The current pandemic has certainly changed the we live our everyday lives. It has affected many of our daily routines - and one of its biggest reported impacts has been on sleep. Sleep becomes more elusive when we are anxious. Many people are suffering sleep issues for the first time in their lives:

  • awake for long periods
  • unable to go to sleep
  • waking up several times during the night
  • more intense and emotional dreams
  • tired and groggy the next morning
  • finding it difficult to concentrate or function properly
  • feeling irritable

But good sleep strategies may help you sleep well, and limit the negative effects of poor sleep.

Try these FIVE hints for calmer and better sleep

  1. Limit news intake and avoid devices for at least an hour before bed
  2. Do something to boost your mood before bed – watching a comedy on TV, or listening to an uplifting podcast can help you sleep.
  3. Have structure to your day
  4. Our brains and bodies love structure. Wake up, exercise, eat and sleep at similar times each day.
  5. Focus on your breathing

Think about resting rather than sleeping. Follow your breathing by silently whispering the words ‘in’ and ‘out’ to induce sleep.

Learn to relax your body and calm your mind

Relaxation can switch off the stress response - physically and mentally. Find something that works for you – hypnosis, meditation, mindfulness, muscle relaxation, deep breathing or a long hot bath.

If you can’t sleep - get out of bed!

Your bed should not be a battleground. Instead, try to enjoy the sensation of merely resting. It is OK to simply let your body rest – especially when you have tools to calm your mind!

If you are having trouble sleeping, and traditional treatments are not working, hypnotherapy may help you to sleep the way you deserve. It uses different approaches to induce relaxation - such as focused attention, symptom control and guided imagery. And, unlike sleep medications, it has no side effects - so it may be an aid for those who don’t like taking sleeping pills. Learn tools to overcome bedtime restlessness - ease the worry, tension and anxiety that prevents sleep - and reward yourself with the deep, restorative sleep you deserve!

The world is in the grip of a global pandemic! We are living in extremely uncertain times - and that uncertainty can be difficult to cope with. You may feel worried right now. You may struggle to keep anxious thoughts in check. And you may feel unsure about the future.

But help is at hand - you CAN learn to live with uncertainty.

Facing Uncertainty is Scarier than Facing Physical Pain

A new study shows that the uncertainty of something bad happening can be more stressful than the knowledge of something bad happening. In 2016, a group of London researchers explored how people react to being told they will either "definitely" or "probably" receive a painful electric shock. They discovered an intriguing paradox. Volunteers who knew they would definitely receive a painful electric shock felt calmer and were measurably less agitated than those who were told they only had a 50 percent chance of receiving the electric shock!

Researchers recruited 45 volunteers to play a computer game in which they turned over digital rocks that might have snakes hiding underneath. Throughout the game, they had to guess whether each rock concealed a snake. When a snake appeared, they received a mild but painful electric shock on the hand. Over the course of the game they got better about predicting which rocks they’d find snakes under - but the game was designed to keep changing the odds of success to maintain ongoing uncertainty.

And when we’re facing outcomes that are uncertain, it’s the fact that something bad might happen that gets to us!

The volunteers’ level of uncertainty correlated to their level of stress. So, if someone felt certain they would find a snake, stress levels were significantly lower than if they felt that maybe they would find a snake. In both cases, they’d get a shock, but their stress was loaded with added uncertainty. Archy de Berker from the UCL Institute of Neurology said:

"Our experiment allows us to draw conclusions about the effect of uncertainty on stress. It turns out that it's much worse not knowing you are going to get a shock than knowing you definitely will or won’t.”

Uncertainty Ignites our Primitive Survival Instinct

If we can’t neutralise a perceived threat, we engage in the unhelpful process called “worry”. We grapple with whatever the problem is to find solutions to the threat, but there are none. Does this make us feel better? No, of course it doesn’t - it makes us feel worse. In our need for certainty, we are wired to “catastrophise” - we view or talk of a situation as worse than it actually is. This leads to worry - which in turn leads to anxiety.

The modern brain struggles to distinguish between real threat and perceived threat. The result is that the primitive brain takes over and triggers the primitive survival instinct - fight-or-flight.

It asks questions:

  • What is going to happen…?
  • What is around the corner for me…?
  • Should I be doing more…?
  • Should I be doing less…?
  • What if my business is threatened…?
  • What if my livelihood is threatened…?
  • What if my life is threatened…?

The lack of answers can lead to:

Anger – Aggression – Frustration

What can we do to lesson uncertainty?

There are many things we can do to lessen the effects of uncertainty:

  • Awareness is your superpower - be aware of your feelings and emotions
  • Notice the worry story you are telling yourself - try to distance yourself from it
  • Focus on breathing - long slow breaths
  • Recognise the need to rise above fight-or-flight
  • Accept uncertainty - allow yourself to stop the struggle

Stand up to anxiety with some mood-boosters:

  • Exercise and movement
  • Meditation, self-hypnosis, relaxation
  • Achievement-oriented activity
  • Something pleasant or fun

Just 15 minutes a day, focussing on yourself, will help you regain a sense of

balance. The more you practice all these strategies, the better you will become!

To help Take Control of Stress & Worry use this free, 15 minute recording.

Virtual gastric banding offers weight reduction without surgery – using only the power of the mind.

Follow Cecilia's remarkable six-month journey through hypnosis, and losing 30kg

Read this article recently published in the Sunday Star times, and available on Stuff, about Sheryl and her client's weight loss journey.

I'm excited to now offer the new Freedom from Alcohol Programme into the Hypnosisworx Clinics. It offers some fantastic tools to help you reduce the amount of alcohol consumed each week!

In this programme you are encouraged to decide on certain alcohol-free nights each week, while still enjoying a few drinks on other nights! One of my clients recently found great success with this programme, and wanted to share with you her thoughts...

"I went to Sheryl to cut down my drinking and to have some alcohol free nights. The hypnosis she gave me was empowering and I have found myself drinking less - and a lot slower! I am also having some alcohol-free nights and working on more. I love the confidence, and positive attitude it has given me. My focus has really improved and it energises my in the morning. I am so glad I have this tool and it is helping me in so many areas of my life. It is not invasive and I would recommend it. Thanks Sheryl"

Chris, Taranaki

(please note: results may vary for each person)

If you want to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink each week - whether this is for health reasons, or social behaviour reasons - then give me a call!

Contact Hypnosisworx

 Tel: 027-255-8842

For clinic location and other contact methods see our contact page.

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