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.
Reactions to stress are stored in the mind and body, they shape our perceptions and view of the world.
Constant repetition of the fight, flight and collapse response takes its toll on the immune system and leaves us susceptible to illness, disease. Similarly mental responses to stress include anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance and phobias.
Therefore self-care on more than just one level is vital to our health.
More importantly, finding ways of controlling our reactions to stress mentally and physically, rather than allowing it to control us, is essential to being a well being.
I should know I’ve been a stress management expert for many years and my clients know that even one small change makes a huge difference to the quality of life and can help you cope better.
50 Signs of Stress:
…And also the solutions to combat stress and freegifts to help you deal with it.
Anxious, apprehensive, frightened, fearful
Excessive feelings of shame or embarrassment
Depressed or generally low
Helpless, out of control
Experiencing intrusive thoughts or images
Experiencing loss of confidence
Thinking the future is bleak
Unable to concentrate
Constipation or diarrhoea
Change to menstrual cycle
Frequent colds or other infections
Feeling faint or fainting
Headaches or migraines
Rapid weight change
Sweating or clammy hands
Tightness or pain in chest
Thrush or cystitis
Vague aches or pains
Increased tiredness or fatigue
Aggressive or passive behaviour
Clenched fists or jaws
Comfort eating or loss of appetite
Compulsive or impulsive behaviour
Disturbed sleep patterns
Increased alcohol or caffeine consumption
Poor time management
Reduced work performance
Withdrawal from supportive relationships
Too busy to relax
Stress management is something that has to be built into and made part of each day.
Furthermore, repetition is the mother of all skill and stress management requires practise.
You wouldn’t expect to go to the gym now and then to have a strong, toned body and it’s the same with maintaining a calm, relaxed state in the face of stressful events and triggers.
Firstly you have to know the difference between stressed and calm. Practise a Progressive Relaxation. Do it Now!
Simply tense every muscle starting with your face, screw your eyes up, your mouth, neck, shoulders arms etc right the way throughout your entire body, tensing until it’s almost unbearable then slowly release and enjoy the feeling of gentle relaxation spreading through your body.
Secondly repeat this as often as possible so that you train and engrain the right responses to stress.
Finally, stop the stress reaction more quickly by recognising tension and stress as it’s creeping in. Consciously pay attention to that knot in your shoulder or tightness in your neck, use it as a trigger to start the relaxation response.
Because stress increases when we forget to breathe properly humming and whistling will help you to breathe better. A whistle or hum is effectively an exhalation.
Try it now, you’ll notice that you take a bigger, slightly longer inhalation after you’ve whistled or hummed. Increased breath means more energy and a calmer state and better equanimity of mind.
Most importantly reprogram your mind to combat stress while you sleep. The Stress Free With Relaxation program allows your subconscious mind to absorb positive suggestions and counter daytime stress triggers.
Maximum effort required, put in earbuds as you drop off to sleep. Return On Investment = Feeling rested and refreshed with a positive state of mind and wellbeing. Effortless!
“Just what I needed, really great” ” … completely relaxed and enjoyed the practice, venue, food and great company… such great organisation” is just some of the feedback received after last weekend’s yoga retreat. (Book there for the next one in February.
Do you want peace in your life? What are you doing to achieve that state?
Even if you’re new to yoga get on your mat and breathe then begin to stretch, you’ll be surprised how quickly you will remember a couple of yoga poses you’ve enjoyed in the past and just do them. Listen to your body. If it hurts don’t do it! Apart from that enjoy!
Even 5 minutes of yoga can give you a break from the incessant dominance of the ego mind. You’ll recognise your ego mind as the part of you that labels, criticises, judges, demands and has big expectations. Sound familiar?
Yoga means union or to join, try taking a few minutes this weekend to tune into your breathing. Go on I dare you to take up my challenge and simply follow 10 whole breaths without allowing your mind to wander – good luck with that!
Oh and by the way this is a whole breath. Breathe in. Notice the natural holding of the breath. Breathe out. Notice the pause before you breathe in again.
Enjoy and let me know how you get on. Also remember there’s the ‘Ask Sue’ page if you have a yoga related or counselling question.
Do you often feel irritated, agitated and on the ‘edge’ of losing it?
Anger plays a part in a bigger picture of loss. So what’s changed recently, what have you lost? A loved one, a job, relationship, house? The disappointment of your own expectations? Maybe you’ve gone so far into a ‘role’ that you’ve actually lost yourself. In which case you’ll need to find your way home again to remembering who you really are.
Begin by acknowledging what you might be grieving, then move onto the following 10 ways to address feelings of frustration and anger.
1. Write, on a sheet of paper, “I’m angry because…” and write a list of 50 things that come to mind. The exercise in itself will be enlightening and then see if there is anything you can actually do to change the irritating factor. If you can’t, then you might just have to do a bit of growing up and work on accepting what you can’t change.
2. Write a letter (by hand) to the person you feel angry with (even if they are no longer alive) and tear it up into lots of pieces when you have finished.
3. Sing or whistle – it helps you to breathe out; at the end of the sound you have to take a deep breath in again.
4. Repeat, silently, “I am calm and relaxed I am at ease” (even if you’re not feeling it!)
5. Lie on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, pull your belly button back toward your spine and thump your feet up and down on the floor and move them from side to side. Make fists and thump them on the floor too.
6. Look up EFT for anger on YouTube there’s loads of videos that will help you learn how to use this amazing technique.
7. If you’re stuck in traffic, take a deep breath in, and as you breathe out make a loud HAAAAA sound.
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above sit back and open your free gift.
The blog’s short this week and I’m giving you a free gift. Add it to the resources in your ‘adult’ part. Use it often and enjoy the benefits.
Many of you are telling me how stressed you are at the moment. Whether that’s down to your heavy work load, the demands of family and friends, illness, life-changing events or just that this cold spell of weather that won’t go away, use the program below to gently pull you back into the present.