Quitting is Winning The Great American Smoke Out is November 21 sponsored by the American Cancer Society. The following information came from the American Cancer Society website. “More than 34 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths. And more than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. While the cigarette smoking rate has dropped significantly, from 42% in 1965 to 14% in 2017, the gains have been inconsistent. Some groups of Americans suffer disproportionately from smoking-related cancer and other diseases, including those who have less education, who live below the poverty level, or who suffer from serious psychological distress, as well as certain racial and ethnic groups, and lesbians, gays and bisexuals.” Money of course is a literal cost of tobacco use. In a Flagstaff hypnotherapy clinic, clients looking to be tobacco free were spending on average eight dollars per day, fifty-six dollars a week, almost three thousand dollars a year! One client realized that every month he was smoking a car payment. By quitting he got a “free” car. Another client discovered that she was spending three months of rent every year on cigarettes. Health is the other main cost. Looking on the bright side when someone quits smoking; within 12 hours carbon monoxide in the blood drops to normal, from 2 weeks to 3 months circulation and lung function improve, 1 to 9 months coughing and shortness of breath decrease, by 1 year the risk of coronary heart disease drops to half of a smoker. With the years of being tobacco free the risks of various cancers and stroke drop dramatically. Anger is not usually considered a healthy emotion. It can be helpful to realize that people are getting rich by selling them an addictive poison while making them poorer. Anger to the point of refusing to give those people any more money is healthy. The tobacco companies are heavily invested in the vaping industry. Many people are becoming addicted to vaping which turns out to not be safe. Vaping and medical marijuana can complicate quitting traditional cigarette smoking because the behaviors are so similar. Helping people quit smoking is probably the best-known use of hypnosis other than entertainment. Hypnosis is effective in many cases and can be used in conjunction with nicotine replacement therapy.
Except in science fiction, time travel doesn’t seem possible. The truth is we time travel all the time. Every time we are lost in a memory or dreaming about or dreading something in the future, we are time traveling. If you think about it, in the moment, we might physically be sitting in a chair, in a class or at work, driving, walking or lying in bed yet our minds are miles and years away, we feel just as good or bad as if it is happening right now. Most of the time we are not in control of this time travel, often in a negative way. We are trapped in bad memories or anxiety about possible negative outcomes. Marie Kondo would ask “does it bring you joy?” It turns out that we have the key to escape this unhappy situation. At anytime we can come to the present. Simply paying attention to anything that is happening in this moment brings or consciousness to the present. Closing our eyes and just noticing our breath is the most basic and always available. Noticing anything about our bodies in the moment or listening to anything in the environment brings us to the now. Once in the present, we have the power to travel into the past, choosing positive memories to feel positive. We can anticipate a positive future, imagine something we really want, something that does bring us joy. Just by remembering or imagining something positive we get to feel positive as if it is real in this moment. Time travel is real. We get to choose the time, destination and feeling. Happy travels.
It is Spring Time in Flagstaff, a Time of Renewal and Fresh Starts
Spring in Flagstaff means; snow, rain, dry, sunny, cloudy, cold, warm, calm, windy. In Flagstaff we have it all. One thing about spring you can count on is new growth. Aspen and oak trees begin to bud, and sprouts begin to push up through the ground. Spring can be a time of new beginning for humans too. Those goals and resolutions that laid dormant over the winter can sprout anew. Every time we wake up is a new opportunity to start over. Sometimes, it is helpful to launch a plan on a specific day or event. Birthdays, the beginning of school, even New Year’s Day are popular. For Catholics and some other Christians, Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, lends itself to starting a new habit, often by letting go of an old one. Forty days works well to create a lasting change, IF the person truly wants to make a change. March 20th, the first day of Spring could mark the beginning of a better life. Make a plan. Write reasonable, specific, measurable goals with timelines. Put action items on a calendar. Have an accountability group or buddy. Reach out for help. Any step forward is moving toward the goal. For more information on developing and achieving your goals contact Don Berlyn, PT, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
February is the Month of Love, Try some on Yourself
Most people are their own harshest judges. Actions by others that we either did not notice or would have considered trivial become huge when thinking about our actions. Frequently we beat ourselves over things we have said thinking; “that was so stupid”, “everyone must think I am an idiot”, “how could I say that”. It can be interesting and helpful to sit back and notice all the things that people say. Many conversations are about trivial things. Often there are little slip ups, an inappropriate word here, a negative comment there. Many people have verbal tics, habitual space holders like “uhm”, “and all that other stuff”, “and stuff like that”, “you know” and “honestly”. My personal one is “alright then”, especially in public speaking and yes, I’m working on it. Of course when other people are not speaking perfectly we usually ignore it but when we think about what we say and how we say it the torture begins. We beat ourselves up over so many things that we readily accept in others. We treat other people with more kindness, compassion and understanding than we do ourselves. Well, we are them. We are other people’s other. Try thinking of yourself the way you think of others. Have understanding, compassion and kindness for yourself, you deserve it as much as anyone else. During this month of love, share a little with yourself.
The Gift of Inner Peace for the Holidays
Thanksgiving and Hanukkah have past and Christmas is rapidly approaching. For many people it can be very stressful. There are three visitors that can bring gifts. First is the Ghost of Christmas (insert your holiday here) Past. Remembering how things used to be can bring happy memories or sadness, even anger. The happy memories can be resources for the present. To enliven the positive memories, find a quiet place, get comfortable, close your eyes, go back in time and remember as many details as you can. Focus on each of your senses, what did you see, hear (include even your singing), smell (food, fireplaces, pine trees), taste (eggnog, gingerbread, hot chocolate) and even feel (snow, pine cones, tinsel) and the positive emotions, (what did you feel inside?). Make a practice of reliving these memories so that you can easily experience the positive feelings whenever you need a happy boost. For the negative memories, practice being present or counteract with a positive one. The Ghost of Christmas Present can bring the gift of perfection. The need to be perfect can kill joy in its tracks. Holiday magazines, ads, Facebook posts and other people’s outdoor displays can bring on feelings of inadequacy. There is pressure to make everything perfect, to produce so much; gifts, food, to put on parties. It can be overwhelming. Stop. Get grounded. Feel your feet on the ground. Breathe in deeply and notice the feeling. Have a conversation with yourself. If you are not being paid for it or it is not going to be in a magazine, it does not have to be perfect. Good enough is good enough. Holidays don’t have to be a competition, even with yourself. A goal of creating and enjoying a comfortable, happy experience will create the positive memories you can have for the rest of your life. The Ghost of Christmas Future brings the gift of worry. The future is unknown, anticipating a negative outcome is a recipe for misery. Imaging a bad future is to feel as if it is happening now. A quick fix is to bring yourself back to the present. That is the technique of noticing now. Feel your feet on the ground. Notice your breathing. Take some deep breaths. Experience what is around you right now. What do you see, hear, smell, taste and feel? You can always bring up the positive memories. Imagine a positive future outcome, making it as real as possible. Experience that in place of the imaginary negative future. May you have a Happy, Peaceful and Grateful Christmas and an Amazing New Year.
Hypnosis in the Media
Link to research demonstrating that gratitude is good for your health http://chicago.suntimes.com/lifestyles/study-gratitude-is-a-healthy-attitude/
This article reports that the CDC finds that Physical Therapy is better than pain meds for chronic pain. This should be true of hypnosis and related techniques. Combining appropriate movement/exercise with mind techniques should be the best of all!
A staggering 25 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A January 2015 report notes physical therapy as a suitable, non-pharmaceutical alternate for chronic pain management. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), in its newly released guidelines as of March, specifically highlights physical therapy as a safe and more effective treatment measure for chronic pain compared with opiates such as Vicodin and OxyContin. Additionally, the CDC reports that opioid use led to more than 28,000 deaths in 2014 alone. Unlike acute pain, attributed to a specific ailment such as burn or fracture, and spanning from the time of injury to approximately 7 to 10 days, chronic pain is discomfort persisting for 3 months or more and carries an emotional component. The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) describes chronic pain as "pain that continues when it should not."