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Hypnotherapy

5 ways hypnotherapy can help your menopause symptoms

5 ways hypnotherapy can help your menopause symptoms

Written by Alison Ralph                     Date 15 January 2024

Menopause! It can be a really difficult time in a woman’s life so here are 5 ways hypnotherapy can help your menopause symptoms. Unfortunately during the menopause, some women feel lonely, some do not know which way to turn and some even feeling like they are going mad! Luckily, there has been a lot more noise about the menopause over the last few years and more ways to help women cope are being talked about. One of those ways is hypnotherapy and I am going to explain how in this blog post. 

I will talk about these things and how they can help different symptoms and your overall well-bring:

  • Relaxation
  • Visualisation
  • Talking
  • The subconscious mind 
  • Tools that work!

Relaxation

A lady feeling relaxed. Showing relaxation after hypnotherapy.

Often, the menopause can cause a person to feel more stressed and have anxiety symptoms. When a person is in a hypnotic state they are generally in a state of relaxation too. This means that the body can slow down and the mind can have some time out. These relaxation techniques can also be practised at home, meaning that you can be more relaxed on a regular basis. This can help those feelings of anxiety and stress. 

Visualisation

In hypnotherapy we use a lot of visualisation because the brain responds well to it. We can visualise a cool place to help with hot flushes, a calm place to help with stress or the ways we would like to behave so the brain has a different path to follow. This can be a very successful way to achieve the outcome we would like. 

In a relaxing place on a hammock

Talking

Alison talking to a client

The first session of hypnotherapy with me involves talking and finding out what is going on for you. Talking is a powerful tool! It allows you to get all the thoughts and feelings out into the air, in a non-judgemental and understanding environment. People always feel better after this session and often say that a weight has lifted from their shoulders!

The Subconscious mind

Did you know that the subconscious mind controls everything that happens in your body? So even your hot flushes, anxiety and ways you feel about yourself. In hypnotherapy we work with the subconscious to help change the thought processes, helping you to feel in control and more positive! 

Image showing all the things the mind filters
Tools that work!

Cool place visualisation

When you are struggling with hot flushes during the day or night it can be extremely difficult. People become stressed by them, embarrassed and just want them to go away. They might start fanning themselves or striping off their clothes. When people react in this way, it causes the brain to send out the stress signals which makes the issue worse. Have a go at the cool place visualisation and notice how it helps!

Deep belly breathing

You may have found that anxiety and stress have increased as you transition through the menopause and you are not really sure where to start to reduce this. Deep belly breathing can help because it activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is the part of the body that deals with relaxation. When this is relaxed it sends a signal to the brain to say that we are relaxed and the brain then can send out the relaxing hormones. 

Instructions for a relaxing breathing technique
A lady writing in her journal
Journaling

Journaling is a very affective tool and can help you to raise self-esteem and confidence, create positive thinking and help you to understand patterns in behaviour and feelings. 

The above tools are just some that I introduce to my clients when they come to me for hypnotherapy. Unfortunately, hypnotherapy is not just a magic wand that makes changes and takes your issues away. It does require work from the client and these tools can help you to manage the symptoms of menopause that you are experiencing. 

As you can see, hypnotherapy can help with many symptoms of the menopause and it is a natural way to overcome these issues. It can help you to feel more positive and to help the transition feel easier. If you are unsure of the symptoms you have, take a look at this symptom tracker. It can help you ahead of any appointments you have and can be useful once you have started any treatment to recognise any progress made. 

If you would like to find out more about how therapy could help you, please get in touch – Alison Ralph Hypnotherapy And Counselling | 07719032346 | www.alisonralph-therapy.co.uk 

Categories
Self care ideas

5 ways to kick start your weight loss in 2024

5 ways to kick start your weight loss in 2024

Written by Alison Ralph                     Date 08 January 2024

Are you wondering how to kick start your weight loss in 2024? Maybe this is the year to do it properly, without diets and to make it a lifestyle change and allow yourself to become slimmer, fitter and healthier. You may not know where to start or even have the motivation.

As a hypnotherapist, I work with many people to kick start their weight loss and here I am going to share 5 ways to kick start your weight loss in 2024. Five things that I know work and have worked for many people in my therapy room.

I will talk about:

  1. Food diaries with a free downloadable resource
  2. Small changes
  3. Movement
  4. Storing unhealthy foods
  5. Head hunger Vs physical hunger with free downloadable resource
A bowl of fruit

Food Diaries

Keeping track of your eating habits using a food diary can be really helpful. This is the way I often begin sessions with a client as it helps to identify routines, where improvements can be made and what is going well. 

You don’t have to remember to fill it in everyday. You can sit and go through what you typically eat in a day and use that as a guide. Use this food diary as a template

Once you have completed the food diary take a look at:

  1. If your meals are healthy
  2. What times of the day you are eating unhealthily 
  3. Whether you have exercise or movement in your day
  4. The things you are drinking
  5. If your diet is well balanced 

Small Changes

Once you have identified where the issues are you can make small changes. When you go on a diet you often restrict a lot of things all in one go. The brain does not like this! That is why you find you can only do it for a short amount of time. When you make a small change and allow the brain to get into the habit of that before making another change, it is much more affective. 

Choose 3 small things you can change. Here are some examples:

  • Drink a bottle of water each day
  • If you eat chocolate everyday, reduce that to 5 days 
  • If you don’t eat any fruit or vegetables, start eating them on two days 
  • If you don’t exercise at all, start to walk more or get up and down more, use the stairs more
  • If you eat carbs with every meal, start to eat it with only 2 meals a day

Notice how all these changes are not taking away everything that you enjoy, just cutting it down slowly. Once you have nailed these small changes, you can make 3 new ones and continue in this way until you are happy with your habits. This might take longer than a diet would but you are more likely to keep these habits for ever!

Movement

Back view of a lady running

You can have all the will in the world to lose weight, get slimmer and healthier but without movement you will find it much more difficult. 

Movement is so important in the weight loss journey. 

If you are somebody who does no exercise at all then start off small. This can be making a conscious effort to get up during the day and do some steps, it could be going up and down stairs more often, cutting out the lift or finding exercise that you really enjoy. 

Get back to sport – in your local area there will be sports clubs of all different kinds. They even having walking team sports now – I have seen walking netball and football in my local area. It is also a great way to meet new people!

Walk – it does not matter where you live, there is always somewhere to go for a walk. It is really good exercise AND it is free!

Remember, we need to burn the fuel that we put inside us in order to lose weight!

Storing Unhealthy Foods

This one is going to sound a little harsh but why are you storing unhealthy foods at home?

I have worked with so many people over the years who will say things like: ‘We have a treat cupboard at home and I can’t help going in it’. ‘I get chocolate biscuits for the hubby and I eat these’. ‘I don’t want to deprive my children of the treats so we have them in the house’.

But why? or why so much that it is having a detrimental affect on your health? I often wonder if these are excuses to the person to enable them to have the snacks or ‘treats’ in the home. 

If you are in charge of the shopping then think about how much unhealthy food is being purchased and limit this so that you can have a balanced diet more easily and the temptation is out of the way. 

When you think about it that way, it makes sense doesn’t it?

Head hunger Vs physical hunger

Did you know that there were two types of hunger? Head hunger and physical hunger.

Our subconscious mind has control over our physical hunger. It prompts us to let us know when to eat in order to keep us alive. 

When the subconscious mind thinks it is time for us to eat, it sends a signal to the stomach so the stomach can start getting ready for the food. This is when you get feelings of the tummy rumbling. This is the only time we need to eat!

Every other time we eat is referred to as head hunger. .We are eating because of boredom, stress, sadness, celebration or fear. This type of eating is what helps us to gain weight. 

It is important to understand your head hunger so you can be aware of it and start to make changes so this is not causing you to eat. 

You can use the below handout to help you understand and change the head hunger. 

If are are fed up of using diets and not getting anywhere or want to look at different ways this time then try these 5 things to kick start your weight loss in 2024. It is important to not only focus on the food but also how the brain is working because of past messages or coping strategies and these ideas can help you to do that. Let me know how they go and which one is your favourite!

If you feel overwhelmed or are not sure where start then get in touch to find out how we can work together – Alison Ralph Hypnotherapy And Counselling | 07719032346 | www.alisonralph-therapy.co.uk 

Categories
Self care ideas

What is seasonal affective disorder and how can I help myself if I have it?

What is seasonal affective disorder and how can I help myself if I have it?

Written by Alison Ralph                     Date 03 January 2024

Do you struggle with your mental health during the winter months?

Many people find this time of year and going into the New Year a difficult time. It might be related to Christmas, but it can also be a result of the changing seasons. You are not alone if this is you and this condition is actually recognised as SAD, seasonal affective disorder. 
 
It is explained by the NHS as a type of depression that comes and goes with the change of the seasons. The symptoms are normally more apparent and severe during the winter and so it can be referred to as winter depression. 
In this blog post I will explain:
1. What seasonal affective disorder is
2. The possible symptoms of seasonal affective disorder
3. Ways to help yourself overcome the negative feelings of seasonal affective disorder

What is seasonal affective disorder?

There are a few different reasons that you may experience Seasonal affective disorder at this time of the year. These reasons are:

  1. Poor sleep patterns – poor sleep patterns can cause a dip in motivation and energy levels 
  2. Low serotonin levels – this can cause a low mood
  3. High melatonin levels – which can cause you to feel tired
  4. Family history of mental illness – you may be more prone to mental health illnesses 
  5. Lack of sunlight – this can cause more melatonin

The symptoms of seasonal affective disorder

As with everything else, each person has a different experience of seasonal affective disorder. These are the most common symptoms of seasonal affective disorder:

  • Feeling low
  • Excessively tired
  • Social withdrawal 
  • Feeling irritable
  • Craving carbohydrates 

It can be difficult to face the world and continue with everyday life when these symptoms are present so here are some ideas which can help you with seasonal affective disorder. 

Self-care ideas to overcome SAD symtoms

If you would like to improve your symptoms of SAD to help with your day to day life then here are 5 ideas to try:

A picture of a number one

Go outside during the daylight – this can hep to increase serotonin levels which helps with overall mood

Walking outdoors during daylight

Brighten up your environment – have good lighting in your environment or invest in a light box – this gives the same affects as going outdoors

A bright workspace
An image of the number two
An image of number 3

Eat well – it is always good to eat well as this can improve our overall feeling of ourself and increases energy levels.

A bowl of fruit

Exercise (outdoors if you can) – this can help you to feel more motivated, energised and improve mood

Back view of a lady running
Image of the number 4
An image of number 5

Talk to a counsellor – this can help you to identify patterns in your mood, behaviours and feelings and may help you to make new ones that will help you to feel better. 

Alison talking to a client

If you would like to find out more about how therapy could help you, please get in touch – Alison Ralph Hypnotherapy And Counselling | 07719032346 | www.alisonralph-therapy.co.uk 

As you can see, there are many ways to help yourself if you are struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is important to remember that each self-care idea will not work for everyone so it is about finding the correct one for you. If you find that one of these suggestions help you then please leave a comment and let us know!

If you are struggling still after the self care, please see your doctor. They might recommend medication, even if just for a short time.