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10 Tips to Manage Stress

Stress

 

Stress is an unavoidable part of everyday life and can come with many guises:  tight deadlines, finances, difficult relationships, job insecurity, a noisy work environment, being expected to do something you haven’t been trained to deal with and, the biggest stressor, just having way too much to do.

Untreated, it can play havoc with your health, with your relationships and your career.  This article will give you 10 tips to manage stress more successfully so you can enjoy a greater sense of calm and resourcefulness in your life.
 

  1. Recognise that some stress is actually good for you.  If you didn’t have any stress at all, you would be pretty bored.  Some stress is motivating and energising – the trick is to have it in proportion so it doesn’t have a negative impact on you.
  2. Acknowledge that stress is a valid emotion with a purpose for you:  it is calling for your attention to whatever is causing the feeling of tension or overwhelm so that you can deal with it. If you listen to what your stress is telling you and take appropriate action, you will notice yourself feeling much less stressed.  It is a survival mechanism, intended as a fight or flight response if you are in danger.  In more everyday terms, if you ignore it, the stress will increase until you take remedial action.  If you address it, you can become more stress-resilient.
  3. Identify your top stressors and give them a score out of 10 as to how much stress they are causing you.
  4. From this list, evaluate the stressors according to the following criteria:

     

     

     

     

    • Is it something which you can control in any way?  For example, the weather is something you can’t control.
    • Is it something you can influence?  While you can’t control the weather, you can control what you wear for it, whether you go out in it and the temperature in a room.
    • Is it something you just have to accept?  If you are outside and there is a sudden downpour with no shelter in sight, and you are dressed for the summer sun you were promised in the news bulletin before you left, then it is just something you have to accept.
  5. Once you have determined whether something is within your control or not you have two options:

     

     

     

     

    • Do whatever you can to control or influence the situation.  Saying ‘no’ to someone who is overloading you, for example.
    • If it is something you just have to accept, knowing this, rather than resisting it, can really relieve a lot of stress for you.  You can then focus on things you can do something about.
  6. If the list is overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, sometimes breaking a big stressor down into smaller chunks can really help, or dealing with a small stressor first to give you a sense of moving forward.  The worst thing to do is nothing, so even starting small can be a big help.
  7. Do not confuse dealing with stress with distracting from it.  Many people use distractors like comfort eating, drinking alcohol, smoking, spending, over-exercising or gambling as a way of managing how they feel.  But distraction is not a stress-management technique which works in the long-term.  It provides short-term relief but causes bigger problems for you in the long-run.
  8. Learn mindfulness, EFT or self-hypnosis as a way of handling stress.  They all make a positive and significant difference on what you can handle on a day-to-day basis.
  9. Learn to say ‘no’ and mean it.  For many people, a lot of their stress is just saying ‘yes’ to things they should be saying ‘no’ too.  This causes ongoing problems as deadlines are missed and disappointment, resentment and guilt results.  Learning to say ‘no’ kindly and respectfully is an incredibly helpful stress-management technique.
  10. Balance your life with time to yourself doing things you enjoy and making sure they include regular exercise, time out in nature and just being in the moment.

These are a good starting point.  Stress has many sources, many affects and many consequences.  Everyone is different and some solutions will work for you and some won’t.  If you need further guidance or support, or you don’t find the answer is in these tips, why not call to arrange for an assessment so you can conquer it once and for all?  Tricia Woolfrey can be reached on 0345 130 0854.

10 tips to  manage Stress

 

© Tricia Woolfrey 2015

Is Snoring Affecting Your Sleep?

Snoring Help by Tricia Woolfrey

Snoring can sound comical, but it isn’t funny being kept awake night after night and it can put a strain on your health and your relationship.  It is very difficult to feel loving towards someone who keeps you awake all night while they are enjoying blissful sleep.

There are two aspects to how snoring can affect sleep:  one is from the perspective of  the snorer and one is their unlucky bed companion.  Sometimes the snorer will wake themselves up, or suffer from sore throats.  Often, however, the snorer is completely unaware of the problem.  Not-so their partner.

Snoring can be defined as a coarse sound made by vibrations of the soft palate and other tissue in the mouth, nose & throat (upper airway). It is caused by turbulence inside the airway as you breathe.

If you are the snorer, there can be a number of physical reasons which are causing your snoring.  Often it is exacerbated by alcohol, weight, smoking or medication.  Other physical causes of snoring can vary from mispositioned jaw, blocked sinuses, allergies, deviated septum, polyps, the size or position of the tongue, or narrow airways. 

It is useful to have a wellness check to see if there are any underlying issues which are causing it and this can be arranged by calling 0845 130 0854 or visit the Self Help Resources website to find out more about Health Screening and Food Intolerance Testing or Asyra Pro.

Often, just changing your sleep position and/or losing weight will help to resolve the problem. Other remedies include stopping smoking, reducing your alcohol intake and treating allergies. Occasionally the problem can be rectified, with either a mouth guard, or through surgery, depending on the cause of the snoring.

If your partner snores and you find yourself staring at the ceiling night after night thinking murderous thoughts, the issue is more around your focus.  I remember living under a flight path for several years. Planes, including Concorde, would fly over every 3 minutes and we thought we would go crazy.  In time, we learned how to tune out and pause before resuming our conversation like nothing had happened.  You have also probably had the experience where you have a headache or a toothache, but some good news or a funny program on the TV, makes you forget all about it. These are all examples of changing focus.

So, instead of waiting for the snoring to start – which makes you hyper-sensitive to it – focus your attention on something else.  Self-hypnosis is a terrific way of doing this.  Self-hypnosis can be used simply to relax, or to get you to focus on something else – a change you want to make perhaps.  You might also want to think about having hypnotherapy with a professional who can help you to not notice the snoring so that you can enjoy a restful and restorative sleep. My book "An Inside Job" teaches you how to do this for yourself simply and effectively and even has a CD to guide your self-hypnosis practice.  Another option is to listen to a hypnosis recording such as Sleep Well which will ease you into relaxing sleep.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2014

Tricia Woolfrey is a hypnotherapist, coach, wellness practitioner and author based in Byfleet Village and Harley Street. www.yourempoweredself.co.uk. 0845 130 0854.

How to Have a Stress Free Christmas

Sress Free Christmas

You may wonder why on earth I am writing about Christmas in November, but already the shops are streaming Christmas music, the shelves are full of gift ideas and, it seems, ‘tis already the season to be jolly.  If you don't start planning now, it will be too late to have a stress-free Christmas.  And we all know that Christmas can be a very stressful time. It’s the pressure of the family being together and everyone having unrealistic expectations. Many anticipate an idealised experience yet the reality can be more challenging.  It is a time to be realistic about what can be done to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone. Here are my tips to help you:

Planning is Key

Whatever you do, you need to plan Christmas well in advance to minimise the pressure.   This is where your time management and delegation skills are really useful.  Plan what to do and by when.  Just because this is the season of goodwill, doesn’t mean it all has to come from you!  Make it a team effort, in the spirit of goodwill.  Give everyone a job for the lead-up.  One person buys the groceries, another picks up the turkey, another organises the drinks, yet another arranges the tree, etc.  Make this the year that you teach people how to treat you – you are not the do-er of all things!  And, if you are one of those for whom Christmas just happens, do help out, you have no idea how hard it is to pull everything together alone.

Remember that a lot of things can be ordered on the internet – make the most of it and you save a lot of trudging around in the madness which is the Christmas crowds.

Avoiding Debt at Christmas

Budget how much you have to spend – and only what you can afford.  Christmas is about being with people you love, not about buying the most expensive present possible or having a table full to brimming with food which would feed the whole street.

Allocate how much of this budget can be spent on food and how much on presents.  Then allocate how much you will spend on each person.   Make a list of what you will buy each person and stick to it.  Sometimes the simplest presents are the best.  One of the nicest gifts I received were some hand-made biscuits beautifully packaged.   If funds are tight, consider making it a family rule that no present should exceed a nominal amount.  This can be really fun and will waken up those creative juices, avoid the family rivalry of who spent the most money and bring Christmas in line with what its really all about.

Now, make a food shopping list, and stick to it.  Many people waste a phenominal amount of food.  There’s no excuse to over-buy now as the shops are open almost every day so you can always pop out for extras.  And you don’t need every type of chocolate and every type of cheese and twelve deserts to choose from.  Moderation is key. It will help your waistline too!

The Good, The Family and the Ugly

For the actual day, delegate someone to keep the drinks topped up, another to make sure the CDs are changed regularly, a diplomat to defuse any arguments, a washing up team, someone to organise the party games and a kindly, patient soul to look after Great Uncle George.  In terms of organising the food, perhaps someone could bring a starter and someone else can bring the dessert.

You don’t have to be a hero – it’s your day too!  Involving everyone can really help develop a convivial family atmosphere if done in the right way.

High expectations often lead to disappointment and Christmas is renowned for family disputes.  Keep your Christmas sweet by being realistic about what to expect so that tiny spats don’t develop into full-blown rows.  If you see a row developing, use some diversionary tactics such as asking someone to help in the kitchen, or take the dog out for a walk or have a fun forfeit for each transgression of the peace.  The transgressor can then set the next forfeit so people know what to expect and it can be all part of the fun.

Perfect Balance

Allow yourself not to be perfect.  The most fun can be had by what goes wrong rather than what goes right.  Don’t take it all too seriously and you will enjoy it more.  Too many people suffer from sense of humour failure and this can really feed into family tensions.

Typically, we will see more of our family and more family members at Christmas than any other time of the year.  It can be pretty intense and it’s important to take some personal time out on your own.  Perhaps a leisurely bath, a walk, read a book, reflect on all the highlights of the  year.
Enjoy this season of goodwill by planning early for it.  Do you have any tips that can help others plan for their Christmas with more Merry and less stress?  Do share!

And may I take this opportunity of wishing you the best Christmas ever – it all starts now!

Warmest regards,
Tricia

PS  For gift ideas to help create positive change for the people you love, visit www.self-help-resources.co.uk.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2013

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist and author, and utilises bioenergetics to help you be the best you can be.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

Tips for Having An Amicable Divorce

Divorce Help

 

Whatever the circumstances for the breakdown of the marriage, it is important to approach your divorce amicably.  This will enable both of you to salvage a post-divorce relationship (important if you have children); save money on solicitors’ bills and keep stress levels to a minimum.

At the time of the split, it may seem almost impossible to imagine you could have an amicable divorce. Emotions are running high and you are most probably feeling very negatively towards your husband/wife.  So how do you have an amicable divorce?

 

Here are 6 top tips:

  1. Be business-like
    This may sound cold but it is important to put aside your personal feelings for your spouse, when approaching the divorce process.
  2. Be respectful
    You may be feeling quite negative about your spouse at the moment. But remember, you once loved them, have shared your life with them and perhaps had a family with them. Respect their point of view even if you don’t agree with it.
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff
    Fighting over every small detail during the divorce is bad news. It will increase your stress levels as well as your legal costs. There can be no winners and losers in a divorce case.
  4. Put the children first
    All decisions must be made in the best interests of the children. This creates a positive environment for an on-going co-parenting relationship.
  5. Be honest
    Not being up front about information is going to cause animosity between you and your spouse when you are trying to resolve issues in the legal case. Be honest with your solicitor and your spouse.
  6. Live in the present
    Try not to dwell on the past. Unfortunately, you cannot undo what has been said and done to bring about the divorce. Live in the present to ensure you make the best decisions for your future.

©Rhiannon Ford 2012

Rhiannon Ford is a divorce coach and consultant. She provides practical help and emotional support to people going through divorce and separation. Rhiannon practised as a family law solicitor for many years, and is also a personal development coach. She uses her legal experience and coaching skills to provide clarity and comfort to help navigate her clients through the complexities of the divorce process. Find out more about her divorce consultancy services at www.rhiannonford.co.uk.

Stress and the Five Pillars

Stress Management by Tricia Woolfrey

Stress seems to be an ever-present force in many people’s lives.  If you are lucky, you will have long periods of positive stress interspersed with periods of enjoyable calm, punctuated by the odd bout of negative stress (nobody can avoid it altogether).  If you aren’t that lucky, you may be encouraged to learn that it is possible to manage your stress but first of all it is useful to understand more about it.

There are basically three levels of stress.  The first level is calm.  You’ve heard the expression “he is so laid back he’s horizontal”?  Well, you need a little stress to have sufficient adrenaline to function at your best.  You also need a little calm so that you recharge your batteries and create balance in your life.

The second level is eustress.  This is any stress which has a beneficial effect.  It provides feelings of fulfilment and achievement.  It is where you feel energised and focused and in your flow.  It gives you confidence and makes you feel empowered.  However, too much excitement can also be bad for you as it raises your adrenaline and heart rate too high.  So relaxation is important for balance.

The third level is negative stress and this is what can be harmful to your mood, your relationships, your productivity and your health.

The five pillars, below, are the ways you respond to or contribute to stress:  psychologically, emotionally, physically, spiritually and life-load.  They each interact with the other to influence your stress in one way or another:

THE FIVE PILLARS
PSYCHOLOGICAL   EMOTIONAL PHYSICAL  LIFESTYLE   SPIRITUAL
Your thoughts Your feelings Nutrition & biochemistry Life load Purpose & meaning
Your behavioural response to stress Your emotional response to stress Your physical response to stress How your lifestyle contributes to stress Your ability to transcend negative stress

Your thoughts create feelings – if you think a negative thought you feel bad, and if you think a positive thought you feel good.  Your feelings, in turn create a physical response.  How you treat your body can also create an emotional response (have you had the feeling when you are over-tired and become tearful or irritable?  Or too much coffee makes you anxious?).  Your life-load – how much you have to do – can leave you feeling exhausted.  And finally, if you lack purpose and meaning in life, your ability to deal with stress can be compromised.

When your thinking is positive, you feel emotionally strong; when you take care of your health you contribute to your emotional resilience; when you manage your life so there is a balance of doing and being, you feel a sense of equilibrium to rise above challenges; and when your life has purpose and meaning then you are more able to deal with life’s trials and tribulations.  This then gives you the five foundations:

THE FIVE FOUNDATIONS
Clarity ▪ Skills ▪ Confidence ▪ Health ▪ Energy

As an integrative therapist, I work on all these levels to help people develop their stress resilience, become healthier, happier and more confident. To find out more call me on 0345 130 0854.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

About Tricia Woolfrey

Tricia Woolfrey is a hypnotherapist, coach and wellness practitioner with practices in Byfleet Village, Surrey and Harley Street London.  She is a trainer and author.

Contact:
tricia@yourempoweredself.co.uk
www.yourempoweredself.co.uk
0345 130 0854

The Art of Conscious Breathing

The Art of Conscious BreathingThe single most important thing any of us will ever do is to breathe. Yet how often do we think of our breathing? Most people take shallow little breaths that only reach the top part of our lungs, while our lungs reach from just below the shoulder bone to the bottom of the rib cage – and we have two of them!

Our breath is fundamental to life: all our bodily processes are powered by it. If we don’t breathe fully, our food is not digested properly and nutrients from our diet or supplements are not fully utilised. We are not able to eliminate our bodily waste and our cells are not oxygenated well enough. If we limit our breathing, we limit the amount of energy we put into our bodies, we limit our life force.

The diaphragm muscle is also known as the ‘spiritual’ muscle. Yogis believe that if we are not engaging the diaphragm when we breathe we are not getting the prana from the air and are cutting our connection to the Universal life force, or the morphogenetic field, as Rupert Sheldrake puts it.

Babies breathe beautifully. Their lungs look like little bellows going up and down and in, they almost appear being breathed. If we start off like this, why on earth do we end up taking shallow little breaths? The answer is: Life Happens – to us all! As a natural defence mechanism, when we experience something upsetting we hold our breath. This action puts a part or all of what we are experiencing (depending on the degree of shock) into our unconscious. When we start to breathe again our breathing pattern is disrupted. By the time we reach adulthood, or sometimes long before, we’ve had so many of these upsets or shocks that our breathing pattern is limited to just the top of our lungs. This happens so gradually that we don’t notice it. It is extremely unhealthy. As the saying goes, ‘Shallow breathing leads to a shallow reflection of self’.

What can we do about this? Take some deep breaths for a start, make sure that the air goes deep into the lungs. It is very important that we use our diaphragm muscle, to ensure that the oxygen will get to the very bottom of our lungs. OK then, easy – there you go – sorted!

If you open up your breathing pattern you will also open up your life in a way that is both subtle and profound. This does take a level of commitment as our defence mechanisms are very strong and we tend to hold on to what we know in order to feel safe, even if it no longer serves us.

It might not be easy to keep this up to begin with. After all, it is about changing the pattern of a lifetime. This is where I can support you with Conscious Connected Breathing sessions. The technique is thousands of years old – it is a fundamental part of Kriya Yoga and also mentioned in The Tao.

About Judith Davis

Judith Davis is a Breathwork Practitioner based in Woking, Surrey. She has been practicing for 6 years after a 3 year diploma training course in 2005. In July she co-ran a 5 Day Breathwork Retreat in Glastonbury and is now creating a Workshop for Women, along with a Nutritionist and a Lifestyle Coach, in Woking on 12 November called “EAT BREATHE LOVE".

Her mission initially was to “Get Surrey Breathing” but it moved on to “Get Britain Breathing” and now encompasses “The World”.

She is married with three children and two grandchildren.

Judith’s website: www.spinalbreath.com

Contact: judith@spinalbreath.com 

Tel. 01483 82849 Mob. 07887 477107