While clinical hypnotherapy is not readily available through the NHS, the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) is the UK’s voluntary regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners that was set up with government support to protect the public by providing a UK voluntary register of complementary therapists.

The CNHC’s register has been approved as an Accredited Register by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care. This means CNHC has met the Professional Standards Authority’s demanding standards.

The CNHC has agreed that the National Council for Hypnotherapy may verify applications for CNHC registration and the NCH encourages its members to register in order to gain the CNHC quality mark.

Referring to mental health issues, the NCH says: “More and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.

“You may be one of those people but are now ready to explore ways of freeing yourself from anxiety and living a fulfilled and happy life – free to do things that bring you joy. A hypnotherapist can help assess your anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship.”

Mental health co-ordinator for the College of Policing Inspector Michael Brown told the BBC: “It is critical that we have effective partnerships with health care providers so that we better understand the reasons why people with mental health issues are coming into contact with officers.”

Traffic and travel can cause stress and anxiety

The last bank holiday of the 2017 summer sees millions of cars on the UK’s roads and the question is: how do you beat the traffic and make the most of the long weekend without the stress of mile-long jams and congestion?

And, reports the BBC, major work on the railways will mean no trains in or out of London Euston on Saturday and Sunday.

Motorists are being told the vast majority of roadworks on motorways will have been completed or lifted by Friday morning, with work not set to resume until Tuesday but 36 sets of roadworks will stay in place for safety reasons, with some stretching more than 20 miles.

The busiest day overall will be Monday, adds the BBC, with about five million cars on the roads for ‘leisure trips’ as people either go for days out or return from a weekend away – double the number the RAC expected to see on Thursday following a survey of motorists’ plans for the weekend.

And we all know that heavy traffic, with tailbacks and congestion can cause stress – as can rushing for trains or flights only to find them already gone, delayed or cancelled.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis told the BBC: “While summer appears to have taken a leave of absence for many of us, our figures suggest drivers are undeterred and are still keen to make the most of the long weekend to spend time with friends and family in the UK.

“We recommend motorists wanting to beat the queues travel outside peak times – so avoid Friday afternoon and evening if you can and try to get away in good time if you are planning a day trip on Monday, or face a long journey home at the end of a summer holiday.”

But not everyone can avoid traffic jams and there are many studies that show that being stuck in traffic can cause undue anxiety and raise stress levels.

Already modern lives are more stressful than in years gone by and the level of mental health issues has risen. But clinical hypnotherapy can help people cope and allow them to lead a better life.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy is the largest professional body for hypnotherapy in the UK with more than 1,800 highly-qualified therapists on its register, all who are able to help people cope with stress and anxiety.

Says the NCH: “We live in a society where great demands and responsibilities are placed on us. Today, about one in seven people are suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK. And while some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.”

Helping people cope with anxiety and stress is what many therapists do through hypnosis and, adds the NCH, a hypnotherapist can ‘help assess your anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety’.

The council adds: “The therapist will then work with you to reach your goals using a range of different techniques. Every therapist may use slightly different techniques, but working towards the same goal.

After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you. Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily.”

So, if the bank holiday weekend traffic stresses you out and leads to undue anxiety, look up an NCH therapist near you when you’re back home by clicking here. It will change things.

“People who have experienced side effects of anxiety such as insomnia, find that they are sleeping much better and as a result are able to work more effectively. It is as if hypnotherapy unlocks the potential you have to break free of negative thought patterns, and to react more positively and more confidently to situations in your life that may have previously made you anxious,” concludes the NCH.

Calories legislation to fight obesity?

As the childhood obesity crisis worsens, UK health officials are now looking at setting targets to reduce calories in fast foods and ready meals and, while the targets will be voluntary, although officials at the government advisory body said if the industry did not respond they were prepared to legislate.

The BBC reported that foods like pizzas, burgers and ready meals would be targeted and health officials say the move is needed as people are consuming 200 to 300 calories too many each day. The targets are expected to be set by Public Health England within a year.

The calorie-reduction programme comes after the success of the decade-long drive to reduce salt content in food.
It will be modelled on the sugar-reduction programme that was included in last year’s child obesity strategy and which committed the industry to reducing the amount of sugar in certain foods by 20% by 2020.

Public Health England chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said: “We have a serious problem – one in three leave primary school either obese or overweight. If we want to tackle this we have to look at calories. There are a number of ways it can be done – we can reduce the size of the products or change the ingredients.”

School-age children are advised to consume anywhere between 1,600 and 2,500 calories a day to maintain a healthy body weight but some popular foods are high in calories – there are 260 in a typical burger with cheese in a bun and 880 in a 10-inch takeaway pizza while a Greggs tuna mayonnaise white sub roll has 338 and there are 244 in a 400g tin of Heinz spaghetti, adds the BBC.

Diets and eating plans seems to be a failure and Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance, said it looked forward to seeing ‘ambitious’ targets being set to cut calories. But she said the food industry was continuing to ‘get away with bombarding children with adverts that we know encourage unhealthy food choices’.

A spokeswoman for the Food and Drink Federation said: “Singling out the role of individual ingredients and food groups does not help consumers to make good choices about their diet, lifestyle or general health.”

Instead of falling back on diets, the National Council for Hypnotherapy recommends managed weight loss which is one of hypnotherapy’s more successful areas for both adults and children.

“Rather than just reducing calories that you are likely to put on again in the longer term, hypnosis gets you in touch with the reasons why you unconsciously eat. If you are the type of person that struggles to stop after a small piece of chocolate and feels compelled to finish the packet then a hypnotherapist can help you understand why and help you create new healthy self-management techniques,” says the NCH.

As well as stopping compulsive eating, hypnosis can increase your motivation for exercise. It can also help you reduce portion sizes so you lose weight healthily, steadily and for the long term. Losing weight with hypnosis is essentially about teaching you to feel good about yourself,” the national body adds.

“It focuses on making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle that will remain with you for the rest of your life.”

The NCH Hypnotherapy Directory lists all currently active NCH-registered hypnotherapists across the UK (in excess of 1,800), which is your assurance of a well trained, ethical and insured hypnotherapist. Click here to access the directory and prepare for a healthier lifestyle.

Mental health services need attention, says Theresa May

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged that ’10,000 members of staff will be trained spotting issues around mental health’ adding that the National Citizens Service ‘will build in mental health awareness’ after admitting to the BBC that the UK’s mental health services are ‘patchy’ and need to be reviewed.

The Prime Minister told BBC’s News Beat she would support teenagers through a new strategy and better access to help.

While 6,000 mental health nurses and doctors have been cut from the HS since 2010, Mrs May denied there’s a big problem with mental health provision in the UK, despite Labour accusing ministers of letting a generation of young people down and not funding services properly.

Earlier this year, a survey of NHS trusts suggested that mental health services in England could be overwhelmed by a combination of rising demand and staff shortages.

And Mrs May told the BBC: “One of the things I’ve been doing is actually looking at the community mental health services for young people and reviewing that across the country because it is patchy.”

While services seem to be struggling, clinical hypnotherapy is an alternative source of help for those suffering some mental health issues. It is also known that more young people are suffering from stress and anxiety than in previous years which can lead to further problems as they grow up, if not treated.

Says the National Council for Hypnotherapy, which has more than 1,800 highly-trained therapists across the UK: “Hypnotherapy is an evidence based therapy, with over 70,000 research references worldwide.”

The Council explains that hypnotherapy is the application of hypnotic techniques in such a way as to bring about therapeutic changes. An external influence (the hypnotherapist) assists in activating the inner resources of a person (the client) in order to achieve realistic goals.

“We live in a society where great demands and responsibilities are placed on us,” says the NCH. “Today, about one in seven people are suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK. And while some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.”

There could be people who want help but cannot get it due to the strains on the NHS. But, says the NCH, you may be ‘one of those people but are now ready to explore ways of freeing yourself from anxiety and living a fulfilled and happy life, free to do things that bring you joy’,

Mrs May told the BBC: “Over the years we haven’t given mental health the same focus in our National Health Service and other services as I think is necessary. Intervening early for young people is important. We’ve increased the number of mental health beds for young people and we’re putting record amounts of funding into mental health in the NHS.”

She adds: “We do need to ensure is that we are raising that awareness and seeing that support there.”

But that could take time and it is known that GPs are under pressure too. Mrs May said she had visited a school recently and saw ‘some of the first sets of training that we’re doing for teachers and staff in schools so they can better identify when young people have mental health problems and to know what is the right support to give to those young people’.

Clinical hypnotherapy can help those who want to be helped and, if you are one of those people, why not con tact and NCH therapist near you by using the NCH directory? It could be a life-changing decision.

Obesity and diabetes warning for children

Rising childhood obesity rates has led to more than 600 children and teenagers being treated for type 2 diabetes in England and Wales, the BBC reported, and the rise in cases has been described as a ‘disturbing trend’ by local councils.

The figures, says the BBC, come from a report by child health experts which found 110 more cases among under-19s in 2015-16 than two years previously. The youngest children affected are aged between five and nine.

Being overweight is the biggest risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and three-quarters of these children were obese.

Because type 2 diabetes can be more aggressive in children than in adults, it is important to manage the condition carefully in order to prevent any health problems occurring.

And earlier this year, the Obesity Health Alliance warned that Britain must take much tougher action to tackle childhood obesity, including banning sponsorship of sports events by manufacturers of unhealthy food and drinks.

Without such robust measures, the NHS will come under ‘enormous and unsustainable strain’ from a condition that already costs it £5bn a year, the alliance, which comprises 41 medical groups, health charities and public health bodies, has warned.

Regarding weight management, the National Council for Hypnotherapy says managing weight loss is one of the most effective results of hypnotherapy.

“Rather than just reducing calories that you are likely to put on again in the longer term, hypnosis gets you in touch with the reasons why you unconsciously eat,” the national body says. “If you are the type of person that struggles to stop after a small piece of chocolate and feels compelled to finish the packet then a hypnotherapist can help you understand why and help you create new healthy self-management techniques.”

With around 1,800 fully trained clinical hypnotherapists around the country, many of whom specialise in dealing with children, the NCH is well-placed to help people manage their weight and what they eat.

“As well as stopping compulsive eating, hypnosis can increase your motivation for exercise,” says the NCH. “It can also help you reduce portion sizes so you lose weight healthily, steadily and for the long term. Losing weight with hypnosis is essentially about teaching you to feel good about yourself, whatever size you are. It focuses on making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle that will remain with you for the rest of your life.”

As childhood obesity rates rise in England, it is no surprise more children are being treated for the condition, reports the BBC, adding that in primary schools in England, one in 10 children in Reception and one in five children in year 6 were classified as obese in 2015-16.

Type 2 diabetes in children is a serious condition which can lead to long-term health complications such as heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.

There were twice as many girls than boys with the condition and most of the cases were among 15-19 year olds. Across all children and teenagers, numbers are on the rise – from 507 cases in 2013-14 and 543 in 2014-15 to the current tally of 621.

But there could be more who are undiagnosed, the report said – these are only the ones being treated by paediatric specialists around the country.

Why people over-eat is not only down to diet and the NCH says people might find they are nourishing themselves with food, rather than love.

“Of course, we all need nourishing, we just need to discover the healthiest and happiest way to nourish ourselves. When you see a hypnotherapist for weight loss they will ask you lots of questions about when you eat, what you eat, what triggers you to reach for food when you are not hungry, or how often you unconsciously polish off a packet of biscuits and avoid doing exercise,” adds the NCH.

A hypnotherapist will then put together a programme of treatment that will motivate you to exercise more and eat less. Hypnotherapy for weight loss is about changing your habit with food for the rest of your life, so unlike crash diets it changes the root of your compulsive eating or lack of interest in exercise so you are free to enjoy the rest of your life – eating and exercising sensibly without having to think about it.

Work stress leads to mental health issues

It is men more than women who suffer mental health problems brought on by work and are less likely to seek help, the charity Mind has said, with a survey of 15,000 employees showing that 1,763 had poor mental health. In fact, men are twice as likely to have mental health problems due to their job, compared to problems outside of work.

A third of these men attributed that to their job while 14% said the source was outside work. In contrast, women found their job and external problems equally stressful.

Mind’s Madeleine McGivern, Head of Programmes, Workplace Wellbeing, said: “Women feel more able to come forward. And women as line managers feel more equipped to support people with mental health problems. It’s about trying to balance the playing field – we need all employers to encourage people at work to be having conversations about mental health, to normalise those conversations.”

Men and women, workers and managers, should all be able to come forward and talk about any problems, Mind said, adding that men were less likely to feel they could talk about their jobs’ impact on their wellbeing, or to have the tools to support people with mental health problems.

Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind, said: “Our research shows that work is the main factor causing men poor mental health, above problems outside work. Many men work in industries where a macho culture prevails or where a competitive environment may exist which prevents them from feeling able to be open.

It is concerning that so many men find themselves unable to speak to their bosses about the impact that work is having on their wellbeing and even more worrying that they are then not asking to take time off when they need it.”

The survey also found that men were less likely to seek help or take time off – 29% had been absent for such problems, compared with 43% of women and that men were more inclined to try to deal with problems alone or to cope by watching TV, exercising, or drinking.

Concern about mental health issues in the UK is becoming more prevalent and the National Council for Hypnotherapy says our modern society places great demands and responsibilities upon us, adding that ‘about one in seven people is suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK’.

The NCH adds: “And while some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.”

With around 1,800 clinical hypnotherapists across the UK, the NCH is well-placed to assist people with undue stress and work-related anxiety issues.

Explaining why people suffer from stress or anxiety, the NCH says anxiety can manifest itself in different worries – from a fear of being around other people to anxiety in specific situations and anxiety in relationships with particular people at work.

“Anxiety is a fear or concern that is exaggerated, and is out of proportion to the situation, although sometimes it may not feel like this. The symptoms of anxiety correlate with the stress response or ‘fight-or-flight’,” says the NCH.

“To experience prolonged flight-or-flight creates feelings of anxiety. It is often rooted in a previous experience that triggered fear or in a general anxiety and worry about your situation at work. There can also be anxiety without knowing what is causing it, a general feeling of anxiety known as ‘free floating’ anxiety.”

Hypnotherapy can help by the therapist assessing the anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a work situation, a past experience or a relationship. The therapist will then, with the client, set a goal for a life free of anxiety.

“They will then work with you to reach your goals using a range of different techniques. Every therapist may use slightly different techniques, but working towards the same goal,” says the NCH.

Added Mind’s Mamo: “In the last few years, we’ve seen employers come on leaps and bounds when it comes to tackling stress and supporting the mental wellbeing of their staff, including those with a diagnosed mental health problem. However, there is more to do and employers do need to recognise the different approaches they may need to adopt in how they address mental health in the workplace.”

Stress is one of the major reasons people take time off work and, by investing in stress reduction schemes, companies can increase productivity, happiness and subsequently loyalty in their employees, comments the NCH.

“Many hypnotherapists offer special offers to businesses for stress reduction schemes at work. It is worth talking to your employer or to a local hypnotherapist to see if that this is a possibility.”