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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 🙂

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.

“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower”

Albert Camus

Enjoy being more mindful this Autumn 🙂

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.  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 🙂

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. 🙂

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

 

I Can’t Get Back To Sleep

I Can’t Get Back To Sleep

You manage to go to sleep ok and think that’s it for the night, but then you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep. You toss and turn and try plumping up your pillow. You may even get up to go to the toilet or have a drink of water. But when you get back into bed, you just lie there getting frustrated! Your thoughts start churning and you start worrying about work or money or the economy or the destruction of the rainforests! It doesn’t matter what it is you’re worrying or thinking about you just can’t get back to sleep. Then you check your clock every couple of minutes and get stressed about how little sleep you’ll get.

I can't get back to sleep
I can’t get back to sleep

Sleep Deprived

Any one who has suffered a sleep deprived night knows just how horrible it is. The next day you struggle because you’ve not had enough sleep and you can feel tired and like you have brain fog! You can’t focus properly and maybe your work suffers. It takes you longer to do things that you’d normally fly through. Emotionally wise we can be more sensitive and something that would normally not bother us can send us off into meltdown.

Tap In Bed

So what can we do? You can try tapping in bed. If you are in bed with a partner, you might want to try tapping very quietly and gently or just finger tap. If you’re on your own, then you can be as loud as you like! Here’s some tapping statements that you might find helpful to get you started:

  • Even though I went to sleep fine, why oh why did I have to wake up?
  • Even though I was fast asleep, something woke me up and I’m pissed off
  • Even though I get so upset and frustrated when I wake up in the night, I choose to accept this anyway
  • Even though I’m so stressed that I can’t go back to sleep, I accept myself anyway
  • Even though I worry about how little sleep I’ll get, I choose to accept myself
  • Even though I hate not being able to go back to sleep, I love and accept myself anyway

Use a few of the statements that resonate with you and tap a few rounds. Always tune in to how you feel and use your words where possible. Hopefully these statements will trigger what feels right for you.

Check-in

Once you’ve tapped a few rounds, you may start to feel a bit better. Check-in with how you feel now. If you have cleared enough of the ‘negatives’ it could be time to use some more positive choices.

The next statements offer some choices that may help you too:

  • Even though I hate waking up in the middle of the night, I wonder if I can go back to sleep easily?
  • Even though I feel upset about waking up, I’m curious if I can let that go and go back to sleep
  • Even though I worry about {work/money etc}, what if I can easily let that go
  • Even though I get so stressed when I wake in the middle of the night, maybe I can be less bothered and fall asleep again
  • Even though I feel so awake, I wonder if I can start to feel drowsy and relaxed

Try tapping on whatever alternate choice feels good for you. Slow rhythmical tapping can be helpful. Breathe slowly and deeply and hopefully you’ll soon drop off to sleep.

Wishing you a good nights sleep 🙂

Sleep well
Sleep Well

If you’d like some help, drop me an email.

Louise

Working With Our Monkey Mind

Monkey Mind

Working with our monkey mind!

Monkey Mind
Monkey Mind

At times it can feel as if we have a monkey in our mind. We can feel out of control and our minds seem to have a mind of their own! Our thoughts jump from one topic to another to another. Our feelings can also bounce all over the place, leaving us feel unsettled. So what can we do when we feel the monkey has taken over?

Here I will discuss a couple of different options – EFT and Mindfulness.

EFT

EFT is a great tool for helping us deal with our emotions and what we are feeling. So tune in to how you feel – are you frustrated, annoyed, sad or angry? Whatever the feelings or emotions are you can use them in your tapping. Here’s an example:

  • Even though I’m annoyed that my monkey mind has taken over, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway
  • Even though it feels like there’s a monkey in my mind and I feel scared and out of control, I choose to accept all of me anyway
  • Even though I feel frustrated and angry that my monkey mind is out of control, I wonder if I can accept myself anyway

Then complete as many rounds as you need to reduce these feelings and emotions as close to a zero on the SUDS scale as you can (10 = maximum anger etc and 0=none).  You may need to do many rounds of tapping, depending on what is going on. Remember to be thorough and try to get to 0 if you can. Adjust the wording each round if necessary as you get closer and closer to the underlying cause of your monkey mind.

Mindfulness

It can be hard to meditate when you have a monkey in your mind. It’s important here to bring the qualities of kindness, compassion and non-judgement to your practice.

Quite often the harder we try, the more the monkey plays up! So go with it – don’t judge, just acknowledge the different thoughts and feelings as they come up. “Oh there goes my monkey mind again!”. Note what type of thoughts you’re having and name them e.g. “thinking, thinking”, “worrying, worrying”, “planning, planning”.

Then very gently, bring your mind back to your focus – e.g. your breath moving in and out of your belly. Or you may want to use a certain body anchor to focus on e.g. the stillness in your feet.

You may need to bring your mind back tens or hundreds of times – and that’s ok. Your mind will naturally wonder from time to time and sometimes the monkey will want to play more! Each time just bring a calm, kind acknowledgement to where it has been and bring it back to your anchor. Some days will be easier than others. Always remember to be kind and compassionate to yourself and your practice. You really are doing the best you can.

Combination

I have found it to be really helpful to do some tapping before I meditate. I tap to identify the source of my monkey mind first. After tapping several rounds I am usually calmer and more centred. I am then in a much better position to sit down and do my meditation. I then find that my mind is much less monkey like and able to stay focused on my breath or body anchor for my meditation.

I recently discovered this wonderful poem about our monkey mind by Kaveri Patel.

Thanking a Monkey

There’s a monkey in my mind
swinging on a trapeze,
reaching back to the past
or leaning into the future,
never standing still.

Sometimes I want to kill
that monkey, shoot it square
between the eyes so I won’t
have to think anymore
or feel the pain of worry.

But today I thanked her
and she jumped down
straight into my lap,
trapeze still swinging
as we sat still.

by Kaveri Patel
(http://www.wisdominwaves.com)

I hope that this has helped you work with your monkey mind 🙂

Louise

How To Fit Mindful Moments Into A Busy Day

We all know that mindfulness is great for reducing stress and anxiety, improving our focus, memory and reducing our blood pressure. But it can be so hard sometimes to fit it in. Well you don’t have to practice for a long time every day. Even a few minutes can make a difference. Read on to find out how to fit mindful moments into your busy day 🙂 …

Mindful moments
Mindful moments

Mindfulness is about being present in the present moment with awareness of what is happening.

“Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention:
      on purpose,
        in the present moment,
          and nonjudgmentally,
            to things as they are.”  – Jon Kabat-Zinn

As well as formal meditation practice there are many different ways you can be more mindful. We’re often in automatic pilot where we’re performing tasks and doing things without being aware of it. This is great for certain things like brushing our teeth or getting dressed but not so useful when we want to be present, e.g. when we realise we haven’t really been paying attention in a meeting and we’re expected to give our opinion (oops!).

Mindful Moments

Here are some ways to fit some mindful moments into your busy day:

  • When you wake up take some slow deep breaths. Feel your whole body on the bed and really connect with it. This is a great way to start your day.
  • Whenever you make a drink do some mindful stretches. Raise your arms slowly above your head and feel the effect of the stretch on your arms, shoulders, back and neck. Rotate your shoulders or stretch your legs – whatever feels good to your body.
  • Pause whenever the phone rings. Drop your shoulders, adjust your posture and then answer.
Phone
Pause before answering
  • Before emailing, take a couple of deep breaths. Let go of any tension. Ask yourself if you really need to do this now or can it wait until later?
  • When you get home from work, spend a few minutes doing a short mindful meditation. It can be as simple as just watching your breath for a few minutes. Noticing the inhalation and your belly inflating, noticing your exhalation and your belly deflating. Just focus on your breath and let everything else go.
  • Mindfully prepare your meal. Notice the colours, shapes, textures and smells of your food. Notice how your body feels as you prepare and cook your meal.
  • Mindfully do the dishes or stack the dishwasher. Notice the feel of the water, the bubbles and texture of the cloth. Or if you’re stacking the dishwasher, be mindful about where you’re placing the dishes, glasses etc.

Practice

There are lots of ways you can slip in these mindful moments to your day. I suggest that you try just one or two a day and practice them for a few days or a week and see how you get on. Then try a different couple and practice those. Mix and match the ones you find most useful and the ones you find most challenging.

I hope that you’ve found these suggestions useful. Let me know your favourite ways of being more mindful.

Here’s a short mindful meditation I created last year. It is only 6 minutes long and takes you on a mindful forest walk. I hope you enjoy 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH3zudbobIg

Mindful Forest Walk
Mindful Forest Walk

 

Louise

Wishing You A Merry Christmas 2016

Christmas
Merry Christmas 2016

Well, here it is – Christmas 2016. Wishing you a truly wonderful Christmas. I hope that you enjoy the time with your family and friends. I am looking forward to catching up with my family and friends and enjoying lots of quality time with my husband and step daughter.

Remember to tap if you start to feel overwhelmed. All you need to do is to focus on what it is that you are feeling. So if it is stress or overwhelm having too much to do then focus on that. Notice where in your body you feel that stress (e.g. tightness in your chest) and use that in your tapping, e.g.

  • Even though I feel so stressed and I still have so much to do, I choose to accept myself anyway
  • Even though I feel tightness and restriction in my chest when I think of all I still have to do for Christmas, I accept my feelings
  • Even though my chest is so tight and I’m so stressed because I still have too much to do, I accept this is how I feel right now

Keep tapping and tapping! You will probably need a few rounds of tapping and remember to keep changing the words as your feelings and body sensations change. Daily tapping might be helpful 🙂

I also highly recommend getting away from everyone (even for 5 minutes) and doing some mindful meditation. Just focus on your breathing. Bring your awareness to your inhalation and your exhalation, noticing the full breath. Notice where you are holding any tension and breathe into that area. See if you can relax the tension on your out breath. Repeat as necessary!

Checkout my previous Christmas posts too:

How To Avoid The Christmas Overindulgence

Christmas Tapping

Tap Your Christmas Stress Away

Love & blessings,
Louise

Mindful or Mindless Eating – You Decide!

Can you remember the last thing you ate? Did you eat it with mindful awareness or did it slip down without much attention? Do you eat whilst working or watching the TV? Maybe you’ve gone to take another sip of your drink and realise that it’s all gone? Or you go to eat another crisp and realise the packet is empty. This is eating mindlessly or on auto-pilot where we are thinking of other things.

Mindful Coffee?

We can change this by becoming more mindful whilst we eat or drink. The next time you go to eat something try to do it mindfully. Look at the food first. Imagine that this is the first time that you’ve seen it. Notice the colours, shapes, textures or patterns. Become aware of any feelings you have about eating it. Take a piece or a forkful and bring it slowly up towards your mouth. Savour any smells that are present. Is your mouth now watering?

Notice how you feel again. Slowly put the piece or mouthful of food into your mouth. Bring your awareness to the sensations on your tongue. Begin to slowly move the food around your mouth and start chewing. Notice the sensations in your teeth and the saliva in your mouth. Does your stomach feel different as it anticipates the arrival of this food? When you are ready, swallow the food. See if you can feel it as it heads towards your stomach. Once again, notice how you feel.

Mindful eating salad

 

This is probably very different to how you normally eat. If you have time, repeat this exercise again with the next piece or mouthful. See if you can eat a whole meal this way. It can be quite a challenge. You may end up eating less this way because you have noticed the sensations in your body and enjoyed the food, rather than mindlessly shovelling it in!

You can expand on this to mindfully cook your food. For example, take in all the colours of the vegetables as you place them on your chopping board. Feel the sensations in your hands as you peel, slice or chop them. Become aware of the sounds that are being made. Bring your awareness to all of your sensations as you start to cook your food. Pay particular attention to the smells as the food cooks. Be aware of your body as it responds to these sensations and starts to anticipate eating the food.

You can even think about where the food came from, where it was grown and how it got to the supermarket etc.

Enjoy your next meal! 🙂

Noticing Stress In Your Body

One of the things we can do to help our stress levels is becoming more aware of our stress. Noticing how our body responds when we start to feel stressed.

Stressed body
Stress in your body
  • Do you get a tightness in your neck and shoulders?
  • Do you find yourself clenching your jaw?
  • Maybe your digestion plays up
  • You start getting headaches
  • Or your throat becomes tight

Whatever it is, just observe it. Acknowledge it is there. Then when you have acknowledged it, try accepting it. You could do some tapping for this. For example:

  • Even though I feel my throat becoming tight, I acknowledge and accept that my body is trying to tell me I’m getting stressed
  • Even though my shoulders are getting tense, I know that means I’m starting to get stressed

Once you have acknowledged and accepted your stress showing up in your body, try thanking your body. E.g.

  • Even though I don’t like the feel of my tight neck and shoulder muscles, I’m grateful for my body and it letting me know I’m getting stressed
  • Even though my jaw is so tight it hurts, I’m grateful for the warning that I’m starting to get stressed

Then try to do something to help reduce your stress levels. I believe that we need to address what is causing our stress levels and also do something to counter that stress. So you could do a combination of working to reduce your task list / asking for help and do something to help you feel physically better. Whether that is some more EFT, Meditation, a walk in nature, a massage or long soak in the bath etc that is up to you.

Do whatever works best for you. If you don’t know, then it is time to start finding out… 🙂

Your health and well-being deserve it!

Louise

A Walk On The Mindful Side…

Meditation doesn’t have to be static, sat still on a chair or a cushion. We can be more mindful doing everyday tasks such as the washing up, cooking or brushing our teeth. It’s about being more present in the present moment. This morning on my walk in the forest I decided to be more mindful. I kept the same pace as I usually would but I became more present with my surroundings. Autumn is an ideal time to do this because of the changing colour of the leaves. I love the Autumnal colours so I relished the idea of taking in more of their beauty.

I really listened to the sounds I could hear and just noticed the quality of the sound rather than labelling them (e.g. wind rustling in the trees, leaves crunching, birds singing etc). I took in the colours of the leaves and all the vibrant shades. I noticed the leaves that were still green and those that had started to change colour. I also observed the leaves that had fallen already and the shapes they made on the ground.

Mindful Walking Autumn
A Walk on the Mindful Side

I noticed the sensations in my feet and legs as I took each step. I became aware of my breath and felt it moving in and out of my body. You can notice it at your nostrils, your chest or your abdomen depending on what you find easiest. You can even say to yourself – “breathing in” and “breathing out” to help you focus.

I felt the temperature of the air on my face and hands and felt the wind blowing my hair.  Finally I felt a sense of gratitude for being alive and experiencing the healing power of nature.

Next time you walk anywhere, why not try making it a bit more on the mindful side? It doesn’t have to be in nature – it could just be a walk to the shop or from your bus stop home! Just give it a go and see what happens. 🙂

Louise

 

 

 

Body Awareness

How much body awareness do you have? This might seem like a strange question – of course we are physically in our body at all times.

Body awareness

What I’m referring to, is how much awareness do you have of your body? How much time are you present in your physical body?

It’s all too easy to get caught up in our thoughts and mind. We are often so busy we rush from one task to the next, to the next, to the next…We are rarely present in our physical body.

So how can we slow down and remind ourselves that we have this amazing body?

How about setting a reminder on your phone or computer? Or making it part of your daily routine, e.g. first thing in the morning, at lunchtime or before you go to sleep…

You just need to take a few slow deep breaths. Make your body comfortable, sitting in an upright position. Tune in to your body. Close your eyes if that feels ok. Maybe even ask your body how it feels? Let your focus move through your body, scanning each area in turn. Notice any tension and see if you can breathe gently into that area and soften it. Maybe thank your body for all the wonderful things it does (without you being aware of them). Ask your body what it needs. It could be more movement, water, food, rest etc. Notice what comes up for you and see if you can do what your body needs. Take another few slow deep breaths and when you feel ready, open your eyes again. See if you can keep this body awareness with you for awhile.

I hope that this helps you be a bit more mindful and you find it a helpful way to take a time out and be present in your body.

Louise