Invest in yourself?
This statement encompasses multitudes of ideas and wonderful treat like dreams.
We can take it at the extreme, for example, booking a luxury holiday (I wish!) or take it right back to the basics of having a lovely hot relaxing bath.
When we think back to when we were young we were constantly investing in ourselves, we might not have noticed that we were BUT something as basic as going to school opened doors in regards to wellness.
If we wanted to learn we could, if we wanted to switch off we could ( as long as we weren't caught!), we got out of it what we put in, we were free to explore our minds without the pressure of a mortgage.
At school we talked openly with our friends and had endless discussions about meaningless things that were important to us at the time. Those discussions helped us understand the world, our fears and our concerns.
Whilst attending school we had a daily structure plus physical exercise, those PE lessons in the rain were doing us good, honest!
On a personal level school sparked our interests and hobbies, you may never have known you could lose yourself in a piece of art before you attended those art lessons.
Your love of sport may come from playing at school, you may have found school really hard but the sport whilst at school made the daily grind more bearable because you got to do what you loved to do.
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that when we were young most people had the opportunity to attend school and grow from the experience, the time invested in ourselves was so worthwhile, even if we didn't appreciate it then. School also covered a structure that is beneficial to a balanced life, daily structure, positive social interactions and exercise.
When you were young YOUR time was pretty much YOUR time.
Then we become grown ups, things change, responsibilities change, we get a full time job and work longer hours, we move out, we shop, cook and clean for ourselves and we invest in making a home. We invest in items, furniture, cars, pets, a partner and maybe children.
So now when we invest our time its for the house, the garden, the children, the partner and even the pets, our time is dedicated to everyone else, we shop, we clean, we cook, we walk the dogs, we pick up the children, we go to work and we might if we are lucky squeeze in the odd haircut or an hour alone watching the tv just for ourselves.
Even the basics of a relaxing bath (remember that from the beginning?) are actually a luxury treat!
A big part of the wellness campaign is taking time for ourselves, investing in our own mental health and well being.
It sounds easy, its not, its actually really rather difficult to say "I just need this time for me" it feels selfish, it feels like we are neglecting people, we will always find an excuse to not do the one thing we planned to do for ourselves.
We always put everyone and everything first, and this is great 90% of the time, but take that other 10% of time and spend it on you, just you, read a book, watch tv, go for a run, listen to your music, do something creative, practice mindfulness, go for a coffee with a friend, anything as long as its something you WANT to do.
We have all had days when our brain feels like it just cant take anymore, complete overload.
Many people experience this from time to time but some people are experiencing this on a daily basis.
A multitude of things can result in us having a brain that feels completely overwhelmed before we even get out of bed in the morning.
Sometimes its a crisis that causes this feeling but more often than not it is a gradual build up of things that might not seem huge at the time but once they get piled on top of life's other challenges it all becomes too much for us to process.
I wish I had known this during certain periods of my life, I couldn't put my finger on why I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious but I couldn't shake the feeling off either, one little thing could send me into a meltdown. I knew I was over reacting but try telling my brain that!
Now I understand that my brain had just reached its capacity, it needed a break.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy lets you understand what is happening and why, once you understand the underlying causes and how to get things back on track it starts to all make sense.
My role as a hypnotherapist is to act like a P.A for your brain.
Working together we can get the brain back into an ordered, rational smooth running thinking machine, as we work on your subconscious mind the rational thinking part of your mind will start to get stronger, it will go back to making good positive assessments of situations and will allow you to feel more relaxed and in control.
No more flying off the handle or bursting into tears because you forgot to put the rubbish out or you burnt the toast!
My role is to work with you at your pace, looking at the things you want to work on.
Plus you get an hour all to yourself (sounds good hey!) a time to reboot the brain, get things in order, recharge the batteries and experience a relaxing guided hypnosis session.
The word Hypnotherapy wasn't a word I was particularly familiar with in my day to day life prior to becoming a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist.
Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy conjured up thoughts of stage acts, swinging pocket watches and people having no control over what they were doing, why would I ever have thought about having a career as a hypnotherapist, it just wasn't something on my list of career options.
When I left the police service in 2014 I knew I still wanted to work with people but I also knew my brain needed a rest, I was completely exhausted both mentally and physically. My role focused on supporting people during some of the most emotional and challenging periods of their life, this, over time takes its toll on you.
Looking back I can see how it affected my mental health. I was permanently going over the past with victims of horrendous crimes. The thing that really got me though was the fact I couldn't help them move forward once the court case was over. (I was onto the next case and there wasn't the resources or financial capacity to allow a police officer to continue support).
I made a life changing decision and I resigned from the Police, I opened a Vintage Shop and spent 2 years buying, selling and up-cycling furniture, it was the perfect way to allow my brain to process the last 10 years and to build myself back up mentally to start working with the people who needed a little extra help to get back on track.
Whilst deciding what to do next I took a temporary post within a drug and alcohol treatment clinic, this experience really ignited my passion for moving forward.
Once a client beat the initial addiction there was so much ongoing work that needed to be done to rebuild their lives in a positive and rewarding way. This got me thinking about the time after crisis, the time when you are expected to be OK but you aren't, you still need support but in a different way.
I knew I didn't want to be a "traditional counsellor", the role is extremely important and millions of people benefit from counselling but for me, going over the past wasn't the direction I felt I wanted to focus on.
I began looking at alternatives to counselling and I came across Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, it talked about leaving the past in the past and moving forward, perfect.
So I did more and more research and I discovered how this process helped people understand their brain, understand their behavior and understand how to build different patterns in their brains allowing them to create much more positive futures for themselves.
I booked onto the Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Diploma at Clifton Hypnotherapy Training and I honestly haven't looked back.
Whilst studying for the diploma I felt I began to understand myself more and more, as the course progressed life started to make sense, my brain (which was definitely very jumbled at times) slowed down to a manageable level and I stopped over thinking, over analysing and thinking the worst.
Whilst studying I was working at a Secondary School, my role was to work with children displaying challenging behaviour, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy really helped me understand the sometimes aggressive, sometimes emotional, sometimes withdrawn and sometimes unpredictable behaviour people exhibit when they are scared, fearful, anxious or depressed.
People don't have to have experienced a crisis or be in crisis to need support, life happens, things change and our role in life can become blurred, life can be challenging for a variety of reasons but it can be changed and you can move forward.
I can promise you there is no going up on stage, no swinging pocket watches and you most definitely are always in control throughout the sessions!
Supporting people to move forward with their life in a positive way is something I am so proud of, to see small results within a few sessions is priceless, to improve a persons confidence, to reduce their anxiety, to see someone smile or just to help them open their curtains on a daily basis is a privilege.