Category: coping mechanisms

A Christmas Stress Buster!

A picture of a woman with her mouth wide open like a scream wearing a santa hat surrounded by wrapped presents with the word help on the left

 

Even though tis the season to be jolly, for some people this puts on an added pressure to show an outward happiness that, for whatever reason, one does not feel inside. This can compound negative feelings and make a person feel even more isolated, especially if there has been increased stress, tragedy or bereavement in a persons life. Sometimes the stress can be simply having to welcome unwanted guests or unwanted demands on top of our normal everyday life such as extra shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining to name just a few but this all adds to Christmas stress.

Using just a few practical tips these could help you enjoy the Christmas season more than you thought and minimize any stress. So here goes……

  1. Acknowledge and accept your feelings. If your loved ones are absent or if a loved one has recently died it’s OK to cry and let your feelings out. Don’t try and force yourself to be happy just because it is Christmas. This will just put unwanted pressure on yourself and make yourself feel worse.

 

  1. Contact that friend! If you are feeling lonely or isolated then try and reach out and speak to someone. If there isn’t anyone you know that you can speak to then try not to isolate yourself and seek out some community events. Volunteering is a good way to keep yourself occupied taking your mind of stressful thoughts and this is also a good way of meeting new people. This can generate some feel good positive thinking because you are giving something back to society. Just remember extra volunteers are always extra volunteers needed at Christmas time, especially in soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

 

 

  1. Forget Perfection! Be realistic with yourself. Christmas does not have to be the perfect day and does not have to be the same as last year and previous happy Christmases. Things do change, people move away, children may branch out with their own friends and their new families and therefore traditions can alter and change. People who previously made up your festival group festivities including children, friends and family circumstances may have changed so they may not be able to be with you over the Christmas period. You can find other ways of celebrating together. A phone call, skype or sharing videos and photos. No-one needs to be isolated with the way communication is these days.

 

  1. Forget your differences. Set aside any grievances or grudges until a more appropriate time for discussion to avoid any negativity on the day. Try to be understanding if others get disappointed or upset if things don’t quite go the way that they were planned. Remember as the year is drawing to an end instinctively we reflect on the past twelve months and there is a risk, especially with the festive alcohol that negative memories may come to the forefront of our minds.

 

 

  1. Don’t overspend. When you go shopping set a budget and stick to it. Don’t spend over your means as this just creates unwanted stress that could last throughout the year.

 

  1. Set a plan and stick to it! Try and schedule your days leading up to Christmas so that you know when you are shopping, baking , cleaning etc….. Plan your menus so that you know exactly how much food that you are buying and stick to the shopping list. Do not be tempted to over buy, you will only be throwing it away.

 

 

  1. Exercise. Try and get some exercise and fresh air. Even if it means just going for a walk to clear your head. If you already do regular exercise then don’t abandon your normal routine completely. Try and fit in as much exercise as you can to keep you tip top and this will also help you get a good quality nights sleep to help you recharge your batteries for the next day.

 

  1. Take time out. Don’t be afraid to go to a quiet room for a while and try a five minute meditation, you will find this may also help you to recharge and give clarity of mind. Emotional Freedom Technique is also very good for relieving stress and bringing down and taking control of anxious and overwhelming feelings. It’s also a good tool for letting negative feelings out, letting go of them and replacing them with positive ones. See a basic EFT instruction video here.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are finding Christmas preparations too demanding then don’t be afraid to ask for help! Those involved in your Christmas preparation and festivities will also feel much happier that they are able to contribute to your celebrations. Trying to deliver the whole of Christmas by yourself may become too overwhelming and unmanageable.

 

  1. Help is out there! If you continue to have stressful feelings or your emotions are escalating to the point where you just cannot cope then you may seek professional help or if it is an acute emotional crisis a sympathetic ear is always available at the Samaritans.

 

 

I hope that these tips help you to get through the holiday period and relieves any possible Christmas stress and  you all have a fantastic time. Remember be positive, keep calm, and, most of all, HAVE FUN!!!!!

 

Fear of flying. Plane stupid?

A man flying in the clouds with an ipad attached to his chest looking panicked.

Fear of flying. Plane stupid?

Hello again everyone. Welcome to my latest blog about fear of flying. I apologise for there not being a blog for the last couple of weeks but this is due to me taking a much needed holiday. I always choose to go away somewhere nice and warm as it is coming to the end of winter here. It’s nice to soak up the sun after the many months of early darkness and dreary grey days knowing that on my return home that it is nearly spring and the days are getting longer and the sun is beginning to shine much more warming us both physically and mentally. Sometimes it’s not until you actually go away that you realise how much the rest is needed. While I was away it got me thinking about people that have a phobia of flying (aviophobia) and how awful it must be not to be able to just escape to another country when they feel like it. The interesting concept of phobias is that there is not normally a rational fear behind them. Even if the fear doesn’t actually prevent a person from travelling anywhere it can greatly impair their enjoyment of the journey. We all know that flying is actually one of the safest forms of transport but many still hold a fear which is out of their control. So, what can they do about it?  After all there is far greater risk, statistically, of being kicked to death by a donkey than dying in a plane crash.

I have had a very high success rate with fear of flying using a combination of Hypnotherapy and Emotional Freedom Technique. EFT is a great self-help tool that can be used to bring down any anxiety about flying and the beneficial aspect of this therapy is that, once learned, it can be used anywhere. On the way to the airport, at the airport or sitting on a plane. That is the wonder of emotional freedom technique. I would, however, look deeper into the root cause of the problem to help clear the phobia using hypnotherapy. In my experience the majority of the time it’s because of one issue – CONTROL. People feel out of control in a plane. The average person does not have is a great understanding of how planes work and what the noises are that they hear and where there is a lack of understanding people feel out of control with many not able to put their trust in a pilot that they don’t know and a machine that they don’t understand. If a client feels out of control in their life then this problem will just be exacerbated. This may not  necessarily mean that the client is feeling out of control presently but using hypno-analysis we can look into the past and find out the originating cause of the phobia. This may not necessarily even have anything to do with flying or planes but may just simply be a control issue or a deeper set condition.

I once had a client, many years ago, that had never flown and even if she saw a plane flying overhead she would duck in panic! Hypnosis regressed her to eight years old where she remembered watching a news report about a plane that crashed onto a motorway. This had made the news as it was such a rare occurrence but the fear of seeing that at her young age was repressed into the subconscious causing her phobia. Reliving this event as an adult helped release the negative emotion stuck in the subconscious and we used some suggestion therapy for another couple of sessions re-framing any negative thoughts related to flying. She wrote to me after, happily informing me she had taken a short flight and actually enjoyed it and had booked a much longer flight for her honeymoon.

So, what should you do and not do should you suffer from fear of flying?

  • Don’t avoid flying. It is a treatable problem. Fears and phobias have one of the highest success rates for treatment of psychological problems. We tend to make ourselves feel safer by avoiding things but we truly grow by stepping outside our comfort zone.
  • Think about the destination you are going to. Really focus on all the positive things about being there.
  • Challenge any negative thoughts. There is a big difference between discomfort and danger. Think about your triggers. If turbulence is a trigger, for example, think about it logically. ‘Ok I might spill my drink but the plane isn’t going to fall apart.”
  • Learn some relaxation techniques. Deep breathing exercises, meditation and of course emotional freedom technique will all help. Reading is also a very good distraction or listening to music.
  • Keep hydrated. Try to avoid alcohol and drugs. Before and during the flight, it’s important to keep blood sugar levels up. Stick to water and juices to keep hydrated and remember to eat little and often to maintain your energy, which can help control anxiety levels. Rest if you can, though sleep is not essential.

To learn more and for further support with any of these issues please contact me for a free initial consultation.

Happy Holidays! 😉

Having a bad day? What can you do?

Having a bad day? What can you do about it?

A sign with a flower in the background that says "It's just a bad day, not  bad life"

Hello everyone and thank you for taking a look at my latest blog. It’s a funny time of year as there is a sense that we are coming to the end of winter and soon the greyness will be going out of our lives. We have had a couple of days of sunshine which gives us a real indication of what is to come and it’s suprising what a positive effect that this can have on our feelings. I happen to like all seasons. I love the sunshine and warmth and that in the summer we can do so much more outside. I also love the cosiness of winter and curling up in front of the fire on a cold night and watching a nice film or becoming engrossed in a good book. I love it when Spring arrives and the garden starts coming alive again and I love the beautifully natural colours of autumn. But whatever time of the year it is we can all have bad days. Even the most minor of things can trigger a bad day. A falling out with a friend, getting stuck in traffic making you late for work or even just, as the cliché goes, getting out the wrong side of bed. Just one unkind or critical word from someone can put you in a bad mood and onto a negative vibe. Even I am not immune to this and have to check myself sometimes to get myself back onto a positive  vibe. We all know that one negative comment can make all the energy drain from your body. So what can we do about this?  What tools can we use combat negativity and get us back onto a positive vibe?

Sometimes just getting back to nature can help raise your vibration. A walk in the park or local forest. Breathing in the fresh air and reflecting on things. Even walking on the grass in bare feet can be very grounding.

If you are feeling low it’s always a good idea not to go onto social media. Looking at other peoples lives can sometimes give us a feeling of inadequacy if things aren’t feeling right in our own lives. There are a lot of positive benefits to social media but not always when we are feeling down. I do also believe that all these wifi networks and different radio frequencies  traveling through our air waves are taking us away from natural energies.

Exercise is always good to make us feel positive wether it is going for a run, going to the gym or partaking in our favourite sport, bike rides or an exercise class. All these things stimulate blood flow and let off our endorphins which are our natural feel good hormone.

Another good technique is to put onto paper what is bothering you. I would recommend to do this by hand and not just type onto a computer because I believe there is a much more powerful discharge of emotion by putting pen to paper. If it’s someone who has bothered you then maybe write them a letter. You don’t have to send it to them. You can burn it after. You can also burn anything written about what is bothering you in your own life. It’s a good way to get negative feelings off your chest. LET IT GO! Once you have done this you can write a list of all the positive things in your life that you are so grateful for.

Meditation is  great for relieving stress and reducing our anxiety. Deep breathing exercises and positive visualisation will help stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, quieting down your stress response.

Any of you animal lovers spend time with your pets! Petting or stroking an animal can have such positive and soothing effects on us. If you haven’t got a pet but like animals then visit someone who has or even go to a local petting farm.

HUGS HUGS HUGS!!!!  I think hugs solve so many things. As humans we are becoming so detached from each other. I know some people that stay in the same room and exchange words on social networks or even texts!   If you are feeling down grab your partner, a close friend or a family member and share a loving hug with them. It is amazing how much better you will feel.

Book something to look forward to. Wether it is a holiday, a weekend away or even a theatre show or a visit to a faraway friend that you have not seen in a long time. Make that positive move and have something exciting to feel excited about in your future.

Listen to your favourite music! Listening to music can really alter your mood and help to alleviate depression. It could be a good idea to make a feelgood playlist for you mp3 player or phone. Put in it all the songs that make you feel good!

If I am feeling particularly negative I take a shower!  I imagine that the water is washing all the negativity off me and disposing of it down the drain. I find this to be very effective. Also you can alternate the hot and cold tap to help increase your circulation and get rid of negative energy.

Another good idea is to watch a funny comedy even if it is something that you have seen before. If you can laugh then I believe that is the greatest form of therapy anybody can have. Sometimes just watching a few funny you tube clips can help lift your spirits.

If all else fails then learn Emotional Freedom Technique. I do believe this to be such a positive tool and you can see a video of me teaching the basic recipe to learn this fantastic tool here.

If these bad days are getting more often than not then I offer a kind and confidential therapy service including Hypnotherapy and Emotional Freedom Technique in Essex. For information on this please complete this contact form here or contact me on 01702 233323 or 07795573280.

I hope that you have  found some of this information useful and I hope that you all have a fantastic and positively Calm week !

 

 

 

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