Evidence based techniques and therapiesto tame your brain and change your life

We are all aware of the importance of looking after our physical health, but it is equally important to look after our mental health. This week is Mental Health Awareness week, which is a good time for us to reflect on the state of our mental health and how we might better take care of ourselves. The focus this year is on anxiety. While this is a normal emotion, often precipitated by stress, it can get out of control and become a mental health problem.

There is no doubt that modern living is stressful. The constant demands on our time, being available 24/7, as well as, being inundated with unending amounts of information and distractions. It is not surprising that our days become a tangle of thoughts and activities, that we feel stressed and that over time we start to feel overwhelmed, unable to cope.

To make matters worse, many of us employ less than helpful coping strategies, such as comfort eating, drinking to relax, or buying another item we don’t really need. These may bring us some ‘relief’ at the time but with prolonged use these strategies make us feel worse adding to our stress and spiralling mood. As we feel ‘bad’ about ourselves we may socially withdraw or engage in risky behaviours seemingly caught up in self-sabotage. A vicious cycle is set up and our mental health continues to decline.

Developing awareness around our mental health, noticing when it ‘dips’ and putting in place useful coping strategies to deal with stress is essential.

Here at Mindlab, we use evidence-based techniques and therapies to ‘tame your brain’, improving your mental fitness and your ability to deal with life’s pressures. We offer Mindfulness, Yoga and Clinical Hypnotherapy.

Mindfulness can be considered an antidote to our hectic busy lives when we are mindlessly operating on autopilot. It is simply exercise for the brain, where we are learning to be fully present to our experience, paying attention but in a particular way. That is, without wanting things to be different, allowing our experience to naturally unfold without any preconceptions or assumptions, being curious. When we are mindful in this way, we are able to accept experience, as it is, without getting caught up in reactive patterns of behaviour. This means we develop a more flexible adaptive approach which leads to a reduction in stress and anxiety.

Yoga is a perfect way to ‘unwind’ at the end of a busy, stressful day. Along with the physical benefits of yoga, research has shown the huge benefits of yoga for our mental wellbeing. Practising yoga develops both a flexible body and mind – improving physical and mental fitness. More specifically, breathing techniques, guided relaxation and yoga nidra are used to switch on the parasympathetic nervous system, the branch of the autonomic nervous system responsible for relaxation. These practices can be added to your ‘tool box’ to help reduce stress and anxiety.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, is a positive and forward looking therapy, focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on a problem. Central to the process is reducing stress levels, helping clients get out of their primitive brain and remaining in intellectual control. This enables them to be less emotionally reactive, make good choices and address the changes that they want to make. Those unhelpful coping mechanisms, which have become reactive patterns of behaviour and are now exacerbating stress can be replaced and the vicious cycle stopped. As relaxation and ‘trance’ are key to this therapy, generally clients start to feel benefits relatively quickly, with many finding that they sleep better and are more able to cope.

Perhaps this week you might like to try some of our Free Resources and incorporate those into your ‘tool kit’ for reducing stress and taking care of your mental health.

You could also book a Free Consultation online or in person to see how Clinical Hypnotherapy could help, book to join a Free Mindfulness Taster Session, join in a Yoga Session or contact us to find out more. Take that step now to look after your Mental Health.