Masculinity and Mental Health

More and more frequently, the concept of masculinity is being discussed and criticised within both academia, and the media. It’s become clear in recent years that sexist attitudes affect not only women, but men as well. Feminism as long discussed how women are discriminated against purely because they’re women. Whether it’s taking an unfair share of domestic responsibilities, or being forced to wear high-heels, everyday sexism against women is well documented and criticised (as it should be!)

But men are affected negatively by sexist social norms too. The concept of ‘toxic masculinity’ is one you may have heard, but might not be too clear about. Simply put, toxic masculinity is the idea that patriarchal society has created men so that they are dominant, aggressive, and unemotional. Now, this might now be the case for every man, and it also doesn’t mean that women can’t also exhibit these traits. But, it is a general trend which can be seen.

The aspect we’re going to focus on is the notion that men are ‘unemotional’. Patriarchal society teaches men to internalise their emotions and repress them. Men are meant to be seen as strong, and the providers. They can’t show weakness! Or so society says. This way of thinking can even by summed up by the phrase ‘man up’.

In reality, this can leave men depressed, anxious, and feeling helpless. By feeling unable to talk about how they feel, or things that are upsetting them, men’s problems spiral as they become more cut off from those around them. The statistics are stark, and back up the theory. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 49, and men account for three-quarters of all suicides.

Things don’t have to be this way though, and the situation is steadily improving. A number of campaigns are raising awareness of mental health, and also removing the stigma surrounding it. Most recently, both Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge have spoken out about the need for men to talk about their emotions and trauma. Speaking about the loss of their mother, Princess Diana, the two princes have shown how the British stiff-upper-lip which tells men to ‘man up’ and bottle-up their emotions is damaging.

Fortunately, campaigns and more general awareness of mental health issues are meaning men are more likely to seek help. Talking about problems can really help, and techniques such as CBT, talking therapy, and hypnotherapy, are really helping men to get over trauma and any other issues they may be having.

So, if you’re dealing with stress, trauma, depression, or just needed someone to lend an ear, don’t be afraid to seek help. Hypnotherapy can really help you get to the heart of whatever is upsetting you, and provide a plan for getting through it. You can find information about local hypnotherapists on the internet, or ask your GP for mental health services in your area. Remember, no one should feel they have to man up, and everyone needs help every now and then!

Desk with work

How hypnotherapy can help reduce exam stress

It’s coming up to that time of year when many students are beginning to think about revision for their A levels or GCSEs. Many will have already had mock exams, and so already had a taster of what revision can be like, and the stress it can bring. But this isn’t just a problem at secondary school level, exams at university level can cause stress as well. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce exam stress and hopefully improve your performance. Read on to learn how hypnotherapy can help you turn exam stress into exam success.

What causes exam anxiety?
Exam stress is a growing problem amongst secondary school age children, as greater emphasis is placed on the need for high qualifications for employment reasons. Many high school children will be thinking about university places, apprenticeships, or getting a job, and qualifications are essential for all of these options. It’s easy to see how, therefore, people get worried about exams when they can seem to decide the course our lives will be taking for the next few years.

Some people also put a lot of undue pressure on themselves and may be worried about disappointing both themselves and others. Perfectionism is another by-product of our modern world, with many feeling that they need to do things 100% correct all of the time.

How can you reduce exam stress?
There are some ways to reduce exam stress – whether it’s you suffering or your child. If you’re struggling with it yourself, try to take breaks and calm your mind by doing something you enjoy. Watch a movie, or a favourite episode of TV to unwind!

If your child is struggling, it’s a good idea to talk to them about what’s bothering them and to try and given them some reassurance and advice. Your child might be able to tell you things you can do which might make things a bit easier for them.

How can hypnotherapy help?
Hypnotherapy can contribute to improving your exam performance in two main ways. Firstly, it can help you to deal with your stress and anxiety in a better, more productive way. Using gentle and deep relaxation can help to calm your subconscious mind. Hypnotherapy can also uncover reasons why you might be stressed or worried about exams, and allow you to find better coping mechanisms.

On top of this, hypnotherapy can also improve your exam performance. Reducing stress means your brain will be more open to learning, and you’ll be able to focus more on the task at hand. Hypnotherapy has also been shown to improve your memory and your ability to recall information when you need it. Most of this is because you’ll be able to enter your exam with a clear head, confident you’ll be doing your best.

So, if you’ve got exams coming up, hypnotherapy could help you enter that exam hall with confidence!

For more information please get in touch with Lisa Jury today on 07870 893226.

Early morning run

How hypnotherapy can help you reach your fitness goals

We’re now well in to 2017, and for some those new year’s resolutions are distant memories. But that doesn’t mean you have despair and give up all hopes of getting fit this year. For some, exercise is a real chore, and difficult to get into with many lacking the motivation, or struggling to find the time.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which you can either improve your motivation, or get over the feeling that exercise has to be a chore. Hypnotherapy is one such way – here we explain how.

Troubles with exercise motivation

Whether you’re just starting out on your new exercise regime, or you’ve just lost motivation with the one you’re currently on, it can be difficult to find the will to exercise. Especially at the end of a long hard day at work, exercise is at the bottom of some people’s to-do list.

Lots of people struggle with this at some point, even those fitness fanatics. Whether it’s because you’re busy doing other things, or just aren’t feeling like pushing yourself, motivation can be an elusive thing.

Even when people get started on a new exercise regime, it can sometimes be a matter of weeks before that initial motivation and excitement peter out. People invest in expensive gym memberships, bikes, clothes, and classes in order to achieve that fitter, slimmer, healthier version of themselves, but sadly the equipment is only a small portion of the battle.

All of this shows that fitness and exercise are very much linked to our minds. If we can’t get motivated enough to get on our bike, or go to the gym, then the battle is lost. So, it’s important to address what it could be that’s demotivating you, or find a way to get over the lack of motivation. Fortunately, hypnotherapy is just the tool for dealing with these hurdles.

Hypnotherapy and sport

Hypnotherapy is so effective when it comes to motivating yourself to exercise because it deals with your subconscious. It’s clear that you already want to exercise, but it’s difficult to get your subconscious to accept this. Things like finding excuses for not going to the gym, or going out for that run, are habits which can be broken by looking out our subconscious.

Normally, all it takes is a little nudge in the right direction, and the motivation becomes self-fulfilling. Once we begin to see results, we are motivated to go back to the gym, or carry on running, so it’s just about giving our minds a slight push in that direction.

Hypnotherapy can also help those of you who are already serious athletes, by making sure it’s easier to stick to your training regime as well as keep your motivation up. Furthermore, for those who compete, hypnotherapy can people deal with pre-performance anxiety, meaning their minds and bodies are in peak condition when the day of the competition arrives.

Hypnotherapy, then, is a really great way of helping you achieve any fitness goals you may have, whether you’re just starting out, or already a serious athlete!