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."