So many people I see in my practice are lacking energy; they feel tired, anxious and lethargic especially during wintertime. Never before have so many people and, dare I say, particularly women, been so exhausted and frazzled!
That’s the subject for my latest podcast.
Episode 4 of The Stresshacker Podcast offers some valuable ways to re-connect with yourself and others.
I talk about how you can bring much needed balance back into your life and, in the process, counter some of the struggles that we face – such as depression, anxiety and exhaustion.
The pressure is constantly on and our lives are more demanding than they have ever been.
Think about it, are you constantly doing?
In the absence of a nice smattering of being (or certainly doing much less), there’s an imbalance. The more doing we do the more that imbalance will show up in our everyday lives.
Listen to this episode for ways you can regain your sense of balance.
I’ve been so blown away by the response to my adventures into podcasting. It’s a new experience for me and I’m learning as I go.
If you’ve enjoyed these recent episodes, please do like them on iTunes and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. It really does make a difference to how many people find the podcast!
As a special thank you for those who listen to the end, I’d like to offer you half price access to my Wellbeing In A Week short course. Listen to the podcast to find out how to claim it!
I’ll be back soon to bring more peace into your life.
Many of you are telling me how stressed you’re feeling and whether that’s due to a heavy work load, the demands of family, illness, life events or just those winter blues, only you can change the way that you feel.
That said I would like to help and want to give you this gift. It’s only eight minutes out of your life and it’s a gift that will keep on giving… if you listen to it regularly!
You probably know by now that the nature of the mind is that it likes to be on the move. As such your thoughts will drag you back into the past and you can end up feeling stuck.
Conversely your thoughts can propel you into the future at an alarming rate and then you end up feeling pressured and anxious.
Use this guided meditation to gently pull you back into the present.
Find a time when you won’t be disturbed and settle into a comfortable position. Bedtime is an ideal time. For best results use earphones and lie down. You can sit in a comfy chair, but make sure your head is supported.
I want to stress that your mind WILL wander and that’s absolutely OK! It’s part of the hypnotic process. You do not have to be listening intently. In fact, if you drift off into what feels like a deep sleep that’s also good: it’s just your own way of relaxing!
DON’T listen to this whilst driving or operating any machinery, that would be highly dangerous!
NB. This program is NOT suitable for you if you have ever been diagnosed with depression or any other mental illness. This program is not suitable if you have suffered long-term neglect or abuse and have never worked with a therapist before.
For more tips and advice, please subscribe to my Stresshacker Podcast!
How do you stay positive, upbeat and free from anxiety? Recently a client told me she’d felt great for a couple of weeks after her session and then started to feel anxious again (it should be said it was only her first session!)
Despite the popular notion that some people are naturally optimistic, I explained that to stay confident, positive and to cope with anxiety better, you need to work at it. It’s like going to the gym to build strength and stamina – it’s no good going once!
Firstly you need a map to follow, a daily plan in order to create and maintain a better mind set, then repeat that plan consistently.
Coupled with the knowledge that on average people have 60,000 thoughts a day, most of which are re-runs from the days, weeks and months before, it’ makes sense to choose different thoughts. If you are constantly thinking the worst doom and gloom thoughts, if you’re endlessly judging and criticising yourself and others YOU are the one making yourself feel anxious.
Here are some useful ways to cope with anxiety:
1. Stop Negative Thoughts – Embrace Positive Thoughts – Keep Anxiety At Bay
Do you know the fastest way to maintain positive thinking and dump negative thoughts and anxious feelings? Hypnosis! Hypnotherapists have a great understanding of language patterns and are skilled in the use of positive suggestions. I carefully craft hypnosis programmes to bypass the critical part of the mind so that positive, constructive suggestions are quickly taken on board by the subconscious mind.
Repetition is the mother of all skills and in a warped kind of way people often practice thinking anxious thoughts! How crazy is that! Why would anyone do that? It’s just bad habits, like eating junk food! If you want to sustain a better mind-set you need to hear positive suggestions and encouraging ideas a lot, EVERY DAY EVEN!
Moreover there’s a short cut, want to know what it is? Go back and read No. 1 again it’s effortless!
The only discipline you need is to keep a listening device close to your bed at night, after the initial 21 days tune in a couple of times a week to boost your new positive mind-set
It only takes 21 days to build the muscle memory necessary to create new habits.
In contrast to hypnosis when you find ways to still the mind and give it a break from incessant thinking you can also interrupt the cycle of negative thinking. Think of it like changing channels on a radio, there are loud, provocative shouty stations and calm, relaxing programmes on a different station.
As a matter of fact look no further, go to the Free Stuff here and download your free meditation programmes as my gift to you for a more calm, positive 2020.
4.Develop an attitude of gratitude.
Stick a Post-it note where you will see it each day to remind yourself of something to be grateful for. It doesn’t matter what it is. You can train your brain to turn negatives into positives. For example I balked at my tax bill recently then quickly reminded myself it means I’ve got a job, something many people would be grateful for. I’m still working on that one!
Being grateful also encourages open-heartedness, you feel more able to give and receive. So do something nice for someone else and enjoy feeling uplifted.
Also have a look at what the expert on gratitude Robert Eamon has to say.
5. Recognise Your Success.
Similarly to gratitude, appreciation is the enemy of anxious feelings. One of my favourite exercises from our self-help book I Just Want To Be Happy really helps you value yourself.
Do it now quickly. Grab a pen and write an exhaustive list of your achievements. I mean everything, from your first swimming certificate, getting that promotion, buying that car to having your babies! Think of as many things as you can, you will be impressed by all you have accomplished in life so far. If you’re not astounded by your achievements make this year the year you do all those things you’ve been putting off.
It is your job to make you happy I hope this spurs you on to go for it!
6. Sleep Well
Sleep is so important to our overall sense of wellbeing. Whether you’re a 5 or 8 hours-sleep person, the quality of your sleep matters. Develop good routines such as having a technology free bedroom. Go on, really flex your mental muscles and be disciplined enough to TURN YOUR ROUTER OFF over night! Don’t take my word for it! Try it and discover a) how empowering that feels and b) notice the subtle energetic shift that improves your environment.
Equally we know that exercise is just as important and definitely helps reduce anxious feelings. If you want to feel better and think more positively, plan to get more oxygen into your bloodstream. Yoga, walking and swimming are great ways but really it doesn’t matter what it is, DO SOME EXERCISE. Train yourself to enjoy it! Make a commitment to regular exercise at least three to four times a week.
Moreover when you agree to meet and exercise with a friend or colleague it strengthens your commitment.
So that’s a starter plan to keep you mentally and emotionally buoyant. I am excited to launch a new service at thestresshacker.com I am offering tailor-made hypnosis programmes to help you achieve your goals, improve your mind-set, reduce stress and cope with anxiety. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
I love that quote …“Think you’re enlightened? Spend a week with your family!”
For many, family is the messiest part of life. People just won’t do what we want them to do will they!
Christmas holidays often mean spending prolonged periods of time with people who can push your emotional buttons, so what’s your plan to survive Christmas and the strong opinions or personalities that can arise at this time? Check out my tips below.
The Christmas holidays are a perfect time to develop a regular mediation habit. Start with 5 minutes, building to 7 and then 10 minutes a day by week two. Along with enormous health benefits, at this time of year meditation can offer you the perfect excuse to get away and give yourself some much needed time and space. Check out my other blogs or click here for simple meditation techniques.
2. Breathe To Alleviate Boredom
I remember someone telling me of their dread of the office party and the boring conversations they had to endure each year. If you get stuck with the office bore try practising a simple breathing technique whilst they’re talking to you. Keep looking at the person and subtly bring your awareness to your nostrils, silently count One on your next inbreath, two before you breathe out, three as you exhale and four before you breathe in again. When you’ve counted 5 ‘whole’ breaths in this way make your excuses ” well, it’s been great catching up and I want to talk to …. now, enjoy the rest of the party” and run!
3. Develop compassion.
If step 2 seems a bit harsh, maybe you can develop the art of active listening? You’re with the office bore again (except you no longer refer to them in such a way) imagine you can drop down into a very peaceful space within and begin listening with an open heart, i.e. with absolutely no expectations, no desire to escape and without a need to fix them, question them or judge anything they say. Good luck with that!
4. Boundaries. Where are yours?
What is your tolerance level for a particular person? So for example you don’t get along with your sister can you sit open-heartedly listening to her for 5 minutes or 10? What and where is your limit? It’s important to know yourself in this respect. Think about these interactions ahead of time. Once you’ve reached your tolerance level with that particular person have an “I need to get up and get some water”statement handy, so that you can change your position and your state. Plan ahead, is it possible to arrange to sit next to someone you do enjoy talking to?
5. Booze. Is it time to monitor your intake?
At what point might you say something you could regret? If two drinks leave you merry and sweet but four make you a bit mouthy… perhaps you need a plan. Think ahead. How do you want to feel when you wake up after you’ve been out partying? When you look back over the previous evening’s events do you want to be happy with your ruminations or will you be cringing because of something you said or did? Will that extra drink make the difference? Plan ahead and decide when enough is enough. Before you go out think about an alternative to alcohol get a really clear picture of it in your mind, for example imagine a nice glass of sparkling tonic water with a shot of lime cordial and a twist of lemon, or a pot of freshly brewed coffee.
Christmas is an especially good time to be thoughtful, kind and generous to others but I hear so often of people (usually women) who have run themselves ragged trying to make the perfect Christmas for others only to end up ‘coming down with something’. So be kind to yourself first, it’s then easier to give authentically to others. Make time for you and as you give yourself a bit of space ask yourself “what do I want, what do I need.” When your cup is full there’s a tendency to only want for the good of others and if you’re okay, you’re in a better position to take care of others.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blogs, visit the site and purchase products I really value your feedback.
Wishing my family, friends, clients, yoga students and readers a great Christmas and all you would wish for yourself throughout 2019.
There, I’ve said it these are some of the charming names attributed to women experiencing menopause. Women who have reached a stage in their lives where they are no longer able to bear children. Names mainly levied on us by the patriarch of the past.
The reality of course is that Women are wise and when we realise that pretty much everything that walks the planet is born of woman, we are in fact Creators, Goddesses even.
When we consider the pain and suffering women endure to give birth to humanity, shouldn’t women be honoured, respected and revered at every stage of life?
Some stories portray the crone or hag as disagreeable, malicious, or sinister often with magical or supernatural abilities that can make her either helpful or obstructive. Well that’s pretty much true of all of us really, men and women.
And as if creating, birthing, nurturing and child rearing isn’t enough, woman have the menopause to look forward to with it’s myriad of symptoms.
There are hot flushes, dryness, sleep problems, excessive tiredness. Oh and then there’s the rapid mood swings, along with that wonderful feeling that your brain matter has been swapped for a cauldron of cotton wool!
Want to know about more symptoms? Google NHS menopause for more information.
Because so many of you have asked me to write about the menopause what I offer you here are my tips and beliefs for dealing with this phase of life.
It’s a time for cleansing on many levels and clearing out the crap!
Many women at this stage realise that they can no longer live incongruently or out of sync with themselves, it just doesn’t work anymore.
People, jobs, gatherings and even friends that were tolerated in the past have no place during the menopause.
Maybe the description of Crone as disagreeable, unpleasant and ugly arises because during the this phase, women often wont tow the party line anymore.
In menopause women are no longer prepared to bend and mould to the ideals of another or even their own earlier scripts.
Many women I’ve worked with yearn to return to themselves, to be more authentic and congruent, done with their roles and labels.
Some want peace, some want fun, or to be heard, whilst others crave adventure. It’s time to do it differently.
So let’s welcome the menopause and treat women in this stage of life with a reverence for their innate wisdom and knowledge.
We teach other’s how to treat us.
Like all things, that which we seek outside of ourselves must be found within first. What can you do today to welcome and revere yourself?
The Hot Flush
I remember the first hot flush that roared up my neck and face like an inferno. Feeling distinctly uncomfortable I got up to distract myself when someone brought me a glass of cold water. Its was a kind act of awareness, considerate and thoughtful. One that remained with me.
After that I learned to stay present with flushes, other than to reach for a glass of water. You’ll also find an ice pack or a packet of frozen peas on your pulse points pretty handy at this point.
Instead of running away from or trying to avoid this physical phenomena, I urge you to stay with it. Dive into the feeling, embrace and welcome it in, there’s a wisdom in it somewhere.
That Which You Resist Persists.
I hear you say that’s all well and good but what if I’m in a meeting or an important event? Same advice – stay with it. Everything reaches a peaks and has to subside. The more you panic or try to stem it the more fierce it can seem. If you’re fidgeting around mopping your brow and looking uncomfortable people will notice more. Imagine you’re loving that feeling of warmth.
12 Tips for coping better with Menopause
1. When you feel a flush rising, aim to stop what you’re doing and sit down. Slowly sip a glass of cold water until it passes.
2. Allow yourself time and space to yield to the feeling. You’ll notice that when you do this, that the feeling passes more quickly.
3. Try this lovely yoga breathing exercise called Sitali. This is the version I practice and it must be done sitting in a well ventilated space. Not standing on the platform of the station or in a room blasting out air-conditioning.
4. If sleep disturbances are your main issue and you keep waking up or struggle to get off to sleep, treat yourself to my hypnosis audio program Sleep Well Now or read up on the tips in my book The Art of ZZZ’s
5. Where possible allow yourself some quiet meditation time on a daily basis.
6. Gentle yoga stretching such as yin and hatha yoga are ideal for personal practice. I prefer to practice and teach fluid movements with weight bearing poses and attention to the breath.
7. Yoga lowers blood pressure, counters stress and can alleviate pain and discomfort, do a littel each day.
8. Your temperature can go up and down like a fiddler’s elbow during the menopause, so invest in a proper silk pashmina, it will keep you warm when you feel chilly and cool when you’re hot! They’re also great for mopping up the excess schvitz!
9. Keep a fan in your pocket or bag it gives you a sense of control when your body heats up.
10. The homeopathic remedy Sepia worked brilliant for me, minimising symptoms such as brain fog and tiredness.
11. I’ve practised Ayurvedic principles for many years and found Pukka Herbs’ Aloe Vera juice to be the best. It’s cooling, great for the skin and helps with problems like constipation. It also acts as a carrier taking herbs to body parts that need them.
12. I would drink a shot glass of aloe vera morning and night and take the herb Shatavari – also from Pukka, which helps to combat the dryness that can come with menopause.
There’s a notion that we’re no longer in our masculine warrior phase, out there chasing and hustling a living. It’s time to sit back into the powerful energy of the feminine and allow ourselves to receive.
The feminine energy is depicted by the moon and in the same way that it’s cool brightness can throw light across a darkened sea. This can be a time of enlightenment as we take time to ‘be’ and receive our inner wisdom.
Naturally we’re all different and these are just things that worked well for me I hope they help you. Share your tips with me on my Facebook page thestresshacker or in the comments section below.