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What? Having Trouble Sleeping?

Woman Struggling To Sleep

Mistakes That Stop You From Going To Sleep

Are you having trouble getting to sleep? You're not alone according to research a whopping 36% of UK adults struggle to get to sleep at least on a weekly basis. Almost 1 in 5 have trouble falling asleep every single night. Nearly half of the UK have trouble falling asleep at least once a month.

Woman Struggling To Sleep
Restless Sleep

Make a note of my  best sleep tips:

1. STOP STIMULATING YOURSELF!

One hour before bed STOP drinking, especially alcohol and anything with caffeine in.

STOP scrolling, watching TV, working on devices, and listening to the radio or podcasts. Even reading is a No No if you want to get to sleep and stay asleep.

2. START BEING SMART

This is what to do with that hour. Once or twice a week oil up! Especially if your skin is dry. Massage, using warm sesame oil. Cover your entire body gently massage your face, your ears, up your nose and in between your toes!  Allow the oil to soak in for 20 minutes, then have a warm bath or shower you will sleep so well.

Prepare: Get things ready for the next day during this hour. If there are things you feel you have to do, make a note of them before you go to sleep and decide to do them first thing in the morning.

Head trash? If you’re plagued with thoughts this is the best time for you to journal. Scribble it all down to empty out your mind.

Still awake? If you’re still obsessed with thoughts, sit upright, close your eyes and gently hum… feel the vibration on your lips as you exhale the hum - do this for 10 minutes it will help your mind to quieten and sleep to come.

Still can't sleep?  Why not? Write down the following sentence and then the next 50 things that come to mind. " I can't sleep because..." Let's face it, you're the expert on you and somewhere you know what the problem is - unearth it and deal with it!

3. AND DO THIS...

Are your feet cold at night? Massage warm sesame oil into your feet and put socks on - you'll sleep like a baby!

To show baby sleeping
Sleep Like A Baby

Meditate for 15 minutes. Sit upright ideally on a hardback chair. Close your eyes. Bring your awareness gently to your nostrils and follow each in breath, pause, exhalation  and the following pause... rinse and repeat.

Don't go to bed hungry or full, both get in the way of a good night's sleep. Exercise a little discipline and aim to stop eating and drinking after 7.00pm. Plan to eat aa more substantial lunch.

If you’ve missed out on sleep - Don’t nap, go to bed a bit earlier instead.

Set your alarm for no later than 7am. Don't play the alarm game... you're an adult! Get up and get on.

This is by far the best tip, go for a brisk 30 minute walk within two hours of waking up.

Download my Sleep Well Now programme and bundle for minimum effort.

The problem of poor sleep won't improve unless you do something different. These tips will help you to reset your sleep pattern and cultivate healthier night-time routines.

 

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The Mistakes of International Women’s Day

So here we are in International Women’s Day 3021 – yes you read that correctly – and the pay gap has finally balanced out. Well you’ve got to have a dream haven’t you?

You Said Mistakes, What Mistakes?

It’s Time For Balance

Just one of the mistakes is that in most countries there is still a substantial gender pay gap that according to some reports https://ourworldindata.org/economic-inequality-by-gender could take 100 years to balance out.

And lucky for you that you’re not female working in agriculture in rural India where they are purportedly underpaid by as much as 34%

Why should women work more and get paid less?

Want to know another mistake? It’s this, despite women collectively being at the forefront of the race to combat Covid-19 – we’re talking health care workers, scientists, doctors etc – globally they are still paid 11% less than the men in their fields.

Men, we  also need your voice here, to speak-up and speak-out for your female colleagues who are being  undervalued, undermined, underpaid and mistreated. We are your mothers, sisters and daughters, help us fight this worldwide  inequality.

How can you support International Women’s Day?

https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/international-womens-day?gclid=Cj0KCQiAs5eCBhCBARIsAEhk4r6W3ecsZmAFPxC0IsL_WugloPqMg

Also on a local level you can help the women in your community by supporting their businesses. Aim to buy their products, use their services and recommend them to others. You can do this by sharing in social media and word of mouth.

Never tear down her Crown, always straighten it and champion each one another.

On a personal note self-care is a must check out my SCABTS in a past post… these are ways to take care of yourself.

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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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5 Great Ways To Get Through Lockdown

If you are going to get through the 2nd lockdown with your mind intact and with a stronger bounce-ability factor it may well be down to you and you only!

Grow Up

Before you read this, grab a notebook… this could be your most valuable resource as the weeks go by.

I’ve said it before I’ll say it again, DON’T text or type, WRITE. There’s something about engaging your mind and handwriting simultaneously that makes these exercises much more powerful.

What if it’s true that no-one knows what you need better than you?

Then all you need to do is answer these questions and take your own advice and follow your own prescription.

1. Stop Scaring Yourself!

How do you do this? Write down 7 or more things that you think that make you feel worried, anxious and scared.

Include any pictures, images or past memories that you constantly revisit, you know, those things that help keep you in a state of fear.

Now write down as many ways that you could stop yourself from doing this, for example “I could choose different thoughts” (write down those different thoughts).

Choose different images, find pictures in magazines that are uplifting and positive. Put them where you’ll see them regularly, if that’s not possible stick them inside a cupboard or wardrobe door.  Look at them a lot.

Create New Movies: Re-run any memories or flashbacks that are negative but this time with a positive outcome. For example if you have pictures in your mind in which you are the victim, now see the perpetrator(s) being disempowered in as many ways as possible.

Keep running the new images with brighter colours for example  seeing a bully as smaller, insignificant and dis-abled from their bullying ways. Regularly revisit this new ‘memory’ until you feel bored with it.

When you do this exercise always leave yourself looking bigger or taller stronger, more empowered and assertive.

2. Pull Yourself Together

Look again at the image of the Russian Dolls above and remember that you carry all of you inside. This means that more often than not your scary thoughts have nothing to do with the here-and-now!

It’s true; you may be having “What if” thoughts that have no bearing on your current situation. They could be coming from a younger you. Equally so you may be constantly spending time in the future worrying about what could happen tomorrow, next week or even a year from now.

When we consider that truly the only bit that’s real is now, why are you spending your valuable energy roaming back into the past and forwards into the future?

If you really stop and think about this, it means that you’re constantly cheating yourself out of  time and the ‘now’!

The chances are that every anxiety provoking thought is either about something that’s already happened or something that might happen. Practice being here now more frequently and one way to do this is to link something to a scary thought.

For example you’re thinking “ What if I can’t pay the next heating bill”

Shout inside your head “Get Up And Shake Off” Now stand up, feet apart and shake your hands and arms. Quickly! Shake each foot and leg … just like swimmers do before a race, shake off the excess adrenalin. Do this for a minute then take a deep breath and as you breathe out make a loud “Haaaaa” sound repeat twice.

That’s it! Do it every time you have an anxious thought, this way you’re changing your ‘state’ empowering yourself and getting back to the present.

3. Laughter Is The Best Medicine.

Remember who and what makes you laugh. Find as many films, jokes and books that make you laugh. Be sure you talk to the friend who makes you laugh (the one you have that chemistry with) regularly.

4. Exercise More

You must be sick of hearing this by now but someone has gone to the trouble of researching this and there’s tons of evidence to show that a brisk half an hours walk does wonders for the mind and body.

If you need a goal see how quickly you can reach a destination each time you  walk.

If you need motivation buddy up (at a distance) or meet your walking buddy a location for incentive.

See what the NHS has to say about the benefits of exercise.

5. Forgiveness

Forgiveness

If you’re beating yourself up for something you did in the past that was wrong perhaps it’s time to forgive.

Mistakes are valuable ways of growing and learning, just ask a Scientist, they constantly get it wrong, until they find the right way.

What I’m saying is, it’s normal to screw up you’re not perfect and never will be!

If you hurt others by screwing up and you feel brave enough and it’s appropriate, then contact them and tell them how sorry you are for the pain or trouble you caused. Don’t look for forgiveness from them, that’s your business but aim to make amends if and where you can.

With that done, if you can be sure you will not repeat that behaviour then forgive yourself and practice forgiving yourself until your wrongs sit more easily with you. You do that by saying “your name… I forgive you, you are forgiven now.”

It’s remarkable how many people beat themselves up for years for things they’ve done. I’m obviously not condoning bad behaviour but if you’re genuinely remorseful, would never do that thing again… then be kind and gentle to yourself and forgive.

If you need to take a short break  away from the family or just to reset remember to help yourself to my 7 Minutes of Zen download…this is what one person said “It’s fabulous!”