“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
It's mental health awareness week and I wanted to share an article that was published in Asians UK.
There is a restlessness in you. Can you feel it? I think most of us have it. That sense of something not right: a feeling of searching for something, a missing piece, a lost chance, a different future.
We don’t talk about it though. And we certainly don’t go looking for help to deal with it. We push through; we knuckle on, and we hope it will go away.
The problem is that it often doesn’t. Like a seed fallen into a dark crack in the pavement, it quietly puts down roots and pushes and grows to be noticed. Sometimes it can feel like it’s grown so big you can hardly see the sky anymore.
The things we struggle with are different for all of us, but there are many common themes. Maybe it’s an endless search for Mr or Mrs Right or an unbeatable battle against weight-loss. A lack of direction or fulfilment, or trying to come to terms with bereavement. Coping with pressure in our lives, lack of confidence or struggling with heightened anxiety and stress.
So what do we do? What’s the answer? I think all of us, if asked, would consider therapies like counselling or hypnotherapy to be positive and beneficial, but we tend to regard them as choices for ‘other people’. It feels like they’re not for us, even if we don’t really know why.
This is especially true of Asian cultures. Traditionally, if we’re facing problems, we’ve always been encouraged to seek support from within our community networks. But are our communities giving us the kind of support that really helps? The sad truth is that many of us feel our communities don’t or won’t understand. We may not even feel comfortable discussing very personal and private emotions with those close to us. And when our support networks fail, we just try to bury it deeper, at the risk of huge detriment to our happiness and personal fulfilment.
Wajeeha Amin is a well-being expert working to overcome some of the barriers we face as a community when dealing with problems in our lives. Wajeeha has always been fascinated with “how our minds can both help us and harm us”, learning about what drives us, what we crave vs. what we need to be happy, and what it is that ultimately holds us back.
Wajeeha shared some of her insight with us and talked to us about some of the therapies and strategies she uses to help people unlock the secrets to a happy life.
Mental states and mental health
Our mental state affects everything: how we think, how we feel, how we act. It determines how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
Being mentally healthy doesn’t just mean ‘not mentally ill’, just as not having a physical illness like arthritis or asthma doesn’t necessarily mean we’re healthy. Health is about the big picture. If you’re in good mental health, you can make the most of your potential, cope with life and play a full part in your family, workplace, community and among friends. Good mental health is something we should all try to achieve - it’s just as crucial to our lives as our physical health - but it’s not always easy.
It can be hard to know what’s ‘normal’ and what a healthy mental state feels like, especially as our mental state is often changing. Circumstances change; we change, and how we feel and react changes too.
We all have times when we feel down or stressed or frightened and most of the time those feelings pass, but sometimes they don’t. And it’s different for everyone, every time. You may bounce back from a setback while someone else may feel weighed down by it for a long time.
Achieving good mental health is made harder by the fact that there is such a stigma attached to mental health problems. It can make us uncomfortable in talking about our feelings, feeling like we might be labelled.
But just like good physical health, good mental health requires us to be proactive. It’s wise and healthy to know and say how you’re feeling and to seek help if you need it.
One simple strategy for greater self-worth
I often remember a quote:
‘If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.’ by Anthony Robbins.
If you want to change your life you need to change how you think and change what you do. And it is up to you: self-help, personal change, being happy, it's your choice, no one else’s. You decide.
And so the first step to self-worth starts with you. It starts with the realisation that your life is in your hands. Then comes the decision to do something about it.
It often comes down to self-belief – believing we’re worth it, believing it’s possible. And so we need to use our minds, particularly positive suggestion and visualisation, to help us enough to take action.
I show people how to relax, really relax a life skill that we have lost touch with due to the fast pace of life.Learning to take time out and using visualization techniques will dramatically improve your stress levels, mood, and attitude, and could be the first step to real change.
“Happiness is possible. Change is possible.”
How hypnotherapy and counselling can help
I think there is often some misunderstanding around hypnotherapy, with it being seen as a very different therapy to counselling. But hypnotherapy IS counselling- it’s simply a type of psychotherapy that uses the medium of hypnosis.
Hypnotherapy can be useful to a whole range of emotional and physical situations. It is widely endorsed as a treatment for habit-breaking, stress-related issues and for a range of long-term health conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), as supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Imagine not being able to leave the house, because you fear what people think of you. That’s what it was like for one of my clients. She had experienced bullying at work and over time she became so anxious that she felt she couldn’t leave her home. Hypnotherapy was the tool that helped her to return to work feeling confident.
Another client came to me because he was struggling with managing his nerves of public speaking. He was at an important stage in his career and his nerves were crippling his potential to perform. Again, hypnotherapy became the way for him to learn new skills and master his nerves. He is now presenting to large groups and taking on public speaking engagements.
I believe hypnosis, or hypnotherapy in its clinical sense, is quite simply the single most powerful device for personal development. Because it facilitates real lasting positive change by utilising the most powerful part of our creative potential - our imagination.
At the core of therapy is a confidential and collaborative relationship where the therapist guides the person on a journey of increased understanding: of themselves, their lives and their feelings.
Many situations in life leave us feeling powerless and a feeling of no choices. Hypnosis is about working through a sense of distress, self-doubt and insecurity to a place of hope, control, choice and confidence.
The therapeutic relationship built through hypnotherapy helps you feel less alone with your problems, but it also puts you firmly back in the driving seat. It can transform the way you think about yourself, your life and other people, bringing you to a place where life feels like something to be enjoyed, not just endured.
Wajeeha helps people overcome destructive emotional problems, heal their relationships, manage stress, reclaim self-control, self-worth and improve their lives for the better. As a qualified psychotherapeutic counsellor and hypnotherapist she provides creative therapeutic support to individuals, groups and consultancy services to anyone needing to make a change in their lives, or wanting to help others do the same.
If you feel like you’re ready to make some changes to your life and would like Wajeeha’s help to do it, you can contact her directly:
Tel: 0750 881 3447