mental health, awareness, health, mental, hypnosis

It’s World Mental Health Awareness Day

“One in 4 people experience a mental health problem in the course of a year. And among the most common conditions are anxiety disorder and depression.”
Global Mental Health Foundation.

The aim of Mental Health Week and Mental Health Day is to promote social and emotional wellbeing to the community, encouraging people to maximise their health potential, enhancing the coping capacity of communities, families, individuals and increasing mental health recovery.

So, In line with World Mental Health Day, I’d like to share some information and tips to improving your own mental health.

Taking care of your mental health is your personal responsibility. If you ever want to live life to the fullest, be happy, and achieve all your dreams and goals, you must make sure to keep your mental and emotional health in their best condition.

“Only 18 per cent of Australians regularly seek support when stressed or feeling down, according to a new survey.”
Research commissioned by Mental Health Australia

Be honest with yourself now and ask yourself the following questions:

How often do you –

  • Make an effort to eat healthily
  • Make time to socialise with family or friends
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Exercise for at least 10 minutes at one time
  • Keep the consumption of alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs as limited as possible
  • Take the time to carefully plan and prioritise work and personal commitments
  • Listen to music while working or studying
  • Consciously ensure times without electronic devices
  • Participate in a club, society or sporting activity
  • Seek advice or support when feeling down or stressed

If you’re anything like the other 82% of Australians, chances are you answered ‘not enough as I’d like to’.

Here are some great ways to boost your mental health. Making them a habit is sure to benefit your well-being.

emotions, thoughts, feelings, behaviours, actionsBe open your feelings.

Learn to share your feelings to people you trust. Don’t feel embarrassed to confide in them and voice out your struggles.

These people may not have the answers to your problems, but they have the ears to listen and heart to empathise.

Sometimes all we need is a listening ear to feel better and have the courage to go through the toughest times in our life.

calmness, stress, anxiety, mental, health, outdoors, natureGo outdoors more often.

Don’t let yourself be confined in your desk. There are great things waiting for you outside.

Travel. In every place you visit, you are sure to learn something. Meet new people. Interact with others. Appreciate nature.

Studies show that green environments lift our mood and boost our sense of well-being. Enjoy the sun when it’s out.

A 2005 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that light exposure help reduce or prevent symptoms of anxiety by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain.

positive, mental, health, attitude, mindset,Keep a positive mindset.

It’s not every day that we feel good about ourselves and everything else around us.

We don’t have a full control of the happenings in life. There are days when the sun shines so bright. There are times when rain pours heavily.

However, we have control over our mind. We have control over our perspective. By keeping a positive mindset, we are strengthening our resilience against life’s difficulties.

There are many exercises that allow you to see the glass half full rather than half empty. They include hypnosis, mindfulness and meditation.

Mind-body techniques increase dopamine and serotonin levels, and boost feelings of happiness. Redirecting your focus from the negative to the positive things will help you stay grounded no matter how tough your day will be.

negative, thoughts, let, go, positiveStop the negative self-talk.

We all have a negative voice within. It’s the voice that tells us we can’t do something and discourages us to keep trying.

You can’t shut them out. Science tells us that we are hard-wired to think about negative things.

The best way to deal with negative self-talk is to acknowledge what they are saying, but do not be carried away with them.

Keep perspective. You are more than what your negative voice says you are.

Take care of your physical health.

physical, health, fitness, mental, health, stress, anxiety, positivityYour mind and body are two inseparable things. If one is weak, so is the other. So make sure you are keeping your health in check. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, exercising regularly, and following a healthy diet, you can keep your body strong and healthy, which contributes to a stronger mental health.

If you’d like to take part in some Mental Health Awareness Events you can visit this website to see what’s on near you.
Mental Health Awareness Events

REVEALED – 8 hypnosis myths!

mynd works true or false image, mythsLet’s talk about Myths! Are people under hypnosis mentally weak, helpless, unable to lie or maybe even asleep?

It is true that hypnosis can achieve all sorts of fascinating effects. While using hypnosis some people may:

  •    have visual or auditory hallucinations
  •    move their bodies without intending to
  •    feel less pain

But much of what many people believe about hypnosis is total and utter rubbish.

Here are 8 very common myths:

Myth 1: Only the weak minded can be hypnotised

This simply isn’t true, and it may well have been nurtured by the #Starwars ‘Jedi mind tricks’ – which only work on the weak-minded. Myths. Whereas, in the real world, quite the reverse is probably more true. The higher your intelligence and the stronger your self-control, the more easily you can enter a state of hypnosis.

Entering a hypnotic trance is all about focussed concentrating, so people with mental health problems can find it difficult.

However, finding it hard to enter a hypnotic state doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. People naturally vary in how susceptible they are to hypnosis.

Some studies have shown that around 30% of people are relatively resistant to being hypnotised. Although, with effort, hypnosis can usually be achieved.

Myth 2: The hypnotised are helpless

Also false. It’s difficult to get people to do things under hypnosis that they wouldn’t normally do. While hypnotised people are still in touch with their morals and normal standards of behaviour. Myths again.

That said, though, it is possible to reduce people’s inhibitions under hypnosis and they will more readily accept suggestions.

Stage hypnotists rely on this heightened suggestibility, along with picking the types who don’t mind a little attention. That’s how they get people to quack like ducks. Don’t we all know someone who would quack like a duck if it meant everyone would look at them?

hypno sleeping, sleep, hypnosis, mythsMyth 3: Hypnosis is sleep

People look like they’re asleep when they’re hypnotised because their eyes are closed and they’re peaceful, but they’re not asleep. The brain waves of a person who is hypnotised are different to those of a person who is asleep.

In fact, the hypnotic trance is a heightened state of concentration. A high level of alpha waves on an EEG show that a hypnotised person is awake, alert and very responsive.

Myth 4: A hypnotist cured me in one session!

Some of the most outrageous claims are made about hypnotism (although usually not by hypnotherapists themselves). I believe that these claims have their origins in stage hypnotism.

Of course people regularly repeat claims that they were cured in only one session of hypnotherapy because it’s such a good story. Who wants to hear about how it took you a decade, three divorces and 19,423 nicotine patches to give up smoking?

The truth is that very few people are ‘cured’ in one session through hypnosis. Reputable hypnotherapists will usually advice patients to commit to multiple sessions, I’d usually tell my clients between 2 and 6 sessions. This isn’t naked profiteering, change takes time.

Even then, hypnotherapy (a complementary therapy) is often used alongside some other kind of treatment, rather than as the main method. Most often hypnotherapy is seen as a ‘last resort – I’ve tried everything else’ treatment.

Myth 5: Hypnotists must be flamboyant or weird

Well… I’m not! That’s just TV and stage personalities, who have to be flamboyant and weird.

Imagine how distracting it would be if the person trying to hypnotise you had swirling eyes, kept talking about black magic and wore very loud ties. Your average hypnotherapist is much more likely to wear a grey suit or smart casual clothing.

memories, myths, retrievalMyth 6: Hypnosis can always retrieve long forgotten memories

Nowadays a variety of research has shown that the hypnotic trance isn’t entirely reliable for accurately retrieving memories. Worse, hypnotists can inadvertently implant false memories, because people in a hypnotic trance are easily suggestible.

That being said… I have personally helped someone from the armed forces retrieve map co-ordinates by having them revisit the time and place they initially read the co-ordinates. The client went into a very deep trance state and the co-ordinates sprang back into his mind. This was later confirmed to be accurate and I did have to sign a (secondary to my own) non-disclosure agreement.

Myth 7: You can’t lie under hypnosis

Oh yes you can! Hypnosis is not some kind of magical state in which you can only speak the truth. This is a natural result of the fact that you are not helpless when hypnotised and your usual moral (and immoral) faculties are still active.

I personally read the body language and various cues that are unconsciously given by clients throughout the pre-hypnosis question and history-gathering stage to ascertain a baseline of truth.

hypnosis while driving, myths, hypnotherapy, drivingMyth 8: You’ve never been hypnotised

Many people think they’ve never been hypnotised since they’ve never been to a hypnotherapist. In reality, most of us have experienced a state of mild hypnosis.

For example, when you drive a vehicle and your mind starts to wander onto other thoughts, that’s a mild state of hypnosis. Your subconscious is taking care of all the mechanical aspects of driving while your conscious mind is free to float around and process thoughts.

If you’ve ever meditated then you’ve, in essence, hypnotised yourself. Meditation is a process of guiding the mind into a relaxed, often detached state, while the body relaxes.

So, there you have it. 8 Myths successfully explained. I hope this alleviates any misconceptions you may have had.

If you have any other questions, send me an email.

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist / Psychotherapist

How to sleep better


For many of us, getting enough sleep at night has turned out to be a luxury.

Poor diet, lack of exercise, staring at back-lit screens for hours, stress and many other factors have thrown our circadian rhythm completely out of whack.

Thankfully, it doesn’t really take much efforts to improve our sleep patterns and wake up feeling refreshed and revitalised the next day.

Try out these tips:

Cardio in the morning.

Don’t think that what you do in the morning doesn’t affect your evening rituals.

Exercising in the morning is an incredible way to improve your sleep patterns.

Not only does an early morning cardio boosts your physical and mental health, it also gives you a reason to get up from bed early, and make you feel sleepy in the evening.

Snack on some fruit.

Are you used to having a midnight snack? Try a handful of grapes, berries or an orange.

A small amount of carbohydrates before bedtime helps your body produce melatonin – the hormone that regulates sleep.

Cut back on sugary drinks.

Reducing your intake of sugar can do great wonders in your sleep, as it does to your overall health.

Opt for fresh fruit juices that are naturally sweet and avoid calorie-dense fizzy drinks. Instead of using table sugar, sweeten your food using honey.

And as much as possible, stop your sugar intake by 5pm, to allow your body to metabolise all the carbohydrates you took the whole day.

Make a journal.

Before going to bed, list down the things you have accomplished for the day.

Then come up with another list of the things you need to do the next day.

Writing it all down will keep you from worrying and remembering things, and allow your mind to completely focus on the present moment and drift off to the la-la land.

Lift weights in the evening.

Lifting weights in the evening can also help you sleep faster and deeper.

After dinner, do some weight training. If you do not have weights at home, try crossfit-style exercises.

Firing up your muscles helps a lot in metabolising sugar which affects sleep. As a result, you nod off easily.

You also get to burn more calories even whilst you sleep!

Turn off electronics in your bed or your room.

Browsing your Facebook newsfeed before going to sleep sounds like a cool idea. But no, it isn’t.

Such electronics, including television and computers, emit blue light that could really mess up with your sleep patterns.

In a 2014 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that participants using iPads displayed reduced levels of melatonin, a hormone that typically increases in the evening and helps induce sleepiness.

Quit the ‘snooze’ button.

Think snoozing your alarm clock for five times helps a lot? Think again!

While it seems like a great idea to wake up on time, many sleep experts agree that hitting the snooze button contributes to a tired morning and doesn’t help us feel more rested.

Those five extra minutes in the morning are less restful than five minutes of REM sleep because they take place at the end of the cycle when sleep is lighter.

Of course,  and I would suggest this, perhaps try a bit of hypnotic relaxation before bedtime.

It’ll help quiet your conscious mind and allow your subconscious to start working its magic even before you sleep.

As always,  I’d love to hear your feedback.

Richard Scott
Clinical hypnotherapist

Try out these tips and you will surely love the result!