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    OVERCOMING FEAR OF WEARING FACE MASKS

    As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, for some people, having to wear a face mask, has seen their anxiety risen to new heights and my office phone is constantly ringing with people wishing to address this issue. Knowing the health benefits doesn’t necessarily make us feel more comfortable about wearing face masks, as the reasons behind our anxiety can vary greatly. Some of these reasons can include feelings of claustrophobia, a gagging sensation, often our health anxiety kicks in because it’s a visual reminder of the pandemic, many people have fears around their oxygen levels and not being able to breathe. During our lifetime, phobias can be developed at any time and can be triggered by a wide variety of factors. For…

    How does eco-therapy help people with chronic pain?

    I am always encouraging my clients to get out into nature any time they can. I know it helps them. This is true both when I see people suffering from anxiety, especially as the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic hits us all, and also with my clients who come to me for psychology/hypnotherapy for chronic pain.  The idea that nature is our natural cure is becoming more popular. It has a name – eco therapy – which is being widely talked about at the moment. What is eco-therapy? Lately a couple of my own clients have asked about eco-therapy and how they can participate. I was a bit worried that they seemed to think it would be difficult to access or to do. In fact,…

    10 Ways For People With Chronic Pain To Take Time Out More Often

      We live in a world where people seem to compete to have the busiest lives and don’t like to say no when people ask them to do anything. We manage our chronic pain, work, join clubs and teams, and also balance our family and home lives.  It’s no wonder people are under more stress today than ever before. There are articles all over the place about the many ways we can relax, but how do we make time to do them? This article is going to cover ten practical ways to take time out of your busy life and relax more often. 1. Use Breathing Exercises: Breathing exercises don’t take much time out of your day to complete. They are a fast and effective…

    People with Chronic Pain- What to do if you are worried about the end of lockdown

    It is all change now. After being stuck at home, slowly we are able to go out a bit again.  There are some new phrases we are all going to be getting used to over the next weeks as the lockdown begins to ease up. End of lockdown anxiety; going back to work anxiety; re-entry anxiety; all these words and others will be popping up in our newspapers and on the TVs shortly. This is a real thing. I am already seeing it in my psychology clinics, which are online now, but usually in Bedford and Milton Keynes. I have seen a lot of clients recently who are finding the prospect of going out of their houses or returning to work is making them anxious….

    Using the Power of Gratitude to Help Manage 

      Your Chronic Pain The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, better management of chronic pain, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.  But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just the word thank you. We have to learn a new way…

    5 Ways to Improve Your Quality of Life When Dealing 

      With Chronic Pain and Illness Chronic illnesses include things like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic pain such as arthritis. They can affect every aspect of your life and can increase your stress levels. Unfortunately, when your stress levels go up, this has a negative feedback on your chronic illness so that you can actually make your chronic illness worse.  The goal is to effectively cope with your chronic pain and illness, so that you don’t stress yourself out and can live your life to the fullest.    Dealing with your Chronic Pain and Illness Dealing with chronic pain and illness can be extremely taxing and aggravating. What with doctor’s appointments, medications, and limitations on your daily activities, many people with chronic illness suffer…

    Building resilience to help you manage your chronic pain

    If a scroll through your social media feed or a quick look at your favourite news outlet each morning triggers sweaty palms, a racing heart, and other feelings of panic, you are not alone. The stress in our country is overwhelming, and often as a result our mental health does to. Though physical health is a top concern as we anxiously check for news on containment of COVID-19, we’re also worrying about job loss, financial fallout, school closures, grief, and uncertainty about what the future holds. An article published April 10 in JAMA Internal Medicine cautions that although the literature on the mental health consequences of epidemics is sparse, large-scale disasters are often associated with increases in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use disorder, a broad…

    Chronic Pain, Fatigue, Sleep and Coronavirus- What we know and what we can do about it.

      We still do not have enough tests for Coronavirus, although this is improving. Many of us may even have had it and not know it. Others will be worried about catching it and scan themselves regularly and worry about every twitch, ache or pain. If you have had Coronavirus it is very possible that you will suffer from fatigue as you recover. We still do not fully understand why this happens, but there is growing evidence from patients that it is real.  NBC news in America reported on this and it does seem to be common. People recovering for the virus are describing the same sort of things. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/fever-fatigue-fear-some-recovering-covid-19-patients-weeks-illness-n1197806 Many people feel they are on the mend and then will suddenly be hit by…

    Struggling to breathe? Feeling hot and sweaty? Coughing?  Is it Anxiety or COVID-19?

      With the easing of lockdown restrictions, some of my patients have reporting feeling more anxious because they are concerned that their symptoms seem like the symptoms of COVID-19. Feeling anxious about the COVID -19 pandemic is to be expected, however don’t let your mind race away and automatically assume you have COVID-19, you may be experiencing anxiety or a panic attack. Often we can recognise that we are worrying about COVID-19, however, you might not to be able to identify the physical symptoms that you are struggling with anxiety, which can be similar to COVID-19 in terms of shortness of breath, hot and sweaty, and a cough. This causes a cycle of panic – you worry about having COVID-19 and your body creates what…

    Finding Hope In Uncertain Times

      With or without chronic / persistent pain, there is a lot of uncertainty in life, whether in our personal affairs, our physical or mental health, or in our changing and unsteady political climate. Often the strategies that most of us rely on to contend with such uncertainty tend to be self-defeating. When we face an uncertain future, we often resort to feeling anxious, worrying, complaining, or being negative about events that may never occur.  But some people rise to meet uncertain times with hope and resilience. We need to develop such attitudes if we want to be successful in the face of life’s ups and downs.  What does having hope mean? Think of how you handle difficult situations. Do you offer platitudes like, “I…

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