December 6th, 2013
A recent study reveals that over the course of a year, women typically spend one month worrying about the way they look.
Fear of gaining weight, worrying about wobbly bits and deciding what to wear takes over 12 hours and four minutes of our lives every month. This results in 627 hours (roughly a month) every year women spend worrying about how they look.
These worrying statistics from a recent study show that anxiety over weight and choosing outfits causes a serious amount of concern for most women. If we’re not worried about our weight, chances are we’re stressing over our skin and hair, according to the study.
The average female reportedly spends 50 minutes a week deciding what to wear, and then spends a further hour and a half worrying about what outfit was chosen. Even underwear poses a problem, with many women spending 39 minutes a week deciding which skivvies look best.
The research found that being overweight is our biggest concern, with many of us worrying for up to an hour and 46 minutes a week about whether or not we’ve gained weight.
This fear leads us to spend another hour and 26 minutes on top of this trying to cover up ‘problem areas’. On the flip side of this, looking too thin is also a concern, making women worry for a further 22 minutes every week.
Other concerns include our complexions – with worries about spots, tan and tone taking up over 2 hours of worry each week. A third of ladies also stress over the condition of their hair, feeling anxious for 57 minutes a week.
A worrying statistic also revealed that on average, on nine days every month women have no confidence at all about how they look. Choosing to cover any perceived flaws, nine out of 10 women admit to selecting an outfit that hides the parts of the body they dislike the most.
While 48% of women say they are aware they probably spend far too much time worrying about their appearance, few choose to do anything to change this. For some people, a poor sense of self-image is due to negative thought patterns. This is something that could be helped with hypnotherapy. To find out more please see our low self-confidence and low self-esteem pages.
View and comment on the original Yahoo Lifestyle article.
December 4th, 2013
Simon Cowell hires a hypnotherapist to help Tamera Foster remember her words.
After forgetting her lines multiple times during the live shows, X Factor contestant Tamera Foster was sent to a hypnotherapist for help. Simon Cowell, creator of the show, knows how much the technique can help after he quit smoking with the help of hypnotherapy.
After 16-year old Tamera Foster forgot her words for the third time during the live shows on X Factor, Simon sent her to hypnotherapist Christian Baker. Speaking to the Daily Mail, Tamera said the following:
“Last week was really difficult. I’ve been seeing a hypnotherapist who has been giving me little exercises to do to get me in the right frame of mind to go on stage and give a good performance. He’s been showing me how to go into deep meditation, because I meditate already, but he’s been showing me a different way which is better because I can do it in any environment.”
According to fellow contestant Hannah Barrett (who left the competition the previous week) nerves may be to blame for the singer’s memory loss, “We do forget the fact that she’s only 16″.
According to sources, Christian was telling Tamera to let go of any negativity and to focus on relaxing and making her performance perfect. After her hypnotherapy sessions, the contestant sang word-perfectly this weekend. Despite her improvement, Tamera was sadly still placed in the bottom two by the public. After a highly emotional sing off from Luke Friend and Tamera, it was Tamera who got voted off.
Being nervous or anxious over a performance can affect people in different ways. For some people it gives them the push they need to shine, for others it can cause them to panic and forget lines. Rather than harbouring an actual memory problem, this is far more likely to be due to anxiety.
While most people won’t be performing in front of millions every Saturday night, many of us face similar anxieties when faced with public speaking or performances on a lesser scale. If you find stress affects your performance, seeing a hypnotherapist could help. To find out more, take a look at our public speaking page.
View and comment on the original Daily Mail article.
November 29th, 2013
The NHS has been told to be more strict regarding smoking on hospital property.
New guidance set by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises NHS hospitals to ban smoking on their property. It has also been recommended that hospitals have an on-site stop-smoking service and that staff discourage patients to smoke.
Though it is individual NHS trusts who will have the final say, NICE wants both staff and people using NHS services to refrain from smoking on hospital grounds. Trusts should not have a designated smoking area and no staff-supervised or staff facilitated smoking breaks for those using secondary care services.
Professor Mike Kelly, the director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE says the new guidance should be seen as a culture shift rather than the creation of a penal culture:
“It’s clearly absurd that the most lethal set of toxins to the human body are being passively encouraged in hospitals. We’ve known since the 1950s that smoking kills you and 61 years have passed and we’re now tackling the problem in hospitals. That’s too long.”
Prof Kelly goes on to explain that smoking is the most important health issue currently facing the NHS with almost 800,000 deaths each year caused by smoking.
Figures released by NICE shows that people with mental health problems are more likely to smoke. It is estimated that one in five people in the general population smoke; this figure rises to one in three people with mental health conditions.
Professor Sue Bailey, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists says there is a common (albeit mistaken) belief among some mental health professionals that it is OK for patients in their care to smoke. This is incorrect however, and patients with mental health issues are even more likely to die earlier.
Smokers lobbying against the guidance say banning patients from smoking is both ‘heartless’ and ‘inhumane’. They say that many smokers in hospital are not there because of a smoking-related condition and simply want to relieve stress.
If you think you would find it difficult not to smoke during a hospital stay, it may be worth seeking further help to quit. To find out how hypnotherapy could help, please see our quit smoking page.
View and comment on the original Independent article.
November 27th, 2013
A recent study has revealed that worrying about a perceived illness can trigger symptoms.
A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research looked into the effects a video warning about negative side effects of electromagnetic fields would have on viewers. Over half of those who watched the video reported symptoms such as tingling and headaches when they were told they were being exposed to Wi-Fi signals, even though they actually weren’t. Those who watched the ‘scary’ video (as opposed to the neutral video) were found to be more likely to experience effects of ‘exposure’.
These findings confirm the power of nocebo – placebo’s dark cousin – when a person’s negative expectations surrounding a health issue leads to real symptoms.
Coauthor of the study, Michael Witthöft of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany said the following:
“If someone expects adverse health effects, it’s very likely they will focus more on the body and notice sensations that might be falsely attributed to electromagnetic fields.”
This kind of phenomenon is rather common says Dr Arthur Barsky, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He says the way people interpret the meaning of a situation will depend a lot on information they have access to at the time. For example, hearing about a link between mobile phones and brain cancer is likely to make that headache you would normally ignore seem more significant. By concentrating on this symptom too, you are likely to feel it as more intense.
For many people, worrying about their health stems from anxiety. If you have heard a story about a health issue in the media and are worried you are experiencing the same symptoms, try to think back to whether or not you’ve had these symptoms before and if so, did they go away on their own?
If you can’t resist looking up your symptoms online, try to stick to credible sources such as patient.co.uk. Try to set yourself a time limit so you don’t waste hours researching an illness. If you are still worried, seek help from your doctor.
To find out how hypnotherapy could help ease anxiety, please see our dedicated anxiety page.
View and comment on the original Spirituality & Health article.
November 22nd, 2013
Forming a new, healthy habit takes a lot of work, but the following tips should help to keep you on track.
Many of us have a few habits we wish we could stick to, we may want to go running every morning before work for example, but forming a new habit is harder than it sounds. Experts say it takes 18 days to create a habit, but for some of us it takes longer and it is easy to give up halfway through.
The following tips should give you the best tools for creating a new habit and help you stick to them once and for all.
Define your new habit
Sounds obvious we know, but detail is important here. Rather than saying ‘I want to write every day’ think about what you want to write specifically and refine your habit, i.e. ‘I want to write a blog post every day’.
Figure out your personal ‘whys’
Now you know what you want to do, it’s time to ask yourself exactly why you want to do it. And again, this will require detail. Saying ‘I want to drink green tea because it’s healthy’ isn’t enough – what will you personally gain from drinking green tea? Having a solid reason will motivate you to stick to your new habit.
Understand the habit loop
The habit loop goes like this: cue, routine, reward. The cue is often the hardest part as you need to set yourself up with reminders to carry out your new habit. If your goal is to go to the gym three days a week for example, you’re cue might be a reminder on your phone or leaving your gym gear by the front door.
To keep your motivation up, look for inspiration outside of yourself. Social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest can be great for this, especially if your goal is food/fitness related.
At first, you are likely to struggle and you may even have the odd day where you forget your new habit. Pushing through this initial hard stage will set you up for success and remember – we are all different, so don’t get disheartened if you are struggling three months into a new habit, just keep pushing!
Habits start and end in the mind, and often our mind can be our biggest enemy when it comes to forming habits. Some people find they benefit from hypnotherapy to help break bad habits and form more positive ones. To find out more, please see our FAQ page.
View and comment on the original Inspiyr article.
November 20th, 2013
An incredible 81% of dieters say it’s alcohol that ruins any health intentions, causing them to fall off the wagon and put on weight.
A large glass of wine or post-meeting beer after work may seem like the perfect way to wind down after a long day, but it could be hindering your health goals. Recent research has revealed that ‘slimmers’ consume a quarter of their weekly calorie allowance through alcohol alone.
On top of the calorie-laden tipple, alcohol typically destroys any willpower we once had, leading us down the garden path and head first into the kebab shop. According to recent statistics, four out of 10 of us drink heavily once a week, consuming up to 1,000 liquid calories – and that’s before we even order our usual double cheeseburger at the end of the night.
While this weekly binge is undoubtedly bad for both our livers and our waistlines, what is even more concerning is our tendency to drink during the week. About 34% of us drink three times a week, usually after work to wind down. After-work tipples of choice include white wine (185 calories per 250ml glass) and lager (230 calories per pint).
Three quarters of us have a takeaway after a night out; this could include anything from a fatty cheeseburger and chips to fried chicken and pizza.
So why do we eat more after a few drinks? Apparently alcohol suppresses a hormone called leptin, and this is the hormone that normally tells your brain when to stop eating. This hormone suppression also affects other brain chemicals involved with appetite, making us think we’re hungrier than we really are.
So, not only is alcohol calorie laden itself, it encourages us to eat when we’re not hungry. Could there be any more bad news? Well, yes actually. It turns out that alcohol also slows down the body’s fat-burning process by 73%. This means we don’t burn what we’ve consumed as quickly and much of it will be stored as fat.
As the evidence mounts, it is becoming clear that alcohol really is the enemy of weight loss and must be addressed if you’re looking to lose weight and keep it off.
Tackling habitual drinking while adopting a healthier attitude towards food can be incredibly difficult – especially around Christmas. For some people, hypnotherapy can prove useful. To find out how this type of therapy can help, please see our alcohol and weight loss pages.
View and comment on the original Yahoo Lifestyle article.
November 15th, 2013
Is it right to offer a financial incentive for adopting healthy behaviours, and will it work?
A controversial area of public policy has been highlighted recently with a new initiative offering £200 of shopping vouchers to mothers who breastfeed their children. The public has called this type of initiative into question, asking why some should be paid to breastfeed when many others are already doing it without being paid.
It is not just breastfeeding that has been approached in this way either. A stop-smoking scheme in Dundee proved successful when quitters were offered £12.50 a week to quit smoking. By the end of the three-month scheme, almost a third of participants had kicked the habit – double the amount recorded in previous schemes.
Many people have asked why money is being used as an incentive when the potential health benefits of such schemes should be incentive enough. Advocates of the approach argue that in some cases health benefits are not enough. They point out that sometimes behaviour becomes so ingrained that people need something to help jolt them out of bad habits.
The question critics are asking is how can such initiatives be policed? The stop smoking scheme was a relatively easy one to monitor, with participants taking regular breadth tests to monitor CO2 levels. Would other initiatives, such as the latest breastfeeding scheme, be so easy to monitor?
Another worry is that people may abuse the scheme. The shopping vouchers offered to breastfeeding mothers can be used on anything, and therefore may be used on alcohol and cigarettes.
It appears that while the Government should be praised for their enthusiasm to help people break bad habits, perhaps these initiatives need further thought and consideration.
Breaking bad habits starts in the mind and for some people, hypnotherapy can offer help and support to break these habits and form new ones. To find out what issues hypnotherapy can help with, please browse our hypnotherapy areas.
View and comment on the original BBC News article.
November 13th, 2013
Lung cancer claims 35,000 UK lives each year, making it the biggest cancer killer, but still many remain unaware of the common symptoms.
On Thursday 1st November, Double Olympic gold medallist Pete Reed used his lung power to help inflate a 12ft pair of inflatable lungs, which are currently touring the UK as part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Reed, who has a lung capacity of 11.68 litres (the largest ever recorded), is just one of many celebrities who are supporting the ‘I Love My Lungs’ campaign. Other famous supporters include Duncan Bannatyne, Jenny Frost and Lynda Bellingham.
Rower Reed, who is now a patron of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation who are responsible for running the campaign, has said he has pledged his support because he relies on his lungs to excel in his sport. Since becoming a patron, he has since witnessed the devastating effects of lung cancer and has stressed the importance of early diagnosis.
“So even though it’s winter and even if you’re a smoker, if you’ve had a bad cough for 2-3 weeks and you can’t get rid of it, make an appointment with your GP today.” He said.
While awareness of symptoms for other cancers is fairly high, for example a lump in your breast or testicles, too few individuals are aware that having a cough for three weeks plus can be an indicator of the early stages of lung cancer.
Symptoms to look out for include:
- a cough that continues for more than three weeks
- coughing up blood
- unexplained and persistent breathlessness
- unexplained persistent tiredness
- unexplained persistent weight loss
- repeated chest infections.
According to Cancer Research UK, in most individuals lung cancer is linked to cigarette smoking – with figures suggesting that smoking causes almost 9 out of 10 cases (86%). In addition, it is thought that around 3% of cases are caused by exposure to secondhand smoke in non-smokers.
If you are a smoker who would like to give up, please visit our quit smoking page to find out how hypnotherapy could help you.
View and comment on the original article from the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
November 8th, 2013
Recent news has revealed that sugar, not fat, is enemy number one for those trying to lose weight.
For many of us, reaching for a sugar fix in the afternoon is a habit that has been ingrained in our lives since childhood (remember those high-sugar snacks you ate after school?), but now it appears that it may be more than a bad habit – it could be an addiction.
The pattern of avoiding and bingeing can lead to addict-like effects and studies have shown that sugar affects the same ‘feel-good’ hormones as street drugs. So while a cheeky afternoon doughnut isn’t the same as a heroin addiction – it can still mess with your body and brain.
Are you addicted?
Anyone has the potential to use sugary foods in an unhealthy way, but how do you know if you have an addiction? You may find yourself losing control when you get the taste for something sweet, leading to a binge. You may feel agitated and down if you miss your after-dinner dessert, or you may even feel shaky and anxious when you try to cut out sugar.
What happens to your brain on sugar?
Overloading on sugary foods has been shown to alter the parts of the brain that control how much you eat – this could lead you to overeat. Studies have also shown that just looking at images of sugary food can trigger brain effects similar to drug addicts. Suffice to say our mind has a profound effect when it comes to diet.
How can you cut down?
While there are some diets out there that promote cutting out all forms of sugar, this is difficult to maintain and may lead to frustration and a sugar binge. Instead, trying to cut down slowly and retraining your taste buds can help. Try cutting out one sweet food a week, over time you will find you no longer crave the taste.
Opting for healthy sweet foods such as fruit and natural yoghurt is another great step to take, try replacing your usual sugar fix with fresh fruit and see how you get on. If you’re hungry, you are more likely to reach for high-sugar foods, so be sure to include high-protein meals in your diet to help you feel fuller for longer.
If it is the habit side of things you are finding hard to kick, it may be worth seeking the help of a professional. A hypnotherapist dealing with food addiction can help to break negative habits and re-programme the mind in a healthy way. To find out more, please see our food addiction page.
View and comment on the original WebMD article.
November 6th, 2013
Common stressful life events such as a difficult divorce or loss of a spouse when middle-aged, could increase the risk of women developing dementia later on in life.
Research recently published in the online version of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) compiled data from a long-term study of 800 Swedish women to find that those who experienced a higher number of “stressful” events when middle-aged were more likely to be diagnosed with dementia in later life.
The life “stressors” included widowhood, divorce, job issues and an ill relative.
According to the results, one in four women had experienced a minimum of one stressful event, while 23% had suffered two, one in five had suffered three and 16% had suffered in excess of four.
Throughout the assessment period, almost 20% of women went on to develop dementia.
According to the collated data, the number of stressors reported in 1968 when the women were ‘middle-aged’ was associated with a 21% heightened risk of developing Alzheimer’s and a 15% heightened risk of developing any type of dementia.
While the authors have said that more research is required in order to cement the study findings, the results do suggest that stress may trigger a series of physiological reactions in the central nervous, endocrine and immune systems. The authors said:
“Our study shows that common psychosocial stressors may have severe and long-standing physiological and psychological consequences.”
Commenting on the study, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, Dr Simon Ridley, said that research such as this is key for identifying trends and highlighting areas that warrant further investigation.
We all experience stressful events during our lives and unfortunately during these times it is easy to forget the basics of looking after ourselves. If you are going through a stressful stage in your life and the effects are beginning to ripple into other areas (job and relationships etc.), a hypnotherapist could help you to take back control. Hypnotherapy has long since been used as a way to promote relaxation, tapping in to the unconscious mind to replace negative reactions and behaviour patterns with more positive ones. To find out more, visit our stress fact-sheet.
View and comment on the original Express article.