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

Boost your focus, creativity & productivity

Focus target concentration

Can you work a little less but still stay productive and achieve your goals?

When we think about productivity, we think about time management techniques, increasing motivation and finding ways to work faster in order to do more.

To make these strategies work long-term you must work on internal motivation and prioritise the most important things. And that requires mental strength.

Here are some psychological tricks to increase productivity, drive and creativity.

Productivity is not measured by how much time you put it.
Try tracking your activities for an entire work week. Create a diary and write down what you do every 15 minutes. You might be shocked to know that you are doing many things that are less important, but are contributing to your stress levels.

By eliminating those unimportant tasks in your daily routine, you can downsize your 40 hours of work to maybe 10 very productive hours, which means you can then add little things as necessary.

Focus on what you CAN do.
Too often, we get stressed a lot by thinking about the things we don’t have control of, such as looming deadlines, the possibility that the boss won’t like our work, or the thousands of competitors also working hard to get the position we may be seeking.

There are so many things that we can do nothing about. Nonetheless, there are also plenty of things that we can control, and those are the things we should focus on.

Give your time and energy working on the task at hand. The more you worry about the problems that haven’t taken place yet, the more time you waste.

Remember, a problem is not a problem until it becomes a problem.

Reward yourself.
If you think about rewarding yourself before doing a difficult task, you aren’t really giving yourself a reward. You basically are procrastinating. If you make this a habit, you are going to accomplish less.

Reward yourself for doing something great, and do it immediately. This is one good psychological trick to make your brain believe that it will reward it for completing tasks on time. Self-rewards, when done properly, are a great way to keep yourself motivated.

Strive for balance.
Doing too much and focusing on what is less important steals you of the energy and time that you could have given to your personal life. Give time for play and recreation. Schedule a downtime to recharge.

Don’t strive for perfection.
You can’t always be 100% satisfied with every task you do. Humans as we are, we all commit mistakes. We aren’t always full of ideas and creativity.

Strive for the best, but do not dwell on perfection. Leave the notion of perfection behind, and let your productivity and creativity soar!

Practise attention training.
Attention training can have significant benefits in managing anxiety and depression, increasing focus, and harnessing creativity when practised right.

Most of us feel stressed, anxious, burned out, tired or unfocused from time to time. But the ability to quickly recover from these unwanted emotions makes all the difference. Attention training aims to cultivate high levels of sustained focus.

Practise mindfulness.
One secret to sustained focus and drive is mindfulness – which you can cultivate through simple relaxation techniques like self-hypnosis. Awareness of the present moment keeps distraction away and heightens your creativity.

Productivity, creativity and focus are three things you may not master overnight. It’s going to take time, but it’s definitely going to be worth it.

Mindful or Mind Full?

The everyday stress, the challenges at work and the problems we are going through can all cause burnout, which in turn affects our mental health. And as you may well know, in times like this, it is very hard to concentrate and perform at your best.

Instead of being mindful, you tend to be “mind full”.

Whenever your head feels so heavy because a lot of ideas and thoughts go in and out, consider following these steps. They will not only help to clear your mind but also give you relief from stress, and help you regain some focus.

Write it down.

The best approach is not to get away from the problem, but face it courageously. Writing is a proven way to organise our thoughts. Adopt the habit of clearing your mind through writing. The more you try to ignore them, the more these thoughts will bug you. First off, get a pen and paper and go to a quiet place. Write down the thoughts that are bugging you – good or bad.

Don’t restrict yourself and don’t feel ashamed. Sometimes, we just can’t tell our brain what it should or should not think about. Create three columns and label them: “to be done”, “not now”, and “delete”. Sort your thoughts. Be honest and try to place each thought to the right column. You will realise that most of your thoughts can be deleted or can be put aside for now.

Sketch it.

Can’t write? Why not draw a picture? You probably have thoughts that can’t be described by words. You need not be an artist to draw. After all, your output is something you just have to keep for yourself. Just let your emotions and thoughts flow. You can create images, graphs or charts – whatever that best describes your thoughts. You don’t need to ask permission. Draw simple pictures of what’s on your mind.

Take deep breaths.

Deep breathing is a relaxation technique that is a great strategy for regaining your mental clarity. Deep breathing increases the oxygen levels in your body, which in turn benefits your brain.

Find someone to talk to.

Sometimes, we simply need a friend to clear our mind. You are probably confused of what decision to make, or unsure about a certain project or task you’re doing. That’s where a good friend comes in.

He or she can help you organise your thoughts effectively, and clear those unwanted thoughts. Sometimes, to clear our mind, we just need someone who will listen – someone who will listen to your hopes, fears, and questions without judgement.

Hang out with your furry friend.

There’s no scientific evidence showing that having a pet can help clear your mind. But there’s vast evidence suggesting that it can make your life better in many ways.

It eases your depression, lowers your blood pressure, boosts your mood, and helps you deal with stress better. If you are happier and healthier, you are in a better position to organise your thoughts easier.

Remind yourself of what’s more important to you.

Sometimes, our minds become flooded with lots of thoughts that are not really important. In times when your mind is full, it’s really helpful to try looking back on things that matter more to you. They may be your children, family, friends or loved ones, perhaps your job or even your goals in life.

Self Hypnosis / Meditation.

Mental clarity can be one simple step away. Consider making this mental practice a part of your daily routine. Afford yourself just 15 minutes or so, close your eyes and begin to focus on the following. Firstly pay attention to your breathing – try to slow it down. Now in your mind, visit a place you enjoy going to and make it all as real as possible.

Try to imagine the sights, the sounds, the smells, any tastes or sensations of touch. Give yourself a few moments to let all of these fantastic sensations soak into you. Take a few extra deep, slow breaths to lock in all of these sensations.

Now it’s time to return back to real-time and bring with you all of those good feelings ans sensations. Simply count yourself back to being fully awake by counting up the numbers from 1 to 5 and opening your eyes on number 5.

This exercise might be challenging at first but it gets easier and easier the more you do it. Go on, give it a try. Let me know how you get on.

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist