My Most Read Hypnotherapy and Mental Health Articles During 2020

I think we can all agree that 2020 has perhaps been one of the strangest and most challenging years we've ever come across. What started just like any other year quickly became a torrent of uncertainty, lockdowns and restrictions that impacted on pretty much every area of our lives. 

 There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted upon mental health. I can still think back to those uncertain early days of the pandemic lockdown and remember the worry and stress from not knowing how things would pan out for me and the kids, and all the while against the backdrop of staying at home and watching terrible images from in hospitals and the every increasing death rate. since then things have been up and down with the virus and with restrictions, yet the impact of Covid-19 continues to loom large in our lives.

All of the evidence and research I've covered over the year shows increased levels of anxiety, stress, worry and fear. There are health fears about you or your loved ones contracting the virus and the risks that would come with that. You may have been hit financially and been impacted in your work and employment. Education has been impacted upon. Usual activities and routines have been disrupted. You may have been unable to spend time with loved ones or friends, or had to curb your usual sources  of enjoyment and fun. Each and every one of us has faced challenges, disruption and restrictions that have changed the usual path of our life.

At the end of each year I like to highlight the most popular articles on my blog. There may be ones there that you missed or that it may be beneficial to revisit (and remember too that you can also check out my many vlogs for even more help, information and suggestions).. 

It's no surprise that most of my most popular blogs of 2020 cover aspects of mental health and anxiety related to the pandemic. I've been covering the research and suggesting ways to support your mental health and well-being throughout the pandemic, and much of the same advice still holds true at this time. Yet there are also some other aspects of my hypnotherapy work covered such as sports performance, the science behind kindness and other aspects of mental health, overcoming anxiety and managing stress. Do read on and revisit the blogs that were the most popular from over the year. 

hypnotherapy mental health blog 2020

 

My Most Read Hypnotherapy and Mental Health Blogs of 2020:

So here are my most read hypnotherapy and mental health articles of the year, in case you missed them or want to revisit them:

10. We start with something away from the Covid-19 pandemic (although if you are one of those who exercised more during lockdowns then maybe it is related!)

In tenth place is this article all about sports psychology and using hypnotherapy to increase your sports performance. Research has shown that hypnosis can be used to enhance the performance of footballers, cricketers, martial artists, badminton players, cyclists, golfers and basketball players. In fact, from a sports psychology perspective, hypnosis can help with successful athletic performance in many sports and disciplines because of the ability to harness thoughts, feelings, expectation, beliefs and perceptions that support overcoming obstacles, achieving goals and improving your performance.

I covered some of this exciting research about hypnosis and sports performance here: Sports Psychology & Performance: Hypnosis For Peak Performance

Sports Psychology hypnosis sports Performance 

9. There have been many notable examples of kindness this year, from those helping others struggling with aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic, to fund raisers and the awesome clapping for carers that took place earlier in the year where we all got to show our appreciation of all they do. 

Yet even away from this more recent pandemic-related acts of gratitude and kindness, research has shown the strong link between kindness and happiness. To put it simply, if you want to be happier yourself then you should work on being kind to others. And if you link both gratitude and kindness practices, then you will likely find yourself feeling happier, experiencing more of a sense of well being and life satisfaction, and experiencing less distress such as anxiety. There's more about the research and how to benefit from kindness in this article from earlier in the year: The Benefits of Kindness - How Being Kind Can Make You Happier

Benefits Of Kindness hypnotherapy ely 

8. Many people during 2020 have found that, due to the pandemic, they have discovered (or re-discovered) a new found appreciation of things. Whether that's the people in their lives, the NHS, the milkman, the ability to get out and exercise, the freedom to travel or any other number of things that may have been impacted upon due to Covid-19. 

Research supports the notion that gratitude is strongly beneficial for a number of aspects of mental health and well-being. If you purposefully notice and appreciate positive aspects in your life then you will likely be happier, more optimistic, have positive self-esteem and be more positive. You are also likely to experience less depression and anxiety symptoms. 

However, we humans do have a tendency to get used to things and so to potentially appreciate them less over time. It's worth making sure that once the pandemic is behind us, we all deliberately continue to notice and appreciate the things that will once again be back as part of our lives.

Using a process of 'negative visualisation', which I cover in this article, can help us to value the people and things we have in our lives so that we experience more joy and happiness. By thinking about no longer having the things that are currently in our life, we can re-appreciate them and thereby reconnect with their value to us (and yes it is a bit like the story of George Bailey in 'A Wonderful Life' (it isn't Christmas without that film!) in which he imagines what things would have been like had he never been born): Using Negative Visualisation To Support Having A Wonderful Life

 

7. Perhaps predictably, many of my most read articles this year have been about coping with anxiety and supporting your mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic. There's no doubt that many have struggled with different aspects of the challenges that we've all faced, from impacts on employment and education, the loss of social contact and being able to spend time with friends and family, financial issues, worries about contracting the virus and so many other things. A high number of people I've helped this year had anxiety related to the coronavirus or found that the current pandemic has exacerbated other mental health issues for them. 

As well as anxiety and mental health impacts, the pandemic also impacted upon the use of alcohol and other substances to cope, was associated with negative body image and impacted upon sleep (and lead to vivid dreams) for many people, all things I've written about fairly recently.

To help you cope with anxiety and to support your mental health, I covered seven useful strategies you can call upon to protect your mental health and as an antidote to stress, anxiety and worry caused by the coronavirus in this article: More Ways To Deal With Anxiety - Mental Health During Coronavirus and Beyond (of course, these are good things to do if you suffer with anxiety or stress for any reason, or if you want to proactively support your mental health).

more ways to deal with anxiety coronavirus mental health 

6. There is no doubt that our resilience has been tested throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns and restrictions. We've all had to cope with limits and changes to our usual habits and patterns across many facets of our lives, and as I write this, all of this has been ongoing for many, many months. Whilst the end may be more in sight with the vaccination programme, there are still challenges to be faced and tackled.

Resilience can be defined as your capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and your ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.  It encompasses handling challenges, being able to adapt whilst maintaining your mental health and sense of well-being, and being able to 'bounce-back' after facing your difficulties. Covid-19 has certainly tested those resilience levels and continues to do so.

I think all of us have had periods during the pandemic when we have wondered about what the future holds and how we might cope with certain aspects of it. And particularly, if you are struggling with your mental health, and you are experiencing anxiety, depression or stress symptoms, then you may doubt your own ability to handle, deal and cope with challenges in your life (Covid-19 related or otherwise).

Yet it turns out that our brains are pretty poor at estimating our own resilience and ability to handle challenges and set backs that may occur. We tend to inaccurately predict how we will respond to emotional life events and challenges, something I discuss in much more depth in this popular article: Are You More Resilient Than You Think? Dealing With Challenges Post Covid-19

 resilience dealing with challenges covid19

 

5. Way back when lockdown one was coming to and end (it certainly feels like it was way back anyway), there was concern that the pandemic had created a 'mental health ticking timebomb.' All the evidence shows that levels of anxiety and stress have been raised through the pandemic. Certainly during the early stages of the pandemic mental health was severely affected for many people, and whilst the year has had waves of what have seemed like better or worse periods, this negative mental impact has come on top of anxiety levels that have been rising for at least a decade.

Large number of people I've helped during the year have found that their mental health has suffered as a direct result of the pandemic, because of the changes and restrictions associated with it or because factors around the pandemic have exacerbated other issues to an extent where they need support and therapeutic help. Until the benefits of the vaccination programme are achieved, it may well be that Covid-19 related mental health issues continue to impact (and if you are struggling with anxiety, worry, fear or stress please do check out the proactive actions you can take to support your mental health in some of the other articles here). 

There's more on all of this here: Covid-19 & Easing Lockdown: A Ticking Mental Health Timebomb?

 

4. If you were already struggling with anxiety, worry and fear even before Covid-19, then everything going on through the year may have massively exacerbated your anxiety. With anxiety, you may struggle with managing uncertainty, thinking the worst and catastrophising and overthinking those 'what-if' things. And as we continue to wade through these unchartered waters with Covid-19, there is no certainty and things are out of your control in many ways. 

And even if anxiety wasn't a thing in your life before the pandemic, the changes and restrictions, the fatigue from the pandemic, the unknowns about the future and all the worry right now can cause increased stress that impacts on your mental health. 

Yet although so much is outside your control around the pandemic and restrictions and everything that goes with it, there are plenty of things that you can do to support your mental health. And in this post I covered several proactive steps you can take that can help support your mental health and well-being and help you to cope and deal with the coming months: Coronavirus And Your Mental Health

 

3. In compiling this list of my most popular blogs of 2020, I've left out any that related to business updates, such as office openings and working arrangements during the various restrictions (otherwise a lot of this list might have just been a bunch of posts saying I'm open, or shut, or online, or doing face to face sessions and so forth). From the perspective of my hypnotherapy sessions in Ely and Newmarket, things changed multiple times over the year (with online hypnotherapy sessions continuing, and becoming more popular, throughout).

However, my third most popular post is perhaps a little more related to my hypnotherapy business, so please do indulge me and let me have one entry that's about these kinds of things! Way back before lockdown was a word any of us ever used, I headed back into the studio to record some more hypnosis downloads to help and support you. 

In addition to my popular hypnosis downloads for issues such as anxiety and confidence, I added new hypnosis download titles to help with starting the day feeling calm and confident, reducing worry and a download to help you start being kinder to yourself and liking yourself more (based upon research showing that this can help you to reduce self-criticism, anxiety and depression, as well as helping you feel better in yourself). You can find all of my hypnosis downloads over in my shop if you want to check them out (and the reviews too): Hypnosis Downloads

And there's more about the downloads I added in 2020 over in this article: New Hypnosis Downloads - Worry, Confidence and Loving Kindness. I'm all set to add more hypnosis downloads in 2021 once the recording studio I use is back up and open (so keep your eyes peeled for those!).

Morning Calmness Hypnosis Download 

2. Way back at the very outset of the year I wrote about some proactive steps you can take to reduce your anxiety. Back then life was pretty 'normal', especially when compared to the rest of the year. In the article I talk about a bunch of things that I'd been up to including our annual trip to the fantastic Ely panto, having fun helping at the Ely Runners New Years Eve 10k and how I'd been spending some festive holiday time getting out running (which it turns out I over did so I suffered an injury!). At least my running is back up and (excuse the pun) running, even if the other things have had to skip a year.

So take this opportunity to remind yourself of some of the activities that we used to take for granted before Covid-19 and put some of the anxiety relief steps into action to support your mental health: Anxiety Relief And Happy New Year!

 

1. And my number one, most popular blog of 2020, goes to....(do a drum roll inside your head please)...this one about laughter (that has no mention of Covid-19 at all in it). 

I wrote this article, and delved into the science behind the benefits of laughter, after watching a comedy show. I've even given you  some groan worthy gags in there too (I know right! I'm both charming and generous!). As if that wasn't enough the article includes a link back to an earlier blog about using humour to tackle anxiety and stress that contains three of the funniest comedy sketches ever made (in my humble opinion).  

As I cover in this most popular of popular blogs, there is evidence to support the beneficial effects of laughing more and not just because it makes us feel good. Laughter can help you reduce anxiety and stress, can help people with depression, can boost your immune system and can even help you burn more calories!! Boom, boom! It's a cracker! Just like that!

Even amongst everything that the current pandemic is throwing our way, there are still opportunities for smiling and laughing. So make the most of them, seek them out and enjoy the benefits for your mental health and well-being. There's more on this and the research behind it in the full article here: Is Laughter The Best Medicine For Anxiety, Stress and Mental Health?

laughter anxiety stress mental health hypnotherapy ely

 

I hope that you've been doing ok during the pandemic and that revisiting some of these posts has given you inspiration, positive thoughts and proactive ideas you can move forward upon to support your mental health and reduce anxiety and stress. 

It looks like the pandemic may be with us for a few more months (at least) yet, so remember that, in addition to these most read articles, I published another seventy or so blogs (and additional vlogs) that you can find on my website pages too. These cover all aspects of anxiety, stress, mental health, happiness, self-esteem, psychology and much more, so do check them out too. And, of course, I'll be continuing to add more mental health and hypnotherapy articles during 2021 to keep supporting you. 

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2021,

Dan Regan

Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket

Online Hypnotherapy (Skype / Zoom) 

 

Need some help with anxiety, stress, worry and fear? Book your Complimentary Hypnotherapy Strategy Session with Dan now: Appointments

Find out what other people have said after their hypnotherapy sessions with Dan: Hypnotherapy Testimonials

And check out these powerful hypnosis downloads that can start helping you right away wth anxiety, confidence and more: Hypnosis Downloads