Stress – mind & body links

stress-1024x536

We have known for some time the affects that emotional stress has on the body. Particularly the increased risk of cardio vascular disease, this includes high blood pressure, and the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Some of this can be due to negative coping mechanisms – such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol – but a direct link between the psychological processes and the impact our health has been identified.

Research has found a link between our emotions and heightened activity in the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain which processes emotions such as fear and anger.

By measuring activity in this part of the brain, using CT scans, and measuring the levels of inflammation in the arteries, heightened activity was identified. By following up participants over several years, following a period of perceived stress, the researchers were able to show an association between the likelihood of a cardiac event and increased stress.

They also showed that higher levels of activity in the amygdala were associated with the occurence of cardiac events sooner.

Further studies have added weight to these findings. Participants stress levels were significantly associated with activity in the amygdala and arterial inflammation.

Keeping your stress levels in perspective are more important than ever.

Basics:-

  1. Recognise stress within yourself

  2. Journal your thoughts and feelings – reducing mental stresses and observe your growth

  3. Increase physical activity levels to maintain body wellbeing

  4. Eat as healthily as you can

  5. Nuture sleep

  6. Connect with others and communicate your challenge

    At times this may be challenging, in which case seek support.

Don’t strain Little Brain

Struggling with overload or overwhelm?

Not feeling like you are performing at your best?

Become aware of how you are contributing to you own frazzlement!

 

A book on well being and resilience…

DSLB 002

 

 

This book presents a compelling picture of what we do to ourselves on a daily basis, sometimes on an hourly basis, and what we could do instead.

It summarises and simplifies a wealth of current writing and research on neuroscience and related fields of personal well being.

Offering practical insights into the challenges to overcome, and the simple solutions which can make this possible.

Gain a better understanding of what you’re doing, how you can do things differently, enabling you to feel stronger and more resilient.

Certainly worth a look!

 

 

 

 

Anxiety

Such a little word…

But it creeps into so many peoples lives and sets up in the background of their mind. Always ready…

 

anxiety

Ready to set off and take hold of your thoughts, at the slightest invitation.

I know this to be true for myself, in my own thinking.

In my work as a Hypnotherapist…

anxiety is regularly present in people’s thought processes:-

– about what has happened in their life

– what concerns they have right now

– how they can change things

– where they are going…?

I use hypnotherapy to access inner resources for myself and clients…

to build on skills we already have, but have lost sight of!

Isn’t this true?

We are busy, life changes and we forget the strategies we have been regularly using or used in the past. Once you have felt anxious, at times of stress, rational thoughts can go out of the window!

We all have to work on our thinking skills and notice our negative thoughts, in order to avoid being kept in the same place.

Hypnotherapy helps you change habits by accessing inner resources, via your subconscious. It raises your awareness to the skills you already have. With practice you can establish or re establish new neural pathways, so you can function better in everyday life.

The process takes commitment from you, the client, too but the experience is pleasant and relaxing.

The outcome is to enable you to feel more in control of your thoughts.

The mind is very powerful, so harness its potential to work for you!

When you want to change something for the better:-

feel more in control of your weight

stop smoking

manage feelings of anxiety

get rid of a phobia

perform better in a situation

improve your health and sense of well-being

seek support from a Hypnotherapist.

You can learn skills to practice in everyday life.This starts you on a pathway to new habits or ways of thinking and being.

A small change over time leads to larger changes – the ripple effect.

Consider hypnotherapy to start and sustain change!

How to Set Healthy Boundaries — MakeItUltra™

Written by Eric C., MA., PhD-c | Clinical Psychology Audio version available | Click here “I encourage people to remember that “No” is a complete sentence.” ~ Gavin de Becker 1. Identify current boundary crossers The first step in setting healthy boundaries is identifying who it is that is the boundary crosser. How does this person […]

via How to Set Healthy Boundaries — MakeItUltra™

Menopause

images (3)

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. 

20d5161a33b4321e716f2991c29ee018

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!

 

Health & happiness

Being healthy is a combination of physical well being, emotional resilience and psychological well being – no mean feat at any age!

We all have periods of life where any one of these aspects of feeling healthy can be challenged. Periods of change and upheaval can create competing priorities and we can loose sight of what we need as an individual to feel well. This wellness can then affect our feelings of happiness.

Good health is a balancing act and requires us to prioritise ourselves!!

Take time today, to focus on what being healthy means to you and start to make it happen.

This may be around:-

dietary patterns

habits control

time to exercise

mood influencers

connecting with others

work patterns

feeling accomplished

contributing to society

hobbies/interests

time for ourselves

developing gratitude

Often many of these are inter related and may need exploring to unpick what needs to and can change.

Make yourself a priority today!

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.

images

 

Reduce sugar – the reasons to!

It’s my birthday! I’ll be eating cake today…but not every day!!

We have some ancient Polynesians to thank for our mass sugar addiction. Over 5000 years ago they chewed upon inoffensive looking grass stalks and found they produced a sweet tasting liquid. Little by little the natural sugar cane plant was manipulated into the harmful grains of sucrose which elevate the brain’s dopamine levels in the […]

via 10 scientific reasons to give up sugar & 10 healthy ways to achieve it — Travelling Vegan Mystic

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.

 

Daffodils = hope

I love sunshine falling on the dancing daffodils.

Jo April 17 1500

They bring such freshness and hope for the warmer weather.

This has a boosting affect on mood and sense of well being. Not always of course, but their blooming does signify spring time and renewal.

Time to clear out the old and bring in freshness – spring clean!

Not only physically, but mentally too.

What changes do you wish to make for this summer?

Any old habits getting you down?

Stuck in patterns which stop you from achieving what you would like from life?

Time to start thinking about feeling good and looking good, so you can enjoy getting out and about in the summer!!

Now is a great time for growth! Try new things?

A session with a coach or hypnotherapist can help you set your intention, look at how you live your life now and find the small steps that will put you on a different path.

Want to try something new and make a change? Contact me to discuss?

I look forward to it!