Tag Archives: Stress Management

The Stress Response

In these challenging times I have been able to work with several groups (online) and deliver workshops that explained the stress response and gave them tips and strategies for managing stress. After delivering these Stress Management presentations some participants have asked for copies of the slides. I have a conundrum…..to share or not to share – that is the question. There are polarizing views about this. One is if you have put up a presentation, then they are in the public domain and should be freely shared. At the other end of the spectrum the viewpoint is that the slides are secondary to the actual presentation.

Some participants are polite enough to ask if they can share with others the slides that they have saved by taking screen shots and I am grateful that they asked. With this in mind, I am going to share some of the graphics from a variety of recent presentations alongside some of the commentary I would have used.

Managing stressThe stress response is elicited when we realize that we can’t control events. When this happens, we can often start to feel anxious and this can lead to a cascade of other emotions or behaviours if we don’t have the appropriate tools and strategies to manage this response. Subconsciously our nervous system is on high alert as we look out for the risks in our environment.

Currently, many people are experiencing  fear regarding either their or a loved one’s health with the end result of the flight/fight or freeze stress response.

One of the first things I suggest is to develop a regular deep breathing session which helps to managing stressdampen down the effects of the stress response. The wearing of masks also anchors the emotion to the subconscious and it is important to spend a few moments in deep breathing after removing your mask. The next step is to acknowledge the problem and then to view it from a new perspective. By understanding the phases that we go through during times of change, we can come to a degree of acceptance. This is similar to the five stages of grief that Elizabeth Kubler Ross wrote about in her groundbreaking work in 1969. Another helpful strategy is to use a Gratitude Journal. You can also follow my most recent 30 Days of Gratitude challenge on Facebook or LinkedIn – feel free to contribute what you are grateful for as well.

The stress response also causes various hormones to be released in our bodies. The most well known are adrenaline and cortisol and these are released in response to a fearful or dangerous situation. The effects of long term stress can impact upon your health – lowering your immunity, increasing blood pressure and having an impact on your digestive system.

This is why it is so important to have strategies that you can use automatically when faced with a stressful situation. Not all stress is bad. There is the flip side – eustress and when this is experienced, you get a flood of what I like to call “stress managementhappy hormones”.

By making sure you take time to look after yourself – remember when we could fly and the pre talk was about using the oxygen mask for yourself first? Meditation, being out in nature, exercise, eating healthy foods and love and laughter are all key elements how you can get these “happy hormones” and manage your stress response.

With Stage 4 restrictions still in place, Hypnotherapy and Coaching consultations are still by phone or online should you feel that you need some help in managing your stress. Reiki is also available and a distant/remote session is often useful in reducing stress.

The following form will need to be completed, along with an intake form if you are a new client and returned before your scheduled session. 2020 Teletherapy Informed Consent

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Focus

So here we are….. in lockdown #2 for Melbourne.  I’m actually not complaining as I have more than enoufocusgh to keep me busy with the distraction of Lucy the Labrador and studies that not only nourish my mind and soul, but will create a new focus in my business later in the year. It’s a well known adage that what you focus on, you will find. If you have ever been shopping for a new car and decided on the make and model, then you will most likely start to see these more frequently. Likewise, if you start to focus on negative things or calamities, then you will most likely start to see or experience these things too.  I know a person who constantly expects the worst of people and businesses that they buy from and you can guess  what they create.  Vehicles that  break down or have defects,   dream holidays that turn into nightmares (& litigation) .. the list goes on….

In regards to the current situation, I certainly don’t want to minimalize the seriousness of the situation, but if the precepts of the Buddha are applied, then a positive outlook will support  you at this time.Imagine your good health (& take appropriate steps), keep in regular contact with like minded, positive souls to check in and buoy your spirits, reach out to those who you think might be struggling and offer some time to listen and affirm how they are going.

Let me explain…. if you are fearful – then you are in a stress response. Your stress hormones will signal  – and animals are sentient to this – your current emotional state.  Are you in  flight, fight or freeze mode?

Your imagination can create any amount of scenarios – good, bad or catastrophic.  By regular meditation/visualization/hypnosis- whatever you want to call it, you can create in your imagination a better or positive future, which your subconscious mind (like a 2 year old) will think is your current reality.  Imagine feeling good more often than feeling fear – you still need to to be sensible about precautions around social interactions.

 

 

Coaching vs Counselling

What suits you?

Both have advantages and disadvantages, but having received sessions in both, I feel that the coaching model is more effective.

With coaching you don’t need to stay stuck in our stories, in fact the coach often doesn’t even need to hear your story, just where and how you want to move forward. Combined with some NLP (neuro linguistic programming) techniques and a little Hypnotherapy, personally I have found that amazing changes can be made with a minimum of fuss (and no snotty tissues…… bonus!)

Athletes have been using coaches for decades to improve their performance and there is a growing number of people using coaching for various other pursuits. Many executives and business owners have a business coach, singers have a voice coach and there are other niches such as health coaching and of course, Emotional Intelligence coaching.

However, for certain people, counselling interventions such as CBT are really valuable in changing thoughts and behaviours over a longer period of time. Most importantly, the rapport you have with your coach or counsellor is the defining factor in the success of your session.

Mindful May

With the new month just days away and it being promoted as Mindful May,  I was very mindful myself (pardon the pun) to finally complete my online meditation course.

It was started sometime ago, but somehow most of the audio that I recorded for it disappeared into the ether when updating some software.

The next hurdle to overcome was Mercury in Retrograde, noted for issues with electronics and the like……  I couldn’t get rid of the noise of the computer fan that ran in the background. Eventually I found an app that I could use with an iPad and completed the last of the recordings just in time to get the course up and running for May.

If you have never meditated before and are not sure how to or what sort of meditation suits you, then this introduction to meditation will help you work that out.

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Work Experience

Planting seedsSetting up in a Hypnotherapy or Coaching practice takes time. Do the study, then some more and then a steep learning curve on how to market yourself and perhaps find a niche.

“Find a niche an inch wide and a mile deep” was a comment made in one lecture I attended.

All well and good, but a couple of years after graduating, I was still looking for that niche like the proverbial needle in a haystack. Around me were fellow students who seemed to have easily and effortlessly slipped into their niches …Past Life Regressions, Lives between Lives, Style Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Business Coaching, Weight Loss, Stop Smoking… and the list goes on.

The bookshelves are groaning with the weight of recommended reading. The printer spits out marketing letters on a regular basis. I have sat down and written about my ideal client so many times I feel like we are conjoined twins…..

Yes, the clients are coming, but for a variety of reasons.

Mostly for weight with an underlying theme of stress.

Now that’s something I understand!

Perhaps I have stumbled upon my niche, except it doesn’t look an inch wide… more like a mile wide and a bottomless chasm deep.

The interest in stress started when I was still teaching. I noticed that if I kept an appearance of calm, then the students seemed to respond better. Combining a teaching job and parenting 2 young children meant that my meditation practice was made up of incidental moments rather than a half hour session at any one time. Breathing at the traffic lights, mindfulness when on yard duty – appreciating the moments of nature… a leaf…. an interesting cloud….

Leaving teaching for a couple of years, I went to a job where I was able to observe how people with learning difficulties reacted to stress. An interest in how the mind adapts to stress grew from here and CBT based Adolescent Counseling beckoned. Back to teaching and full-time for three years. This time the universe threw me a curved ball. Being back in the classroom with a different perspective on student learning was fabulous, but the staffroom was toxic and not entirely from the black mould growing around the school.

But that’s a whole different story to be told later…

I left.

I took time out.

I studied some more and graduated with a Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy and a Cert 4 in Training. I didn’t complete the Medical Intuitive course I thought was my next journey.

I went and sat in the Simpson Desert.

Then I went back to teaching part-time and a small client list part-time. Coaching studies to augment the Hypnotherapy and I was just muddling along. I didn’t have anything specifically wrong with my health, but just didn’t have the energy that I used to. Palpitations were becoming more frequent, but I dismissed them as a result of the coffee I was drinking. I didn’t notice that I wasn’t meditating any more. I was asked to speak about women and stress for a local council’s Women’s Network.  Scroll back through some of the older posts and you’ll find that speech somewhere and the events that transpired a few months later!

So now it seems that my niche found me, rather than the other way around.

How curious is that?

I’m presenting a workshop next month with the topic “From Stress to Strength – Building Resilience for the Small Business Owner”  and I’m preparing for that with a bit of work experience…

Yep!! I’m STRESSED!!

Just getting in a bit of practice….. some good stress involved this time with the imminent arrival of a grandson…some bad stress with a blind, diabetic aging dog that has to be let out to pee 2 -3 times a night.

Sleep deprivation is not good for stress management!

PastThe body mind connection is letting me know I need to manage the stress a bit better, so the emWave is getting a good workout several times a day.

Last night was a case in point. I dream. Colour. Action… always vivid. Sometimes so full of action I am tired when I wake up. Sometimes, not very often now, the events are too vivid & I have been known to wake with a blood curdling yell. That didn’t happen last night, but I woke as I threw off the covers and went to confront some intruders that weren’t there and who came through a doorway that wasn’t there….. it took quite some time to convince my conscious mind that they and the doorway didn’t exist.  This time the dog waking and going for a wander down the street at 2am was just what I needed as the activity in going looking for him helped to dissipate the stress hormones and I was able to get back to sleep relatively quickly.

A couple of emWave sessions before starting writing showed that I was entering into “Coherence” fairly easily. More sessions scheduled this morning before the afternoon clients.

It’s all about putting yourself first, to better serve clients.

It could be called Work Experience!