Monday, 1 October 2018

Reduce Anxiety with Horses

I am always searching for new ways to help people to reduce their stress and anxiety because everyone is different and we all need choice and information to make the right decisions to change.

This weekend I visited an equine assessed therapy centre in Somerset.

For me a persons mindset or beliefs are always important to consider. So if you don't like horses and don't believe that they can help you then quine therapy may not be for you. Yet having some hypnotherapy could be the first step to banishing any fear of horses because once you have got past that barrier it will be easier.

Horses have been utilised as a therapeutic aid for many years.

The purpose of my blog today is to help you realise the value of horses in reducing anxiety.

Going to see an equine therapist involves going outside and walking in nature. That process in itself has been shown to help people feel grounded and reduce stress and anxiety. Mindfulness or meditation could also be incorporated.

Then just like going to see a counsellor or psychotherapist you will be assessed to find out more about you and the problem that you want to change.

Then you meet the horses. It can be an experiential learning experience when you watch and connect with the horse. You may notice the horse's behaviour or feel the breath of the horse. Sometimes you might be invited to carry out tasks with the horses such as grooming, leading or feeding. Some places may even allow you to ride the horse. Throughout this time you can talk if you want to or just enjoy the time. The therapist observes you and guides you to connect with the horses to help you to feel calmer. Nothing is rushed and therapy practice is developed to meet the needs of the individual.

So if you have a fear of horses contact me and find out how I can help. And if equine assisted therapy appeals to you then contact me and I would be happy to direct you to this amazing place in Somerset.

Kind regards

Thursday, 27 September 2018

There are many ways to relax

Lots of people say to me that they can't relax. My answer is that they just haven't learnt how to relax.
In this blog I would like to tell you a few different ways that you can relax. Not every way is right for every person but if you are feeling stressed, anxious and want to relax this might help.

1. Meditate
2. Do Mindfulness
3. Do Self - hypnosis or see a hypnotherapist
4. Gentle exercise such as walking
5. Have a massage
6. Use complementary therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure, aromatherapy, reflexology or EFT
7. Practice deep breathing
8. Do Progressive Muscular Relaxation
9. Eat a well balanced diet
10. Soak in a warm bath
11. Listen to music
12. Be with close friends an loved ones
13. Squeeze a stress ball
14. Visualise positive things
15. Write things down that are on your mind
16. Watch a comedy film
17. Dance
18. Stroke your dog or cat
19. Take a holiday
20. Talk with friends

What else could you add to this list? And if you still can't relax and feel anxious then its time to get a health check and maybe see a therapist.

Awaken the Change

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Are you suffering with Brexit Anxiety?

Brexit Anxiety

Yesterday someone asked me if I dealt with anxiety related to Brexit as he thought that business people are displaying anxiety. Then later in the day a relative said that she couldn't listen to the television anymore because everything was about Brexit and it was making her feel stressed and anxious.

This made me think about the millions of people who could be affected by Brexit in some way across Britain and the European Union. So now I am calling this anxiety that people are feeling with the changes as Brexit Anxiety.

Brexit Anxiety could affect individuals and groups or companies.

This blog is not about politics. Its not about the rights or the wrongs of Britain leaving the EU, rather its about the often hidden emotions and feelings of anxiety that are sweeping the country. This is happening because Brexit is about change and change brings anxiety. Its natural that the mind tries to logically work out what will happen to the individual and the people that they care about around them but sometimes there are no answers and the mind races with negative thoughts that have an impact on how we feel and behave.

Brexit will bring many changes so people are worrying because these things are often out of their control. Most worries will be about economic issues, personal finances, where they will live, work  and relationships. For many people also its the fear of the unknown.

Anxiety happens when we feel threatened in some way. Its a fear or apprehension and it feels negative and uncomfortable. If it continues to rise anxiety can lead to panic attacks and ill health so its something not to be ignored.

On reflection, I even think some people were suffering with Anticipated Brexit Anxiety before the referendum and the decision to leave the EU was made. It seems that this was due to people not thinking that they had enough information.

So at the moment the decision has been made, we are leaving. And now we are in the negotiation stage of deal or no deal.

This brings feelings of uncertainty and that's scary. Uncertainty is perceived as unsafe, yet most things in life are uncertain.

Brexit Anxiety also stirs feelings of anger and frustration. Maybe the anger is due to leaving the EU. Maybe the anger is about not getting what you want or being able to influence politics. Whatever it is caused by anger and frustration that continues for a long time and isn't released is unhealthy. It's part of our 'fight or flight' response where primitive man fought the problem or ran away from it.

So how can we deal with Brexit Anxiety? Well you could do things like the two people did that I spoke to yesterday- you could talk about it or you could switch off from it.

I believe its about getting life in balance. So eat well, exercise and talk to the people around you that you care about. Recognise the things that you can control and the things that you can't control. Ask for help in difficult times. In some cases that maybe your doctor if your think your health is getting affected, or you could talk to a counsellor. But I think one way of reducing your Brexit Anxiety is to prepare. Prepare for the uncertain times and reduce risks.

I'm going to observe this Brexit Anxiety more now. I'm also going to try to help more people relax because being relaxed helps you to reduce the anxiety.

Kind regards
Awaken the Change

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Anxiety Relief: Progressive Muscular Relaxation

Anxiety Relief: Progressive Muscular Relaxation.
There are many ways to relax. This can be relaxation of the mind and body. One technique that many hypnotherapists and other therapists use is called  Progressive Muscular Relaxation. It's often also called PMR.

Progressive Muscular Relaxation was developed in the 1920's by Edmond Jacobson to help people with anxiety to relax. The idea is that you systematically go down the body tensing and relaxing muscles. After recognising tense muscles and then feeling the relaxation when you let go feels very good.

Hypnotherapists also use this technique, but in hypnosis there is no need to physically tense muscles because suggestion is made to relax already tense muscles. Some hypnotherapists start a PMR from the feet and gradually go up the body while others prefer to travel down the body giving suggestions of relaxing muscles. The process usually takes about 15 mins depending on the speed of the hypnotherapist and the response of the client. Some hypnotherapists use this technique at the beginning of the therapy to guide the client to relax before providing the positive suggestion to help the client to change.  At other times the PMR might be used as a way of just taking some time out for your self to relax. Some people buy hypnotic audio recordings that use PMRs  as a method to relax after work. A PMR can also help people to sleep better.

If you want to find out more about Progressive Muscular Relaxation or would like to try a session please contact me.

Kind regards

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Anxiety and Uncertainty

Anxiety and Uncertainty

Are you feeling anxious?

Many people do have bouts of feeling stressed and anxious and some people seem to suffer with anxiety most days.

In my business I hear people talking about their causes of anxiety. It could be relationships, work, where they are living, kids, lack of money, ill health and the list goes on...

Today I was thinking about these things that make us feel anxious and I had the thought that anxiety that is related to lifestyle and events seems to make people anxious because of the uncertainty that these things cause. Here are some of my thoughts.

Uncertainty equals worry and that's is what a lot of anxious people do. So lets turn the worry and anxiety around and explore the uncertainty of life.

If you plant a tree there is no certainty that it will grow. True.
If you love someone there is no certainty that they will love you the same way. True.
If you do some research there is no certainty that you will find the truth. True.

Some people worry about losing their job. Maybe they can see difficulties in the business or maybe they know that the job isn't for them. This can make people feel stressed and anxious.

But if you changed your perspective and told yourself that you were certain that one day you were going to change job then perhaps there would be less fear of losing your job and more preparation for the day that you might change your job. You could minimise risks by ensuring that the job was the right fit for you where you felt respected and you could grow. You could even prepare by going to evening classes and develop new skills. You see, job security is not certain, so there is no point worrying about it. All you can do is to get the best professional advice that you can and be prepared. If unfortunately you happen to lose your job then you will need to deal with it then.

If you get anxious and worry that you will need to move house one day, or maybe struggle to pay the rent or mortgage, or even dislike where you are living, then you are fearing change. These situations can cause anxiety and worry but there is no certainty for any of us that we will always live in the same place. Where you live is not certain, so there is no use worrying about it unnecessarily. If there is a high risk that you might lose your home then you need to get professional advice and support urgently.

You can change your views on many things and feel better. If you believed that you could move to a better place one day then you might save more for that place. Perhaps that would give you a purpose to succeed at work. You need to understand that often there are options. If you couldn't afford to pay the mortgage then you might decide that you would like to move to a cheaper area or you could even downsize.

Many things are uncertain in life. But ignoring things that are higher risk such as relationships, work or home can also trigger anxiety if things suddenly go wrong for you. It feels like a no win situation but that's not true.

Some things are out of our control, but managing risks and feeling that you can do as much as you can will make the uncertainty less and help you to feel better. Some things we also need to learn to accept.

So acknowledge the people around you that you love and respect. Develop better communication skills with them and build positive relationships that will help you in life.

Developing yourself at work is also a good idea because you will increase your chances of getting another job if your company goes broke or those unforeseen work problems arise.

If the fear of losing your home causes you anxiety, then manage your finances wisely by controlling your budget to reduce the risks and the uncertainties of losing your house. If the risk is high then get professional advice.

Uncertainty is also about questioning the value of change. If you recognise that change is inevitable then you can get prepared. Change can be positive. It can bring opportunities that you hadn't even thought about. Change can mean meeting  new people and seeing new places. When you weigh up your options and reduce the uncertainty sometimes there is always something better around the corner!

Kind regards
Awaken the Change

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

How to reduce anxiety at work

How to reduce anxiety at work.

Have you noticed that you are struggling to go to work? Do you feel demotivated and worry about things related to work?

Anxiety is increasing in modern day life. Women suffer with anxiety more than men but over the years I have noticed that I regularly see clients who suffer with anxiety related to work. It doesn't matter what position you are in at work- you might be the owner, a manager, or the most junior person in the organisation.  Anxiety at work can happen to anyone. Could you be suffering with anxiety at work?

So what is anxiety at work?

Anxiety is a fear, apprehension or worry that makes people feel uneasy or nervous. It could be so bad that you dread going to work or get panic attacks and develop aches pains and pick up infections more. Anxiety at work is about getting anxiety symptoms while you are at work or with thoughts about going to work.

Work related stress and anxiety is fine in small amounts if it helps you to get motivated and meet deadlines however too much stress and anxiety can lead to ill health and feeling miserable. Unfortunately everyone's acceptable level of stress can vary so anxiety at work is different for different people. As most people work for a substantial part of their day, too much work stress and anxiety isn't good.

What contributes to or causes anxiety at work?

  • Conflict with work colleagues
  • Too much work that is difficult to do.
  • Lack of training and direction so that you are not sure as to what you should be doing.
  • Micro management. This is where every tiny detail of your work is being monitored or watched or criticised.
  • Bullying from other work colleagues or managers.
  • Too many deadlines that aren't achievable.
  • Monotonous jobs.
  • Being isolated from others.
  • Discrimination, harassment, and unfair practices.
  • Personal problems that are overwhelming and have influenced your thoughts and feeling while at work.
  • Exams and other assessments.
  • Doing a job that you hate.
What can you do to reduce anxiety at work?
  • Recognise yourself that something is wrong and decide to do something about it.
  • Speak to your manager or supervisor.
  • Learn to prioritise your work if you are not already doing it.
  • Write a diary of events that are causing you to feel anxious. For example, if you feel that you are being bullied write down the dates, times and describe the incident and list any witnesses.
  • Gather information. For example, you may want to speak to your Human Resources manager, a solicitor or your Trades Union if its a work related issue.
  • Contact a counsellor to help you talk about the issue. Some businesses often have an Employer Assistance Programme (EAP)  where you can speak to a counsellor that is paid for through the business.
  • If its a personal issue, or if you think you would find it difficult to speak to a work counsellor, you may decide to see a private counsellor.
  • Talk to your doctor. Some forms of anxiety can be caused by health problems or medication. You may be advised to take some time off work or take medication to help.
  • Review your diet, exercise and sleep patterns. Maybe you need to start some exercise.
  • Talk to trusted friends.
  • Do fun things when you are away from work.
  • Meditate, do Mindfulness or self-hypnosis.
  • Watch a film that makes you laugh.
  • Take your breaks when you are at work and don't skip eating at mealtimes.
  • Reduce your caffeine intake.
  • Sometimes it might mean changing your job but ensure this is not a hasty decision.
  • Take action today.
If you need further help please contact me. I provide counselling via the telephone, face to face in Bournemouth or via Vsee (webcam).

Kind regards
Awaken the Change

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Possible causes of anxiety

If you are feeling anxious its not very pleasant. It can make you worry and stop doing things that you want to do in life. It can affect your relationships and prevent you for developing your true potential in life. But it can change... The first step is by trying to find out what the cause is if you don't already know what it is. This is why I always recommend people get a health check if they have had anxiety for a long time or if they do not know the trigger.

Today I want to talk about some of the causes of anxiety. I'm not a doctor, I don't diagnose conditions  and I make no claims that I have all the answers to anxiety issues but here are a few causes of anxiety that you might not be aware of.

  • Lifestyle events Stress and anxiety can be triggered my a huge range of lifestyle issues including changes in work, moving house, getting married, death of a relative or friend, retirement, pregnancy or even Christmas.  Long term emotional insecurity can cause anxiety. There are many more events that contribute to anxiety and if you have a family who also get stressed and anxious about things you may also have a vulnerability to it. Talking to friends, learning to relax, changing the stress, getting help with counselling, hypnosis or sometimes medication may help.
  • Mental health illness You may already know that you have been diagnosed with a mental health problem so if your anxiety is getting worse see your doctor or healthcare specialist. If you are concerned about your mental health again your first stop should be your doctor.
  • Diabetes and hypnoglycaemia When diabetics have low blood sugars they can become anxious, dizzy, or have panic attacks. This is serious as blood sugars need to be controlled. If blood sugar levels are low the person needs to eat. Most diabetics know how to check their blood sugar levels and they need to see their doctor.
  • Thyroid problems People with high levels of thyroxine can feel shaky and anxious. 
  • Hormone imbalance Anxiety can be experienced with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or any other hormonal problems.
  • Heart problems People with heart problems might mistake their anxiety symptoms because they may get heart palpitations, and the palpitations make them feel anxious.
  • Stimulants Caffeine, some prescribed medications and recreational drugs can all cause anxiety.
  • Pain and other chronic health problems Sometimes people who have chronic ill health worry about things more. Maybe they think about their health more because they have pain. If there are lots of negative beliefs then this can cause a spiral of negative thinking, and health related anxiety.
  • Trauma This could be a car accident, or a situation where there was a belief that they were being threatened. Phobias can cause people to have irrational beliefs and anxiety.
Although this list may sound scary the good news is that people can be helped.

I help people with anxiety to relax and feel so much better through relaxation and helping them to change their negative thoughts. 

So if you are suffering with anxiety do something today and get help if you need it.

Kind regards
Awaken the Change