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Open Heart Therapy

Release Old Hurts

When a client asked “What is Open Heart Therapy?”   We went on to talk about the effects of being emotionally hurt, I think most of us have some experience of this.

Does anyone sail through life without being wounded at some point? Heal Your Heart

When we feel hurt, scared and rejected the natural response is to withdraw, close down and push away in order to protect ourselves.

This shutting down often takes place in the heart area. It can be a gradual closing down from small childhood hurts to a more sudden snapping shut after a major rejection.

The fall-out from this ‘protection’ can be devastating and one of the consequences is poor communication. In our efforts to keep ourselves safe, we can end up closing down in the throat area, meaning that open honest conversation is a no-go.

Instead of juicy heartfelt conversations that lead to  real intimacy and healthy relationships, important dialogues  left unsaid will have negative effects.  Couples I’ve worked with talk about avoiding direct eye contact, instead talking about mundane things like the weather or “What’s for dinner.” Humour can also be used to avoid genuine connection or worse still, no conversation at all as couples polarise to opposite ends of the bed, room, home or country.

Rather than searching or waiting impotently for someone else to provide the magical key that will open our hearts and free our speech, it is possible to take control and do it ourselves.

In a secure environment we can gently work on the business of improving our relationships, with ourselves first and then as a natural evolution, with others.

The benefits of this heart work are manifold as we learn to accept our unique selves and practice self-love,  we can breathe more easily, feel authentic, empowered and more comfortable in our skin.

When we fill our own cup first, we have more to offer others, you cannot serve from a depleted cup.Release Old Hurts

Back in 2004 I ran the first ‘Open Heart Therapy’ workshop in Holmes Place and a few times since then but NOW definitely seems the right time to open up the heart chakra and get the other centres energised and spinning.

If you’re ready for the ‘Open Heart Therapy’ challenge you can book your space on this Saturday’s workshop Registration closes Friday 5th  March 2021 at 1.00pm. Book here or drop me an email at Sue@thestresshacker.com to join us.

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‘Open Heart Therapy Workshop’ Personal Development

Open Your Heart Therapy

In 2004 I ran my first personal development ‘Open Heart Therapy’ workshop and whilst successful, I sensed it was ahead of it’s time.Open Your Heart

So many people are saying it’s the right time for personal development and the success of last weeks Open Heart Therapy workshop proved it for me.   

But what does Open Your Heart even mean? As a therapist of 30 years I know too well how people shut down when they’re hurt. Whilst that’s no revelation, it is interesting to recognise that it’s the people closest to us who are capable of hurting us the most. 

It’s the friends, family, lovers and partners who we allow to get close, those who we open our hearts to  that we can feel most wounded by.

When we are honest and open-hearted  we can be vulnerable. If  betrayed and hurt in that space then naturally we lose faith and can be loathe to experience that again.

If you burn your hand when you put it into a fire, ouch! It hurts. You’d be crazy to do it again. The same kind of things happen when we’re hurt emotionally.

Fundamentally the heart is a pumping muscle  which can tighten and contract  like any other muscle in the body. With sufficient reason(s) to become restricted, it can metaphorically,  close down and because it’s a muscle it can’t  judge and can shut out people who haven’t hurt you.  

The consequences of emotional numbing in the heart  can have  the knock-on effect of deadening  passion in other areas  of life, we can feel drained have that “whats the point, who cares” type of thinking .

In addition, being emotionally blocked can also inhibit our ability to speak our truth openly and assertively.

This is because the energy centres above and below the heart are adversely affected.   We can feel weakened energetically, loose will-power and find it hard to fight addictions or stick to a healthy lifestyle. 

These are good enough reasons for personal development and attempts to heal the heart.

The thing is muscles need stretching and exercising and this is what my Open Heart Therapy workshop offers it aims to help you to move forward and heal the past if you’re ready. Are you ready for some personal development?

Testimonies:

“It totally met my objectives, mentally and physically.”
DB 12/02/2021
“It also made me very aware of the impact of parents’ behaviours on their children…Yes, would definitely recommend…”
NS 14/02/2021
“I’d like to say it was very good the workshop today, very beneficial and very well put together…I have already recommended it to other people!”
MF 12/02/2021
“It went really quickly – I would like to do it all over again!”
SB 15/02/2021

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Open It Now! It’s For You

How are you? It certainly feels like we’re being tested on so many levels in these changeable times.

I’m sure you know that among other things,  stress is a feeling of not being in control which can trigger all kinds of emotional, psychological and behavioural problems.

But how to deal with it? One of the main keys to dealing with stress is to develop flexibility so that we improve our bounce-ability factor and become resilient.

Dare I say the most flexible tree is the bamboo because of it’s ability to bend easily in the wind and then stand tall again.

How can we become more flexibile? Well I could say take up yoga, develop new hobbies, improve your way of thinking by listening to hypnotherapy programmes. But better still, find your own ways. 

Write down 10 things you could do to become more flexible mentally and physically.

Along with sending you my good wishes for the holiday period I want to offer a couple of approaches to help manage stress, anxiety and any other difficult feelings.

A Christmas Gift For You
 
Please do the exercise, as it’s experiential, it will only that will take about 7 minutes of your life and it may prove valuable. Try it now.

1. Sit somewhere away from distractions and close your eyes.
2. Repeat the following words to yourself silently and mentally.
“Be” “Just Be” repeat this periodically until you find your breathing slowing and a sense of quietness beginning to emerge.

You might find the next bit challenging and counter intuitive on one level but just go with it.

3. Invite the negative thought/feeling/emotion into the quieter space by simply saying “I welcome…       (anxiety, frustration, sadness, headache, stomach churning or whatever.)

4. Imagine them as an unexpected, slightly unwanted guest who’s arrived at your door but your good  manners dictate that you’re going to invite them in anyway!

5. When you’ve repeated ” I welcome” let’s say anxiety in, notice where it lives. Do you feel it in your chest? Or stomach for example.

Don’t get lost in the thought or feeling and don’t get too involved, stay mildly detached, you’re merely observing it.

6. After a few minutes of this, welcome in the opposite feeling/emotion/thought. So you might then say silently “I welcome peace and calmness” again repeating it several times.

Notice what peace and calmness feel like and where these feelings sit in your body.

Another odd thing to suggest but do it anyway…

7. Begin to move back and forth between the words  “I welcome anxiety and tension” then “I welcome peace, calmness and tranquility”

8. Finally after doing that for a couple of minutes, imagine you can step back away from the opposites and repeat silently “Be” “Just Be”

Let me know how that works for you.

The second gift I would like to offer is a free mind/body training that will lead to a more relaxed in control you.Download it and practise it until you’re able to do it anywhere anytime on your own. It’s my gift to you along with my fervent wishes that you be well and happy.

It’s a tried and tested method that with repetition will give you a greater sense of control in your world.

https://www.thestresshacker.com/product/relax-autogenic-relaxation-response-program/

Oh and if you fancy listening to an interview I gave earlier in the year about finding your purpose check it out here:

https://www.hotflushrebels.com/optin1597304230526

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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!

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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