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The anti-anxiety guide: 9 top tips

Tired of pushing your problems under the proverbial carpet? Working from her studio in Stow-on-the-Wold, Lisa Cartlidge is a hypnotherapist with a passion for helping people. Want to know how to get out of a rut? Read her advice here.

Imagine waking up feeling like a long-held burden has been lifted. Sound good? Expert hypnotherapist Lisa Cartlidge has more than 3,000 hours of therapy experience behind her to help you do just that.

Using a combination of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and Rewind Therapy whether you’re experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, an eating disorder, grief or just feeling overwhelmed with life a session under Lisa’s expert eye can turn things around.

We slipped onto her comfy couch to pick up some tips and techniques for dealing with life, and anxiety, in a post-pandemic world.

Hello Lisatell us how you got into the hypnotherapy game?

I originally used hypnotherapy a few years ago to lose weight. I was about to turn 30, had two young children, was working shifts as a call taker with the police and was 3 stone overweight. I felt like I had lost my identity. I didn’t know who I was anymore, I felt like I was going through the motions. Caught in a cycle of starting of yo-yo dieting I couldn’t maintain any sort of consistency. Trying hypnotherapy was a last ditch attempt to get myself in shape.

The effect for me was amazing, I started feeling calmer, more rational, confident and determined. I started to eat sensibly and exercise, going out for 8 mile bike rides and even doing triathlons. I lost the weight, but I got so much more from it. The effects of hypnotherapy made me reassess my career. I realised I really wanted to help others like I’d been helped so I retrained and here I am today.

What issues can you help us with?

Hypnotherapy can help with stress and anxiety, feelings of overwhelm, panic attacks, insomnia, OCD , physical illness such as IBS and migraines, PTSD and flashbacks, disordered feelings such as binge eating, anorexia or overeating, grief and more.

Around 90-95% of your thoughts, feelings and decisions happen automatically at a subconscious level. People often find themselves struggling to cope, and may feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious. Often you know what you would like to do, but find your emotions and body’s reactions stop you. This is a subconscious block and using hypnotherapy I can help you clear that block.

Is there anything you can’t help with?

For hypnotherapy to help you, you need to want to make a change. It is okay to be sceptical about it but you must want to change.

How many sessions will I need to see an improvement?

Everyone is individual, but on average I would work with people for 8 to 10 sessions.

OK, we’ve seen Derren Brown’s stage chickens … can it make us do things we don’t want to do?

When I first heard about hypnotherapy I thought it was airy fairy nonsense. Naturally people’s thoughts go to stage hypnosis and being turned into a farmyard animal – and no I can’t make you do anything you don’t want to! When I first went to hypnotherapy it was a last resort, but the results were incredible, I felt calmer and more in control, no longer stuck on the same merry-go-round of wanting to change, trying to change and then failing.

Hypnotherapy is in fact far from airy fairy, it is backed by science, whilst in trance your brainwaves change in such a way you can let go of irrational thoughts and fears, and instead you start working with the rational creative brain.

One of the most common comments I have from clients is that their head feels quiet and calm. Often they have not experienced a quiet head for a long time (normally it is filled with so much over thinking and frustration). With the new mindset they can think logically, rationally and finally achieve what they want, which leads to a happier life.

What can we expect in the sessions?

I initially work with you to help you visualise your future in a more positive light, then in trance, we let your brain do the work, the sometimes irrational Beta brainwave totally quietens down, allowing the more calming and rational brainwaves (Alpha, Theta and Delta) to do their work. My therapy room is private, and has separate access from the main house so clients can be assured of privacy during their visits.

Tell us your own favourite ways to unwind?

I live just outside of Stow and I love open spaces, whenever I can I run cross country with my dog. Otherwise I love going to coffee shops with friends, my favourite places are Bourton-on the-Water, Lower Slaughter and Moreton-in-Marsh.

Lisa’s 10 Tips for Dealing with Anxiety

Lisa says: “Post-pandemic life is very individual. For some lockdown was welcome, being furloughed and able to spend some time at home in our PJs and enjoying activities with the family. But for others, it meant increased work, the wearing of PPE and the ever-constant worry of getting seriously ill from COVID.

“For all of us though, life right now might require some degree of adjustment, whether it is trying to get back into a routine or figuring out how to move on from such an unprecedented year. For some, interacting with people again poses a great deal of fear and uncertainty. Our brains do not like change at the best of times and many of us will feel wary, wanting to keep inside our comfort zones. This is where anxiety comes from, simply our brains wanting to keep us safe from danger. But there are several ways we can start to ease out of that place and into our new lives.”

1. Accept the situation as it is. Trust in the advice that is given and follow the rules to the best of your ability, know that you’re doing your bit and that is all you can do.

2. Ease back into society at your own pace. Gradually increase your activities and social interactions at a pace that suits you. It’s ok to say no, and don’t feel the pressure to go somewhere or do something if it doesn’t feel right for you.

3. Be kind, give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Let go of judgements on others. Some people are ready to pick up life where they left off, while others will find themselves coping with uncertainty around employment, and some people maybe grieving the loss of family and friends. People can be very private and often we do not know that they are struggling.

4. Control the controllables. Take each day as it comes and do you best with what you have. Be grateful for what you do have.

5. Try to put an upbeat spin on things. The saying ‘what if I fall, but oh what if you fly’ comes to mind. Think how amazing it will be when the vaccination programme works and look forward getting back to normal, but also remind yourself the new normal may look different for a while but try and embrace those changes.

6. Try to limit how often you look at the news. There is a lot of speculation of what could happen, negative what ifs and often it gives conflicting advice. Be mindful of when you are looking at news or social media to reduce this impact.

8. Be social. It is very important to have social interactions, we were not meant to be in isolation as human beings. But do this in a way you feel comfortable. If you are not ready to go to a coffee shop or restaurant, arrange to have coffee in your own garden, or maybe arrange to meet for a walk. Gradually step out of your comfort zone at a time and pace that you are happy with.

9. Nurture a positive perspective. It is important that we keep a positive perspective on life right now. That mindset does not mean life has to be perfect, just that you are able to remember and focus on the good things. We do have a choice of where to focus our thoughts and if we can keep them positive and optimistic then our stress levels will stay low.

Want to book in for a hypnotherapy session with Lisa? Contact www.lisacartlidge.co.uk, email her on lisa@lisacartlidge.co.uk or call 07769 320 121.

A standard hypnotherapy sessions cost £75 for 90 minutes and each new client will receive a free relaxation audio recording. Sessions for children cost £60.

**** PLUS ****

Get 50% off your first session with Lisa Cartlidge during July and August. Just quote the reference MUDDY50.

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