A survey of almost 1,500 14 to 24 year olds showed Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter increased their feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. Only YouTube was considered to have a positive impact, although it could negatively impact sleep patterns.
Young people stated the negative effects of their social media experiences were: worrying about body image, increased cyberbullying, sleep problems, anxiety, depression and loneliness. Instagram and Snapchat were rated the worst platforms for mental health and well-being. Both of these sites are very image-focused.
Social media websites have value providing young people use them in moderation.
The Guardian 19th May 2017 article: “Popular social media sites harm young people’s mental health”
Perhaps its strange sometimes when an invisible attraction takes over our mind. I’m not talking about physical attractions of a sexual form, but what is literally a magnet attraction. Some might call it intuition. This is when a part of us is drawn towards our perceived needs. Again I’m not talking about a trip to the pub, but on a somewhat higher plane.
Just as when our magnet thoughts lock onto something it can become obsessional. Like a burning ambition. Of course, when our thoughts are positive that’s really good. Then our imagination can often unconsciously work on it and take it a step forward. Helping you chart a path to reaching your goal. Experts in the field have called it The Law of Attraction.
This means, for example, if you think positive thoughts you will overall tend to receive positive experiences in return. If we look for the good in others we’ll tend to see it. We tend to see what we want to see in that regard. An optimist will see opportunities. A pessimist will have a gloomy and over-cautious view of his or her world. Which would you rather be? Now much of who we are in this regard has been programmed at a subconscious level. And often it’s the earlier life experiences which has put this in place. But even if one person has a tendency to view life as almost full of insurmountable difficulties as adults we are all capable of change.
We ALL have amazing potential, being humans at the top of the evolutionary ladder. Belief is the key and with a little courage our plans can become real. I saw a derelict church today that is being converted into a community centre, cafe and office space. Fantastic. Becoming more confident is not achieve by remaining in a well-worn ‘comfort zone’ of over-familiar experiences. But breaking out of these restrictions can give an amazing boost to self-esteem. Believing you can do it is a great starting point. We do become what we think.
It is known that women, rather than men, are the most frequent users of Talking Therapies including Hypnotherapy. Men seem to grin and ‘bottle-up’ their personal issues. Part of the alpha-male image perhaps, where feelings are kept hidden beneath a brave exterior. I think this is unfortunate to say the least. We now have one sad statistic that shows suicide rates among men to be three times higher than women. Depression is just as likely in men as in women, but we don’t hear about the pain they go through.
More than two-thirds of women who are depressed will tell someone, but only just over half of men will admit to feeling down. Better to get it out guys. Whether it’s an old issue or something more recent. Fortunately the tide is now turning on the macho image. Prince Harry, Rio Ferdinand and many other famous alpha types are now not frightened to open up about their feelings. This is a massive step forward. a brilliant move for the male of the species. We all have feelings. We all experience emotions. And we all can get lonely. Don’t be frightened to bring them out in the open.
In a more gender equal society our roles are more interchangeable than ever. Let’s get that horrible suicide rate down where it belongs: zero. Life is wonderful and to be enjoyed, whether your male or female. We are proud to live in a great country.
It may or may not have escaped your notice that this week (8th-14th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week, a time when the spotlight falls on this less glamorous aspect of our health and welfare. But when you consider that some 40% of doctors appointments are for depression and anxiety-related issues we should accept that this is a very big problem for society. In pure economic terms, apart from the misery it can cause, depression cost our economy over £100 billion a year – almost enough to fully fund the NHS. More and more we hear of well-known people, such as Prince Harry, expressing their feelings publicly and I believe this to be a good thing. It is not a weakness, nor should it be stigmatized. Modern society can be a very isolated and lonely place for many people. I have mentioned my own experience with depression on the ‘About Alan’ page of this website. More importantly I state how this long-standing problem was resolved.
A fascinating talk on Mesmerism was given by award-winning author Wendy Moore at the recent Books by the Beach event in Scarborough. Wendy traced the history of mesmerism (the old name for hypnosis) from around 1830. In those days medicine was a brutal business, particularly due to the absence of drugs to ease the pain of surgery.
Dr John Elliotson was a brilliant and highly qualified medical practitioner who introduced hypnosis to his colleagues and his demonstrations attracted great crowds at University College Hospital London. But at that time even the academics had a very poor understanding of what hypnosis is and can do, some even called it animal magnetism. Many of the conventional medical profession of the time view hypnosis as completing with their often lucrative private work and the undoubted value of hypnotherapy was placed on the back burner of treatments.
You can find reference to more recent developments in the clinical application of hypnosis in the ‘How We Help’ page of this website. Fortunately we are now much better informed these days even thought the media sometimes portray hypnosis as a ‘dark art’ I’m afraid that just shows their ignorance. Hypnosis is our most natural state of mind that we access several times a day. It is a force for good.
The Wendy Moore book is entitled ‘Mesmerism: medicine or myth?’ and is an excellent read if you enjoy medical history.