November blues!

It’s that time of year again and I’m reminded of the poem by Thomas Hood, which ends with the lines: “No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, November!”

Dark nights and gloomy days can make the most cheerful of us despondent. But those suffering from anxiety or stress may find the ‘winter blues’ affect them in a disproportionate way.

If that sounds like you, there are things you can do to help combat those feelings, and it’s worth making that little extra effort.

First of all try to make the most of what natural daylight there is. If you can, spend some time outside during the day and especially if there is any sunlight. Even if the sky is grey, research tells us that being outside is beneficial to body and mind. A brisk walk (and at this time of year, brisk is best!) will also burn up those calories and release endorphins that lift the mood.

Also, make some time to practise relaxation is a mindful way. Even if this is simply doing some conscious breathing for five minutes of the day, I promise you that you’ll feel the benefit. And even better is a short mindfulness meditation that can be done on a daily basis and takes up only a tiny part of your daily routine.

Take pleasure in small things. Let yourself notice the beauty of nature even at a time of dormancy – at the dead time of year, the shapes of the trees are revealed clearly and only then can their sculptural forms be appreciated as the wonder that they are. Let your eyes and mind linger on things that you wouldn’t usually notice or are normally distracted from.

And finally – smile at a stranger. You’ll be surprised how many people will smile back!

By |2019-11-04T13:12:21+00:00November 4th, 2019|Uncategorised|0 Comments

“I’ll eat anything as long as it’s lemon curd…” Picky about food or selective eating disorder?

Call-centre staff may not always seem human – but the minute I mention hypnotherapy to them, everything changes. It’s unbelievable how many people have problems, small or large, that impact on their lives, and that they’d like to do something about.

I was recently in the middle of a call to the bank when I mentioned to the young man on the other end of the phoneline  – I’ll call him ‘Mike’ – that I was working as a hypnotherapist. Instantly his voice changed from bland politeness to eager interest, and he started asking me question after question – how does it work, what kinds of problems does it work with, and so on. It turned out that he had a long-standing problem which he had always put up with (and the rest of his family had done the same) – but now he was at university and sharing a house, and his housemates were less tolerant. His issue was that there were very few foods that he would eat, and he had been like that since childhood. His long-suffering mum, dad and siblings had tolerated this, but now his new friends were less happy – especially when it was his turn to cook. A bowl of chilli was completely beyond him and every single ingredient was verboten as far as he was concerned.

Intrigued, after the call was over, I did some research into Selective Eating Disorder  – that’s what it is, and it’s more than just faddy or picky eating. The condition is recognised by the medical profession and mentioned in guidance by institutions such as Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. Occasionally there are news items about SED and this one appeared a few days ago…

Hypnotherapy worked for this young woman, but it does may one realise how something that begins as ‘picky eating’ in childhood can make life pretty miserable in young adulthood, when joining in with your mates is so important.

Since that call, I occasionally find myself wondering whether ‘Mike’ ever managed that bowl of chilli that he was agonising about so much…I do hope so .

By |2016-07-30T12:14:45+00:00July 30th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments