7 Practical Steps To Manifest What You Want (Using The Law Of Attraction)

For all of us, there is the world of desires and then there is the world of reality, and many people live their lives believing that there is no way to go from one world to the other.

But Gautam Buddha once said, “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.”

What do you mean by manifestation?

So let us first understand the concept.

Manifestation means turning an idea into a reality, that can improve your happiness and well-being. The process not only involves your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs but also includes a key factor and that is taking action.

So how can we take a goal or idea we have in our heads and make it real?

So the next step is to understand how the whole process works

1. A positive self-belief can help you manifest your dreams and reach your goals

If you believe that you can do something makes it more likely that you’ll successfully do it. That means that your beliefs about your ability to learn, grow, and succeed—your growth mindset—can indeed affect whether you effectively manifest what you desire.

In other words, if you truly believe you can achieve something, you are more willing to do the hard work to achieve it. Your beliefs bring about behaviors that lead to the outcomes you desire.

2. Your Expectation For A Positive Outcome

Your expectations, positive or negative, play an important role. The process of believing you are doing something to become better can set off positive effects, including an increase in endorphins. So, if you expect to bring your idea to life or reach your goal, you’re more likely to achieve them.

3. Negative Outlook And Approach

If you are already feeling bad, you are more likely to interpret neutral circumstances in a negative way.

And the more you think and act in a negative way about your goal, makes it harder is to reach that goal, as your actions are less motivated.

4. Positive Outlook And Approach

On the other hand, positive emotions enable us to think more creatively. Happiness leads to success and not the other way around. People who are generally happy and positive attract more opportunities, have better relationships, and seem to be able to manifest what they set their minds to more easily.

Researches have demonstrated how prayers and positive talk affect the crystallization of water.

7 Steps To Manifest Anything In Your Life

Your mind is in a constant state of “thinking”. So whether you are relaxing or concentrating, sleeping or exercising, your mind is constantly processing the impulses of data that come through the five senses. It’s how it tries to make sense of the world. Then based on this processing of information and analysis of data, your mind chooses your desires mostly at an unconscious level of awareness. However, these desires might not necessarily align with your conscious desires or wants, which is where conflicts arise. So it is important to get inner clarity first and then move on to the next steps of manifestation.

Step 1 – Become Self-Aware

You need to be crystal clear about the outcome you seek and the intention behind it. There shouldn’t be any vague idea about it in your mind.

Spend some time focusing to get clarity on your manifestation goal. Try to meditate or talk to a friend or just write down your thoughts. These can help you increase your self-awareness.

Step 2 – Get Clarity

While deciding what to manifest, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What would I really need in my life right now?
  • Is it something I really want or it is influenced by someone else?
  • When I achieve this goal, how will it make me feel? Will it make me feel happy?
  • Will this do any harm to myself or others?
  • Why do I want to manifest this? What difference will it make in my life?

By asking yourself these questions you can choose the right things to manifest—things that you will be more likely to believe in, things that you have positive expectations about, and things that make you feel more positive. As a result, you’ll be more likely to manifest them.

Step 3 – Remove Limiting Beliefs

We all have self-limiting beliefs at some point in our lives. So it is important to first identify them and then remove them. Ask yourself:

  • What is really stopping you from achieving your goal?
  • Where is this belief coming from? From others? From your past? Or your lack of commitment?

Once you are aware of what is stopping you, try to resolve and work on those beliefs. You may even take the help of someone at this stage.

And have patience. Do not expect everything to happen right in at that moment.

Step 4 – Visualisation

Visualizing what you want to manifest can help you feel positive emotions related to it more strongly. And those emotions can help you believe in yourself more. So just close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and imagine a scene from your future life as you desire it.

Try to experience it in all senses. How does it look, feel, sound, smell, taste? Give as many details as you can to make the visualization as real as possible.

Write down these visualized moments and keep them with you. You can read them whenever you feel doubtful.

Visualize the different stages of reaching your goal. This helps you to uncover any complications. If your goal is to write a book, see yourself editing the chapters one-by-one.

Visualization should be so realistic that you should feel like the event is being lived by you at that moment itself and you feel the emotional and mental intensity of its occurrence.

Step 5 – Recording It

You can do this by journaling your visuals or making a dream board or telling it to the universe or a loved one.

Come to it as often as you can.

Step 6 – Develop Habitual Actions

While being specific and visualizing are important, you also need to take action towards your goals. Thinking about your dream job and expecting it to suddenly appear isn’t likely to happen. Instead, take actionable steps.

Ultimately, it’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it. Habitual action means more than doing something repeatedly. It means working towards your goals step-by-step patiently.

One way to do this is through journaling for manifestation. Use affirmations to boost your mood and focus your perspective, putting yourself into the right mindset before you start working on your goals.

Remember, the more that you do something, the more you reinforce it. If you work towards your goals sporadically, you’re less likely to achieve them, because you’re not giving yourself enough time or opportunity to reach them.

Step 7 – Gratitude and Surrender

Spare 5 minutes every day to think about the areas in your life you could currently be grateful for – your friends, your family, the roof over your head, the food on your plate, the clothes on your back. Secondly, once what you have been manifesting is attracted to you, give thanks and appreciate what has happened.

With gratitude comes surrender. You must surrender the outcome to greater intelligence. This helps you detach. Hence, you won’t generate fear or doubt in the process. Faith can move mountains.

Conclusion

We all have a choice. We can choose to be different, and with choice comes change; and with change comes dramatic transformation.

And the process of change always begins with your thoughts.

In other words, everything that comes through your five senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell manifests in the form of a thought. And this thought is processed by every cell within your body and manifests itself.

Manifestation is more than just magic. It’s a positive change in outlook and actions that boosts your chances of success. Manifestation isn’t about sitting and waiting for your goals to be brought to you by destiny – manifestation is about making your own destiny. The more that your goals become a positive force in your life through habitual action and meditation for manifestation, the more likely you are to reach them – that’s the science behind manifestation.

Have faith and stay positive

Be grateful

Thank you.

Wondering About Clinical Hypnotherapy?

The first thing that comes to our mind when we hear the word “Hypnosis” … is a therapist hypnotizing his patient using a pendulum. A second dreadful thought immediately follows wherein we imagine the therapist controlling the hypnotized patient’s mind completely and forcing him to do horrible things like killing someone or robbing a bank etc. Well considering this, it is not hard to imagine why people might have reservations about this form of treatment. To be frank with you guys, once upon a time even I had similar ideas… about hypnosis thanks to the portrayal of this form of therapy in movies, stage shows, etc.

Myths

However, as I gained more knowledge about hypnotherapy some of my misconceptions were cleared and it made me realize the true potential of this form of therapy. There are so many myths and mysteries surrounding this subject that as a clinical hypnotherapist I thought it is my duty to clarify some of the most commonly known misconceptions about it:

Myth 1: You lose control and are totally controlled by the therapist. You might reveal all your secrets.

Fact: No one can control your mind. Hypnosis is just a focused state of mind in which the therapist only helps you to focus on your issues. So you can very well decide what you want to reveal and what you don’t want to reveal.

Myth 2: You might be made to do undesirable things. Like bark like a dog, or kill someone, rob a bank, etc.

Fact: During hypnosis, your conscious mind is always awake. If you hear a suggestion that you don’t agree with or don’t understand, your subconscious mind will automatically reject it.

Myth: You can get stuck in hypnosis 

Fact: Nobody gets stuck in a hypnotic state. The moment you open your eyes and start walking you are out of hypnosis. In some cases, because it’s very nice and relaxing some people tend to go to sleep. And they get up feeling refreshed in a while.

Myth: You can be hypnotized even without your will 

Fact: No one can hypnotize you. It’s something that you do to yourself with the help of a therapist. The therapist can only guide you to your aware state of mind with the help of imagination and suggestions. 

Myth: Hypnosis is a special state of mind 

Fact: Hypnosis is basically only a trance state of mind. Everybody experiences it twice a day daily. Sleepy state just before you sleep at night and on waking up from sleep just before you step out of your bed. It happens even when you are deeply engrossed in a television show or doing some work.

Myth: Only weak-minded people can be hypnotized 

Fact: Willingness of the person is all that matters. It’s nothing to do with weak or strong-mindedness.

Myth: You get the results immediately 

Fact: Your subconscious mind needs time to bring about the changes. In reality, there are subtle changes in the beginning.  Eventually, you start feeling calmer and peaceful. And as your perception changes, everything around you also changes.

Myth: The subconscious mind records everything like a video

Fact: Your mind stores a particular event based on how you perceived it. That may or may not be a completely unbiased picture. We store information based on how we interpret it rather than recording the actual events

What is Clinical Hypnotherapy?

So now let’s understand, what is clinical hypnotherapy? 
 The term “hypnosis” comes from the Greek word Hypnos, meaning “sleep”. 
 Hypnosis is a state of altered awareness in which access is available to the subconscious mind. It’s a state in which your mind becomes highly aware and highly suggestible. It’s a state of deep relaxation, in which the conscious mind is able to concentrate acutely on a specific thought, emotion, memory, or sensation while blocking out all other distractions.
Unlike the “sleep state” in which you are oblivious of what is happening around you, the hypnotic state is one in which the conscious mind is awake and aware of what is going on, simultaneously providing access to the subconscious mind.

Types of Clinical Hypnotherapy

1) Suggestion Hypnotherapy – It involves the hypnotherapist giving an individual’s unconscious mind a series of ‘suggestions’. These suggestions can help an individual to find it easier to do something they want to do (e.g. public speaking) or easier to stop doing something they don’t want to do.
Suggestion Hypnotherapy is often used when there is no root cause that needs to be dealt with, or when there are time constraints (such as an individual wanting to deal with a fear of flying). Suggestion hypnotherapy is often considered a short-term therapy compared with other types of therapy, and if changes occur, they can so within the first few sessions.

2) Analytical Hypnotherapy – It is also called Hypnoanalysis and can be effective in dealing with deeper issues and involves psychotherapy using hypnosis. Analytical hypnotherapy seeks to find the root cause of a problem, and deal with the issue. For example, a phobia may be ‘masked’ using suggestion therapy, however, the root cause will still exist. Analytical hypnotherapy seeks to identify the root cause and deal with it; the root cause then becomes powerless.
 Analytical hypnotherapy is a very involving process and usually requires much more commitment than suggestion therapy. However, once the root cause has been identified and dealt with, the results can be life-changing. Whereas suggestion therapy manages a problem, analytical hypnotherapy aims to resolve it.

3) Cognitive Hypnotherapy – This is a modern, scientific approach to therapy that is significantly different from the traditional schools of Hypnotherapy. Cognitive Hypnotherapy draws its influence from a number of other validated theories, such as Positive Psychology, Neuroscience, Evolutionary Psychology, and NLP, and combines these in a way that fits the client’s personal goals, values, and personality. Drawing from a range of techniques from different disciplines means that a tailored approach for each client can be created – there’s no “one size fits all” model here.
Cognitive Hypnotherapists attempt to get into the mindset of the client to work through any presenting issues, using techniques and language based on the client’s unique model of the world. Cognitive Hypnotherapy also uses an analytical approach to clearing away unwanted thoughts and behaviors from the past, but then uses techniques that retrain the brain in the present to ensure that the changes that clients would like to make are fully realized.  

Stages of Hypnosis

  • Re-framing the problem
  • Becoming relaxed, then absorbed (deeply engaged in the words or images presented by a hypnotherapist)
  • Dissociating (letting go of critical thoughts)
  • Responding (complying with a hypnotherapist’s suggestions)
  • Returning to usual awareness
  • Reflecting on the experience

What can Hypnotherapy achieve?

Hypnosis is used in a variety of settings — from emergency rooms to dental offices to outpatient clinics. Clinical studies suggest that hypnosis may improve immune function, increase relaxation, decrease stress, and ease pain and feelings of anxiety. A few more examples are listed below –

  • It facilitates patients in understanding themselves or their problems from a neutral or relaxed state of mind
  • Helps reduce stress and anxiety and create a sense of well being
  • Helps in changing undesirable behaviours such as smoking, alcohol dependency, bed wetting, nail biting, teeth grinding etc.
  • For pain management in cases of chronic diseases, cancers, childbirth, amputations, burns etc.
  • Weight loss
  • Helps to uncover repressed memories
  • Various types of fears and phobias
  • Sleep disorders
  • Grief and loss
  • General healing 
  • In surgeries where anaesthesia cannot be used effectively

How does Hypnotherapy work?

Our mind basically has 2 components, known as the ‘conscious mind’ and the ‘sub-conscious mind’. The conscious mind is the one, which analyses, thinks, uses logic i.e. basically processes every information that we take in. This is where we have our own unique Rules of life. 

Contrastingly, our subconscious mind stores all our life experiences which have been processed by our conscious mind. It has no judgment of its own. It also controls all of the autonomic processes that you don’t have to think about – the heart rate, blood pressure, tissue growth, cell regeneration, the immune system, and so on. 

It has been proved that the conscious mind constitutes only 5-10 % of our mind. Whereas, the balance 90 – 95% is the sub-conscious mind. This makes our subconscious mind almost 9 times greater than our conscious mind. Indicating that our habits and responses come from the experiences stored in the subconscious mind.

Our life operates as a combination of both of these minds viz., our “rules” and our “experiences”. When our rules and experiences are in sync with each other, we are happy. But the problem arises when there is a conflict between them. For example, if your rule says, that you are smart, intelligent, and have the best of the qualifications, you will get a well-paid job and your life becomes easy. Now if your experience also supports this, life is great. But if it doesn’t happen, an internal conflict ensues and you get disturbed.

Depending on how intensely we perceive this conflict, we attach our emotional charges around that memory and store it as a negative or a positive experience in our subconscious mind. When it happens for the first time, we physically and psychologically respond to it, based on what is appropriate at that point in time. We make a lot of associations with that particular event. So the next time, a similar situation arises, that particular memory gets triggered, and we sub-consciously / automatically start responding to it in the same way. When this occurs repeatedly, it becomes our pattern. So in the future, even though the situations may have changed, and you no longer need to react in that way, but still you end up doing the same things. This particular behavior is beyond your conscious control. This explains, why we tend to over-react in certain situations.

Let me give you a few examples for this –

  • As a child if someone is deprived of food, due to any reason. This might lead her to constantly crave for food. In future, even if the situation changes, she will still tend to overeat eventually leading to obesity. Consciously she may try to control her appetite, but it just keeps getting worse. This is because her craving come from this feeling of deprivation experienced in her childhood, which has been stored in her sub-conscious mind. And we already know, subconscious mind is more powerful than the conscious mind. And sub-conscious mind has no logic of its own, so it just continues to behave in the same way.
  • If as a child, while playing you happen to kick a street dog, and that dog bites you, following which you had to take all those painful anti-rabies injections at that time. So after that, whenever you see a dog, the memory of the bite and the painful injections gets triggered. You start palpating, sweating and you just want to run away from that place. You will react the same way even with pet dogs, though you know they are safe and won’t bite you. This is because you have made an association of the dog with the bite and the pain at the sun-conscious level.
  • This is because these people believe that with success comes arrogance and selfishness.  Successful people have no time for their near and dear ones and therefore eventually lead a lonely life. Interestingly, even they are not aware of this belief that they have, at the conscious level and therefore try their best to achieve success.. But sub-consciously they themselves will sabotage it either by falling sick just before their final performance or by picking up a fight with their boss just before the expected promotion etc. These conflicting beliefs lead to frustrations and unhappiness. It is only through meditation, hypnosis and similar methods that these people are able to dig into their sub-conscious mind and get solutions to their problems.

We all have many such beliefs because they were required at some point in time. It’s a part of our defense mechanism which then becomes a part of our learning and growing up process.

Conclusion

During the Clinical Hypnotherapy sessions, the therapist guides you into your own subconscious mind and helps you see your own thoughts more clearly, but only if you disconnect from the beliefs and associations, which you no longer require. The therapist also takes you to the first event which triggered this particular type of response, understands it, and neutralizes the emotional charges around it.

The experience of hypnosis differs from person to person. Some may experience dramatic changes, while some may feel they were not even hypnotized. It all depends on your level of willingness, to receive and to let go. It assists you, in your own journey of self-awareness.

When to ask for help?

Help…. Hmmmmm… Let’s just start with the dictionary meaning of the word “HELP”.

One of the meanings of the word “Help” is; “make it easier for (someone) to do something. Improve (a situation or problem); be of benefit to. Support (someone) to allow them to move in a specific direction”.

In today’s world where everyone is wanting to become independent, we have to understand the importance of being interdependent. As social animals, we humans live in groups. Society is indispensable for a human. We are all interdependent.  Because in a society, all are gifted with a different set of skills, training, and experiences. And since one person can’t have all of them, we need different people to deal with different aspects of our life. That is how we all help each other to survive and to grow. So in our day-to-day life, we approach various people for their help/services. So at some point or the other, when it becomes difficult to find a solution on our own, we seek help. 

But when it comes to our mental and emotional issues, we somehow don’t feel comfortable asking for help. Probably due to so many misconceptions. But it’s important for us to understand, like all the aspects of our life, even this needs help. For example, in case of a simple headache or cold, if things are not that severe, we just try all the home remedies. Probably a hot coffee/tea, simple paracetamol, etc. And most of the time that works. But when they don’t, we consult a doctor. And once we are fine we stop seeing that doctor.

So why are we not so open when it comes to our mental health? Let’s first understand the reasons.

The Probable Reasons

  • Because we think, that asking for such help would mean that we are weak and incapable of helping ourselves or the situation. Now, that cannot be true. In fact, acknowledging that we have an issue and the willingness to take help requires a lot of inner strength and willpower. It’s the first step to winning over our insecurities.
  • That we would become totally dependent on that source of help and will have to run to it, every time we have a problem. If we ask for help, with an intention to unlearn our old patterns and learn new ways, taking help will surely empower us.
  • If I take help now from so and so person or source, I will have to repay them by doing or giving things I might not want / incapable to do or give. We all owe each other in some way or the other. We just have to have faith in ourselves, and work out things accordingly. Take in the help gracefully and express gratitude.
  • We think we might bother or burden others with our problems. Trust me, people who love you or people who genuinely want to support you, would be more than happy to be there for you.
  • Also asking for help would mean exposing the most intimate part of ourselves to other and becoming vulnerable. I have seen, the more we try to hide our past wounds, the more power we give it, to affect our life. The moment we open ourselves to heal, those wounds lose their control over us.
  • Fear of rejection. It only means we have approach an inappropriate source of help. Don’t give up, we just have to open our eyes to other options.
  • Fear of what will that person think about me? The day you stop judging your own self, other’s judgement would not affect you. Our intention is to just learn how to come out of a given situation.

Benefits of asking for help –

  • Because we think, that asking for such a help would mean that we are weak and incapable of helping ourselves or the situation. Now, that cannot be true. In fact acknowledging that we have an issue and the willingness to take help requires a lot of inner strength and will power. It’s the first step to win over our insecurities.
  • That we would become totally dependent on that source of help and will have to run to it, every time we have a problem. If we ask for a help, with an intention to unlearn our old patterns and learn new ways, taking help will surely empower us.
  • If I take help now from so and so person or source, I will have to repay them by doing or giving things I might not want / incapable to do or give. We all owe each other in some way or the other. We just have to have faith in ourselves, and work out things accordingly. Take in the help gracefully and express gratitude.
  • We think we might bother or burden others with our problems. Trust me, people who love you or people who genuinely want to support you, would be more than happy to be there for you.
  • Also asking for help would mean exposing the most intimate part of ourselves to other and becoming vulnerable. I have seen, the more we try to hide our past wounds, the more power we give it, to affect our life. The moment we open ourselves to heal, those wounds lose their control over us.
  • Fear of rejection. It only means we have approach an inappropriate source of help. Don’t give up, we just have to open our eyes to other options.
  • Fear of what will that person think about me? The day you stop judging your own self, other’s judgement would not affect you. Our intention is to just learn how to come out of a given situation.

Benefits of Asking For Help –

  • It helps us ventilate out all our piled up emotions. In my practice I have observed, 50 per cent of people feel better just by talking it out, in front of a person who is listening to you, without any judgement.
  • It helps us to look at things from a different point of view.
  • It makes us aware of our own patterns.
  • It makes us aware of different ways in which we can deal with our issues.

              Once we overcome our hesitations, it will become easier for us to see our issues more clearly. We understand where the real problem is. Once we get the clarity, we can decide whom to approach accordingly. So now let’s consider who can we approach. We can get the help if we know who can help us.

Whom to approach –

  • Close friends and relatives – they are the best. Most of our problems get solved at this level. They love and understand us and we feel safe with them.
  • Internet – at times there are things which we cannot ask / talk with our loved ones. Or at times we know that they might not have the answer. That is the time when we approach “Google Baba”. Another good source of information and help, but should be used with caution. The authenticity of the person and the information should be considered.
  • Acquaintances / colleagues /strangers – there are times when out of nowhere someone just comes and offers us help. Or someone tells us “let me know if I can help”… and we just dismiss them thinking they don’t really mean it. But as a matter of fact, at times they do. So just follow your instincts. Don’t restrict yourself.
  • Religious or Spiritual Gurus / books – again this can be a good source of help, if done with awareness. Ask yourself, does this way, truly makes me feel humble, tolerant, peaceful and more loving? Is it making me a good human being?
  • Self-help and motivation – this is the only thing which keeps us going on daily basis. But at times we do need assistance.
  • Meditation – the best method for self-actualisation. It helps us integrate ourselves and increases our awareness.
  • Professionals – there are a wide range of health care professionals, Psychotherapists and various healing modalities. See which one you relate to, the most and seek help with faith in yourself. And have faith on that professional as well. These professionals are trained, to look at your issues from a neutral view. Even in long standing and complex issues they can see things clearly. They make you aware of your patterns and your real problems. And assist you in dealing with them using various techniques respectively.

How to know if the help you are getting, is helping you or making things more worst 

If by taking those advises or helps, you feel more en-powered and start feeling and seeing good things within yourself and around you with more peace in your mind… then my friend you are on the right track.

 ‘Ask and YOU shall receive. The whole universe will conspire to make it happen’.

So ask with an open mind to receive. Keeping our egos down and yet preserving our self-esteem. All we have to do is, just pick the phone and call our loved ones or just go and meet them. Or just write a polite and precise mail to someone who can help you. Talk to people. Express your gratitude. If nothing works, take professional help. Life is simple. And these issues only come, to help us understand ourselves better. 

Found this Interesting flow chart on the net. 

Anxiety

Anxiety—the most common of all mental disorders—currently affects about one in 13 people (7.3 percent).The study also found that, while clinical depression is common throughout the lifespan, anxiety becomes less common in men and women over the age of 55. Prevalence estimates of anxiety disorders are generally higher in developed countries than in developing countries.

Both major depression and anxiety are found more commonly in women than in men.

Like many other mental health conditions, anxiety disorders also seem to be a result of a combination of biological, psychological, and other individual factors.

There are many different types of anxiety disorders—and many effective treatments and self-help strategies. Once you understand your anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to reduce your symptoms and regain control of your life.

Definition

Everyone feels anxious now and then. It’s a normal emotion. Many people feel nervous when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test or making an important decision. But if your worries and fears seem overwhelming and interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. 

 Anxiety is defined as “a state of intense apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a threatening event or situation, often to a degree that normal physical and psychological functioning is disrupted”

“Fear is the emotional response to a real or perceived threat, whereas anxiety is the anticipation of future threat”

Signs And Symptoms –

Physical :

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
    • Sweating
    • Trembling or shaking
    • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
    • Feeling of choking
    • Chest pain or discomfort
    • Nausea or abdominal distress
    • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
    • Chills or heat sensations
    • Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations
  • Electric shock feeling
  • Shooting pains in the face
  • Weakness in legs
  • Feeling like you are going crazy
  • Inability to rest
  • Sleep problems

Emotional :

  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
    • Fear of losing control or going crazy
    • Fear of dying
    • Excessive fear and worry
    • Catastrophizing
    • Obsessive thinking

Behavioral:

Avoidance of situations that make you feel anxious which can impact on study, work, or social life

Types of Anxiety Disorders –

Some of the major types are listed below –

  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Selective Mutism
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Specific Phobia
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Separation Anxiety Disorder

“A condition in which an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment (e.g. a parent, caregiver, or siblings). It is most common in infants and small children, typically between the ages of 6–7 months to 3 years. “

Separation anxiety is a natural part of the developmental process. It indicates healthy advancements in a child’s cognitive maturation and should not be considered a developing behavioral problem. But in separation anxiety disorder there is an excessive display of fear and distress when faced with situations of separation from the home or from a specific attachment figure. The anxiety that is expressed is categorized as being atypical of the expected developmental level and age. The severity of the symptoms ranges from anticipatory uneasiness to full-blown anxiety about separation.

Trigger –

It can also occur after a stressful life event such as:

  • moving to a new home
  • switching schools
  • divorce
  • the death of a close family member

Selective Mutism :

Selective Mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as school. These children are able to speak and communicate in settings where they are comfortable, secure, and relaxed.

Although onset is usually before age five, the disturbances may come to clinical attention only with entry into school.

  • In most cases the disturbance lasts only a few weeks or months, although in a few it continues for several years.
  • There may be severe impairment in social and school functioning.
  • School failure and teasing or scapegoating by peers are common complications.

Predisposing factors – Maternal overprotection, speech disorders. Mental Retardation, immigration, hospitalization or trauma before age three, and entering school may be predisposing factors.

Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia) :

Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is an anxiety disorder involving irrational discomfort around social interaction, and concern about being embarrassed and judged by others. This discomfort will be experienced as fear and anxiety and will be accompanied by autonomic arousal, including diaphoreses, apnea, tremors, tachycardia, and nausea. The discomfort that people with Social Anxiety Disorder experience can be generalized to routine activities such as eating in front of others, fear of blushing (erythrophobia), or urinating in a public lavatory (shy bladder). The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent.

Panic Disorder –

Panic disorder is characterized by the spontaneous and unexpected occurrence of panic attacks, the frequency of which can vary from several attacks per day to only a few attacks per year.

Panic attacks are defined as a period of intense fear in which 4 of 13 defined symptoms develop abruptly and peak rapidly in less than 10 minutes from symptom onset.

Panic attacks may start off by coming on suddenly and without warning, but over time, they’re usually triggered by certain situations.

Common features of panic attacks

They include an accelerated heart rate or pounding heartbeats, chest pain, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, a choking sensation, nausea, dizziness or light-headedness, numbness, chills or heat, a feeling of being detached from one’s self, fear of losing control and fear of dying.


Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Excessive or disproportionate anxiety about several aspects of life, such as work, social relationships, or financial matters, almost every day for six months or more may signal generalized anxiety disorder”

Cause –

As with many mental health conditions, the exact cause of generalized anxiety disorder isn’t fully understood, but it may include genetics as well as other risk factors.

Specific Phobia :

Fear is a natural response caused by real danger. For example, we are all scared of coming face to face with a wild, hungry animal, and fear is a survival instinct that warns us against certain things or situations.

phobia, on the other hand, is an irrational fear of an object or situation that causes little or no danger. For example, arithmophobia (fear of numbers) may cause certain individuals anxiety, but the fear itself won’t cause any danger. Phobias are linked to our subconscious, and because they are irrational, they can often be dealt with effectively.

Types of Specific Phobia

There are five different types of specific phobia.

  • Animal Type (e.g. dogs, snakes, or spiders)
  • Natural Environment Type (e.g., heights, storms, water)
  • Blood-Injection-Injury Type (e.g. fear of seeing blood, receiving a blood test or shot, watching television shows that display medical procedures)
  • Situational Type (e.g., airplanes, elevators, driving, enclosed places)
  • Other Types (e.g., phobic avoidance of situations that may lead to choking, vomiting, or contracting an illness; in children, avoidance of loud sounds like balloons popping or costumed characters like clowns)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Or PTSD :

PTSD used to be considered a type of anxiety disorder. But accordingly, to the latest DSM-5 Criteria, it was moved into a new category: “Trauma and Stress-related Disorders”. 

It is a serious potentially debilitating condition that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, war, violent personal assault such as rape, or other life-threatening events.

Signs And Symptoms –

People with PTSD often experience feelings of panic or extreme fear, similar to the fear they felt during the traumatic event. A person with PTSD experiences four main types of difficulties.

  • Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms)
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
  • Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
  • Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD :

According to DSM 5 guidelines, OCD is removed from the Anxiety section and is now grouped -separately as Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), and behaviors that drive them to do something over and over (compulsions)

The symptoms of OCD include both obsessive and compulsive behaviors.

Signs of obsession include:

  • Repeated unwanted ideas
  • Fear of contamination
  • Aggressive impulses
  • Persistent sexual thoughts
  • Images of hurting someone you love
  • Thoughts that you might cause others harm
  • Thoughts that you might be harmed

Signs of compulsion include:

  • Constant checking
  • Constant counting
  • The repeated cleaning of one or more items
  • Repeatedly washing your hands
  • Constantly checking the stove or door locks
  • Arranging items to face a certain way
  • Following a strict routine
  • Demanding reassurances

Management :

Medications

  • Homeopathy – Homoeopathy is one of the safest and effective modes of treatment for all types of Anxiety Disorders.The remedy selection is based on symptom similarity. each person who is suffering from any of the anxiety disorder is unique, at physical, mental and emotional level, in his own way. The remedy selection is based on these individualising characteristics. However, some of the homeopathy medicines which are commonly used are – Gelsemium, Arsenic Album, Lycopodium, Boron, Alumina, Beryllium, Crotalus Horridus, Stramonium, and many more based on symptom similarity.
  • Modern Medicine – benzodiazepines, antidepressants, Beta-Blockers, Buspirone

Psychosocial Treatment –

  • Hypnotherapy Hypnotherapy can help to identify the root cause of the phobia and enable individuals to react to the particular object or situation they once feared in a calmer manner when encountering it in the future. Phobias are displaced fears and because they are not rational, they can be dealt with. Hypnotherapy can also help with relaxation and visualisation techniques for desensitisation and forming new habits such as being more calm and relaxed.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – a psycho therapeutic approach that addresses dysfunctional emotions, maladaptive behaviours and cognitive processes and contents through a number of goal-oriented, explicit systematic procedures.
  • Behaviour Therapy – like flooding, systematic desensitisation, exposure and response prevention, relaxation techniques
  • Desensitisation or exposure therapy focuses on changing your response to the object or situation that you fear and may be helpful for phobias. Gradual, repeated exposure to the cause of your phobia may help you learn to conquer your anxiety. 
  • Learn to manage stress. Ask for help at home and work when the load is too great to handle. Find ways to relax, for example take up a hobby, listen to music, watch movies, or take walks. Try deep breathing exercises when you feel stressed.
  • Take care of your physical health. Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Eat a healthy diet. Limit caffeine. If you smoke, quit. Don’t use alcohol or drugs. Exercise according to your healthcare provider’s instructions.
  • Self Help Groups

Taking the First Step!!

Do you have a dream? That burning desire to have a better life, better health, better relationships, a better job or start a new career.. Wanting to start a new relationship or end a bad relationship…. wanting to start exercising and lose weight or you might simply want to learn something new…?

I am sure we all have that one thing, which we dream about but haven’t done anything about it. The most difficult part of achieving what we really want is … To take that first step.

Why is it so difficult to take that first step?

Let us list down some known reasons –

Fear of Change –

Change is something that we all shy away from because it seems daunting, scary, and stressful. But one needs to remember that the only constant factor in life is “CHANGE”. The change indicates progress, growth, a different perspective on life, and a desire, strength to move out of your comfort zone before you stagnate.  Sometimes one needs to face our fear of change and shun all the excuses that spring up in our mind to avoid it.

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.”James Stephens

Fear of Failure –

Without failure, there would be no success. It is an integral part of our lives and there is no escaping it. The key to dealing with our failures is to convert them into our very own “lessons of life”. It teaches us what not to do and pushes us to look for another approach until we find one that works. Hence treating each setback as a stepping stone to improve your efforts is extremely important. To fail is not a crime but to not attempt at all is. So charge ahead and dare to reach out to your dreams.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

Feeling Overwhelmed–

Too much to do in too short a span of time, faced with confusing thoughts? Feeling squeezed? Feel like giving up already?

 The key to dealing with it is to take time to think things through, organize your work plan and use a piecemeal approach to break down humongous tasks into small doable chunks. The progress might appear slow and tedious initially but a little bit of resilience and honest commitment can lead to long-term success. It’s ok, to go slow initially. Just take one step at a time. And don’t forget to be proud of yourself for the small achievements that come along the way!

 “All great changes are preceded by chaos.” –Deepak Chopra

Fear of looking foolish –

In order to “fit in” with our peers, our family, and the society at large we imitate group behavior.  Many times we blindly follow others and adapt to the common norms of society so as to blend in and not be ridiculed or misunderstood.  However, we should never forget that each of us is unique, distinct and it is this individuality that makes us special. Having faith in yourself and a positive attitude is important to tap into your own talent. Give yourself the permission to “stand out” and explore your true potential.

 “Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.” Cher

Starting something new –

At times it may take more than just coming out of your comfort zone. For example, when you want to switch your job or start a new career. You have already reached a certain level in your present career. So starting something new right from the scratch may appear scary. The key is to analyze the situation properly. Do thorough research on the subject and make sure you are absolutely passionate about it. Plan your steps. And then take the leap with full faith in yourself, giving your 100% into it.

“One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time.” -John Wanamaker

Conflicting Dreams & Value Systems

Each one of us believes in certain values /principles and priorities in life. E.g. if you firmly believe in honesty and if the journey towards your goal contradicts this value, you would not feel motivated. On the contrary, feel guilty about pursuing your dreams. So it is extremely important to know yourself and your priorities beforehand while deciding your aspirations. Knowing yourself is equally crucial as is knowing your goals in life.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” –Maria Robinson

Getting the Timing Right

Life is busy and will always be busy. There will always be reasons to postpone your plans, to wait “for the right time”. But there is no such thing as “the right time”. The most perfect time to start anything is RIGHT NOW because if you are committed and focused on your goals (personal or professional) other things will eventually fall into place automatically.  

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” –Zig Ziglar

Honing your Skills

Theoretical knowledge though important can only help to a certain extent in real life. The applicability of this knowledge in day-to-day situations is more crucial. This requires practicing your skills regularly with patience and perseverance. Inborn talent might give a good start but honing your skill-sets consistently and methodically is imperative to achieve long-term success.

“Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.” –Unknown.

Create a Support System

New beginnings in your life may or may not be received unanimously by people around you. Though it is important to believe in yourself, it is equally crucial to “LISTEN” to other people’s opinions because they may provide a different insight into your situation or add value to your decisions from their own personal experiences. So listening to critical comments calmly, with an open mind, and at the same time analyzing their thought process rationally is important in creating a strong support system for yourself where you value and respect the opinions of people close to you and vice versa.

“Listen” ….. to the right people –Unknown.

 Dealing with Indecisiveness

Experiencing anticipatory anxiety is perfectly normal while embarking on a new journey in life. However, believing in yourself is crucial because no one knows you better than yourself. TRUST yourself, your instincts, and your abilities. Nobody knows where this will take you. There are endless possibilities. Take your first step towards your destination and things will end up the way they are supposed to.

“And, when you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

So go ahead, take the leap of your life for a better life.. better health.. for a life full of happiness and satisfaction!

Exercise

You might want to keep a pen and paper handy as you go through these exercises.

Step 1Know Yourself

Choose a time when you won’t be disturbed for some time. Once you are ready close your eyes and take a deep breath. Relax. Write down your 10 values and priorities each, which govern your life. Eg. Love, truth, financial security, independence, etc. once you are sure that the list completely describes you, check if your dream conflicts with any of these.

Step 2Understand Your Anxiety

Take a minute to notice which thoughts are actually preventing you from moving ahead. Write down all your fears and anxiety. Now go throw them one by one and ask yourself, if it’s related only to your present goal or it’s something deeper? Try and overcome them. Take help from your loved ones or a professional.

Step 3Break Down Your First Step

When we feel motivated there are thousands of ideas rushing in. Leaving us clueless, where to start from. So break them down and find out the most important step to be taken first. It can be right from doing thorough research on a subject or making a call and enquiring about a course or just discussing your idea with a friend. Once you do that, move to the next important thing on the list. Take one step at a time. Be patient initially and keep going.

Step 4Have A Support System

Whatever you intend to achieve, whether you want to lose weight, run a marathon, ask someone out, start a new career.. make sure you have a group of people you can lean on and who keep encouraging you. Get support from your family, friends, colleagues, children, support group. Just ask and you shall get it.

Step 5Keep Yourself Motivated

Know clearly why you want to do it. Be honest with yourself. That will be your greatest motivator. Keep reminding yourself about it. After that make a list of tentative things you might have to do. And write the approximate REASONABLE time limit within which you would like to achieve each step. Eg. You might intend to lose 2kgs per month for the next 6 months. Complete what you have started in your intended time. Let your focus and dedication be 100%. This way you boost up your self-confidence every time you complete your task.

Meditations –            

Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for 20 minutes. Put on some soothing music. Take a comfortable position with your palms open. You can do this any time of the day when you can relax, but morning on getting up or just before you sleep is preferable.

Relax. Whenever you feel ready close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Try to stop thinking, let the thoughts just come and go. Whenever you feel comfortable start imagining/visualizing a probable situation in which you might feel the anxiety before taking the first step ahead. See yourself overcoming that anxiety. In fact, you are doing the task confidently. Feel how it feels like… to actually put your ideas into action… step by step. How it feels to complete your task with full integrity. See yourself achieving your goal. How does it make you feel? Feel the happiness.. that sense of achievement. How will it affect your life and the people around you? Be with those feeling for some time. And whenever you feel done, slowly open your eyes.

Sleep disorders and Hypnosis

Let’s start by first understanding sleep…

Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles, and reduced interactions with surroundings.’

Everyone goes through 2 types of sleep –

Slow Wave Sleep (Non-REM sleep) –

During this stage, our body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, basal metabolic rate, goes down.

REM (Rapid Eye Moment Sleep) –

Is characterized by rapid eye movements, more dreaming and bodily movement, and faster pulse and breathing.

Most sleep during each night is of the Non-REM variety; this s the deep, restful sleep that the person experiences during the first hour of sleep after being awake for many hours. REM sleep, on the other hand, occurs in episodes during sleep and occupies about 25 percent of the sleep of young adults. Each episode normally recurs about 90 minutes. This type of sleep is not so restful, and it is usually associated with vivid dreaming. Deprivation of REM sleep causes tiredness, irritability, and impaired judgment.

So … what is ‘Sleep Disorder’?

A sleep disorder is a medical condition of the sleep patterns of a person. Some sleep disorders are serious enough to interfere with normal physical, mental, social, and emotional functioning.

While it’s normal to occasionally experience difficulties in sleeping, it’s not normal to regularly have problems getting to sleep at night, to wake up feeling exhausted, or to feel sleepy during the day. The lack of sleep can have a negative impact on energy, mood, concentration, and overall health.

Types Of Sleep Disorders –

According to ASDC (Association for Sleep Disorders Centres) sleep disorders are divided into two sub-types:

  1.  Dyssomnias
  2. Parasomnias

Dyssomnias:

They are primary disorders of initiating or maintaining sleep or of excessive sleepiness and are characterized by a disturbance in the amount, quantity, or timing of sleep. These are the commonest disorders of sleep. This consists of Insomnia, Hypersomnia, and Disorders of sleep-wake schedule.

Insomnia :

Also known as the Disorder of Initiation and/or Maintenance of sleep(DIMS). It may also include – frequent awakenings during the night, early morning awakening with inability to go back to sleep, or non-restorative sleep even after the adequate duration of sleep.

Common causes

  1. Medical Illnesses
  2. Painful conditions
  3. Heart and respiratory diseases
  4. Old age
  5. Periodic Movements in sleep – it consists of two different syndromes; Periodic Limb Movement Disorder and ‘Restless Legs’ Syndrome
    1. Periodic Limb Movement Disorder – sudden, repeated contraction of one or more muscle groups during sleep. Lasting for few seconds and at an interval of 20-60 sec. It occurs during Non-REM stage of sleep and hence the person is unaware of the movement. But he usually complains of non-restorative sleep.
    1. ‘Restless Legs’ Syndrome – irresistible urge to move the legs due to aching, tingling, burning or crawling sensation in the calves, relieved by movements of legs, like walking or kicking. Making it difficult to fall asleep or maintain sleep.
  6. Alcohol and drugs
  7. Psychiatric disorders – mania, clinical depression, dysthymia, anxiety disorders, stressful life situations, etc
  8. Idiopathic insomnia

Types  –

  1. Transient insomnia – lasts for less than a week. Can be due to an emotional change, stress, anxiety, shift work or jet lag, etc.
  2. Acute insomnia – consistent difficulty is sleeping well, for a period of less than a month. It can be due to an illness, bigger stress or loss of someone close to you.
  3. Chronic insomnia – insomnia at least three nights a week for a month or longer.

Hypersomnia:

Involves excessive sleepiness even when getting enough sleep and difficulty waking up (maybe confused, not fully awake, for a period of time). In some cases, patients with primary hypersomnia have difficulty waking in the morning and may appear confused or angry. This condition is sometimes called sleep drunkenness and is more common in males. A few common causes are Narcolepsy, Sleep apnea, Menstrual-associated, Hypothyroidism, Alcohol, and Drugs, etc.

  • Narcolepsy – it is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable daytime sleepiness Classically the symptoms include:
    1. Sleep Attack’ – even in the middle of talking, working, or even driving. Usually, there is a gap of 2-3 hrs between two attacks
    2. Cataplexy – sudden loss of muscle tone, while the person is awake. Eg. Jaw drop, fall, etc may be precipitated by sudden strong emotions
    3. Hypnagogic Hallucinations – vivid dreams like perceptions, which occur at the onset of sleep. Unlike dreams, they feel very real, and the person may be convinced that he saw or felt something
    4. Sleep Paralysis – a temporary inability to move or speak while falling asleep or upon waking up. The episode may last from 30 secs to a few minutes and may cause significant distress
  • Sleep Apnea – cessation of airflow at the nostrils (and mouth) for 10 seconds or longer. It is characterized by very loud snoring and waking up at night gasping or choking. The person is unaware of it and often complains of sleepiness during the day and non-refreshing sleep. It can be a dangerous condition as it can cause cardiac arrhythmias, pulmonary and systemic hypertension, and death.

Disorders of Sleep-wake Schedule

It results from a discrepancy between the person’s daily sleep/wake pattern and demands of social activities, shift work, or travel. The person with this disorder is not able to sleep when he wishes to, although at other times he is able to sleep adequately.

The common causes are –

  • Jet lag : is caused by travel to a new time zone
  • Work shift : from day to night or vice versa
  • Some people are unable to sleep early. They typically sleep late at night and get up late in the morning. They are called as ‘owls’
  • Others are similarly unable to remain awake at night. They typically sleep early at night and get up early in the morning. They are called as ‘larks’
  • Some others have a longer than 24 hours sleep-wake cycle

Parasomnias:

Dysfunctions or episodic nocturnal events occur with sleep, sleep stages, or partial arousals. They mainly consist of Non-REM related disorders and REM-related disorders.

  • Non-REM related disorders
    • Sleep walking (Somnambulism) – the person can perform a range of activity from simple to complex activities like walking, driving a vehicle, moving objects, etc
    • Sleep terrors or night terrors – the person suddenly gets up with loud scream and panic. They can rarely recall the episode on awakening
    • Bruxism – grinding of teeth in the sleep leading to wear and fracture of teeth and sever jaw pains
    • Sleep talking – person talks in sleep but doesn’t remember anything in morning
    • Confusional arousal – a condition in which the individual’s partially awakens and sits up looking around consumed. They usually remain in bed and then go back to sleep. They also have –
      • Severe morning inertia – sleep drunkenness, similar to the confusion, disorientation and slowed responses seen on awakening from slow wave sleep
      • Sleep-related sexual behaviour- commonly known as sexsomnia. Sexual behaviour e.g. vocalizations, fondling, masturbation, intercourse and sexual assault; without conscious awareness
  • REM related disorders
    • REM sleep behaviour disorder – the person lives out his dreams at night and can kick out, shout, and talk. They may inadvertently hurt themselves, their sleeping partner, or someone else in their household. The condition can be dangerous, so must be diagnosed and treated without delay. It occurs later in the night and the patient can remember what they were dreaming.
    • Recurrent isolated sleep paralysis – inability to move your body either at awakening in morning (usually) or at sleep onset, while the person is fully conscious. Last for few seconds to few minutes. Or can be aborted by sensory stimuli like being touched, spoken to or with great efforts. While paralysis at the onset of sleep may be a sign of narcolepsy, awakening with sleep paralysis is benign.
    • Nightmare disorder (sleep anxiety disorder) – person has fearful dreams occurring mostly in later one-third of night sleep. The person wakes up very frightened and remembers the dream vividly. More common in children from age 2 to 5 yrs of age.
  • Other disorders
    • Sleep related enuresis (bed wetting) – involuntary and recurrent voiding of urine during sleep, after the age at which staying dry at night can be reasonably expected.

Sleep Hygiene –

Along with various Psychotherapies and Medications for sleep problems, it’s important to maintain good sleep hygiene.

  • Regular, daily exercise (preferably not in the evenings)
  • Minimize day time napping
  • Avoid fluid intake and heavy meals just before bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine intake (e.g. tea, coffee, cola drinks) before sleeping hours
  • Avoid regular use of alcohol
  • Avoid reading or watching television while in bed
  • Sleep in a dark, quiet and comfortable environment
  • Regular time to going to sleep and waking up
  • Use your bed only for sleeping and not for working

Now let’s understand what is Hypnosis –

The term ‘hypnosis’ comes from the Greek word ‘Hypnos’ meaning ‘sleep’.

Hypnosis is a state of altered awareness in which access is available to the subconscious mind. It’s a state in which your mind becomes highly aware and highly suggestible. It’s a state of deep relaxation, in which the conscious mind is able to concentrate acutely on a specific thought, emotion, memory, or sensation while blocking out all other distractions.

Unlike the ‘sleep state’, in which you are oblivious of what is happening around you, the hypnotic state is one in which the conscious mind is awake and aware of what is going on, simultaneously providing access to the subconscious mind.

Because of its ability to increase responsiveness, hypnosis is frequently used to alter behavior and reactions that could be contributing to chronic health problems (such as insomnia and other sleep disorders).

Hypnosis For Sleep Disorders –

Hypnosis only works if you are willing.

For chronic sleep problems, it’s important to consult your physician to rule out any underlying medical conditions. It’s also important to remember, that Clinical Hypnotherapy is one of the techniques which should be used, along with complete psychological and medical treatment protocol, along with good sleep hygiene.

Hypnotherapy helps you understand and become aware of your negative pattern or underlying reason leading to sleep problems. The cause of the problem will vary for each individual, so the approach will also vary from person to person.

Researches have shown that acute and chronic insomnia, respond to the relaxation and positive suggestion of Hypnotherapy. The therapy helps your mind and body to relax, which in turn helps to let go of the anxiety created by not falling asleep.

In cases of sleepwalkers, hypnotic suggestion can help you learn to wake up, the moment your feet touches the floor. It also helps to increase the amount of time that you spend in Non-REM sleep, as much as 80 percent.

Studies show that hypnotherapy has helped cases of Nightmares and Night Terrors; in both children and adults both.

There are several reports of successful use of hypnotherapy for parasomnias, specifically for head and body rocking, bedwetting, and sleepwalking.

Homoeopathy And Sleep Disorders –

Homeopathy is one of the safest and effective modes of treatment for all types of Sleep Disorders, esp. in the early stages. Homeopathy can take care of various symptoms of Sleep Disorders.

In the treatment, the cause is first found out. It’s one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using a holistic approach. Some of the very commonly used remedies are – Nux vomica for alcohol or substance-related insomnia, Ignatia for insomnia caused by grief, and Passiflora for insomnia related to mental stress.

Self-confidence And Hypnosis

Self-esteem!… so what does it really mean?  In simple words, Self-esteem is how we value ourselves, with respect to others. It is usually put to test when we have to face the outside world. It means feeling good about your own self. High self-esteem means that we love and accept ourselves for the way we are, and generally feel satisfied most of the time. Low self-esteem means that we are not happy with the way we are.

What is self-confidence?

To be self-confident is to be secure in yourself and your abilities.

Confident people inspire confidence in others: their audience, their peers, their bosses, their customers, and their friends. And gaining the confidence of others is one of the key ways in which a self-confident person finds success.

So we see that though these two words are similar, and used together quite often, they have different meanings. For example, you may easily go in front of a crowd and give a speech or a presentation. This shows your self-confidence. But at the same time, you may think very poorly about your own public speaking. And this shows a lack of self-esteem.

Quite often, self-confidence and self-esteem are used interchangeably to describe a person’s level of assurance, self-respect, poise, and security. The main difference is that confidence varies, while self-esteem remains constant.

So in this article, for convenience sake, I will be using the term self-confidence, for both self-esteem and self-confidence.

Understanding the relationship of our belief and confidence–

It’s interesting to understand how our minds really work. As we all know, our subconscious mind holds beliefs and “truths” about us that really aren’t changed much by external facts or proofs.

Our subconscious wants to protect us. After negative experiences, the subconscious develops defense mechanisms – After that negative social experience, for instance, your mind might have started to tell you: You don’t like social situations. You’re not good at them; you should avoid them altogether.

We expect so convincingly to fail at talking to new acquaintances – which we will ourselves get into having a bad time, letting our shyness take hold, and push ourselves to avoid meeting new people.

And the negativity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – to prevent us from feeling the hurt, or shame, or failure that we might have experienced. This defense, manifests as those automatic thoughts which, if left unchecked, persuade us to have these negative experiences over and over again.

So, you can have an outstanding performance where the critics rave. But if your unconscious mind is convinced that you’re a mediocre actor, you will approach your next role with the same dread and hesitancy. On the flip side, if the critics tear you apart but your unconscious believes that you’re brilliant, you’ll simply ignore those rotten reviews!

The problem is: Overcoming these negative thoughts is a real challenge.

These thoughts are automatic and deeply embedded in our minds. You look in the mirror – and bam!

The subconscious tells you not to like what you see. It happens unconsciously, automatically.

In other words, low self-esteem is often the result of flaws in our subconscious. Our automatic thoughts are irrational. They aren’t based on facts.

Characteristics of low self-confidence-

  • Self-critical
  • Feels inferior to others
  • Downplays or ignores their positive qualities
  • Uses negative words to describe themselves such as stupid, fat, ugly or unlovable
  • Unable to trust your own opinion
  • Snapping back aggressively to criticism.
  • Afraid to take challenges, being worried you wouldn’t overcome them
  • Panicking and getting overwhelmed at crossroads in life.
  • Negative self-talk and self-criticism
  • Doesn’t believe a person who compliments them.
  • Indecisive
  • Tolerate all sorts of unreasonable behaviour from partners in a relationship
  • Fear of being judged by others
  • Lack of self-care. E.g. alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, no personal hygiene, etc.

Causes for Low self-confidence-

Knowing that you have low self-esteem is the first step to improving and overcoming that mental habit.

  • Physical ill-health
  • Negative life events such as losing your job or getting a divorce, deficient or frustrating relationships, and a general sense of lack of control.
  • People who are victims of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse or discrimination based on religion, culture, race, sex or sexual orientation.
  • Traumatic childhood experiences such as prolonged separation from parent figure, neglect, abuse, etc.
  • Negative authoritative / parent figure during childhood
  • Poor academic performance during the school
  • Negative body image for self
  • Unrealistic goals
  • Constant comparison

Ways to Increase Self-Confidence –

You may already be doing some of these things, and you certainly don’t need to do them all. Just do those that you feel most comfortable with.

  • Having a positive inner dialogue about who you are and what all you have to offer to the world. Ask yourself what you fear the most and search within yourself for ways to cope up with these worries and fears. Throughout life, you might need to search within yourself again and again to find your own empowerment and strength.
  • Childhood experiences of needs not being met, negative feedback from others, or due to a major negative life event. Knowing the source of your self-esteem problems can help you overcome them.
  • Listen to your inner voice. When you have thoughts about yourself, determine whether they are positive or negative. If you have trouble evaluating this or noticing a pattern, try writing down thoughts you have about yourself every day for a few days or a week. Then look at the statements for patterns or tendencies.
  • Investigate the source of your lowered self-confidence.
  • Find a meaning life purpose
  • Explore your creative side
  • Make a list – of your strengths, achievement, and things you admire about yourself. Keep this list around your workplace or any place where you spend your time. And read this list regularly.
  • Act the part – If you look ready confident and act the part you aspire to reach, you’ll not only feel in control, people will have much more confidence in you as well. Hold your head high, sit up straight, gently bring your shoulders back to align your spine and look directly at the other person when interacting.
  • Dress the part – suit up for success. Dress up in clothes and accessories that make you feel good and confident. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.
  • Speak assertively and confidently – Identify and challenge any negative thoughts that you may have about yourself, such as ‘I am a loser’, ‘I never do anything right’, or ‘No one really likes me’. To be taken seriously, avoid high-pitched, nervous chatter or twittering giggles in your speech. People will listen to you more attentively when they see the leader radiate from within you.
  • Positivity– make conscious efforts to identify and avoid negative self-talk. Smile, laugh and surround yourself with happy, positive people. Think about what is important to you and where do you want to go.
  • Prepare well – remember Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel about your expertise and competency. Preparation will help you avoid getting tripped up by life’s unexpected glitches. Build the knowledge to need, in order to succeed. Focus on the basics.
  • Take action – use what you have gotten in you and capitalize on your strengths. Set sensible, achievable goals and take appropriate actions to achieve them. Prepare well and act on your ideas. Keep stretching yourself step-by-step.
  • Keep yourself grounded – people tend to become over-confident and over-stretch themselves once they start achieving their goals. Remind yourself to be more humble and open to new learning with each passing day.
  • Pay special attention to personal hygiene – comb your hair, trim your nails, floss your teeth, wear clean clothes
  • Eat healthy food
  • Stay fit – exercise regularly, go for a walk or a run in the garden, join some sports or dance class
  • Get enough sleep
  • Have a positive and comfortable living space – keep it clean and tidy, display items that remind you of your achievements, or the special times and people in your life.
  • Do things you like and enjoy doing
  • Finish your To-Do list – e.g. cleaning your cupboard, filling the papers, washing the windows
  • Help others – volunteer for a cause, help someone, make donations for a good cause, visit a friend/relative who is sick, and make someone smile. Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.
  • Talk to your family and friends about what you are going through.
  • Connect with your loved once – talk to them, spend more quality time with them
  • Professional help – at times when you feel that things are out of your control and you might want some professional help from a mental health care professional, who are trained and experienced to help people with a variety of difficulties. Hypnotherapy is one of the ways which can help you.

Hypnosis for Self-Confidence –

Hypnosis is a state of altered awareness in which access is available to the subconscious mind. It’s a state in which your mind becomes highly aware and highly suggestible. It’s a state of deep relaxation, in which the conscious mind is able to concentrate acutely on a specific thought, emotion, memory, or sensation while blocking out all other distractions.

Unlike the “sleep state” in which you are oblivious of what is happening around you, the hypnotic state is one in which the conscious mind is awake and aware of what is going on, simultaneously providing access to the subconscious mind.

The beliefs that we hold in our subconscious mind affect everything that we observe (or don’t observe), our emotional reactions, and how we perceive things.

 So real self-confidence, or lack of it, is based on the beliefs that we hold in our subconscious mind. The only way to permanently change your level of self-confidence is to work with the unconscious to release limiting beliefs and install more positive, confident beliefs. Utilizing hypnotherapy, we can access these unconscious, automatic thoughts, and through the power of suggestion, we can begin to unseat and reframe them.

Hypnosis is a powerful tool for targeting the root cause of low self-confidence and help prevent those negative, overly critical thoughts from telling us how to feel about ourselves and empower us to get rid of those negative thinking patterns.

Hypnosis repairs the mind, by helping us re-teach the subconscious to be a more supportive partner in our day-to-day lives. Taking out all those irrational, negative thoughts, and repopulating the subconscious with more helpful information. It gives you the power to make that shift in perspective consciously. Seeing yourself from a different point of view can bring change to mind, almost immediately.

In complex cases, a hypnotherapist uses numerous techniques for empowering and repairing the subconscious mind.

He or she may also make statements about how wonderful your newfound confidence feels, and how easy it is for you to achieve any goal you desire. He may address particular issues you have, such as feeling more confident with the opposite sex, or in your career, or speaking in front of people. These issues are often addressed upfront so that the hypnosis session is tailored to fit your particular goals and needs with regard to your confidence issues.

I’ve heard people say “HOPE is not a strategy.” That may be the case, but without it, it’s unlikely that you will make ANY strategy.

You can never be sure until you do it. You can fool yourself into thinking it will definitely be OK, develop some powerful optimism, but you can never be 100% sure. Used in the right way, hypnosis reduces the feeling of uncertainty to tolerable levels, so you can go and do that thing that used to terrify you. But when it comes down to it – it’s down to you to make the final leap.

Passive Aggressive Behaviour

Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder. A lot of us have been using this term very randomly. It’s a type of behaviour that can affect a person’s ability to create and maintain healthy relationships and can cause problems even at the workplace.

Definition

The NYU Medical Centre defines a passive-aggressive individual as someone who “may appear to comply or act appropriately, but actually behaves negatively and passively resists.” Passive-aggressive actions can range from the relatively mild, such as making excuses for not getting together, to the very serious, such as sabotaging someone’s well-being and success.

Causes

The exact cause of passive-aggressive behaviour isn’t known. However, both biological and environmental factors may contribute to the development of passive-aggressive behaviour.

Environmental Factors –

One study discovered that people who had parents who were more controlling were more likely to become closed–off, withdrawn and cold in their adult relationships.

From a child’s point of view, outside stressors, anxieties and parenting principles are irrelevant. A child has no idea if his father’s bosses are piling on the pressure, or if the debts are mounting up and the bills can’t be paid. To a child, a parent’s anger is direct, personal and indicative of some sort of failure or disappointment. Children generally crave the approval of their parents. In a child’s world, the parental figures are all-knowing, all-seeing authority figures. The literal be-all and end-all of life. To be put down ignored or shouted at consistently can often be a very traumatic experience for a child.

Repression instead of expression

Eventually, the child begins to believe that what they have to say must be worthless and irrelevant, so they stop saying it. When their emotions are met with anger (parents often say ‘don’t answer back, or ‘don’t be cheeky’, when their children stand up to them, they learn to bottle up. As children grow into adults, these lessons stay with them. They may learn to fear speaking out in case their words are met with rejection or conflict, and they will eventually adopt the lessor role their parents (usually unintentionally) enforced. Essentially, passive-aggressive behaviour stems from trying and failing (in our eyes), to please the parents.

Secretive behaviour

Of course, hiding their desires and opinions won simply make them go away. Instead, children will naturally learn different, non-verbal and indirect ways of channelling how they really feel about things. His repression can be quite damaging and will often cause a more introverted, secretive character, who is more likely to lie, manipulate people, or ‘act out, the person they think they should be. For example, an adolescent who isn’t allowed to go out with her friends might sneak the money from her father’s wallet and tell him she s doing homework at a friend’s house.

Resentful feelings

This dishonesty and secretiveness are bound to make a child feel guilty. After all – we still want to please our parents. We have simply learned that the easiest way to keep them happy is to appear docile and accommodating, while simultaneously finding covert ways of acting out desires and expressing emotions. Eventually, we begin to resent having to be so secretive. These feelings of resentment end to stay with us throughout adulthood and manifest for all authority figures, who we can’t help but associate with, with all the times our ideas, jokes, opinions and desires were ignored or criticised.

Underlying health conditions

They may result in behaviour that appears similar to passive-aggressive behaviour. Some conditions associated with passive-aggressive behaviour include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorders, stress, etc.

Substance abuse and low self-esteem

They are also thought to lead to this type of behaviour.

Diagnostic Criteria

Most of us are guilty of displaying passive-aggressive behaviour occasionally in our day-to-day lives. It is, after all, a simple way of avoiding conflicts.

Individuals who are passive-aggressive usually agree to cooperate and then provide constant excuses not to follow through on promises or agreements. In many cases, the intention is to sabotage a project or task or to undermine authority.

While people with passive-aggressive tendencies see these behaviours as a way to avoid responsibility and express anger or resentment in a non-confrontational way, they are often surprised when they are no longer trusted or even liked. That’s when it’s time to seek treatment or counselling.

Symptoms

  • Putting things off
  • “forgetting” to do things others ask
  • Being stubborn
  • Disliking people who are in charge, or having a bad attitude about them
  • Complaining frequently
  • Working poorly or slowly on purpose
  • Feeling unappreciated
  • Blaming problems on others
  • Being irritable
  • Disliking the ideas of other people, even if they are useful
  • Arguing frequently

Management

Medications –

If an underlying health condition is causing your passive-aggressive behaviour, then that condition will be treated first. Your behaviours should improve with treatment.

Homoeopathy – in the treatment, the cause is first found out. Homoeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using a holistic approach. Some of the remedies that might be used are, Lycopodium, Naja, Staphysagria, etc.

Psychological Treatment –

You may also be referred to a therapist or other mental health professional for counselling. A therapist can help you identify passive-aggressive behaviour and teach you how to change your behaviour. They can also help you work through anger, resentment, or low self-esteem issues that may be contributing to your passive-aggressive behaviour. They may even teach you effective coping strategies, including how to look at a situation objectively and how to solve problems in a healthy way.

There are also some easy things you can do every day to eliminate your passive-aggressive behaviour. These include:

Ways to overcome your Own Passive-Aggressive Behaviour

  • Become aware of the underlying feelings causing your behaviour
  • Become aware of the impact of your behaviour and how your desire to defeat others, get back at them or annoy them, creates yet further uncomfortable feelings for yourself
  • Take responsibility of your actions and reactions
  • Try to no feel attacked when faced with problem but instead take an overall objective view of the situation
  • Learn to be assertive in expressing yourself. You have a right to your thoughts and feelings so communicate them with honesty and truth. And strengthen your relationships

Ways to cope with the Passive-Aggressive Behaviour of Others

  • Become aware of how passive aggression operate and try to be understanding towards your partner
  • Explain to your partner how their behaviour towards you if affecting you. Communicate camly without blaming – i.e. talk about how you feel and what you think without using language that will enflame the situation more. For example, you might say, “I feel upset by your behaviour” rather than “you have done this or that”
  • Be aware of your responses to others and yourself – do not blame yourself for the behaviour and reaction of other
  • Be honest about your part in the situation
  • If the aggressive behaviour of others continues to affect you in a negative way, set clear boundaries around yourself – rules for what you will and won’t accept. Stay strong and focused and get on with your life in a positive way.

Remember that you are in charge of your behaviour and you can change it at any time. 

Mind-Body Dynamics

We have all heard, somewhere or the other that in order to have a healthy life, there has to be a balance between our body, mind, and soul, and basically, these are the 3 basic conditions to be called a living human being.

So when we think about it carefully, we all know the body is the physical form in which we are. The soul/spirit / vital energy is the basic force that keeps us alive. And thirdly is our mind.

What is mind?

Well, to date no one has been able to define ‘mind’. It’s the totality of conscious and unconscious mental processes and activities. Our brain is an organ. And our mind operates this physical body through our physical organ called the brain and its nervous system. And that’s why we can get brain tumors and not mind tumors.

Mind and Body

Now let’s talk about our mind and our body.

We have all noticed the physiological co-relation of our mind/thoughts and body in our day-to-day life.

For example-

  • When we are anxious / nervous there is an increase adrenaline surge leading to a faster heart rate, palpitations, feeling sick, shaking (tremor), sweating, dry mouth, chest pain, headaches, a knot in the stomach, fast breathing etc.
  • When we are angry we feel our body muscles tighten, our blood pressure increase, hands tighten, nostrils widen, etc.
  • Likewise, suppose if we have a good positive thought; For example, on a regular day.. we just come to know that our favourite food is going to be served for dinner tonight / or we are going to  meet someone we like. When we hear any good news – it produces an emotion of happiness in us. And when we are happy, we feel like the energy level of your body has increased. We feel energetic. And when you feel energetic, our body movements change. We become more active and alert.

So you can now see, it all started from a thought. And most of the time every thought will give rise to an emotion. And when our emotions get involved, our energy levels also change accordingly, and finally, its effects are seen at the physical body level. So you see, whatever thought we have, it ultimately reaches our physical body level. So if we have a nice, positive, self-empowering thought, it will have a positive effect on our body. And if we have a negative thought, it will show negative effects on our body as well.

All these events happen on day to day basis. So as we are growing up, our mind learns to cope up with different types of thoughts and emotions. So we don’t really get much affected by every small thought that we get.

But when a particular thought becomes constant, so much so that it becomes our pattern of thinking, it will stimulate an intense emotion on a regular basis. It can happen due to any reason. Due to some past experiences, disappointments, losses, failures, etc., the situation can be anything. And if these emotions are not expressed, emotional blockages occur. The emotional energy is not only repressed and pushed under, but it also attacks itself to certain key organs, for example, colon, heart, kidneys, liver, etc., and these are used as new pathways for the expression of our feelings.

When under emotional pressure, certain patients react with an attack of asthma, colitis, angina, IBS, etc. depending upon which particular organ is sensitized and used as an outlet. These types of diseases are called “Psychosomatic Diseases”. When we view psychosomatic illness from the perspective of holistic health, we see that all illnesses can be psychosomatic because the body reflects our mental, emotional and spiritual health. So a physical pain is actually trying to tell us, that there is some pain at the thought and emotional level… so Pay Attention In the Now… that is how our mind starts talking in the language of our body.

Even as medical professionals we all have often seen that patients who gave up on life for one reason or other, despite the best medical treatment and technology, wither away and die. And patients who possess a strong will to live, usually fare much better.

We even have a lot of researches which proves the mind and body co-relation –

  • Harvard university researchers have found that some types of meditation can prolong life in the elderly.
  • In a study reported in The Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal, medical researchers found that a combination of diet, exercise, and the practice of stress reduction techniques can reverse blockages in coronary artery disease. Changes in diet and exercise alone were not sufficient to reverse heart disease. Stress reduction was a necessary factor, more important than originally believed. Dr. Claude Lenfant, a researcher at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, stated that these life style changes “can begin to reverse even severe coronary artery diseases after only one year, without the use of cholesterol lowering drugs.” Relaxation techniques are very important.

So you see, our day-to-day stress has a lot of effect on our physical body. So let’s first categorize these stressors that cause stress reactions in our body.

Types of Stress

  • Chemical – caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, sugar, drug use, high fat diet, household or environmental poisons such as air pollution, asbestos, heavy metals
  • Physical – physical inactivity or over activity, noise pollution, accidents, lack of sleep, barometric pressure changes
  • Emotional – fear, anger, guilt, sorrow, jealousy, hurt, anxiety

Furthermore, the effects of these stressors on our body are additive, which means that stress accumulates with each additional small level of stress. For example, one sip of coffee may not cause a stress reaction but one sip of coffee, plus one puff of a cigarette, plus one heated argument, plus inadequate sleep, plus a day of sitting at a computer can cause a physiological change in the body’s chemistry. In other words, it all adds up!

Excess physical, chemical, or emotional pressure causes a ‘stress reaction’ in the body. When you encounter a perceived threat, your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure, and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose, and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.

Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, reproductive system, and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation, and fear.

During prolonged stress, the body is forced to maintain higher levels of these natural chemicals which eventually results in burnout. This is where the term ‘adrenal fatigue’ comes from – the adrenal system literally becomes fatigued from having to operate in overdrive for long periods. How long we can operate under this stress reaction, all depends on our tolerance for stress or our ‘stress threshold’.

So Chronic stress occurs when there is a build-up of stress due to no outlet. And our bodies start to show the tell-tale signs. Some of the early signs and symptoms of stress are listed below –

Emotional symptoms of stress

  • Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
  • Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
  • Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
  • Avoiding others

Physical symptoms of stress

  • Low energy
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach, including diarrhoea, constipation, and nausea
  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
  • Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
  • Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
  • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth

Cognitive symptoms of stress

  • Constant worrying
  • Racing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness and disorganization
  • Inability to focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side

Behavioral symptoms of stress

  • Changes in appetite — either not eating or eating too much
  • Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
  • Exhibiting more nervous behaviours, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing

When these continue for a long time it may lead to chronic stress reactions leading to chronic illnesses.

Relationship between our thoughts and physical illness

The Co-relation of our thoughts and physical illness can also be seen in various types of diseases that we suffer from.

Like, most of the time, kids are very innocent, active, trying out new things, they express themselves totally, they are their true self in all aspects of their life. So the diseases which they get are different types of acute fevers, cold, and cough, loose motions, skin rashes, etc. diseases in which there are only physiological changes in the body.

As we start growing up, we get influenced by our surroundings, there are a lot of exam pressures, pressure to get a job, or you have just got married, taken a home loan, etc. lot of pressure of performance and struggle. So at this stage, the types of diseases which you get are Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc (slipped disc), asthma, PCOD, acne, appendicitis, migraine, acidity, acute pains, etc. where slight structural changes start occurring in the body, but the changes are reversible.

And as we further grow, we are doing good in our work, we are already married, have kids, nothing new happening in life and by now we have learned the tricks. We have learned from our experiences, so have become a little manipulative and secretive, we don’t express ourselves easily because by now we have achieved a good position and impression in whatever we are doing, so we tend to mask our emotions. So a feeling of stagnancy creeps in. Now our life becomes a routine. So now, the diseases which we get, are those in which there is accumulation and stagnancy/laziness. eg. Stones – kidney and gall bladder, warts, piles, increase cholesterol levels – heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, obesity, depression, gouts, arthritis, sexual dysfunctions, etc. where there are structural changes which may or may not be reversible.

And now as you start getting older, your physical strength starts coming down, you have already retired, your children have taken over your role of being the provider. So you start feeling there is no purpose in your life, you have nobody to talk out your feelings, you feel lonely. You start feeling useless and disgusted. You have suicidal thoughts. This is when the destructive phase sets in. So now you get diseases in which there is the destruction of the physical structure, where the changes are irreversible. eg – cirrhosis of the liver, Alzheimer’s, ulcerative colitis, fistulas, severe arthritis, cancers, organ failures, non-healing ulcers, autoimmune diseases, gangrene, etc.

So you see, it all depends on our thoughts. And depending on our thoughts, any disease can happen at any age. So when we are suffering from a particular disease, we not only have to treat it at the physical level but also at the emotional level. And both are important. If we treat only the physical illness, the emotions will find another more important organ to express themselves. Similarly, while dealing with the thoughts we also have to deal with the physical part. For example, in obesity, at the mental level, we have to deal with the thoughts and the emotions behind it. And at the same time, at the physical level, we also have to exercise well.

Now whatever phase you are in, there is nothing good or bad about it. It is a process of growing. Each phase is important. While we are in this physical form, whatever is created will be destroyed someday. It’s a cycle. Only when we complete one cycle, will we be able to go to the next cycle. So whatever phase of thought you have right now, accept it as a process of growing up. And deal with your emotions in a healthy way… 

Healthy ways to deal with our stress/emotions

Ways to deal with our emotions are – Deep sleep, exercise, physical detox, verbal expression – talk it out to someone who will listen to you, cry, hobbies, laugh, travel to different places, meditation, and relaxation.

There are different types and forms of meditation. Practice what appeals to you. Let me show you a simple daily meditation. You can do it, any time of the day. But it’s better if you do it in the early morning or just before you sleep at night.

“In a quiet room, take a comfortable position, with your legs straight, on a chair or lie down on the floor. Your palms open facing upwards. Whenever you feel ready, take three deep breathes, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. And each time you exhale say the word “relax” to yourself, three times in your mind. And then return back to your normal breathing. And now start observing your breathing. Observe the pace and rhythm of your breath. Observe how far the air travels in your body. Observe the temperature of the air that enters your nostrils. And gradually feel your body relaxing from your head to your toes. Give yourself permission to relax. And then imagine a white divine healing shaft of light, coming from the sky and falling on your head and passing through your body.

Now, think about your day. Just observe your thoughts as they come … for some time.

And then, shift your focus to all the good things that happened on that day … for some time.

Be grateful for all those good experiences.

Express love, towards yourself and the people around you.

After this, if you want, repeat an affirmation that appeals to you. Whenever you feel you are done, slowly open your eyes. Move your hands and legs and come back to the real world. You are ready to start your day with new freshness.”

Thank You!

Knowing Depression

According to WHO, Globally, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. It has been identified that Unipolar Depression is the 4th cause of DALY (Disability – Adjusted Life Year) in all ages and 2nd cause in the age group of 15 – 44 years. Unipolar Depression is also the 1st cause of YLD (Years of Life Lived with Disability) in all ages. The comparison was with all medical disorders, and not only psychiatric disorders. This shows how widely it affects us. But sadly, most of the cases just go unattended, due to lack of knowledge.

Definition

“Clinical Depression is a state of feeling sad and depressed for weeks or months on end — not just a passing blue mood of a day or two.” It isn’t the same as depression caused by a loss, such as the death of a loved one, or a medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder.

Diagnostic Criteria

Among the criteria for a major depressive disorder, at least five of the nine symptoms below should be present for two weeks or more, most of the time almost every day, and this is a change from his/her prior level of functioning. One of the symptoms must be either (a) depressed mood, or (b) loss of interest.

  1. Depressed mood most of the day. for children and adolescents, this may be irritable mood.
  2. Diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities.
  3. Significant unintentional weight loss or gain.
  4. insomnia or sleeping too much or waking up 2 hours early than usual time.
  5. Agitation or psycho motor retardation noticed by others.
  6. Fatigue or less of energy.
  7. feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
  8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death.

Signs And Symptoms

Psychological symptoms include:

  • continuous low mood or sadness
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • having low self-esteem 
  • feeling tearful
  • feeling guilt-ridden
  • feeling irritable and intolerant of others 
  • having no motivation or interest in things
  • finding it difficult to make decisions
  • not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • feeling anxious or worried 
  • having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself

Physical symptoms include:

  • moving or speaking more slowly than usual 
  • change in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased) 
  • constipation 
  • unexplained aches and pains
  • lack of energy or lack of interest in sex (loss of libido)
  • changes in menstrual cycle
  • disturbed sleep (for example, finding it hard to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning)

Social symptoms include:

  • not doing well at work
  • taking part in fewer social activities and avoiding contact with friends
  • neglecting your hobbies and interests
  • having difficulties in your home and family life

Suicidal Risk

Suicidal risk is much more in the presence of the following factors :

  • Presence of marked hopelessness
  • Male; age > 40 years; Unmarried, divorced / widowed
  • Written / verbal communication of suicidal intent and/or plan
  • Early stages of depression
  • Recovering from depression (at the peak of depression, the patient is usually either too depressed or too retarded to commit suicide)
  • Period of 3 months from recovery

Latest Classification Of Depression (According to DSM-5)

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder:

Children with severe and recurrent temper outbursts that are grossly out of proportion in intensity or duration to the situation. This occurs frequently (3 or more times per week). And also interfere with their ability to function at home, in school, or with their friends.

Major Depressive Disorder, Single and Recurrent Episodes :

It is also known as unipolar depression. The three types of depressive episodes are single, recurrent, and seasonally patterned

  • Single – Single episode depression means that a person experiences finite depression, according to the criteria for diagnosis, but does not suffer from it again.
  • Recurrent depressive disorder – this disorder involves repeated (at least 2 episodes) depressive episodes with at least two months in between in which no major depressive episode was present.

An individual with a mild depressive episode will have some difficulty in continuing with ordinary work and social activities, but will probably not cease to function completely. During a severe depressive episode, it is very unlikely that the sufferer will be able to continue with social, work, or domestic activities, except to a very limited extent.

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Seasonal affective disorder which starts same time, every year. Usually, symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping their energy and making them feel moody.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia) :

Persistent depressive symptoms last for more than 2 years (One year in children and adolescents) but are not severe enough to be labeled as even hypomanic or mild depressive episodes.

People who suffer from this may be described as having a gloomy personality, constantly complaining, or incapable of having fun. It may significantly interfere with their relationships, school, work, and daily activities.


Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder :

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a more severe form of a premenstrual syndrome characterized by significant premenstrual mood disturbance, often with prominent mood reactivity and irritability. Symptoms of PMDD can emerge 1-2 weeks preceding menses and typically resolve with the onset of menses. By definition, this mood disturbance results in marked social or occupational impairment, with its most prominent effects on interpersonal functioning.

In PMDD, however, at least one of these emotional and behavioral symptoms stands out:

  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Anxiety or tension
  • Extreme moodiness
  • Marked irritability or anger

Postpartum Depression:

Postpartum depression is moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later. Most of the time, it occurs within the first 3 months after delivery.

Mothers experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily care activities for themselves or for others.


Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder:

Depression may be caused or precipitated by the use or abuse of substances such as drugs, alcohol, medications, or exposure to toxins.

Nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have major or clinical depression.

The essential feature of a drug-induced mood disorder is the onset of symptoms in the context of drug use, intoxication, or withdrawal.

Criteria for Diagnosis of Substance-Induced Mood Disorders –

  • A prominent and persistent disturbance in mood predominates, characterised by (a) a depressed mood or markedly diminished interest or pleasure in activities, or (b) an elevated, expansive, or irritable mood.
  • there is evidence from the history, physical examination, or laboratory findings that the symptoms developed during or within a month after substance intoxication or withdrawal, or medication use, is etiologically related to the mood disturbance.
  • The disturbance is not better explained by a mood disorder.
  • The disturbance did not occur exclusively during delirium
  • The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment.

Depressive Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition

Depressive disorders due to Another Medical Conditions, are those which are not the result of some mental disorder; they are, instead, a consequence of medical conditions that are not always linked to depression

Depression can stem from a fairly broad spectrum of medical conditions, from brain injury to Huntington’s disease, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, lupus, multiple sclerosis, etc.

Bipolar

Bipolar is different from depression, but it is included in this list because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.

During a manic episode, a person might impulsively quit a job, charge up huge amounts on credit cards, or feel rested after sleeping two hours. During a depressive episode, the same person might be too tired to get out of bed, and full of self-loathing and hopelessness over being unemployed and in debt.

Common signs and symptoms of mania include

  • Feeling unusually ‘high; and optimistic OR extremely irritable
  • Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities or powers
  • Sleeping very little, but feeling extremely energetic
  • Talking so rapidly that others can’t keep up
  • Racing thoughts; jumping quickly from one idea to the next
  • Highly distractible, unable to concentrate
  • Impaired judgement and impulsiveness
  • Acting recklessly without thinking about the consequences
  • Delusion and hallucination (in severe cases)

Common symptoms of bipolar depression include –

  • Feeling hopeless, sad, or empty
  • Irritability
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Physical and mental sluggishness
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Sleep problems
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Causes –

  • Genetic – it has been observed that genetic factors are very important in making an individual vulnerable to mood disorders, particularly so in bipolar mood disorders. However environmental factors are also probably important.
  • Biochemical – abnormality in the monoamines catecholamine (norepinephrine and dopamine) and serotonin] system in the central nervous system of our brain at one or more sites.
  • Other medical conditions like hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease.
  • Major events physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, Sadness or grief from the death or loss of a loved one, moving, losing a job or income, getting divorced, or retiring. Even good events such as starting a new job, graduating, or getting married can lead to depression.
  • Cognitive and behavioural Theories include depressive negative cognition (cognitive theory), learned helplessness (animal model), and anger directed inwards. These concepts are useful in the psychological treatment of mild to moderate depression.

Management

  1. Medications –
    • Modern medicines – antidepressants, antipsychotics and other mood stabilizers are used. At times stereotactic subcaudate tractotomy or stereotactic limbic leucotomy are also done.
    • Homoeopathy – Homoeopathy is one of the safest and effective mode of treatment for all types of Depressions, esp. in the early stages. Homeopathy can take care of various symptoms of depression.

In the treatment, the cause is first found out. Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using a holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the signs and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat depression but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several medicines are available for depression treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, condition, sensation, and modalities of the complaints.

  1. Psychosocial Treatment –
    • Hypnotherapy – in mild to moderate cases along with appropriate medications, this therapy helps the person to correct depressive negative thought patterns & emotions and replace them with new cognitive and behavioural responses, recognise his interpersonal stressors, etc. However Hypnotherapy is less effective in cases of sever Bipolar and Schizophrenia
    • Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy – aim at changing the personality itself rather than just ameliorating the symptoms
    • Behaviour Therapy – modalities like social skills training, self-control therapy, problem solving techniques, assertiveness training, activity scheduling and decision making techniques are used.
    • Group Therapy – very useful method for psychoeducation
    • Family And Marital Therapy – helps by educating the family about the nature of the illness and usefulness of the medications. And also to decrease the intrafamilial and interpersonal difficulties, and to reduce or modify stressors, which may help in a faster and more complete recovery.