Eating Mindfully – Eating Healthily

Eating mindfully is a great way to eat more healthily. Think about it. If you eat on the go, grabbing what is convenient and quick, you will often be eating unhealthily. If you eat quickly at your desk whilst working, you will definitely be eating non-mindfully. You will be more likely to overeat or eat unhealthy snacks when you’re not paying attention. You may even reach the end of the packet of crisps and realise you haven’t even tasted them!

Eating mindfully is an easy way to eat more healthily. Make some time to make yourself a healthy, nutritious lunch. Or if you are really pressed for time, grab yourself a ready made salad or sandwich. Spend some time choosing a healthier option.

 

Eating Mindfully - Eating Healthily
Eating Mindfully

If you can, get away from your desk (even if it’s just for 10 minutes). Take a deep breath before you begin. Open your lunch and just look at it. Notice all the different colours, shapes and textures. Breathe in again and notice the smells. You may now start to salivate. Notice how you feel about your lunch. Notice what is happening in your body. Is your stomach now anticipating your food?

Slowly bring your first bite/forkful towards your mouth. Take another breath before you place it in your mouth. Notice the sensations on your tongue and the sensations as you start to chew slowly. Chew for longer than you normally would and notice how your body feels as you swallow. Don’t start getting your next forkful ready until you have swallowed the first one. See if you can eat the whole of your lunch like this.

Be mindful of each forkful/bite if you can. Any time you notice that your mind has wandered, gently bring it back to your lunch. Notice the colours, shapes and textures again. Notice the taste and smell. Become aware of how your body is feeling. Notice how you feel emotionally.

If you can, wash up your dishes mindfully and try to bring your mindful awareness with you when you return back to your desk.

Try to practice eating this way at least once a week. If you can, be very mindful of the first bite or sip of each meal or drink that you have.

You may find that you start to make healthier choices when you are choosing/making your food.

Wishing you a mindful day.
Louise

 

Reiki Awareness Week – Spreading the Word

This week has been Reiki Awareness Week. I have been posting every day on Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word about this fabulous technique.

I first came across Reiki over 15 years ago. I went to a spa for a bit of relaxation and pampering and thought I would just have massage and facial. However, one of the ladies there was offering Reiki (which I had never heard of). I decided to give it a go and loved it so much that I later trained to be a practitioner. The rest as they say is history!

I had the pleasure of attending a Reiki share on Tuesday to celebrate Reiki Awareness Week. This is where Reiki practitioners get together and swap sessions. There were 12 of us in the group and the energy in the room was amazing. We had 4 couches set up, which meant 4 groups of 3 people sharing Reiki at the same time. One person laid on the couch to receive, whilst the other 2 shared Reiki and then we swapped.

As a practitioner, I regularly give myself Reiki and practice the precepts etc. However, it was wonderful to just lie back and receive Reiki from other people. We also spent time sending out Reiki to people in need.

Reiki is very relaxing to receive and my clients often fall asleep during the session.

Reiki Awareness Week
Relaxing Reiki

Reiki works on all levels, not just the physical and can help us emotionally, mentally and spiritually too. It can help our bodies to heal, boost our energy levels and increase our feeling of wellbeing. It is very helpful following an illness or operation. Regular Reiki helps boost our immune system, helping us stay healthy. It can also help us make better health choices too, by becoming more mindful and tuning in to what our body needs.

If you would like to learn more, checkout my Reiki page or get in touch to book your session now.

With Reiki blessings,
Louise

Mental Health Awareness Week

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week this week. I think it is very important for us to talk about our mental health and for the stigma surrounding mental health problems to end.

Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

This year the focus is on stress, something we all experience in life!

  • It’s ok to not be ok
  • It’s ok to ask for help
  • It’s ok to say you’re struggling

We all struggle with stress at some point in our life. We all need help from time to time. If we had a physical illness we would probably be ok with telling people and asking for help. With mental health it’s usually different and it’s time that changed.

We can all do our bit and be there for friends, family or colleagues when they need us. We can offer kindness and support. We can let people know that they are not alone.

There seems to be a culture nowadays where we are expected to be stressed or we feel we should say we are stressed. If we’re not stressed, we can feel guilty and take on extra things.

I would like the culture to develop where we don’t have to be stressed. Where taking care of ourselves is given a higher priority and never seen as selfish.

There are lots of things we can do to reduce our stress, e.g.

  • Exercise
  • Meditation / Mindfulness
  • EFT (Tapping)
  • Reiki or other therapies
  • Massage
  • Eating well
  • Getting enough sleep

When we are stressed though, we often feel we don’t have time for these things and we need to make the time in order to stop ourselves getting overwhelmed by stress.

I know from personal past experience just how bad stress and anxiety can feel. That is why I am so passionate now about helping people overcome stress and anxiety.

It’s good to talk, so if you’d like some help please get in touch.
Louise

Benefits of Mindfulness

Benefits of Mindfulness

We have all probably heard of mindfulness by now. So what are the real-life benefits of doing mindfulness?

I created the following image to show some of the benefits…

Mindfulness Benefits
Benefits of Mindfulness

These are just some of the benefits of mindfulness meditation. Others include:

  • Greater zest for life
  • Improved mood
  • Reduced depression
  • Better resilience
  • Pain management
  • Decrease in cigarette, alcohol or drug abuse
  • Immunity boost

Many people find it hard to find the time to meditate. You can begin to benefit from just 5 or 10 minutes a day, so even if you are very busy, you should be able to fit it in your day. It is better to practice consistently every day for just 5 or 10 minutes than once in a while doing a long practice (30 minutes plus).

Find a time of day that suits you – not everyone can do it first thing in the morning. You might find when you get home from work a good time – allowing you to transition from work mode into home mode. It is also important to find a posture that works for you too. You don’t have to be cross-legged on the floor. You could be sat in a chair or lying down if that is more comfortable. You can have your feet flat on the floor with your knees knocked in and just touching each other. You are less likely to fall asleep in this position and it is helpful if you have a bad back.

The simplest meditation is to focus on your breathing. Watching the full breath on the inhalation and on the exhalation. Any time you find your mind has wandered (and it will – repeatedly!) gently bring it back to your breathing. Notice where in your body you can feel your breath – your nostrils, the back of your throat or your belly rising and falling with each breath.

Why not give it a go?

 

β€œWe can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – Dalai Lama

How Do You Handle a Fall?

How Do You Handle A Fall?

My step daughter was horse riding recently and her horse got spooked by a jump falling over in the wind. He jumped sideways and then did a mini buck and then she fell off. She handled it brilliantly and after her instructor checked that both her and the horse were ok, she got my step daughter straight back into the saddle for a gentle walk and trot. My step daughter and her horse were both ok and benefited from getting straight back on with it.

How do you handle a fall?
How do you handle a fall?

I was very proud of my step daughter and how she handled the situation. This got me thinking about how we handle a “fall”. This could be anything that is unexpected or making any kind of mistake. I remember years ago, learning on my NLP training that:

“There is no failure only feedback”.

This really helped transform how I dealt with making mistakes. In the past I really hated making mistakes and always felt really embarrassed by it. I’ll admit that I am a bit of a perfectionist! Now I realise it’s all part of the learning process and I feel much better about it. I have used both NLP and EFT to help me handle failure better.

Transformative Power of EFT

We can use EFT to help us too. For example, we can tap on how we feel about making mistakes or failing:

  • Even though I hate making mistakes, I’m ok
  • Even though I hate failing and have to do it right every time, I accept myself anyway
  • Even though feel like such a failure every time a make a mistake, I’m willing to be kinder to myself
  • Even though I feel like a failure if I fall or make a mistake, I choose to accept myself

It is also essential to work on specific events from our past and transform any negative emotions around them. This changes our default programming and opens us up to new possibilities.

I’d love to help you change how you feel about a “fall”. Do get in touch if you would like some help…

Louise

Feelings About Feelings

Feelings About Feelings

I was working with a client recently and the tapping didn’t seem to be working. We were tapping on various different emotions and the associated sensations in her body. We tapped several rounds focusing on the body sensations and the different emotions in turn. She was frustrated with herself for having these various emotions and not being able to get rid of them!

I suggested we take a step back and work on the frustration first. That did the trick…

By focusing on the feelings we have about the feelings (or the emotions about having the emotions) we had a break through!

Feelings about feelings
Feelings about feelings

Pain & Suffering

Often when we have pain we have a lot of feelings or emotions about that pain. That is suffering. Our pain feels worse because we have all these feelings or emotions about having the pain. We don’t need to suffer additionally when we have pain. We can tap on our feelings and emotions about having the pain.

So always make sure you tap on your feelings or emotions about having the other feelings or emotions.

Say you are angry at someone because they did something to upset you. You can start by tapping on your anger, but you may also be feeling frustrated or guilty about feeling angry. So tap on the feelings about the feelings as well. E.g.

  • Even though I feel frustrated about feeling angry at Bob when he really upset me, I accept all these feelings
  • Even though I feel guilty because Bob upset me and made me angry, I accept all of my feelings
  • Even though I feel frustrated that I got so angry when Bob upset me, I acknowledge and accept myself anyway

Keep Tapping

Be observant and notice how your feelings about having your feelings change. Once you have cleared the feelings about the feelings, start tapping on the feelings. E.g.

  • Even though Bob upset me and I got angry, I accept all my feelings
  • Even though I feel angry because Bob upset me when he did X, I acknowledge and accept myself
  • Even though I feel this angry knot of tension in my gut when I think about what Bob did…

Remember, to be as specific as possible for best results when tapping.

Keep tapping πŸ™‚

Louise

 

 

Happy New Year 2018

Happy new year. Wishing you a year that is filled with joy, peace and love.

Happy New Year
Happy New Year 2018

I hope that you have had a great Christmas. To start the new year off the right way, I recommend holding off on certain new year resolutions. We are mid winter and that is not a great time to start making changes to our diet or exercise regimes.

The days are still dark and short, it’s cold and wet and nature is hibernating. So tune in to nature and rest your body as much as it needs. Include lots of self care after the indulgence of Christmas. It’s easy to over-do it over Christmas so cut back on the over-indulgence and you’ll start to feel better.

Spring is a much easier time for us to start more exercise or change our diet. The earth starts to wake up with new life and our energy levels rise. So don’t go against the flow of nature and instead work with her.

So practice self care and look after yourself instead of beating yourself for not making lots of resolutions!

Take care
Louise

Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas

My last post of this year is to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Thank you very much for reading my blog this year. If you would like me to address a topic please send me an email. I would love to hear from you.

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

Remember to look after yourself this Christmas! Self care is so important and we can’t keep giving to others without charging our own batteries. So please take some time out just for you. Even 5 minutes of tapping can help us when tensions run high if the family dynamics are challenging πŸ™‚

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year.

Best wishes,
Lou

 

Just Say No – Self Care Tips

We all struggle to say no sometimes. We can feel obliged to attend parties, meetings or visit our family. Maintaining healthy boundaries is essential for our health and well-being. Yet, so many of struggle with it. Self care certainly isn’t easy when we are busy!

We may also suffer from “FOMO” or Fear Of Missing Out. I can definitely relate to that one when I was younger. I hated having to go to bed at a certain time and can remember sneaking out of bed during parties to try to see what was happening from the top of the stairs! At work FOMO can be especially tricky. We fear if we say no to overtime or extra work that we won’t be valued or that we’ll miss out on opportunities like promotion.

I talk a lot about self care with my clients because it is very important. Especially when they come to me with severe stress or anxiety and are burnt out. We aren’t taught how to look after ourselves, so it is something you have to experiment with. As the saying goes, you can’t fill from an empty cup!

Self care – empty cup

As an introvert I know I need quiet, alone time after being with people – even people I love! So I plan for that.

How Tapping Can Help

Tapping can help us maintain our boundaries and learn to say “no” more often (without feeling guilty!).

I recommend tapping on whatever the trigger is and the associated feelings e.g. guilt.

For example:

  • Even though I feel I should do X, I choose to look after my needs
  • Even though I feel obliged to attend every X meeting, maybe I can miss it now and then
  • Even though I always put everyone else first, maybe I can learn to take care of my needs too
  • Even though I feel it’s my duty to visit my Gran every week, what if it’s ok to miss it when I’m really busy

Then tap on the feelings that come up because you are choosing to do something different for a change, e.g.

  • Even though I feel guilty for having some me time, I know I need to look after me
  • Even though I feel guilty and ashamed for not visiting my Gran this week, I need some self care
  • Even though I feel so bad about not looking after X’s dog, I need to rest and recover my energy

It’s no good trying to enjoy a lovely soak in the bath with candles and soft music if your mind is churning with guilt! Tap on all the feelings associated with saying no or putting your needs first for a change.

Self Care List

I recommend to my clients that they come up with a list of self care things so that they can easily pick one when they really need it. I also recommend daily and weekly self care things so that they maintain their health and well being.

E.g.

  • Long soak in the bath
  • Reading a book
  • Watching your favourite TV show/film
  • Going for a massage or treatment
  • Eating a delicious meal
  • Yoga session
  • Doing something creative e.g. painting or crafting

Put your list somewhere you will see it on a daily basis and enjoy some self care.

Self care
Self care – soak in the bath

Let me know if you’d like some help with saying no or your self care πŸ™‚

Louise

Reiki Benefits – What Can Reiki Do For Me?

Reiki Benefits – What Can Reiki Do For Me?

You know sometimes you need to stop the world and get off? This is what Reiki does for me. It allows me to relax completely. I feel like I am wrapped in a warm blanket, safe and protected from the world. As I feel my body sink into the couch and my muscles let go, my mind starts to let go too. My thoughts slow down and I feel like I have gotten out of the hamster wheel.

Hamster wheel
Hamster wheel

Reiki Benefits

Reiki has many more benefits to offer. As well as being very relaxing and calming, it helps us to heal ourselves.

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Aids sleep
  • Reduces pain
  • Enhances our well-being
  • Balances our emotions

Reiki is also complementary to orthodox treatments. It is perfect after surgery or procedures to help your body repair itself.

If you’ve recently been through a tough time, it is a great pick me up.

Reiki Benefits
Reiki Benefits

Lie Back and Relax

Reiki is usually received whilst you lay fully clothed on a massage couch. The practitioner will either place their hands on you or just above your body. Many people feel a warm sensation from the practitioners hands whilst receiving Reiki. I usually guide my clients at the beginning of the session to focus on their breathing and to let go of any tension. This helps them to let go and just be.

How Many Treatments

Even one Reiki session can make a difference. If you’ve been ill, had surgery or been very stressed, then regular treatments are recommended to bring you back into balance. After you have recovered, you may want to have a treatment once in a while to keep you on track and ensure your well being is maintained.

I would love to share the benefits of Reiki with you :). You can drop me an email and I will be happy to arrange your Reiki session.

Louise

How To be More Mindful This Autumn

Autumn Mindfulness

Yay! It’s Autumn. One of my favourite times of year. It’s also the perfect time of year to be more mindful. I will share with you some tips on how to be more mindful at this time of year…

 

Autumn Mindfulness
Autumn Mindfulness

Mindful in Nature

Nature is putting on a spectacular show for us right now. So, time to tune in, slow down and appreciate the beauty around us.

Notice the amazing colours of the leaves as they transform. From yellow to orange to red to burgundy. The colours in Autumn are just incredible. I love to notice the transformation of certain trees that I see every day. One minute the leaves are all green and the next they are yellow or orange.

Autumn Mindfulness
Amazing Autumn Colours

You can also walk mindfully amongst the fallen leaves. Remember when you were a kid and you used to walk through the leaves, kicking them up. Why not do that now? Listen to the rustle of the leaves, watch the colours and textures as they fall. Feel the crisp air on your skin and the wind blowing your hair.

Candle Meditation

Autumn is the start of the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer. I love to light candles in the evening and this is a great way to do a little mindful meditation.

Watch the flickering flame for awhile and then close your eyes. Picture the candle in your minds eye. If you can’t “see” it then open your eyes slightly so that you can just physically see the flame. Then bring your attention to your breath, watch the full breath coming and going. Focus on the candle in your minds eye whilst breathing calmly and deeply. Finish off by offering up your gratitude for the candle, the light and warmth of the flame and anything else you are grateful for in your life.

Candle Meditation
Candle Meditation

Autumn Mindful Eating

With the colder weather our minds turn to comforting and warming food. Soups, stews and casseroles are perfect at this time of year. You can be more mindful whilst preparing your food – lots of peeling and chopping to do! Be more mindful as you eat too – savour the smell, look, texture and taste – especially of your first bite.

β€œAutumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower”

Albert Camus

Enjoy being more mindful this Autumn πŸ™‚

Louise

Making Moments Last

Making Moments Last

In the hurly burly of modern living we can easily get caught up in the constant game of doing. So it’s a great thing to just BE from time to time.

Recently, I was out walking with my husband and step daughter on Dartmoor. They’d stopped to take some photos so I carried on walking for a bit on my own. Then I found a nice rock to sit on and I sat for awhile just being in the present moment.

Making moments last
Dartmoor Mindful Moment

I could feel the warming sun on my skin, the gentle breeze teasing my hair. I noticed the sounds of the birds and sheep and smelt the grass.

It was a wonderful experience, just noticing my surroundings. Then once I had done that I began to notice my body, my breath and my thoughts and feelings. I started to let my thoughts and feelings go and just focus fully on my experiences. I was just being. In the present moment, enjoying it to the full.

Making It Last

So how can we make experiences like this last? I took some photographs and also took a mental photograph, capturing not just the visual images but all my other sense experiences and the feeling of peace and tranquillity, contentment and gratitude. You can use experiences this this as a good anchor. You just need to bring them to mind in stressful moments. You can replay how calm and peaceful you felt, how relaxed your body was. This can help bring to the same feeling and reduce your stress.

Increasing These Moments

You don’t need to be out in the wilds of Dartmoor to have experiences like this. You can practice just being practically anywhere. Just notice what is in your environment, then bring your awareness to your body, your breath and just be for awhile…

Just being
Just BEing

Louise

How Long Should I Tap For?

It’s time for another FAQ…

How long should I tap for?

How long do I tap for?
How long should I tap for?

This is another question I get asked all the time by my clients. How long should I tap for? Again, there is no right or wrong answer for this. But there are guidelines. If you are going to tap on a serious, long standing issue then you definitely want to set aside at least an hour at a time to do the tapping. You also want to ensure that you don’t have to be anywhere important right after it.

If there is a chance that you will get upset then you definitely need the space for “resting” time afterwards. If I have worked on an upsetting issue then I find it helpful to spend some time quietly afterwards with a journal or I go for a walk where I can digest the session.Β  This is what I recommend to clients who work with me. It comes down to basic self care.

If it’s a “small” issue then you can tap for whatever time you have available e.g. 5 minutes before your meeting to calm you down and help you focus. Five minutes under those circumstances can make a big difference! If it is a long term thing you are working on then daily tapping is definitely recommended. 15-20 minutes of focussed tapping every day can work wonders to clear an issue.

My client sessions generally last an hour. Sometimes clients want to work for longer to clear an issue and that’s ok but I personally don’t recommend more than 2 hours at a time. I feel that is enough and that you need some time to let things settle before continuing.

So why not experiment and see what works best for you?

Keep tapping πŸ™‚

Louise

 

Breathe – Simple Stress Relieving Tips

Breathing…not something we consciously think about most of the time. However, when we are stressed or anxious it is the first thing that is affected. Our breath becomes shallow and rapid. We are not getting enough oxygen. By simply taking a moment to focus on our breath we can change how we feel and how we cope with the situation we are in. So simply stop and breathe.

Simply breathe

Or breathe simply…all it takes is a moment to focus on our breath to change it and improve how we feel. So why not try it right now?

Breathe into belly
Belly breathing

 

Take a slow, deep breath. That’s better right? Do it again. Breathe in and slowly breathe out. Drop your shoulders away from your ears. Now, maybe put a hand on your belly and feel it rise and fall with your breathing. Notice the tension reducing and your body relaxing. Breathe in slowly, feeling your belly rise and breath out slowly noticing your belly fall. Take a few more breaths and notice if they get easier and deeper naturally.

Stress Reliever

Our breath is a simple stress reliever. One we can utilise no matter where we are or what situation we’re in. About to do an important presentation? Take some slow deep breaths. Just about to have an interview? Breathe! Stuck in a stressful meeting? Breathe! Running late and stuck in traffic? Utilise your time at the red lights by breathing deeply. You get the idea.

Our breath is so important but we take it for granted so much! It can change our physiology so easily if we just take a few moments to connect with it.

Simplest Meditation

Our breath can form the basis of the simplest meditations. Sit comfortably with your back straight and your feet on the floor (or on a cushion with your legs crossed). Take a few slow, conscious, deep breaths. Put your hand on your belly and feel your breath coming and going. Relax your hand again and just observe your breath. Notice each inhalation and each exhalation. Notice where you feel the sensations the most – it could be in your nostrils, your chest, your belly etc. Just observe and notice the different sensations of each breath. When your mind wanders as it naturally will, just gently bring it back to the breath. Notice whether your breathing has changed. Let go of any judgements that come up. Just be with your breath. Practice for 5 or 10 minutes initially and build up to a longer practice if you have time.

Remember to Breathe

Your breath is always there to help you connect to the present moment and to reduce your stress and anxiety levels. You just have to remember to connect to it…

If you’d like some help reducing your stress or anxiety, do get in touch.
Louise

 

 

Developing A Good Tapping Habit

We all have some habits that we wish we didn’t, e.g. biting our nails or smoking. EFT is an excellent tool to use to help you get rid of unwanted habits. What I’d like to share with you today are some ways to get into a good habit – regular tapping. This is another question I get asked a lot by clients – how can they remember to use it on a regular basis.

Good habit
How to develop a good tapping habit?

 

Many people recognise that EFT is a fantastic self help tool, but they get so busy and caught up with everyday life that they forget to do it. It only works when you use it and sometimes you have to use it quite a lot. One of the key things with EFT is persistence and chasing the pain back to the root cause (not just tapping on your symptoms). So how can we remind ourselves to tap on a regular basis?

Tips

Here are some ways that you can develop a good tapping habit:

  • Schedule it (yes literally put it in your diary/calendar)
  • Tap in the morning as part of your ablutions (e.g. before you shower or after brushing your teeth)
  • Tap every time you use the bathroom
  • Tap before your lunch
  • Tap before you pick up the phone
  • Use EFT before any meetings
  • Tap whilst stuck in traffic (perfect for road rage!)
  • Before bed, tap on anything that didn’t go so well/anything that upset you
Schedule
Schedule EFT

I hope that these help you make EFT a good habit. If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. πŸ™‚

I always recommend working with an experienced EFT practitioner if you have a long standing or complex issue. We can do a lot of very valuable work by ourselves but it is always better to work with a practitioner who will guide and support you when you need it.

Keep tapping
Louise