Stress and Anxiety

Erika Slater headshot photo 300x300Stress and anxiety are at the core of many health and habit issues these days. The demands placed on our daily lives in this fast-paced stressful world creates a negative impact on our immune system, which eventually leads to its breakdown and health problems.

Hypnosis provides a therapy that helps with the stress of habits and addictions, creates calm for self-improvement and personal growth which leads to better overall health and wellness.

In this selection of materials, we cover topics such as mindfulness with a four-part series, relaxation techniques, insomnia and other sleep problems, panic attacks, coming back from burnout, and much more.

While we may not be able to eliminate stress completely from our lives our articles can get you on the road to better coping with it.

Enjoy the articles.

Coronavirus COVID-19 FREE Hypnosis Online Resources

By Erika Slater
covid-19-virus microscopic image

covid-19-virus microscopic image

 

******UPDATE ON IMPACT OF COVID-19: Free At Last Hypnosis office in Mashpee is open to see our hypnosis clients only. You can schedule an in-office appointment or virtual appointment using Zoom. Contact me at 508.269.0109  if you need and want my help.******

In this special post about Coronavirus COVID-19 you’ll find some FREE practical hypnosis resources you can use immediately to cope better with any stress or anxiety you feel about the uncertainty of this time.

For many vulnerable individuals it’s proving to be overwhelming, stressful and causing them much anxiety. Add to this the fact there’s a mountain of false claims, conspiracy theories and misinformation about how the virus started. I urge you to ignore all the fake news and instead follow the CDC -Center for Disease Control guidelines and focus on staying safe.

This will pass and we will get through it all together.

I’m not qualified to comment on the science behind this virus and how it came to be but if you’re interested you can read more here to understand a more realistic assessment of the life of COVID-19.

So, as a business owner facing a shutdown of my offices what can I do to help you?

Firstly, for existing clients who have already booked appointments and don’t want them deferred or cancelled I’m performing those sessions online. I’ve been providing hypnosis online for two years now as an alternative for folks travelling long distances to me, so its well established offering in my hypnotherapy business.

You can discover more about how online hypnosis works by watching a brief video produced by a fellow hypnotherapist from the UK here >>>

At this time it’s worth mentioning that if you’re considering quit smoking or vaping then now’s a good time to get serious about stopping. Because Covid-19 attacks the lungs, those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape may be especially threatened. To review this further discover more about stop smoking programs using hypnosis here >>>.

Secondly, in the last few days, I’ve put together FREE resources to help my clients and businesses and their friends and families get through the COVID-19 crisis. They are simple and not elaborate resources as I feel people need straightforward help.

 

FREE HYPNOSIS RESOURCES TO HELP WITH COVID-19:

1. Free Download MP3 SessionStop Touching Your Face” – I’ve also developed a special FREE 30-minute hypnosis session that can be downloaded and played on any hand-held device or computer to help people “stop touching their face.” Studies suggest that people touch their face as often as 16 to 23 times per hour (1). And every time you touch your face, there’s the potential for bacteria and viruses to be transferred to the areas around your eyes, nose, and mouth, where they can infect you and cause disease.

But self-face touching is, by and large, an unconscious behavior. So, while medical professionals and CDC guidelines emphasize not to touch your face most of us just can’t stop on demand. This FREE session is aimed at helping to reduce the impulses to unnecessarily touching your face. There is no registration to get this session. Listen to and/or download the session here >>> To download click the link and when it starts playing click the three dot icon at the end of progress bar, and click download.

2. Free Download session for stress relief and relaxation. This is a 30-minute session you can download and replay as many times as you want or need to help boost your immune system. That’s right at this time your immune system needs all the help it can get to combat the stress put on it by the uncertainty of these times. You can either watch and download the Stress Relief Video here >>> or listen and download the Stress Relief MP3 Audio here >>>.

 

VIDEOS:

Here are some short videos covering different topics that are impacting most of us today. I hope you get something out of each.

4. Video Coping with Uncertainty. This is a short video to help you remain positive in these uncertain times.

5. Destination Happiness – Keeping Relationships Strong. This short video offers tips to ensure we come out of this crisis with strong and positive relationships with our spouse, kids, family and friends…

Please do take advantage of these resources.

If you have any questions regarding them then please reach out via my contact page at my website here >>>  or call me at 508.269.0109 and if I don’t answer leave a message and I’ll call you back. You can also email me directly at erika@freeatlasthypnosis.com

Most importantly, stay safe and well.

 

Erika Slater CH
Director
Free At Last Hypnosis

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Discover the Amazing Healing Power of Fun Hypnosis to Overcome Stress and Achieve Happiness

By Erika Slater
Tropical beach with hammock

Tropical beach with hammock

In this article you’ll discover:

  1. What fun hypnosis is all about and how it can bring back that childhood happiness you had growing up.
  2. How escaping from reality is as “real as it comes” using hypnosis and how anybody can do it at any hour of the day to restore their life balance.
  3. 9 amazing journeys you can take using hypnosis to get you started.
  4. Further reading and hypnosis resources for help in understanding the benefits of fun hypnosis.

What was your first encounter with hypnosis?

Was it through stage hypnosis in an entertainment atmosphere? Were you watching people do silly or embarrassing things?

Or was your introduction in a more serious and therapeutic hypnosis setting such as helping you quit smoking or lose weight or deal with stress or a phobia?

Or have you only just heard about hypnosis but never experienced it or seen somebody else experience it?

I personally am not involved in stage hypnosis but have hypnotist friends who are. In my professional business I use hypnosis to focus on my core strengths of helping people overcome significant long-term challenges.

However, as they say, “all work and no play make’s Jack a dull boy” or “Jill a dull girl” if you prefer!”

Hypno-therapy then is use of hypnosis for therapeutic reason… but who said this can’t be fun? After all, as we know, anything that gives us fun… is therapeutic!

So let’s agree to define fun hypnosis as just an extension of therapeutic hypnosis, and dive deeper into it here and, as they say… have some fun.

Let’s start with some basics and dispel a few myths surrounding hypnosis…

 

THE OTHER SIDES OF HYPNOSIS:

Imagination concept with top of hill floating offIf you’ve ever been to a stage show, or seen one on TV, where a hypnotist appeared to be getting people to participate and do things that seemed absolutely bizarre, you may think that represents hypnosis.

Perhaps you saw these events transpiring and you thought to yourself, looks like fun, but never in million years would I allow anyone to do that to me!

Many people when asked about their thoughts on hypnosis take this position believing they’ll be under some ‘magic spell’ and lose their control.

Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth!

While under hypnosis, you’re always in control and generally know what’s going on around you at all times.

In fact, some times my clients question whether they’ve been hypnotized because they remember everything that was said and even heard other ambient sounds. Hypnosis isn’t about falling asleep under somebody’s spell and never remembering anything that was said or happened. Hypnosis is a natural state we all enter when we focus on something or get absorbed in an activity.

If you want to read about other myths regarding hypnosis and how they’ve been debunked then I’ve put a link to an article for you on this topic in the resource section at the end of this post.

The fact is, a hypnosis experience can be different from one individual to another. But what is common is the experience of being relaxed and in control of your own thoughts.

So, fun hypnosis isn’t about running around an audience “clucking like a chicken” or doing whatever silly or bizarre things a stage hypnotist tells you to do “under their spell.” There is no “spell” except the one you want to put yourself under.

Hypnosis for fun let’s you experience realistic and pleasurable situations where you’re able to escape the rigors of everyday life to places of your own choosing and doing activities that re energize you.

You may not have time or the money to go on a vacation, or even a weekend escape, for an experience that provides you with a sense of peace and tranquility, but hypnosis can create this experience for you, wherever you are, and any time convenient to you.

The key for this type of hypnosis is all about being willing to let go for a period of time – that is, the abandoning of the day-to-day stress and worries of your life, to enjoy a relaxed environment of your own choosing.

Have you ever imagined being ‘somewhere else’ when your life has become so stressful? Have you ever wished you could just get away to some place that brings you your greatest sense of peace and joy?

Well, using hypnosis for fun can do this for you.

 

MAKING YOUR ESCAPE FROM REALITY REAL:

Sanctuary lookout over marsh and hillsThere are a variety of ‘escapes’ you can do while under hypnosis that can bring you not only stress relief, but also add an exceptional entertainment value. For example, say you’ve always wanted to travel somewhere, perhaps a walk through an exotic forest, make that a rain forest, or set sail on the ocean in search of treasures on a far-away paradise island. This can be accomplished in a hypnosis session.

With today’s technology you can visit theme parks and experience simulated rides that create these sensations. Some even use virtual reality to create experiences whereby the sensations are so real you’d swear you’re there!

You may not have the ability to go to these theme parks due to financial constraints, timing, etc.

With hypnosis, you can bring the virtual reality to you… you can create it in your own mind’s eye!

When you use hypnosis for fun, you can use it with the guidance of a hypnotherapist who can walk you through the experience, or you can use hypnosis CD’s or MP3’s that’ll train you how to experience this yourself.

The power of fun hypnosis rests in the power of suggestion, feeling what you’re seeing in your mind’s eye as being real.

You see, the body, and unconscious mind, are led to believe, if something is real then it must be if your mind accepts it. When your mind makes the choice to deliberately participate in hypnosis and be filled with suggestions, it will accept them as being the truth. It cannot tell the difference between what is real and what isn’t.

These ‘fun’ adventures, or even trips back down memory lane to your past, can provide comfort, security and healing from stress.

Here are some ideas and suggestions for experiences you can create for yourself using hypnosis but use them as starting points to let your own imagination choose adventure and trips that’ll give you the relaxation and experiences you want to feel in your hypnotic journey:

1. Taking Magical Rides:

Whisk yourself away on a beautiful magic carpet journey inside your mind through Eastern landscapes and scenarios. Take an imaginary and wonderful downhill ski run in the Alps or Rockies for pure relaxation and invigoration.

2. Cloud Nine:

Float off on Cloud Nine and remember what a marvelous thing it is to be alive in this world. Remember when you were a child and allowed your imagination to run rampant – get back there using hypnosis.

3. An Ocean Beach:

Take a relaxing trip to an awesome beach and hear the soft relaxing sounds of lapping ocean waves as you drift off under the sunny and calm skies on your idyllic paradise island.

4. Walk in the Forest:

If the sound of a walk in the forest with the background sounds of trickling streams is your sanctuary, then, whisk yourself there walking along the banks of rivers with towering trees and lush greenery and calling sounds of exotic birds.

5. Hiking in the Mountains:

If hiking in the mountains gives you peace and enjoyment then how about a trip to New Hampshire, Vermont, Colorado or even the towering giants of the Himalayan range? Don’t worry if you’ve never been there, as your imagination already has the pictures in your mind, and it’ll instantly recall them as you trek through, and above the clouds, in a wonderland of heart-pumping landscapes.

6. Spaceship Ride or Space Walk:

Imagine an amazing spaceship ride through the galaxy and then the Universe! Experience countless stars, the wispy hue of distant star clusters, alien galaxies and nebula! Or if staying closer to home suits you then take a trip to the International Space Station and experience your very own weightless space walk.

7. Under the Sea:

Ride deep under the ocean within your own mind. Take a ride through seascapes gliding deep in the ocean. Relax and marvel at beautiful whales, glide over coral reefs, and see creatures of all manner as you see a whole new world under the sea.

8. Soar Like an Eagle:

Trade places with a soaring bird in the air to experience the sensation of flight, and see the amazing landscapes from high above, and all while feeling the rush of the breeze on your face, and while dancing on air drafts then what better bird to experience this than through the majestic eagle.

9. Happy Days:

Not just the fonzie-type but experience happy days again when you were growing-up you wished never ended. Your everyday happiness is important to your well-being, and remembering things each day that over the years has brought you happiness, helps you keep an equilibrium with the fast-paced mad rush of living in the twenty-first century.

These are just a few examples of hypnotic journey’s you can take that bring fun and happiness into your life… and are therapeutic for your soul. The only limitation is your imagination, and if you feel you need help in this area then check out the links in the resource section below.

Finally, here at Free At Last Hypnosis we practice what we preach. We leverage concepts of fun hypnosis as a resource during our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program which you can learn more about it here >>>

Enjoy the adventures!

 

CONCLUSIONS:

While much has been written about the use of hypnosis for therapeutic reasons such as weight loss, stop smoking, stress relief and phobias, and even stage hypnosis for entertainment reasons, there’s less information about using it to bring happiness back into our lives through the use of fun hypnosis.

Fun hypnosis is a genre of hypnosis used to allow us to experience things in life we have happy thoughts about, or recurring themes in our sleep or day dreams. Hypnosis can take you to those special places in your mind where your imagination is allowed to run wild and create wonderful experiences for yourself. This is a form of therapeutic hypnosis as any hypnosis aimed at putting a positive experience in your thoughts can be classed as therapeutic.

I listed 9 examples for suggestions to get you started, but there are no limits to the experiences you can create in your own self-hypnosis session. I talk about the topic of hypnotic journeys on a regular basis to groups, and if you’ve a group in mind that can benefit from these journeys then I’d love to hear from you.

If you need more help in getting started in using fun hypnosis for yourself then check out this collection of self-hypnosis sessions here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO FUN HYPNOSIS:

Hypnosis – Dispelling the Top Ten Myths >>>

The Benefits of Deep Forest Relaxation – Erika Slater >>>

Why is it So Darn Hard to Cope with Stress? Ways to Reduce It >>>

Children’s Fantasy Literature: Why Escaping Reality is Good for Kids >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Why is it So Darn Hard to Cope with Stress? Ways to Reduce It

By Erika Slater
Business person under stress from colleagues

Business person under stress from colleagues and not coping!

How can you cope with stress? Stress is part of living and while we can’t eliminate it we can reduce it – here I discuss how you can reduce your stress.

In today’s world it seems stress is at an all-time high!

We live in an extremely fast-paced technologically-advanced time period when most people are living their lives expecting things to happen at the drop of a hat, or this is how others expect them to live.

Stress comes from all sides as we live an “overloaded life”: our family commitments, our job commitments, and even our friend commitments. Our plate or cup “runneth over.”

So many people live their lives based on ‘quantity’, trying to achieve the most they can, while putting in the least amount of effort, instead of getting the truest ‘quality’ from living their lives.

What this means is folks are spreading themselves too thin, and this means they’re feeling worn down and weary, and this makes coping with stress extremely difficult. Often times, people compromise their value – what their lives are truly worth – in order to attain ‘value’ in the form of things; money, objects and even people.

This way of living will stress you out!

The fact is stress isn’t going away anytime soon. Even our pre-historic ancestors had stress. The stress of getting to the next meal before being eaten themselves. The constant battle for food and shelter, and companionship.

But as life became “easier” this stress of survival was replaced by other modern-day stresses. But even if stress can’t be eliminated completely from our lives there are ways of coping better with it.

 

THE IMPACT OF MODERN DAY STRESS ON YOU:

Too busy on clock and asking what stress?We know from many studies what stress does to our bodies and health. A body under severe and constant stress that isn’t coping well breaks down our immune system and leads to many health issues and diseases.

The Mayo Clinic describes these common effects of stress on us (see the resource section below for link to full article)…

“… stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.”

So many people find it extremely difficult to cope with stress because they defer their thoughts and feelings connected to their stress to a later date.

What I mean by this is many can feel they’re already stressed out, or know they’ll be stressed out, but will worry about it later… much later. The problem is when ‘later’ comes, they’re already in way too deep, drowning in their stress and weariness, they can’t seem to find a way out.

When it gets to that point, it starts to make them not only feel vulnerable, but hopeless as well.

Then there are those in denial or kid themselves they thrive on stress…

There are individuals who will argue tooth and nail with you they don’t have stress. Their life is perfect and they deal with it perfectly. Oh really?

Yet others will tell you they get the most accomplished by being stressed out, or “Work best under pressure!” I’m sure that is the case for many, and there is truth to that, but for how long can you keep that ‘pressure’ on yourself before the lid blows off of… your sanity?

When you engage in that kind of lifestyle, there’s always a price to pay; your mental, emotional and/or physical health and well-being.

Many people don’t know how to cope with stress and so they choose to turn a blind eye to it, or accept it as a ‘lifestyle’. But as we’ve seen this is dangerous and even medical science is telling us we do this at risk to our overall wellness.

But it doesn’t have to be so darn hard to cope with stress. With some simple changes and techniques, you can change the collision course with your health you’re on…

 

WAYS TO COPE WITH STRESS:

Relaxing woman in thoughtful pose coping with stress and anxietyFirst, I recognize you may be under stress already that’s beyond coping with just the introduction of some of these ways. If you’re already experiencing physical or mental health issues due to stress then you must seek professional help.

One of the best ways to get your stress under control is to manage it by minimizing what you’re engaging in, but at the same time maximizing your efforts to give your best and achieve your goal.

As we try and stuff so much into our day we end up just doing too many things, and either never completing them, or putting in minimal effort and getting less than desirable results.

Feeling okay about saying “no” is the recognition you need to limit your commitments to others, including family.

When you pour your efforts into just a couple of things at a time, you’re more likely to be successful, optimize your talents and skills, and achieve good results. This improves your self-esteem and self-confidence, which will result in lowering your stress and feelings of letting others down.

If you overload yourself with commitments then your own quality of life suffers as you stress out over all the things you must accomplish for others before you get anytime for “you.” This “you time” is the most important of any of the time you spend.

There’s a reason why in every airline flight safety talk you’re told to put on your oxygen mask before attempting to help others put on theirs. You can’t help others until you help yourself. So this “you time” is you putting on your oxygen mask first.

This “you time” can be a hobby or learning some new skill or knowledge. It can be doing something with a family member of friend. Meeting for coffee. It can be reading a book or watching a movie, or exercising.

The point is whatever you do it must be enjoyable and rejuvenating to you. If it becomes a chore to you then you’re back to adding another stressful commitment to your schedule! Which defeats the object of doing it!

Now if you’re saying to yourself at this point, “but I have too many people relying on me to take this you time”, then I’m afraid you’re falling into a dangerous trap of making excuses why you can’t do something that helps you, and thereby other people. If you were to drop dead today then the world will go on and these other people will cope.

Sorry to be so blunt, but you’re reading this because you feel overly stressed and continuing to do what you do today without introducing change isn’t coping better is it?

In the resource section below, I’ve included a link to a WebMD article that lists 10 ways to relax that you’ll enjoy. But I want to highlight a few of them as we round out this section…

If you find it difficult to relax then meditation, mindfulness and self-hypnosis are champion ways of taking just a few minutes each day and clearing the surface cluttering thoughts of your mind.

Whether you call it meditation or mindfulness doesn’t really matter. The concept is the same of focusing on the current moment. Find your own “Daily Practice” or “Miracle Morning” but have a structure to it and keep to same part of the day if possible.

Learning self-hypnosis and realizing it’s a tool that’ll repay you for the rest of your life can be a well… life-changing experience. It takes no longer than learning to mediate but has the purpose of changing your unconscious habits. These are habits you’ve learned over the years but unfortunately can feed your stress, rather than reduce it.

Most professional hypnotists in your area can teach you self-hypnosis. I’ve run a number of these classes myself for my clients, but more importantly, often include some basic techniques for a client in sessions while solving other issues. There are also self-study programs covering self-hypnosis if you prefer that approach, or don’t have access to a local hypnotherapist.

If you need a jump start to cope with stress better than you do today then look for a program similar to my stress and anxiety hypnosis management service here and look for a local hypnotist who can help you or contact me.

 

CONCLUSION:

Medical science teaches us reducing stress helps with our overall wellness and especially our physical and mental health. Cope with stress by implementing a strategy to manage your commitments.

Limit commitments to others and don’t be afraid to say “no” to requests for your time. Don’t be a martyr. Remember you need to help yourself first before you can help others. Say “no” to commitments that will robe you having “you time” and of completing your commitments with a quality focus.

Schedule “you time” first before any other commitments. Think of this philosophy as putting on your oxygen mask and life vest first before helping anybody else. Pick activities that you enjoy doing and relax you.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Introduction to Mindfulness – Erika Slater CH >>>

10 Relaxation Techniques That Zap Stress Fast – WebMD >>>

 

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Stop Smiling Nervously – Why You Do It and How to Overcome It

By Erika Slater
Girl with nervous life and a little shy

Girl with nervous life and a little shy

They say it’s difficult for most people to hide what they’re feeling when it comes to their facial expressions and body language.

Your spoken words may say one thing, but your facial expressions may mean and say something altogether entirely different. Often times, when people become nervous or apprehensive in certain situations, or when around certain kinds of individuals, they start to smile nervously.

It’s a forced smile to hide the fact your uncomfortable inside. It’s aimed at conveying everything is fine when in fact you have a “knotted stomach.” In this example we all do it at times and to a certain extent its not inappropriate even if in fact we are hiding our true feelings.

The fact is, it’s unlikely to get us in trouble.

But what are instances where a nervous smile can get us in trouble and what’s going on?

 

THE SMILE THAT GETS US INTO TROUBLE:

Smiling widow maybe inappropriate for occasionImagine, if you will, you receive ‘bad news’, or are at a place where other people are ‘grieving’ and you’re smiling. Others may be thinking, “What the heck? Why is this person smiling, don’t they understand the severity of the situation?

But what they don’t understand is you’re probably feeling anxious, nervous as heck, or as I said uncomfortable, and you’re trying to hide your angst with a nervous smile.

Nervous smiles can confuse, irritate and even infuriate others because they don’t see the ‘humor’ in the situation. But what they really don’t see or understand is your apprehension.

When smiling is done appropriately, that is in instances someone would deem as ‘normal’ for an emotion like joy, happiness, surprise, etc. then no one has an issue with one smiling.

Conversely, when someone is smiling ‘out of context’, it paints them in a negative light, and confuses the parties around them.

It prompts the question “why are you smiling?” A difficult one to answer if in fact you now realize you shouldn’t have been in the circumstances you did. Ugh! More nervous smiling can ensue… you see the problem here?

The key is not using the ‘smiley’ face for all situations as your go to expression, and this does happen when people start smiling to cover up their embarrassment, angst or even their anger. It’s easy to ‘get stuck’ on an emotional expression.

Do you know of anyone, perhaps even yourself that’s the opposite of this?

There are individuals, who no matter how great things are going for them, great things coming their way, they just can’t help but always frown. Often times their underlying motivation for this is ‘they’re expecting the worst’ to take away their joy, and hiding their true feelings as to ‘not jinx’ the good things happening to them.

These people seem to always go through life appearing miserable when in fact they’re indeed happy most of the time but afraid to show it.

The same is true for those who smile to hide their nervousness!

 

WAYS OF STOPPING THE NERVOUS SMILE:

Breaking Bad Habits ImageThe best way to not smile during inappropriate times is to recognize your thought patterns leading to your feelings, which then lead to your action of – smiling.

The one thing you can control is your thoughts and you can monitor these – takes some practice and not easy but you can do it with help. If you tend to smile whenever you get bad news, feel anxious, upset or nervous, pay attention to the thoughts you’re telling yourself.

One method used to control negative thoughts and feelings is Cognitive Therapy.

While this is a therapy used in mental illness and addiction situations if your problem of smiling nervously is stubborn to fix, and a major concern to you, then seek out a professional therapist to see if this is an appropriate intervention for you. I’ve provided a link to an article below for more information about this therapy.

Did you know you’ve programmed your mind to ‘smile’ as a result of the thoughts you’re having? It’s a habit and like other habits you can replace it with a more positive habit.

Yes, you’ve done this nervous smile enough times you now do it on auto-pilot, without realizing it.

The key is to break the chain of thoughts leading to this habit. There are various techniques to do this and I discuss one at length called Pattern Interrupt in another article I’ve linked to in the resource section below.

One of the easiest ways to change your nervous smile is through hypnosis. You can modify those thoughts leading you to act (smile) out of nervousness.

Through post-hypnotic suggestions, whenever you feel nervous, anxious or upset, new cognitive scripts are created and used to unconsciously help you think, feel and act differently.

Finally, here at Free At Last Hypnosis we practice what we preach. We leverage concepts discussed here as a resource during our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program which you can learn more about it here >>>

 

CONCLUSIONS:

A nervous smile is a habit conditioned to happen when you’re feeling uncomfortable, angst, anger inside and disguising your true feelings.

It’s a learned response but can be replaced with a more appropriate expression during those occasions where a smile causes issues for those around you, and conveys the wrong or inappropriate facial expression for the occasion.

Cognitive Therapy and Pattern Interrupt are interventions to help, along with hypnosis, to replace your facial reaction with something else more appropriate.

If self-hypnosis is an avenue you think may help you then check out this session which covers nervous laughing but is also appropriate for nervous smiling here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO SMILING NERVOUSLY:

What is Social Anxiety – Dr. Thomas A. Richards >>>

Why is it So Darn Hard to Cope with Stress? Ways to Reduce It >>>

Cognitive Therapy: Taking Control of Your Negative Thoughts and Feelings – Dr. Alison Block >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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The Benefits of Laughing More as an Antidote to Stress and Feeling Better About Your Life

By Erika Slater
Brother and Sister Laughing on ground

Brother and Sister Laughing on ground

Why is it as children, we couldn’t get enough laughter?

It seemed we were so quick to laugh at the drop of a hat. Everything seemed to possess some element of humor, we used it for the chance to laugh out loud, and laugh without ceasing. We laughed at the antics of others and watching TV or just playing outside.

We saw the “funny side” of everything. Even of our friends… and they didn’t mind but joined in with us!

Unfortunately, somewhere down the line, perhaps in our early adult lives, we dismissed laughter as being superfluous and not worthy of our time.

There are many theories around this from modelling other adults, to life is serious now and having “fun” and laughing is akin to wasting time.

The fact is laughter is not only something fun to do, but a necessary emotion that keeps us ‘happy’ and even healthier. Yes, you heard me right – laughter has exceptional health benefits.

Instead of laughing, too many people go through life being and looking so serious. As a matter of fact, it appears once the laughter stopped, so many people embraced anxiety, sadness or even depression as its full-time substitute. Furthermore, to quote the character, The Joker from Batman, “Why so serious?”

Have you ever heard of the expression, “Laughter is the best medicine”?

Have you ever wondered how true this statement really is? Well, here is some excellent “food for thought” on laughter…

 

THE BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER:

Happy couple with mobile phones on groundAccording to the Mayo clinic, laughter can both help you in the short-term as well as the long-term.

First off, laughter activates and relieves responses to stress.

Yes, it can bring you tremendous feelings of relaxation. Laughter can aid in muscle relaxation and stimulate circulation in your body. If your body is tight and tense from stress, laughter is a natural muscle relaxer!

Laughter can also stimulate many of your bodily organs to perform more efficiently.

Research has shown laughter stimulates positively your heart, brain, lungs and muscles. You see, this occurs from the endorphin’s released by your brain.

These are some excellent short-term benefits from laughing a lot.

There are also excellent long-term benefits…

Laughter has actually been shown to help relieve pain. You see, laughter releases natural pain killers.

Furthermore, laughter has been proven to improve your entire immune system. When you laugh, your body releases neuropeptides that combat stress that can lead to potentially serious illnesses occurring due to an overly taxed immune system.

Daily laughter can improve your mood, while at the same time combating anxiety and depression.

After all, if you’re laughing, then you must be happy in that moment and thus have not felt depressed!

Finally, laughter has been shown to increase entire satisfaction with your life. When you’re laughing often, it means you’re happy and you perceive your life as being good!

 

HOW CAN WE GET TO LAUGHING MORE?

Let’s just recap the primary benefits we touched on in the previous section of laughter:

1. Activates and relieves responses to stress.
2. Stimulate many of your bodily organs to perform more efficiently.
3. Helps relieve pain.
4. Improves your entire immune system.
5. Combats anxiety and depression.
6. Increases entire satisfaction with your life.

Happy woman and her dogsAs far as I know there is no pharmaceutical company trying to generate a drug to make you laugh more. I could give you some cynical reasons around why not but let’s not go down that path here and get too serious.

So, it’s up to us to learn to laugh more and actually go out of our way to put ourselves in situations where we can. This is the point where you begin scratching your head once you get past the obvious “going to watch people that get paid to make you laugh” – comedians and comedy clubs.

This is not enough and I’d argue not necessarily the best way for long-term changes.

As it’s going to require some focus and changes you’re going to have to do work on yourself. Changing mindset and limiting beliefs begins the process. If your current mindset is laughing and having fun is only for weekends and vacations then you’ve got some “work” on your self to do. You’ve got some deep-rooted limiting beliefs to overcome.

I’ve provided a resource in the section below to get you started on overcoming limiting beliefs.

Second step is to look around at your friends? Do you have one or two that have a good sense of humor and you enjoy their company because they make you laugh? If yes, then good… go get more. If you can’t spot any natural comedians in your friends then… go get some.

Of course, you’re the “bait” for friends so you’re going to have to be attractive to them as being fun to be around. So, that’s why we talked first about changing your mindset around laughter.

Now being fun to be around has nothing to do with you wise-cracking all the time and making others laugh. If that was true then I’d never get any friends! But I can see the humor in situations and am a good audience for other’s wisecracking and jokes. I have to be to stay married to my husband! 🙂

Perhaps it’s been a long time since you truly have seen the humor in funny situations.

Yes, life can become serious at times, but you don’t have to be serious all of the time because of that. If you’re always angry, depressed or anxious, then you’re focusing too long on those emotions, and it’s time to work some joy into your life. Joy after all is a basic emotion we all want to feel about our life… unless your name is Scrooge – and even he changed!

Additional easy ways of making laughter part of your daily routine is to read cartoons in newspapers or online, or listen to a comedy podcast on your commute to work or home each day.

Get a pet, specifically a dog. It’s really difficult not to smile with the antics and behaviors some of our pets get up to each day!

The fact is you’d be surprised at simple things you can do to change your whole mood for the day by investing just a few minutes, and knowing the enormous health benefits it will bring to you. I’ve provided a resource below covering a lot more ways to bring laughter into your daily life.

If you’re struggling to ‘just relax’ and, just can’t seem to let loose and have a good time and laugh, then you might want to try hypnosis. Here at Free At Last Hypnosis we do our best to make the sessions fun where appropriate. We leverage these concepts as a resource during our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program which you can learn more about it here >>>

Hypnosis can help your mind stop focusing on serious things all of the time, and start to open you up to situations and thoughts that’ll make you laugh… even at yourself for being so serious!

If you feel you’re ready to add extra humor into your life and laugh more then check out this self-hypnosis session where you can welcome more laughter into your life using hypnosis here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO BENEFITS OF LAUGHING:

The Truth About Limiting Beliefs and How to Overcome Them – Erika Slater >>>

Why is it So Darn Hard to Cope with Stress? Ways to Reduce It >>>

How to Manage the Two Sides of the Stress Coin >>>

How to Laugh More – 22 Ways to Bring More Laughter Into Your Life >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Overcoming and Dealing with Guilt and Shame So You Can Get On with Life

By Erika Slater
Woman feeling guilt or shame

Woman feeling guilt or shame

Are you an individual who carries around the burden of feeling guilt or perhaps even shame from something that happened to you recently, or even long ago?

Do you believe you need to keep this guilt and shame as a scar, perhaps serving as a reminder to never let anything like this experience happen to you ever again?

Moreover, the question you truly need to ask yourself is, “What is hanging on to this guilt or shame getting you in your life?” I’m guessing there’s really nothing good coming from it other than your internal torment.

What’s is the difference between guilt and shame?

Shame involves feelings about ourselves. It may be our circumstances in life that embarrass us and cause shame about who we are. Guilt comes from our actions and thoughts, and they can be real or imagined. These are complicated feelings and can be damaging if left to become part of your character and your path forward.

The fact is, the feelings of guilt and shame can at a minimum result in lost opportunities and reduced fulfillment in life, and at other extreme… ruining your life.

So why do we dance with these enemies of a happy life?

 

THE TOXIC FEELINGS OF GUILT AND SHAME:

Woman feeling guilt and sadnessToo many people hold onto their guilt as if they’re wearing a “medal of shame” around their necks.

Some keep this guilt to serve as a reminder for something they did in the past they’re not particularly proud of, or to use as a personal reminder to never do something like that again for greater fear of shame and humiliation.

The problem is when you hold onto your guilt or shame, you accept it as a part of your character. Basically, you’re telling yourself, “I need to feel shame and guilt because it serves me.

Unfortunately, it isn’t going to serve you in the long run well at all!

In fact, the longer you accept it, the more you’re likely to become conditioned to it. additionally, it can become like a phobia. When you develop a ‘fear’ of something, you hold onto it believing it serves you well, protecting you from being harmed.

Guilt and shame work the same way.

If you hold onto it, or repeatedly dwell on it, you can become conditioned to it, truly believing it’s serving you and protecting you.

Did you know you can also learn guilt and shame from others? Guilt and shame can be learned in families and taught to children. They learn to believe it is, or should be, a part of one’s character that protects them from looking bad, being disappointed, or being hurt by others.

There is an old saying, “No harm, no foul!”

Basically, this means if a rule is broken or something goes wrong, there is no need for apology, punishment or retribution, that is of course if no one was hurt, or no damage caused.

Now shame and guilt take this saying to a new level in that, “Don’t try, don’t look foolish!”

This means if you hold onto your shame and/or guilt, you most likely won’t take similar chances again for fear of being hurt. This is what guilt can do to you… prevent you from living and taking chances.

The longer that you hold onto your guilt, the longer you could miss out on what life has to offer you. So, rather than holding on to guilt and shame let’s talk about ways of releasing these toxic feelings.

 

RELEASING THE TOXIC NATURE OF SHAME AND GUILT:

Woman feeling sorryIt’s time to forgive and forget the past (yourself as well, as you’re being too hard on yourself) and move on with this present moment free of guilt and shame!

But moving on can be impeded by our history.

Understanding first why you feel guilty or shame is step #1. Guilt is not in itself a bad feeling as its serving a purpose. After all, if you were hurtful to somebody or an animal then you may have a perfect right to feel guilty… but not for the rest of your life. Notice I used the word hurtful and not cruel – cruel is at another level and shows malice.

Consider ways you can make amends for an action you took you know hurt somebody. Sorry, really can be the hardest word, but it also mends relationships.

Think about what you learned from the experience and what you’d do if this happened again to avoid reacting the way you did. If you felt guilty because you said something in anger then is there some management things you need to go through? Were you reacting because of something somebody did to you in the past?

Once you understand the guilt and confronting and accepting it to learn from it, then you’ll be positioned to release it and move on.

Shame can come in many forms. It can be because you feel you lack something. Maybe lack of money or upbringing. Maybe your parents divorced or you came from a broken home. A lack of education or literacy can cause people to “hide” from life for fear people will “find their background out.” I’ve even known people who are ashamed of their credit scores.

It seems strange to be shameful of many of these things in this day and age… but people carry the “shame tag” around for even smaller reasons.

Again, understanding and confronting why you feel shame is the first step towards releasing it to move on.

The fact is, long-term guilt and shame has taken up residence in your unconsciousness mind, and releasing what is in your unconscious mind that’s holding you hostage to guilt and shame is therefore key.

Exorcising it from your unconscious mind requires confrontation such as we spoke earlier, but it can be stubborn to release, and if this is the case then you may want to try hypnosis as a way for overcoming your guilt and shame.

Long-term guilt is trained in so it can be trained out, and hypnosis can help here.

Finally, here at Free At Last Hypnosis we practice what we preach. We leverage concepts discussed here as a resource during our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program which you can learn more about it here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO GUILT AND SHAME:

The Difference Between Guilt and Shame >>>

Being a Hostage to the Past – Erika Slater >>>

Why is it So Darn Hard to Cope with Stress? Ways to Reduce It >>>

5 Tips for Dealing with Guilt >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Overcoming Panic Attacks with the 7-11 Breathing Technique

By Erika Slater
Panic Attack Meter

Panic Attack Meter

Do you have anxiety issues or the onset of panic attacks where you feel like things are growing out of control, including your breathing?

Do you have a difficult time catching your breath, or calming yourself down?

Then perhaps the time has come for you to learn a good breathing technique which will help you next time you feel anxious and totally stressed out!

Whenever you enter into a heightened state of stress, anxiety or panic, your body’s general inclination is to begin to take in more oxygen via breathing. For individuals, it can take form in short, rapid shallow breaths, or conversely gasping for air.

This is what experts would refer to experiencing a ‘fight or flight’ response.

There are a host of other bodily sensations and changes that also occur, but I won’t mention them as this is about breathing. Regardless of what changes are occurring in your body out of panic, it is important to reel them in, and minimize both the psychological and bodily stresses as much as possible.

Interestingly, this can best be achieved through your breathing.

When people are stressed out and have a panic attack, often times they may think they’re having a heart attack based on their breathing.

You see the chest tightens during stress attacks, making it appear more difficult to breath, and the more you try to breath using your chest only, the more likely you’re going to have difficulty catching your breath. With that said, it’s more beneficial to breathe using your abdomen.

This is what ‘7-11 Breathing’ is all about – breathing from your stomach.

 

THE SIMPLE GUIDE TO 7-11 BREATHING TECHNIQUE:

Just Breathe Sign7-11 Breathing is very simple and easy to master and to use whenever you feel stressed out. It relies on two key tenets – breathing and visualization.

First off, you need to ensure you’re breathing properly.

When stress occurs, you begin breathing in for a count of 7 seconds and then slowly exhale, preferably through your mouth using an 11 second count.

Remember to count in seconds not run through the numbers as quickly as you can.

A trick to count in seconds is to add the word “and” between each number. This forces you to slow down and count in seconds. Example: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 and 7. Emphasizing “and” each time will slow you down even more if you still find yourself going too fast!

Once you’ve done this process, continue to repeat it.

It’s important to count out in your mind for each routine. The counting itself will help calm you as it serves as a primary distraction. Always make your exhale longer than your inhale!

Adding visualization to the counting is a key component – don’t skip this part.

This next technique comes from Melody Fletcher’s Blog (with a few twists I’ve used with folks) and you can find a link to it in the resource section below…

When you’re exhaling, repeat to yourself, “Everything down, everything down. It’s ok. It’s ok!” While saying this, imagine that blue arrows are pointed towards your feet. While you’re visualizing, the blue arrows pointing downward toward your feet, repeat over and over, “This will pass. This is passing.”

While you’re repeating these mantras, imagine a fuse box with on and off switches. As you continue breathing and repeating your mantras, each time in your mind’s eye see yourself switching them from the “on” to “off” position.

These “fuses” represent your worry and each time you flip one off, your worry is diminishing.

As you continue to do this, your stress and tension will dissipate and you’ll feel less tense.

This process takes a little while to master – practice makes perfect. The neat thing about this exercise is it can help you relax more deeply quicker regardless if you’re under attack or high-stress situation.

Finally, here at Free At Last Hypnosis we practice what we preach. We leverage concepts discussed here as a resource during our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program which you can learn more about it here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO PANIC ATTACKS:

Benefits of Deep Forest Relaxation for Stress – Erika Slater >>>

Why is it So Darn Hard to Cope with Stress? Ways to Reduce It >>>

Overcoming Panic Attacks When Taking Tests >>>

Panic Attacks and Panic Disorders – WebMD >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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The Benefits of Deep Forest Relaxation and Forest Therapy

By Peter Sacco
deep forest image

deep forest image

Are you someone who has a hard time seeing the forest from the trees literally?

That is, you’re not too in tune with nature and don’t do the ‘nature walk‘ thingy often, or ever? Are you more of an iron jungle and technology type of person, whereby everything that surrounds you is usually of a 9 to 5 mentality?

Then perhaps you’re someone who could benefit from starting to see both the forest and the trees together and start connecting with your natural roots!

Or maybe you remember those days when you did spend time in your favorite forest but haven’t had the chance for many years, and long to experience the peace and connection once again.

When was the last time you went on a nature walk?

Did you know research is being done to investigate the health benefits of spending time in a forest and this is now called ‘Forest Therapy’? Yes, there are studies going on all over the world and particularly in Japan.

But what’s Forest Therapy all about?

 

WHAT’S THE BENEFITS OF FOREST THERAPY?

Forest Walk hiking ImageForests have a calming effect on us.

Research is showing forest therapy has honest to goodness physiological and mental health benefits? The Japanese refer to forest therapy as ‘forest bathing’ where you literally sponge up the benefits of spending time in the forest.

Many people use CD’s or MP3 downloads to simulate the sounds of nature in the background.

These days you can purchase media where the entire themes are purposely composed of nature sounds such as waterfalls, rain, birds singing, and other forest sounds. If you can’t be in nature, then bring the sounds of nature to you. From this experience alone, it allows a mental and/or psychological escape from the mundane, even stressful urban sounds and realities of everyday living.

The fact is you can visit the forest and still be in downtown Manhattan so to speak!

Have you ever noticed television commercials incorporate ‘nature’, usually forests into their themes? When it comes to ‘automobile’ or ‘laundry’ commercials, the message is about escaping the confines of the city and reaping the benefits of deep, nature relaxation in the country.

By using ‘their product’, they lead you to feel this ‘relaxation’ is possible… of course when buying their product.

The famous medical doctor and author/personality Dr. Andrew Weil asserts spending time in the forest and engaging in deep forest relaxation can lower levels of salivary cortisol, the hormone that rises when we’re under stress, and can lower blood pressure and pulse rate. Furthermore, it can trigger dramatic increased in the activity of natural killer (NK) cells, which are produced by the immune system to fight off or prevent infections and cancer cells.

How much time does one have to spend in the forest to reap the benefits of forest therapy?

Apparently, researchers from Japan have found spending three days in the forest increases natural killer cell activity by 50%, and this effect can last up to one month! Even more intriguing findings came from spending time in forests or activities that were forest related.

Forest in JapanA Japanese study showed that just gazing at forest scenery for 20 minutes reduced salivary cortisol levels by 13.4 percent, bringing them down to lower-than-average concentrations among city dwellers.

The Japanese practice ‘Shinrin-yoku’ which translated means a ‘medicine’ for the mind by basically spending time in a forest.

They refer to it as ‘forest bathing’ and taking in through all of the senses – sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, everything the forest offers.

This approach began in the 1980’s and has become a cornerstone for Japanese health in terms of it being a form of preventative medicine.

Many companies, in Japanese cities, started making employees ‘exercise’ outside during workhours on rooftops (Of course there are no forests in the cities) as they hoped by spending some time in natural elements it would create a healthier mind and body.

The hope was workers would be more productive both physically and psychologically, and there would be less sick days.

Western medicine for many years – and unfortunately many Doctors still today – were skeptical of anything not based in scientific fact, and even with evidence of these studies the scientific community still doesn’t get the powers of eastern preventative medicine. Western medicine still deals mostly in remedies to help you get better when you’re sick, rather than preventing sickness.

But it’s changing as alternatives like mindfulness and hypnosis are used to compliment medicines for healing.

So, you’ve decided to reconnect with nature but what if your nearest or favorite forest is 100’s of miles away or it’s the middle of winter? Here’s where you bring the forest to you…

 

BRINGING THE FOREST TO YOU:

Deep Forest RiverThis means you don’t necessarily have to always be spending time in the actual forest to get the benefits, rather it’s your perception of your surroundings which have much to do with how you feel. It’s the perceived sights, sounds and smells associated with trees, birds, running streams, and wildlife which seem to reconnect humans to nature and help them feel refreshed and revitalized!

The earlier experiments conducted in Japan were interesting in the fact the mind itself can be led to believe even though the entire body is in the city, the mind can still escape to nature… a virtual forest!

When the mind is able to escape to a forest, even in one’s imagination, or through the power of suggestion, hypnosis or self-hypnosis, the health benefits are remarkable! The studies conducted in Japan showed the participants who were tested demonstrated more favorable and healthy outlooks after spending time in ‘cyber forests’.

After viewing forest-based sceneries, the participants in the study reported possessing higher rates of feeling vigor, and also feeling remarkably refreshed!

Overall, they felt more comfortable, soothed and at peace in nature.

Furthermore, those individuals who originally felt confused, fatigued, anxious, filled with tension, and even depressed or angry, felt better. The moral of the story; even though being in a forest is definitely relaxing, you don’t necessarily need a real one if your mind believes it’s capable of escaping to one.

What if you’re not always able to spend time in a forest, especially if you live somewhere where there are none, or climate does not allow it?

Well then, time to bring the forest to you!

One of the best ways to create forest therapy in your own home is through visualization and hypnosis. From the results of the experiments just discussed, it’s easy to simulate a relaxing ‘forest experience’ in your mind, anytime and anywhere.

Where your thoughts go, your energy will flow.

If you truly believe you’re in a forest, or floating on a small sailboat on a stunning, turquoise body of water, then that’ll be your reality. It’s all a mindset you get to create for yourself, and a hypnosis CD or MP3 can help you get there much faster!

You can get wonderful CD’s and MP3’s with all the background sounds of the forest which places you there in the here and now, even if you’re in the Nevada desert, or locked in a New England winter! These are readily available from Amazon.

But with these CD’s you don’t get the power of combining those sounds with hypnosis and going into a deeper state of relaxation and healing of stress and the capacity for peace.

It’s all about perception and combining these sounds with hypnosis, your unconscious mind is unable to tell the difference. It can be told you’re in the forest and therefore reap many of the benefits of being in a simulated forest.

Finally, here at Free At Last Hypnosis we practice what we preach. We leverage concepts discussed here as a resource during our online and in-office sessions for our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program which you can learn more about it here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO RELAXATION:

Andrew Weil >>>

FREE Sanctuary MP3 Download >>>

Why is it So Darn Hard to Cope with Stress? Ways to Reduce It >>>

Forest Therapy Taking Root >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
Staff Editor
Free At Last Hypnosis

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Simple Ways to Overcome the Fear of Growing Old Alone

By Erika Slater
senior woman contemplating growing old

senior woman contemplating growing old

As the population of “X” and “Y” generations start to get older, more and more people today are single, perhaps more than ever before.

Divorce rates have never been higher than over the last ten to fifteen years, and more individuals are choosing to remain single after divorce, or not even getting married in the first place.

This has many thinking and fearing growing old alone.

This mindset is literally a major concern for people who worry they’ll be alone for the rest of their life, with no one to turn to when they’re much older and when they’ll need support and help the most.

If you’re still young enough and in the work force or have a career, this may cushion the blow for now. But what happens when you retire and get older?

Does the thought of this frighten you? Do you consider jumping into a relationship for all of the wrong reasons because you’re afraid to be alone?

 

IS BEING ALONE WHEN OLD THE NEW NORM?

Single Parent Mom Concept ImageNo, marriage as a concept is not “on the rocks.” Providing a stable life is important for most of us and being married offers the best opportunity to fulfill that desire. Family life and values, especially when children are involved, remains a fundamental social need.

Society has always held marriage and/or relationships as the norm, in high esteem. From the time you were young, you were most likely taught getting married and/or staying in a marriage was the right thing to do.

As a matter of fact, prior to the last 10-15 years, if you weren’t married by the time you were in say your 30’s or 40’s, then there must be something wrong with you!

This was especially true of women for no other reason than stereo-typing.

Nowadays, being single and autonomous is more readily acceptable, and more people are remaining that way. So, even though it’s okay to be single or remain single well into your retirement years, the underlying fear of loneliness pervades the situation—OMG, I’m all alone!

Should choosing to be alone or single become a fear? Is it a rational fear, something worthy of your consideration and feelings?

First off, although being and/or staying married in relationships is still the norm for the majority of people, it’s more acceptable today to be single and stay that way. Furthermore, many individuals have had two or more divorces, which make staying single seem more rational and even cheaper (see lawyer bills)!

Back in the day, a couple of generations ago, the one you married, was the one you stayed with until ‘death do you part’. Obviously, vows were taken more seriously and literal, and the acceptance for divorces were less tolerated.

Times have changed!

But as we asked earlier there does seem to be a fear of growing old alone with today’s society and so we’ll take a look at what to do about this fear and overcoming it.

 

WAYS TO OVERCOME FEAR OF GROWING OLD ALONE:

Mountain Biker Riding AloneToday, people who get married, based on stats on divorce rates, are not expected to stay married… a sad state of affairs! Unfortunately, not only is divorce more accepted today, it’s also expected.

With that said, it’s ‘OK’ to be single, alone and not in a marriage or relationship.

Something to keep in mind… there are people who are in marriages and relationships who feel lonely, and even alone after all.

Moreover, there are individuals who are single who never feel lonely, and even though they’re alone, it doesn’t bother them, rather they embrace it.

In the end, the quality of life you choose for yourself is what you make it, and this also comes about from the perception you have of it!

Is the fear of growing old alone rational?

After all, not wishing to be morbid but in reality, even long-time married couples end up alone when one of them dies – somebody has to go first, right?

So, how can we overcome these fears whether its because we lose our spouse or partner through illness or death, or because we’re getting old and single and worry we’ll have nobody there to share our old age with.

This “fear” harks back to the social and cultural answer of marriage being the only solution. Freeing yourself from this straight-jacket is first step of overcoming the “fear.”

To free yourself from this worry you have to feel relaxed in how you’ll “end up.” The “fear” is there because of the stress and anxiety you’re putting on yourself in trying to meet other’s expectations and social norms. This is your life not there’s. Tell them that by taking purposeful charge of your life.

Group of friends talkingFriends are every bit as critical to your support group as your partner or spouse or family. Increase your social connections – and I don’t mean Facebook or Twitter followers. We’re not talking about a network of hundreds of people here.

Frankly, even people with hundreds of “friends” will admit there’s only really two or three people they’d feel comfortable calling on to help them through a dire situation.

Make the most of rewarding activities to enjoy life now and connect with others. Deep friendships often start from meeting people who share your enthusiasm for a sport, activity or learning experience.

Make choices and always be looking towards your future with a lens to have a fulfilling life rather than to solve the fear of growing old.

If you need extra help in any of these suggestions, then hypnosis can help you relax and plant the seeds of experiencing a richer and more fulfilling life. Many local hypnotherapists specialize in stress and anxiety and you should reach out to a few to interview and connect with one who can help you over your fears. Here at Free At Last Hypnosis we leverage concepts discussed here as a resource during our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program which you can learn more about it here >>>

An alternative to one-on-one sessions is to consider a self-hypnosis session and you can check out this session to overcome fear of growing old here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO GROWING OLD:

Simple Ways for Aging Baby Boomers to Stay Young >>>

Why is it So Darn Hard to Cope with Stress? Ways to Reduce It >>>

Fear of Getting Old – How to Deal With It – Health Guidance >>>

25 Famous Women on Being Alone >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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How to Stop Cheek Biting or Morsicatio Buccarum

By Erika Slater
Cheek Biting Concept Image

Cheek Biting Concept Image
Are you an individual who gnaws on their cheek(s) intentionally?

Most likely this habit started out of anxiety, or due to an accidental bite, that most likely you saw stars from the pain. As the wound was healing in your mouth and forming a scab, you probably got into the habit of checking it with your tongue and teeth.

Soon, you likely started ‘teething’ on it not only as a reminder it was there, but also as a pacifier.

This is how ‘cheek biting’ usually starts and persists in someone’s life as a habit.

Let’s look at other ways issues in your mouth can start and ways to overcome them…

 

HOW CHEEK BITING PERSISTS:

Dentist Checking Teeth X-Ray ImageDentists or doctors may have to be contacted and visited in some cases where wounds lead to infections for deep cheek bites.

When one continually accidentally bites their cheeks repeatedly leading to wounds, dentists may have to intervene to fix one’s teeth as they may be too sharp or chipped which may be the reason for the continual problem.

In some cases, individuals, may have ‘wild bites’ caused by a jaw misalignment, which in severe cases may require re-alignment through surgery. Some individuals may actually have to get mouth guards to keep their jaws in place to avoid the sliding of their mouths leading to overbites.

Interestingly, some individuals may bite into their cheeks too many times accidentally as a by-product of their gum chewing. Some individuals who chew large wads of gum, and chew too hard can cause the accidental bite wounds to their cheeks.

The same goes for ‘aggressive’ eaters who put too much food in their mouths, or chew too fast!

Some cheek biters suffer from anxiety or high levels of stress which causes them to gnaw on their cheeks. Much like an infant chews on a pacifier an individual may use their cheek in much the same way.

Individuals who possess oral addictions such as nail biting, chewing on pens or pencils, excessive gum chewing’s, tooth pics, etc., may opt to nibble on the sides of their cheeks when they don’t have their oral ‘pacifiers’ as a substitute when they’re are feeling stressed out.

In addition, some individuals may resort to chewing on their cheeks as a substitute for cigarette smoking, another oral addiction, once they opt for smoking cessation.

 

WAYS TO OVERCOME CHEEK BITING:

Hypnosis Subject Session Concept ImageFirst, if you’re a cheek biter then its more common than you think.

Your Dentist sees it on a regular basis and this is the first place to start.

Your Dentist can check out the obvious things going on in your mouth, and teeth, to determine if a mouth guard, or other dental treatments such as a bite correction or jaw realignment is needed to resolve the issue.

If there seems no apparent issues with your mouth and teeth then it may just have developed into one of those persistent yet annoying habits, and just being aware when its happening and causing a distraction for yourself may be enough to overcome the habit – chewing gum (sugar-free of course) may be enough to overcome a passing habit.

When the cause of cheek biting is stress or anxiety and prolonged, then the underlying issue can be a psychological problem or even a mental health issue.

In these cases, you’ll have to consult with your Doctor first and then with a psychologist or therapist to determine whether or not there’s a problem which requires some kind of further treatment such as medication.

In these cases, relaxation therapy and stress management can help overcome all but the most severe and persistent cheek biting. There are many techniques that can help you relax and these include deep breathing, meditation, visualization, hypnosis, self-hypnosis, and biofeedback.

Hypnosis can be excellent protocols for helping individuals overcome their cheek biting habits.

A local hypnotherapist can teach clients relaxation techniques as well as post hypnotic cues and suggestions to engage in other activities, other than cheek biting, whenever you’re feeling stressed out.

By using hypnosis, results can be instantaneous, helping individuals quickly identify they’re gnawing on their cheeks, and replacing this activity with something less harmful for their body!

Self-hypnosis sessions let you have many of the benefits of a face-to-face hypnosis session with a hypnotist without waiting for an appointment. Many hypnotherapists will provide a customized self-hypnosis session to take home or download as part of their session take-away for you. Here at Free At Last Hypnosis we leverage concepts discussed here as a resource during our in-office or online sessions for our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program which you can learn more about it here >>>

If you can’t get to a local hypnotist or they don’t offer online sessions then check out this hypnosis session you can download and listen to in privacy of your own home here >>>

 

OTHER RESOURCES RELATED TO CHEEK BITING:

Can Hypnosis Help as a Treatment for Anxiety Disorder? – Erika Slater

Why is it So Darn Hard to Cope with Stress? Ways to Reduce It >>>

Cheek Biting Causes – How to Stop It While Eating, Sleeping or When Anxious

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Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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DISCOVER HOW TO START CHANGING HABITS TODAY.

In this free audio hypnosis session, you’ll experience the power of your subconscious mind to begin to change your habits. If you've never experienced hypnosis before then this is a great introduction...