For many people in the UK ‘Brexit’ is proving to be an extremely stressful process. It has caused many households to be at odds with each other, forcing families to sit on opposing sides of the Brexit argument. For some this added stress can prove too much and can start to affect the health of those struggling with the concerns surrounding the uncertainty that Brexit is causing.
Why do issues like Brexit affect our overall health?
First let’s explore why an issue like Brexit can go on to cause mental health issues. As a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, we look at the causes of anxiety. Anxiety is triggered by thinking about issues surrounding our lives in a negative way, so we create anxiety by negatively forecasting the future. The problem with issues such as Brexit, is no-one really knows what will happen if the UK finally leaves the EU. The media provides the negative forecasting for us, and many of us get caught up in the worrying implications presented to us, such as impact on Jobs, income, medical supplies etc. The reason this is important is that these worries or anxieties build up, on top of our everyday issues.
In my practice I say that the stresses of the day go into our own personal stress bucket. The analogy of the stress bucket is important, because as human beings we do have a method for emptying our stress bucket daily, and this is known as REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement). On average we need around 1.6 to 2 hours of good REM sleep a night. REM is the part of our sleep pattern that processes and discharges emotional stressors, that we experience during the day, but haven’t let go, such as an argument or things we have seen, or tasks we haven’t completed. It can take an enormous amount of energy to process these anxieties that have built up in our stress bucket, sometimes over a long period of time. The more we worry about something, the more we pile this worry into our stress bucket, and therefore the more energy we need to use to process what’s in our bucket during our REM sleep. If the amount of energy we are using during our sleep pattern is too much, we are naturally brought out of sleep, to conserve energy, and therefore this is why we find ourselves awake at 2-3am, heavy with worry, during difficult times in our lives. This means we haven’t emptied our stress bucket from the previous night and we have more to process the following night, and so we become trapped in a vicious circle which drains our precious resources.
How can Hypnotherapy help?
Hypnotherapy can be a very useful tool to help those who are suffering with anxiety or depression, because it can break the cycle of sleep deficiency. It does this because during the trance process, it mimics REM sleep. So, during a typical hypnotherapy session we allow our bodies to go into a deep state of relaxation, and during the process it allows our minds to continue to empty our stress bucket. This means we have rested but also allowed the mind to process worry and find solutions to them. The more we do this the better able we are to get a full nights sleep, feeling rested and reinvigorated, which has a profoundly positive impact on our overall health.
As a Solution focused hypnotherapist, I also use the first half of every session to assist those seeking help to focus on solutions to issues that are bothering them. We try to encourage people to re-think issues in a more positive way using the inner resources we all possess. This has the impact of diffusing and naturally emptying many of the stresses that have been, often un-knowingly, piling into their stress bucket. The more positively you think, the less worries that end up accumulating. This consequently means you use less energy while you sleep, and you can go on to achieve the good night’s sleep your body needs. I call trance a mini break for the mind. It provides time away from the troubles and negativity that can affect our busy lives.