Category Archives: Stress Hypnotherapy

Anxtious About Anxiety : How Hypnotherapy May Help

Many years ago when I worked for a computer software company I was involved with both writing software code and additionally making sure that the end users of the software couldn’t make the programs and their interface crash.

In some sense for some of my role in that job, I was paid to worry about how a user could crash the software. I was, if you like, trouble shooting what could possibly go wrong. This was mostly OK, But, when the deadlines came, myself and my programming companions would demonstrate worry moving into anxiety.

Hypnotherapy Newcastle Anxiety

So lets skip ahead some many years. One of my good friends, for years, has been telling me about an author, they knew I would like and appreciate. Of course I resisted this for many years too. When I eventually started reading the books of Alan Watts, I realised my friend was quite correct.

I almost has anxiety about having wasted so many years without Alan Watts wisdom in my life. But its only the right time to be open to learn something new when its the right time. One of Alan Watts books that I highly recommend is ‘The Wisdom of Insecurity’.

Another way to express this is security is an illusion. We can of course think and feel that we are secure and this is clearly advantageous and quells many anxieties. Of course there is nothing stopping a previously undiscovered comet, an alien race or ‘natural disaster’ wiping all humanity of our globe like a grease spot.

If we make a distinction come working definition that anxiety is the worrying and accompanying negative emotional response about possible / probable future events that may or may not happen. We can immediately ‘see’ that this is a thought constructed realm. It hasn’t happened yet and may not happen at all. And of course it feels remarkable real.

Anxiety and The Stress Response

Biologically speaking our stress response ( heart rate elevation, increased respiration, adrenaline and glucocorticoid production ) are specifically activated when our bodies experience a physical stressor.

This could be defined as having our physical life in immediate danger and accessing the fuel to freeze and play dead, run away or even fight tooth and nail to survive.

In this instance our bodies respond to immediate physical danger and by way of complex electro-chemical interactions kick start our emergency escape systems. Our Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal ( HPA ) system lurches into overdrive accessing and creating massive energy to run away while monitoring the developing situation. A bit like a semi-stuck accelerator on a car.

Our problems with anxiety become transparent because with negatively emotionally driven anxiety, created with only thought and imagination alone the same system ( our stress response ) can become highly activated. And guess what? No physical danger.

And guess what else? Everybody does this from time to time. But for some people this can become habitual because of life conditions or situations where there seems like a huge loss of control in day to day life.

What Can I Do To Ease Anxiety?

If we think about anxiety as thinking about some bad case scenario without any seeming solutions to escape, just a cycle of worry causing negative emotions which in turn cycle into more worry and negative emotions.

One solution is to find a way of the merry-go-round by doing just about anything else. That’s just the trouble isn’t it? It can feel like there is no way off the merry-go-round. The question is then how can I take my mind of the present anxious worries?

One factor in anxious arousal is a lack of feeling of control. So doing anything that can feel like you are making choices ( such as praying, meditating, going for a walk, playing a computer game, doing a cross word puzzle, adding up lists of numbers ) is you making and acting on your choices.

Such activities also makes use of the area in our brains in the frontal cortex ( Dorsal Lateral Prefontal Cortex ) that is part our the worry circuit. So potentially instead of worrying we are using thought to do something more productive.

There are also lots of physical exercises that by way of design make use of both our brain hemispheres. There is some empirical evidence that activities such as Brain-Gym, Swimming, Running, Juggling and Singing ( words and melody ) can alleviate anxiety.

Hypnotherapy In Newcastle To Help You Help Yourself

It took me some years to listen to my good friends recommendations about reading Alan Watts books. Up until I read my first one I had been resisting for all manner of reasons ( that would be a story of what I was doing instead ) but when I did, withing just a few pages I was reading something that was speaking to me in ways that complemented so very much of the work and interests I was engaged with.

Perhaps I can say with some accuracy, that none of what I read was new and at the same time it was a new way of thinking about similar ideas. This is what I call the cascade effect. When there is a threshold passed where ideas, thoughts and actions emerge. For me at that time I simply needed to be open enough to begin reading and see for myself.

And like I said I used to get paid to worry writing software code. What I wasn’t getting paid for was lots of thankless anxiety and way too much stress so I made a decision and chose to leave that job some sixteen years ago and pursue a much more meaningful profession. But that is another story.

If you are struggling with anxiety and the often negative emotional effects then hypnotherapy may be a solution for you.

For a free consultation to see if I can help you, give me ( Nigel ) a call on 0770 481 8467 Tuesday to Friday between 8am and 3.30pm and we can arrange a mutually convenient consultation.

 

 

 

Serious Problems Require Unconventional Wisdom : Newcastle Hypnotherapy

If you have ever been at your wits end facing what seemed like an insurmountable problem, an unendurable situation or absolutely fed up and ready to leave an occupation seemingly having spent all your reserves … you may well be at the cutting edge of a major break through.

This may well seem highly counter-intuitive but if this can have any validity and potential how can we learn to navigate through an ocean of troubles to reach some welcoming shore having learned something of real value in our own experience?

Unconventional Wisdom Hypnotherapy Newcastle

Consider two warring nations where each in its own way is somehow engaging in what is believed to be right, what is believed to be the only way forward and all of the casualties, damage and digging into two opposing positions that can entail.

Neither opposing sides really wants to budge, to give way or surrender to outside forces. Diplomats may be working to secure peaceful solutions or solutions where the conflicts stops with deals and ideas to proliferate concessions.

Exploring this in terms of the individual and an individual problem, it’s not difficult to see that the individual problem can be idealised as two forces or ideas or beliefs that are pulling in different directions, creating inner conflict.

A Hypno-therapeutic Model

In one of the excellent Books by Erickson and the Rossi’s, ( Hypnotic Realities ) one of the themes or ideas discussed is the Conscious and Unconscious aptitudes of an individuals behaviors relevant to a problem context.

They make the cast that conscious or cognitive biases can be a powerful agent in the inability or retardation of Unconscious or Autonomic aspects of the individual personality, memory and life experience can not easily become a resource to be utilised.

This really means that our pre-conceptions of what is possible, massively accentuated by our conscious mind ( beliefs etc ) can prevent new and natural solutions and ideas that are accessible in our repertoire of life experience coming to the front of our minds. Think of warring nations.

So hypnosis can be a vehicle to get the conscious mind distracted or depotentiated in a safe way, for a period of time thus encouraging and allowing our other than conscious resources to begin the process of affecting a solution to problems which can lead to a synthases of conscious unconscious creativity together.

Other Complementary Conceptualisations

In the Taoist, Zen and Buddhist traditions there is a recurrent theme of life as middle way, a being and a nowness. The idea is deep and founded in the early Eastern practices of spirituality. The concept is simple though not generally easy to affect in our modern way of life. The concept is transcending opposites ( usually in thoughts and words ) to open to experience.

This idea comes up again and again in self help books, therapeutic and coaching interventions yet it is the very cognitive biases ( we do it this way, that is not possible, I don’t believe that … ) we all have that can trip us up again and again, circumventing the necessary experience that can be a door to liberation.

The accent with all the generative approaches is the individual with individual work, guidance and effort can affect individual solutions. It is you that creates.

Going Beyond Our Cultural Conditioned Norms

Jiddu Krishnamurti is one of the writers I have learned a great deal from and someone who encourages a quite serious attitude of moving away from any authority as he categorically states it is the individual who gives authority to another.

So no one, really can offer solutions as an authority to someone else. Yes we can share ideas, but only the ideas, perhaps mutually explored, are of the substantive nature that can yield the fruits of generative change … psychological freedom.

Get me right here, what is being proposed as a vehicle to solutions and a certain freedom from the psychological problems is a deep, deep questioning of any assumptions or pre-conceptions of what is or is not possible. This attitude can be a fresh and nurturing harvest of exploration as a ticket to freedom.

In one of the most important explorations of cultural conditioning and freedom are the dialogs between Krishnamurti and David Bohm ( major contributor to Quantum Physics ) where the discussions explore serious psychological shock or disturbance and one pognient exchange re-evolves around neither inviting or rejecting problems of the psychological sort. Stay with this experience. This can lead to liberation!

Neither reject or invite it. Is this not a similar theme in the Western spirituality of Zen, Buddhism and Taoism? Is this not a similar approach to dissolving or congative biases, our conscious pre-conceptions? And allowing what can happen to happen? I think so.

Something To Consider …

In his ground breaking book IMAGINE, Johan Lehrer in the first chapter explores the conditions that made one of the most influential people in the music business ( it was not a business for him ) Bob Dylan.

Dylan during a massive tour of America, got very disillusioned with the whole music business. At the end of an exhausting tour decided he was finished with the music industry and would go off and live in a cabin in isolation. Write a book and really do his own thing.

So Dylan having decided he was finished with the music industry took some time out. What followed after a month or so off, he began writing some of the most influential and meaningful ( to him ) work that would transform the industry. He had no investment in performing to conventions …

For hypnotherapy in Newcastle, Jesmond and Hexham, please get in touch with me either by email or telephone.

My next appointments are December 2015 and we can talk before then. Leave your name, number and a description of the issue you want to explore.

 

Stress, Newcastle Hypnotherapy and Better Health

Stress in it’s many forms has become synonymous with many parts of normal every day life. Unpredictable future, unpredictable employment, moving house, changing jobs, divorce and even stress from commuting to and from work.

Prolonged stress can weaken our immune system and in some cases cause our health to fail catastrophically. Stress has strong links to comfort eating high carbohydrate food which can over time lead to diabetes and even metabolic syndrome.

Hypnotherapy Newcastle Jesmond

Becoming irate many times throughout the day equates to activating our stress response many times throughout the day. Each activation, each time you get angry, anxious or simply wound up activates the sympathetic nervous system.

The crazy thing is many aspects of life we get annoyed with are either way beyond our control or simply not rationally justified or even worth it anyway. Here are some examples of what people, can and do get wound up over.

  • Incorrect spelling / Partner fidelity
  • Lack of communication / Cold calling
  • Cars ‘parked’ on double yellow lines / Dirty washing on the floor
  • Long telephone waiting on call centres / Queues at the supermarket

When we get agitated for ( to some ) these unavoidable aspects of life, our heart rate increases, our bodies dribble adrenaline into our blood, our blood pressure increases and most of the time for no life threatening reason at all.

Do this kind of activation of your bodies stress response throughout the day and you are literally experiencing many small scale stressors all day long. If you are really worrying many times during the day you are doing the same thing with your body. You are activating your sympathetic nervous system.

Stress and Your Health

There was an interesting study linking excessive stress to a reduction in the body’s immune system. Volunteers were squirted up the nose with the common cold virus at the UK common cold unit. Those exposed to more stress were three times as likely to develop a cold. Excess stress weakens our immune system.

People who undergo great stress have a tendency to seek out high carbohydrate foods. Interestingly these foods do have the effect of lowering stress and making us feel good in the short term. This can over time be a contributor to type 2 diabetes in certain circumstances.

Exercise is an excellent way to combat stress though many stress people are too stressed to exercise. Lack of exercise, poor diet and lots of stress are a good formula for either diabetes, hypertension and even heart problems. A few of these conditions can lead to metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome is a grouping of heart attack ‘risk factors’. The primary ones being abdominally overweight, hypertension and high LDL cholesterol. Neither one of these ‘symptoms’ on its own is a predictor of cardiovascular disease it is when these symptoms are experienced together as risk factors.

You can check this our for yourself by way of your own experience. If you are chronically stressed, overweight or worrying excessively how is your health? How are your eating habits? What is your blood pressure? Do you exercise?

Hypnotherapy Newcastle for Health

One of the most obvious benefits of hypnotherapy is the relaxation aspect. When we relax the sympathetic ( stress ) nervous system is switched over to the parasympathetic system of rest and relax.

In parasympathetic mode our heart rate slows, blood pressure drops and our bodies are more capable of healing.

If being overweight is an issue and you have a habit of comfort eating hypnotherapy can help you change your habits in eating and help you to address the issues that you are comfort eating to ease.

Hypnotherapy can help you with :

  • Anxiety and worry
  • Weight loss and better eating habits
  • Coping with stressors

For a complementary consultation call Nigel on 0770 481 8467. Please leave the minimal details of your name, number and a brief outline of what you would like help and assistance with.

 

Serious Stress, OFSTED, a Blank Check and the Head Teacher

I am no stranger to stress in the professional workplace. In fact I am testimony to it having worked in three very stress-full places of employment. Working in the Northumbrian Water business at the time of privatisation, working in the off shore oil and gas exploration setting and in an an entrepreneurial software engineering setting while the business was sold off to venture capitalists.

Two weeks or so ago I was contacted by the head teacher of an extremely prestigious North East school. The conversation was two fold. They required personal assistance and the school staff were massively stressed because an OFSTED inspection was looming and how could I help the staff?

Hypnotherapy for OFSTED Stress

Twice in the first five minutes of our conversation I was asked for an invoice to come into the school to help the teachers with their extreme stress. This is a blank check for my services. Anyone thinking there is no money in the local schools will have a bit of a shock. My fees were never discussed and I was asked twice for my invoice details.

Each time I politely refused because I wanted to come into the school and observe the environment and because until I was sure what I would offer would make a real difference I would not take any money for my services. I am as sure as I can be that I could help the teachers change their coping responses but I like to see first hand before that kind of professional contractual obligation.

In my line of work as a therapist and a teacher of NLP I have had the privileged of working and meeting several teachers that are effected by the pressures of an OFSTED inspection. I have also met one of the highest people in OFSTED who runs the massive coordination of school inspections at the highest level. So I am reasonably familiar with the different effects this has on a wide variety of people.

This head teacher described their personal problem as one of those all two familiar acronyms where things have to be just so or there is massive anxiety. I would think that a successful head of an enterprise needs to have these kinds of structures when all is going well. It’s called being a head.

I explained to the head I require a completed questionnaire before our appointment and arranged their personal appointment and I also arranged a time, the week after our one to one appointment to come to the school and meet the staff, the head, the occupational psychologist and whoever else would be there.

I contacted the head teacher twice to remind them to complete and return their questionnaire before our appointment. Guess what happened. That is right, nothing! So two days before our scheduled appointment I emailed a third time to postpone our one to one because they had failed ( love to say that to a teacher ) to follow my terms and conditions and could we re-arrange our appointment.

The reply was priceless. It was ‘cancel my appointment and cancel the school one too.’ I was not shocked at all because I had anticipated this knee jerk reaction.

Anyone who can not follow processes as simple as filling a questionnaire is unlikely to take on board any advice and techniques I suggest to be implemented in dealing with stress. I was so very much looking forward to working with people who do amazing jobs, teaching our next generations, work out some ways to turn stress into pressure.

IF you are a mega-stressed teacher at this school or any school in the North East, call me, fill in the questionnaire! and I will do my very best to help you find ways to turn what I know can be massive stress into workable pressure.

 

 

Stress Hypnotherapy Newcastle

Excess pressure leads to stress. Hypnotherapy Newcastle offers assistance and help in dealing with a wide variety of life’s stressors in ways that promote your own abilities to better deal the the inevitable stress causing problems we all face on a regular basis.

Have you ever wondered how some people have literally no stress response to something that can and often does drive you up the wall? How is it some people take huge stressors in their stride and literally the same situation will cause you to stress out, worry and panic as your heart races?

Newcastle hypnotherapy for stress can help you to respond in a better and calmer way to many of the things that can stress you out. How you respond to a situation, how you perceive yourself and what you do is what hypnotherapy can assist you with.

Stress Hypnotherapy Newcastle

The stressing situations will almost surely be the same yet by your responding in different ways you have the power to positively effect and take more control; the idea being your ‘natural’ stress response eases off.

THE NATURAL STRESS RESPONSE

The natural stress response to a situation where life is threatened, where we are powerfully emotionally engaged is a natural and perfectly normal survival mechanism which can save our life. This is a response to a direct physical threat such as an accident ( acute ) or being longer term ( chronic ) in, say, a war zone.

Any time our life is in physical danger, be this prolonged or crisis, our automatic stress responses should kick into high gear and all sorts of great things start happening in the body. We are doused with stress hormones adrenaline, cortisol, glucagon all to effectively help us through the danger.

The problem is that actual physical dangers for most of us are honestly few and far between. The real problem is the activation of our stress response for purely psychological reasons. This mean how we think about and perceive our situations activates a bodily response that is mean only to activate in life threatening  situations can activate because :

  • We have to give a public presentation
  • A colleague leaves us with a pile of work
  • We are worried about an upcoming business trip
  • We receive large winter fuel bills
  • etc, etc, etc

There is absolutely no physical life threatening situation at all yet the physical response is as though there were. It is fairly unlikely you will be able to change or massively affect your environment, working conditions or the pressures in life. What you can do is change how you respond. Hypnotherapy Newcastle is one way to explore how you can respond in ways that are better for you.

COPING BETTER WITH STRESS

So how is it some people can and do cope much better with stressors than others? What is it they do differently when faced with pretty much the same situations as you? They somehow respond differently.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot during the Whitehall Studies followed thousands of UK civil servants over decades. The results seemed to show that there is a correlation between health and stress. No surprise there. What was also shown from the studies is that there are certain factors ( listed below ) which seem to be predictors of how people respond to stressors and cope better or worse than others.

  • Predictable Environment
  • Sense of Control
  • Social Support
  • Outlets for Stress and Frustrations
  • A Sense Things are Getting Better

THE BODILY STRESS RESPONSE

There are essentially two elements to the bodily stress response irrespective of if the stressor is physical or psychological. These are bodily changes that practically all of us have had the experience of from time to time.

Autonomic Nervous System Response

Beginning certain activity in the hypothalamus and running down the central nervous system the autonomic or automatic nervous system has essentially two divisions. These being the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. It is the sympathetic nervous system ( SNS ) that is activated in times of stress.

The neurotransmitter acetylcholine activates a further transmitter which releases noradrenaline to many organs throughout the body and in turn releases adrenaline from the adrenal medulla just above the kidneys.

Your heart speeds up, your stomach clutches, eyes dilate and the lungs expand as well as a whole host of other responses to stress where some things speed up and others such as digestion stop. This happens within seconds and is the first part of the stress response.

Hormonal Response

The second part of the stress response is the release of hormones into the blood which in turn promote and grant access to energy from the bodies stores. This is taken or synthesised from energy stores in the liver, fat cells and muscles to transform into circulating glucose in the blood stream.

The neurological circuit involved is the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal axis or HPA axis for short. The release of hormones which begins the process is within a handful of seconds and takes just minutes to release glucose into the blood.

Again the hypothalamus is involved. The hypothalamus releases a hormone called corticotropin releasing hormone ( CRH ) into the pituitary gland. This in turn dribbles adrenocorticotropic hormone ( ACTH ) into the blood stream and on reaching the adrenal gland affects the release of the glucocorticoid cortisol.

HYPNOTHERAPY SOLUTIONS FOR STRESS

Hypnotherapy has the potential to help you shift and change how you respond to psychological stressors. This could range from you taking more charge in your environment to helping you radically change how you react to the perceived and real psychological stressors in your life.

It is important to understand that hypnotherapy or any other psychotherapy, counselling or talking therapy is not a miracle cure. If it were there would be a global eradication of psychological problems.

The most important aspects in helping you change is you! In terms of people seeking therapy to help make positive changes in their life here are some revealing facts and figures from reference studies.

  • 40% of success is down to you in the belief you can make changes.
  • 30% has to do with the relationship between client and therapist.
  • 66% of clients who seek therapy make positive changes while 33% of people who do not seek therapy make positive changes.

You are more likely to make positive changes sooner with help from a change professional such as a clinical hypnotherapist. These figures are statistics and are some kind of adjusted average. Remember you are totally unique and will be treated that way.

For a absolutely free consultation call 0770 481 8467. If I am busy working with clients call back or leave a message. I will call you back if you leave a message.

Anxiety And Your Attention – Nigel Hetherington

Anxiety is a feeling and emotion that indicates to the sufferer that everything is not right. Being overly anxious will drain and deplete energy and to excess can cause illness and wear the immune system away. Hypnosis Newcastle is an affective way for people to learn to change the feeling of unease in a variety of situations. Anxious people are not anxious all of the time, attention is not always directed at anxiety and Newcastle hypnotherapy can teach you ways to direct your attention on what is more important.

In order to know you are anxious your attention must be directed to consciously recognising the feeling and then consciously labelling or naming the physiological feelings that you call anxiety. Anxiety by definition is felt in the now and is directed to events and situations that are in the immediate or long term future but, the feeling is in the now and so it steals attention.

Anxiety is about uncertainty and the more anxious you are, the more you do it the more neurological responses you will have anticipating anxiety.

What You Have Learned To Expect = Dopamine

Dopamine is the neuro-transmitter that is largely responsible for for motivation to get you to a particular response. Dopamine is not discriminatory between a desired or undesired response … it is basically a motivator. Did you know, like any addiction your body can crave a stress response? The more unsurity about a ‘known’ reponse, the more dopamine. Anxiety is all about unsurity.

We can only have conscious appreciation of our state, in this instance anxiety, by registering and then labelling this emotion linguistically and in comparison to our past experiences. Our emotional or limbic brain, particularly the pituitary gland, stress hormones and amygdala are key neurological players here. The more worry, the more reactive response the bigger the snowball effect.

Anxiety is a form of anticipation. Anticipation can be positive or negative and what comes next should surprise you; both negatively and positively.

There is research that conclusively proves that having mastered one kind of experience, when you anticipate it again in the same kind of environment and situation when the words maybe or could be, that is when it is a 50% likely hood you are massively more likely to experience just that. Now this has a huge affect on your dopamine production. And it is dopamine that is your motivation to draw you to a specific experience. This is shown in the graph above.

Individual triggers for anxiety responses do naturally vary from person to person and will include two distinct categories of ‘behaviour’. These two categories can be conceptualised as a reactive responsive or meta-response to feelings labelled as anxiety and proactive behaviours that can generate the anxiety feelings in the first instance. Both types of response have a huge amount influence based on where an individual learns to put their attention.

Reactive behaviours to anxiety are the ways of thinking, behaving and worrying about anxiety that is already being experienced and then will logically create the next consequences that are being predicted as almost inevitable. This is a reaction to stimulus and with practice and dedication can be greatly diminished because people can, with practice and guidance learn new ways to respond.

Proactive behaviours to create anxiety are like cognitive exercises, such as worrying ahead of time, taking to yourself in rapid and unfinished sentences and hyperventilating that can all activate the reactive response that activates the sympathetic nervous system, speeds up the heart, releases glucocorticoids, adrenaline and gives that all too familiar body response that we call anxiety.

Anxiety can be pretty much summed up as a neuro-physiological stress response that is completely out of proportion and inappropriate response relevant to what is actually happening in the moment. For example imagine a person that is anxious about public speaking and is in one moment speaking publically, any anxiety response in that moment of public speaking is not about public speaking.

Anxiety is the thief of attention. It is a very much learned response and because we are, as a species, extremely good at learning once you have that pattern it can be the first and easy approach to a variety of situations. But being very good at learning, with some determination, practice and focus of your attention you can learn to have a very different and much more appropriate response.

OK so What Can You Do?

It is very simple but not necessarily very easy because making lasting changes and incorporating them into a life style that is salubrious ( look that word up ) will take some more effort on your behalf. And it is very worth your while.

I work with a great deal of clients who’s lives are so demanding they come home from work from massively stressed jobs and quite literally switch off from themselves, their partners, their friends and children. I also work with people who are seriously anxious about their relationships at home and at work so how they are with people and upcoming situations. Here is what you can do.

  1. In stead of knowing and anticipating anxiety, consider you maybe ( 50 % ) wrong about anxiety and that upcoming situation will be more or less OK.
  2. If the worst comes to the worst … acknowledge it and consider what you can do instead.
  3. Take up a regular exercise like running, weight lifting or meditation; and notice over a week and a month having done this how much more able you are managing.
  4. Notice when you are talking to yourself and stop! Put your attention outwards and be present. This does take practice and the paybacks are massive. This is a very much get out of your own head routine.
  5. Do some proactive relaxation. Lots of FREE hypnosis audio’s here.

So if none of these suggestions are for you, you do want to learn to stop anxiety and be more relaxed and present in your day to day situations then consider professional hypnotherapy Newcastle. Not expecting a one session turn around for 20 years of anxiety and making a commitment to change with Newcastle hypnosis with Nigel Hetherington can help you to to learn much better ways for coping with day to day anxiety triggers and stressors. Hypnosis in Jesmond and now Newcastle City Centre at week day lunch times. Anxiety? Act Hypnosis Newcastle solutions.

 

Newcastle Hypnosis for Guilt – Nigel Hetherington

Guilt can be a terrible emotion to live with. Hypnosis Newcastle is a way for you to release the often sharp and cutting emotional pain of guilt so you can let go of the past and move on and forward. Newcastle hypnosis can help you learn from your past and keeping the very useful learnings let go of what can be a crippling emotion we call guilt.

When people experience the emotion guilt it can be for a number of reasons. Firstly guilt can be about inaction or action. Guilt can be related to behaviour, thought or both.  Guilt can be experienced by breaking your own personal promises as in yo-yo quitting ( eg dieting, addictions, spending or arguing ) and is very much related to unresolved conflicts of your own personal values.

We can understand guilt and shame to be related to transgressions, that is to say, things a person has or has not done that are not in line with what they believe ( or worse are told ) they should or  should not have done. This feeling is directly related to values be they your own or cultural norms.

A person experiencing guilt re-running past memories, often talking to themselves and as a result feeling very bad. Bad physically and bad emotionally.

Guilt is a Type of Anxiety Disorder

One of the characteristics of anxiety is that a brain scan will often reveal that one hemisphere is more electrically active than the other. Having a real physical sensation accompanying the guilt thoughts would be characterised as anxious arousal and the majority of the activity would likely be found in the right hemisphere.

Guilt is a circular emotion in that the thoughts and feelings repeat much like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Obsessing about guilt may well be linked to  OCD. In OCD there is a great deal of internal mental activity that is tiring and emotionally charged.

Neurologically there is a circuit in the brain that fires with obsessive thoughts. Nerves in the caudate fire creating the urge to ‘do something’. The caudate is responsible for learning and for kinds of ‘automatic thinking’ like ‘remember to wash’ or ‘is the oven off before leaving the house’. Next the orbital prefrontal cortex is activated which gives the feeling that something is wrong. Then the cingulate cortex is activated which keeps attention focuses on feelings of unease.

The amygdalae will be activated because of stress hormones circulating in the brain and bloodstream. Guilt is a very hungry emotion in that it eats up energy, demands an inappropriate stress response and diverts mental energy.

Prolonged worry, stress and anxiety can deplete the brains neurotramsmitter dopamine which in extreme cases could lead to depression.

Stressing about something is stressing. Excessive stress activates the sympathetic nervous system and this in turn releases adrenaline and glucocorticoids which over time impair the bodies immune system along with the general care and repair mechanisms of the body. In short stress in excess as in excess guilt is really bad news for health, both physical and mental.

Possible Historical Origins of Guilt

In the history of the western religion Christianity the idea of original sin is very closely linked to guilt. On committing a ‘sin’ the resulting feeling will be ‘guilt’ and ‘sin’ here is defined as failing to act in accord with some deity’s rules about how you should live your life. A member of the religions organisation can then help the sinner atone and remove the ‘guilt’.

Guilt or the idea and feelings associated with guilt have been used for thousands of years to control populations of people. As well meaning parents of children and of institutions tell people “you should feel guilty for that!” to attempt to control behaviours or even thoughts.

Approximately 50 years after the birth of Christ ( aka Jesus, Yehoshua ben Yosef ) Saul or later St. Paul after his revelation went to find people who would listen to his message. Paul developed real listeners and followers in Corinth.

Joseph Campbell has postulated the debt and repayment theme in modern Christianity is because the people who propagated the eastern Gospels ( which became the western bible ) where the money lenders of Corinth. So it may be that the worshipping Christ to redeem ourselves before god may have originated in the credo of the merchants of Corinth.

Ignorance and Enlightenment – Remorse Not Guilt

The spirituality of the East has nothing to do with debt and repayment. Instead the Orient in terms of spiritual or some may say religious practice is about Ignorance and Enlightenment.

A great book is ‘The Art of Happiness’ by HH Dalai Lama. One story from the book is regarding a monk that killed himself following a conversation with the Dalai Lama. Although the Lama expresses real regret following on from that conversation there is no excessive guilt, no self punishment, no self induced suffering. A genuine sense of remorse without a crippling feeling of guilt can be a wonderful way to guide your actions in the future.

When dealing with guilt it is incredible important but often most difficult to forgive yourself.  Wisdom comes from great experience and great experience comes from making a huge number of ‘mistakes’. Another way to see ‘mistakes’ are as learnings in action.

Moving Through Guilt By Rethinking What Happened

When anyone who is experiencing guilt, which is by definition about the past, at the time of ‘the event’ they never set out to make themselves feel guilty. Think about it, for anything you may have at one time felt a sense of guilt about, at that time you probably did not before hand say something like “I am going to do this ‘X’ and I will feel so guilty about this afterwards BUT I’m still going to do it anyway.” Or maybe you did! At that time you were in accordance with some higher level value that you may not have been conscious of.

No, at the time you were, whether you realised it then or now, acting out on some personal value that you have. Let’s call a ‘value’ some kind of experience you want ( should do ) or don’t want ( shouldn’t do ) that is important to you.

So at the time, if you come to think about it this way, you were acting in accordance with your values. Now, guilt is a reflexive emotion that now as you look back there is a sense of regret and when it is intense enough, that is to say it conflicts with one of your values now you experience guilt as a strong and negative emotion.

As you begin to let go of the feelings of guilt you will not forget what happened. You will begin to feel differently about what happened but you will use your learnings like a behavioural guide. You can let go of the guilt and allow yourself to experience the real value you were acting out from. Recognising this value and acknowledging that you can both change your values so that as appropriate you can either choose a different way in the future or as appropriate become comfortable in your ways of being.

Sometimes it is very difficult to do this yourself and when you really do need help in transforming guilt into something akin to compassion for yourself Hypnosis Newcastle can help you. When considering hypnosis in Newcastle it is important to understand that the intention is to help you change your feelings about yourself for some event or events in the past. You will not forget those events but use these experiences in ways that can help you live a fuller life.

For professional Newcastle hypnosis for moving on from guilt telephone Nigel Hetherington on 0770 481 8467 or email as described in Booking A Therapy Session Newcastle Hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy for Stress Newcastle – Nigel Hetherington

Hypnotherapy in Newcastle and Northumberland to help you remove more of the stress and worry from your life. People characterised as Type A personality are more likely to suffer heart attacks because of their response to stressors and  way overly responsive stress response to every day issues. Newcastle hypnotherapy for stress may help you live a longer and healthier life.

Watch Dr Robert Sapolsky exploring some issues around Type A personality and stress response. Type A personality have these kinds of characteristics : Feeling time pressure,  impatient, boiling on the inside while seeming cool to others, regimented and rigid organisation, joyless and hostile to others.

Hypnosis like meditation will activate the para-sympathetic nervous system helping to counteract the effects of over active stress responses. Newcastle stress hypnotherapy because learning to relax much more could extend your life by lowering stress hormones in your body.