Anxiety, Breathwork, Happiness, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Stress

Feel great everyday with these tips to manage stress and anxiety

 

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Photo credit: Archishadownlight.com

Wednesday October 10th is World Mental Health day, where we have an opportunity to reflect on the opportunities and challenges of staying balanced and well both mentally and physically.

Mental ill health is a global problem.  It is not only about obvious conditions such as depression, bi-polar and obsessive compulsive disorders, which are all on the increase, but also their milder cousins, stress, fatigue and anxiety.  The shocking statistics show that mental illness is on the rise.

  • One in two of us is likely to suffer from some form of mental health issue in our lifetime.
  • Young women (16 – 25) are three times more likely than their male counterpart to experience an issue such as self-harm, bi-polar or post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).
  • Stress is seen as the biggest factor in almost all diseases.
  • Depression is the number one mental health problem in the world, followed closely Anxiety.

This interesting diagram from the Mental Health Foundation in London talks about all of the areas in our life where we might experience issues.

Mental health determinants

Work can be a major contribution to our wellbeing or lack of it, so it’s important to develop positive habits to bring ourselves back into balance when things get tough.

The most important thing to remember in managing stress, anxiety or even something as simple as having a bad day, is that we can always choose our response to it.  Much of our unease comes from a feeling of being overwhelmed or feeling out of control, but there are many ways we can get that back in the balance. The first and most important is remembering that we can at any time ask ourselves ‘Do I choose this response, or is there something else I could choose instead?’

 

Here are some tip tips:

 

  • Start your day as you mean to go on. Take 2 – 3 minutes before you leave for work to just think about the day ahead and inject some good energy into it.  I know that can be difficult when you are rushing and have kids to get to school or what have you, but even taken a few more moments whilst you are at the mirror brushing your teeth can make a big difference.  Ask yourself questions like ‘How can I make this the best day ever?’ ‘What do I choose to bring to this day?’.  Then just stand in the mirror deeply breathing for a minute or so whilst the questions soak deep into your psyche and work their magic.

 

  • End the day well. Get a little notebook and at the end of your day write in 10 things that you enjoyed or went well for you that day.  It might be simple things like there wasn’t much traffic on the way to work, or I had a great lunch, or a meeting went better than expected.  It is the act of noticing what goes well which helps us to feel better about our day and about ourselves.

 

  • Connect with your breath. Our breath is the one constant in our life, which we often completely overlook it. Yet the simple act of noticing our breath, particularly at times of stress or overwhelm can help us to feel a lot better.  Whenever you are going through a difficult period, or feeling stressed, taking a few moments at your desk, or in the bathroom to just breathe deeply.  Try breathing in for 3 seconds, holding for 4 and then breathing out for 5 seconds.  Do the 3-4-5 sequence at least three times whilst telling yourself ‘all is well’.  I guarantee you will feel better after it.

Do you have or know someone who has mental health challenges? Do share these tips, or let me know of any tips you have found helpful.

Wishing you all a mindful and happy World Mental Health Day.

Acceptance, Guided Meditation, Happiness, Life Enahancing, Mindfulness, Soul Purpose

Finding your life purpose – a guided meditation

In June I’ll be participating in an online summit which is focusing on how we find our life’s purpose.  If I asked you how closely you felt you were living your life’s purpose what would you say?

Does it feel like something that is deeply embedded into your life’s journey?  Or does it feel like a vague notion to you?  If you feel it is the latter, you are not alone.  Many people would describe themselves as being led by the circumstances of their life, rather than living the life they really choose.

I understand that it can be really hard for you to find the time to really connect with what is important for you.  Here is a short meditation to help you do just that.  When you have a quiet moment, listen to it and see what ideas and pictures emerge for you.  Follow up and take some steps towards the things that will make you happy and more fulfilled.

Life is all about us making positive choices towards our purpose. 

Is today the day for you to do just that?

Enjoy

 

Acceptance, Change, Gratitude, Mindfulness, Resilience

Irish Times Women’s Podcast – Book Interview

Quote of connecting to our subconscious from meI was recently interviewed by Jennifer Ryan of the Irish Times Women’s Podcast.  In the interview we cover a range of topics including the nature of resilience, the power of writing down our thoughts, why perfectionism get’s in the way of us learning and how to develop a daily mindfulness habit.

To find out more listen here:

Change, Coming Home to You, Mindfulness, Personal Power, Resilience, Self-love

How to be resilient, when thing go wrong. Recent Feature in Irish Times

Resilience is the art of bouncing back when setbacks or challenges come our way. There will be many times in our life when we are beset by failures, painful situations or conflicting priorities and these can really undermine our self-confidence and belief. Yet resilience is like a muscle that we need to build and test over time so that we can become more and more honed in life’s forge, like a master blacksmith will temper a great sword, so that we can arise stronger each time.

Sometimes when we are in the midst of hardship it is hard to see any silver lining, yet if we persistently focus on the negative and reinforce our undermining self-talk, we are likely to find our self-confidence dwindling before our eyes.

But with practice, we can build our resilience and learn to take life’s knock backs in our stride.

There are four steps we can take to build our resistance:

The building blocks to resilience

Having a healthy belief in ourselves
This is the cornerstone to building resilience. We cannot achieve anything if we do not believe in who we are and what we stand for.

Staying connected to the present moment
Resilience comes from understanding that the only moment that is real is the present moment. By connecting to this through our breathing and through our awareness that all moments will pass, including the present one, we can learn to release difficult and painful experiences more easily.

Learn to take criticism well
Nobody likes being told that their idea is rubbish or their plan is unrealistic and if we are caught up in the excitement of our own ideas we tend to shy away from getting any realistic feedback. Yet criticism, when offered constructively, can help us to avoid pitfalls and failures which come down to our own lack of experience.

Be realistic
Learn to be more self-accepting and more gentle with your inner thoughts. A harsh inner critic is hardly motivating if you are trying to pick up the pieces and move on. Self-love will be a much kinder way to move forward.

If you want to start building your resilience today, start by connecting to what really excites you in life and build your ideas around something that matters to you. Your own belief and passion will take you further and help you to cope with setbacks better than anything else.

 

Read the full article HERE