In 2014 The Greater London Authority, under the auspices of the then mayor, Boris Jonson, published a report on London’s mental health. It highlighted the financial costs of depression in the capital, estimating that in the region of £26 million is lost each year to the London economy on account of mental ill health. This figure is the result of lower productivity and reduced quality of life among the city’s suffering residents. In the same year, a study from the Centre for London revealed that Londoners are more likely to suffer from mental ill health than people living in any other region of the UK.
There are many assumed reasons for the prevalence of conditions such as depression and anxiety in London. Firstly, living in a big city makes us feel lonely. Often city-dwellers are separated from their families, friends, and cultural roots. Londoners may see hundreds of people on a day-to-day basis, crowding around them and yet a million miles away emotionally. It’s very easy to assume that everyone else we see is both confident and socially secure, and this intensifies our own feelings of isolation. Loneliness is a common cause of depression.
Another key cause of depression and anxiety are money worries. London is not a cheap place to live. Soaring rents and commuting rates, as well as the exorbitant cost of socialising in the city all put pressure on our pockets. Money worries can spiral and lead to depression as we struggle to balance our need for comfort with the expense of London living.
As winter sets in, it’s also important to remember that physical activity and access to green space is vital to our mental health. With long city commutes and the danger we might feel accessing London’s parks after dark, as well as our evenings filling up with December’s inevitable diary onslaught, Londoners often take less exercise and feel more distant from nature.
Can Hypnosis Help?
Yes. Through hypnosis, my clients enter a trance-like state in which they can explore the causes of their depression and anxiety and be susceptible to ideas that will spark positive change in their lives.
When we are fully relaxed, we are more able to be open about the often emotionally difficult root causes of our mental ill health, both past and present. Because of this, I am also often able to discover the deep seeded and sometimes supressed traumas that may be impeding a client’s recovery. The hypnotic state can be a vital tool in taking the first steps towards battling depression.
Sometimes, confronting the things in our lives which are causing or have caused our mental ill health can be daunting and create further anxiety. We become upset, angry and frustrated when we realise the conditions or our existence which have caused our sadness and worry. Hypnosis allows my clients to face up to the issues affecting them in a calm and focussed way. This boosts their potential for recovery as they do not feel as threatened by the idea of change.
There are several steps that all Londoners can take to improve their mental well-being. I am a great advocate of exercise and of finding focussed personal time. Londoner’s have very busy lives. It is important to diarise time to take physical exercise, preferably outside in one of London’s parks or nearby couuntryside. A brisk weekend walk with a friend is ideal. Try to also create yourself some mental space – whether you sit and have a comforting warm drink alone and watch the rain or take a short trip to one of the city’s galleries at a quiet time of the day.
Make time to connect with family and old friends. While not ideal, even a virtual connection can lift our mood. If you cannot see the people dearest to you in person, schedule time for a proper video call, on which, being together is everyone’s prime focus with no distractions.
Finally, it is important to remember that no matter how worried we may be about our work, or our finances spending a little time and money on our mental health can truly improve our productivity in the long run. As our now prime minister’s report revealed, tackling our depression and anxiety can make us more than just metaphorically richer.