In this post I thought I’d let you know a little bit more about me, why I discovered hypnotherapy and how it plays such a large part in my life.
So, a bit about me
I’m Elaine and I’m a Clinical Hypnotherapist. I’ve been lots of things in my life but it’s safe to say that the most important role I’ve ever had is as a mum and a grandmother – and adoptive mum of Teddy the dog!
I discovered hypnotherapy completely by chance around 10 years ago. Like lots of people I had a busy job, a demanding home life and there never seemed to be enough hours in the day. But I didn’t think I was struggling, I just kept pushing on. It was when I had a dose of flu that things fell apart. As part of the illness I had trouble breathing and this led to me suffering from panic attacks and anxiety that came out of the blue.
I couldn’t believe how quickly the anxiety took hold and started to affect my whole life. Any everyday occurrence that caused me to be short of breath – climbing stairs, walking briskly – would trigger a panic attack. My instinct was to avoid any of those situations and before I knew it going to work and even leaving the house became an issue. I just didn’t understand where these feelings were coming from and why I seemed to have no control over them.
I was desperate to find a solution and discovered hypnotherapy on the chance recommendation of a friend. During those sessions I learned about anxiety, how it works and where mine was coming from from. I also discovered the tools I needed to overcome it.
It’s fair to say those sessions were life changing. They inspired me to become a hypnotherapist and help others but also they equipped me with tools I needed then and still use today.
3 things hypnotherapy taught me:
- First and foremost, the importance of relaxation – both how to relax and how to build it into every day. Relaxation takes me out of ‘fight or flight’ mode, which I’m often in during a busy day, and helps me to feel calmer, more in control and better able to deal with the ups and downs of life.
- That self-care isn’t selfish. Like many of us, I love caring for people and I will do all I can to help, support and be there for those that need me. But can come at a cost. By looking after myself and making sure I am well, I can care better and be of even more support to those around me. So not selfish at all.
- To re-discover things I enjoy. When I was asked by my therapist what things I find relaxing I was stumped, it had been so long since I’d done anything just for my enjoyment. Gradually I’ve re-discovered old favourite pastimes and found new ones that absorb me and help me to switch off – painting by numbers was my best discovery of the pandemic!
3 tools I use every day:
I regularly use the tools that I teach my clients – so I do practice what I preach!
- Breathing techniques when I’m in stressful situations, usually 7/11 breathing where you breathe in for 7 and out for 11. This technique is great for quickly calming the stress response – and no-one need know you are doing it.
- Planning my day and making sure that I’ve built some time in there for me – even if it’s just a taking the dog out for half an hour or having a soak in the bath. Just that time to de-compress and re-set.
- Rehearsing situations in my mind. If I’m facing an important or difficult situation that’s making me anxious, I’ll ‘rehearse’ it a few times by imagining it happening really positively, with the best possible outcome. Then, when the situation comes round in reality it’s not a big deal.
My greatest reward as a therapist is sharing the benefits of hypnotherapy with as many people as I can to empower them to move ahead with their lives in a positive way.
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