‘Are you OK?’
‘Yes, thank you.’
‘Hmm, no I mean are you really OK?’
‘Well, work is a bit stressful at the moment.’
I have seen so much of this in my work and it is the intelligent, high flying, career minded senior clients that are the worst for owning up to being completely burnt out. The higher up the ladder they are the worse they are for admitting they have a problem and they are so busy they can never find time for an appointment! However, once they do, they are a group of clients I see great success in. Because once you dig beneath the surface, this group of people really know what their aims and objectives are.
When senior managers say they are absolutely fine when they aren’t, it isn’t just bad for them, it’s bad for their staff as well. If they can’t perform, their staff won’t perform. If they outwardly show stress, it will only get passed on. Senior leaders aren’t really forthcoming generally about their mental health and things have got worse since the pandemic. Technology enables an ‘always on’ culture. Everyone is on their phone or Zoom and Teams constantly and there’s no respite. Nobody wants to miss out on that important piece of information that makes them look like they’re not completely switched on all of the time. It also still carries a bit of stigma even though most companies have mental health support, senior managers rarely think it is for them.
Being a high achiever isn’t usually great for your mental health. You’re supposed to be confident at all times. Work/life balance is just something we encourage our staff to focus on. You can’t switch off, you don’t sleep enough and you absolutely don’t know how to say ‘no’. And if you do dare to show some vulnerability or weakness, some people think their career is finished.
Very few of the senior managers I’ve treated put their reason for coming to see me at first for stress or anxiety. Often it is drinking too much or putting weight on due to having too many sugary snacks or eating junk food. Occasionally they want to stop smoking or sometimes they can’t sleep. Most of us will drink too much, eat the wrong types of foods or smoke because we are stressed. Poor sleep is partly a result of not having a healthy lifestyle. It is all connected and it is very rare someone comes to see me with just one element of their life that needs changing, even if one thing causes the trigger.
Hypnotherapy only works if you want it to work for you and you can see and fully understand the problem you are facing. Part of my work is helping clients understand what their problem is, but they need to take that first step to pick up the phone and make an appointment.
So can hypnotherapy help with work-related burnout and stress? Yes absolutely!
Through hypnosis, I take my clients into a deeply relaxed state of mind. This in itself, is a perfect start for anyone who is suffering from burnout. Whilst you are in your subconscious mind, you are more open to suggestions about how to make improvements in your life and how to start breaking the bad habits. Your conscious mind just repeats those habits, but your subconscious mind is much more powerful.
Depending on the root cause of your burnout, I can help you approach all or some of the below:
· How to declutter the mind, reducing procrastination and focussing on priorities
· How to re-establish your self-confidence and self-esteem and stop the self-criticism
· How to reduce anxiety, stress and learn techniques for relaxing
· How to improve your relationships with food, alcohol, exercise and sleep
· How to improve your relationships with colleagues and family
It really works! At first, I am often faced with a certain amount of scepticism especially from those who think hypnotherapy is all woo woo and scented candles. Or those who automatically think of stage hypnotists whose main objective is to entertain and not to solve someone’s stress problems. But my advice is always to give it a try. What do you have to lose? At the very least you’ll give your brain an hour’s break, which it may not have had for a while. At the very best, it will change your life and help you be the person you’ve always wanted to be.