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712, 2016

The season of goodwill?

By |December 7th, 2016|Categories: Anxiety, Hypnotherapy|0 Comments

“Happy Christmas”! To anyone feeling lonely, anxious, fearful or depressed, those words sound not only hollow but cynical. In fact, they just seem to emphasise that many people aren’t actually happy at all, and won’t miraculously become that way just because it’s the festive season. But it’s worth remembering that those smilingly wishing us a happy Christmas are often not very happy themselves – their smiles may hide heartache, worry, illness or even downright misery. Talking to people can help, which is why so many of us turn to counselling and hypnotherapy. But a bit of  ordinary, genuine goodwill can also go a long way towards making people feel better. In the run-up to the Christmas holiday, I plan to make sure that I perform at least one small act of kindness or consideration every day, even if it’s only telling someone that they’ve done a good job or thanking them properly for their help. Simply smiling at people who serve you in shops can make their day that bit better. If we could all do this, it would make our lives a little bit happier, I’m sure. And who knows – it might become [...]

411, 2016

Smoking harms DNA

By |November 4th, 2016|Categories: Hypnotherapy|0 Comments

A new study proves that tobacco smoke harms human DNA and is linked to a whole range of cancers. This was a large-scale research exercise involving 5,000 smokers so it can't be dismissed. Though I don't specialise in smoking cessation myself, it is something I feel is very worthwhile and other hypnotherapists report good results as long as their clients are really motivated to stop. One reason that I don't offer smoking cessation is that I have a personal interest that makes it hard for me to be objective. In her youth and middle age, my mother had been a very heavy smoker. When she was in her last months of life, I watched her trying desperately to breathe, hooked up to an oxygen cylinder. This is an image that will stay with me always. She had suffered from breathing problems for years and her whole retirement (after a life of hard work and little enjoyment) had been blighted by this disability. I had health problems myself that later were recognised as the result of passive smoking. I do offer help for clients who want to rid themselves of unwanted habits and lead healthier lives. [...]

2309, 2016

Anxiety and male deaths from cancer

By |September 23rd, 2016|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Anxiety is bad for us: we know that. But it is a killer - or can it save our lives? A large-scale study has found that men over 40 who suffer from significant levels of anxiety are twice as likely to die from cancer than their female counterparts. Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common mental health problem that is associated with an increased risk of suicide and other mental health problems. It affects about 5% of the population. But the male sufferers studied in the research were found to be at greater risk of dying from cancer than the females – or from other men who did not suffer from GAD. Was this because the men worried about their symptoms in silence?  Did women react differently, worrying more about theirs and consequently taking steps to gain reassurance from their doctors? Were there other differences caused by gender-related issues? Or did the anxiety itself cause cancers to develop more frequently in men, and not in women for some reason? Much more research needs to be undertaken to find out the answers. What is certain is that anxiety, like stress, is bad for our physical health [...]

209, 2016

Young girls feel the pressure to be perfect

By |September 2nd, 2016|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Girls are increasingly worried about their appearance and the pressure to be perfect, according to this year’s annual report from the Children’s Society, produced with researchers from the University of York. Among the sample of 10 to 15-year-old girls surveyed, the researchers found that 14% are unhappy with their lives as a whole, and 34% with their appearance. This is an increase on the previous year, when 11% said they were unhappy with their lives and 30% with their appearance. Some respondents cited social media as a particular influence, with girls more active than boys on sites like Facebook and other platform. But the rise of the popularity of ‘celebrities’ and their newsworthiness was also mentioned by girls, who felt they could not attain the “perfect” looks of females featuring in many TV shows and in magazines. The proportion for boys remained the same, with 11% saying they were unhappy with their lives as a whole and 20% with their appearance. The report highlighted other differences between boys and girls.  Boys aged 10 and 11 were less happy than girls with their school work and more likely to demonstrate conduct and attention/hyperactivity problems. Girls experienced [...]

3008, 2016

Girls aren’t finding life a bed of roses…

By |August 30th, 2016|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Exam results are over – but now it’s almost time for the new school year to start. This can be a stressful time for all students. But new research shows that girls are increasingly suffering higher levels of emotional and psychological distress than boys, according to a study by the Department of Health on Year 10 students in schools in England. A previous survey was undertaken in 2005 and the results of that have been compared with the most recent one. This year’s findings showed that 37% of girls were identified as “psychologically distressed” compared with 15% of boys – and the average levels of distress were more severe for girls, at four points higher. Back in 2005, girls were also displaying higher levels of psychological distress but the differences were less pronounced, and the percentage affected was lower. In the latest survey, more of them reported feelings of worthlessness, unhappiness and an inability to enjoy day to day activities, as well as trouble sleeping, and other indicators of distress. Mental health and wellbeing are now recognised as important issues for all of us, affecting our own lives and the lives of those around us. [...]

2408, 2016

Teachers get stressed too!

By |August 24th, 2016|Categories: General News|0 Comments

GCSE results are out tomorrow and there are a lot of anxious students and parent currently holding their collective breath. But exam results time is not just nerve-racking for students – their teachers get anxious too. A recent article appeared in The Guardian written by a headteacher “sick with worry” over what the GCSE results would mean for her and her school. Changes to examination organisation means that she feels unable to predict the results, despite teachers  doing everything they can to support their students. She writes: “I’ve been suffering from anxiety since October. I’ve been lying awake in the small hours trying to figure out what else we could do. When I wake up it is often the first thing I think about. My stress-related psoriasis and irritable bowel syndrome have never been worse and I’ve had more migraines in the past 12 months than in the past 10 years.” The full story can be read here: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/aug/23/secret-headteacher-gcse-results-students-exams-worry As someone who used to teach, and who still spends a lot of time visiting schools, colleges and universities wearing a different work hat, I can understand how teachers feel. Stressed teachers are not in the [...]

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