By | Anxiety

It’s fairly safe to say that all of us, at some point in our lives, have felt lonely. Thankfully, for most of us, this feeling is temporary. But some people have to live with loneliness each and every day. Here are some statistics:

  • Three out of four GPs say they see between 1 and 5 people a day who have come in mainly because they are lonely
  • Loneliness can be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day
  • The UK is the loneliest country in Europe (UK Gov Survey 2017)
  • Around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month
  • Up to 85% of young disabled adults – 18-34 year olds – feel lonely

Loneliness is a perfectly normal feeling. We have evolved to be social creatures, to be part of the tribe rather than isolated and vulnerable. We get a nice boost of happy chemicals in our brain when we interact positively with others. The opposite is true when we’re lonely. We feel flat, anxious, miserable.

Here are some tips for overcoming loneliness.

Realise that you’re not alone in feeling lonely

As the stats above show, chronic loneliness is common in today’s society. This knowledge might not make the feeling go away, but it can be a comfort to know that your feelings are common and you’re not unusual.

Connect with others

Use loneliness as a spur to reinforce existing relationships or even find new one. This will get your happy chemicals flowing.

Identify your loneliness thoughts and challenge them

Loneliness is a feeling, not a fact.

Write down some of the negative thoughts that you have when you are lonely and try to come up with rational responses to those thoughts. For instance, do you have to feel sad because you are alone?

Use Alone Time Wisely

If you find yourself alone, you can choose to dwell in your loneliness or attempt to use your alone time to do a solo activity that you enjoy and become good at it. Maybe it’s reading, cooking, baking, golfing, fishing.Then use your new skill as a way to connect with others. Find a group with similar interests or use it as a conversation starter when you meet new people.

Get off line

The internet can make us feel lonely because we attempt to substitute real relationships with online relationships. Lonely people can exert so much energy to feel connected on-line that they don’t put effort into building off-line, fulfilling relationships.

Fight the emotional habit of loneliness

Realise you are dealing with an emotional habit and be willing to do the hard work of combating it. Invite someone out or initiate a conversation. It will be worth it. The emotion of loneliness can pass, depending on what you’re thinking and what you’re doing.

Focus on others

Shifting your focus from how bad you’ve got it to how you can bless others will go a long way in combating loneliness.

Hypnotherapy relationship stress

Could Your Stress be Hurting the Ones You Love?

By | Anxiety

When conflicts arise in a relationship, it’s easy to blame our partner. But the real culprit might be stress.

According to the American Institute of Stress, more than a quarter of people surveyed in 2014 felt alienated from a friend or family member because of stress, and over half had fought with people close to them. Relationships are worse off when people are under stress. The more stressed a person is, the less satisfied they are with their close relationships.

And if both partners are stressed—as is so often the case when modern couples juggle work schedules and parenthood—this is even more likely to happen. In a 2015 study, stressed partners received less support when their partner was also stressed. This study showed that, compared to when they were calm, stressed men and women provided less support to each other: fewer hugs, kind words, and empathic responses.

So what can be done?

We might decide to keep stress to ourselves, shielding our partner from our problems and grumpiness. We try to stay positive and “leave work at work,” to avoid bringing negativity home. But that is a mistake. It’s extremely difficult to keep our emotions under wraps like this, and can be detrimental to our wellbeing. It also means we’re missing the chance to make our partner feel better by letting them help. In a study by UoC, women either squeezed a stress ball or held their partner’s arm as he received an electric shock. The ones who faced their loved one’s stress head-on, offering comfort instead of focusing on themselves, experienced less neural activity in the stress centre of the brain and more activity in the brain’s caregiving and reward systems—and they felt more connected.

The answer may be as simple as asking for help when we need it. Studies have shown that stressed wives got more support from their spouses not just because husbands offered it more but also because wives asked for it more.

So don’t be afraid to send up the distress signal. And, if you’re on the receiving end, heed it. Coping with stress together helps our close relationships survive and thrive.



Keep on Movin’

By | Anxiety

We all know the importance of exercise in keeping us physically healthy. However, did you know exercise has a huge impact on our mental health too?

Physical activity releases beneficial molecules that reach the brain, increases blood circulation to the brain and encourages the formation of new brain cells and connections between them. You can actually run yourself smarter and counteract the effects of ageing on your brain power.

Check out this video below:

Running is also a fantastic way of dealing with stress. If you think about it, this makes sense as stress comes from our prehistoric “flight or fight” response to threats. We can run off the adrenaline caused by our anxious thoughts by putting on our trainers or our speedos and engaging “flight”.


Of course, another excellent way of reducing the impact of chronic stress is hypnotherapy.