Posted on Leave a comment

Enhance Your Mental Health And Wellbeing

the stresshacker, yoga nidra, dynamic sleep, audio programme

Happy Mental Health Awareness Day!

You may have been wondering where I’d got to and why I haven’t written many blogs recently. Thank you for emailing and asking it’s prompted me to let you know that in the spirit of mental health awareness I have been taking care of my own wellbeing.

At the start of the pandemic in March like many, I began working from home, with clients online and teaching zoom yoga classes, my working week soon became busy. As a result I found myself pretty much cooped up in one room for quite long periods of time.

Although I’m fortunate to have a great view of some trees and sky the fact remains it’s a small room.

To counter stress, the threat of any mental health issues and to keep active, I started cycling and got hooked!

I love the freedom it offers and have discovered places in my area that I didn’t know existed. This activity is so good for the mind because cliché or not, it is true that a change is as good as a rest.

As a result, I have developed more resilience on all levels in addition to feeling fitter; I’ve improved lung capacity and muscle strength

Is your main trigger for frustration technology?

Early on in Lockdown, I had some really frustrating IT issues, at one point my entire website was wiped, boy did that stress me out! In an attempt to stop myself from throwing the laptop out of the window and to protect my mental health and wellbeing, I took off on my bike instead.

And this is when my mental health awareness kicked in

because within 10 minutes I observed a complete shift in my thinking and noticed that I was simply enjoying the moment. Looking at the trees and breathing in the fresh air I felt free and happy. I’d let all that tension and aggravation go by changing my activity.

But how do you make that kind of shift in your wellbeing if you don’t happen to like cycling I hear you ask. The answer is to change your activity sufficiently to alter your emotional state, which will in turn will affect your mental health positively.

Fortunately there’s a really easy solution and that’s yoga.

I’m not even talking about poses or sequences here. I’m talking about Yoga Nidra the practice sometimes called deep yogic sleep.

Here’s how it works, by regular practice we train the body to relax quickly and develop the ability to step back and observe the impact that certain thoughts, ideas and images have on the physical body.

As such we develop awareness, more self control and as a by-product better mental health. Yoga Nidra teaches us to detach from things that can trigger unwanted emotion (unless someone wipes your website that is!) helps us to develop mental resilience and to feel more empowered.

If you want to join us in a live class on Thursday evenings drop me a line or pick up a copy here https://www.thestresshacker.com/product/yoga-nidra-dynamic-sleep/

Here are just some of the things people say after a session of yoga nidra.

“ I slept for a straight 9 hours afterwards!”

“ … a lovely relaxing class”

“I couldn’t wait to go to sleep, and slept longer than usual. Yesterday felt super refreshed”

“Just what I needed, and feel totally rested”

“Wonderful class I enjoyed it so much, had a full 8 hours sleep last night”

Yoga Nidra  is an effortless way to enhance your wellbeing and really does require minimal effort.

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Posted on Leave a comment

3 MINDFUL WEIGHT LOSS Secrets You Never Knew

I know the issue of weight loss isn’t for everyone but I’m  making an effort to avoid using the C and ‘L…down’ words as I figured you’ve read enough of that elsewhere.

We’ve had a macrocosmic shift which means there’s been a lot of microcosmic shifts i.e inner changes for everyone in the way that we work, play, think, feel and behave. And nowhere more than in eating habits.

After reading about the misery that so any people are experiencing, (not just from feeling isolated or homeschooling! ) but more around their increasing weight I thought it was time to share some weight loss tips.

These simple tips will help you to get back on track and help you to feel better

  1. As business guru Brian Tracy says “If You Fail To Plan You Plan To Fail” so have a light meal and sit down with a pen and paper.  Do this now, write out your breakfast, lunch and dinner menu for 14 days. It’s OK if you repeat certain meals.
  2. Be sure to include protein for breakfast, think nuts, cheese, meats. Lots of high fibre fruit and veg. You can eat celery, tomatoes, radishes, cucumber for breakfast with a couple of slices of cheese you know.
  3. Before each meal drink a large glass of room temperature water.
  4. NEVER SHOP on an empty stomach
  5. NEVER SHOP without a plan (that’s your list)

This should start to help you get on track again. There are many more tried and tested tips and suggestions Mindful Weight Loss can be practised by anyone.

If you want to join the Mindful Weight Loss course for an unbelievably great price, buddy up. Bring a friend and you both pay £49.50 bring three friends and you all pay £33 bring four … and you all pay £24.75 contact me now.  Although this is an exclusive offer just for my lovely Stresshacker subscribers  please  feel free to forward to your friends if  you’d like them to enjoy the offer too. 

It’s not even about being able to lose weight  so much much as the horrible beating up that most of us do about putting on a few pounds.  Trust me we will never get the best out of ourselves if we’re listening to  the negative head trash. A daily diet of criticism, judgement and blame bring feelings of frustration,guilt and shame. Stop that!

Self-love and kindness that’s the key

Start By Loving Yourself

For some the word mindfulness has begun to feature more largely in life. The slower pace (for some) has enabled us to become mindful and present in our daily activities such as walking, shopping and cooking.

If you haven’t got time to read catch up with one of 3 podcast episodes about mindful weight loss here https://anchor.fm/stresshacker/episodes/Mindfulness-special–Part-13-What-is-Mindfulness-efjbdv

This has got to be a good thing no? I wrote about different ways to apply mindful eating  here. https://www.thestresshacker.com/how-to-lose-weight-while-you-eat/  What about trying this though. How would it be if the next meal you prepare for yourself  was made like this.

First take a breath, consider the meal that  you’re making.  Secondly consciously, that means ONLY  thinking about what you’re doing in the moment, take out all the ingredients – even if it’s just a snack.

Thirdly set about preparing this meal in a loving way.  Approach this as if it is the last meal you will ever make for someone you love dearly. That could be your cat, child or lover, it could be someone from the past  or someone who has passed, find that person/pet and generate feelings of warmth and love that you have/had for them. Approach the making of that meal with the most loving feeling that you can pull up  in your heart and mind.

The entire time you’re preparing it, imagine sending thoughts of love. Wish them peace, protection, good health, joy. Wish them freedom from stress, anxiety or danger. Now imagine them sending that back to you… receive those feelings back from them, do your best to feel them. All the while making the meal.  That’s it!

This will be one of the tastiest meals you’ve ever eaten. Don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself.

Meanwhile you might want to see what the NHS recommend for weight control https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/12-tips-to-help-you-lose-weight/

For general podcasts on mental health, mind and body topics you can catch my regular podcasts here https://anchor.fm/stresshacker

Oh and I almost forgot to mention I’ve got a small piece in Psychologies Magazine this month.

No More Anxiety
Anxiety, Thestresshacker and Psychologies Magazine

Posted on Leave a comment

How To Take Part In Today’s Global Meditation

To Spread Peace

Chaos and unrest are necessary ingredients for change and I doubt that any of us have escaped change so far this year.

Working as a psychotherapist, coach and yoga teacher I’ve learned that there is a time of turmoil and confusion when we learn something new. It stirs up and unsettles what we thought we knew.

Space is required whilst new neurological pathways are carved out adjoining new learning with old. Updating the software if you like.

الحياة مكس

We can see this as a macrocosm and a microcosm in the world right now. The quicker we learn and understand that things need to change, the more quickly life can settle down again as a recalibrated, refined and improved version.

What easier way to create the space needed than to meditate. It is a simple yet powerful tool that can facilitate our growth and development mentally, physically and spiritually and there is now a plethora of scientific evidence to back this up. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/04/harvard-researchers-study-how-mindfulness-may-change-the-brain-in-depressed-patients/

Please Accept My Invitation And  Join Me Today In A Global Mediation For World Peace And Healing.

Here’s how.

  • At 16:10 today (ten past four) today clear a space, in your home, garden or out somewhere in nature.
  • Sit upright (laying down may encourage you to sleep!)
  • Either keep your eyes open with a soft gaze or gently close them.
  • Allow your mind to quieten. Try this way… imagine an expansive blue sky with soft white fluffy clouds passing by… constantly imagine yourself as the blue sky and the thoughts, the clouds, you can’t stop them but you don’t have to hang onto them or investigate them in any way. Just observe each thought as it passes.
  • Periodically bring your awareness to your inhalation and exhalation.
  • Stay quietly meditating like this for 15minutes.

Know that you and I are sitting together with thousands of other like-minded souls around the world at exactly this time to co-create peace and healing in individuals and mother earth.

You may wonder why this time? Well there are powerful astrological reasons for meditating today at exactly this time … reasons that I do not profess to fully understand here’s a link to get you started if that’s of interest though.

https://www.lunarplanner.com/2020/index.html I do hope you’re able to find 15 minutes to join me today.

If you are interested in listening to my podcasts please follow this link to listen https://anchor.fm/stresshacker the next few episodes are all about mindfulness. Please feel free to share them with your loved ones and anyone else who will enjoy them.

Also if you fancy joining my online yoga classes drop me a line or follow this link for more information.https://www.thestresshacker.com/product/online-hatha-yoga-class-pass/

Oh and check  out my new book all put together with the help of my friend, thanks Shelby https://www.thestresshacker.com/product/guide-to-kicking-anxietys-butt/

Sue x

Posted on Leave a comment

Relax And Find Inner Peace… Yoga Is The Answer

In the early 90’s, on my quest for peace of mind, I embarked on the 4-year British Wheel of Yoga teacher-training course. As well as anatomy and physiology the training also included some Eastern philosophy and one of the books covered was The Bhagavad Gita. I’m amazed how often I dip into it to find timeless wisdom that can be so apt for today’s living.

One interesting aspect is known as Pratyhara (sense withdrawal). Just the action of getting out your yoga mat and doing some simple stretches can help draw our attention away from the outside world.

Drawing our attention away with practice.

Here’s an example, picture the scene. Obsessed by the notion that she must hear from her boyfriend by text, email or phone. Carly is addicted to checking her phone and email to see if he’s contacted her. Her insecurity has her stalking the boyfriend’s social media interactions, the knowledge of which, she uses to try to trip him up when they next talk.

Carly feels so desperate because he hasn’t called since the night before, that means she drinks more and has started smoking again. Her mind is everywhere with wild imaginings of his infidelity. Convinced her life is nothing without him, he finally calls and she is ecstatic. She is relieved, her mind reassured, the fearful emotions temporarily quelled she relaxes.

A couple of hours later the insecurity surfaces again. Her mind wanders back and forth re-running previous things he said. She picks apart the conversations, looking for evidence that she will be abandoned by her love. As her heart races, her nervous system cranks up. She needs a fix, something to fill the feelings of fear and the void of deep emptiness in the pit of her stomach.

This cycle does the rounds day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute.

If this sounds familiar, your next question will be, how do I stop this?

The mind and senses often dictate that whatever it is that we’re longing for is usually outside of ourselves. ‘It’s Over There’ so we strive to get there. We then find that the ‘There’ has become here’ and now there’s another ‘Over There’!

Carly, convinced that her happiness lay in the consummation of haya her desire to have her boyfriend’s attention means she can barely be with herself!

So how can Carly get out of the vicious cycle and create the opposite, a healthy positive analeptic cycle?

Yoga can be your answer.

Even if you’ve just started yoga the following will help to quieten the senses and give you more control of the mind. GET YOUR YOGA MAT OUT!

lying down with a herbal face mask, online yoga classes, the stresshacker
De-Stress, Relax, Inner Peace.
The action of taking your mat out and laying on it for at least one minute is the starting place to bring about some peace. 

When you lay on your mat, focus on your breath and body, the attention is turned inwards.  The body softens, relaxes and releases tension. The senses are slowly drawn away from the outside world and it‘s distractions. Gradually a sense of peace begins to flow throughout. This is Yoga.

Do you fancy joining an online class?

Great! You’re in the right place, book here.

Interview with Psychologies Magazine Editor

Oh I almost forgot to say I was recently interviewed by Psychologies Magazine Editor talking about anxiety and ways to deal with it. Catch up with it and my latest episodes at https://anchor.fm/stresshacker 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Yoga Online with Sue, and an Interview with Psychologies Magazine

Thank you for your fantastic response to my online yoga classes. Who knew so many of you would be interested! My technological learning curve continues! 

I will get back to you as soon as possible to let you know the days and times for my yoga classes.

I’m hoping to make the booking process really simple. And, if you work for the NHS, please drop me a line and I will gift the class to you in honour of your amazing hard work and dedication. We love you!

You can keep an eye on the Yoga section on my website for more information, and I’ll email those who have contacted me with further details soon.

 

 

Stresshacking your Anxiety – my interview with Psychologies Magazine

My next podcast: episode 8 is now up, and is sitting there lonely, ready and waiting for listeners, so please pass it on to anyone you know who may find it helpful at this challenging time.

The big question this week is: How do we take back control of our anxieties?

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to “cope” with anxiety – you can kick it to the curb. ⁣

This episode contains edited extracts from my conversation with Suzy Walker from Psychologies Magazine on a recent Facebook Live event. They have conversations with experts every day at 1pm so tune in!  ⁣

Listen to Episode 8 of The Stresshacker podcast now:

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Subscribe on Spotify

Subscribe on Google Podcasts

(Or choose your preferred podast catcher here)

As always, I’m so grateful to all of you who have given me so much encouragement and positive feedback. I’m learning as I go and it’s great to have you along for the ride. If you want to contact me, remember it’s Sue@TheStresshacker.com. And if you can help me to spread the work by sharing my podcast with your friends (and leaving me a review on Apple Podcasts) that would be so kind of you.

Global Meditation – Join me!

You’re going to hate the next bit… I have an odd condition called discalcular, when I said that there is to be a global meditation on Saturday 4th  April I gave you the wrong time, Oops!

I’m sorry to say that it is actually at 3.45 am!!!

I will be getting up for that because it’s only 20 minutes and I think it’s extremely important. Here’s the link to find out more and if you get up at that time please know I’m there with you.

Learning to draw

I’ve always meant to learn to draw. Recently, I realised there was no point waiting until I retire to start doing things like this, so I signed up for an art class. It was meant to start soon. Needless to say it’s been postponed to later in the year…

I haven’t let that stop me, though. Here’s a drawing I did the other day of my dog friend, Puds.

I did the drawing from a photo from the Dogs Trust (which I’m about to start making a regular donation to). I showed my picture to my grand-daughter and asked what we should should call him/her. She suggested Puds. So, meet Puds!

And, for those of you who are running out of ideas to usefully engage your children try hopping over to author Alex Milway’s Youtube channel where he will teach your children how to draw a bear!

Finally, remember to stay hydrated at home. Drink plenty of warm drinks and your daily water intake. Do you know it helps conditions such as plantar fasciitis when you stay hydrated? It’s true!

xx

Sue

 

PS. There was an exclusive offer code to Psychologies Magazine readers for a FREE copy of Stress-Free Relaxation with Confidence (easily my most popular download) and access to my Wellbeing In A Week course. Listen to my podcast now to find out how to get hold of the code.