I am feeling more stressed than ever… what can I do?

Everywhere we look in today’s world it seems we are bombarded with stressful messages about the state of the world.  So much of what we are reading or viewing is out of our control.  What we can control though is what we choose to watch or listen to.  If you have been finding yourself feeling more anxious, stressed or agitated than normal, observe what media you have been exposing yourself to.  Follow these simple steps to start shifting your focus.

  • Wake up and take a few moments to open your eyes, breathe and visualize or mediate briefly.
  • Have a healthy breakfast and stretch or exercise if you have time before you check your phone, email or social media.
  • Block sites that you notice trigger worry or agitation.
  • Choose to avoid the news, focus instead on uplifting articles or stories they are just as real.
  • At the end of the day turn off your phone, email and social media.

If you find your mind continues to race, your mood is angry you feel depressed or anxious for more than a few days seek professional help.  Therapists like myself have a variety of techniques such as; thought work, hypnotherapy and mind/body techniques to help you resolve anxious or depressed moods. Very often clients I work with begin to feel better right away.

Time for Myself—You Must Be Joking!

It is late at night and as you climb into bed much later than you had hoped you mentally review everything you have to do the next day.  That list is full of things to do from your kids to your employer, your spouse,  your family and even your pets but nowhere in there is You.

Does this sound familiar?  You start to wonder why you are getting so short with everyone or spontaneously bursting into tears.  Or maybe you find yourself hiding in the pantry shoving sweet or salty things quickly into your mouth or having that extra beer or glass of wine.  Your migraines or backaches flair up or you just can’t seem to drag yourself out of bed.

Never fear, even a few minutes a day of You Time can dissolve that stress and resentment you might be carrying around.  Here are a few quick ways to find some solace.

  1. Take a few extra minutes in the shower or bath and treat yourself to soap or shower gel with essential oils.  Lavender is relaxing, citrus is refreshing, peppermint awakens your senses.  Breathe in the fragrance of the essential oil you have chosen, close your eyes and experience what you feel.  Where does your mind float off to? Just be with what ever comes up, no need to try and think or do anything.
  2. Find any patch of sun, take off your sunglasses and feel the sun on your face, your hands your fingers.  Notice the sensation of the sun warming you.  Breathe deeply and name any scent you are aware of, any sensations your body is feeling, anything you hear. Stay there quietly breathing for a few minutes.
  3. If you or a neighbour has a pet, quietly sit with that pet and feel the softness of their fur or feathers.  Imagine breathing in time with them.  Experience the exchange of energy between the two of you, do nothing.
  4. Leave your phone at home, office or in your bag.  Find a park bench and simply sit and look at the blades of grass around you.  Can you notice the textures and the colours?  Are the blades all the same or slightly different?  What colour are the flowers around you or the leaves on the trees?  What sound does the wind flowing through the trees remind you of?
  5. Find a patch of dirt, your garden, a community garden a neighbours garden and pull some weeds just focussing on the act of your fingers gently pulling the weeds out of the earth. Inhale deeply paying attention to the rich scent of the earth.  If you are able, plant flowers or vegetable and listen to the sound of the water as you moisten them.
  6. Find a tennis ball or other small ball and play catch against a wall.  Feel the sensation of releasing the ball and closing your hand around it as you catch.  Notice the sound of the ball hitting the pavement and the wall.  Watch the ball bouncing towards the wall and back to you.
  7. Sit on a swing and just let your body remember the feeling of being free and floating and you swing back and forth.  As you swing find a cloud in the sky and identify the shape that it is, what does that remind you of?  What do the other clouds look like?

These are some simple, fast and effective ways to reconnect with yourself in your busy life and let you know that you are important. Just the process of being present for a short moment begins to dissolve your everyday stress.

Stress-What is it really and how does it work?

We have all heard about the negative effects of stress and how in today’s world we are under so much more of it but what is it really?

Imagine it this way-we experience an event (real or imaginary) and then in an instant we perceive that event. The event itself is called a stressor. Our perception of that stressor sends an automatic message to our mind and our body.

If we perceive the event as positive we experience what is called eustress or positive stress. We may feel energized or excited by it. It might give us energy to perform well in things like a competition, gig, speech, academic requirement or job interview.
We might even enjoy how it feels.

If we experience the event as negative we experience distress. This negative stressor might cause us to feel alarmed, anxious, panicked, tense, depressed or unhappy. We may feel butterflies in our stomach, or a tightening in our chest, tense muscles in our neck, back or shoulders. We might clench or grind our teeth, have a hard time concentrating or thinking or get a headache.

The moment we perceive a stressor as distress, our mind and body that are connected go through a series of chemical changes that are both short and long term acting. Over time and repetition this distress might impact our mind and body negatively. Diseases such as diabetes, digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases, a decreased immune system, migraine headaches, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and high cholesterol are a few negative symptoms of chronic stress.

A partial list of emotional symptoms can include; insomnia, emotional eating, anxiety (social anxiety, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder) depression, anger and resentment, a short attention span, difficulty maintaining relationships and difficulty coping with work.

Understanding that these symptoms are treatable is the first step towards change. Counselling and Hypnotherapy in combination can release the built up negative emotional pressure that results from chronic stress and allow you to find a calm, safe place from which to re engineer the areas in your life creating the distress. Counselling and hypnotherapy can allow you to balance out your life so that it is enjoyable, positive and fulfilling.

Hypnosis

Hypnotherapy : Does it Really Work?

Pretend for a moment, that your mind is like your lawn out in front of your home. Even some of the best cared for yards, if you look close enough, are going to have a couple of weeds! Weeds are interesting because they are so persistent. You see, most of the yard is made up of good green grass, shrubs, and flowers (the good things about yourself).

The grass has good roots, but the weed’s roots go much deeper. That is why if you try to remove a weed by cutting it off, or pulling it up, and you don’t get all of its root, it is most likely to just come back, and sometimes there are more weeds (symptoms or problems) than when you started.

Taking this example a little further, you could look at the weed and divide it up into three distinct areas: first there is the area where the roots are, the soil, that is equivalent to the subconscious mind; the second area, where the grass is, is equivalent to the conscious mind, the part that is easy to see; and finally, there is the part that sticks up into the air for yourself and everyone else to see, the weed, the part of ourselves that we don’t like.

The part we don’t like might be a bad habit like biting your finger nails, or something more serious like smoking, a phobia, or even some diseases like ulcers.

Some treatments just deal with the behavior or the outward symptom, and that would be like mowing off the weed, it is likely that it will return. In the short term you might feel better, like going on a diet, losing the weight, and then the weight returns, because the real cause of the excess weight was never eliminated! Then you feel frustrated, and may even gain more weight (more weeds!).

Hypnotherapy done properly will remove the problem at the root, by helping the client to see or experience the situation, thought or idea, that started the problem differently. If the root is removed, then the problem ceases to exist!

Hypnosis can help you with the following and more:

  • Stop Smoking
  • Weight Loss
  • Anxiety
  • Remove Fears
  • Drug Abuse
  • Motivation
  • Public Speaking
  • Anger Issues
  • Concentration
  • Test Anxiety
  • Improve Sports
  • Sexual Issues
  • Stress
  • Remove Habits
  • Shyness
  • Relationships
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Childbirth
  • Stage Fright
  • Pain Management
  • Procrastination
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Confidence
  • Improve Mood

Are you living with Chronic Stress

In today’s hectic world many people are living with chronic stress. If you answer yes to two or more of these questions you might be living a chronically stressful lifestyle.

Do you:

  • Eat emotionally
  • Feel overwhelmed
  • Drink too much or take drugs
  • Feel anxious, jumpy or panicky
  • Seem more forgetful than usual
  • Lose your temper more frequently
  • Have a hard time falling/staying asleep
  • Have difficulty concentrating
  • Cry often
  • Find relationships challenging?

Your mind is amazing with the best of intentions. It scans each event that happens to keep you safe. If your mind interprets an event as positive you move forward with positive energy. If it is viewed as negative, instantly your body responds physically with the fight, flight or freeze response. This response is hardwired from our primitive days but in the modern world we cannot always use the fight, flight or freeze responses.

Each stress response you experience releases hormones into your body to help you achieve fight, flight, or freeze. These stress hormones have been linked to illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes. They have also been linked to negative emotional symptoms like anxiety and panic.

Chronic stress is emotionally and physically exhausting!

How can you reduce this chronic stress?

The first step is to examine the balance in your life. What is your level of commitment to family, friends, work, school, spirituality, self care? Which area feels overloaded? Which area feels ignored?

We feel stressed when we are taking on too much to do it well so look to “give away” the areas that feel overloaded. Brainstorm how you can “plump up” the areas that feel ignored. Creating that balance like leveling out a teeter totter helps to keep you stable and even.

Lean to say no if you cannot or do not want to take on another responsibility. Delete emotionally draining people or situations from your life when possible. Nurture your body (the only one you will ever have) by moving it, feeding it well and giving it the sleep that it needs. Focus on the humour in situations. Remember, it is your mind’s interpretation of an event that decides whether it is positive or negative. Create the most positive experience for yourself that you can.

Find help when you need it. Deep relaxation, therapy and hypnotherapy can help you release negative emotional pressure and restructure old patterns and habits that are holding you back.

“Create your new tomorrow”!