Tag Archives: powerlessness

I’m feeling a little blue today

‘Feeling depressed’ can cover a wide spectrum of emotions, from the ‘I’m feeling a little blue today’ misery on a cold, grey wet morning, through to the gaping black hole that  looms ever larger in our lives when we’re feeling particularly low.

There are many things which may have triggered off these feelings in the first place, with time and circumstances adding to the overall sense of despair – getting over the loss of a loved one, divorce/splitting from a long term partner, difficult events during childhood, job and money worries, family tragedies, dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event, the baby blues – modern life is fraught with events which appear to be designed to trip us up along the way.

Yet how is it that one person can overcome the death of a loved one (for example) and still continue a happy and fulfilled existence, whereby the same severity of an event can completely floor someone else? How can one person who has had a rough and abusive childhood, grow into a strong, vibrant and hugely capable person, while another succumbs continually to feelings of anxiety, stress, loss of control?

Or maybe you just do not know where these anxieties are coming from. Maybe you have lived with them for so long now that they almost seem ‘normal’ to you.

Admitting that you are feeling anxious and low is a big step. For some it is like admitting defeat, that you are finally acknowledging that life is getting on top of you and you are not coping.

Seeing your doctor is an obvious and important first step to dealing with your issues.  We will assume for the purposes of this article that your doctor will have ruled out any physical reasons for your depressed feelings. We may also add here that if you are already undergoing any medical treatment for a particular condition, your depressed and low feelings, may be related to your treatment, but may just as equally be triggered by other reasons, rather than the treatment and /or medication itself.

So, you are feeling depressed, low, unhappy and negative. But to make things worse, you are feeling powerless to do anything about it. The more you think about it, the more depressed you feel about it, and the vicious circle keeps spinning.

The Didim Hypnotherapy Clinic practices two very specific, very successful programmes which help to alleviate the symptoms and causes of depression, and open up a much brighter future for the sufferer.    

Your low and anxious feelings may have no graspable root or cause. You may just have this constant low level, but ever present, feeling of anxiety that hovers constantly just underneath the surface of your consciousness. You have never been able to pin it down to anything, and possibly have just written it off as part of your personality. You can imagine it like a jellyfish, with long tentacles disappearing into the darkness of your subconscious. You know it starts somewhere down there, it just looks too frightening to go there!

Pure Hypno-Analysis (PHA) is one of the world’s most effective, and quick, forms of analytical therapy with some outstanding results. It creates a safe, trusting and confidential environment where the natural therapeutic process can work, allowing the client to slowly bring all the bottled-up emotions to the surface. It doesn’t rely on therapist insight, ‘fishing’ techniques, regression techniques or any other ‘invasive’ techniques in order to work effectively. Create the right relationship, show the client how to utilise the natural therapeutic process, and in eight or so sessions the bottled-up emotions can be resolved.

The key thing to remember is that you are not looking for something specific, you are not poking around looking for incidents in your past that may have contributed to your overall feelings of anxiety. You are in fact very relaxed in a hypnotic state and simply letting your subconscious do all the work for you. The journey will undoubtedly be emotional (that is after all what is causing the anxieties in the first place), but will also be therapeutic and you will finish the course with a feeling of lightness and relief.

If, however, you feel that your anxieties can be pinpointed to a specific incident, that they are a culmination of a series of events that have brought you down, or simply that you are a bit melancholic by nature and that you do feel that you allow life to get the better of you too often, then you can only benefit by undergoing Rob Kelly’s Thrive programme.

The Thrive programme is NOT hypnotherapy, is NOT therapy, is NOT counselling, but has been created as a training programme. It is designed for people who want to overcome anything which is holding them back in life. Whether it is fears and phobias, low self-esteem, stress and anxiety, depression, anger, illness, sports performance, weight, smoking, alcohol or any other issues that are preventing you from moving on with life, and being happy and successful. In fact any situation in which stress and disordered thinking are making things worse.    

So if you are feeling low spirited, depressed, blue, totally powerless about your ability to be happy and productive and healthy, the Thrive  programme concentrates on building the three core psychological strengths we use to fight any negative belief or symptom:

  • Putting you back in control
  • Building your self-esteem
  • Reducing your social anxiety

Once you have built up these three core strengths, you will feel much more able to deal with your problems. You will be able to manage your self-esteem, learning how to top it up and keep it at a high level. By doing this you will also be lowering your social anxiety to a level where it doesn’t bother you anymore.

The programme then goes on to illustrate how you can take control of your thinking processes, banishing negative thoughts, and being more capable of dealing with difficult and stressful situations.

So make 2013 the year that you finally take control of your life and really start to Thrive!

Develop better coping skills for everyday stressful situations

I was struck recently, when hiring a car, how much anticipatory anxiety is used by businesses to try and get more money out of us. The car hire company was painting a very gloomy picture of what might happen out on the roads, and how much it was going to cost me if I decided not to buy additional insurance and thereby decrease my excess.

Now, I’ve been driving now for the best part of 26 years, and consider myself pretty competent on the roads. Yet the way they were ‘selling’ this to me set off a cognitive freight train that was rattling away, completely out of control, with frightening speed – I saw white vans pulling out in front of me at busy crossroads. I saw me skidding precariously on black ice and tumbling inelegantly into a ditch. I saw great big lorries ramming into the back of me and wiping out my whole family! I could feel my anxiety levels rise. I could feel my confidence faltering. I felt powerless. I could sense my grasp on reality tunnel-visioning to this additional insurance premium being the only thing to keep my family and me safe on the British roads!

So, what was a simple task on my ‘to do’ list – to pick up the hire car – suddenly became a source of increasing stress and anxiety. Add to this the fact that I know my husband hates paying out on anything unnecessarily, nor does he believe in insurance (he thinks it is a big con) I felt suddenly assailed by doubts, fears, insecurities, and an increasing lack of confidence in my own ability to make the right decision.

Albert Bandura (1988): Self Efficacy Conception of Anxiety, states:

“People who believe that can exercise control over potential threats do not conjure up apprehensive cognitions and, hence, are not perturbed by them. But those who believe they cannot manage potential threats experience high levels of anxiety arousal. They tend to dwell on their coping deficiencies and view many aspects of their environment as fraught with danger. Through such inefficacious thought they distress themselves and constrain and impair their level of functioning (Beck, Emery and Greenberg, 1985; Lazarus and Folkman, 1984; Meichenbaum, 1977; Sarason, 1975).”

So to go back to the car hire shop, there I was, a competent driver of many years experience, suddenly assailed by feelings of doubt and insecurity.

It is at a point like this when your Thrive training kicks in. You apply the cognitive brakes and re-examine what it is that is making you feel anxious. To which, the answer was myself – I was bringing this anxiety on myself by questioning my own (more than proven) abilities. I know I am a good driver. I know that I have been driving for 26 years with no more than one mild prang to my name (nor was it my fault!). I know that if I paid out that extra insurance then I would be throwing good money into the void. I also know that all my conjured up images and fears were of external dangers over which I had little or no control. So really there was no point worrying about them as I could do nothing to change them.

Without my knowledge of Thrive, my experience could have been a lot different. I may have paid out on that extra insurance, which would have increased the financial burden (stress levels up), and incited the irritation of my husband (stress levels up). I would have fretted about both the money and the annoyed husband for several hours/days afterwards (stress levels up). I would also have got into that car with the various frightening images of the car being involved in a number of potential incidents (stress levels up). Due to my increased anxiety levels, my judgement of the road may be impaired and Coue’s Law would kick in – ie: I may well have an accident. OK, I may be indulging in some catastrophic speculation here, but I want to illustrate a point highlighted in Bandura’s research paper that….

“Cognition plays a broader role in human emotion than simply labelling physiological states. Physiological arousal, itself, is often generated cognitively by arousing trains of thought (Beck, 1976; Schwartz, 1971). People frighten themselves by scary thoughts, they work themselves up into a state of anger by ruminating about social slights and mistreatments, they become sexually aroused by conjuring up erotic fantasies, and they become depressed by dwelling on gloomy cognitive scenarios.”

Thrive training – increasing your internal locus of control, giving you power over your thoughts and emotions, will significantly help you to reduce your anxiety and stress levels brought on by events which you may previously have thought were out of your control.

Simply recognising that worrying thoughts and images are simply a figment of your imagination, and not a part of your reality anytime now, or in the future, will go a long way to bringing down your stress gauge to manageable levels.

“It is not the sheer frequency of intrusive cognitions but rather the inefficacy to turn them off that is the major source of distress”. (Bandura, 1988). It is human nature to think the worse, to be pessimistic, to be wary of any dangers and threats in our environment. But to be hypervigilant about perceived threats, to ruminate and brood on them, even when they are proven to be imaginary, is detrimental in the long term to the human spirit.

So after about 10 seconds of such hypervigilant rumination, I stood tall, looked the hire guy in the eye and said No Thanks! I think I laughed it off by making some joke about my husband not believing in insurance. And do you know, I drove that car for 10 days without a single incident. More importantly, I drove on some very congested roads, in some fairly horrific weather conditions, with my most precious cargo (kids) in the back, and I was pretty much anxiety free.

Modern life has a habit of creating a raft of potentially anxiety inducing situations. The car hire is an example, but a typical daily life involving car journeys, dealing with children, workmen, colleagues, bosses, bureaucracy, financial worries (particularly in these trying times)… the list is endless…all add to potential sources of anxiety. And without effective coping skills many people increasingly fall into feelings of powerlessness and inability to cope. Thrive gives you that power back.

If you want to find out more about how the Thrive programme can help you to control runaway thoughts and increasing anxiety levels follow this link http://www.thriveprogramme.org.

Kate Ashley-Norman

Thrive Consultant and Blogger



Let Thrive show you how to take control of your thoughts

I have recently been re-reading some of Roald Dahl’s stories with my seven year old son, and hooting at the antics of that rather repulsive couple, The Twits. I couldn’t help thinking though what kind of life Mrs Twit might have had if she had gone through a course of Thrive when she was younger.

Now Mrs Twit had a ‘fearful ugliness’. But as Dahl was quick to point out, she was not born ugly, she had actually had a nice face when she was younger. She had grown uglier the older she got, and Dahl had a very profound explanation for this. He wrote:

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it.

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

Now Mrs Twit is a particularly repulsive character being used by Dahl for comic effect, but his words are very wise and we would do well to remember them in the context of the Thrive programme. When someone walks into my office who has all the physical attributes of a successful attractive person, yet their whole body language and spoken language is negative and depressive and cloaked in failure and doom and ugliness, then I just know that their mismanaged ugly thoughts are compelling them to don their ‘ugly’, ‘shit-tinted’ spectacles. When turned onto one-self, these shit tinted glasses can have significantly negative effects on the way you feel about yourself, the way you feel about other people, and ultimately about the way you feel about life as a whole.

As we all know and experience at times, the more negative you feel about life, the more difficult it seems to extricate yourself from that downward spiral. As Lyobomirsky and Tkach (2004) so eloquently put it in their research, – “Numerous studies over the past two decades have shown that repetitive ruminations about the implications of one’s depressive symptoms actually maintains those symptoms, impairs one’s ability to solve problems, and ushers in a host of negative consequences.”

The younger, prettier Mrs Twit had so many ugly thoughts about herself and life in general, that her self esteem only allowed her to marry a man she thought she deserved – the ‘foul and smelly’ Mr Twit. And together they perpetuated each other’s ugly approach to life. Their only ‘joy’ in life was to play cruel and disgusting tricks on each other.

Poor Mrs Twit. You can only imagine how her younger, prettier self may well have once dreamed of leading a happy life. But for those caught in a whirlpool of negativity and stress and anxiety, any chance of happiness can only seem like an increasingly unattainable concept. And once on that slippery slope it is easier to just keep slipping down into a depressed and self-flagellating pool, than it is to stand tall and fight it.

And so you get caught in the vicious circle of unhappy, negative, depressive thoughts, feelings of powerlessness, feeling physically and mentally tired, anxious, stressed and unable to cope, and too weak and unmotivated to do anything about it. As a result your immune system is weakened, and opens you up to every bug and virus going. (Anybody who wants to look into the mind-body connection need just Google psychneuroimmunology, PNI).

So don’t be a Mrs Twit and let those ugly thoughts take control and ruin your life (and looks!). You can be powerful over your own thoughts, and the Thrive programme is uniquely positioned to make you understand why, and how you can take control.

If you want to find out more about the Thrive programme and how it can help you and those you love, you can by following this link http://www.thriveprogramme.org.

Kate Ashley-Norman

Thrive Consultant and Blogger