Mynd.Works - Anxiety Treatment Canberra

Top 10 Tips for Less Seasonal Stress

The festive holidays will soon be upon us and this period is almost always among the top 20 most stressful events of life – sometimes as high as fifth or sixth.

Other events are infrequent  (deaths, marriage, divorce and even house moves), but Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Las posadas and even New Year stress comes around with great regularity!

At a time when advertising bombards us with scenes of joyous family gatherings, and we’re expected to be in a perpetual state of celebration, it can feel shameful to confess to others that the whole thing fills you with dread.

However much fun this time is traditionally meant to be, there is no doubt that the festive season brings frustration and stress – even for the kids!

here are my Top 10 Tips for Reducing seasonal Stress:

 These tips mainly reference Christmas, but will help in all situations.

1) not Too Much

You’re not superhuman! If you’ve already agreed to host your own party and go to a further 3, do you really need to accept extra invitations?

You need time to rest as well as have fun.  Build in plenty of down-time, time to flop around and chill out. If you are reading this and thinking, “No chance!” then that merely emphasises just how much you do need to build it in.

So, insist upon it. Everyone will benefit if you have more energy at the key moments.

 

2) Plan Ahead

Buying presents over a few months takes away the stress of having to find them all at once and also spreads the financial burden.  It’s atmospheric to shop when the lights are in the shops and it can be fun, to buy a last special present on Christmas Eve – but you don’t have to do all of your present buying in December.

It’s also not wise to wait too long for something that’s likely to sell out.  It can be extremely stressful to find that an important present is out of stock everywhere.

 

3) Buy Online

Checkout queues can be a really stressful, some people even suffer trolley rage.  It’s possible to order food, drink and gifts for delivery to your house if you get in quickly enough.

The delivery charge is worth it for the loss of stress!  Do it early or you’ll worry about whether it will arrive in time or not.

 

4) Remember nothing’s Perfect

You don’t have to be Ebenezer Scrooge to acknowledge that, while there is the perfect Christmas tune (Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You – don’t look at me like that, it must be, based on the neverending airtime it comands ), there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas.

You’re not responsible for everyone’s happiness.

It might be your job to cook the dinner and pick the presents, but if Aunt Flo is in an awful mood, or Grandma insists on watching 3 hours of continuous soaps and upsets everyone else, it’s not your fault.

Although, you can help to set the atmosphere, essentially people will make up their own minds whether they’re going to be in the festive spirit or not.  Which brings us nicely to…

 

 

5) Be Responsible

Alcohol is either a friend or an enemy depending how you treat it.  Entertaining can be so stressful that many people like to have a small drink just as it’s about to swing into action.

This can be relaxing and can help you to feel jolly – creating a festive atmosphere.  Of course, this does mean just a tipple… a drunken host or hostess is not a good idea!

If you’re cooking, why not get someone else onto drinks?  They should make sure everyone has what they want without overdoing it.

Since tensions can be high, it’s not a good idea to get so drunk that you tell your sister exactly what you really think of her and her children!  That will greatly increase your stress for a long time to come!  This is less likely if you stick to an amount of alcohol you know you can handle well.

Parties are a great time to let your hair down, but it’s a good idea to drink soft drinks interspersed with the booze during the night and some water before bed.  Overdoing it will often ruin what was otherwise a great night, so one way of dealing with that is to say, “I am going to drink only 4 drinks tonight” (or whatever you know you can handle and not suffer the consequences).  If you plan it that way, then you will find you can stick to a sensible limit more easily.

 

6) The In-Laws

Or, as some call them, “the Outlaws.”  If you have wonderful ones then this is no problem at all – move on to the next item.  If yours are hard work, you may just have to accept that it may be a strain.

Knowing what has made it easier in the past can help, as can the notion that you can take 10 minutes out from time to time – agree this with your partner beforehand and work together as a tag-team.

 

7) keep it simple

Sometimes, less is more.  Although there are certain things you cannot avoid putting extra effort into at Christmas there may be others that are so stressful that they aren’t worth the payback.

Is it necessary to prepare every meal as a gourmet feast or to put up so many decorations that your house can be seen from space?  Even the kids may appreciate doing something lower key for some of the holiday.  If they don’t chill out at some point, there will be tantrums.

 

8)   Time to Relax

Speaking of chilling out, it’s important to have something stress-free planned.  Many people book a massage or spa session either just before or just after (or both if you have the time and money).

Perhaps a round of golf or playing some other sport can also do this – if it’s not too cold!  And of course, there is the Boxing Day sport schedule.

Counsellors often have very busy January’s when new clients want to unload the stresses they underwent over the Christmas period.  It can be good to unburden this to an empathic ear.

My own door is always open, book your FREE consultation here.

 

9)   Go For a Walk

It can be a relief to go for a walk on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day.  It can be a blessed break from TV, relatives, broken toys and over-indulged stomachs! Getting out in nature, especially if there is festive weather can really help to lower stress levels.

 

10)   Having a Spiritual Moment

If you are a religious person it can be the highlight of Christmas to support your faith or go a Carol Service.  If you’re not, it can be calming just to enjoy the music in the malls or on street corners – take a minute to enjoy!

It can be great to escape the manic pace of shopping, find a cafe, grab a seat, pop in some headphones and listen to my FREE 7-min relaxation audio and lower your pulse rate.

The festive season can be such a happy time of celebration and connection. However, it can be a time of isolation, so reach out to others and check they’re okay.

If you do find Christmas stressful then remember keep this list handy and it might ease the burden.

wishing you a joyously festive season.

myndworks, myths, anxiety, truth, reality, common, treatment, hypnosis, cbt, nlp, problem, mental health, disorder ,stress

Debunked: Nine Myths About Anxiety

Like depression, anxiety can be an overrated mental health issue. We all suffer from anxiety sometimes but how do we know when it’s time to seek help? What are the real symptoms of anxiety? And what are its causes?

Anxiety is the most common mental health condition among many developed nations, such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Lack of awareness, plus the circulating myths can make dealing with anxiety problems even more challenging. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about anxiety.

Myth #1: Having anxiety isn’t a big deal

Reality: Anxiety disorders can accompany and/or potentially lead to other illnesses, such as depression and substance abuse.

Myth #2: Anxiety disorders are not so common

Reality: Forty-five percent of people in Australia alone will probably experience a mental health condition in their lives. In any one year, up to a million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety, according to beyondblue.

Slightly more women are affected than men, and the condition is most common in people as early as in their late teens to mid-twenties. An anxiety disorder is one of the most prevalent mental health issues affecting young and old alike.

Myth #3: The disorder will resolve on its own

Reality: While some people recover from anxiety on their own, it’s important to have it treated. Over time, anxiety disorders can develop into serious conditions like depression. There are several methods to treat anxiety, including psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Myth #5: Anxiety is all about fear

Reality: While many cases of anxiety originate from excessive fear, the condition can also be genetic. It can also be associated with certain medical conditions, such as anaemia, asthma, several heart conditions and infections. Stress can also bring on anxiety problems.

Myth #6: No one can ease an anxious person

Reality: Even though you are not a trained therapist, there are many ways to offer help and support to those suffering from anxiety disorders. The best approach is to ask questions instead of making assumptions regarding what they need, like “Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?”

Myth #7: A drink or two can soothe anxiety

Reality: A study reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that despite the risks, people suffering from anxiety try to relieve it by self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. You might think that the best way to deal with anxiety is to have a drink but it can in fact worsen the condition. Substance abuse can eventually reinforce anxiety.

Myth #7: To ward off anxiety, avoid things that you fear

Reality: Anxiety specialists recommend facing your fears instead of running away from them. “Avoidance is not a good strategy,” says David Spiegel, Associate Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioural sciences at Stanford University. He contends that the more we avoid what we’re fearful of, the more anxious we become. On the other hand, the more you expose yourself to your fears, the more you are able to overcome them.

Myth #8: Tranquilisers and sleeping pills work best for anxiety

Reality: Although medications are commonly recommended for anxiety sufferers, they only provide a temporary solution and never address the root cause of the problem, which is the key component for recovery. What’s more, these medications have side effects, which bring their own slew of problems to deal with. Anxiety is best treated with mindset therapies like NLP and hypnosis, assertiveness training, exercise, or complementary therapies, such as aromatherapy or massage.

Myth #9: Therapy for anxiety can take forever

Reality: This is not the case, in fact, improvements can be apparent after only a few sessions. Hypnosis patients, for instance, can experience up to a 50% reduction in symptoms from the virtual outset. Combining treatments is also an effective way to achieve even faster results, complemented with ongoing ‘therapy homework’ outside of the session.

Anxiety disorders are real and can be life-threatening. Like many other mental health conditions, anxiety symptoms can­ – if not treated appropriately – deteriorate into more serious conditions. Anxiety can strike anyone at any point in their life. But with the right treatment and understanding, it’s possible to overcome this often debilitating condition.

 

discover the ‘CHAOS TO CALM’ Anxiety Elimination Program here

 

Richard Scott combines psychology, NLP and CBT with over 12 years’ professional, full-time experience in traditional and modern hypnosis to deliver the fastest, most successful results.

He specialises in anxiety, weight issues, self-esteem and empowering women.

If you need assistance with any form of anxiety, Richard can help, get in contact for a free rapid change consultation.

Some hidden signs of depression

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With all the media buzz about depression, this once unrecognised disorder is now being the centre of attention of many people, from experts to ordinary individuals.

Nonetheless, there is still a continuing stigma, which discourages depression patients from seeking the help they need.

Worse, too many people remain undiagnosed because even they themselves, are not aware that they are already having the symptoms.

A person suffering from depression may look like one fine individual in front of others. But wait until you get a closer look to their behaviour.

Below is among the common symptoms of depression that many may overlook.

Frequent Fatigue Symptoms

Not everyone with depression experience fatigue symptoms. But those who do really have a hard time coping with it.

Imagine constantly feeling blue, at the same time, constantly feeling tired. It is really difficult to cope with.

Even though a person with depression doesn’t have trouble sleeping at night, they could wake up the next day feeling restless and lacking energy.

Even depressed patients who have already been diagnosed tend to conceal their fatigue-like symptoms as it often affects their work and personal relationships.

Ignoring Hobbies and Lack of Interest

People with depression may suddenly lose interest in most things, especially those that they really enjoy doing before.

Since depression is physically and mentally draining, even leisure activities can become taxing, which makes enjoying life really difficult.

Moodiness & Constant Feeling of Irritability

Irritability is one of the overlooked symptoms of depression.

The constant work and effort it takes to battle depression can really drain one’s energy, making too little room for patience and understanding.

A depressed person may get easily angry with little nuisances like being late for five minutes, spilling coffee in their clothes, or not getting a reply from an email or text message ASAP.

People who aren’t really moody before, but suddenly become more irritable, may be dealing with depression.

Developing Abnormal Mental Habits

Eating too little or too much is a common sign of depression. Some people with undiagnosed depression tend to seek comfort and pleasure from food, but are often confronted with guilt feelings and poor body image in the end.

On the other hand, some patients simply lose the appetite to eat and find food unappealing.

Neediness

Depression is indeed a debilitating condition that makes a person incapacitated to perform even the simplest things.

And if the person doesn’t know it, or conceals their depression, they find it harder to deal with others who are getting irritated about their neediness.

As a result, they would feel even worse, helpless and unwanted.

Emotional Ups and Downs

Depression isn’t just about feeling down all the time. If someone has hidden depression, they might seem like just having mood swings.

Others might think that the person is just doing fine because they see him or her smile, laugh and have a good time.

But depression is like an endless nightmare that keeps hunting a person who has it. The good times just don’t make up for the bad.

Inability to Respond to Affection and Concern

Whilst the common symptom of depression is constant feelings of sadness, for some people who have it, it’s more about feeling ‘numb’. And because of this, responding to others’ affection, kindness or concern becomes difficult.

Worse, they may even react negatively to it, and push people away from their lives.

Depression is a serious mental health disorder that we should not ignore.

If you suspect that you or someone you know might be dealing with depression, learn about the options to treat it.

However bad this condition is, most anyone can push through it with proper treatment, along with the support of loved ones.

Richard Scott
Clinical hypnotherapist