Before we dive in to movement
This minding your thoughts episode is no.3 in our self-care mini series all the parts are listed below and as they become available they will become clickable. So if they aren't it's likely the episode hasn't aired yet. Do take a listen to the series I have some amazing guests coming to share their expertise with us.
- ~ Digital Detox
- ~ Let's get Physical, Physical (tell me you didn't sing the title)
- ~ Minding your thoughts with Saira Hasan (that's right here)
- ~ Food For Thought with Victoria Bell
Saira has given so much in this episode I couldn't write it all out do take a listen to the episode pop it on you phone and plug in your headphones while you do your thing.
Minding your Thoughts with Siara Hasan
The wedding industry has been devastated by COVID-19 and I don't think much has been said about the impact that this is having on the individuals involved, from solopreneurs to those with staff the pressure and worry is a lot to handle for those dealing with the financial impact of the virus.
Saira can you give us some techniques that we can use to help get our minds in a better place?
Saira: Mind your Thoughts with Breathing
First thing that we teach, something very boring, something we all can do, but we don't, is breathing. That is the first step. In every therapy, you need to learn how to de stress with breathing. When I started training as a hypnotherapist we were asked to breathe through and engage our stomachs. The first thing that somebody said was, oh, Saira, you're not doing it right.
Normally, you have to put one on one hand on your chest, one hand on your tummy, and then see whether you're a chest breather or your diaphragmatic breather, and I was not doing it. But I could really relax if I just if somebody said, 'Take a deep breath.' I did it in the way I found easy but then I was stressing more about, am I doing it correctly?
So I feel that we can get wrapped up in the minutiae of, you need to do it this way or that way. Just relax and breath in...hold...and breath out, whichever way you can and connect a word with it.
So when you inhale, you can just say to yourself, peace. Hold and relax. We'll just set up your own little rhyme. I...inhale... love... myself, or something like that. A three word mantra. Give your anxiety a color to. When you breath out, you're breathing out that color, all that tension is draining away from your body.
A lot of people say when you start training, do it for 20 minutes every morning, but I feel,in my experience, if you can do just a few minutes throughout the day it is beneficial.
Mind your Triggers
Be aware of your triggers go back and see, where is it that I start feeling anxious? Maybe there's a room in the house? Maybe it's ae person? Maybe it's going on social media?
So if let's say if it's going on social media, a very quick trick is put a question mark on on a post it and just pin it on your laptop. So what does that do? That suggests you questions why am I feeling tense? What's the big deal? That's the question mark?
Posted it on your on your laptop or on any device. You ask yourself, why am I tense, social media is not a big deal, it's not the end of the world. Breathe in...hold...breath out.
Mind your Vagus Nerve
Another thing, Donna, there are little things that you can do to physically relax your body. Because everything is connected, isn't it? Your body sensations are connected to your thoughts, and your emotions and your behaviors, everything is connected.
That's what CBT addresses. So a very quick way of actually physically relaxing your body and putting it into the rest and digest mode. Because what is anxiety, it's fight or flight, right? Were quickly in fight or flight mode your actually body feels it's in danger. Just because of a thought, a worry, rumination on something that bothered you in the past, they all activate your fight or flight response.
So very quickly, when you want to rest and digest, what you can do is you activate the vagus nerve, which connects all your major organs in your body and it's really easy to do. So the first thing that you can do, and you can do many things to activate your Vegas. The first thing you can do is rub your hands together, just 10 seconds, then put one hand on your forehead like you're checking your temperature and then put the other hand on top and just breathe. That will start the activation.
The other thing is the vagus nerve is the biggest nerve it can go from behind the ear, to your abdomen. Remember, your gut is really intrinsically involved in anxiety and emotion. When you say Om, in yoga it is the humming sound that's destressing you so you can hum, you can gargle because the throat is connected and activate the vagus nerve that way. You can put your face in iced water that will activate it too.
Minding your thoughts with Visualisation
Acceptance is a very nice place to be in your head. Sometimes just let go and accept.
When there are things that you can solve, I use is a really good simple technique, it's very quick to do, and I want to share it with people who are listening.
What you do is, in your mind, you sit back and you project a screen, or let's say about six feet away from you. With your eyes closed, you try to look up at the middle of your forehead, or just 20 degrees up, I like to imagine that there's a dot in the middle of my forehead, and I'm looking at that.
On screen one, the one that you're projecting right now, project, all your worries, all your problems, everything, maximize it and all the emotions that go with it. Everything that's really bothering you gnawing at you, everything related to that problem, just throw it on the screen. Whilst your eyes are looking up at the middle of your forehead, and do it at your own pace.
Then let's imagine you slide that screen to the right, and you project the second screen, which is 15 degrees to the left, where the first screen, and then you project all the solutions that you can throw at that problem, really do that. Remember, your eyes are still 20 degrees up. Left signifies the future, right by the past. So this screen, the second screen, you're throwing all the solutions that you can think off at the moment that could or might solve your problem.
Then fade that second screen slide it to the right of your mind. Then again, 15 degrees to the left is your third screen. On your third screen is your goal or ideal self, or your ideal life. What you would like, at the end of the problems, if the problems solved themselves, what would it look like? What would be the repercussions or the positives, that a solution would get you project all of that and the emotions on the third screen screen.
Then just take a deep breath, relax your eyes and come back. You'll be surprised honestly. I could do that in the middle of a session, you think that this would take a long time, the way somebody's mind works though, you can do it really quickly.
So let's say you're just sitting there, you're out you're amongst people, you're bothered about something you can just you know, quickly do it and pretend that you're thinking, just taking a moment to yourself and quickly do that. You'll see what wonderful insights you get. Because the reason why you were raising your eyes. It's because it quickly takes you to the alpha level, which is a deeper consciousness.
Mind your thoughts when you sleep
Another tip of rumination and that now that you mentioned it Donna, because our thoughts do race especially when we are trying to sleep, everything clouds in our mind, right. So another visual thing that you can do to actually slow down your thoughts is imagine yourself jogging.
So your thoughts are also jogging with you, if they're going around very fast in your head. Then slow down to a trot, then to a walk, then slow down you're walking, then you stop, you sit down, you lie down. Then you align yourself with actually lying down in your bed. There you go.
Probably do a countdown as you do it and use your deep breathing techniques, because that's going to activate, your vagus nerve, and it will help you sleep as well. So try that when you know your your thoughts are going haywire. Just running.
Minding your thoughts about Therapy
I wondered if you could just go into a little bit of an explanation now of what it is that you do. And if you can talk to us about hypnotherapy and how that can work. Because I think people immediately when you say hypnosis, they think of the magician on the stage making me cluck like a chicken and nobody's going to make me do that. And I know what you do is completely different to that. So if you want to explain a little bit about that, that'd be
What is CBT and Clinical Hypnosis?
What we do as clinical hypnotherapist is we involve our clients. It's very collaborative process. This is the opposite of somebody taking control of you and controlling your thoughts. Some people will ask me, 'will I get stuck in hypnosis?' the answer is no, you won't.
Hypnosis, it started in 1857, I think there was a Scottish physician called James braid, who studied Eastern philosophy and understood that our thoughts are very powerful. So he started doing it, you know, using techniques, creative techniques and started using them in his medical work. What people sometimes think, when they think of hypnotism, is they're thinking of mesmerism. Obviously stage hypnosis is a gimmick sometimes they have plants in the audience. When people think that they can be hypnotized or made to you know, cluck like a chicken, etc. and they're suggestible to it, they will do it.
But clinical hypnosis is something very different.
So first, I'll talk about CBT. CBT was started in the 1960s. It was a sort of reaction to psychoanalysis, Freudian psychoanalysis. They want to focus on what is maintaining your problem now? How are your thoughts, how are your actions, your behavior, your emotions interrelated?
In CBT you separate the emotions, you separate the behavior, you separate the thoughts. Then with the client, you sit down and you assess how the thoughts, let's say irrational thoughts, are coloring your behavior and affecting your emotions result in CBT.
We'll look at how your clients are catastrophizing, an all or nothing thought process, the world will end, something terrible will happen, black and white thinking there is no gray. Even mind reading, this person is thinking that I'm a very foolish person, your projecting your thoughts on them and then you internalize it as truth.
What CBT does is break that vicious cycle of thought and how it affects the behavior and emotions, etc, and gives you coping strategies that is structured in a lot of forms, etc.
And how hypnosis, it's not even an adjunct, it's integrated. So what I'll do is I'll assess the personality of the client. First, we'll psycho educate, what is CBT? What is clinical hypnosis? Clinical hypnosis is nothing more than focused relaxation. Honestly, you can do the same work in imaginal exposure. It's a lot of visualization. You just relaxed the client. They can hear you, they don't go in a trance, they can hear you and anything that they don't like, they will reject subconsciously and we put that in the script.
They're always in control, always.
And so it's the opposite. CBT doesn't focus on childhood that much. They're more interested in the now. I feel personally that most of the stuff that is happening to us today is somehow related to our childhoods, and our inner child. So I do addresses this I've created my own toolbox. I also do EMDR which is trauma based and I do past life regression therapy.
Only if the client is open to it and actually asked for it because I don't want my views or my thoughts on it. It's just it's another way of addressing trauma. If you can't find the origin in childhood, it's another way of assessing where could it be, the origin. When we put it out on my website, that I can do this. It's always the client who will ask for it. I will never suggested it. I'm aware that people have different cultures, different belief systems etc. It has to come from the client.
Honestly, unless a client is motivated to change, none of these will work, which is sad because in a lot of depressed clients, the will to seek help is missing.
I have this client who had, you know, had a panic attack while she was driving on the motorway. For 12 years, she could not drive on A roads, on dual carriageway, on motorways. Obviously, that affects your whole life. You've had a bit of CBT, separately, hypnosis separately. But what we did, obviously, her name is confidential, but I could just repeat what worked for her. What worked so well was this exposure therapy in CBT. Virtual exposure, if you have a phobia flying, you can't go on a flight every day. So you can't expose your clients to the phobia.
What you can do, is you can do virtual exposure, within a safe place because the therapist is there. Now when you combine virtual exposure and do it with hypnosis, where you're working at a deeper level, it's so powerful that honestly, Donna, she was taking A roads after three sessions.
I got a very excited voicemail from her saying, 'Saira, I just driven to Central London, I've just parked the car and regents park and you're the first person that I called.' It was so powerful I just I started crying. You can't believe that the results can be so powerful but they can be. Obviously she was motivated to change.
So that's how CBT and hypnosis and every other therapy that I use is integrated, so that it truly matches the client's personality. It's a process which has to suit the client. It's totally opposite of making you do something that you don't want to do. It works on a very deep level, because there's some things that we don't face consciously that we get insights into when we are doing clinical hypnosis, EMDR,etc.
Saira Hasan arranges meetings with your sub-conscious mind! How? She is a trained Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist with additional qualifications (EMDR, Past Life Regression Therapy) and uses her toolbox to help you heal your traumas, stresses and anxieties. These could manifest themselves in different ways- be it overeating, being scared to speak in public or sit on a plane. You could be smoking incessantly or behaving irrationally with loved ones. It can really be helpful to talk about it and clinical hypnosis is a powerful therapy to combine with others to help deal with the problem where the trauma lurks- in your subconscious. Perhaps Trauma doesn't affect you but COVID and lockdown has increased your anxiety or added stresses to your life. Speaking with Saira will help you understand how CBT, Clinical Hypnosis, EMDR and Past Life Regression Therapy could help you.
Saira's offer to listeners is a 10% discount if you book a package of 6 sessions.
Links & Resources
To talk with Saira about this offer contact her HERE
Saira is starting a series of group sessions exploring emotions these are 90 min deep dives online for just £20 a session this is a great way to explore how Saira works for a small commitment before taking it further so try on out they start on Saturday 10th of October you can access tickets HERE