What is Mindfulness? Introduction to Mindfulness for Positive Wellbeing

So what is “mindfulness”? Well, it’s the current “catch-phrase” of the medical, health, psychology and stress management communities since they have “discovered”, in recent years, it’s enormous benefits to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing (this, despite the fact that it has been practised in a variety of forms by numerous cultures throughout the world for centuries, if not millennia..). I’ll be talking in more depth about mindfulness, and other forms of meditative practices, in future blog posts. However, as an introduction to the principles, I believe the following, published online by “Thought For Today” back in April 2012 (http://www.thoughtfortoday.org.uk), gives a straight-forward, no-nonsense, uncomplicated description:

“Most of us are of sound mind, but many of us have trouble maintaining a note of harmony and peace. Most of us know how to think, but few of us are able to control our thoughts. We all have the capacity to be creative, to imagine new ideas, but few of us are able to do it together and co-create in harmony with each other. We could all do with some mental training so that we may use the most powerful energy in the universe, the mind, which is always at our instant disposal. We can begin with mindfulness. It’s a simple way to gently help our mind go where it is best to go, do what is the best thing to do. It begins by simply being fully aware of what you are doing. Mostly we are not fully aware, as our minds wander into the past and then into possible futures. We spend most of our time watching others and so rarely fully focus on what we are actually doing ourselves. Next time you sit down to a meal, watch yourself. Be aware of only what you are eating. Every time your mind wants to wander, bring it gently and lovingly back to the action and sensation of eating. Then do the same when cleaning, when writing, when working. The more you do it, the stronger and more focused and more rational will be your concentration, the more natural will be your actions, the more peaceful you will feel, and the more relaxed you will be, no matter what you are doing.”

If you would like to leave a comment (below) about your experiences and practices of mindfulness, and how it has benefited you (or not!), I would be delighted to hear from you. Alternatively, if you are interested in learning meditation, mindfulness, relaxation or self-hypnosis skills, please contact me by phone or email (above right).

Relaxation therapies, hypnotherapy, emotional freedom technique (EFT) and energy healing at AJR Hypnotherapy Surrey and Energessence Natural Healing – with clinics in the Leatherhead and Epsom, Surrey areas

AJR Hypnotherapy Surrey and Energessence Natural Healing now have clinics in Great Bookham (near Leatherhead), Ashtead, and Ewell (near Epsom), Surrey. Following a sabbatical period, the full range of relaxation therapy / stress management, emotional therapy, cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy, and energy healing services are now available, and I look forward to greeting you and helping you meet your healing / therapy needs. My aim has always been to help empower a person in their healing journey, providing guidance and methods to facilitate their innate self-healing abilities, and ultimately enabling them to recognise, trust, utilise and optimise their own personal power, as well as recognising, accessing and trusting the universal intelligence that is available to all. These may be controversial ideas to some, but I make no apologies. “To every man, his own Truth, and the God within..” (Taken from The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Bradley, so please forgive the overt masculine references, but it is meant for everyone, male, female, or neither, animal, plant, or other living thing..). At this time in our world’s development, it is of importance more than ever that we feel and express the highest qualities we can – of tolerance, compassion, kindness, understanding, forgiveness, wisdom and unconditional love…

If you would like a pragmatic approach to dealing with your problems, then perhaps cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy is the approach for you. If you need a broader and more free-flowing therapeutic experience, then EFT is an alternative approach you can try, to perhaps help you cut your way through layers of confusing emotional issues. If you are feeling low in energy or have had prolonged stresses or illness to deal with, and you need a more passive and supportive approach to get you up and going again, then an energy healing (eg. Reiki and Deep Relaxation) approach may be a more sympathetic option for you to begin with. Whatever approach is your preference, I look forward to meeting you at one of our clinics. Please visit other parts of this website, and / or phone or email for further information or to book an appointment (see contact details at top right of this blog page).

Amanda Jackson-Russell, Clinical & Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapist, BSc (Hons), PhD (Neuroscience), EFT Practitioner, Reiki Master, Relaxation & Meditation Instructor, MNFSH, Medical Writer & Editor. AJR Hypnotherapy Surrey & Energessence Natural Healing.

What is hypnotherapy? It is learning how to optimise and utilise the incredible depths and power of your own mind for your own health and wellbeing, and for the highest expression of you own positive potential in your life…

The only things that most people “know” about hypnosis or hypnotherapy are what they have seen on the TV, in stage hypnosis programmes or somewhat dated movies. Unfortunately, these are most usually very sensationalist and inaccurate representations of what hypnosis can do and what the many benefits of hypnotherapy can be. I grew up with a very enlightened mother who introduced my older brother and myself, at a very early age, to the general principles of self-hypnosis, in a very simple, benign and inspiring way. We learned about positive thinking, about “programming” ourselves to sleep peacefully and deeply through the night, and even how to enhance our abilities to memorise poems or maths formulae to help us with our school work. I’m not sure how my Mum knew about such abilities, apart from her own experiences and a lot of reading, as it was not until many years later that she finally had the time and opportunity to actually train as a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist. But those early years’ learning experiences stayed with me throughout my formative years and are still with me, among many other enlightened and spiritual influences of my mother. Despite our differences in other ways, we both understood, instinctively, about the power of the mind and how it shapes your experiences and your very existence, and that it is ultimately up to you how you control it and make good use of it.

Despite these influences, I came to hypnotherapy kind of by the back door – although maybe part of it was a reluctance to follow in my mother’s footsteps, being something of a rebellious and “independent-minded” individual (again here, I am my mother’s daughter!). I initially trained and worked as a medical scientist, specialising in neuroscience – the influence of the brain and nervous system over our bodily functioning, health and behaviour… (or the power of the mind…?). In parallel, I studied and trained as a yoga teacher, which led me to teaching relaxation and meditation techniques, which incorporated the use of self-hypnosis, auto-suggestion, affirmations and therapeutic imagery. On another parallel, I also trained in and practised spiritual healing and counselling, using virtually the same techniques, if with a slightly different “bent”. Later I trained in a number of holistic therapies, practising in large part stress management and emotional therapy. Finally, following my mother’s passing, I had the time and opportunity (almost at the same age as she had) to study and train in hypnotherapy “proper”. I feel I have come home. I am now able to incorporate all those years and experiences and varied trainings into my approaches to my clients, to facilitate their healing on a variety of levels, according to their individual needs.

So, what is hypnotherapy? Hypnotherapy teaches you how to harness the positive power of your own mind to enable you to take control of your life, your thought processes, your emotions and moods, your actions and reactions, your health and wellbeing – to become more aware of how you are using this immense power and to help you maximise its benefits. It helps you recognise how you might be sabotaging your own efforts and intentions, by identifying faulty thought patterns, beliefs and self-talk. It helps you realise how your thought processes influence your moods and emotions, and vice versa. And it helps you see how your habitual unhelpful thoughts and feelings (which you actually have the power to change, given the right methods and techniques) affect your behaviour, reactions, interactions with others, your general health and wellbeing, and ultimately the “colour”, “shape” and “success” of your life – your aspirations, desires, dreams and goals – both in the present and in the future.

Forget what you have seen on the TV and in the movies, or have read about in popularist magazines and newspapers. Hypnosis in nothing like that, and hypnotherapy has nothing to do with those portrayals. If you want to learn how to discover and optimise the power of your own mind, for your own health, wellbeing, success, emotional harmony, peace of mind, personal satisfaction, self-esteem and self-efficacy, and to bring about positive changes in your life, then I urge you most earnestly to give it a try!

Clinical, cognitive-behavioural and traditional approaches to hypnotherapy, emotional freedom technique (EFT), Reiki therapy, and training in relaxation skills, meditation, mindfulness and self-hypnosis are available from AJR Hypnotherapy Surrey, at clinics in Ashtead, Great Bookham and Ewell, which are close to Epsom and Leatherhead, Surrey (close to Junction 9 of the M25). Please visit other parts of this website, and/or phone or email for further information or to book an appointment (see contact details at top right of this blog page). I look forward to meeting you. Amanda Jackson-Russell, Clinical & Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapist, EFT Practitioner, Reiki Master, Relaxation & Meditation Instructor, MNFSH, Medical Writer & Editor.

Scientific support for emotional freedom technique (EFT; energy psychology), available from AJR Hypnotherapy Surrey, near Leatherhead, Surrey – for negative thoughts/beliefs, fears, anxiety, guilt, traumas, self-image, stress triggers and stress-related health issues

Emotional freedom technique (EFT; energy psychology) is available at AJR Hypnotherapy Surrey and Energessence Natural Healing, with clinics in the Leatherhead, Ashtead and Epsom, Surrey areas. This remarkable therapy recognises the links between emotions, thought processes, energy flows in the body, and physical and mental health. EFT involves activation of specific energy points and meridians (by gentle tapping on acupressure points with the fingers), combined with modern psychological techniques, to help release and clear emotional blocks or issues (eg. negative mental conditioning, sources of inferiority, negative emotions such as guilt or fear, emotional “baggage”, hang-ups, traumas, anxieties) and other triggers of stress that prevent us from living and enjoying life to the full. Since many physical health problems are also linked to underlying emotional issues or stress, EFT may help alleviate these too.

Recent scientific research findings in the rapidly progressing areas of epigenetics and neuropsychology support the effectiveness of emotional freedom technique (EFT) as a psychotherapeutic modality, and also provide a scientific rationale for its mode of action. Feinstein & Church (2010) report that acupressure point stimulation rapidly reduces hyper-arousal by sending neurological signals to the amygdala, a part of the brain involved in the “fight-or-flight” (stress) response and associated negative emotions (fear, panic, anxiety, etc). When stimulation of particular acupressure points is combined with psychological techniques involving exposure to the negative emotions and a cognitive shift (as in EFT), two mutually exclusive effects are evoked (reduced physiological arousal, alongside a “maladaptive” emotion such as anxiety), which appear to have the ability to rapidly cancel each other out (called reciprocal inhibition). Within a relatively short period of time, this can result in resolution of the emotional issue through a “counter-conditioning” effect. Reviewing preliminary scientific evidence, Feinstein & Church suggest that EFT/energy psychology and related modalities are likely to involve activation of genes that restore balance to neural communication pathways involved in the stress response and other physiological mechanisms. If you would like to try emotional freedom technique (EFT) for yourself, phone or email AJR Hypnotherapy Surrey for further information or an appointment (see contact details at the top right of this page).

AJR Hypnotherapy Surrey offers clinical and cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy, emotional freedom technique (EFT; also sometimes described as energy psychology or meridian therapy), Reiki with deep relaxation, and other approaches to stress reduction, therapeutic relaxation and natural healing. Clinics are at several locations near Leatherhead and Epsom, Surrey.