Posts tagged with "Mindfulness"

Speaking your mind: Is it normal to talk to yourself?

August 27, 2019

When was the last time that somebody talked some sense into you in a stressful or unnerving situation? And was that person actually you?

Just about all of us talk to ourselves—either mentally or out loud. In fact, some of us do it frequently—and it can be a good thing, the Huffington Post Canada reports.

“It is very normal to talk to yourself and thus very common,” Dr. Laura F. Dabney, a psychotherapist based in Virginia Beach, recently told the online news outlet in an email.

“It’s not a trait we necessarily outgrow after childhood,” she said, “or a sign of mental illness; and it’s more common than you might realize.”

“The truth is that we all talk to ourselves,” Vironika Tugaleva, the author of The Art of Talking to Yourself (Soulux Press, 2017), said, also in an email, adding, “It might look strange if you do it out loud in public, but we all have intricate multi-level conversations in our heads, as a way to give meaning to and explain to ourselves the things that happen during our days.”

Think of everyday scenarios where you might talk to yourself. For example, as you’re leaving the house you might recite your essential item —keys, coat, bag, lunch—out loud to yourself as a checklist, Dabney said. Or on the way home from work, you might go over a stressful conversation you had with a boss, venting about it to yourself.

“It is not only normal, it’s crucial, and becoming aware of the quality of this inner discourse is a path to happiness and fulfillment,” Tugaleva said.

In fact, it can be an effective way in which to soothe yourself and focus on the positives instead of worries and stressors. “I tell my clients and readers that talking to themselves in a caring manner can be a way to mother themselves,” Sheri McGregor, a life coach, emailed to HuffPost.

Talking to yourself can also function as a way to deal with small or situational problems, McGregor said. She advised that, the next time you’re nervous about a presentation, you try having a conversation with yourself to go over your fears and present constructive solutions, or to remind yourself how prepared you are. Avoid self-talk that is self-sabotaging or allows you to spiral into your worries.

During hard times, our minds can take us to dark places, which is why — just as with meditation — making positive self-talk a habit takes some work, but is a good practice to foster.

In fact, talking to yourself is tied to mindfulness — a practice that is becoming increasingly popular. “Mindfulness comes first because it brings awareness [to] not only one’s thoughts, but the words [people] mutter to themselves,” McGregor said.

Finally, of course, there are some situations in which self-talk may be an indication of a psychological problem. If you are engaging in self-talk that involves repetitive phrases, mantras, or numbers, and this type of self-talk is disruptive to you or difficult to stop, that can be also be an indicator of an emotional problem. Speak to a qualified medical professional for a proper assessment.

Research contact: @HuffPostCanada

Self-hypnosis is fast becoming the new meditation

July 4, 2019

A nationwide survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has found that 32% of Americans are more anxious than they were last year, and 43% say they are “about as anxious” as they were 12 months ago.

What’s more, 22% say they are seeing a psychotherapist for treatment and 7% say they are using a mental health app on their smartphones.

Enter self-hypnosis—an increasingly popular technique that aims to create an inner state of self-awareness and relaxation.

According to a report by SheKnows, hypnotherapy is “the clinical use of hypnosis to achieve emotional and physical benefits, ranging from easing anxiety to losing weight.” In a state of self-hypnosis, an individual’s subconscious is open to suggestions, which can be used to bring about powerful lifestyle changes.

But what’s the difference between self-hypnosis and meditation?

Generally speaking, meditation is a form of relaxation that focuses on mindfulness surrounding your thoughts, or the act of “emptying your brain.” Like guided meditation, hypnosis is about being open to new ideas.

That being said, hypnotherapy typically focuses on a specific goal, such as improved self-confidence, cessation of smoking, or weight loss, Bernhard Tewes, a hypnotherapist from Berlin and the inventor of HypnoBox, a self-hypnosis app, told SheKnows.

“For me, meditation is about the quantity of thoughts, and hypnosis is about the quality of thoughts,” Tewes told the news outlet. “Self-hypnosis is like fine-tuning.”

And the evidence is clear. In a 2007 randomized trial of 286 smokers, 20% of people who received hypnosis quit smoking, compared to 14% of participants who received counseling, SheKnows reports.

The website also reports that, in a 2003 study, 204 people with irritable bowel syndrome received hypnotherapy, then completed questionnaires before, immediately after, and up to six years following the treatment. Seventy-one percent of patients experienced a positive impact from the treatment. Of those who saw a difference, 81% sustained their improvement, while the majority of the remaining 19% noted that their deterioration of symptoms were only slight.

So, how can self-hypnosis help you? The experts say that the trick is to believe in the science. Approximately 10% to 15% of the population is labeled as “highly hypnotizable.” On the other end of the spectrum, 10%  to 15% of the population is labeled as “low hypnotizable.”

In addition to the HynoBox app, there are many other apps online that will walk you through the self-hynosis process.

Research contact: @SheKnows