Are you sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions?

Are you achieving your goals?

January brings with it overflowing gyms and boxes of pre-made salads eaten at desks.  Perhaps the most common New Year’s resolutions are to improve your health – whether that’s getting in shape by losing weight or spending more time exercising or by ditching cigarettes. Did you know that 60% of resolutions are broken before February finishes?  If you’re one of that 60% or feel like you’re struggling to stick to your resolutions, you could consider giving yourself a boost with a few sessions of hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy has been clinically researched and found to be effective for a wide range of lifestyle and habit changes from quitting smoking to weight loss and boosting self-esteem. Working together with the hypnotherapist you will harness the power of your subconscious to understand and change negative behaviours and thought patterns which have been keeping you stuck.

Hypnotherapy helps people to make changes to their behaviour,” says the National Council for Hypnotherapy. Hypnosis is a natural state of mind and people are often surprised that they hear every word and could get up and walk out of the room at any moment. A hypnotherapist is a guide and helps you on a journey, but the change can only be made by you. The NCH states that often people find it very empowering to realise that they are in control and can choose to make changes.

Unlike crash diets and extreme boot camp exercise programmes, hypnotherapy for weight loss is about changing your habits with food for the rest of your life.  You’ll notice that you’re free to just enjoy your life – eating and exercising sensibly without having to think about it.

If you’ve committed to quitting smoking, you’ll explore the reasons you want to quit and the reasons that you started and harness the power of your subconscious to assist you in your goal. Research shows that by quitting smoking with hypnosis you are twice as likely to give up as if you used nicotine patches.

Finding a hypnotherapist near you is easy, just click here to access the NCH’s therapist database which contains over 1,800 qualified, registered and insured hypnotherapists all around the UK.

Social media linked to depression in teens

social media linked to depression in teensGovernment ministers and Simon Stevens, the chief executive of the NHS have called for social media companies such as Snapchat and Instagram to limit the amount of time that young people spend on their platforms.  These calls for reform came after a study tracking 11,000 14-year-olds (the Millennium Cohort Study) found that almost 40% of girls who spend 5 hours or longer on social media a day are depressed. Stevens called for the social media companies to have an extra tax levied on them to help ease the strain on the already overloaded NHS system.

Of course, it’s a chicken and egg argument, what came first the depression, low self-esteem and dissatisfaction with their body or the excessive hours spent on social media. Experts say that despite there not being a causal link, in their opinion evidence points in that direction.

Last week Facebook faced new allegations that it paid teenagers to download an app onto their phones which tracked not only their social media useage, but their private emails. Apple said that Facebook abused a loophole in its AppStore to bypass strict data collection rules.  Barbara Keeley, the shadow minister for mental health, said social media firms should be forced to adopt a new duty of care to protect young users.

Greater amounts of daily screen time are associated with more insomnia symptoms and shorter sleep duration among teens. The sleep deprivation associated with social messaging, web surfing and TV/movie watching is linked to depressive symptoms. Of course, it’s too simplistic to lay the blame for the rise in mental health problems amongst teenage girls at the doors of social media.

There is a complex interplay between the environment, genes and what’s happening in a person’s inner world that give rise to mental health problems.  However, early intervention is very important when assessing the long term outcomes for teens with mental health issues and with NHS resources stretched, it’s easy for these girls to slip through the cracks.

If you think your child is depressed, stressed or having other mental health problems it is important to find them someone they can talk to.  The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) has nearly 2000 qualified therapists from the UK as members.  This means they are well placed to recommend someone near you who specialises working with children and teenagers.

Clinical hypnotherapy takes a holistic approach, rather than just treating symptoms. The underlying emotions that feed the anxiety or depression are addressed and effective hypnotherapy can bring fast relief compared to other forms of therapy.  Use the NCH directory to find a therapist near you.

The importance of ethics in therapeutic practice

In the last few days hypnotherapy has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.  A trial is underway in Scotland where a hypnotherapist has been accused of assaulting a client during a session and a victim of a man who assaulted her while she was under hypnosis has spoken out about her experiences.  There are horrific situations and the National Council for Hypnotherapy’s board of directors is deeply saddened by these shocking events. The NCH is the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association, representing close to 2,000 professional hypnotherapists.

Complementary therapy, from counselling to mindfulness in the UK is largely unregulated; anyone who chooses to can call themselves a therapist or coach without any training or background checks.  The NCH was established in 1973 to bring unity to this unregulated environment.  All hypnotherapists who are members of the NCH have completed training which meets National Occupational Standards (NOS) for the field. They also agree to adhere to a code of conduct and ethics in which they agree to keep high standards of personal conduction and not to do anything that would adversely affect someone’s treatment or confidence in them.  In addition to this, all members are required to have comprehensive Public Liability & Professional Indemnity Insurance, undertake regular continuing professional development training, and attend supervision.

All members of the NCH meet the requirements laid out for registration with the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) – a council set up by the government to protect the public. Whether our members have chosen to join the CNHC, they have voluntarily agreed to meet these standards because they are committed to providing a high level of care to their clients within stringent ethical boundaries.

The NCH provides a Complaints & Disciplinary Procedure which ensures that clients receive the highest possible quality of treatment from hypnotherapists who are members of their organisation. As the NCH, we can only minimise risk, like any other professional association, in any other field. We will always be reliant on well trained, caring, decent people following our regulations.  We set a level of standard to join our organisation, and we have to trust that with the criteria met; training ongoing CPD and Supervision, that people are inherently ‘good’ and are therapists because they want the best for their patients/clients.

Hypnotherapy can be helpful for many different problems from mental health difficulties including anxiety, depression and stress to physical issues such as insomnia, weight management, or skin conditions. Several NHS trusts have introduced hypnobirthing as part of their antenatal classes and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends hypnotherapy to treat IBS.

To ensure that you are working with a trained, insured and registered hypnotherapist, please use our therapist finder, our therapists are located all over the UK so you’re sure to find someone near you.

Stressed? How to feel more resilient.

74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope in the last year a YouGov poll found. The festive season is well and truly over and the rest of winter stretches out ahead of us.  Most of us are back in the swing of work or school, back to thinking about the realities of life, our finances that we neglected over Christmas. Perhaps worrying about the climate of political uncertainty, what will happen with Brexit.  With no break or bank holiday for some months, for many of us this is the time of year where we struggle with our stress levels the most.

Taking steps to look after your wellbeing can help you deal with pressure, and reduce the impact that stress has on your life. Resilience keeps us mentally healthy and able to cope with the stresses of life. Because every-day stresses are ongoing, the way you deal with them is crucial for your long-term mental and physical health. 

The way you interpret and think about events makes a difference. You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can think about it in more productive and resilient ways.  By focusing on what you can control, or learn from a situation you can respond to events more productively.  Challenge yourself to consider a range of outcomes, instead of automatically thinking that the worst will happen.

Work towards strong connections within your family, friends and community.  We all function best when we have support.  Connect with and collaborate with your community in projects that make a difference. Social connection is central to good mental and physical health and giving makes us happier, maintains perspective on our lives and reminds us to be grateful.

If you’re struggling to manage your stress levels and feeling as though life is getting on top of you a few sessions with a hypnotherapist may help you achieve a different perspective.   During sessions with a hypnotherapist you will learn skills that will enable you to manage your stress more effectively and to think about the events that occur in your life in more productive ways.  You may also learn techniques that help you examine your short and long term goals, cultivate your purpose in life, and understand feedback from key people in your life.

Often change is subtle, as the hypnotherapist will be working with the subconscious mind, and a very positive shift in feeling and reaction to certain previously stressful situations can be noticed.  Through working with a hypnotherapist you can expect to feel calmer and more confident, with less stress.

You can find a fully-trained, accredited and insured hypnotherapist near you by using the NCH directory.

World Hypnotism Day

Did you know that January 4th is World Hypnotism Day?  Hypnotherapy is still a type of therapy that that many people are cautious of or don’t understand fully.  When you mention hypnosis to an average person on the street many will automatically think about stage hypnosis where people willingly offer themselves up to entertain the crowds by acting in uncharacteristic and foolish ways.  This has led to a popular, fearful perception about hypnosis and how a hypnotist can possess some power over the person.

In a therapeutic context, hypnosis is a method of inducing a trance or a dream-like state of deep relaxation in order to treat a wide array of emotional, mental and physical disorders. It has been practised in various forms for thousands of years by many cultures including Druid, Celtic and Egyptian.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH), largest not-for profit hypnotherapy Professional Association in the UK, says that hypnosis is a completely natural state that everyone goes into and out of multiple times a day.  When we are in a state of hypnosis your mind may wander or you may daydream or you may be completely absorbed in something like reading a book or watching a film and the outside world recedes in that moment.  Brain scans of people who are in a hypnotic state show that brain wave activity changes to one similar to that found when a person meditates. 

This change of state makes a person more receptive to suggestions that are made by a hypnotherapist.  However, you still retain full control of yourself and your mind, just like when you are watching a film.  The power of hypnotherapy lies in being able to access your subconscious or unconscious mind.  This is the part of you that drives all behaviours and emotions.  By connecting to and communicating with that part of you unconscious struggles can be resolved allowing you to make changes effortlessly and easily.

Of course it’s important that you choose a hypnotherapist that is well-trained, accredited and insured.  You may wish to visit or have a chat on the phone with several hypnotherapists before you find one who feels like the right fit for you.  It’s essential that you feel comfortable with them and their approach and that you have confidence in their skills.  To find an accredited NCH hypnotherapist near you, visit our hypnotherapist finder.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

It’s that time of year again – the time we make a list of resolutions.  Statistically speaking most of us didn’t get terribly far with the new year’s resolutions we made last year, with 66% of people throwing in the towel before March.  So how do we make resolutions that will actually stick ?

According to the BBC, research indicates that we aremore likely to be successful at achieving our resolutions if they are aimed atrecovering something (a skill, activity or level of fitness for example)that we used to have, rather than looking to add something new to ourrepertoire.  This may be because we canclearly visualise the goal – as they say – if you can’t picture it, it’sprobably never going to happen. 

Make sure your goal is realistic but still requires you to stretch to reach it.  Motivation is a tricky thing – if you make your goal unrealistic it will be easy to get discouraged and give up, and conversely if it’s too easy you’re likely to get bored because there’s no challenge and, you guessed it, give up.  By choosing a goal that is achievable yet difficult you keep yourself in the optimum zone for maintaining interest.

Tell everyone you know what your goal is.  This will help you to stay accountable because other people know what you’re working towards.  It’s also an excellent way to enlist support or someone to work towards the goal with you. 

Make sure your goal is something that’s really important to you.  Your motivation levels will fluctuate, so having a goal that is important and relevant to you will help you muster up the enthusiasm to eat another salad when you really want hot chips or to pull on your trainers when it’s cold and dark outside.  Really think about how achieving your goal will improve your life.

If you feel like you’re self-sabotaging or struggling to achieve your goals, you might consider a few sessions of hypnotherapy to help you get yourself focused and on track.  Hypnotherapy has been clinically researched and is effective for a wide range of lifestyle and habit changes from quitting smoking to weight loss and boosting self-esteem. 

Thereason why hypnotherapy works so rapidly with bad habits and behaviours isbecause it works directly with your subconscious, bypassing the critical mindand getting to the root of the issue so that changes can be made that supportyour goals quickly and efficiently.

Have a look in our hypnotherapy directory to find ahypnotherapist near you and take a step towards achieving this year’sresolutions today!

Seasonal Affective Disorder – Got the winter blues?

Does winter leave you feeling SAD? Perhaps you have Seasonal Affective Disorder

As the days get colder and darker many people start to feel a little down and depressed.  Leaving your warm, toasty bed for a cold commute, or emerging from the office into 5 p.m. blackness, having not managed to see the sun for the entire day can feel like too much to bear. 

Although it’s common for people to joke that they feel like hibernating during the winter, people who actually have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) experience depressive symptoms that are severe enough to interfere with day-to-day life, just like the symptoms experienced by people with major depression, wreaking havoc with their mood, motivation and relationships.  Typically peaking in January and February – the darkest and coldest months – SAD is characterised by feelings of depression, guilt, irritability, low energy and apathy.  You may also experience changes in appetite such as intense carbohydrate cravings and sleep changes. 

The reduced sunlight in autumn and winter triggers changes in hormone production including melatonin and serotonin which lead to these changes in mood.  This means that light therapy is quite effective in alleviating SAD symptoms, as is supplementation with Vitamin D. So make sure that you’re maximising natural light; if it’s a nice day, soak up the sun. Walk around the block exposing as much skin as you can comfortably handle or grab the window seat on the bus. If you can’t get outside while it’s light, fake it: Use artificial light, such as a commercial light box and you’ll likely notice a positive improvement in your mood.

For those that find it a little more challenging to pull themselves out of the SAD funk, hypnotherapy can help.  Talking therapies have been proven to help treat anxieties, stress and depression and the National Council for Hypnotherapy has around 1,800 qualified therapists across the UK who can provide effective treatment.  By targeting negative and unhelpful thinking patterns and learning skills around resilience depression can start to lift and life can feel better again.

The NCH says that after sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you. They report that many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily.

Click here to access the NCH directory to find a qualified and insured therapist near you.

Festive stress: The myth of a ‘perfect Christmas’.

Are you experiencing festive stress?

Are you feeling those tell-tale signs of stress?  Perhaps you’ve got a headache or your jaw is tight?  Maybe you’re not sleeping as well as you might… these are all signs of what American experts are labelling ‘festive stress’.  This stress usually starts around early December and then builds and builds until it peaks on Christmas Day, right around the time the family sits down to Christmas Dinner.  It’s not just the mammoth list of things that need to get done; it’s the expectations of having a ‘perfect Christmas’ that drive this stress.

In fact, over 2/3 of people polled in an Irish survey said that they found the Christmas period to be stressful. The top worries focused on money and family, with respondents saying that they worried about how to afford gifts for their families.  Arguments and conflict were also commonly cited as causes of stress throughout the holiday period. 

To keep pace with the frenzy of activity that the Christmas season brings many people turn to caffeine and sugar to cope.  This often leads to feelings of guilt and the inevitable post-sugar slump and crankiness.  25% of people surveyed said that the idea of gaining holiday weight made them anxious, while 34% said that they managed their stress by tucking into holiday treats. 

There are many practical steps you can take to help you cope better with holiday stress including seeking out and building supportive relationships in your family and wider community, making sure you are eating and sleeping well and exercising regularly. If these steps are not enough to alleviate your stress, the National Council for Hypnotherapy is well-placed to assist with over 1,800 registered hypnotherapists who can teach you tools and help you work through your problem.

Can you imagine how different Christmas would be without the stress?  Hypnotherapy for stress management can help you gain a completely different perspective on life, not just for the holidays.  Clinical hypnotherapy helps assess the issues and identifying their root – whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship. Working collaboratively, the therapist and client will set goals and challenge unhelpful thinking patterns and create routines for healthy stress management, helping create a happy and positive frame of mind.

Give yourself and your family a gift this Christmas by finding a therapistnear you.

Celebs turn to hypnotherapy for quick and effective relief.

Celebs are turning to hypnotherapy for fast and effective relief from their issues.

Hypnotherapy has been making headlines in the show biz world in the last few months.  Celebs from both sides of the Atlantic have been lining up for treatment for issues as varied as smoking cessation, stage fright and depression.

Keira Knightly, who rose to stardom at the age of 17 with her role in Bend it like Bekham has revealed that she used hypnotherapy to cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after being stalked and harassed by paparazzi wanting to get ‘exclusive’ pictures of her.  She credits her sessions of hypnotherapy as enabling her to walk the red carpet at the BAFTA awards in 2008 feeling calm and confident.

Liam Payne from One Direction has consulted a hypnotherapist for help quitting smoking.  He quit smoking when his son was born but has reportedly struggled to stay off the cigarettes, but according to a source close to him he feels confident that he’s now kicked the habit. 

Singer Adele has seen several hypnotherapists over the years.  After losing her voice in 2011, which lead to cancelling shows and undergoing surgery, she was told by doctors to quit smoking or face the end of her career. It took some years and failed attempts but she successfully used hypnotherapy to free herself from the addiction. In 2013 she also consulted a hypnotherapist for assistance to overcome stage fright when she became very nervous about performing at the Oscars with a full orchestra behind her. 

Yazmin Oukhellou recently took a break from filming TOWIE after explosive rows with some of her castmates.  A source close to her has reported that she is undergoing hypnotherapy to help her deal with depression and anxiety

It’s clear that hypnotherapy works to resolve issues quickly and effectively.  After a session you may feel relaxed and uplifted, with changes happening within a very short period of time.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy has a register of qualified and insured hypnotherapists who work throughout the UK.  Find one near you and start feeling feeling better today!

Hypnobirthing in the news again with royal pregnancy.

Last month Kensington Palace confirmed the news that “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.” They also confirmed that “Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”

Since the announcement, rumours have been rife that Meghan is expecting twins and  Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, is also reported to be pregnant with her 4th child.  As always with royal pregnancies there is a great deal of interest and speculation about what techniques will be used to bring the babies into the world.

Kate reportedly used hypnobirthing in each of her three deliveries which has sparked a surge in the popularity of the technique both in the UK and internationally.  In August this year Harry Kane announced that his wife used hypnobirthing for the delivery of their daughter, sparking a debate about the use of pain relief in childbirth. Many NHS trusts now offer courses for expecting mothers and some midwives are being trained in hypnotherapy techniques which aid fertility and ease the birthing process.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) says that modern hypnobirthing practices help overcome fear and anxiety around conception, parenting and birth. Hypnobirthing teaches the mother specific pain control techniques along with relaxation exercises which leading to significantly faster births with fewer medical interventions and faster recoveries; this type of birth experience is believed by many to reduce the risk of post-natal depression. 

Partners who are involved with the hypnobirthing training also report a significant reduction in stress and anxiety surrounding becoming a parent. The NCH offers research that shows babies born to mums who have practiced hypnosis and deep relaxation techniques during labour may also be calmer, sleep better and feed better.

To find a qualified and insured hypnobirthing practitioner near you, click here to access the directory of NCH accredited therapists.