Self Care: Monitor Your Intake

I was recently discussing books with some people I know and they suggested certain books to me that are not in my usual genre. As an avid reader, I generally read 4 books at a time: 1 audio book in the car (fiction or biographical), 1 for-fun fiction book, and 2 non-fiction books, generally related to psychology or another of my work-aspirations. Whatever I’m in the mood for, I’m partway through one of them. But my for-fun book is always fiction, always set in some fantasy place or completely made up setting of a real place. I like wizards and dragons and magic and being transported to somewhere completely new and outside of my reality.

So when these other avid readers suggested murder-mystery books and books about interesting serial killers and the like, I wasn’t interested. In my practice, I hear a lot of stories and many are quite unpleasant, which is why they need a professional to clear that stuff away. I’m very skilled at leaving other people’s problems in the office and not letting that bleed into my life. I don’t stay up at night thinking about the terrible things that happened to my clients – not ever. This isn’t callous, this is how you keep from burning out and stay with the client in that moment, in control of the situation and not get pulled into the story. You don’t want me crying with you in session, right? Me either! How unprofessional.

Similarly, my husband and I were talking about horror movies recently and I discerned that I no longer like the kind with “realistic” happenings in them – serial killers, madmen, psychos – but I still like the kind with supernatural appeal – haunted places, things come to life, mythological creatures. Those just aren’t as scary to me as they could be real or not. There are really killers in the world. It doesn’t interest me to spend my free time on that stuff.

My free time is for fun and I want it to be completely fun. I also limit what sorts of depressing media I take in. I don’t watch the news, almost ever, and if I do, it’s BBC World News America because they don’t throw in a bunch of sensationalism and make you terrified. Who needs that? I sometimes watch The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight, but it’s comedy and not all truth.

Think also about who you allow in your life and what they bring to the relationship. Take care of you in your way. Limit what you take in. Monitor your intake and do what is right for you.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

Mind-Body Healing

I’ve had a bad back for years. I treat it with acupuncture and chiropractor visits and use an amazing heating pad. Sometimes, though, I throw my back out and it’s a few days where I’m benched until it’s better. That happened a few weeks ago (originally published in 2013). I was packing for a move and I wish I could say it was lifting a box, but it was getting up from the bed playing with the cat, just twisted wrong and that was it. No time to be sidelined, though, there was too much to do, and I had another training coming up. These trainings are 3-day long-day events in uncomfortable conference room chairs.

At the training, my back was killing me. I wasn’t whining about it on the outside, but I was going through Advil at an unhealthy rate and halfway through the day was needing half a muscle relaxer just to not whimper. On day 2, we did break-out practice groups to increase responsiveness. I believe that the mind controls the body in most everything and that the signals, if not going to the mind, are not going to be received, coded, or perceived, so the mind is the key to all this. Thus, I believe that the mind can make the change in all this, speeding healing, blocking pain, and increasing the time needed to receive and process the message of discomfort and what the body needs.

In my trance state, my partner effectively increased responsiveness in me. This meant, to me, that my body and mind were more than twice as responsive from before this trance state session. My body and mind were optimized, turned up, in line. I took my symbol and used it every time my back twinged. One deep breath, eyes closed, and thanked the messenger for the message that something was amiss and I needed to give extra care and healing to that part of my body. Second deep breath, eyes closed, dissipate the pain (I pictured it pixelated and expanding away). Note: none of this was part of what my partner did in the trance state, but since my body and mind were already optimized for responsiveness, they were responding to one another in an advanced way and I was building on that. This did not remove all pain; there was still an error in my body, a problem to be healed, but I could increase healing and decrease pain.

A couple of days later, my husband and I met up after my training was over and he was rubbing my back and said “I can see this is the muscle you pulled; it’s raised, but your whole back isn’t swollen anymore. Does it still hurt?” “Some,” I answered, “keep looking.” He did and I took a few breaths, visualizing my symbol and dissipating the pain. He said it looked a little flatter and how did I do that? This stuff, it’s good stuff! 

I also got an emotional issue for me unstuck that weekend at the training and am looking forward to using that energy for being awesome in the moment and seeing how it frees me up for health and happiness.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

Changing Personality?

Sometimes people wonder if the process of therapy will change their personality, if they will be someone other than themselves once they fix the troubling pieces. Good therapy is meant to change the parts you want changed, on your agenda, not the therapist’s. If Oscar the Grouch wanted to process the death of Mr. Cooper, he would still leave therapy a grouch. If Oscar ever wanted to be less grouchy, that would be his choice. Therapy is never meant to make you anything that you are not, except a better version of yourself, fixing what you want changed.

“I’d rather be myself,” he said. “Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly.” Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

Living with chronic illness

At the time of this writing, I was 11 weeks into a constant migraine and taking steps to figure out a cause and some solutions. That probably doesn’t count a chronic illness yet, but here’s what I’ve learned thus far:

Lower your bar. Do what you can and be where you’re at. It’s okay if all you can do today is nothing. Perhaps you can do a single task for work, or for your home, or for your health and hygiene. That’s okay. Count your wins. Perhaps today I can only lie under the blankets and wish the world away, but I also brushed my teeth. Count that as a win. It’s a little win. But if, today, you could also make a meal for yourself, that’s 2 wins. Some days hold larger or more numerous victories. Count it all.

Do it now, if you can. I’m a procrastinator and leave things for Future Me to do. But since I can’t do everything everyday, Current Me has to be more responsible.

Keep records and be scientific. I started tracking things in Excel (I’m that brand of nerd). I was tracking temperature, barometric pressure, pollen counts, stages of the moon, my temperature, my blood sugar, my blood pressure, my mood, my energy levels, my sleep patterns, pain levels, and what medications I was taking and how they made me feel. This allowed me to have a more productive conversation with my doctor. We could rule things in and out. This got me closer to knowing what was and was not helping, what may be a cause or correlation, and we could discuss it without me saying “I don’t know. I just hurt all the time,” which wasn’t helpful.

Seek help. Talk to your doctor and advocate for yourself. Say “it’s still not better” if that’s true. Take a referral to a specialist – this made a big difference to me. Join a support group online – there’s lots of free peer-run groups on Facebook and elsewhere – but remember that they are people like you and not professionals. Ask people you know if they’ve been through what you’re experiencing and what they suggest. If you’d like to learn to manage pain in the body, I can teach you that through self hypnosis. Please read this article on the process and call the number below to schedule an appointment.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

Mini-Missions: Simplify & Add Joy to Your Life In Less Than 30 Minutes

Mini-Missions offers a life lesson for each week that can be completed in under 30 minutes. Anything from how to improve your credit score, to how to be a better friend, to how to have a cleaner house is included in this short, handy guide.

It is available at Amazon for only $8.50 (less on Kindle, if you want to keep it for yourself) and even has a match book price if you want to give a paper copy and keep a digital copy, so you’ll save a few bucks!

If you’ve already read it, won’t you please leave a review on Amazon and tell people how your life was made a little better by clicking HERE?

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

Secondary Trauma?

waves crashing on rocks

I’m hearing the term “secondary trauma” misused frequently. Let’s learn what the different kinds of trauma are.

Trauma is an experience that leaves a negative impact on a person. This is usually caused by a single event (such as, but not limited to: car accident, rape, mugging, natural disaster, or neighborhood violence).

Secondary trauma is what happens to a person in the processing of that event. For example: a person is raped and knows the rapist. They press charges and, as have to give physical evidence, be questioned by police and lawyers, and appear in court facing their abuser. Each step may increase the trauma.

Vicarious trauma is the sort of burn out that trauma therapists, CPS workers, police, or others may endure from working with cases of trauma. It is the strain of carrying another person’s burden. This can be offset by learning to compartmentalize the information they take in as belonging to others.

I will be holding an upcoming webinar on managing vicarious trauma. Please contact me with your interest at autumn@clearmindgroup.com.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

Be a Quitter: Stop Smoking with Hypnosis

Smashing The Habit

Quit smoking in an effective, lasting manner that takes into account your history, health, and needs. Regular cost is $750, but I’m offering this as a package for $600 if you pre-pay. That’s 5 hours over the course of 4 sessions.

Share this important information with your friends and coworkers! Be quitters together and enjoy better health and a longer life. Continue reading “Be a Quitter: Stop Smoking with Hypnosis”

Talk About Mental Health

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by Beatrice the Biologist

For hundreds of years, mental health has long been talked about in hushed tones.

Is it any wonder, when we started out treating it as possession by evil spirits? Ancient skulls have been found with holes knocked in them to let out the demons. If this was the method of treatment, I’d keep any abnormal thoughts to myself, too, to avoid having to “get better” that way. Continue reading “Talk About Mental Health”

Your Power Song

picjumbo.com_HNCK8495Symbols are powerful instruments used by the brain to store larger clusters of data. Hypnotherapists frequently use symbols to embed commands and anchor to positive emotions. Symbols can be visual or auditory, or even based in touch.

Music is an auditory form of a symbol. Music can evoke Continue reading “Your Power Song”

Mastermind Groups

picjumbo.com_HNCK2146If you do not already have one, I highly recommend starting a Mastermind Group for you and your colleagues.

What is it? A group of people with similar careers meet on a scheduled basis to discuss their progress, growth, share resources, and assist one another.

What’s the benefit? Everyone is better at Continue reading “Mastermind Groups”