Earlier in the year I ran an online event which I have called ‘take your head on holiday’, which many people with chronic pain joined. It offered you the opportunity of a hypnosis session which took you on the most wonderful holiday experience in your imagination.
My aim is to allow you to use your subconscious to improve your mental health, to raise positive emotions, to help you relax and generally make you feel better.
Lots of people have already told me they love this idea, and those that attended found it extremely enjoyable and beneficial. We have all been missing holidays because of the pandemic. This is a shame as holidays are so good for our mental and physical health. The ‘take your head on holiday’ event was one way of accessing this health-giving experience while still keeping safe.
Let’s look at holidays and what they do for us in more detail. I’ll also spell out how the virtual experience can help too.
Why holidays are good for you.
There are numerous physical reasons. If you go somewhere warm and sunny you will top up your vitamin D and you are likely to increase your physical activity, swimming, walking, cycling and just generally moving about.
My virtual session will not increase your vitamin D, but indirectly it can increase your physical activity. A strong and deep hypnosis can create the experience like physical movement, you can enjoy how it feels to stretch and move your body. It can seed the idea that this is both pleasurable, possible to do and good for you. Once these ideas are firmly planted in your mind it is much easier to translate them into action in the physical world. It can be the first step to a healthier and more active lifestyle.
I want to concentrate now on the mental benefits. Because this is where the real difference can be made.
Seven mental benefits of holidays.
- A change of routine. We often develop unhealthy thinking habits over time without even realising it. If we change our routine, it can reset these habits. So, if you get up every morning and immediately worry about work take a virtual holiday. Spend some time not thinking about work and especially not worrying about work.
- New experiences. You have heard the old adage ‘travel broadens the mind’. Knowing that other people live in a different way, with different ideas and other priorities, can help us reflect on our own lives. If we cannot do this in the physical world it is still possible to strengthen our mental travel muscles. We can do this in hypnosis by remembering an experience or creating a new experience from scratch. Both can develop and widen our perspective in a way which makes healthier thinking habits easier. It is a bit like climbing to the top of a hill and then looking at a different view of the world.
- Travel, even in the mind, is a learning experience. Learning experiences are good for us, they keep our minds young and flexible and once we learn one new thing it is easier to learn others. Learn from a new virtual holiday experience and that will feel fantastic. It will also make it easier for you to learn a new skill, or a new hobby. Like many things, learning is a habit and learning from travel is a lovely way to start it.
- Take a break from work worries. It’s probably true that we all worry about work at some time. But if it becomes obsessive or overwhelming then a break will do you a lot of good.
- Get those happy hormones flowing. For many of us having a holiday is about spending relaxing, fun times with family and friends. Spending time like this will release feel-good hormones into our brains and that will make us feel much, much better. If you spend some virtual time having fun. you will release just the same hormones – our subconscious minds do not recognise the difference between a real and an imagined experience. So, imagining something fun relaxing and pleasant can be a real physical benefit as well.
- Escape from the news. Especially at the moment the news seems unrelentingly bleak. For many of us in our everyday lives we are exposed to news for many hours a day. Holidays can break this habit. On a virtual holiday I can introduce you to the idea of a news diet, for example replacing BBC News with some nice music. That will feel relaxing, pleasant and some people even describe it as having a weight lifted from them. And it is something you can keep up.
- Your diet. Because we have more time on holiday you often eat more healthy food (if often a bit too much!). This can be a great part of a holiday and of a virtual holiday. Lovely fresh food can be enjoyed in the mind and that will make it much more likely that you will seek it out in practice.
A great way to look forward.
One thing which is good for our mental health is planning nice things. I know from my own clients how much not being able to do this in the pandemic has made them miserable. In the time of Coronavirus, rather than being fun, planning a holiday seemed a stress. What was the point when we did not know what was going to happen? We know we are in for a couple of hard months, but we also know vaccines are coming down the track. So, planning does not seem so ridiculous now.
I would encourage you all to use the virtual holiday experience as part of this. We all have had to change many of our habits over the past year so perhaps it is time to be really adventurous and think of something you want to do which you have never done before.
So, contact me, or comment below if you would like you own virtual holiday. Your virtual holiday can have benefits you never dreamed of!