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.
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.
Meditation / Mindfulness
Reiki or other therapies
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.
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.
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…
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!
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
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.
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?
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.
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?
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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
I hope that this has helped you work with your monkey mind 🙂
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!
Another question I frequently get asked by clients is: Will EFT Work On My X Issue Too?
Say a client has come to me for their stress and anxiety at work issue. They will often only think of using EFT on that issue. They won’t think to use this amazing tool on their fear of spiders issue or when they have an argument with their partner, or when they have a headache etc.
So my advice is always the same – just try it! When clients have resolved their original issue they often forget about EFT and don’t think to use it on other things that come up in their life. I always aim to teach my clients that this amazing tool is theirs – it’s at their fingertips.
Most people need a reminder from time to time though. So my advice is to do some tapping on a daily basis so that it becomes a good habit. That way we don’t have to think about it – we automatically start doing it in times of need. EFT becomes their ‘go to’ self help tool.
Here’s some ways I’ve used EFT this week to give you an idea:
Daily affirmations (remember to get rid of your “yes buts” first before working with affirmations)
Stuck behind a slow moving lorry when running late
Feeling stressed when trying to multi task too many things at once
Tight and painful shoulders (as a result of previous point!)
After hearing some upsetting news from a friend
EFT has helped me so much in so many ways. My aim is to educate and spread the word about this amazing tool so that you can benefit from it too.
So, why not try making EFT a part of your daily self care? That way, you will think of using it for your X issue 🙂
Have you ever had road rage? We can all get stressed when stuck in an unexpected traffic jam. But what if you find yourself getting angry and frustrated every time you get behind the wheel? If you have to drive a lot then this can become a big problem. Not only does it make your journey more difficult, it is causing unnecessary stress in your life.
Time to do some tapping…
Acknowledge how the anger/frustration and stress is getting to you when you drive:
Even though I get angry/frustrated every time I get behind the wheel…
Even though I seem to be getting stressed every time I drive lately…
Even though I seem to have road rage on every journey…
Even though I get angry and frustrated and shout and swear at other drivers…
Even though my stress levels are really high when driving…
Even though I seem to be angry and stressed whenever I drive lately…
Notice where you feel the emotions in your body:
Even though I have all this tension and knots in my shoulders when I’m driving…
Even though my jaw is clenched tight when I’m driving…
Even though my heart is beating fast and I feel so angry and frustrated behind the wheel…
Even though I feel hot and sweaty when I’m driving…
You will get better results when you are more specific. So it’s a good idea to tap on specific events from the past when you’ve been particularly angry/frustrated or stressed during a journey. So tap on the time you had road rage when you were late for an important meeting or you missed your child’s performance in the school play. Work on all the emotions that come up for you in these events, e.g. guilt, shame, embarrassment etc.
When you’ve worked on the most intense specific events, you should be less triggered in the future. So think about what you can do to help the situation on a practical level. Examples could be leaving earlier, going a different route, re-arranging your day so you don’t have to drive in rush hour traffic, car sharing/taking turns with someone. You may need to tap on those things too:
Even though I know I should leave earlier but I always seem to be running late…
Even though I know I should go a different route, I seem to be on auto-pilot in the mornings…
Even though I always seem to have to do all the driving…
Remember to tap any time that you are triggered. You can tap whilst driving, if safe to do so e.g. just tapping the finger points with your hand on the wheel or when you stop at traffic lights.
I hope that this helps your road rage to disappear!
This week has been mental health awareness week in the UK. I was very pleased to do a presentation on Monday at the RSPB in Exeter.
I spoke about stress – what it is and how it affects us. I introduced the staff to a short Mindfulness meditation that can even be done at your desk at work. I also demonstrated EFT and how that can be used to help with stress at work and helping you achieve a better work/life balance. Which is something most people can relate to.
EFT and Mindfulness are two tools that help keep me on an even keel. I wouldn’t be without them now. Having suffered from stress and anxiety in my previous career as a Software Engineer, I know from first hand experience how horrible it can be. Fortunately I now have the pleasure of teaching these amazing tools to other people.
In a session with a practitioner, we normally repeat the statements out loud when we tap. Many people find it a bit weird speaking out loud when they tap by themselves. The great thing is you don’t have to do it! EFT is a very flexible tool.
Here are some ways you can try to see which suits you best.
Tap silently – repeating your statements in your mind only
Write down your statements and tap whilst reading them
If you are ok with speaking out loud, you can try these versions:
Tap whilst whispering the statements
Try shouting out your statements (great if you’re stuck or need to really vent)
Sing your tapping statements
Use a silly voice – this works especially well if you’re tapping on something someone said – you can exaggerate their voice
Keep tapping (whichever way you decide to do it) Louise
This is not an easy question to answer, but one I get asked all the time by my clients.
The answer very much depends on you. Think about the reason for tapping and how quickly you want results.
Personally, I tap every single day. Some days it’s just for 5 minutes. Other days it’s a whole hour if I’m doing a ‘proper’ session. Often, it’s somewhere in between.
If you have a long standing or chronic condition then I definitely recommend tapping every day.
If you want quick results then again I recommend tapping every day.
If you feel stressed every day then I definitely recommend tapping every day!
It is not always easy to find the time. You have to make the time. Most of us can manage to find 5 minutes in our busy day. So start with that. Just 5 minutes. On days where you have more time then tap for longer. The more you tap, the more you’ll benefit. So get started 🙂
Instead of having New Year Resolutions, which normally get dropped by the second week of January, I like to set myself goals for the year.
You can start out by asking yourself some questions about how your 2015 was, e.g.
What were my gifts?
What were my successes?
What were my challenges?
What was my biggest lesson?
Then think about what you want to achieve in 2016. If you have a big goal, e.g. studying for a qualification, then it can really help to break it down into smaller goals. So you might have a goal each term, or for each major piece of coursework.
Then write out your goals for 2016. You can get really creative and use a vision board and fill it with your goals and inspiration to help you along the way. Stand in front of your board every day and visualise how good it will feel to achieve your goals. You can use EFT on any issues you have along the way, e.g. fear of doing a speech, anxiety about a test, feeling overwhelmed etc.
“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”
Wishing you lots of happiness and success in 2016.
It’s Christmas time. Parties, meals out with friends and colleagues. Visits from family. It can be really hard not to overindulge at Christmas!
Not just with food or sweets but alcohol too. So how do you remain polite and social without overindulging? Impossible right?
It doesn’t have to be. But don’t rely on your willpower because that is bound to be challenged at this time of year!
Instead, you need to do some tapping. Whatever it is that you find hardest to resist, start with that. So, for example, if you find it really hard to resist chocolate at the best of times, let alone Christmas, then tap on that.
Even though it’s really hard to resist all these wonderful chocolates, I deeply & completely accept myself anyway
Even though I find it impossible to not eat chocolates at Christmas, I choose to be able to just have one
Even though it’s so hard to say no to chocolates, when they’re everywhere at Christmas, I choose to be able control how many I eat
Be as specific as possible, so if it’s Roses that really do it for you, then use that. E.g. Even though I can’t just have one Roses from the tin…what if I could?
Then try tapping on what triggers you to eat the chocolates – this could be certain thoughts or emotions or stress. E.g.
Even though the deadlines are looming at work and I feel so stressed and keep reaching for the chocolates, I choose to stay calm and eat some fruit instead.
Even though I still have loads of Christmas shopping to do and wrapping and cooking and it’s all too much for me so I keep stuffing my face with chocolates, what if I can relax and get it all done?
Please do try to help yourself as much as possible. So bring some healthy snacks to eat at the office instead of succumbing to the chocolates. You could also try moving the chocolate tin to a different part of the office if they’re too tempting by your desk!
The other kind of tapping you can do is being able to say that magic word – NO! Many people struggle to say it and before they know it they’re going to every event happening, when really they’d rather be at home for most of them. So tune in what makes it hard for you to say no & tap on that. E.g.
Even though I find it hard to say no to people (or use their name), because I don’t like to let them down and I feel guilty, what if I could respect my needs instead.
I hope that this has given you some ideas to help you stop overindulging this Christmas.