Why National Stress Awareness Day could save your life

Why National Stress Awareness Day could save your life

I know the title ‘Why National Stress Awareness Day’ could save your life sounds dramatic, but it is true.

Stress is called the silent killer

According to the World Health Organisation Of the 56.4 million deaths worldwide in 2015, more than half (54%) were due to the top 10 causes. And the top 2 causes for the past 15 years have been Ischaemic heart disease and stroke. Stress is often a feature of these two causes.

Have you accepted stress as part of your life?

Society has really changed hasn’t it. More families with both parents working, single parent families, caring responsibilities. Expensive houses to pay for, images and expectations to live up to and of course social media to keep up with.

There’s children’s education, clubs, hobbies, social events and physical and emotional needs to attend to.

You might choose to study. Maybe while working, running a home and raising a family at the same time.

Then there is convienience food and spending a lot of time sitting in jobs that require computer work. And a competitive environment for well paid work.

Wow, it’s stressful even writing all that.

Everyone seems to be in such a rush and has accepted that as normal. Have you?

Hence the popularity of retreats!

What impact is this stress having on your life?

You know the drill. Work as hard as possible do everything as listed above. But you are not too worried because yes! You have a holiday to look forward to. Maybe even all inclusive. Everything done for you. You can really enjoy this time to relax and unwind and just ‘be’. You arrive on the holiday and spend the first few days in a vegetated state. Or even worse… ill! You can’t believe it. Where is your energy? And your joy? They seemed to have gone on a different holiday!

This is so common for people who are living in a stressed state most of the time. The body gets a glimpse of ‘stopping’ and it makes the most of it.

Things you may not have noticed as signs of stress

Thing is, when stress creeps up gradually, you don’t always notice it. You take on more and more. Do more and more. And you are so busy you don’t notice some of the symptoms of stress are upon you like:

  • Headaches
  • Muscular pain in our neck, shoulders or back
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Palpitations
  • Increased pain thresholds
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Poor breathing
  • Suppressed immune system  and increased susceptibility to infections
  • Increases in blood sugar and cholesterol levels

 

Don’t ignore the signs

burnout

Left ignored these symptoms can build into bigger problems like burnout, depression and anxiety. It is your body and mind’s way of rebelling against the pressure it’s under.

Once you suffer from these they may affect:
  • Your relationships with family or friends
  • Your hobbies, interests and leisure time
  • Your performance at work, school or college

 

This is the most important point in this blog:

Noticing yourself is the answer to good health. Noticing how you feel. Noticing your energy levels. Your mood. Your interactions with others. How your body feels.

Imagine you had a leaking tap in your bathroom? And you didn’t notice. And it kept dripping and started creating a small flow of water that needed to escape. So it finds a way through a crack in the tiles. And it keeps leaking and leaking. And then there is a funny smell. And you notice but don’t address it. And before you know it you have a damp issue and a big problem to fix. It’s important to notice.

So all I would encourage you to do as a first step is to notice how you feel.

Notice what might cause you stress and then you can work on a plan to reduce the stress in your life. I will be writing a couple of blogs around relaxation which will really help you reduce stress.

 

Take an easy step to reducing stress and relaxing by joining my free 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge

It is called a challenge but it’s easy! I promise you will feel less stressed at the end. Sign up now!

 

 

 

Why self-care is more than a Spa Day

Why self-care is more than a Spa Day

Self-care is a hot topic and the Spa is a booming industry but I want to  explain why self-care is more than a Spa Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love a Spa and once spent a week at Champneys!

But the point I want to make in this blog is that twofold. Firstly, self-care is different things to everyone and secondly, small regular self-care is more beneficial for your mental health and more practical to incorporate into your busy life than a Spa Day..

 

What my friends said self-care is

I asked my Facebook friends of ways they self-care and here is what they said.

Jill GardnerRecognising the negative voice in your head isn’t you. And disowning it so you can be the real you ❤️

Samantha Heywood-Cox Take time to relax each day and say thank you to your hard working body
Anita Davenport Always eat nutritious food and sleep.
Esther Nagle Realising that what is one person’s ideal self care routine isn’t necessarily yours. Deep, slow breaths make most stressful situations and sleepless nights less stressful and exhausting. Forgive yourself for mistakes you may or may not have made. Realise that the critical voice in your head isn’t telling you the truth. A good night’s sleep is a great physical, mental and emotional reboot. Yoga and walking in nature are powerful ways to connect to everything that is important as well as being good for physical and mental health
Carolyn Arnold Doing anything for pleasure and not out of duty.
Clare Farthing Quarterly Spa Days at Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa. A girl can dream!!
Julie Shepherd Setting time aside for me and also saying ‘no’ to things I really don’t want to do.
Nicola Huelin Here’s a blog I wrote with ideas of 92 things you can do for self-care that take less than 10 mins and are totally free
Belinda-Jane Hunt Meditate. Be kind. Forgive.…Listen to your body.
Leslee Serdar A W. A. A. M. List (What’s amazing about me) list  Keeps the self esteem up!!

Self-care can be preventing stress

I once read that one of the biggest causes of stress is things that are broken or don’t work around the home. I agree! I’ve had a wobbly kitchen door for a long time and kept screwing it back in but it was never properly fixed and became irritating. Anyway it eventually fell off! So then I had a door-less cupboard which looked a bit strange. I had it fixed and for a couple of days kept admiring it. Who would have thought that a door could bring happiness?

And here are some practical ideas of self-care from me:

  • Back up your computer. It can be a real trauma to lose your photos or work
  • Store your photos in Dropbox or similar. Protect your treasure memories
  • Online shopping – need I say more!
  • Organise your wardrobe. Only have things that fir in your wardrobe so you don’t spend ages finding something to wear and feel bad about things that don’t fit right now
  • Sort out your finances.
  • Dal with letters ASAP
  • Keep a calendar/diary
  • Unsubscribe from emails that don’t add value to your life
  • Subscribe to something that adds value to your life. That’s my FREE 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge
  • Batch cook. Freeze some, eat some. Cost effective too.
  • Declutter your house, create space
  • Declutter your car, enjoy driving
  • Declutter your loft, never panic about finding the Halloween stuff again
  • Declutter your garage, yes you have 4 bicycle locks already
  • Declutter your Facebook friends
  • Declutter your Instagram
  • Get your books on kindle
  • Keep water and snacks in your car so you can always maintain your energy levels

And the best thing about self-care?

 child wonderment

Self-care, like rest, is time for you. You enjoy your time and your life. To feed your joy. So it’s important to know how to do that! My theory is that people with a passion in life are very lucky.
I recently went to my favourite bird of prey centre and the passion the handlers have for their birds is amazing. They look them with love and one keeper said to his bird ‘come to daddy’! How wonderful to have an interest you never tire of and you love to bits. Not quite self-care but you get my drift?
When we understand what gives us joy, what makes up feel rested and happy. We can do it as often as we like 🙂
The list of things that gives us joy and makes us happy could be endless and they could be small things. Easy to do. Cheap or free. You’ve just got to experiment and find them. Children as very good at this. They are usually open minded and experimental. They try different clubs and hobbies to see what they enjoy and what they like the most. Children usually go where the fun (for them) is!

Take a little time for self-care today

What are you going to do to nurture and nourish yourself today? I would love to hear about it in the comments or share this blog with someone you care about so they can self-care before their next Spa Day.

Book review. Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

Book review. Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

I loved reading this book and so am doing a book review for Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

Even the title ‘Rest’ helped me relax

Talk about Hypnotic suggestion. Every time I picked up the book, I knew I was reading ‘rest’ and I felt ‘rested’ as a result!

Alex opens the book by explaining how we see rest as the absence of work and not something in its own right. I think this is the case for many people. How about you?

He goes on to say that if you put so much of yourself into you work then when you cease to work, you cease to exist. This is a strong statement! We have all heard stories of people retiring and passing away shortly afterwards and this being put down to them ‘missing work’ and being without purpose’. But without the evidence, this statement lacks truth for me.

He does say that work can be as emotionally fulfilling as being in love. Can you relate to that?

However the book is focused on the principle that many extraordinary leaders, scientists, philosophers and creatives valued the importance of rest and worked better as a result of the way they practiced rest.

The right rest restores the mysterious part of the mind and we underestimate how much good as serious rest can do us. I call this ‘mysterious’ part of the mind the subconscious 🙂

He gives us confidence to allow ourselves to rest by explaining that we need to allow ourselves to rest and remove the guilt for doing it. ‘You have to take rest and protect it from a world that is intent on taking it’.

Ok then. We will 🙂

 

Rest is important for creativity

 

creativity

 

If you work at 110% all the time, how much will you give when extra is required? Or will you lack the energy to give it more? By balancing your energy levels you will have the fuel in the tank that you need to put the pedal to the metal!

But it’s more than that. When you rest, you access a different part of your brain even though you are resting, your brain is almost as active as when you are working hard on a problem. When you become active again, that ‘different’ part of your brain turns off again.

 

So what does that ‘different’ part of your brain do? It:

  • Consolidates memories
  • Makes sense of the past
  • Searches for solutions to problems that your occupying your thoughts in your waking hours

I would call this part of the brain the subconscious mind. Alex explains how walks, art and music can wake ideas that are ‘slumbering’ there. Because when he talks about ‘rest’. He doesn’t mean lying down doing nothing, although that’s a pretty good way to rest!

He talks about rest being things that

  • Relax you
  • Detach you from work
  • Let you spend your time in ways you enjoy
  • Recover

 

 

Take a break

No this isn’t a kit-kat advert. In his book, Alex mentions many tests to prove how breaks improve performance at work. He says ‘part of your mind is writing the next sentence, and the next paragraph, considering and discarding a thousand plot twists without you ever being aware of them’. For me this totally sums up the awesomeness that is our subconscious mind. It works away doing all kind of amazing things for us which we are never even aware of!

Alex talks about the importance of learning to monitor your attention and energy as this is a life skill that will serve you well.

Cats have the right idea about naps

cat nap

Churchill took naps. Kennedy and Einstein too. But why? In case you didn’t know, a 20 minute nap can restore depleted energy and a nap of more than an hour takes you into REM state sleep and will help you remember more.

 

 

What you need to know if the ‘work’ is more important to you than that the ‘rest’

Cambridge mathematician John Littlewood said even for people whose mind naturally gravitate towards work, having clear boundaries between periods of work and rest allows them to get more from each. ‘It is too easy when tired to fritter a whole day but never getting properly down to it. You get nothing done and get no rest or relaxation’. Is that ringing any bells for you?

 

 

Walk the talk

 

autumn

 

I didn’t expect walking to be in a book about rest but it totally makes sense. Danish Philosopher Soven Kierkegaard said ‘I have walked my way into my best thoughts’. Have you ever had that experience?

Some companies have walking meetings now which are said to be good for solving problems, discussing, bouncing ideas and eliminating distractions. Steve Jobs did it. There is evidence that your mind becomes calmer when walking through parks and green spaces. In tests 81% of students did better in tests when walking.

Plus walking in autumn is absolutely glorious, So let’s get out there!

 

Let your subconscious mind do its work, so that you can do yours

 

I’ve long had a view that the Corporate work place is outdated. Many organisations are proud of themselves for offering flexible working. But the whole concept of work needs to be rethought out if we want to continue to evolve as a forward thinking society. By understanding how our minds work at their best and how to exploit our energy to be our very best selves, productivity and mental health will be much healthier.

No wonder so many corporate workers are so stressed. The way that they are working is not allowing them to rest or flourish. ‘Workers with little control feel more stress because controlling your time is liberating and restorative’.

 

But businesses are missing a trick because employees that ‘rest’ well are:

  • Better employees
  • Better at dealing with challenges
  • Better colleagues
  • More able to focus intensively on work tasks

 

And let’s not forget the 2 million entrepreneurs that are beavering away and want to succeed and so don’t take rest seriously for fear of missing an opportunity. Many entrepreneurs that I know are so passionate about their business they love working!

 

 

How good at resting are you?

 

As someone who has suffered from fatigue in the past, I rate energy very high in my list of priorities and try to manage it wisely. I really enjoyed this book as it had the right balance of brain talk, stats and common sense for my liking.

I would love to hear your thoughts or tips on how you achieve good rest in the comments if you have time. Do you rest or are you pushing yourself too hard?

Sending you restful vibes.

Honey

 

 

 

 

 

The secret of why you feel emotions that you don’t understand

The secret of why you feel emotions that you don’t understand

In this post I am going to explain the secret of why you feel emotions that you don’t understand. And I want you to share this information with as many people as possible because it really could save a lot of heartache.

 

We all have two minds…

 

Did you know that your mind has two parts? The conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind could be called the more rational. It makes decisions based on logic and chooses our behaviour. Most of the time in day to day life we operate in a conscious state. The conscious part of our brain is  the smaller less powerful part (although still very powerful!). The conscious part lets us work, study, operate on a daily basis.

The dominant part of the mind is the subconscious. We access the subconscious naturally when we ‘daydream’ or drift off to sleep. The subconscious is powerful when we dream. It tries to make sense of all the information it has absorbed or is processing.

The subconscious is like a blank canvas when we are born. We take in around 2 million pieces of information a day, which is far too much for the conscious mind to process. So the subconscious stores in using sight, smell, taste, sound and feelings. It codes our life experiences in this way which is why both good and bad experiences can have smells or noises attached to them. All this goes on automatically so we don’t really have much control about our built in ‘coding’.

So the phrase ‘in two minds’ is literally that. When we are making a decision we might use the conscious mind to think about it logically, but the subconscious mind will be the more feeling part. Kind of like head and heart centred thinking.  

 

How you can harness the power of your subconscious mind….

 

Your subconscious is there to protect you and always acts in the way it thinks is best for you. This can become a problem if its ‘coding’ is not helpful. For example, it has learnt that when you are scared or worried you should have a panic attack, or when you are sad you should eat for comfort.  People get confused about why they are behaving in a way that is not helpful or they can’t control. This is because the subconscious is the more powerful force and is leading behaviour and emotion.

You can use will power to try and beat an issue, but will power comes from the conscious mind so may only be temporary. Long lasting change needs to be made in the subconscious.

To access the subconscious mind and make changes you need to relax the conscious mind. You can do this with Hypnotherapy (trance hypnosis) or NLP (waking hypnosis). Once the conscious mind is relaxed, the subconscious is present and changes can be made. Sort of like recoding (in a safe and pleasant way).

You will experience wonderful relaxing feelings and connect to the subconscious part of your mind. The part that seems to be on a whole different level and you experience different thoughts that sometimes you can’t even put into words.

 

The reason you have emotions that you don’t understand

 

Because your subconscious is accessed by bypassing your conscious mind, when you rationally try and understand why you feel how you feel, the true reason may not be apparent because it is buried in the subconscious.

This is often the case for people who have experienced trauma that bury that stuff so deep inside, they never really think about it.

Sometime the case with grief too.

Because no one really likes pain do they. (Well maybe those lot on Ninja Warrior but not the rest of us!). So the good old subconscious (remember always aiming to look after you) buries that deep down inside. But as the saying goes, the truth will always out and oops there it is….  

 

How the problem presents itself….

 

Now I have a fair few years as a therapist under my belt but I never assume because the subconscious is super clever and even my client may not understand the processing that takes place. 

But what I can tell you is that behind most issues that we face there is an emotion and emotions are held where? In the subconscious!

Here are some the things that I see clients for where there are obvious and less obvious emotional connections:

Depression – often linked to emotions in the past that can be cleared up

Weight loss – often  linked to emotions about self esteem

Anxiety – often linked to an emotion that is buried deep

Smoking – surprisingly often linked to the emotion that drives the habit rather than the nicotine addiction

Confidence – often linked to an emotion that is buried deep

Sleep – often linked to an emotions 

Stress – often linked to the emotions of overwhelm and being out of control 

 

So what can you do to feel better?

 

Many people get advice from their doctor first and some end up on medication or anti depressants. some seek counselling or Pychotherapy.

It isn’t as simple as saying to the subconscious ‘change this’. The subconscious is like a child. It needs to believe what is being said, it needs to feel its the right thing to do. It needs to buy into it and the conscious mind has to also want the change (that is usually the case where someone has got to the point they seek help unless there is a secondary gain).

A good Hypnotherapist or NLP Master Practitioner will work with you to make the changes to the emotions that drive the behaviours that made you seek help.

I call it ‘soothing and smoothing’. Sooth the pain and smooth the trigger and issue, Job done. Feel better 🙂

I am even able to work content free by working directly with the subconscious without talking about the issue specifically. I don’t need to know the issue/trauma necessarily but the subconscious does.

Children operate in the subconscious a lot! They have wonderful imagination and intuition. They respond to stories which appeal to the subconscious and significant changes can be made to their lives, meaning happier childhoods and lasting change through to adulthood.

The subconscious is also like a sponge for storing positivity as well as negativity. So accessing your subconscious and pumping it full of lovely positivity is really cool.  This is what successful people do regularly! Just ask Tony Robbins 🙂

 

Get in touch so I can help you or your child.

 

I use Hypnotherapy, NLP, Reiki and life coaching to help children over 5 and adults overcome problems and issues. I work face to face in Lancing, Worthing, Shoreham and Brighton and worldwide on Skype. I love talking to people and would happy to have a chat with you about how I could help you or your child.

 

These song lyrics reflect my work with clients I help with emotional healing

These song lyrics reflect my work with clients I help with emotional healing

In this post I am going to use songs to reflect the work I do with clients that I help with emotional healing. This is such a precious element of my work and one I am very committed to and passionate about. I want you to hear where I am coming from with my energy and intention. Though music.

There are some healers and coaches who don’t have any official qualifications and are still doing a good job!  They have natural intuition and are able to help others. And others have intuition and like to back it up with skills and qualifications. The point is when people need help with emotional healing, they need to feel they are in safe, caring hands. The relationship and trust is so very very important in this kind of work. I feel honoured when I work with people in this way.

 

I think these songs say it all.

REM – Everybody Hurts

When your day is long
And the night
The night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life
Well hang on
Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone (hold on)
(Hold on) if you feel like letting go (hold on)
If you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
Well, hang on
‘Cause everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts
Don’t throw your hand
Oh, no
Don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone
No, no, no, you’re not aloneIf you’re on your own in this life
The days and nights are long
When you think you’ve had too much
Of this life to hang on
Well, everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts

The Pretenders – I’ll Stand By You

Oh, why you look so sad?
Tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now Don’t be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
’cause I’ve seen the dark side too
When the night falls on you
You don’t know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you lessI’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by youSo if you’re mad, get mad
Don’t hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me nowHey, what you got to hide?
I get angry too
Well I’m a lot like youWhen you’re standing at the crossroads
And don’t know which path to choose
Let me come along
’cause even if you’re wrong
I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I’ll never desert you
I’ll stand by you
And when, when the night falls on you, baby
You’re feeling all alone
You won’t be on your own
I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you

Bob Marley – Three Little Birds

“Don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright
Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright!”
Rise up this morning
Smiled with the rising sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singing sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying, “This is my message to you”
Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright
Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing (don’t worry)
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright!”Rise up this morning
Smiled with the rising sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singing sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying, “This is my message to you”Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing (worry about a thing, oh)
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright (don’t worry)
Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing (I won’t worry)
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright!”Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright (I won’t worry)
Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright!”Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing (don’t worry about a thing)
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright

 

Nina Simone – Feeling Good

Birds flyin’ high, you know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by, you know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me.
Yeah, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, ooooooooh…
And I’m feelin’ good.Fish in the sea, you know how I feel
River runnin’ free, you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree, you know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me,
And I’m feelin’ good Dragonfly out in the sun, you know what I mean, don’t you know,
Butterflies all havin’ fun, you know what I mean.
Sleep in peace when day is done: that’s what I mean,
And this old world is a new world and a bold world for me…Stars when you shine, you know how I feel
Scent of the pine, you know how I feel
Yeah, freedom is mine, and I know how I feel..
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me
And I’m feelin’… good.

 

The message I want to get across is…

When you’re sure you’ve had enough

Sometimes everything is wrong

If you think you’ve had too much

If you feel like you’re alone

Hold on

Come on and come to me now

’cause I’ve seen the dark side too

I’ll stand by you

Don’t hold it all inside

You’re feeling all alone

You won’t be on your own

Don’t worry about a thing

Cause every little thing is gonna be alright

This is my message to you

Rise up this morning

Singing sweet songs

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me

And I’m feelin’ good

Sleep in peace when day is done

Yeah, freedom is mine, and I know how I feel..

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me

And I’m feelin’… good

 

More about the emotional healing another day but if you need to sort something out please contact me. Even if we just have a chat, it’s worth it.

Honey

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