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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

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.

Symptoms and Causes of Depression

Symptoms and Causes of Depression

 

This week is Depression Awareness Week.

Depression feels like a hopeless place that you are trapped in.  It can feel as though the life has been sucked out of you.  Whether you are able to hide your depression from the outside world or not, you can’t hide it from yourself and, if not dealt with soon, can get worse as each day passes.

There are a number of symptoms which are used to diagnose depression.  If you have five or more on this list and at least one from the top two for two weeks, it is a sign that you may be depressed:

  1. Depressed mood most of the time
  2. Loss of pleasure or interest in things you would normally enjoy
  3. Loss of energy
  4. Eating more or less than usual
  5. Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  6. Poor concentration
  7. Restlessness or lethargy
  8. Feelings of worthlessness
  9. Guilt
  10. Hopelessness
  11. Withdrawal from relationships
  12. Suicidal thoughts

If you are suffering from suicidal thoughts or the symptoms are strong, you need to get medical help immediately.  Otherwise, there is plenty you can do to help yourself.  Depression can be caused by several factors:

  • Your thoughts (which create feelings).  If you are stuck in a negative thinking spiral then practicing positive thinking, as explained in the book Think Positive, Feel Good can make a huge difference to you.
  • Biochemical – this is the effect of what’s happening in your body.  Depression can be caused by malnutrition, absorption issues (where you are eating well but your body is not absorbing the nutrients effectively),  hormonal imbalance and a lack of the feel good chemicals such as serotonin.  The Asyra Pro is a bioresonence screening technology which can help to determine where there is imbalance and create balance for you.  A session will include a nutritional assessment to see what your body needs to get back into balance.
  • Lifestyle – depression can be triggered by an incident or a general feeling of overwhelm where you simply don’t feel in control any more.  It is often a result of other emotions which aren’t addressed such as anger, sadness, boredom,  guilt,  loneliness, stress and frustration.  When you acknowledge and deal with these emotions in a positive way, depression can be averted or diminished.  If you feel this may be you, why not book a consultation to see what can be done to help you?  An initial telephone consultation is free of charge and I can be reached on 0845 130 0854.
  • Spiritual – sometimes depression can be caused by a lack of purpose or meaning in your life.  If you feel that life is just the same-old-same-old, or that there is something missing, then finding some meaning can make all the difference.  This can be difficult to do on your own, especially if you are depressed, but there are tools and techniques in my book 21 Ways and 21 Days to the Life You Want.  Or working together may help you get there more quickly.

It certainly doesn’t help to have a loved one say “pull yourself together”.  But it can help to see a professional who can determine the cause and help you through it so you can start to enjoy life again.  Do call for a free telephone consultation on 0345 130 0854.  You don’t have to go through this alone.

© 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 0345 130 0854 www.yourempoweredself.co.uk.

Substance Abuse, Addiction or Habit?

Substance Abuse by Tricia Woolfrey

Have you ever wondered whether you, or someone close to you is addicted to a substance, or if it’s just a bad habit?  Or perhaps that they abuse substances?  There is a lot of confusion between these terms which I would like to clarify in this article.

A habit is simply an automatic action, without any dependency.  It is something you do without thinking.  Like always having a biscuit with your tea, or brushing your teeth as soon as you get out of bed in the morning.  You do them automatically.

Addiction refers to being unable to stop a particular behaviour, despite repeated attempts to do so.  It is more a psychological dependency which can build a tolerance requiring more and more to get the same effect.  It is no longer about pleasure, it is about need as though the person can’t function without it.  The tolerance build up can fool the person into thinking they don’t have a problem, such as the heavy drinker who doesn’t get drunk.  This actually means that he has built up a tolerance which can hide the dangerous consequences for his health.  An addict will experience withdrawal symptoms – both psychological and physical which can be extremely unpleasant.

An addict will also be unable to stop, will exceed self-imposed limits (I’ll only have one), the behaviour will cut into the time they would usually spend doing other things and they will use despite the negative effect it has on their health.

An addiction can involve substances such as drugs (prescription or recreational), stimulants, cigarettes and alcohol. It can also include compulsive behaviours such as internet use, sex, gambling, shopping, or work.

Substance abuse, by contrast, involves getting into recurrent trouble as a consequence of the behaviour.  It is defined as one or more of the following over a 12 month period: reckless behaviour such as driving under the influence; the behaviour affecting work or school; continued use despite the impact on personal relationships; legal and/or financial problems as a result of the behaviour such as being charged with disorderly conduct, or going into debt to fund the behaviour.

A habit can easily lead to an addiction and addicts can kid themselves that it’s only a habit.  So, good questions to ask yourself are “is this habit positive and balanced?  Or is it negative and out of balance?”  “Can I stop now?” If it has become out of balance and you are unable to stop – it has become an addiction.  Addictions can also build up as a means of distracting from what else is happening in your life.  Distracting yourself is not a healthy way of coping so it’s important to build up your internal resources so that you are able to deal with life’s stressors without the need to resort to distractions.

It’s also important to beware that, in stopping one addiction, you don’t start a dependency on another addiction, for example moving from a dependency on alcohol to over-spending.  This becomes the doorway to start drinking again.  It’s always helpful to see a professional to deal with these complex issues.

If you would like to find out more about any of this, contact Tricia Woolfrey www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

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.

The Bowen Technique

Bowen Technique with Diana Menzies Smith

 

Have you considered The Bowen Technique?

Back pain? Sports injury? Mobility problems?
Frozen shoulder? Something else? Is this you?


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What is the Bowen Technique?

The Bowen Technique is a complementary therapy that works over muscles, fascia, ligaments, tendons, nerves and the skeleton to accelerate healing, realign and balance the body.  It has an excellent track record in helping relieve many symptoms.  Results can be remarkable, even from the first session.

How does it work?

Gentle, powerful moves send messages deep into the body, penetrating to a cellular level to realign and balance the body.  Pauses allow the body time to respond to the work, begin the healing process and re-orient to a previously healthy state.  Bowen moves treat the body as a whole or can target a specific problem.  A Bowen treatment will enhance and complement other medical treatments, and conditions other than those being treated are often resolved, whether structural, physiological or emotional.

What’s it like?

Each Bowen therapy session varies according to the particular problems of the client.  By focusing on the lower and mid back and legs, the upper back, shoulders and the neck, a sense of wellbeing can be achieved, helping relaxation, aiding sleep – helping to remove everyday stress and anxiety that can make us feel under-par or prevent us functioning at our optimum. The Bowen moves are light and very precise.  Its effects go on working for days following treatment and can be long lasting.  For this reason it is better to wait a week either side of having other manual therapy.  The moves may be given through light clothing or on the skin and can assist recovery from many conditions from traumatic injury to chronic illness, depending on each individual’s capacity to heal.  It is considered suitable for everyone from pregnant women to new-born babies, the frail and the elderly.  People are amazed at the sensations and results.

Diana Menzies-Smith BTAA BTAUK IIHHT RSA VTCT is an Advanced Practitioner of The Bowen Therapeutic Technique, registered with the Bowen Association UK, Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council.

If you would like a treatment with Diana Menzies-Smith’s private clinic in Weybridge:
Call:  01932 843269
Email: diana@track2health.com
www.track2health.com

To find a therapist local to your area visit: www.bowen-technique.co.uk

Hypnotherapy for a Change

Hypnotherapy by Tricia Woolfrey

Creating change in your life can be difficult – habits can be ingrained for many years and it can seem easier to stay stuck than move forward.

In the hands of a skilled professional, hypnotherapy is great at overcoming those blocks to achieving change, making change easier.  However, it’s success depends on your motivation, which a good hypnotherapist will assess in your first session.  Hypnotherapy can’t force change on you but facilitate the change through you, so that you regain control over your life.  It doesn’t take away your free-will in any way.

Would it surprise you to know that hypnosis has been around for thousands of years?  It was also accepted by the British Medical Association in 1958.  Hypnotherapy, is a process not an event and the number of sessions you need will depend on the complexity of the problem and the degree to which you are reliant on the problem as a coping mechanism for other things.

Your choice of hypnotherapist is very important – find someone who is well trained and who has a lot of experience.   Finding someone who really understands psychology is a must too, as there can often be subtle nuances to behaviour which will affect the approach taken.  Don’t be afraid to ask for their qualifications and what continuous professional development they do – it’s important to have someone with a strong level of skill who is motivated to keep their skills up to date.  You also want to find someone who you feel comfortable with.

So, what IS hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis allows communication with your unconscious mind – that part of you which is constantly influencing your thoughts and behaviour –  to help you achieve your goals and overcome any obstacles and unconscious blocks.

It is an altered state of awareness called trance, and is something we experience naturally every day – like when you drive from A to B and don’t recall the journey, because your conscious mind has been thinking about other things, or when you are out for a whole evening and feel that you have only been out for short while, or even when you cry at a sad film.  All of these are natural hypnotic states.  During hypnosis, you are in control throughout..  It is not sleep.  It is not even relaxation, though most people feel relaxed when they are hypnotised.

Hypnotherapy  is creating this naturally occurring phenomena for therapeutic effect – that which is good for your emotional and physical wellbeing.

Whilst hypnotherapy is not a magic bullet, it does need your active collaboration. It is a very powerful tool to help you on your journey.

You are in control throughout

Hypnotherapy helps you achieve what you want for yourself.  You can’t be forced to do anything you don’t want to do or say anything you don’t want to say – you are in control throughout.

Almost everyone can be hypnotised

Anyone from the age of around 5 with at least a normal level of intelligence can be hypnotised – if you want to be.  You cannot be hypnotised against your will so feeling comfortable with your hypnotherapist is very, very important.  I like to give the first half hour of my session free of charge and no obligation – so that my client can be 100% sure – and this really helps their progress.

What does it feel like?

Everyone experiences it differently, but most people simply feel as though they have their eyes shut, and able to hear everything that goes on around them.  Nothing more than that.  Others feel a tremendous sense of relaxation, yet others feel tingly or numb, heavy or light.    Or all of the above.  Or none of them.  The secret is not to expect a particular experience, not to try to relax, simply allow it to happen in whichever way is right for you.

How is it different to stage hypnosis?

People often think that hypnotherapy will be a magic cure where someone can make them do anything without any effort on their part – just like the stage shows.  And sometimes it is.  However, the only similarity with a stage show is that they both use the state of hypnosis.  A stage show uses this state for entertainment.  All individuals who participate do so because they want to.  The engagement is momentary.  There is no emotional agenda involved – just fun.  With hypnotherapy, this can involve working on problems which have often existed for years, through layers of self-awareness, vulnerability, denial, and even resistance.  If there was no resistance, you would have resolved the problem on your own.  Working with your subconscious mind with hypnotherapy, it is easier to overcome these, developing new ways of being so that you can live the life you want.

What people say about hypnotherapy

Here are some typical comments people make to show you the different ways people respond:

  • “I got immediate results – I was very impressed!”
  • “I didn’t notice anything until friends and family started to say how much happier and calmer I seemed – then I realised I was!”
  • “I’m still not sure if I was hypnotised but I do know that I have achieved what I wanted to – so I guess I must have been”

If you are looking to make changes in your life, do try hypnotherapy.  It just makes change easier.  It helps you deal with stress, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and insomnia.  It’s also great for weight loss, smoking cessation and IBS.  If you have anything which stress makes worse, hypnotherapy can usually make better.

My clients regularly tell me that they gained far more than they came for as often other problems are resolved at the same time.  Hypnotherapy could be the best investment you ever make in yourself.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

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.

10 Steps to Boosting Your Seratonin Naturally

Seratonin and Depression by Tricia Woolfrey
Feeling good is your birthright.  But it isn’t always easy when there is so much doom and gloom in the media, so many demands placed upon you and with little time to think about your wellbeing.  We can all feel a little low sometimes, but if you are feeling low more than seems natural, you may be low in serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter – a chemical messenger in the body communicating signals between neurons and cells – and is good for:

  • Mood stability
  • Self-esteem
  • Impulse-control
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Promoting restful sleep
  • Pain control
  • Overcoming negativity
  • Feelings of wellbeing

There are numerous things you can do to boost serotonin.  Some people do this synthetically through anti-depressants but these don’t always work and you can become addicted to them.  Or you can do this naturally with the following healthy tips:

  1. Eat protein with each meal
  2. Have a small jacket potato (with the skin) before you go to bed – it’s OK to have a little butter with it too. (Read Potatoes, Not Prozac for more information on this).
  3. Reduce serotonin leaches such as wheat and rye bread.
  4. Enjoy some sunlight every day (even if it is a grey day, you can benefit from the sun’s rays).
  5. Practice positive thinking.  It’s good to start your day with a positive focus too – what you are looking forward to in your day for example.  Read Think Positive, Feel Good for excellent help in this area.
  6. Moderate aerobic exercise (too much can have the opposite effect).  Exercise such as aerobics, running and cycling are particularly good.  If you aren’t in the mood for exercise, it could be a sign of low serotonin.
  7. Regular massages feel good and promote positive serotonin.
  8. Manage your stress levels.  EFT is an excellent way of doing this.  See www.self-help-resources EFT Demo.
  9. Look at a supplement regime with a qualified nutritionist – preferably using the Asyra Pro which, in itself, can boost your serotonin levels.  
  10. Eat the following serotonin-boosting foods: 

     

    Vegetables

    Spirulina seaweed
    Spinach
    Soybeans
    Parsley
    Asparagus
    Mung Beans
    Greens
    Bamboo shoots
    Mushrooms (white or portabello)
    Red leaf lettuce
    Soy Sauce
    Tofu
    Nigari

    *****

    Fish and Seafoods

    Prawns
    Lobster
    Crab
    Crayfish
    Cod
    Tuna
    Dover Sole
    Mussels
    Snapper
    Salmon

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    Fruit

    Plantain
    Pineapple
    Banana
    Kiwi
    Plums

     

    Meat

    Pork
    Game
    Lamb
    Beef
    Veal
    Duck
    Turkey
    Chicken

    *
       

    Seeds

    Sesame seeds
    Sunflower seeds

     

    Dairy

    Fat free cottage cheese
    Mozarella cheese from skimmed milk
    Low fat cheddar cheese
    Skimmed milk

     

If you follow this 10-step plan, you should find that you enjoy a more positive mood, better sleep a greater sense of wellbeing without the negative side effects of anti-depressants.  You know it makes sense.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

Tricia Woolfrey
tricia@pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk
www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk
0845 130 0854

About Tricia Woolfrey

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