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.
What is emotional intelligence? How do you stop yourself from feeling like a child when you’re pulled up at work about something. Why do you react to your own children in a childish way? Why can’t you stand up to that bully? Just how do you grow up and heal emotionally?
For almost 30 years I’ve had the pleasure of helping thousands of people to develop emotional intelligence. I’ve facilitated many as they’ve healed old wounds and genuinely found ways to leave an unpleasant past where it truly belongs, in the past!
Whilst counselling and cognitive approaches can be great ways to understand your past, they don’t always hit the spot when it comes to ‘feeling’ better.
Many clients arrive in my therapy room after months, sometimes years of counselling elsewhere, yet still feel that they haven’t moved on. Although they have a good understanding of their pasts, they still feel they haven’t grown up emotionally. Why is this?
The simple answer is this. You remain emotionally stuck because emotions live in your body – not in your mind. To have emotional intelligence you probably need to heal the past.
Your emotional life lives on in your physiology.
What does that mean?
Your emotions are stored in your organ body and are communicated via your physical systems. Such as the nervous system or cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
What is emotional intelligence? Is it intellectual or somatic?
Let me ask you a question. Do you feelanxious or thinkanxious? Often the feeling precipitates the thoughts.
For example, you wake up with a feeling of anxiety in your chest, it feels like a tight band around your chest. You add all kinds of reasoning and ‘rationale’ as to why you’re feeling that way.
You’ve got a presentation later that day. You’ve had an argument with a colleague or friend, or you didn’t get enough sleep.
You attribute these thoughts to the feelings of tightness in your chest, the thoughts build and the band gets tighter. This creates a vicious circle.
To become more emotionally intelligent learn a little about your subconscious mind and it’s connection to your body. Discover how you can change the way you feel.
Your subconscious mind is also your imagination, your unconscious mind and your long term memory, the other 90%. It all means the same.
According to quantum physics the subconscious mind processes 44 billion bits of information per second! Read that again!
This part of your mind has billions of jobs to do. One of the main jobs is to store information, regardless of whether that information is true or false. Read that again!
Your subconscious mind is phenomenally intelligent, yet simultaneously childlike in quality
This mind holds all the memories of billions other you’s from the past. Look at the photo of the Russian Dolls and imagine one doll for every moment in time. They are all you.
Your subconscious mind is nothing to be afraid of … it’s just YOU!
Your subconscious mind has your best interests at heart… at every stage in your life.For example if when you were 14 you had a temper tantrum with your parents and screamed inside your head over and over with great emotion “I wish I were dead!” That part of you still holds that intention. That nano second thought in time stays there at an energetic level.
Because your subconscious mind cannot identify past or future, everything just is,in the here and now. This makes healing the past possible!
Time is man-made. As I write this it’s 12.30pm here in the UK yet it’s 1.30pm in France. Your subconscious has no such time restrictions, so you can change memories (and their attached emotions) in the so-called past.
.Your subconscious mind is willing to help you in the pursuit of your goals and dreams. But it’s up to you to make really clear exactly what you want. You can program a brighter future, because your subconscious mind’s main job is to store information.
Your subconscious mind is basically YOU and it wants to help you. You at a conscious level are the headquarters and your subconscious awaits your instructions. In the absence of any new directives, it just carries out old programming, often in the form of negative thoughts and beliefs.
The subconscious mind is connected to the systems and organs in your body. This is where you feel. According to Eastern traditions such as acupuncture and Ayurveda your emotions live in your organs.If you have you ever heard someone say they were gutted? Or noticed someone unconsciously holding their breath in fear as they recounted an unpleasant memory? That’s the emotion ‘held’ in the stomach and cardio- vascular and respiratory systems.
12. Your subconscious mind is really happy to change perspective on any issue past or future, because it wants to help you to feel better at every level.
13 Due to the nature of your subconscious mind, it is willing to accept changes. When you change perspective on an old issue it affects your physiology positively.
14 By playing around with visualization paired with a relaxed body, you can change past events and program future events and physiology will obey.
15 This is currently revealed as neuro-plasticity, yet has been known and practiced by hypnotherapists the world over for years!
It’s easy to re-programme your mind. Hypnosis is the fastest way to do this. By regularly downloading positive suggestions to your subconscious mind, you bypass the ‘critical factor’ i.e. the conscious mind and in as little as a week you can be feeling happier and more positive.
As I once told a client “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood!”
Making one simple change could be enough to boost your wellbeing
Wellbeing is said to be a state of being comfortable, healthy or happy. A measurement might be how contented you are from one day to the next with your life.
But have you ever had the thought “Oh no, what am I doing, how have I ended up here again!” You know, those times when you find yourself repeating negative behaviours and habits or when you just can’t seem to stop those repetitive, rubbish thought patterns that bring you down? Sound familiar?
The cause is usually down to old conditioning and programming, time for a software update perhaps?
The daft thing is, on our journey through life and at any given moment in time, we have an abundance of choices, yet we still tread the same old path, trotting out the same old excuses that keep us feeling stuck.
Using the metaphor of a car to illustrate, imagine you drive a car through a field one day, carving out a set of tracks and then tomorrow you drive the car down the same tracks you would only have to do it a few times before the car would automatically slot into the tracks because they’re there and it’s the path of least resistance.
It’s the same with our thinking. It’s far easier to run the same old thoughts each morning rather than make the effort it takes to create new healthier thought pathways. Most people robotically repeat the same routines and patterns each day without even knowing why they are doing so.
This is like a weird amnesia in which we forget that of course it’s possible to change your mind. You can choose a different thought. You can change a behaviour. You can choose a different course of action. There are always other pathways that can be carved out so that you can drive the car to a different destination.
If you fancy a boost to your wellbeing, here’s 5 steps to help;
Think of it as waking up and becoming more present. Move into a space where you can observe the choices you’re making in each moment. Instead of allowing every thought and action to be generated by you at an unconscious level, learn to become a witness to your thoughts so that you can make decisions more consciously.
How? I hear you ask. Slow down! Slow your thoughts down, you can train yourself to do this by slowing your breathing down. Breathing is an unconscious activity, we don’t usually say “oh okay I’ll take a breath now” it happens automatically. We can have anything between 17’000 and 30’000 breaths a day, so naturally you cannot observe every breath or you’d go bonkers! However when we gradually become more conscious of our breathing, watching it, listening to it and feeling the simple rise and fall of the chest or diaphragm, we can begin to slow it down. When our breath is slower our thoughts will also slow down leaving us with an improved sense of wellbeing.
In this space of feeling calmer and more in control, ask yourself “What will the consequences be if I make this choice? Will it make me feel happy and fulfilled? How will it affect others around me?”
To get the answer, listen within and sense the response from your body. Does it feel bright, light, expansive and uplifting? Or is there a sense of heaviness, darkness, tightness and gloom? Develop patience, stop hurrying everything and really tune in.
Are you in touch with your gut instinct? Can you sense what your heart really wants. It’s easier to listen to your body’s wisdom for the answers because the mind carries programme after programme of early conditioning such as people pleasing, resisting, putting other’s first or constantly asking the opinion of others out of habit rather than trusting your own innate knowledge. Put simply, does this choice feel good or bad. Keep repeating this process until you arrive at the choices that sit more comfortably with you.
One of the quickest ways to update your mental and emotional software and create new positive programmes to boost your wellbeing, is the regular use of simple hypnotherapy programmes, check out the range of programmes on offer in my shop here.
Are you lucky in love? Do you feel loving and loved?
Sometimes when we lose confidence we shut down in areas of the body to protect ourselves. Many a person who has been hurt in a relationship will unconsciously create an invisible barrier around their heart to protect themselves from being hurt again.
Later they feel frustrated because they can’t find a loving relationship. It’s confidence that’s needed, the confidence to love the self first, before being able to open up again to someone new.
Love and compassion begin at home.
When you love yourself fully and freely it’s easier to love others boundlessly. So fill your cup, practise better self-love and nurturing now. Be kind and gentle to yourself and treat yourself with the love and respect you would afford another.
Here’s an exercise that will start the process and help you to open your heart.
Take a moment to think about someone you love… it’s OK if that’s your dog or cat! Think about what you would say to them if this were your last opportunity to let them know how much they mean to you. If you can’t think of anyone you love. Imagine how it would feel to really love someone. Imagine a flow of warmth circulating around your chest and flowing out to that someone special.
Come on do it now … just see how it feels to write down exactly what you would say, express your love as openly and honestly as you can without restriction. Remember write don’t type, it’s an entirely different and more positive experience when we put pen to paper.
Turn it around now and pretend someone has sent this letter to you, read it out-loud to yourself seven times. Really anchor these sentiments.
What we say to ourselves becomes true for ourselves. It’s true and that’s because the bigger part of your mind (the other 90%) absolutely believes what it’s told. That is such a valuable piece of information I have to repeat it. YOUR UNCONSCIOUS MIND BELIEVES WHATEVER IT IS TOLD!
Affirmations work! Really they do, but don’t take my word for it practice them yourself and see the results… try the following
“I am open and receptive to a warm loving, respectful relationship”
“I attract a positive loving man/woman into my life”
“All my relationships are harmonious”
The more resistance you feel to saying affirmations the more likely you are to need them and do you know something? It really doesn’t matter whether you believe them or not because your unconscious mind does.
Once upon a time you didn’t know that 2 + 2 = 4 you repeated it often enough to know that it was true. You also didn’t know your alphabet until you practiced it over and over. If you’re good at reading, it’s because you read a lot! Repetition is the mother of all skill.
… “My heart is open and receptive to love and happiness” go on try saying it a few times; notice how it makes you feel. Good Right!
According to author Professor Richard Wiseman in his best selling book The Luck Factor you make your own luck.
If you’re struggling to find love and feel blocked or numb around your heart area, practice these two yoga stretches on daily basis.
Yoga Technique 1: The Windmill
Stand with feet hip width apart soften the knees raise your arms out to the side at shoulder level and keep them there. Keep your hips facing forwards and turn your trunk and arms to the left, keeping your arms straight and at shoulder height, fix your gaze on the fingers of the back hand. Turn back to the centre and repeat to the right. Keep your gaze fixed on the fingers of the back-hand. Repeat 10 times. Stop if you feel dizzy
Yoga Technique 2: The Chest Opener
Stand with feet hip width apart and bring your arms behind your back and clasp hands together. Draw your shoulder blades together and imagine you could slide them down your back toward the floor, now lift and lengthen up through the front of the body and take a gentle stretch backwards sending hands and arms toward the floor but keep them in touch with the back body. DO NOT take your head back unless you are certain that you have no problems with your neck.
International Women’s Day (IWD) aims to raise awareness of issues of inequality and the marginalisation of women around the world. It celebrates the social, cultural and political achievements of women globally.
I grew up in a family with very strong female role models. Both grandmothers had a strong work ethic and believed themselves to be powerful and in control of their lives. Mum worked hard so that she could pursue her passion of travel, sometimes running 3 jobs at a time to afford our holidays.
Yet with all this power and self-belief cursing through my genes I found myself in extremely disempowering situations whilst growing up. I later realised that to feel truly in control, powerful and strong I had to find peace. Interestingly the earliest documented International Women’s day was on 8th March 1909 when women in Russia demonstrated for peace, oh and bread!
Hopefully we know by now how important it is to support other women but how do we support and empower ourselves?
To be truly empowered I believe we need to be SCABT! And not necessarily in the following order
Support Women Around Us
We need to give ourselves the support and care that we would be willing to give someone who we truly loved. That would mean listening to ourselves, to what we really know deep down inside. Making time to hear our inner truth about our lives, situations, relationships and health challenges for example.
That support might be in the form of caring for ourselves in simple ways, like taking time to languish in a candlelit bath rather than a quick shower. Or maybe by engaging the help of a professional or taking some time away alone.
Congruency – In Harmony
What’s that I hear you ask? You’ll know that you’re congruent when you’re confident and comfortable with yourself where ever you are and pretty much in any situation. For many this comes naturally with the wisdom of age, if you’d rather get there sooner do some work with a therapist or counsellor.
Ask yourself this powerful question “What has to happen for me to feel more comfortable with myself inside and out where ever I am” keep brainstorming this question until you arrive at some good quality answers. Then take your own advice!
Alignment – Of Heart & Mouth
When we’re in alignment everything flows naturally, life becomes easier and we feel balanced and centered. Alignment translated means, a straight line or in correct relative positions. If your heart is aligned with your mouth and mind you will be to speak your truth comfortably and to express your own ideas without fear of judgement. If you’re aligned and in tune with your gut instinct you’ll trust that over and above what you might be being told for example.
Are you sufficiently aligned to express your thoughts or emotions when necessary or do you feel you have to hide how you’re really think and feel?
Struggling with this? Then get my hypnotherapy audio guide support, Assertiveness Now and take the short cut to feeling more at home with your truth. You will also find that a regular yoga practice helps with physical alignment, which in turn encourages more harmony in your mind and body.
Owning our truth and growing ourselves up emotionally can be a daunting journey and we need the bravery of a warrior to do so.
How do you become brave? One tip I’ve always used is to look at the worse case scenario. Take yourself mentally to the absolute worse thing that could happen and then explore how you would cope with that. What steps would you take next to deal with the most awful outcome? Often we realise that although not ideal, we could manage that next stage so long as we are true to ourselves.
I often remind clients that if they only had themselves to rely on for the rest of their lives, they will probably be fine!
Truth and Time
To find peace, to be congruent and comfortable, assertive and strong, we need to spend time alone with ourselves to listen in. This can be in the form of simple quiet time without reading, watching or listening to anything and allow inner thoughts to float up to the surface. It might be by using the ‘daily pages’ technique that Julia Cameron proposes in her best seller The Artist’s Way. Meditations and repetitive exercise can provide the space to hear your truth.
Whatever you choose, enjoy moving toward a more empowered you and do please share your thoughts here for others to learn from.