Connecting with nature to reduce anxiety?

Hopefully you’ve had some time away over the summer months – space to reconnect with who you are and what you enjoy in your life.

Some moments to really appreciate where you are in your life.

If  you’ve struggled to achieve this on account of some thoughts, feelings or behaviours and reducing your ability to refresh and revitalise, maybe you would benefit from some support?

Is anxiety in the background?

Source:  This previous blog on Anxiety may be helpful.

My driving fear – time to fight back

I don’t drive. I would very much like to drive and I am learning. At least I am trying to learn. The thing is, I don’t like it. It terrifies me. I have never really talked about my fear of driving here before. I have talked about my anxiety before, but not the driving anxiety. […]

via My driving fear – time to fight back — Because, life

Feeling anxious?


As someone who has struggled with anxious feelings for over 10 years and not being influenced by these thoughts prior to this, I find it frustrating to continue to have to manage both anxious thoughts and feelings from time to time.

 

ARRRGH!! When these feelings present themselves what can I do?

 

I generally find the following help to improve my state:-

-Take the time to look at something beautiful – really notice and enjoy the moment…

-Eat a balanced, healthy diet

-Walk in the countryside and connect with nature

-Keeping active – running, cycling, swimming

-Go to bed at a regular time, avoiding screen time before bed and prioritise sleep

-Connect with people who are aware of  my challenges and empathetic, not dismissive

-Make time for meditation and/ or relaxation

-Socialise with family and friends in a familiar situation

 

However when there are different situations, where these routines and habits are less able to be incorporated into daily life, or extra factors need to be accommodated this can be much more difficult.

Emotional challenges and feeling stressed can exacerbate the anxious feelings, so pacing and planning for time out to adapt and acclimatise to challenges are essential.

My primary tip!

Take time to accept my feelings and not be so hard on myself!

Menopause

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I never considered myself a hormonal person and yet on turning 40, after a period of sustained stress and ill health, I developed over the following years many of the symptoms on the list above.

Prior to being diagnosed as coeliac in my late 30’s I had always been healthy and relatively stable in attitude – how was I now on this emotional rollercoaster?

I had experienced anxiety during my relationship breakdown and was unsettled to find similar symptoms had become a bit of a feature in my life. It seemed to take much of my energy to manage feelings and continue to function.

In a busy stage of life with young children, I put the tiredness, poor memory and anxious thoughts down to the juggling challenges of parenthood, particularly as a single parent.

 I spent months trying establish what was happening within my body to cause me to feel like I did…

With increased night sweats and mood swings I tried all kinds of dietary and alternative supplements, spoke to friends, colleagues, read, googled and sought support from my Gp. After some blood tests I was a bit shocked, but relieved, to be diagnosed as menopausal. 

The concept was okay, I’d had children, but the symptons were much more tricky!

Heading into the menopause early, I was really unprepared! Why was this happening after sailing relatively unscathed through puberty and into adulthood? 

After a year or so of struggling with a variety of symptoms and little relief HRT was seriously discussed by my Gp. With teenagehood looming, and my increased irritability I was rapidly running out of options. Being a long way off fifty the benefits outweighed the negatives as these were hormones my body ideally should still have. Trying a couple of different brands and doses finally found the combination which improved many of my symptoms.

Still continuing on HRT today, anxiety is the main one which continues to raise its head from time to time! 

When you don’t have anxiety you can’t imagine what it is like so I’d have weeks of being okay and between bouts it seems irrational and unbelievable it is so debilitating. So you push on…

I have since read much around anxiety, the menopause, coeliac disease, the human brain and hormones, whilst the  challenges continue. The role of hormones and the fine balance between these are well demonstrated as below. 

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With several factors unbalancing your health, it makes sense it will take some time to even begin to restore some normality. This model helps explain the complexity and the delicate balancing interplay of several feel good chemicals which affect your mood.

I’ve found trying to understand what is happening in my body and mind has helped me to manage symptoms over time. However self acceptance has been one of the biggest challenges!

 

Calm focus…

 

aat-exams

Want to feel ready to give it your best shot in the next 2-6 weeks?

Want to harness the feelings of the very normal ‘fight and flight response’ and focus these into the most successful behaviours for you?

A session with a coach or therapist who can help you recognise these feelings for what they are and redirect them to work for you, not sabotage your well being.

If you are struggling at the moment with these feelings, you’re not alone.

Many teens around the country are struggling with anxiety about their revision, their performance and their future. This is a modern day tragedy.

Despite the growing awareness and public services trying to keep pace with the need to address this, many of our young people are simply not able to access the help they need in a timely fashion.

A session which explores your concerns and gives you techniques to feel calmer and more able to focus could make a big difference. This could involve being more in the moment, or mindful of the ‘here and now’, and using visualisation strategies. Practicing beforehand and using these skills leading up to, and during, the exam could make all the difference to how you feel and perform.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss your concerns.

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Exam stress!!

 

exam-revision

Its that time of year again!!

Teenagers all over the country are beginning to feel the pressure…

poor motivation?

dis-organisation?

apathy?

erratic moods?

impending sense of panic?

anxiety?

As parents of a possibly uncommunicative, yet stressed teenager, where the young person may have great difficulty expressing their concerns can be a challenging time for the whole family.

Knowing where to go to seek support can be tricky.

If the teenager is demonstrating anxiety and depression symptoms, where they appear to be not coping with erratic emotions, have significant changes in eating and sleeping habits or are expressing feelings of low mood, particularly suicidal thoughts, then a Gp consultation is necessary.

For many teenagers it can be much more subtle than this and who may improve the situation can be less obvious.

The schools and colleges are getting better at offering sessions on tips and strategies which enhance the students planning for revision, so they feel better prepared and more able to cope with the pressures.

With the multiple demands on teenagers this preparation is getting harder to focus on.

This relies on your teenager not being too hormonal, influenced by their peers which has often been the case, but enhanced by the massive influence from social media. This constant distraction of messages, apps and the internet is pervasive and often difficult to manage alongside their rapidly developing brains. As many study skills need to be accessed on line it is increasingly difficult to avoid the pull of the internet.

Personal discipline is crucial, so addiction to the phone can interfere with this, as can a fear of failure, making starting difficult, or building performance anxiety may be driving the lack of engagement with their studies.

Accessing resources to improve the teenagers ability to remain calm, focus and commit to performing in the way that does them justice is hugely beneficial.

Having a session with a therapist who offers NLP techniques to promote these skills, ideally enhanced by hypnosis but not essential, can help the teenager to set the intention and take the steps towards achieving more focus.

Contact me if you want to explore this conversation further, sometimes recognising what is happening for the student is the first step.

 

Reduce anxiety by deep breathing

One of the most common tools I teach teens and adult clients is belly breathing. It is one of the most successful tools when treating anxiety and fear. This trick can calm you down quickly and can be used ANYWHERE, which is what I love about it. Belly breathing is also known as deep breathing. […]

via Belly Breathing — Dayna Sykes, LPC-S, MHSP