remembrance day, poppy, poppies-3811394.jpg

This Remembrance Day Veterans Are Being Encouraged To Get Support For Their Mental Health

 

Addressing the Invisible Wounds of Combat through Innovative Approaches

The mental health crisis among veterans, particularly those who have experienced combat, is a growing concern that demands urgent attention. A staggering report from a recent JAMA Neurology study reveals a more than 10-fold increase in suicide rates among U.S. veterans from 2006 to 2020, underscoring the inadequacy of current treatment strategies.

In the U.K., the situation is similarly alarming. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) remains a prevalent issue among veterans. Statistics show a significant number of these brave individuals have PTSD, a condition often exacerbated by their experiences in combat. The National Health Service (NHS) strives to provide support, yet the complexity of mental health challenges in veterans calls for a multi-faceted approach.

As someone who has worked closely with veterans, I’ve seen firsthand the profound impact of combat on mental health. Some challenges they face are the memories of lost comrades, the strain on personal and professional relationships, and the struggle to reintegrate into civilian life. My approach involves talking therapies, which have proven beneficial in managing these difficult memories and experiences. These therapies are not just about coping with past traumas; they’re about rebuilding a life with new strategies for wellbeing.

The Benefits of Self-Care in Veteran Mental Health:

  • Meditation: Enhances resilience by developing the ability to cope with stress and recover from adversity. Regular meditation practice leads to mental flexibility and a healthier stress response.
  • Gratitude Exercises: Strengthens relationships by fostering a positive outlook that enhances empathy and deepens connections with others.
  • Counselling or Talking Therapies: Improves self-esteem by providing safe spaces for self-exploration, leading to greater self-awareness and confidence.
  • Talking to Friends and Family: Boosts physical health by providing emotional support and reducing feelings of isolation, which can positively impact physical wellbeing.
  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices help in managing symptoms of anxiety and depression, contributing to overall emotional wellbeing and mental health stability.

Self-care strategies like meditation, mindfulness, and expressing gratitude daily have shown remarkable results.

They are encouraging veterans to maintain open communication with trusted friends and family members, which further aids in their mental health journey. The Armed Forces Covenant in the U.K. reinforces this need, ensuring that the armed forces community receives the same standard of healthcare as any other citizen. Information leaflets published by the MOD offer guidance on how veterans can access these services.

The Mental Health Foundation highlights that depression, anxiety, and alcohol problems are common among personnel and veterans, in addition to PTSD. Recent studies, such as those conducted by the King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR), suggest an increasing trend in help-seeking behaviour, especially among women.

Innovative perspectives like the brain energy theory of mental illness provide new hope. This theory offers a different understanding of mental health issues, potentially leading to more effective treatments.

Our collective responsibility is to ensure our veterans receive the care and support they deserve. We can significantly improve our veterans’ mental health and wellbeing by integrating traditional medical approaches with holistic self-care practices and new scientific insights.

Contact Information for Support:

Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Let’s work together to support our veterans in their journey towards healing and resilience.

mums_birthday

Remembering the Windrush Generation Celebrating 75 Years of Resilience Triumph and Overcoming Injustice

Seventy-five years ago, an epochal event unfolded as the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury in Essex, marking a monumental moment in British history. It was carrying within it a wave of change – hundreds of immigrants from the Caribbean, called the Windrush generation, who responded to the post-war call to help rebuild the nation.

The tale of resilience and contribution begins here and is intertwined with personal narratives of people like my grandfather and parents who made this brave journey towards hope and opportunity.

My parents were among the many who made the journey to the UK. My mother initially settled in London and moved to Sheffield to join my dad—countless stories of courage and determination define this remarkable generation. Like many of their peers, they grappled with the unknown, battled the odds, and committed to the promise of a brighter future in a new homeland.

However, this new chapter of multiculturalism in Britain was fraught with systemic challenges. This was starkly highlighted during the Windrush scandal.

Despite their legal status and contribution to British society, the Windrush generation faced unjust treatment. They were wrongly detained, threatened with deportation, and denied access to healthcare due to bureaucratic issues.

In the 1960s and 70s Britain, hundreds of black children were labelled as “educationally subnormal” and wrongly sent to special schools for pupils deemed to have low intelligence.

A significant stride towards justice was the Commission for Racial Equality investigation. The commission’s comprehensive report spotlighted the institutional failures that led to the mistreatment of the Windrush generation and recommended changes to prevent such future injustices. This report was an essential first step towards acknowledging the contributions and rights of the Windrush generation in the UK.

Throughout these hardships, the Windrush generation displayed a resilience that inspires us. Take, for instance, actor David Harewood OBE, whose personal journey of overcoming a psychotic breakdown to achieve success is a testament to the spirit of this generation. His candid story, which he shares in his powerful Richard Dimbelby lecture on struggle and triumph, serves as a beacon of hope for future generations, encapsulating the heart of the Windrush narrative – endurance in the face of adversity.

Wrongful deportations compounded the pain of the Windrush generation. This was particularly true for those who faced mental health challenges upon their arrival in the UK. The lack of adequate support systems and understanding of these issues added another difficulty for these immigrants.

In 2019, in response to the Windrush scandal, the government established the Windrush Compensation Scheme. But the scheme, despite its noble intentions, has faced criticism for its slow implementation and insufficient support, leaving many affected individuals still awaiting their due compensation.

The 75th anniversary of the Windrush generation’s arrival in the UK presents an opportune moment to celebrate their enduring legacy and highlight the systemic issues they faced.

Commemorative events such as the civic reception in Sheffield, which my mother attended, are a testament to their societal contributions. However, many of the generation’s community was unaware of such events, signalling the need for more comprehensive outreach and communication efforts, highlighted in the Sheffield Star by Carol Stewart, whose mother or close friends of my mother were not included until I made them aware.

Reflecting on the experiences of the Windrush generation, there are five critical actions the government needs to undertake in my opinion:

  1. Reform the Windrush Compensation Scheme: Fast-track the compensation process, ensuring those affected receive due compensation without delay.
  2. Improve Legal Assistance: Enhance the provision of free legal support to help Windrush generation members and others navigate the complexities of immigration law.
  3. Promote Equality in Immigration Policies: Review and reform immigration laws to safeguard equal treatment of all individuals, irrespective of their origin.
  4. Foster Education and Awareness: Incorporate the history and contributions of the Windrush generation into the national curriculum, fostering understanding, empathy, and appreciation amongst future generations.
  5. Address Visa Costs: The high cost of visa processing fees must be reassessed to encourage diversity and offer equal opportunities.

As we commemorate this landmark 75th anniversary, we honour the Windrush generation’s resilience and contributions to Britain and pledge to rectify the injustices they suffered.

This occasion is a testament to their enduring legacy and a clarion call for systemic reform to prevent future injustices. It’s an opportunity for us to ensure that their story continues to be told, their contributions recognised, and their experiences used to forge a path to a more inclusive and equitable society.

 

Uncertain Future

Dealing with Uncertainty During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Uncertain FutureWe all experience different levels of uncertainty every day.  While many things are outside our control, our mindset is key to coping with difficult circumstances and facing the unknown.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People author Stephen Covey uses a helpful framework that provides clarity on what you cannot change or influence on matters of concern.  He emphasises that by focusing on things that can affect, we can get done, become more effective, and increase satisfaction in our daily life.

Covey’s idea, we each have a Circle of Concern which includes everything we care about and a smaller inner Circle of Influence that encompasses those things that we care about and can do something.

Heightened uncertainty

Self-doubt is all around us, never more so than today.  The present-day COVID-19 pandemic has intensified uncertainty over relationships, careers, finances, physical and mental health.  Yet as humans, we crave security, we want to feel safe and have a sense of control over our health, wellbeing, and lives.

Fear and uncertainty can leave you feeling depressed, stressed, and helpless over the direction of your life.  It can drain you mentally, physically and emotionally and trap you in a descending spiral of never-ending “what-ifs”, and worst-case scenarios about what the future might bring.

Coping with the threat of uncertainty

While we may not wish to accept it, uncertainty is intrinsic and an unavoidable part of our everyday lives, and while we have influence and control over many, we cannot control everything that happens.

Worrying about it all the time deprives your enjoyment in the present, drains your energy, and for some interrupts sleep.  Then there are healthier ways to cope with uncertainty—and that starts with altering the way you reflect about things.

Reduce your anxiety and stress levels

Taking measures to reduce your anxiety and stress levels can help you to interrupt the downward pattern of negative thinking, find inner peace, and cope better with the uncertainty in your life.

The following tips can help you:

  • Expand your stress management awareness by understanding all four approaches for coping with stress: Avoid, Alter, Accept and Adapt.
  • When your levels of stress surpass your ability to cope, you need to restore the balance by decreasing the stressors or improving your ability to manage or both.

Consider using one of the four A’s: Avoid, Alter, Accept or Adapt.

Avoid – Did you know; you can avoid a lot of stress?

Plan, take control of your surroundings, avoid people who upset you and learn to say no.

Alter – Communicate your feelings openly, manage your time better, at workgroup together similar tasks.

Accept – Occasionally we may have no choice but to accept the way things they are.  Therefore, try to:

  • Phone or schedule a coffee break with an understanding colleague.
  • Practice positive self-talk. It’s easy to lose that when you’re stressed.  One negative thought can lead to many more, and soon you’ve created a mental avalanche, learn from your mistakes.

Adapt – Practice thought-stopping – Stop negative thoughts immediately, try looking at your situation from a new viewpoint.  Adopt a mantra such as, “I can beat this,” and mentally repeat it in challenging situations.

Look at the bigger picture by asking yourself, “Will the problem matter in a year?” The answer is often no.  Realising that this makes a stressful situation seem less upsetting.

Focus on controlling things that are in your span of control irrespective of your reservations, fears or personal circumstances.  Rather than worrying about what you are unable to control, learn to focus your attention on actioning things that are within your gift.

For example, if you have been furloughed, facing redundancy or going through a restructuring process at work.  You’re still in control over how much energy you put into searching for employment online, sending out your CV, registering your details with recruitment agencies or networking with your connections.

By focusing on the facets of a problem that you can control, you’ll change from unproductive worrying and reflecting into active problem-solving.

Accepting uncertainty

No matter how much you attempt to eliminate doubt and unpredictability from your life, in truth, you already accept a lot of uncertainty daily. Each time you leave your house, take control of the wheel of a car or go for a swim, you’re accepting a level of uncertainty.  You’re trusting that you don’t trip up on a paving stone, the traffic will stop, and the correct levels of chemicals are in the swimming pool.  The likelihood of something terrible happening in these settings is small; therefore, you accept the risk and move on without requiring certainty.

Uncertainty tends to be self-generated, by worrying excessively or a bleak outlook. However, some uncertainty is intensified by external sources.  A fine example of this is social media stories that focus on worst-case scenarios, amid rumours and half-truths, plus speaking with friends who may be anxious can all fuel your fears and uncertainties.

By recognising your triggers, you can take action to avoid or reduce your exposure to them.

Identify when you feel the need for certainty

Please take note of when you start to feel anxious or in fear about a situation, develop a feeling like the circumstances are far worse than it is. Or begin to worry about the what-ifs.

A list of more tell-tale signs:

  • Look for the physical signs that you’re feeling anxious
  • Notice the tension in your neck or shoulders
  • The onset of a headache
  • A nervous or empty feeling in your stomach
  • Shortness of breath

Tips on staying in the present moment 

If you happen to spend a lot of your day focusing on the past, or you find it challenging to concentrate on your future.  And you think this may have a negative impact on your life then consider the tips offered by Jack Canfield. in this video. Jack Canfield is an American author, of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, which has sold over 500 million copies in print in over 40 languages.

If you know anyone in your world, friends, neighbours or work colleagues who you think would benefit from spending some time with me, please ask them to get in touch. I’d be delighted to arrange a free 30-minute consultation.

Telephone 07967 052585 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk

International Stress Conference

How To Actively Take Control of Your Time and Your Life 2019

Price: £27 EarlyBird booking if you book before 29th December 2018, price will then increase to £47

Do you want to get more done in 2019?

Are you ready to take more control of your life and reduce or even completely stop procrastinating?

Or have you been feeling that it’s about time I made significant progress towards my life’s ambitions?

Then come to our workshop in Sheffield where we will learn and discover methods on how to make 2019 one our best years yet!

Price includes:

  • Entrance to the 3-hour event
  • Receive 7 Top Tips packed with nuggets of information that will transform your life and help you follow through with your New Year’s resolution
  • Individual (one-to-one) 40-minute follow-up coaching session either face-to-face or Skype after the event
  • Refreshments and snacks at the event
  • Networking opportunity and maybe finding an accountability partner to keep each other on track
  • Demonstration of benefit of holistic therapy treatment

We all know that everyone makes resolutions and commitments to things that they want to change or otherwise improve. Everything from losing weight, giving up smoking, stop gambling, making more money, finding true love, or getting a better job. And of course, around the holidays people get really excited setting goals. But unfortunately, statistics show it only takes 2-3 weeks before almost 80% of them give up!

That’s right. Nearly 80% of the people who said they want to make significant changes in their life never actually do it. So why do so many people give up? We’ll discuss that as well at the workshop.

Just look at Levi Roots. Musician, restaurateur and philanthropist, who was guest speaker in Sheffield recently. He said, mentors (coaches) can help to offer a sounding board to explore new ideas, as well as helping to connect business owners with the support and advice they need.

He said: “After appearing on Dragon’s Den my career took off in so many exciting directions and at an accelerated pace. Once again, the coaching I received from Peter Jones proved to be instrumental in the development of my business. His guidance and business expertise were crucial to the final outcome.”

We don’t all have businesses, but we’re all looking to keep becoming better.

Also, a client who was a member of the 2018 workshop wrote: “I am delighted to have been introduced to Mike, he was brilliant. The reason I contacted him was to seek advice about the broken relationship between my partner and I. Mike was not only a very good listener, he also made me feel at ease, whilst he uncovered some of the issues which I had which were underlying. This was by talking through with me about the situation, which was seemingly beyond repair. However following Mike’s coaching, my partner and I have become a lot closer than ever before. We now enjoy the most fantastic loving relationship. I am over the moon and the last few weeks have been amazing! Thanks so much from us both Mike.”

This is why we are offering this workshop in Sheffield, so you can witness first-hand the benefits of having that little extra bit of help and support towards your goals.

Some of the things we’ll be going through are:

  • Addressing any negative emotions, you are feeling
  • Getting clarity on what you want from life
  • Identifying a better career path
  • Working through relationship issues
  • Support on improving your health or losing weight
  • Stop smoking with hypnosis
  • Figuring out why you are struggling financially
  • Getting unstuck from any situation that may be holding you back
  • Ridding yourself of fears and phobias
  • Fear of flying

But please be aware that we can only accommodate a limited number of people throughout the day. Because we are providing focused sessions, we want to make sure we have enough time to help everyone who signs up. So, if you are ready to tackle the New Year and stick to your goals and commitments, make sure to sign up early!

Looking forward to meeting and supporting you as best as I can.

Click here to reserve your place.

Life coach Sheffield, stress management Sheffield

Five Strategies to Live in The Present, Connect with People, And Enjoy the Life You’re Actually Living

Life coach Sheffield, stress help SheffieldHave you ever felt like a whole month just completely passed you by and you hardly remember even being there or where it’s gone? Or maybe you’ve been wanting to achieve something for a long time but you always seem to procrastinate and never get it done. If this sounds familiar, then you, my friend, need to harness the power of the present moment.

Here’s 5 tips to help you do that:

1.     Eliminate distractions which affect your health and wellbeing

Manage your life health and wellbeing, diet and exercise to boost your energy. Turn off the news on TV. Set up a bedtime routine, which will improve your sleep, and create a fitness routine. These 5 actions will give you a clearer mind and energy to do go about your daily life. They will make you appreciate relaxation, your health and wellness. Achieving your goals in the long-term perspective is what you want but burning out quickly can increase your levels of stress and this is what you get without sufficient sleep, lack of a healthy diet and insufficient exercise.

2.     Don’t let fear pull you into the future

Obsessive thinking about the future is a sure way to lose track of the present.

There is a one kind of feeling inside each of us that stops us from achieving our goals and dreams – a feeling that can suppress you and stop you from being who you want to be.

The word I am talking about is FEAR. What is fear? FEAR stands for

FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL

Why are we afraid to reach for the dreams? Are they too unreal? Or maybe we are not in a position to achieve them?

Some of my friends and colleagues are going through a difficult time in their lives. Their discomfort is not about paying bills although money could be tight.

Fortunately, they can take care of the essentials. What has them worried is the loss of direction and what the outcome of Brexit could mean to them.

When life was going well, everything seemed to be in order. Now that the security rug due to redundancies, shorter working hours and low annual pay increases, the rug has been pulled out from under them, they feel vulnerable and can’t seem to find their bearings.

It is okay to question your life’s purpose. It’s okay to say, “I’m not sure where the future will take me, but I will learn new skills if need be, plan and secure my future.” You aren’t in crisis. You don’t have to physically move to experience your next stage of life. In fact, take time out, meditate, create a dream board and reflect. Take advantage of the pause.

Most of us look too hard to find a unique, profound, and tangible reason for our existence. Instead, seek to discover everything that makes you feel alive and connected in the here and now.

Choosing to find a sense of direction over a destination can make your life easier. You can quit feeling disappointed with your life or afraid for your future.

When you release the need to know how your life will turn out, you live for a feeling instead of a goal. You appreciate what sparks

3.     Try the Savouring Strategy

Take notice of something particularly positive – something that makes you feel good. It might be the sound of your favourite recording artist, the majesty of a tree in your garden, or the chirping of birds as they fly around in a park. Absorb yourself in the details. Notice any positive feelings present within you – such as peacefulness, energylovevitality, gratitude, hopeinterest, or other feelings. Tune in closely to one of these feelings. Feel it fully as you enjoy the nature scene. Stick with that positive emotion. Appreciate how good it feels.  Extend it by breathing with it. It might feel as if your breath is enhancing your feeling, deepening it. If the feeling fades, turn to another positive feeling or to another pleasurable part of the nature scene.

Not all moments are savour worthy — but the ones that are should be savoured immediately.

4.     Use breathing as a catalyst for the present moment

The breath is the simplest and most powerful way to stay present in every moment because the breath is always present!  We can’t breathe into the future or the past. There is always only one breath and it’s happening right now

By focusing your attention on your breath every day, you help your mind to slow down and catch up with the present. You’ll start to notice your surroundings and time seems to slow down. At that moment, the world is your oyster and you have full capacity to take action and design the life you really want.

5.     Enjoy the ride

We often get so caught up with achieving something or becoming someone that we forget to enjoy the journey. And truthfully, the journey is the reason why you!

When you finally make it to your goal, if you do, you come to find out that you now want something else, and the journey continues to unfold. You never really reach a final point where you’ve done it all and you feel complete. There are just endless present moments to enjoy, unfolding infinitely.

So, take the time to pause throughout your day, take a deep breath, let go of the past, set your sights on a possible goal, then take your time walking every single step of the journey that lies ahead of you.


Mike Lawrence is a life coach in Sheffield, offering holistic therapies that include how to treat stress via stress management techniques.

stop smoking hypnosis Sheffield hypnotherapy

Stoptober – Your Natural Guide to Stopping Smoking In October

stop smoking hypnosis Sheffield hypnotherapyStoptober is a health initiative run by the NHS, encouraging people to quit smoking for 28 days during the month of October. The premise is that after abstaining for this period of time, individuals are five times more likely to quit smoking permanently. Therefore, feel healthier, save money and improving overall health and wellbeing.

But as any smoker who’s quit or tried to quit before, smoking can be a difficult habit to kick so where do you start?

How do I stop smoking? Where do I start?

  • Choose a date to stop and commit to it
  • Tell friends, family and colleagues that you’re quitting
  • Get professional advice from your local pharmacist, GP, or therapist
  • Don’t worry if you don’t succeed at your first attempt – it can take several attempts to quit smoking but the health benefits of becoming a non-smoker means that it’s worthwhile
  • Reward yourself for quitting – with the money you’ll save by becoming a non-smoker!”

What treatments can help me quit smoking?

There are several types of treatment available, including nicotine replacement in the form of patches, gum, inhaler, nasal spray, microtablets or lozenges.

Prescription pills such as Zyban or Champix and e-cigarettes are also good stop-smoking treatments, and e-cigarettes if other treatments haven’t worked for you.

Can hypnotherapy stop me craving cigarettes?

Hypnotherapy (or hypnosis) is a popular treatment for quitting smoking. Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit. Willpower, it turns out, counts for very little.

‘Combination’ techniques, combining, for example, exercise and breathing therapy, came second with a success rate of 29 per cent. Smoke aversion, in which smokers have their own warm, stale cigarette smoke blown back into their faces, achieved a 25 per cent success rate, followed by acupuncture at 24 per cent.

The least successful method turned out to be advice from GPs, which appears to convince virtually no one to give up. Sheer willpower proved little better, with a success rate of only 6 per cent. Self-help, in the form of books or mail-order advice, achieved modest success – around 9 per cent, while nicotine gum was a little better at 10 per cent.

In the New Scientist report David Pollock, director of ASH, said he was surprised by the success of hypnosis, which anecdotal evidence had suggested was not very effective. One organisation not surprised by the results is the British Society of Medical & Dental Hypnosis. Christopher Pattinson, the society’s academic chairman, said that current hypnosis techniques are a far cry from their
popular image of music-hall tricks involving swinging fob watches. The latest relaxation techniques achieve success rates of up to 60 per cent from a single session, he said.

Nonetheless, hypnotherapy isn’t licensed for NHS use, although lots of smokers try it and the majority of clients that visit Mike Lawrence succeed in quitting.

To find out if you can see a hypnotherapist on the NHS in your area, ask your GP or local clinical commissioning group (CCG)

Are e-cigarettes bad for you? Can they help me quit?

“E-cigarettes are believed by most experts to be a lot safer than smoking tobacco products. Most contain nicotine and so inhaling from an e-cigarette will replace the effect of nicotine in cigarettes, which accounts for their addictiveness. However 2018 in a March study published in Plos One suggests E-cigarettes cause more harm than good.

So, e-cigarettes can help you quit conventional cigarettes and can be especially useful in the early stages of quitting. However, because the long-term health effects of vaping are not yet known, the prolonged use of e-cigarettes is not recommended.

For more information, help and support please take a look at the stop smoking page, or if you’ve tried to give up and started again, read some of the testimonials from people who are now non-smokers click on the link Quit Smoking Now.

 

 

 

 

seasonal affective disorder stress management Sheffield help

Seasonal Affective Disorder

seasonal affective disorder stress management Sheffield helpMany of us begin our day in the winter with a commute to work under the cover of darkness, before sitting inside under artificial lighting only to head back to the refuge of our home again in the dark. These shorter days, accompanied by a gloomier weather forecast, can lead you to become somewhat less cheerful than you are during the spring or summer. But this is much more than just the ‘winter blues’.

Recognised as a depressive illness linked to a lack of sunlight and shorter periods of daylight. Norman E. Rosenthal a South African author, psychiatrist and scientist in the 1980s first described winter depression or seasonal affective disorder and pioneered the use of light therapy for its treatment.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short, or the Winter Blues, is officially recognised by Doctors and Psychiatrists as a medical condition that is thought to affect 2 million people in the UK and Ireland and over 12 Million people across Northern Europe although from 10 to 20% of patients do not have any kind of symptoms related to it. It is a problem that affects more women than men, especially those who are between 40 and 55 years.

In the UK and Ireland we are more susceptible to SAD as we are situated in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere. As a result, we experience large changes in light levels between the summer and winter. We also experience periods of dark, gloomy weather which can reduce the amount of light we receive and therefore have a profound effect on our body clocks.

A combination of a change in seasonal light, our hectic lifestyles and the periods of darker days and poorer weather, can result in dramatic effects on our circadian

rhythms. As a direct consequence of these environmental and lifestyle factors more people than ever before are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder

The human body uses light cues, such as those provided by the sun, to time certain functions. Properly timed rhythms regulate mood, sleep, wake, appetite, digestion and energy. These daily internal cycles called ‘Circadian Rhythms’ sometimes fall out of time, meaning an unregulated body clock, resulting in the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Now with our hectic lifestyles, we often miss critical signals from the sun, and our body clocks suffer. Without proper morning light, our body clocks don’t produce the hormones we need to wake up and feel active. When we miss daytime light, we slump and become less productive. At night, we usually stay up hours after dark, causing sleep and mood problems. In fact, how we sleep, how active we are, and how we feel are all regulated by our body clock.

When your body clock doesn’t get the right light signals, you can feel tired, moody, and sluggish. But when our body clock does get the right type of light, your body produces active, energetic hormones and suppresses the negative, withdrawal ones. These hormones will help reset your sleep, mood, and energy cycles, so you sleep better at night and feel great during the day.

Examples of SAD Symptoms include:

  • Lethargy, lacking in energy, unable to carry out a normal routine
  • Sleep problems, finding it hard to stay awake during the day, but having disturbed nights
  • Loss of libido not interested in physical contact
  • Anxiety, inability to cope
  • Social problems, irritability, not wanting to see people
  • Depression, feelings of gloom and despondency for no apparent reason
  • Craving for carbohydrates and sweet foods, leading to weight gain
  • It is always important to consult your doctor if you believe you have SAD as it may be another condition.

It is always important to consult your doctor if you believe you have SAD as it may be another condition.

So Now we know, what can we do?

Light Therapy

As SAD symptoms are mainly triggered by light, it makes sense to use light to help alleviate them. The easiest way to do this is with light therapy which usually comes in the form of a light box. Light therapy works by using a powerful light to deliver light right to the back of the eye. This then lowers your Melatonin levels and increases your Serotonin production which will lessen the symptoms of SAD.

Talking Therapies

Talking treatments, such as hypnosis or life coaching can be very useful to help you manage the symptoms of SAD and recognise other factors that may be adding to your feelings of depression.

Integrative Therapy

While phototherapy and talking therapies can be very beneficial to combating the symptoms of SAD, also consider receiving an integrative therapy treatment. Relaxation is improved when endorphins, serotonin and dopamine levels increase. Within a session, the autonomic nervous system is stimulated. The autonomic nervous system stimulates the release of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine which often act as neurotransmitters. Endorphins, serotonin and dopamine can give a person a feeling of happiness, relief of anxiety, and a sense of well-being. An integrative therapeutic session encourages the release of the positive hormones to help decrease anxiety and prevent depression to encourage an increase in relaxation, motivation and provide a sense of wellbeing.

How Massage Can Help You Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression which can include symptoms of anxiety, sleep disturbances, general body pain and lack of energy. These symptoms make normal functioning difficult, bringing on stress. Stress and depression bring about an increase in cortisol, which further exacerbates the problems. Massage therapy has been shown to have a positive impact on most of these symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety.

Massage therapy has been shown to improve sleep quality in cancer patients, in children and in those suffering from both fibromyalgia and those with depression. Clinical trials have also proven that massage therapy can significantly reduce depression and anxiety for those suffering from a range of conditions, including Seasonal Affective Disorder. Massage therapy has been shown to reduce cortisol, to lower heart rate and improve blood pressure.

Conversely, massage has been proven to increase energy by way of increased circulation. In addition, massage therapy offers clients with SAD the benefit of human touch at a time when it is most needed. Overall, massage therapy has been proven in a variety of studies to have a positive impact on both the individual symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, general pain and lethargy) and have a positive impact on clients diagnosed with SAD specifically.

Everyone suffers a bit of moodiness and mild malaise during the winter months, but when those symptoms begin to impact the quality and quantity of our activities of daily life, getting out of bed at all can become a monumental task. When sadness and lethargy begin to take over, it can be difficult to dig out of the depression that can result. Getting regular exercise, daily exposure to sunlight and massage therapy are three things that can be done to reduce symptoms of depression, improve mood and energy, and counteract this seasonal condition.

Mind Spa

Introducing the NEW Mind Spa

I decided to create a new service to cater for clients that were keen to attend coaching sessions however on occasions they were unable to commit for 12 weeks due to the pressure of work commitments, therefore with this in mind I developed Personalised Mind Wellness sessions which will allow you to spend half a day or a full day taking care of YOU.

Before you come, we communicate – via email or over the phone – about where you are in your life and where you’d like to be. Then we custom design a day of bespoke personal interactive exercises and relaxation techniques to help you explore your subject or concern, reflect on how it affects you, and understand how to go forward and create change in your everyday personal and professional life.

You will leave with greatly increased clarity of mind, batteries fully recharged, succinct goals and a customised strategy for achieving them.

  • Life Coaching & Mindfulness
  • Integrative Therapies
  • NLP
  • Bodywork
  • Guided Meditation & meditative breathing
  • Holistic Therapies
  • Hypnosis

From the comfort of the clinic in Redlands Business Centre located in Broomhill Sheffield only 10 minutes from the city centre, close to Hallam University and The Children’s Hospital with immediate access to the A57 Manchester Road and the surrounding countryside of the Peak District.

Based in the heart of Broomhill once described by English poet John Betjeman as the most beautiful suburb in Britain, Mike has been hailed in the media as having a ‘gift.’ and the go to person when considering a holistic treatment. You may well be sharing the stylish surroundings with Mike’s celebrity clientele, but he couldn’t be warmer, more reassuring, or more dedicated to your wellbeing.

The clinic has an opulent, spacious interior and a calm, tranquil ambience which will make you feel instantly at ease and accelerate your treatment. Mike provides high quality, professionalism and is dedicated to client confidentiality. From the moment of your first call to the point of your final visit we want to make it a rewarding and pleasant experience.

Whether you want to stop smoking using hypnosis, need to appoint a life coach, or to learn more about the extremely popular  Bodywork  sessions which have successfully helped sufferers of a wide array of physical conditions and illnesses, then simply make an appointment and we will take care of the rest.

For more information or to book an appointment call 01142 327 2683 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk