Posted on Leave a comment

4 Ways to Improve Mental Health

As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week you might have anticipated a blog from me on this subject.  Self-acceptance and self-love are two main keys to better mental wellbeing but…

How do you accept yourself if you don’t like who you are?

In my work over the years I’ve learned that people dislike themselves for all kinds of reasons from experiences such as negative programing in early childhood, through to bullying, abuse, unfulfilled dreams and disappointment in relationships. The list is endless.

However one of the main reasons for lack of self-love and acceptance is FAGS. Carrying the emotional burden of Fear, Anger, Guilt and Shame plays a huge part in self-loathing.

Most of these emotions reside in your body rather than your mind. Check it out, the next time you feel a bad feeling, try to locate the place in your body where the feeling appears to live. For example you may notice that fear lives in your stomach, throat or chest.

The fact that these emotions do not grow up, that they remain as raw and intense as when they first occurred, is the reason why so many people appear to get stuck in the past. Triggered by a bad feeling they are catapulted back into an old miserable memory and find themselves thinking, feeling and acting low.

Because all of this appears to happen outside of conscious control, it can cause depression, anxiety and panic attacks. These negative feelings create other negative patterns of behavior people talk about feeling little and disempowered and stuck in states of regression. On the extreme end of the spectrum some withdraw inside whilst others resort to self-harm. As I return to my original question.

How do you accept yourself if you don’t like who you are?

Here are 4 tips for maintain positive mental health

1. Let’s start by establishing one simple fact. You are unique. There is no one else in the world exactly like you. You are special, an extra ordinary one-off! It’s true! As a result you are irreplaceable.

Please read that sentence over and over again, repeat it out loud. Then stick that sentence in that special compartment in your mind that deals with multiplication and wait for it to replay itself right up into the front of your mind.

2. Developing the ability to gently observe oneself is an essential component in the integration of negative memories

  1. Hypnosis with a qualified experienced hypnotherapist (me!) will help. Ask your hypnotherapist to teach you self-hypnosis.
  2. Develop a regular practice. Start with 10 minutes and day and build-up, as you feel more comfortable.
  3. Attend an 8-week course.
  4. A regular yoga practice will enable you to observe yourself from a more peaceful perspective. British Wheel of Yoga for a list of teachers.

3.  When we need to heal the body needs safe touch because it carries deep tension as a result of bound-up emotions. Find a good qualified body worker. There are many different types of massage, from clothed massage in Shiatsu, or gentle aromatherapy, to sports massage or deep Rolfing. Find what suits you.

4. Movement. If you’ve never experienced it try a 5 Rhythms class or workshop and shake off your stuff. Failing that, make sure you’re alone, put on a favorite track that you once enjoyed dancing too, or could imagine dancing to and turn it up. Get up, close your eyes, and begin to move your body. Keep practicing until you feel like you want to move more. When you feel ready open your eyes and dance like crazy.

According to The Mental Health Organisation 78% meet the criteria of the most common mental health issue in the UK of anxiety and depression. If you’re one of those suffering my heart genuinely goes out to you. Just putting one foot in front of the other some days can be the biggest challenge so some of my suggestions such as No 4 may be akin to asking you to fly as well!

Please keep your chin up, look up at the sky and breathe. Wrap your arms around yourself and gently rub your arms and whisper, “It’s going to be alright”. Self-soothe and care for you because you are special. You are unique. You are irreplaceable. I care about how you feel and others do too.

I’ll end with my favorite quote by Oscar Wilde “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”

Please share if you think this may help someone.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

LOVE LOVE LOVE

In the words of the famous song ‘All You Need is Love!

I would agree that love is definitely the antidote to FAGS that’s fear, anger, guilt and shame.

I’ve witnessed many people discover a gentle love and compassion for themselves that dissolves much of the negative chatter that lives in the ego mind.

How though? How do you use love to heal?

Unlock The Love In Your Heart

Try this exercise. Quickly write down as many answers as you can to the following statement.

Do it NOW! Don’t think about it too much.

Love Is…..

Now do the same for this statement

I feel loved when…..

Next write down all the ways you can do this for yourself. Don’t wait for someone else to fulfil your needs and dreams, get into a great relationship with yourself by attending to what makes you feel loved and cherished.  So if it’s touch. When did you last gently massage a beautiful cream or oil into your body? Make a date with yourself to do this. When did you last treat yourself to a beautiful bouquet of flowers, great bottle of wine or a trip to a show? Do that for you. If you need to hear words of love … start saying them to yourself… you get the idea? Stop waiting for someone else to meet your needs, meet your own.
Your answers should tell you a lot about your view of love. If they’re negative responses you might want to do some deeper work on yourself. If that’s the case, drop me a line at ‘Ask Sue’ here at thestresshacker.com and let me know and I’ll include some exercises in a subsequent blog.

For my yogi readers. Sit quietly place your right hand on your heart and your left hand on top and softly chant the seed sound to the heart centre LAM you can resonate on the aaaah sound and also the mmmm chant for at least five minutes.

Happy Valentines.

Sent with Love.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

STILL GIVING YOURSELF A HARD TIME?

I’ve been enjoying  the privilege of teaching self-care to a group of hard working conscientious, caring people this week and it’s put me in mind of one of my favourite sayings.  ‘We teach others how to treat us’ it’s true isn’t it.

At a subtle energetic level we constantly absorb and convey information to and from people around us. Unconsciously we tell people a lot about ourselves from the way we dress,  to our non-verbal cues such as body language, facial expressions and tonality.

How do you want to be treated?

How do you treat yourself?

What is it that you would like others to give you or do for you? 

Do you ever give that to yourself? 

Years ago I  read a popular magazine that suggested …‘run yourself a bubble bath, pour yourself a glass of champagne and relax’ and I thought ” Yeah, right, who does that”! Well eventually I did. I loved it! It was a treat and I still remember the first time I did that for me. I also remember when I lived alone training myself to cook a nice dinner for me, I had to teach myself to lay the table just for me. Do you know what? It felt really nice to be looking after myself in such a simple yet respectful way. What simple thing could you do for yourself that would make you feel valued, worthy and special?

Better self-care develops better self-confidence, try asking yourself this question several hundred times a week… ‘Is this kind and loving to myself’? Step back and watch what your mind at play, observe how you treat yourself, you might just be surprised.

One of the first precepts in yoga is Ahimsa which means non-violence. Ahimsa offers us a guideline on how to live life, the aim being not to hurt others and not to hurt ourselves. This means  physically, emotionally and mentally. How often do you say unkind, spiteful, discouraging things to yourself?  STOP IT NOW!  You wouldn’t say or do that to a child would you?

If you fancy changing your programming try this little exercise.  For the next two days, every time you hear yourself say something unpleasant and unsupportive, say 2 nice things to yourself to counter that.  Smother your inner bully with love! Ha ha! Have fun with it and let me know how you get on.

I know you’re busy so thanks for taking the time to read and please pass it on to anyone who you think it might help.

Posted on Leave a comment

5 Quirky Ways To Beat Performance Anxiety

When I decided to pursue a childhood dream of singing and went along to my first performers evening, I was mortified when I got up to sing. As I opened my mouth I heard a weird strangled sound more reminiscent of an injured animal! My diaphragm locked up like a tight fist and my lips wriggled around independently like a pair of worms! The rest of my performance that evening is thankfully a fuzzy haze!
I had the classic Fight, Flight or Freeze symptoms one might experience in the face of eminent disaster such as being attacked or having a near miss in a car.

Performance Anxiety
Performance Anxiety

Singing was something I wanted to do, so I decided I was not going to be beaten by this poor experience. Using my training and experience as psychotherapist and hypnotherapist I applied to myself, all the techniques and practices I might offer a client experiencing performance anxiety.

I liken public performance to standing naked in front of a group of people! You really are exposing your most vulnerable self. This means your self-esteem is very much linked to your performance. Trouble is, if your good sense of self is totally dependent on others having to like you or think well of you, then you’re even more vulnerable because that’s is something you have no control over.

Continue reading 5 Quirky Ways To Beat Performance Anxiety

Posted on Leave a comment

Are You Fat Focused?

Do you obsess about food?
file2791247193219

Are you constantly on and off of the scales?

Do you worry about sticking to a diet?

Are you always counting calories?

If you don’t care about being overweight then fine, don’t read on but if you’re constantly striving to lose weight only to put it back on, or are stuck in the yo-yo pattern of dieting you might want to try a new approach.

The majority of people with weight problems tend to be consumed by thoughts of what, when and how they will eat or drink. Constant worrying about food and focusing on feeling fat are your worst enemies in the pursuit of losing weight.

I know that the easiest way to lose weight and keep it off is to change your mind-set. Here are 3 ways you can do it

  1. Update Your Mental Software.
  2. Throw Away Your Scales.
  3. Reprogram Your Mind using language it understands.

Change your mind and keep the change

 Discover the best way to finally dump your negative thoughts and feelings. Upgrade your mindset and rebuild your self-esteem with my Mindful Weight Loss approach.

1. Update Your Mental Software

Are you interested in the quickest way to do this? Hypnosis. Reprogram your mind, by-pass the negative inner chatter and input positive thoughts that will change the way you feel. 21 days of consistent listening to positive, upbeat suggestions of self-love will have you automatically making better choices. You will find everything easier when you feel positive and confident.

The biggest part of your mind, the subconscious mind believes whatever it is told. What are you telling yourself about your size, weight, or the way you look?

2. Throw Away Your Scales.file0001481171194

Hopping on and off of scales create a hopeless addiction, get rid of them, they’re work of the devil! They lie too! Have you ever jumped on your scales and felt your heart soar because you’d shed a little weight? Only to get on your friend’s scales (because you couldn’t resist) to find you’d gained some weight?

Scales encourage negative thinking that will quickly spiral you down into feeling out of control, this is my opinion based on 28 years of facilitating weight loss with thousands of people.

Stop kidding yourself. You WILL KNOW WHEN YOU’VE LOST WEIGHT when your trousers feel loose or more comfortable, or when you no longer need to loosen your belt whilst eating. Resist the temptation to  buy  clothes in bigger sizes and work your way back into the wardrobe you have, by being kind, encouraging and loving to yourself. I go into the psychology of this more in the course.

3. Picture The Best You

Picture The Best You… develop the habit of putting yourself into a gentle state of relaxation (yes, this can be done on the train on your way to work, or just as you drift off to sleep) once relaxed; create pictures of you in your minds eye being the best version of you. Imagine yourself feeling, fit, flexible and strong. If you’re visual (I’m not so I just get on and imagine) visualize yourself doing and being who you are when you are what makes you feel the best. For example, see you looking very much in control, relaxed, confident, peaceful, in love with and loving yourself. See yourself sufficiently confident to make better choices. Encourage yourself to exercise by persistently picturing yourself swimming, walking or taking a class in the gym.

Your subconscious mind believes whatever you tell it… what are you telling it?

More importantly the language of the biggest part of your mind (the subconscious) is imagery, so it prefers to receive positive images. Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself regularly.

Don’t be shy, take advantage of the Ask Sue facility here on the website and ask me any questions you have about losing weight.

If you’ve any questions about my Mindful Weight Loss course ask away! The course is unique and I created it more with the idea of helping people to become happier and more at peace with themselves with the weight loss being more a by- product of that. There is no dieting involved in this course, although you do need to want to lose weight and be prepared to make a commitment to doing so.

So if you know someone who would find this useful please pass it onto them.