Self-harming is highly damaging behaviour which can literally affect anyone of all ages with the right triggers.  The problem has been around since biblical times and back then was termed “self-flagellation”. 

Since not everyone seeks help for self-harming it is difficult to be accurate about the numbers within specific age groups but it is increasingly a problem among young people in the Millennial Generation.

Essentially, self-harming means to inflict physical damage to yourself to convey feelings which cannot be put into words or to release painful emotions.  People who self-harm may initially feel better for a time but this is only temporary relief.  The painful feelings can and will return, and then the cycle repeats itself.

Possible Root Causes for Self-Harming

It is clearly a significant cause for concern if you or someone close to you is causing intentional injury to their body.  Self-harming can be linked to anxiety and depression but can also involve:

Why Self-Harm?

Some people who self-harm do it to try to feel in control of something when they actually feel powerless.  Some do it to simply feel alive or to feel anything because all they feel is numb and empty.

Self-harmers often hide their injuries so outward signs may not be immediately apparent. Keeping their behaviour secret is isolating, further adding to their despair and loneliness.  They develop feelings of guilt and become trapped in a downward spiral where they feel shame for their behaviour.  They do not believe anyone will understand and this mindset adversely affects their relationships.

Identifying People Who Self-Harm

If you know what to look out for there are many different ways to detect that something is wrong.  Note unexplained physical injuries such as cuts, bruises and even cigarette burns.  Very often these can be found on wrists, arms, thighs and chest areas.  It is probable that self-harmers will keep their body fully covered no matter how hot the weather is.  Other classic indications to look out for include signs of depression as well as:

Less obvious self-harming behaviours include:

Self-Harming Is Used to Cope with Significant Emotional Distress

Self-harmers have a very real intention to self-punish, relieve intolerable tension or to deal with deep and overwhelming emotional distress. The reasons behind this behaviour can include one or more of these possibilities.  It should be regarded very much as a painful cry for help and should not be ignored. 

High Risk of Suicide

Some self-harmers can feel like they want to die so it is not surprising that those engaging in self-harm are at high risk of attempting suicide.  In fact, figures suggest that in more than 50% of deaths by suicide there had been a history of self-harming.  With suicide statistics like this, self-harming behaviour needs to be taken seriously.  Self-harming people should not be dismissed as attention seeking.  The sad truth is that they self-harm in secret and are fearful of discovery.  Many do not really want to commit suicide at all.

Common self-harming methods involve cutting or burning the skin, punching themselves or poisoning with toxic substances. 

Close family and friends are often best placed to notice when a person is self-harming.  Anyone wanting to support a self-harmer must acknowledge and overcome their feelings of shock when they realise someone they care about is a self-harmer.  Seeing things from their loved one’s perspective and learning about the issue will help them to be supportive. 

Help for Self-Harming People

Self-harming can start with a momentary impulsive reaction to an event.  But the situation can soon escalate to a seemingly uncontrollable compulsion and then it can become very addictive.

Teaching self-harming people how to deal with emotional pain and trauma in a more positive way is essential.  Help from a qualified health professional should be sought at the earliest opportunity – the earlier it is caught the easier it is to address.

Many GPs are happy to refer self-harmers for hypnotherapy and other complementary services.  It is critical that the underlying root cause or triggers are identified and resolved.  Hypnotherapy can be very effective at doing this.  If you would like to learn how hypnosis can improve resilience and eliminate self-harming then please contact Nicki at nicki@thewellbeingpeople.co.uk or call 07568 145151.

We have all experienced good and bad Christmases and New Years too. Hopefully you have been blessed with a good Christmas and New Year to finish 2019 with and are well underway with January 2020.  January is often a month where things can feel flat or the blues can creep in.  Money might be tight following overspending during the festive season, family rows could have been evident over the holiday, cracks in your marriage may have become deeper … the list of things which can bring us down goes on.  We are human and things do affect us, even the time of the year can bring us down simply because it is dark, gloomy and cold (although so far this January has been pretty mild).

Cue 'Blue Monday' (20 January 2020)

There is a trend to have a special day for most things nowadays and Blue Monday is attributed to the third Monday of January to highlight the post-Christmas doldrums, colder and darker evenings and those unwelcome credit card bills from Christmas and January sales overspending.  The timing of Blue Monday has apparently been worked out mathematically by a University Professor using a specific formula and thus the third Monday in January was determined as the most depressing day of the year.  The formula is shown below:

frac{[W + D-d] T^Q}{M N_a}

Weather=W

Debt=d

Time since Christmas=T

Time since failing our New Year’s resolutions=Q

Low motivational levels=M

The feeling of a need to take action=Na.

‘D’ is not defined in the release, nor are units.

We can only wonder why anyone would take the trouble to work this out at all, especially since the blues can strike at any time for all sorts of reasons.  The Winter months ensure we are deprived of sunlight hours owing to shorter days and thus it is easy to identify this period as the gloomy part of the year but narrowing it down to a specific day is another matter.  The cynics among us would probably embrace the suggestion that the whole idea stems from a PR stunt by Sky Travel which you can read about here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Monday_(date)

Tips to Keep Positive

Whatever your thoughts about Blue Monday or even the January Blues, it is clear that many of us need help to beat the blues during this time of year.  Past traumas and negative memories could, however, all too easily be triggered at any time of the year if you are unable to keep your mindset upbeat and positive.  Clearing your mind and reframing your thoughts as part of your daily habits will help to keep you smiling through the gloom.  If you find this a struggle then here are some ideas to distract and help you keep upbeat:

If distracting yourself does not work and the gloom persists then you may benefit from some hypnotherapy.  If you would like to learn more about how hypnotherapy can help you make positive changes to your life please contact Nicki at nicki@thewellbeingpeople.co.uk or call 07568 145151.

Hypnosis is a well-established complementary therapy capable of changing deep rooted behaviour. It is not a replacement for traditional medical treatments. However, it offers many benefits to emotional health and wellbeing and can work well with other forms of treatment. Repetitive behaviours that become automatic and habitual will often link back to specific triggers and hypnotherapy can identify and eliminate such triggers. The same applies to ingrained phobias. Once you dig deep and identify how they began the thinking behind them can be cleared away and your mind reprogrammed so that they are no longer an issue.

"Mind Monkeys" eat away at your self-esteem and, if left unchecked, over time they can really destroy your confidence and your sense of wellbeing. Hypnotherapy can clear such negative thought patterns from your subconscious mind and reframe your thoughts so they are more positive.

Is Hypnosis Scary? Is it Safe?

Some people find the whole idea of hypnosis scary and think that somebody will take control of their mind somehow. The truth is that nobody can make anyone do things they do not want to do so there is really no need to worry. You are quite safe. You have to be ready to take action to enable changes in your behaviour and thought processes.

Hypnotherapy is a relaxation therapy at its core. It enables you to accept positive suggestions and you have got to be ready to welcome change to get the best results. Becoming deeply relaxed during hypnosis allows you to reach an enhanced level of awareness where you are open to positive suggestion. However, if you really do not want to change anything you won't. If you don't want to share private information about your life with your therapist then you won't. You remain fully in control and can end the session immediately if you choose to do so.

Being in hypnosis helps you to become more receptive to positive suggestion and allows the elimination of limiting beliefs, ideas and habits which can cause significant life issues. You are not asleep and you remain in control of your reactions at all times. What's not to like? You are deeply relaxed and you get to clear out all those negative responses and conditioning that have built up over time.

You may feel tired following a hypnotherapy session, particularly if this is a new experience. However, you should feel perfectly normal very quickly. Some people, however, may feel that they need an early night and after a good night’s sleep will feel more energised. Over the course of the following days your subconscious mind will continue to absorb and sort the messages and, going forward, changes for the better will happen if you really are ready for change.

Research on hypnotherapy has shown that it holds considerable benefits for most people, regardless of their medical history with perhaps the exception of those suffering with epilepsy or schizophrenia - it is best they seek advice from a qualified medical doctor before embarking on any hypnotherapy sessions as each person will have very individual needs.

Connect With Your Hypnotherapist

Making a good and positive connection with your hypnotherapist is quite important from the outset. You must be happy to trust your therapist to ensure you are able to relax sufficiently and achieve a successful outcome. There are countless positive changes which can be encouraged using hypnosis including improving self-esteem, resilience and confidence, reducing stress levels, eliminating phobias, giving up smoking, pain relief and more. If you commit to hypnosis, and follow advice, significant success can be achieved in just three or four sessions.

What Does Hypnosis Feel Like?

You are asked to close your eyes and then adopt a comfortable relaxed pose. This will typically be in a comfortable chair or sofa. It does not matter whether you are lying down or sitting upright as long as you can relax. You are guided through a physical relaxation process followed by a process to relax your mind.

Focus on your hypnotherapist's voice and they guide you through everything. The sound of their voice should also help you to relax.

You will be tuned in to your surroundings and able to zone in on whatever you choose to focus on. This targeted focus allows you to go deep into your mind and help you understand where change needs to happen. It is likely your body will feel heavy as you physically sink down into whatever you are sitting or lying on. An enjoyable feeling of relaxed calm will be felt all around you and stress can be effectively released.

The Power of Hypnotic Suggestion

Once you have reached hypnosis, it is possible to begin the suggestion stage where you are receptive to positive messages designed to reshape your subconscious thoughts. These suggestions will rest in your subconscious and impact on your day to day conscious waking hours. These suggestions will often include positive instructions such as ‘your mind is serene and tranquil’.  Your therapist will draw on NLP approaches to help you visualise a positive response whenever a negative thought occurs, effectively rewiring your brain so the positive response replaces the negative bad habit.

After your hypnotherapist has made all of the suggestions deemed appropriate to help achieve your goals, your mind will receive and process the messages letting them lie in the subconscious. Then you will be slowly guided out of hypnosis, bringing those positive suggestions with you.

In short hypnotherapy is safe and when applied correctly it can facilitate transformation allowing you to make fantastic and positive changes to your life.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, contact Nicki at nicki@thewellbeingpeople.co.uk or call 07568 145151.

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To book a service or to find out more about we can do for you please get in touch.
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