Making the public aware of mental health
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. The purpose of which is to help raise the profile of our mental health and look at the things we can do to help. It always amazes me that people are so open about their physical problems "oh my back is killing me" and "do you want to see the scars?" but as soon it's a mental health issue - from something simple like fear of heights - it becomes deeply embarrassing and no one wants to talk about it.
Important factors in our mental well-being are:
Exercise - This produces the chemical dopamine in the brain which helps motivate us and makes us feel good. At least 40 minutes of exercise every day can help significantly with our feeling of well-being.
Good night's sleep - During sleep our brains are busy sorting out and sifting through all kinds of things, from turning short-term memories into long-term ones, to regulating emotions and allowing the body to renew it’s cell structure. Any disruption can mean that coping with life becomes more and more difficult. Hypnotherapy is a fantastic way to get a good night’s sleep, and this is where an MP3 or CD can be worth it’s weight in gold.
But that aside, there may be times you feel you’re losing control, that the anxiety overwhelms you but there are many things you can do to help. One way is realise that every problem has a solution, and that sometimes when it’s another person or circumstance that’s beyond our control, it’s the way you think about the situation that will determine whether it stresses you out or you’re able to see it in a different light.
There are a number of ways hypnotherapists help people achieve those things, teaching every client to be mindful and to be in the moment can help enormously. This is shown to increase activity in the area of the brain called the pre-frontal cortex, which is associated with positive emotion – and is generally less active in people who are depressed.
Solution Focused hypnotherapy can help too - finding solutions to your problems, help set you on your path to achieve a balanced life.
The truth is that there are ways of creating a balanced state of mind and that we don’t have to suffer, that is the purpose of this week to show there are solutions other than CBT. Recently a family member was seriously injured in an accident and asked her doctor for some help in the form of talking therapy - that happened in March, her appointment is in July. One day I would like to see a much wider range of therapies open to everyone.
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About Penny Ling
Penny Ling is an experienced solution focused hypnotherapist specialising in fears and phobias and many anxiety related problems in between. She works in a GP practice in Oxford and clinics in Abingdon, Faringdon and Cirencester. She is a supervisor for the AfSFH and the NCH, and was writer and editor of Hypnotherapy Today between 2010 to 2015.