Stress is on the up

N2K_Stress_2011_6mmStress has been a hot topic for years, and it’s not getting any better.  People are even more stressed now and technology is making it worse.  How many emails do you have to deal with each day?  Do you get phone calls and emails wherever you are at any time of the day or night?

READ: Heads Together to improve mental health awareness, a campaign spearheaded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

When I wrote the book Stress – The Essential Guide, the thing that became most obvious to me was how most people don’t really help themselves.  We have so many habits and idiosyncrasies, beliefs and obsessions that we often do things in a way that make life much more difficult for ourselves.  So I included a paragraph called Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

This is not meant to be harsh. If you have lost someone close to you, you or someone close to you is seriously ill, you’ve been through divorce, or lost your job you are more than likely to feel very stressed. But you do need to be good to yourself when this is happening. There are so many ways that we aggravate situations.

For example:

• You might be a perfectionist – always wanting everything to be just so.
• You may procrastinate – putting things off until they overwhelm you.
• You may have been brought up with very strong beliefs or prejudices which don’t serve you well and  mean you cannot accept certain situations.
• Perhaps you are in denial and cannot face things, thereby making things worse for yourself.
• Or maybe you are proud and don’t like to tell people when things are going wrong.
• You might find it impossible to say no, even when you really don’t want to do something.
• And similarly you are always doing things for other people, when you have plenty on your plate already.

It’s not easy to change your personality without some serious work on yourself, and that’s where counselling can really help.  Understanding why you do things is a great start to trying to stop them. Do you do things because you’re still trying to please your parents, even if they’re not even here any more?

There’s no doubt that it’s easier to make changes when you’re in the good times, but it’s likely that you are only faced with these problems when things are getting out of control. Stress is a feeling of being unable to cope with the pressure upon you, so it’s a good idea not to put pressure on yourself and stop being so hard on yourself.

Stress – The Essential Guide by Frances Ive

 

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Sleep tight

sleep problems

Almost of half of women in the UK don’t get a good night’s sleep.*  Sleep is a very precious thing and we only think about its quality when we aren’t getting enough.

A key reason for not sleeping well is worrying. It keeps the brain whizzing round and round at night, while all we want to do is sleep.  This month’s competition prize is for a set of Rescue Night products, that are invaluable when it comes to calming down and getting a good night. Go to: Rescue Night Competition.

HEALTHY SOUL TIP: Wear earplugs if the person next to you snores!!

Researchers found that the cells in the brain allow us to sleep  are eroded as we get older. A  study of 45 elderly people from the age of 65 until they died at around 89, found that people with fewer neurons in the ‘sleep switch’ area of the brain complained of sleepless nights.

Why we need a good night

Few people realise the importance of a good night’s sleep – during the night while we are dreaming our bodies are healing themselves. We need sleep like we need healthy food, water, exercise and clean air. In a world full of technology, caffeinated drinks and plenty to worry about, many people spend their nights tossing and turning.

N2K_Stress_2011_6mmToo  little sleep makes you feel as if you can’t cope, and can lead to anxiety, depression and serious illness.  Read Stress – The Essential Guide by Frances Ive. 

Reasons for insomnia:

• Stress and anxiety
• Menopause
• Physical discomfort
• Relationship problems
• Money worries

Sleeping tips

  • • Wind down before bed time, play relaxing music or read.
    • Have a bath with a few drops of either lavender, neroli or geranium oil in them just before going to be.
    • Avoid stimulating films just before heading upstairs.
    • Take a natural sleep aid like Rescue Night or Good Night, which don’t leave you feeling drowsy like sleeping tablets do.
  • Cut out caffeine in coffee, tea and colas –  drink decaffeinated , coffee substitutes or herbal teas.
    • Don’t drink too much alcohol – it dehydrates you and disturbs your sleep.

*Survey of over 4,100 UK adults, supported by the Sleep Apnoea Trust Association (SATA) and conducted by YouGov for ResMed Ltd.

 

 

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Electro-magnetic radiation

Technical experts may say it isn’t proven, but natural therapists and doctors believe that too much technology around you at night can disrupt your sleep. Can it really be conducive to relaxation to have mobile phones, computers, wireless networks and the like all around our homes?  Some people can literally feel the pulsing of electronic circuits, so try the following if you’re having trouble with sleeping:

• Keep mobile phones off or out of the bedroom.
• Don’t have an electronic clock right by the bed, and preferably not in the room – try a traditional clock.
• Don’t have TV in the bedroom, and certainly not on standby.
• Switch off computers and wireless networks at night.
• Turn off electric toothbrushes, and anything in the bedroom with a little red light.

Other causes

There might be other reasons for not sleeping – such as menopausal symptoms or someone making a lot of noise snoring!

• If night sweats are a problem during the menopause they will prevent sleep
• Menopause itself often contributes to insomnia – in both cases look at Coping with menopausal symptoms to find solutions
• If sleeping is a problem in winter read the article on SAD

 

Six tips for mindfulness

MindfulnessHere are some ways you can practice mindfulness without meditating to improve a sense of wellbeing even while you are on the go.

Eat mindfully

Take a few minutes during the day to just eat. Not multi-tasking lunch with conversation, the computer or phone. Just absorb the taste and textures of the food. Take in the smells. You’re much more likely to feel satisfied and nourished.

Walk mindfully

Be aware of your movement, the contact with the ground, and the stretching and contracting of the muscles. Notice the sights, sounds, smells, temperature. This gives you respite and a break from negative thinking.

Observe your breathing

Paying attention to breathing can also slow down repetitive thoughts and worries. When the thinking slows down, there can be more clarity and creativity. Notice the air enter the body, the movement of the body as it breathes. Follow a full in-breath and a full out-breath. Repeat this a few times.

Practice mini pauses

Before automatically opening an email, answering the phone, or pushing the button in the lift… pause. Notice with full awareness the actions you are taking. This develops your ability to not just react unthinkingly. This is a valuable skill when you are under pressure.

Listen with all of you

Open up fully to hear what someone is saying. Put on hold what you want to say next or any immediate judgements. Just take in the words. Listen with what you see and observe the tone, pitch, pauses, and expressions. This will give you much more information to find the right response.

Break the routine

Getting out of your routine for a while can bring you back to your senses more. Do something new, such as trying a different type of coffee or tea in the morning, taking a slightly different route to work, or rearranging your desk or a room at home slightly.
The BeingWell is a mindfulness social enterprise, that offers mindfulness courses in one-to-one and group settings for to the general public as well as workplace wellbeing programmes. A proportion of profits goes towards rolling out mindfulness courses to economically excluded people in Tower Hamlets. Log onto www.thebeingwell.org, email: be@thebeingwell.org

Relaxation tips

1.relaxing bath WALK: Go for a walk – 20 minutes or so alone and preferably in countryside or in a park.

2. BATH: Lie in a hot bath for 20 minutes with a fantastic combination of a handful of Epsom salts, (or other pure salts), half a cup of bicarbonate of soda, and 10 drops of lavender oil (or other soothing oil like geranium or ylang ylang.

3. BREATHING:  Try yoga breathing – alternative nostril breath or simply lie down, breathe in through the whole diaphragm to a count of four, and breathe out for a count of four.

4. MEDITATION: Learn to meditate – it’s not as mystical as it sounds. Just closing your eyes, sitting still and repeating a mantra or even one, two, one, two.

5. CALMING: Take Rescue Remedy after a shock or when you’re feeling generally anxious or stressed. The pastilles are good.

6. DRINKING & EATING:  Try to avoid stimulants with caffeine in (coffee) and too much alcohol. Eat healthy meals with plenty of fruit and veg.

7. LYING DOWN:  Lie in the semi-supine position (knees bent and a couple of paperbacks under your head). This is an Alexander Technique position, better done on the floor or a massage table. Close your eyes and let your muscles relax.

8. PANIC:  When you’re feeling really panicky, try A. Vogel Stress Relief. It helps you to feel more normal without making you drowsy.

9. SLEEPING: At night put lavender drops on a tissue to calm you down and help you have a restful sleep.

10. T’AI CHI: Take up t’ai chi – moving meditation, which energises you and makes you feel calm.

See Relax, Relax, Relax. 

 

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Rescue Remedy pastilles Bach Flower Remedies
Passiflora & Valerian Plus ESI 50ml £7.79
Geranium essential oil Absolute Aromas 10ml £9.22
Rescue Remedy Dropper Bach Flower Remedies 20ml £10.52
Rescue Remedy Spray Bach Flower Remedies 7ml £8.60

 

Read Stress – The Essential Guide by Frances Ive.

N2K_Stress_2011_6mm

 

Effortless living

A Path to WisdomWe live in a world that is fast paced, noisy and extremely demanding of our time, attention and presence. A world in which people have forgotten who they truly are. Not being in the flow, nor present and not being able to listen to our own intuition has become many peoples default way of being.

Some of the common problems that prevent people from being in the flow of life are: deep rooted fears, limiting beliefs, giving power away, control issues, identity crisis, subordinating to other peoples values, as well as the lack of understanding of the connection of the body, mind, soul, and emotions. Most people are not aware of their fears, triggers and the subconscious programming that prevent them from living balanced, healthy and peaceful life.

Every day we have on average 60,000 to 90,000 thoughts. These thoughts influence how you feel, behave and the outcomes you create. How you feel, informs the decisions you make. Therefore, knowing what thoughts regularly occupy space in your brain and ultimately drive your decisions, is important. Our thoughts are also influenced by the information we let in. It should come as no surprise, living in the era of the 24 hour news cycle, that for most of you, the majority of your thoughts include some kind of doubt, fear and distrust.

Most people operate from some level of fear most of the time, therefore, deciphering between fear and other emotions can be challenging. I find this especially true when it comes to understanding the difference between fear and intuition.

Intuition is a knowing. It is beyond a feeling. It seems to come as guided wisdom from a place deep within our consciousness. Intuition is emotionally neutral and simple, yet deliberate in its message. A dedicated meditation practice, can quiet fearful mind chatter allowing you to hear the voice of your intuition more clearly.

Another great tool that people can learn through learning my unique methodology that I share in my book A Path to Wisdom is to help the reader differentiate the voice of intuition from other voices including the voice of fear.

The way of determining what voice you are hearing, is to pay attention to the tone of the message you are sending or receiving. Fear speaks in a harsh, judgmental tone and may present you with a detailed list of all of the horrible things that might happen. The more familiar you become with the voice of fear inside your mind, the more quickly you can recognize it and shut it down and be in the effortless state of being.

Having worked with many clients I notice how they look away from fear, as over the years for many of them this way of being has become their natural defence against the discomfort of feeling it.

I help and encourage my clients to go through a process in which they lean in instead of pushing away from fear. They learn to listen closely to the messages that the fear gives them and learn how to make their fear their teacher. As they learn how to dance with their fear, they start to experience and enter the realm and the rhythm of miracle living.

The method I have developed that the readers can learn in my book A Path to Wisdom helps people to better distinguish and know the fear voice. As they do, the easier it will be for them to tap into the power of their intuition and effortless living.