Mindfulness While Doing Your Job: My Experiment

Everybody knows the benefits of mindfulness meditation.

From improved concentration, to even the ability to age slowly to restoration of peace of mind. And we can take this into the workplace, so we can be more productive with our tasks and be more happier in what we are doing.

What I’m saying is that being mindful has numerous benefits and if you can take this into the workplace, a place when you can get stressed very easily, your chances of panic attack recovery increases dramatically.

Even in a workplace where you find the workload dull and boring, mindfulness can be a great way in keeping yourself from being distracted, and therefore stopping mistakes by distraction from creeping in.

By stopping yourself from being distracted, you are consistently producing a higher quality of work, which should keep you in favor of your job and should, thanks to the decreased effects of the Amygdala, keep you as stress free as possible.

You see, I was going to write an article about mindfulness while actually doing your job. But then I decided against it for numerous reasons.

The Dilemma

When you are mindful, you are essentially in the, ‘hear and now’.

That’s fine, and we all need it to keep our stress levels at bay, stop panic attacks from flaring up, and ultimately have good peace of mind. The problem is in trying to be mindful enough to being present, yet still, ‘think’ as part of our job.

This was the dilemma I faced fairly recently. Being mindful while being at the work place… how can you be mindful, yet think in order to do your job?

Do you try to be present in between the small jobs you are doing, i.e. every small minute you have of free time?

This could seem slightly arduous, that only a very strong disciplined mind can achieve. We need to find something a bit more practical and more realistic to obtain; something that you can get into a habit of…that is to say, practicing it until you can do it without giving it a thought.

So instead of writing about mindfulness in the workplace, I’m going to do a 7 day experiment.

Starting from today, I’m going to incorporate a certain technique into my day-to-day running of things, and see how it will affect my way of thinking, my general focus, and ultimately my beliefs (I’m thinking that if I’m, ‘present’ as much as possible, surely this may indirectly affect what I believe in).

The Technique

In order for me to pull this off, I’m going to have to employ a famous mindfulness technique which is one that can be done using the tiniest of thinking power: Breathing.

I’m going to focus on my breathing, while trying to think about the task I am trying to achieve.

I have already done an earlier test on this, and found the results quite surprising; I found that although I could still think, I couldn’t daydream as easily as I could (I used to be a heavy fantasizer in days gone by).

And while my thoughts were quite clear, I found that I felt more at peace than when I was thinking fully.

The Drawback

Of course with any experiment, there will be some problems.

The first one I anticipate is the fantasying. I am big into day dreaming. I know it isn’t productive (i.e. it doesn’t help with achieving your goals, unless you focus that daydreaming into visualization) but I do fantasize quite a bit while doing my chores. So I don’t expect myself to be focused on my breath as much as I would like to.

Also, this is also sleep dependent. Having insomnia means that unless you have a great nights sleep, experiments like these are usually meaningless.

That is, unless you feel generally refreshed to begin with, people with attentional problems (like myself) find it hard to concentrate alone, not alone be mindful.

I’m hoping that if I can keep being focused on my breath slightly, my thoughts (although slow) will be more focused so I can still achieve my goals in the quickest time possible, while retaining the internal willpower and inner peace of mind that we expect mindfulness to achieve.

Keep in tune for the results next week;-)

 

Your Comfort Zone: The Ultimate Trickstar, and 6 Ways To Expand It!

Do you challenge your comfort zone? Do you know what a comfort zone is? Maybe you’ve heard about it, but not too bothered by it’s workings. That’s understandable. Shocking as it may seem (and being a self-professed self-improvement junkie), I recently came across this subject myself just recently (I know, that’s bad isn’t it;-). And yet the truth be told, as I have just discovered, challenging your comfort zone is something everybody really should be doing.

But what is your comfort zone?

Essentially, it is a behavioral zone where you are free of anxiety, and you maintain a steady level of physical performance. Needless to say, maintaining a steady level of physical performance can be deemed a bit subjective. But I digress here…what’s the point of pushing, or expanding your comfort zone, when it keeps you in an anxiety free state? After all, you don’t want to experience danger, do you?

Well, the thing is, the comfort zone is like a psychological blanket, which is nice for a while but soon smothers you up, so you don’t grow or evolve much further. While we need it initially (we have to, to say alive…it’s part of the survival mechanism of your body!) it can soon begin to limit your life experience.

Metaphorically, it’s kinda like living in the back of a cave. Sure, you’re safe and you’re not going to be attacked by animals much, but are you really living? On the outside world, there may be dangers of animals lurking around, but you will soon develop new skills to learn to adapt, and this skill process helps with you evolving as a person.

But we need to stop and ask ourselves the ultimate question, is stepping out of our comfort zone really, truly worthwhile?

Honestly, in my personal (but limited) experience, and from what I’ve read about successful people, the answer is a resounding yes. We all know people who always play it safe, yet do they really have the lifestyle that you crave…

didn’t think so!

Of course, there is a big difference in stepping out of your comfort zone slightly, and being in a stressful situation. When I’m talking about expanding your comfort zone, I’m talking about doing something that is going to make you slightly afraid, and that’s it. I’m not talking about doing something that is going to increase your stress levels.

Doing something that increases your stress levels is not only stupid, but it is downright dangerous (as well as mentally exhausting, which could cause problems with your body).

So, without further delay, I present quick ways of expanding your comfort zone.

1- Do something that makes you feel slightly uncomfortable (obviously)

2- Watch a program that you wouldn’t normally watch (and pay attention to it!)

3- Have a walk to your local village when you don’t feel like going outside

4- Go to bed earlier than usual

5- Talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to (but get centered first)

6- Do something quickly, the second you feel like putting it off (could be some housework, a chore, a task, sending an email, etc…)

I know the above sounds simple, but lots of simple things add up right? And the thing is, you’ll start to feel a bit better and more alive as a result. The real secret is to feel the small anxiety, and then do it anyway. When you do it, the anxiety is quickly doused by a feeling of small bliss. If you can somehow get hooked onto this feeling (what I call the, ‘courage drug’), it will make expanding your comfort zone a great adventure.

Just a few tips to get started that I noticed when I began doing this: Try to do this when you a mentally fresh, and not tired. Despite sounding easy, expanding your comfort zone is still a tricky thing to do, and your subconscious anxious feelings will flair up. It’s therefore easier to overcome this when you a fairly refreshed, then when you are exhausted and desperately need some sleep.

Don’t forget, the trick is to get used to feeling uncomfortable, before the, ‘courage drug’ takes over. To the degree that you feel uncomfortable, is to the degree the bigger the, ‘drug feeling’ is.

Please share this article with your friends and family, and let me know what you think in the box below;-)

 

The Top 6 Benefits Of Getting Your Sleep

Copyright: choreograph / 123RF Stock Photo

Everybody knows that sleep is important to you, but do you know just how important? They say it’s always quality over quantity, but are you sure you are getting your hours worth each night? For some adults, if it isn’t insomnia keeping them awake, it could be the pressure of job stress or even family obligations that’s doing the job.

I must confess, even though I’ve written an article on sleep before (last year I believe), even to this day, getting a great night sleep isn’t as easy as it sounds. Why? Well, for starters, bad habits die hard. When I was in my teens growing up, I would end up going to bed later and later, which ultimately caused my studying to suffer, and then my exams results. Secondly, stress in my adult life took it’s toll. And before I knew it, my twenties had come and gone.

You see, that’s the problem with a poor sleep schedule. Not only does it disrupt your body clock, but it makes the day wizz by without you appreciating it. And before you know, 6 months have already gone. By getting your sleep (somehow) you can make the most of your days and really appreciate being here in the moment. Here, I look at the top 6 benefits of getting your sleep.

1- Increases your immune system

Getting a good night sleep automatically boosts your bodies immune system, regardless if you eat plenty of fruit or not. If course, if you do eat your fruit, a good nights rest will naturally keep your body in good condition (from an illness view anyway). But even if you don’t eat that much fruit (I must confess, I don’t…) getting your sleep is a must for improved body immunity and a higher chance of fighting of illnesses.

Of course, if you do get ill, trying to get your sleep itself won’t be easy, and if you’re not careful, you may find yourself trapped in a viscous cycle, where you go to bed late and not dream much, followed by more illness, followed by more late sleep time etc. The trick is to find a way to relax, even attempt meditation (yes, I’ve done it, but not easy) so you can drift off and help your immune system. You can try listening to some Delta/Theta CD’s to help you drift off, if that helps, or drink some soothing Chamomile tea.

2- Reduces depression

Getting your hours of sleep will certainly help elevate your mood, and help reduce mood swings. From a spiritual standpoint, it could be said that the more sleep you have, the more you feel the higher vibrations of your soul, as well as your Chakras having a good proportion of Qi energy, which trickles through when you are dreaming (It’s been also said that dreaming is simply an unconscious out-of-body experience, as you are floating slightly above your body, so the Qi energy can trickle through and nourish your Chakras).

From a non-spiritual standpoint, getting you sleep does help with your mood, and also helps you to see the positive in a situation, when you would normally see the negative giving you a balanced and fair viewpoint at the situation at hand. And of course, it means that you don’t get stressed and anxious that easily, which means that you can better cope with tough tasks when they head in your direction.

3- Reduces the risk of death

Believe it or not, having your required amount of sleep will actually reduce the risk of death at an early age. Found in the, ‘Whitehall II Study’, Researchers from Britain looked at around 10’000 British Civil Servants over 2 decades, for sleep loss, and found out that the servants who had reduced their sleep from 7 hours to around 5 hours (or fewer) almost doubled their risk of death from different sources. Coupled with the fact, that sleep deprivation means that certain famous hormones are not being able to nourish certain parts of the body, and it’s not difficult to find out why.

4- Releases more Human Growth Hormone into the body

Probably one of the most famous of the hormones that are released when you are sleeping. True, you can buy supplements to compensate, but for a better, natural way of doing it, sleep will always be number 1. And why? Because The Human Growth Hormone is responsible for so many good things that our body needs, from promoting growth, to increasing thickened skin to improving muscle mass and bone structure.

That is why bodybuilding take HGH so seriously, they know how it can help increase muscle mass for building more muscle. Supplements can also help, but if you do want to give your body (and brain) a good head start, getting your required dosage of sleep is a must.

5- Increases your mental skills

This may seem a bit obvious, yet it amazes me how some people really work their brains hard, when a good night sleep will not only make them a slightly happier person, but they also don’t have to fight hard to get their minds working!. Essentially a good sleep (especially in the long run) will help with your cognitive functioning, your alertness and will help you visualizing (yeah, don’t try focused visualizing when you are tired, it doesn’t work very easily!). Essentially, you are helping your brain so you can makes better judgment calls, improve memory, and be more attentive to what you are doing…always valuable in the workplace.

Of course, this is easier said than done if you are stressed, or suffer from an anxiety disorder of some sort. Getting to bed itself is tricky, especially if you suffer from OCD, and actually being relaxed to fall asleep can be trickier still. Somehow, you have to find a way to relax, so this is where meditation can come into play, or a nice relaxing warm bath. If you do feel particularly anxious over a certain thing, try your hand at EFT (no pun intended;-). You’ll might find that you get the relaxed mindset that your body needs after all.

6. Reduces the risk of gaining weight

According to a study conducted in 2004, the people who slept for less than 6 hours a day were 30% more likely to suffer from obesity than those who slept between 7-9 hours. Not only that, but there is a link between sleep and the peptides that regulate the appetite. Shortened sleep is strongly associated with a decrease in Leptin and an increase in Ghrelin, Leptin being a protein hormone that has a key role in regulating appetite and Ghrelin being a hunger-stimulating peptide.

Put simply, getting your required hours means that you are less likely to go for that chocolate bar (probably due to the sugars that your brain and body needs to stay awake). You’ll also less likely to have a need for coffee, so you won’t need to worry about the stimulation of caffeine in your blood. This should make mental clarity much more easier to obtain. Food for thought;-)

 

Top 4 Ways To Reduce Stress And Anxiety Fast!

rapport

Do you want to combat and manage stress and anxiety for good? Are you really sick to death of the suffering? I don’t want to appear funny, but there are people who claim to want to heal themselves, but don’t actually do anything. It’s hard to believe, but the amount of people that I’ve come across who moan and winge about life, yet don’t get inspired to take any action baffles me. Then it dawned on me why this could happen…hard to believe, but some people actually feel great by feeling bad.

I couldn’t believe this when I heard it, at least on a conscious level. Yet, (and I know I shouldn’t really admit this) I’ve been guilty of doing this myself. Certainly waking up in the early hours of the night, being angry and depressed at not having something, or having a bad time with my life didn’t helps things, and of course only re-conditions the subconscious (due to the fact that when you wake up, your brainwaves exhibit mostly Theta waves, which is used in some peoples cases to re-programme the subconscious). I woke up once and tried to study the depression that I was feeling, to try to get a grasp of the feeling that I was having while being in a nice comfy bed.

To the best of my knowledge, despite it feeling bad and dis-empowering, there was like an addiction to the depression I was feeling. Even when I realized what was going on, and tried to loosely fantasize a happier outcome, my subconscious would come roaring back with ‘oh that’s impossible, stop being delusional’ etc. It took quite the effort to somehow break this spell, by sheer mental willpower (which is never nice early in the morning).

So believe me when I say, while I sympathize that people have stress/anxiety and many other mental health problems, there are some people who subconsciously like this. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but learning to see if you a secretly sabotaging your success will go a long way to enable your recovery.

That is part of the reason why I started this blog, to try to help people with what I’ve experienced. Now, I’m not going to list all of my ills here, but I thought I would summarize what I believe to be the top 4 ways to reducing stress and anxiety. Here we go;-)

1- Meditation

Summary – can be used to great effect at reducing (and some people would say, eliminating) long term anxiety and stress. Has been around and used for thousands of years, and baring some ridiculous miracle posture that cures all ills, will be around for the next 50 thousands years (as far as I’m concerned, providing that we don’t destroy our planet due to spiritual ignorance, of course!!!). Has the ability to help reduce your ego mind chatter, and increase intuition.

Pros – Numerous benefits to list them all here, but the main basis is certainly an increase in spiritual, mental and emotional well-being. Ability to heal past emotional wounds, and also helps create mental clarity so that you can think more clearly on the task at hand, allowing you to finish your goals, hopefully to better your life. Can be said to help with out-of-body experiences as well, especially being in the, ‘now’.

Cons – Not many, really, but it can be an absolute bugger to get started, especially if you simply don’t know what to do, or you have severe stomach gut issues which prevent you from relaxing completely. All it really takes is for you to move your attention from your thought process, to either your body, your breathing, or even the sounds outside Do this for a few minutes, and you should start to feel a deep peace. The issues is that some people find this, in itself, difficult. We have been trained to use our minds all the time, and the invention of the Gregorian calendar didn’t really help things when it came to the invention of time (but that’s for another day;-). Still, you know what they say, practice makes perfect!!!

2- Diet

Summary – Well established fact, that if you want to change your lifestyle, what you put into your body also has a significant effect on how you think. Think of eating sweets, and feeling really restless and energetic, for example. So it goes without thinking, that if you want to have a goods nights sleep, drinking coffee at 9 pm (and it is said that caffeine has a half life of 6 hours!) isn’t really going to help matters. Get your diet right, and your head should follow (not sure if I read that somewhere, but thought I’ll put it in anyway:-)

Pros – It’s diet, what do you think? Nutritional food, with nutritional drink, will help keep the body healthy, and your thoughts calmer. Don’t forget, the mind and body are interrelated, so what you think will manifest (to some degree) with your body, and vice versa! (Think of stress related illnesses as one example). It has also been documented, that loving thoughts helps almost single handedly to help the molecules of the water (think of Dr. Emoto, and that famous water experiment). And as our bodies is made up of around 70% water, it’s not hard to imagine the power of feelings on the body.

Cons – Of course, if your busy, this is that last thing you will care about. Busy people eat whatever they can (they have do, they don’t have time to prepare a nutritional snack) and of course if they are busy, the chances are that they need as much energy as they possible can get their hands on.

So we’re talking chocolates, energy drinks, and so on. And don’t forget, you have your emotional eaters (of course) who will always eat something specific to keep their stress levels away (called a coping mechanism). The thing is, emotional eating and eating in a rush does no one any favors, and one needs to create a more healthier coping mechanism, and of course, manage your time better (always helps).

3- Sleep!

Summary – Getting your sleep is absolutely vital to keeping your stress levels to an all time low, as well as being able to focus on your goals, and having a clearer mind. I know I probably shouldn’t admit this, but the article I researched for stress and sleep here was one of the biggest eye-openers for me.

Quite simply, sleep does more than you think! Alright, you already knew that, but they say that it is always quality sleep rather than quantity that always counts. I’m going to go one step further and say that it is the amount of non-rem sleep that you have (don’t forget, your sleep in 90 min cycles, with REM, the eye-twitching one, being the last stage of this cycle. It is also the type of sleep that allows you to dream…whether you remember it or not is another matter;-).

But we need as much non-rem sleep as possible, due mainly (but not exclusively) to the good ol’ Human Growth Hormone being released, probably given us that, ‘freshness’ that we feel when we wake up after a good night.

The thing is, we cannot plan how much non-rem sleep we’re going to have, that is why it is recommended that we have between 7 to 8 hours. Of course, there are those people who use delta CD’s and meditation to help…

Pros – Getting a good, refreshing sleep as numerous benefits, from improved memory, to reducing the risk of some physical ailments, to improved cognitive functioning, and of course, feeling great for the day. It allows you to keep your focus, and helps reduce your stress and anxiety levels (or at the very least, allows you to manage them more effectively).

Cons – For those insomniacs, or people with other sleep disorders, and of course, people who work nights, sleep is a luxury they simply cannot have. Meditation will help, but ultimately, a change in lifestyle may be required (especially those people who are too stressed, or even on a burnout to get any hours of sleep at all). I hate to say this, but medication, or sleeping pills may be the only way. But only if you are able to take the side effects…

4- EFT

Summary – I had heard of EFT before I started my blog, and to be honest with you, when I did my research for my post, EFT and Stress, I didn’t learn anything too new…

Having said that, I did learn a few more things. Firstly, the Chinese used a version of acupuncture (which later inspired EFT) to help treat physical illnesses, not emotional ones. And secondly, EFT can be used to treat nearly everything emotionally bound.

It’s free, it’s quick and best of all, it’s fun. And there’s nothing better than feeling better and like a huge weight has been lifted off of you shoulders. I’ve used it myself to help reduce my OCD to around 60%, have used it for a job interview, to get better focus, and even (and this even surprised me…) get more energy.

That’s right, using EFT in a certain way can get you more energy and help you feel more refreshed (although truth be told, I used it after a decent nights sleep and after meditation, so perhaps the two can work hand in hand…food for thought).

EFT is fast becoming huge popular, due to it’s widespread, and natural benefits.

Pros– Too many to list here, but mainly nearly all psychological conditions and some physical ones (as it is said that many illness are stress induced illnesses). EFT has been said to help reduce autism symptoms, and can also vastly help with PTSD, depression, and many other ailments. It can take as little as a few minutes each day, and the results can be long lasting.

Cons– Not too many, but I did notice in my research that the people who really benefit with EFT are the ones who do it longer than 5 minutes, so perhaps EFT isn’t the shortest treatment of them all (depends I suppose, on the problem at hand). Also, EFT isn’t perfect, and can’t cure all conditions physical or otherwise, under the sun. There are of course, limitations, as to what you can use EFT for. And don’t forget, it has it’s own competition in the likes of PSTEC and IST (which I will be doing future articles about, so watch this space.)

Like meditation, you have to dedicate a certain amount of time to get the maximum benefit from EFT, and some stressful people simply do not have that time. But if you do have 5 minutes to spare, it’s not a bad place to start, even if it does look silly…

What’s your favorite coping mechanism for stress, anxiety or depression? Let me know in the box below;-)

 

How To Rid Yourself Of Depression In 4 Stupidly Easy Ways!

Depression is a condition that many of us will suffer from in some form or another. It is estimated that over 120 million people suffer from some form of depression worldwide, with 80% of people not receiving any treatment. The number of patients who are diagnosed with depression increases by around 20% each year in America, with the people who are unemployed and recently divorced being the type of people most likely to suffer from it. I myself have suffered a form of depression, (even suicidal thoughts back in 2012 when I was at my most lowest point). It got me thinking about my lifestyle and what I wanted to achieve, and since that terrible day, have tried to make amends to amend my ways and lead a more healthier life.

But it hasn’t been easy. I would love to write an article saying that I had this one epiphany and everything in my life changed, but in all honesty it’s all been about small and regular changes. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with people or gurus who say that they did one particular action or was involved in one event, but I guess I’m not that type of guy. For me, my depression was on and off for over 10 years, and included anxiety attacks, mild insomnia and OCD.

To completely recover from depression, in my opinion, does take time. People can talk about being in medication and taking drugs, as there is evidence to say that depression is nothing more than just a simple chemical imbalance. Resolve the chemical imbalance, and the troubles just fade away! But in my opinion, this just tells half the story…while I don’t dispute these findings, I believe that the chemical imbalance is the outcome, not the cause of depression. The cause of the depression can be job/career related, relationship/family related, or financially related (or a combination of all three) and while taking medication can help relieve the symptoms, unless lifestyle changes are made, you will soon be back on it.

Now, I want to be really brutally honest here…I’m not an advocate in taking medication for most depression cases. Barring the odd severe case, I believe medication does more harm than good. Maybe I’m lucky that my depression hasn’t been that long, or hasn’t been that intense. I don’t know that many people who are severely depressed, but from memory, taking a pill was the last thing on my mind during my last episode. I’ve actually taken more pills for anxiety attacks, then for depression (only to realize what a waste that was!). While I will appreciate the poor person that has a severe case my argue this (and understandably so), from my experience there are more healthier ways of reducing it. Of course, medication does give you mental breathing space (which, again I can appreciate), but from all of the forums, discussions and articles I’ve read, medication is a solution most people are against.

This was even validated during a (fairly) recent episode. Whilst not that bad, I did observe my body during the depressing wave. I quickly realized a few things I noticed which I hadn’t noticed during my 10 year wave (things I wished I knew back then). It seems that my self-help curious ego had actually served a purpose, and I was able to avoid much of the misery that I had suffered a few years back. What I present isn’t new, isn’t exclusive, and I’m under no illusion that you’ll either hate it (or see it as pointless) or you’ll agree but can add some more. Either way is fine. I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all approach to recovering from depression (well, apart from obvious lifestyle changes, but that is also arguable). So see these points as reminders, on how to get yourself out of a tricky situation.

 

Thinking of your ideal scenario all day

You’re depressed because you feel helpless, like nothing you can do is going to work, and you are low of energy. What I have found is that if you can somehow have an image of your ideal career/partner in your mind (whatever image is causing you to be depressed, think of the ideal version of that image) you will gain, after a short amount of time new energy, and will carry on the day with vigor. When I have the image in my mind, a new sense of inner personal power took over, and I was able to be more focused and more attentive to the job in hand…which was quite surprising, as I had no idea that this would have any side benefit at all. Of course, the image wasn’t a static image, but an image that was constantly evolving; from a snapshot of the ideal career, to being practical and actually finding ways to turn the image into reality (nothing to do with the Law of Attraction…at least, not yet;-). In the space of a few hours, the image had changed from static, to the actual dynamics on how to create it. This bizarrely increased my inner will power, my concentration, and my energy levels (as I had a bad night sleep, so I was feeling really down). This nicely leads me to my next topic…

 

Sleep

Get your sleep, period! While I can appreciate mums and dads can say that they don’t get any sleep due to their kids, feeling super tired and fatigued during the day does more harm to you then you realize (please see this article on sleep and stress). Find a way to get early nights, or find a routine and stick to it.

When I’ve been depressed in the past, I always remember that my sleep had been a contributing factor. Fatigue and depression, in my experience, go hand in hand (or to put it another way, I very rarely see someone who has had ample sleep, complaining about being depressed…). Having your 7-8 hours of sleep my be tricky to begin with, but your routine will eventually allow your subconscious to feel sleepy, allowing you to drift off once bed time takes place. To quickly get some energy during the day, you can do one of two things: Either meditate in Theta (I’ve found that the Theta level releases short bursts of healing and energizing energy. You can buy some Theta CD’s here) or do a quick session on EFT, which can also leave you feeling energized.

 

Gratitude

One thing I always try to do is to feel grateful for at least 5 things. Why? It helps you feel more alive with more energy due to it uplifting your soul, and it also helps you change your negative self-talk into positive self talk, which has numerous physical and mental benefits. The easiest thing to feel grateful for is having a nice home, or wearing some nice clothes, and then go from there. You can try being grateful for the crap in your life, because you now know what you don’t want (i.e. see the blessings in disguise). This allows you to make and act on a new choice, bringing more opportunity in your direction, which could also ultimately help remove the very thing that is causing you to be depressed to begin with.

 

Breathing/Mindfulness Meditation

By keeping positive imagery in your mind, and controlled belly breathing, you are able to retain your focus and keep yourself mildly energized. Being in the, ‘Now’ helps (or being present). Controlled belly breathing actually helps you feel more present and this by default helps reduce any stressful feelings your depression can sometimes spring (yes, one can lead to another…it does happen!). I’ve found a particularly useful way of keeping energized during the worst moments, when the negative, depressing induced imagery starts to take hold in your imagination, and you need to concentrate at the task in hand. Staccato Breathing is a great way on increasing energy levels (at least for the immediate short term) and helps with your cognitive abilities. Simply breath though your nose inwards, increasing the size of your belly initially, but moving upward so you feel your chest increasing as well (kind a’ like pouring water into a jug) and then reverse it breathing outwards (so chest first then belly second).

Do this 3 times, always inhaling and exhaling though your nose. When it comes to the forth attempt, inhale again, but when you exhale, use your mouth this time, and blow out short bursts of air (as if you are blowing out imaginary bubbles). This helps increase your energy and allows you to think more clearly. And the good thing about this technique, is that not only is it quick to do, you can also do it throughout the day.

Try the above things to help you throughout the day. Exercise and diet of course helps, but maintaining presence, or keeping positive mental imagery are also viable and powerful ways in keeping your inner personal power, and as a result your mood intact. You can also try Bach remedies, and if you are into a bit of NLP, try using mental anchors The trick is to keep yourself feeling powerful, and that change can and will take place. Over the years, I’ve been at my depressing worst when I feel that change will never take place, yet over time, (and the help of a good nights sleep;-) I have increased my personal willpower tenfold. Creative visualization can be a great way in helping re-programme your subconscious so that not only you believe in change, but you are inspired to take certain actions to make sure that changes takes place. Don’t forget to visualize effectively, try to use all 5 senses as much as possible, and feel the feelings of joy or love. As your subconscious uses emotions, this will help re-programme it more effectively. Give it a go and find out. You’ll be pleasantly surprised;-)

 

Your 7 Main Chakras Explained, And Why They Are Important To Your Health!

When it comes to stress and anxiety relief, there is a topic that few people want to get involved in. And the reason only a few people want to get involved in it is because it may challenge their very own core beliefs about the nature of divinity. By default, when anyone mentions or insinuates about the non-physical, people are either thinking you are talking about science, or even worse, death.

Yet, the very nature of who we are can help us in understanding out lives, our particular lifestyles and ultimately (sticking to the topic of stress relief) how to use it to feel more better, more energized and more healthier (and in some cases, more mentally sharp). The non-physical is nothing to be ashamed of, but rather embraced. And this shift in mentality can help us not only reduce stress and anxiety in our everyday lives, but also has a knock-on effect on other things as well (including using your very own body, arguably, as a manifestation tool…but that is for another day).

You see, at the risk of proselytizing, we are all spiritual beings (of some degree) in a physical body. And believe it or not, your whole body doesn’t just encompass the physical you (i.e. skin, organs etc…) but also the non-physical you. People who have had out-of-body experiences, or near death experiences will testify to this. This non-physical vehicle (if you will) help them, ‘float’ around and do all sorts of stuff. But you don’t have to be a mental or spiritual guy to feel your non-physical body. You can do it using various techniques.

Your physical body has points which allows Qi or life energy, to flow in to, ‘feed’ your organs, and these non-physical contact points between your physical body and your non-physical body, are known as,  ‘The Chakras’.

Now, some of you will already have been put of this article by this point. Unfortunately, some people are so strict with their beliefs (rightly or wrongly) that any mention of the non-physical is automatically associated with the almighty upstairs (or your own particular version). Now, I don’t want to offend anyone, but if you are not open-minded enough to consider the following article, I’m afraid this article may not be for you. But if you can suspend your beliefs for just a few minutes, you’ll find information that can help you reduce stress in numerous ways.

Having said that for some of you, what I’m going to say here will probably not be the first time you’ve heard this. For some people, they will already know what the Chakras are, and are probably even using other techniques (as well as the ones in this article) to help balance them out (more on that later). If that is the case, please see this as a gentle reminder, and nothing more;-)

If you do, on the other hand, want to know more about your Chakras, than keep reading. Hopefully you’ll take away a lot than you think, and although the exercises may seam downright insultingly obvious, it’s amazing to think how many people don’t know or even do this. Of course, as always, don’t be fooled by the simplicity. Your Chakras are powerful, and have more of an influence than you give them credit for. While I’m doing more research on the correlation between the Chakras and the subconscious (even I have questions about this subject that need answering, as the subconscious also has a big control over your body and your conscious thoughts and actions) needless to say that taking your Chakras into consideration when it comes to any form of negative relief (stress, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts) will greatly help in recovery and an automatic improvement in ones lifestyle. Try it and find out for yourself!

This is quite a long article (over 3300 words) and does talk primarily about your 7 main Chakras, what they do, and how you can balance them. If you do find that there are more tips you can add to this list, please feel free to let me know (I’m all for finding out more:-).

Now to begin with, you have over a 100 Chakras from places like your toes and your hands to above your head, but there are 7 main ones. Each one serves a big role in the development of your consciousness, as well as helping your emotional, psychological, mental, spiritual and physical needs. So your Chakras have a huge influence to you and your emotional well-being, stress levels, and your manifesting skills (if you are into anything like the law of attraction, but that is for another day;-).

Your Chakras are therefore responsible for your emotional well-being, as well as your general mood, how well you place yourself in society and how well you communicate to your loved ones and the public in general. Your Chakras are the, ‘jack of all trades’ so to speak. And don’t forget, your Chakras are the connection between your soul and your physical body.

There are so many great videos online on helping you open your Chakras, and whether you can tell if it is open or closed, but before I carry on, some quick terminology. When we say open or close down your Chakra, what we mean is opening or closing your vortex. Your Chakras are vortices swirling around like a funnel, and you can close one, open one up, and make one spin quicker or slower to stop any unbalances and therefore balance the Chakra which gives you the correct proportion of pure Qi energy flowing into your etheric body and therefore influencing your physical body. By contrast an unbalanced Chakra will give you too much or too little energy, which will negatively physically and emotionally influence you. And this will be reflected by the way, in your behavior.

Now your first Chakra is your Root Chakra, and is located at the bottom of your spine and is also the most physical one, and is the one which has the lowest vibration of energy and as a result the lowest wavelength. And that is because it is closer to the physical. Your root Chakra is really your connection to the physical world. Physicality is energy at it’s most slowest vibration.

Now if you were an energy healer, you would be able to see the colour red, as this Chakra emits a reddish hue. Now it does govern our physical energies, it governs our survival, securities, passions, our money, our job, really our vigour in life. When it is balanced, you do feel very secure, very stable, very grounded, you do tend to use very good common sense. When it is blocked, you are blocking the flow of life energy, you may ask very deep questions, for e.g., ‘Why am I here?’, you may feel disconnected towards life. And of course, your ability to manifest will be stuttered.

If it is over-active, it is the opposite. You will be very greedy, you’ll demand everything, you’re highly strung, almost aggressive, can be reckless and impulsive, even sexually manipulative. When it is under-active, you can be very tired, very lethargic, very weak, afraid of change, you lack confidence, fear of abandonment, all of these are psychological issues, and this is the thing about the Chakras, they will govern your psychology.

But you can open the Root Chakra, by visualizing a red flower opening and spinning, by dancing, you can stamp your feet for short periods of time, and you do feel more better as a result. You tend to feel more alive. Interestingly, when I did some research behind this, I discovered that the sense of smell is associated with the Root Chakra, so if you can smell very easily your Root Chakra may be very well balanced. Now how does it feel? Well your Root Chakra feels like a low hum down your spine, a bit tingly at times. You have to be really careful as this should be a good tingling sensation. If it is a bad tingling sensation, you could have a very serious medical condition. So with practice you should be able to differentiate between a good tingling sensation, and a bad tingling sensation. I’ve noticed that mine tingles in a nice way, certainly hearing some bass and listening to some types of music, as music often stimulated the Chakras.

The the next main Chakra above is near your sexual organs and is called the Sacral Chakra, and this is located near the sacrum and testes/ovaries that produce the various sexual hormones. Again, if you are an energy healer, or can see non-physical energy, the Sacral Chakra emits an orange colour.

This Chakra is involved in relationships, violence, addictions, basic emotional needs and pleasure. It does mentally govern creativity, governs joy and governs enthusiasm, so again, psychological influences there.

You know when it is out of balance or blocked, when you are no longer enjoying life, you are very angry or frustrated, your suppressing your emotions, and in some cases no sexual desire, your lacking creativity, have feelings of guilt or jealously. If you do tend to be unemotional, or very stiff, (and we have all met people who are unemotional and are very stiff, they have like a poker facer!) that is also another symptom that this Chakra could be under-active.

If it is over-active on the other hand, you can be very emotional most of the time, you can be emotionally attached to other people and can be very sexual as a result.

There are many ways to open and balance this Chakra. You can take walks by an ocean or a lake, you can go swimming, you can have relaxing, aromatic baths, you can of course, visualize the colour orange, or an orange flower opening and spinning. And it goes without saying (at the risk of sounding unprofessional or intimate) you can even make love to yourself, or your partner to balance this Chakra.

How does it feel? You know when you feel sexual energy in your body. It’s similar to lust, you can feel it around your body, but most notably around your sexual organs.

The next Chakra is your Solar Plexus Chakra, (or sometimes called your Naval Chakra, as it is located above your navel, or belly button). The colour this Chakra emits is yellow. You would need to work on this if you lack self esteem, if you lack will power (if you give up easily), if you experience aggression, anger, if you have difficulty expressing your feelings, if you have trouble getting things done, stuff that comes to productivity and completion of projects.

Feeling tired can be an indication of an underused, or blocked Solar Plexus Chakra. If you have too many negative thoughts, suffer from anxiety, that could also be a symptom of a blocked, out of balance Chakra. It’s all about asserting yourself in a group, and if your Chakra is under-active, you do tend to be indecisive, sometimes passive.

Of course, if it is over-active, the complete opposite will occur, and you will be domineering at times, sometimes aggressive (and we have all met people who seem to dominate the group).

To open and balance this Chakra, you can take a walk in the sun, take regular walks, wear yellow clothes, do things that spark your interests and passions, and another great way is being in the, ‘Now’. When you are in the, ‘Now’, you feel that rush of Qi energy rushing into your body via your Solar Plexus Chakra.

Now the Chakra above, is your Heart Chakra and is located outside of your Heart. This emits a greenish hue and is also deemed the, ‘gateway to the spiritual world’ hence why if you come from love, (a little tip, if you can feel unconditional love for around a few minutes, not only will it help you to reduce your stress, but you can also reduce any future fear-based scenario. Out-of-body explorers already understand this) you are really using the spiritual world, which of course creates the physical world. We are in a spiritual multi-verse.

When it is opened, you feel love, kindness, compassion, you are affectionate, you’re very friendly, you work in harmony, and you work at creating harmonious relationships.

If it is closed, or out of balance, you can be very distant and cold (something I was guilty off in years gone by). You do need to work on it of course, if you have problems with relationships, if you have problems keeping friends, if you feel lonely all the time, if you feel unloved, if you are unable to love yourself and others and you have difficulty letting people into your life. You can also catch a cold quite easily because your Heart Chakra does tend to work in close relationship with your immune and nervous system, hence the psychological and health influences.

You can open or balance it in several ways. You can let go of negative people, not always easy of course…so you can do the next best thing, and forgive them (which helps you to love unconditionally) and letting go of anger from unwanted past experiences (forgiveness should help you with that as well). Wearing green clothing can sometimes open and balance your Heart Chakra as well as surrounding yourself with things you enjoy as well as imagining hugging someone you love and admire, and feeling that love spread across your body.

When you have opened the Heart Chakra or balanced it, you feel the feeling of love emanate from the vortex, and it will soon spread across your body. Feelings of fear soon dissipates, as fear cannot exist when you feel, ‘unconditional love’.

The next Chakra is the Throat Chakra, and is all about self-expression, and emits the colour light blue. It is located at the throat.

You know when you need to work on it, when you find it hard to express your self freely and find it hard to communicate, you can sometimes find yourself telling white lies most of the time; you find it difficult to listen to other people, your lacking in self esteem and have speech problems. You know when it is under-active when you don’t speak much, you are very introverted, perhaps shy, even not speaking your personal truth.

Opening or balancing your Throat Chakra can be achieved by singing out load very loudly, by speaking louder than usual, and by saying something as simple as, ‘Hi’. Not many people realize this… just saying, ‘Hi’ to people on the street is a great way of doing this. Reading poetry out loud is another great way of doing it, as well as standing firm in your opinions, in a non-argumentative way. If the opinion is going to create an argument, the best thing to do is to stop the opinion.

When it is open, you don’t have any problems in communicating, and may consider yourself to be a bit of an artist.

The next one is one that most people are curious with. It is often talked about, and one that has the most attention, and that is your 3rd Eye Chakra, located between your eyebrows, but slightly above.

It is all about insight and visualizing. When it is opened, you have very good intuition, but you may also tend to fantasize a lot.

You need to work on it if you are not very good at thinking for yourself, if you find yourself relying on other people, like your parents, and your friends; you may be rigid in your thinking and rely on your beliefs too much, which may lead to confusion. If you suffer from panic and anxiety attacks and you cannot think clearly or if you have trouble concentrating, and are having problems finding a purpose in life, this could also be an indication. Another indication is that you lack goals for example, if you lack faith or you cannot find your own inner voice.

One thing I read, is that it could be blocked or very imbalanced if you have learning disabilities or if you have hearing problems, so that’s worth bearing in mind (no pun intended;-).

If it is over-active, you tend to live in fantasy land too much, and in some cases may even hallucinate. If you are not careful, you do tend to lose focus very easily. The 3rd Eye Chakra is the gateway to intuition and higher perception and people who have a strong vibration with this Chakra are people we would call psychics. We are all psychics, and we all have that ability, but most of us have to work on it as you would do like a muscle.

It can be opened/ balanced by being in the, ‘Now’, which helps reduce mental chatter, or meditating with Yoga. Theta and Delta, brainwave states between 0.5hz to 7 Hz (the measurement of the electrical activity of your brain, commonly before you go to sleep and when you wake up) are also a good way of opening up this Chakra. Now unless you are a trained meditation expert, you would need CD’s to help you achieve Theta or Delta. A package I personally recommend is the ARVARI course, which not only helps you get to Delta (which lowers your mental noise), but also helps you reduce your stress and allows you to manifest a lot easily, as you are very close to your soul.

The feeling of an active 3rd Eye Chakra is the equivalent of someone gently tapping your forehead. It is like a tiny, throbbing sensation, and in some peoples cases, can cause small headaches if it is being opened, or balanced for the first time.

The final Chakra is one that is above your head, and is called your Crown Chakra, which emits a whitish hue and is your connection to source, higher consciousness, or essentially your soul.

Remember what I said about the root one being the lowest vibration? Well your Crown Chakra is your highest vibration because it is the vibration closest to your soul/higher self.

When it is blocked, unbalanced, you are not aware of your spirituality, you have very rigid thinking, you may even suffer from depression or a mental disorder, and you may have a weak immune system or you suffer from chronic fatigue.

On the other side, if you intellectualize a lot, obsessed with spirituality, or neglect your basic bodily needs, it may be over active and you may need to work on it.

When it is balanced, you do connect to your inner being, and you feel a oneness with divine source; you feel a sense of bliss, with an understanding of your life’s purpose. You become more aware of the beauty around you, with nature, and you feel its natural energy. You are happier because you are connected to the, ‘all that is’, and as a result, you don’t feel lonely. This means you are unprejudiced, and are aware of yourself and this world. You become very non-judgmental, and exhibit unconditional love.

To open this Chakra or balance it, you do need to meditate daily, it’s as simple as that! Take time to be still, being in the, ‘moment of now’ really helps. Try and be thankful and grateful for everything you are and have. By being thankful, you uplift your soul. This connects you more to the spiritual aspect of yourself very quickly. Again, being in Delta also helps in this case.

So, this is just a quick run-down of the Chakras, as they are pretty essential, not just to manifesting your reality, but also to your emotional, psychological and physical well-being. You can also help balance your Chakras when you have an out-of-body experience, by using the healing power of love to flow though your consciousness and direct it to one of your Chakras, and as a result, begin to self-heal in that way.

Combining your Chakras with other mental and emotional tools (like EFT, please see my article about it) will help you reduce your stress or depression, give your life purpose back to you, and allows you to not only recover from your illness, but lead a more healthier and happier lifestyle. Try it for 30 days and see what happens. You should be pleasantly surprised;-)

 

Reducing stress in the intense workplace: Is it really impossible?

We all know that stress in the workplace is rampant. It is estimated that stress is costing the US economy over $300 billion a year. And yet, a tiny bit of stress is good for you, helping you create new neurons for quicker learning. It’s the big stress that people talk about, that creates the numerous fan-pages and online forums and groups. And some of this stress stems from the workplace.

I can understand this, having been in work for over 10 years. I’ve had my fair share of targets to reach, emails that haven’t been opened, and a few meetings with colleagues, who wonderfully show their displeasure because a certain task wasn’t performed. The thing is, if you really want to beat stress, you need to understand how it really works, and then find psychological techniques to try to combat it with ease…

Or that’s what I thought. So confident was I in this theory, that I was even going to write an ebook about it. Then a recent event got me thinking. Reducing stress in an average workplace is pretty simple to do. But what about an intense workplace? One where you are thinking all the time, one where your thoughts have to be on the goal at hand, or the task to be completed. Bearing in mind, one of the best ways of reducing stress is by being in the present moment. But in the case of a busy workplace, this simply doesn’t work.

Trust me, I’ve tried this. It’s not so bad when the targets are within reach, or you have a bit of time on your hands. You can afford to take a bit of time, and keep stress to a minimum. I’m talking about when the going gets really tough, like every second (literally) counts. When you are looking at the clock slightly nervously, knowing that even a slight distraction is going to cost you valuable time. That place has no place for meditation. It has no place for any psychological tactics. It has no place for any comebacks. You are there, working your butt off, making damn sure that the task is completed on time.

So, is it really an impossible situation then? No I don’t think so…there are ways you can lessen the damage, and make your self still relatively sane in this busy world. But cast away any meditative ideas to one side, they are simply not going to work (If they are working for you, than your workplace isn’t busy enough to qualify for this article, sorry;-). Instead, what I recently discovered is that using some good ol’ fashioned mental discipline actually went a long way, and your posture does actually help.

OK, I lied, sorry…some psychological techniques can work, but not that many as you’ll discover. And besides like I said, every second counts, so you really don’t have time to act out any techniques. You really have about a few seconds at best (and that’s if you’re lucky!) so really, the technique has to be very quick to work. And what I’ve found is that you also have to remember to use them…in other words, you can get so knee-deep in a task to complete, that you’ll forget what to actually do when you are completely stressed out (and when I mean stressed out, I really mean hating anyone who speaks to you, because their distraction, although normally a nice one, is a huge inconvenience; or hitting the keyboard in frustration because you’re making loads of spelling mistakes and that is also costing you time). So the trick is to remember that you do have a few tips on your side, and then to actually use them for them to work.

Here is a few techniques that I recently found worked quite well. I say quite well, because I still got a bit stressed (I would be lying if I said I didn’t). But I was observing my bodies reaction quickly, and I was observing how my mind raced. Bear in mind, that I do practice mindfulness meditation sometimes, so I’m aware on how to observe your mind. But trust me, mindfulness meditation (or the ability to be in the present moment) is absolutely useless in the intense workplace. The thing is, for you to practice mindfulness you have to wait a least a couple of minutes, or be quite passive in your mentality. Put simply, you have to be in a relaxed state of mind. When you are really busy or super stressed, that is the last thing on your mind. Your mind goes essentially to being relaxed and passive, to being hyper-focused and aggressive. It’s simply the wrong frame of mind to be using. For one to go from an aggressive mindset to a passive, relaxed mindset, you have to find a way initially to calm down…and that is something you cannot do in a super busy environment!

Deep breathing

One thing I actually realized is that deep breathing helps you focus fairly easily. Scientific studies have shown many health benefits of deep breathing, and how it not only affects your body but also you mind (bearing also in mind that the body and mind are linked). So when you can remember, try to breath consciously through you stomach area, or at least breath feeling your stomach pulsating outwards and inwards. That should at least give you a tiny bit of mental clarity in order for you to keep your sanity and emotions in check.

I remember when I was super stressed in a busy environment, I got emotional very quickly. You have to be careful because you can easily build up resentment and bitterness. Why? When you are super stressed, you automatically feel like everyone should be busy as well (or maybe it’s just me…) And of course when you are super focused, you get a heightened sense of attentiveness and alertness. Put simply, even though you are trying to focus with all of your might, you can still perceive, quite accurately, what other people are doing. This can be really frustrating, especially if you get distracted quite easily (like I do). You’re in this aggressive, hyper-focused mindset, and it seems everybody else is having it easy. Well easier than you, anyway!

This is where bitterness and resentment comes in, and what deep breathing can help control. It isn’t so much that everybody else is having it easy, it’s because you think they are. Your perception filter of your mind has been slightly altered, and deep breathing helps you keep this in check. I found that when I was deep breathing (when I finally remembered, that is) my emotions of anger and hidden resentment soon reduced in intensity. I was able to retain my focus and keep my emotions under control (that is one of the best techniques, incidentally, for any panic attack sufferer, or someone who is emotionally upset, and has been extensively used to treat such emotional cases). This naturally reduced my stressed. It didn’t go away, just reduced it enough for me to carry on working.

One thing I realized, when I was quickly observing my own mind, was the ability for my EGO to think of melodramatic situations. I mean, maybe it wanted to relax or maybe it needed a timeout to play, but I found the resentment began to grow, and then a melodramatic situation would then play out in my mind. This of course, lost me time, and as I was trying to be hyper-focused, created an emotional tug-of-war.

This would lead me to create mistakes, due to lack of attentiveness. I realized that when I was hyper-focused, my mistakes were few and far between, but the second a melodramatic situation crept into my head, or my mind wandered into daydreaming or I began to fantasize, I lost track of what I was doing, and my mistakes quickly returned. This would actually end up with me being even more frustrated. So the trick was to find a way to keep deep breathing. This can be hard to remember at times, as when you are stressed you automatically go into shallow breathing, due to the body’s natural fight-or-flight response kicking in.

One thing I also found when I was hyper-focused was a calm, gentle loving feeling from my Heart Chakra. I suspect my main brainwave state was Gamma waves. Gamma waves is a brainwave state above 40 Hz, with Super Gamma around 100 Hz. This is due to intense focus and complete attention, amongst other things and people have reported a feeling of love coming out of there body, as well as improved cognitive motoring skills (having had a mild motor dysfunction when I was a kid, I can testify that listening to online Gamma waves while working has helped me to speak more clearly, and keep me super focused).

My Heart Chakra would begin to open, and I could feel a bit of love from it. For those of you who don’t know, you body is made up of non-physical vortices between your physical body, and your non-physical body. Your Heart Chakra is positioned outside of your heart, and is your main connection to the spiritual world and your soul. I suspected that my brainwave state was emitting 40 Hz (or above), as I would be hyper- focused and primarily thinking using the left-hemisphere of my brain. I’m normally a right-hemisphere type of guy (being imaginative and creative as I am) so any intense focus would automatically put me in left-brain mode, and would automatically be a big deal for me.

Why? Because it’s not my natural state, and it would be outside my comfort zone…a recipe for stress. You could argue that eventually, we would be using both hemispheres of our brain at full capacity, and there is also rumors circling in spiritual circles that the two sides of the brain will eventually merge (but that is for another day…and another article;-).

Physiology

This is one that does require a little set up, but I found proved really effective in helping you control your emotions, being really focused, and also to have a burst of increased energy…3 for the price of 1! It does require you to have brought the Physiology Of Excellence DVD, or knowing a tiny bit of NLP and be familiar with mental/emotional triggers. I’ve had the DVD for a few years and watched it a few months back. It features Dr Harlan Kilstein, and shows a case study of him talking with one of his students about overcoming their personal problem, using a specific NLP technique. NLP is a very good way of understanding how the body and mind can co-operate and how you can use the simple act of just changing your posture so that you can be in control of your emotions, and be more confident in your ability, the latter being extremely useful for anyone who suffers from OCD, paranoia, or an anxiety condition. In fact, I believe I read somewhere that there have been tests on how just the very act of your posture can actually help change you inner self talk.

So this all makes sense that by saying a verbal command in your mind, and changing your posture, you can automatically feel more powerful in any given situation. While the situation may not of changed, your inner dialogue and your body would’ve, and this will be vital in combating your nerves and finishing your task in record time. I remember when I first watched the DVD before Christmas I knew I had a lot of work to do the next day, so I watched the DVD and did the mental anchors (The DVD isn’t long, around 45 minutes or so). I have OCD when it comes to locking up my doors, turning the lights of etc, so it made sense for me to try this form of NLP out. While it didn’t necessarily fully eliminate the OCD, it did make me super confident!

Going to work the following day, I tried to do the mental triggers in my mind, and completed more tasks than ever before. I couldn’t believe it! So it was well worth the investment, and I have since used this technique multiple times over the months, especially when it gets busy. When you have a lot of tasks to do in only a short amount of hours, a quick burst of energy, mental clarity and the feeling like you are the most powerful being in the world, goes a long way in helping you reach your corporate goals. And you actually feel good at the same time, which reduces stress dramatically. I will say, to be really brutally honest, that you have to keep working at the mental triggers most of the day, to get the most out of it. You can’t, for example, use it once and think it will work for the rest of the day. You’ve got to keep saying the mental trigger a few times during the hours for you to get the best (at least, for me, anyway).

The Physiology Of Excellence DVD is an excellent resource, or you can alternatively go to your local library and read about how your body language and physiology helps with your thought patterns, and put it to the test. This will be helpful in reducing future stressed out scenarios, not confined purely to work, but also to your personal and social life as well.

Of course, some people can say that if you were to manage your time effectively, you wouldn’t find yourself in these situations to begin with. I must confess, I don’t agree with this, as work and family situations can change very quickly and out of nowhere, you can be knee-deep in something which was fine about 5 minutes ago. The average working day can change quite dramatically, especially in regards to workload, and families can suddenly have an argument, the repercussions can be felt for many hours afterwards, completely changing the family schedule for the day, if not the week. While it is nice to think that by going to bed on time (which is vital for any of the above to work) and having a diary will be the ultimate solution, it is naive to think that this alone will get you out of trouble all of the time.

The truth be told, I very rarely keep a dairy schedule, business, personal or otherwise. The reason being that a schedule can easily change, and if you can’t keep to all of the commitments (or at least some of it), you’ll only feel bad about it afterwords. I do keep a general guide of how many hours I want to work and when to have off, but I try to keep it very general so if there are any changes it won’t make the day too bad for productivity reasons. That way, I can still be productive with my work yet be flexible enough such the situation changes.

General Positivity

I thought I’ll include this last, and most of this has already been insinuated or mentioned in the above paragraphs, but just thinking of positive thoughts (when your mind does invariably wonder, as it probably will do from time to time) is crucial in getting your head out of the super-stress zone. Emotional and mental discipline to one side, it’s a good tactic to use during the day anyway, but I have found that I’m at my most stressed out self when I think I’m going to fail, or there will be a disastrous consequence to my actions (neither any, to date, have occurred). I firmly believe that if you stop thinking of the worst case scenario, and see the stressed-inducing event as a refreshing challenge instead, your stress would automatically be reduced, and significantly so. I haven’t had too much time to prove this theory, but as I’m writing this, I will be consciously thinking of it and seeing what the results lead to.

This, of course, would mean that you have to take your personal history out of the equation and change you perspective. Being mindful during your break-time can be a good way to do this, as only thinking one day at a time (I used to think a few months at a time, but mindfulness has thankfully stopped that). You couldn’t do this, for example, if you’ve been in a job for a long time, and you’re unwilling to change your perspective. You subconscious will most likely throw up images of past failures, making your job even more stress inducing.

Truth be told, in my years as an adult, the worst case scenario very rarely occurs. And when it does, it’s not that bad and you do find coping mechanisms to overcome it. I’ve recorded that in my own life, 95% of things that I worry about, never come to pass. And that’s a good thing, because you can use this law of average to help reduce stress at a moments notice (or at least try to).

So thinking that it’s not the worst thing in the world if a task isn’t completed on time, will go a long way for your own peace of mind. Some people could argue that it does depend on the type of scenario or job/career that you have. While I’ll admit that for nurses and doctors (or anybody in the medical or fire profession, like a fire attendant) this may hold true, for most of us the, ‘worst case scenario’ road does more harm than good, and is never beneficial to any companies end goal.

Being super-stressed is never nice, but there are ways you can turn it on it’s head, or at least give you mental breathing room so you don’t go mentally insane. Try the above techniques, and see for yourself the impact it can have on your professional and personal life.

 

8 Simple Ways Of Reducing Anxiety Nausea Fast!

When we get anxious, the body goes through a few changes including a racing heat-beat to shortness of breath, to even feeling light-headed and dizzy. But for some people, they can even feel nausea.

But what is nausea?

Nausea is the feeling that you are going to vomit That feeling of sickness in your stomach that means that you can vomit very soon, and can come during or after a bout of anxiety or an anxiety attack itself.

Nausea is caused by the consequence of blood leaving the stomach area during the bodies response to the, ‘fight-or-flight’ state. Put simply, when the mind gets anxious the body goes into, ‘fight-or-flight’ which means that adrenaline is flooding the body which causes blood to be directed away from the stomach.

When your stress hormones are released, your stomach produces lower levels of enzymes and higher levels of its acid, which causes the stomach to ache. It could be said that this is why some people who have anxiety can also have irritable bowl syndrome, which can also trigger nausea.

This naturally has a bad effect on the individual concerned, who not only has to content with going though an anxiety attack but also has to contend with feeling sick at the same time.

Not a great combination!

It is no wonder some people even have the fear of feeling nauseated, that is, the very fear that could cause anxiety to begin with.

This leaves people having a very limiting life experience, as they will understandably try to compensate by avoiding anxiety or stress inducing situations which will ultimately result in less enjoyment.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are ways of tackling nausea, so it doesn’t have a crippling effect on you.

Some people use OTC medications, like Peppermint, Pepto-Bismol and Tums, which can be used for a temporary effect, but there are other ways you can help relieve yourself of feeling nauseated and help get you life back together.

Below is a small list of the best ways to help yourself of nausea

1. Green Smoothies.

A nice drink of a jam-vegetable-packed smoothie will actually help your stomach to reduce the nausea, as it provides the stomach with nutrients. Keep the vegetables organic to reduce the risk of inducing wax and pesticide. Drinking green smoothies helps your stomach, provides you with nutrition, and helps reduce the rick of nausea.

2. Ginger Root, or eating a Ginger tablet.

This can be a great way to reduce nausea, especially if you take it in a tablet form. While the taste may not to be everyone’s liking, taking Ginger will help combat nausea and is a safe herb, unlike the side effects of taking medication.

3. Acupressure.

Believe it or not, your body has acupressure points and you can use a certain acupressure point located about 2-3 finger widths below the wrist, to relieve the symptoms of nausea. The trick is to apply some pressure on the area, for around 30 seconds, but the best thing to do (on the safe side) would be to buy a special wristband which will automatically have a knob positioned correctly on the spot, so you can apply pressure towards it when you feel nauseated.

4. Massaging your tummy.

Just by massaging the top part of your stomach area can help relax your stomach and reduce your nausea. Massaging the stomach promotes blood flow, and helps the stomach increase the strength of its muscles.

5. Splashing cold water on yourself.

Splashing cold water on your face gives a signal to your heart to slow the heartbeat down to try to maximize the time we can keep ourselves under water. It’s a natural response, called the Mammalian Diving Reflex.

By splashing your face, you are essentially reducing your heat-beats which help calm the mind. This helps reduce the nausea.

6. Drinking Water.

Drinking water can be a great way to reduce nausea, as is helps nourish the body. Also when you are anxious you can become slightly dehydrated which can lead to more anxiety. Drinking water therefore can actually promote more of an anxiety-free future.

7. Having Herbal Supplements.

Herbs, such as Passionflower, Valerian Root and Kava can be effective at reducing nausea, and can be a great alternative to taking medication which of course can have some side effects.

8. Deep breathing.

Control your breathing when you are feeling anxious or stressed has been shown to help relieve the symptoms. By deep breathing you control the mind, which in turn helps alleviate the nausea. Deep breathing also can induce a meditative-effect on your brain, so you relax more quickly.

Try to breath in for 5 seconds through your stomach area, holding for a few seconds, and then breath out for 5 seconds. Repeat this 10 times. This should help calm your mind down and allow you to re-focus.

Hopefully you’ll be able to reduce your nausea with the above, but as always, if it feels like it is too much, always consult your doctor or GP for help. But the ultimate trick to reduce your nausea will be to control your anxiety, and find out which situations causes you most anxiety and stress, and then find coping mechanisms to help combat those stressful situations.

 

 

The Top 4 Ways to Reduce Anxiety Shaking Fast!

reframe3

Many of the 40 million anxiety sufferers today suffer from a wide range of symptoms including nausea and seating, but one symptom that is also becoming common is shaking and trembling.

stress21But why do we shake and tremble when we are anxious?

Put simply, it is the bodies response to the excess amount of adrenaline that is pushed through the body during the common, flight-or-fight response. The problem lies in the fact that the original cause of the anxiety (the first event that took place in your life which spawned the now constant anxiety) caused us to freeze in response to the scary (fight or flight) event.

When the danger has passed, the cells that have had this fight-or-flight energy has to release it, and does so in the form of shaking or trembling.

And it’s all down to the over-stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system causing the huge amount of adrenaline to flood into your body!

This adrenaline can of course have a debilitating effect on the individual concerned, for they now have to take shaking into consideration. And the shaking can take place anyway where there is a trigger to anxiety.

But if you do suffer from anxiety shaking, what exactly can be done to stop it?

Well, in truth, there is no one single solution to this problem. Some people use medication, and suffer some of the side effects, while some people literally wait it out…that is, once the shaking starts to happen they wait for the shaking to stop.

But there are techniques that can have a higher risk of reducing the shaking.

One of the promising ones is EFT.

EFT is all about the body’s meridian system, and how the non-physical energy is transported and nurtured to the vital organs. But this energy system can have this balance disrupted dramatically when a traumatic event takes place.

So the trick here, is to simply try to locate the original memory that caused the dramatic event to take place, and simply re-balance the meridian system to, ‘flush’ the nervous energy away. This can be done by tapping where you can tap on your meridian points, located on various parts of the head and chest.

I know it sounds weird, but just the act of tapping, and re-citing an affirmation is more than enough to help release the energy, and re-balance your meridian system, so the flow of non-physical energy is flowing smoothly again (the meridians, incidentally, take the, ‘Qi’ energy’ from the Chakras, which are the main non-physical voices accompanying the body. You have 7 main Chakra points in your body). It’s when this energy is blocked that physical and psychological problems takes place.

EFT is a great free tool in helping you unblock and re-stabilize the Chakra points, and there are people who have used EFT to help themselves stop their shakes caused by anxiety. Just simply go online and search on videos that show you are to do EFT, and you’ll be amazed at the results it will bring.

But if EFT sounds to far fetched and, ‘new-agey’ or you would rather prefer something else, there are also other techniques that can help you reduce that adrenaline in your body.

If you can, you can try jogging or walking, as this will help calm you down and wear the adrenaline off. Jogging is exercise and is a great stress-reliever, and this will help insure the reduction of the adrenaline in your blood.

But if you are in a place where jogging is simply not allowed, or impractical (for example, in a car) you can try deep breathing. Although this doesn’t necessarily get rid of the adrenaline straight away, deep breathing has a soothing effect, and will help you to reduce the anxiety that is causing you to have the fight-or-flight response to begin with.

This is especially useful in you are in the middle to doing a particular task in the work place, and you have to find a way of carrying on.

Deep breathing has a meditative quality towards it, and has been shown to help individuals sooth their mind and as a result, calm down.

But ultimately, the best help you will get will be to take the time and go through events that naturally make you anxious or stress, and find ways to reduce the anxiety in those events, as this will reduce the risk of the adrenaline being flooded into your body.

Visualization and hypnosis my help in this case, as this will help your sub-conscious react slightly differently to the next scenario that could trigger the fight-or-flight response. Give it a go, you may be pleasantly surprised by the results.

 

Suffer From Anxiety Attacks While Driving? Here’s 7 Ways To Fast Relief!

Did you know, that over 40 million people suffer from an anxiety related disorder, ranging from Social anxiety, to SAD. Is it any wonder, that as stress and anxiety is on the increase, due to increasing work demands, family obligations, finances, etc.. that anxiety on the road is naturally going to increase.

More and more people are having anxiety in some form when they are on the road, and this has an understandable detrimental effect on their driving experience.

 But how do you know when you are having an anxiety attacks, or any prolonged form of anxiety when you are driving? Well, quite simply, the usual symptoms of having an anxiety or panic attack are pretty much the same when you are on the road as when they happen anywhere else.

 

They include:

  • Dizziness
  • Faintness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Clammy hands
  • Increasing heart beat/pounding heart
  • A deep fear/terror
  • The usual fight or flight feeling.
  • Plus much more…

The only problem with being on the road and behind the steering wheel, is of course you simply cannot just stop. You have to keep driving! And the worse thing is as you are not being focused on the road, this could be a chance that this attack could cause you to have an accident! This of course only adds to the terror, and the anxiety attack cycle gets strengthened.

This makes the experience even more unbearable, and can be responsible for negative sub-conscious programing to take place. i.e. you begin to have a fear that driving a car is bad for you and your health, which naturally severely limits any previous enjoyment you may have had, and of course severely limits your freedom and your mobility.

Put simply, if you can’t learn to cope and reduce (if not, eliminate) an anxiety or panic attack when you are driving, you are essentially going to create a phobia out of it, which will severely limit your life experience.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. You can get behind the wheel, and beginning to enjoy driving again, without having to worry of those dreading feelings of terror and fear will suddenly lurk up.

But what is the best way to do it?

In truth, there is no, ‘best way’. Everybody is different, and what works for some people doesn’t necessary mean it’s going to work for somebody else. For me, the best way is what I call quick distraction.

All this means, ,is that you quickly distract yourself from the anxiety attack, and as a result, calm the anxiety down.

It’s really quite easy, and you will be surprised and how effective this tool can be!

What we need to do, is to distract ourselves quickly, but without taking our concentration of the road, and what is ahead of us.

Now, the best way of distraction, is to do a quick maths sum, which should engage a tiny bit of your mind, but not too much as to take your concentration of the road.

Just quickly do a maths sum that is not too challenging, but requires a tiny bit of logical thinking. Obviously I’m not talking about a huge mathematical equation, like 432*64 (which would probably take me hours to figure;-) but something more like, 13 + 33.

You know, something that is slightly challenging, but not too challenging. Don’t forget, we are driving on the road, so we need to keep the vast majority of concentration on what we are doing with the steering wheel, etc.

But if distraction isn’t an option for you, or you would prefer something else, there are other techniques you can use to help you significantly reduce and even eliminate the anxiety or panic attack when it takes place.

Driving in least congested areas.

If you can, (and depending on your route to work, or where you live) try to initially avoid the roads with the most traffic on it. Try to stick to the minor roads where traffic is scarce, and if the anxiety attack is particularly bad, have the option to slow down and stop near the side (or curb) and calm down.

If you are in a town/city/area where there is only one road to use, and it’s always busy, simply try to remember any junctions which can lead you onto a minor road/street, and simply turn off to go there. Use this as a great way to drive to a car park/parking lot to actually stop and take 5 minutes to gather your breath and calm down. But if this doesn’t work, you can try the following instead…

Aromatherapy/scented oils.

Aroma-therapeutic oils like Chamomile, Vanilla, or Lavender can be used in the car to help soothe your nerves, if you are going somewhere that you know will be particularly stressful. Place some drops of the oil onto a tissue, near your air vents, and that will help spread the scent around the car. But if that doesn’t work, you can try the following instead…

Relaxing/Naturistic sounds

stress14You can try playing some nice relaxing music, or naturistic/meditation sounds in your car, either via a CD or an MP3 player connected to your car stereos This should help you to relax and allow you to reduce your nerves, while keeping your mind concentrating on the road ahead of you. Of course, meditation music that easily puts you into a trance/altered state of consciousness should NOT be used, as we are trying to keep our full concentration here (and not doze off, causing an accident!).

Visualizing/Hypnosis

Of course, you can try a bit of visualizing, to help you feel more relaxed being in a car, (if being in a car stresses you out. When you have 5-15 minutes to spare at home, simply sit down on a chair, close your eyes, and visualize yourself behind the wheel in a situation that you know is going to cause you to have an anxiety attack or panic attack. Try to visualize yourself driving with little/no nerves, and enjoying the challenges that come your way. This should help re-programme your subconscious into making your next driving trip a more pleasant experience, and help you reduce and eliminate your long-term anxiety problems.

Mindfulness meditation.

If you are on the road, and your nerves are going haywire, you can try a quick bit of mindfulness meditation. Put simply, this is the ability to near to the present moment as possible, and also helps to re-programme your subconscious in the process. Just simply watch you breathing (ideally done when you are waiting at the traffic lights, but can be done anyway) and (similar to the distraction technique) feel the breath of air going in and out of your lungs. Again the trick is not to be too distracted by this, but distracted enough to significantly reduce the anxiety attack.

EFT

This can be a great tool to reducing long-term anxiety, and has worked for thousands of people worldwide. Simply put, EFT is about tapping the meridian points on the face and chest while reciting affirmations. When you have 5 minutes at home, sit down and close your eyes. Try to imagine a time you were really in a middle of a big anxiety attack while driving, and when you can feel enough of the fear (don’t get too carried away with the fearful feelings, of course) start doing EFT.

This should replace the negative emotions with positive ones, energizing you in the process, and should help you feel more optimistic next time you think about driving in the future.

Hopefully as you can see, you can significantly reduce your risk (and even eliminate) having an anxiety/panic attack while driving. While we need to drive to work each day to help our families, driving shouldn’t be a hellish experience but an enjoyable one.

 

5 Ways To Stop Anxiety Sweating Fast!

As each year goes on, and work/family pressures increases, so does stress and anxiety. It is estimated that over $299 billion a year is used to stressed related injuries and claims, like being home due to work related sickness to compensation, and it is also estimated that around 40 million people suffer from some form of anxiety, whether it is a Social anxiety disorder or a form of OCD.

And this anxiety can create many symptoms, including sweating!

Sweating is not as uncommon as people think, and while medication can of course help, their side effects is not always preferred.

But why do people who suffer from anxiety, sweat?

Quite simply, anxiety-type sweating takes place when the body has to cool down from the initial surge of energy due to the natural system of the fight-or-flight response. After the initial surge of nervous energy (including adrenaline) takes place, the body warms up, and as a result, the body has to sweat.

This is done to help the body cool down, and sweating (in most normal cases) is a healthy and required thing. If the body gets too warm, your vital organs, including the brain, will get damaged.

The problem with people suffering from anxiety and stress, is that the sweating takes place in a non-anxiety related situation (in most cases). And then the poor individual has to essentially, ‘sweat it out’

It could be anything that can trigger the anxiety, from going to a job interview, to going to speak to someone in a public place. If you are anxious and fearful of the future, your body will naturally kick in it’s, ‘fight-or-flight’ response, and you will begin to sweat, which isn’t really fair on the poor person involved.

They then have to conceal the fact that they are sweating, either by having to have a glass of cold water nearby, or by politely excusing themselves. And, of course, this makes the situation worse, as this alone will naturally increase their anxiety levels, thereby increasing the chance of more sweat to be produced.

And so the viscous cycle continues!

So, what is the answer, or does the individual have to take medication for the rest of their lives?

Well, as always, there is no, ‘one size fits all’ approach. Everybody is different, and as a result, has a unique and different way of combating their sweating.

But one way that is universal and can help, is deep breathing!

Deep breathing has been shown to help reduce sweating, but why?

Quite simply, you sweat because your body is warm from the anxiety energy rush. So it makes sense that if you can control the anxiety, you can pretty much control the sweating that is produced.

Well alright, it’s not as simple as that, but by learning to use deep breathing in a stressful situation you will calm the mind down. This will in turn calm the body down and cool it a bit, thereby allowing your, ‘sweat session’ to be reduced.

Just by taking some calm, deep breaths when the going gets tough will not only distract you slightly (as you will need to keep some attention on the breathing and actually feel it enter and exit your body) but it also has a somewhat meditative effect on your brain. And the result is that you calm your nerves along the process, allowing you to react more productively and effectively at the situation at hand.

But if deep breathing is simply something you cannot do, you can try airing your arms and hands. This itself will help cool the body down, and will help the sweating to be reduced, as you begin to cool the body down.

You can also try wearing clothes that breath. This will help cool the body, and, as a result, reduce the sweat, by reducing external body heat. If you are out an about, you can try jogging, which is an excellent stress-relieving tool, as jogging promotes the release of Endorphins, which help sooth the mind.

Jogging also helps reduce future sweating by tiring the muscles, thereby reducing the amount of energy produced that can cause sweating. Of course, jogging causes sweating by itself, so it is best done if you haven’t got an anxious event to attend to. But once you have had a good jog and cooled down, it will help reduce the onset of future sweating due to future anxiety.

And of course, don’t be scared of the anticipation of sweating, if this is what is worrying you. Try to relax if another bout of sweating takes place. Being nervous if you are going to sweat or not can increase your anxiety levels, which in turn increases the risk of sweating. Easier said than done, right, but try to find a way to relax and keep your mind focused on something positive, or try to be in the present moment, as this will help with your anxiety.

Sweating can be debilitating for people who have to endure it, but as you can see, there are ways you can help yourself when the sweating begins. Ultimately, the trick is to control the anxiety beforehand, before the anxiety controls you.

 

How To Get Rid Of The Burnout In 5 Simple Ways!

This is stress that goes too far, and something that needs to be taken very seriously.

I came across this very, very recently, and realised that I had suffered from it in my past.

You see, there is an aspect of stress which is extremely harmful.

Actually, lets back up a bit…suffering from high levels of stress itself is very harmful

But this aspect of it takes it to a whole new level.

You see, the burnout is something which I firmly believe a lot of people are suffering from, yet few realize.

I suspect some people reading this will probably nod there head at the following characteristics.

 

  • Caring about your work seems like a complete waste of your personal energy.
  • Every day is an awful day.
  • You feel like anything you do doesn’t make a difference, isn’t noticed, or is unappreciated (or all three).
  • You feel exhausted/tired or fatigued most of the time.
  • Most of your day is spent doing tasks that are extremely overwhelming, or mind numbingly simple.

 

Does any of these sound familiar?

Suffering from burnout is due to too much stress for too long.

Essentially, like the name implies, your are worn out at a high level.

There are many causes of burnout. Below is just a small list.

 

Lifestyle-type burnouts may include:

 

  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Taking on far too much task and responsibilities
  • Being depended to do far too many things for far too many people
  • A reduction of very close or supportive friendships/relationships
  • Simply working too much, without taking the time to have fun/socialize with friends/co-workers or family

 

Work-related burnouts will include:

 

  • Working in a high pressure or chaotic environment
  • Thinking or feeling like you have no control over your workload
  • Doing jobs or tasks that are boring or non-challenging
  • Overly demanding or unclear job instructions or expectations
  • Lack of any rewards or recognition of any good work that you are doing

 

Personality-characteristics of a burnout include:

 

  • Trying to be a high achiever, The, ‘A-type’ personality
  • Trying to be perfect, as if nothing is good or satisfiable enough for you
  • Trying to be in control, no trust to delegate to other people
  • Cynical/pessimistic view of yourself and the environment/world that you are in

 

As you can see, you may be able to relate to some of the traits associated with the burnout.

But there are also physical, emotional and behavioral signs of the burnout as well

Signs that affect your behavior:

 

  • You don’t undertake responsibilities and withdraw
  • You skip going to work, or you may turn up late/go home early
  • You take longer to do things
  • You use drugs, alcohol or excessive food to help yourself cope
  • You become anti-social/ isolate yourself from other people/friends/family
  • You take your anger and your frustrations out on other people/friends/family

 

The emotional signs are as follows:

 

  • You feel detached, like you are alone in this world
  • You feel helpless, defeated and trapped
  • You have a sense of failing/failure and you self-doubt a lot
  • You have an intense decrease in satisfaction and a reduced sense of accomplishment of anything
  • You have little/complete loss of motivation
  • You have a sharply increasing pessimistic and cynical view of yourself and others in the world around you

 

The physical signs are as follows:

 

  • You have a change in appetite and/or change in sleeping habits, which may lead to;
  • Feeling like you are exhausted/fatigued/tired nearly all the time, you don’t get much rest or sleep
  • This lowers your immunity, making you suffer from colds and illnesses very easily as your immune system is unable to cope
  • You have an increased chance of pains in your body, like back pain, headaches and various muscle aches

 

Don’t forget, burnout is caused by too much stress for too long a time.

There are many differences between burnout and stress.

The differences are shown below:

 

Burnout Stress
Main damage is emotional Main damage is physical
Produces hopelessness and helplessness Produces a sense of urgency and hyperactivity
Life doesn’t seem worth living Can kill you prematurely
Can lead you to depression and detachment Can lead you to anxiety/panic attacks
A reduction in your goals, motivation and hope Reduces your energy
Your emotions are very numb Your emotions are over-active and very intense
You suffer from dis-engagement You suffer from over-engagement

 

So how do you cope from a burnout?

You need to watch the warning signs as soon as possible.

This is tricky, like I said earlier, as most people who suffer from it are too deep into it.

The trick is to know the symptoms and then tackle it quickly, before it tackles you (and being emotionally aware helps).

Then you need to try to reverse any damage that has been caused, by taking active steps to manage and control the stress that caused it and seeking additional support, either by your friends, family, your GP or going online to support forums (just type in stress forums in the search box next time you go online).

But this only helps the initial phase.

You need to build up the shield by taking up stress control measures (what this book is about) and finding a lifestyle that supports your work and family needs.

You can then emotional and physically recover and prevent it from happening again.

 

Below are a list of burnout prevention tips:

 

  • Start the day with doing something relaxing- This could be a form of meditation, or just thinking of positive thoughts. I know that can be tough, but with practice you can do it. Don’t forget, there’s always EFT if you are super angry or stressed out!

 

  • Learn how to be creative, as this is a powerful weapon against a burnout- You wouldn’t think of it, but being creative actually helps reduce a burnout, and is a start to the road of recovery. Set a time to be creative and use it wisely! (And have fun!!!)

 

  • Find a way to be self disciplined, by setting up a new schedule to have a better sleeping habit, proper diet, and a way to be healthy- This could mean setting up a schedule so that you exercise on certain times or days during the week, or finding out the foods that you eat that raises your irritation levels, and learning to cut down on them or eliminate them all together.

 

  • Learn to set yourself a few boundaries, and say, ‘No!’- Saying, ‘no’ to something is extremely empowering. It is also a sign that you are being serious on the healing side of eliminating a burnout, and gives you more time to do the stuff that is fun and exciting. Of course, always be careful who you say no to (naturally).

 

  • Find your own personal way to manage stress- We live on a planet, where the next stressful thing is just around the corner. Of course, if you use some of the techniques in this book, you should be able to reduce most, if not all of your stress. But each to their own. You need to find your own particular way so if it crops up again you would know what to do.

 

Of course, there are times that you are too late, and you are knee deep into a burnout.

This is a recipe of disaster, just waiting to happen.

If this happens, take the following steps:

 

  1. Slow down! You cannot do anything until you stop your mind racing. And you can’t stop your mind racing, until you learn to relax. You need to force yourself to take a break. This is a great place to learn to start saying, ‘no’ to people, and learning to meditate as a form of relaxation. Once you have a clear head, you can go onto Step 2 which is…

 

  1. Get the correct support. Noticed how I said, ‘correct’. Talking to a work colleague who has their own problems is the incorrect way to do it. Getting help from your local GP or councillor is THE correct way to do it. You need the support in order to aid your recovery and stop yourself going insane. Once you start getting the much needed support you require, you can go on to step 3…

 

  1. Re-think your goals and your career strategy.What caused the burnout to begin? The wrong job, or too much work? Whatever it is, you need to prevent it from happening again, or change career. Do whatever it takes to re-priortise your tasks and your goals, so that you can get some momentum back in your life again. Try changing career, if that is what is needed (Or take up a college class and get further qualifications if that helps).

 

If it is job related (and in most cases, it is) you can get help by asking your boss to get clarity on your job description, to find out if you can reduce your work load in certain areas, or even to have a meeting to address the situation entirely.

It’s up to you.

Speak to your boss to see if you can have time off to speak to a councillor, or just to have time off, period!

You need to find a way to make your job more manageable, before it is too late.

Doing this will help reduce the burnout, and you will have taken the first steps towards healing and recovery!

 

Managing Your Time To Beat Stress- The Easy Way!

Time management is essential for stress and anxiety reduction, because without managing your time, beating stress would be near to impossible!

There are some great tips in order for you to be able to manage your time, so that stress becomes reduced. But why?

Don’t forget, stress comes as a perceived threat. It isn’t the action that causes the stress, but the meaning we give to the action.

Let me give you an example.

Lets say that it is raining outside, and you can hear the rain on the window. Now some of you might be irritated by that, as the rain might be making a noise, preventing you from going to sleep.

Some of you might be relaxed about it, as it might be making a meditative rhythmic noise which could make you feel sleepy. And some people (lets just say a farmer), might actually enjoy it, because they know that their crops are getting a good healthy does of water. Do you see what is going on? It’s not the rain that is causing the emotions, it is the meaning that we give to the action/event.

Don’t forget, no event has a meaning, apart from the meaning that you individually give to it. So with that in mind, it is imperative that we manage our time, our workload, or our day, so that we can keep stress at an all time minimum.   These are the little things you can do, to make your life a lot easier.  

  • Prioritising your tasks– We will talk about this more later on

 

  • Taking the, ’10 min exercise’– Do a task that you have been avoiding, and do it for 10 mins. You may find that as you are starting it, it gets a little easier. Who knows, you may also end up finishing it as well;-)

 

  • Concentrate on the outcome, and not the process– Don’t focus your energy on how badly this is going, focus your energy on the ultimate outcome. This should give you peace of mind as well as the ability to work smarter and not too hard!

 

  • Start a stress journal- Try and quickly record what things stresses you out, how you felt physically and emotionally, what your response was, and what you did to feel better. If you can, you can try EFT to help alleviate the stress, to try to prevent it coming back in the future over a particular trigger (we will deal with EFT later in this book).

 

  • Let go of life, and accept everything that comes your way– I know, this is a hard one…but there are simply things that we cannot change. You have to control the controllable, which is always your response to a given task, and let the uncontrollable go. What I mean is, it’s very easy to get stressed out when there is a bad client to deal with, a horrible meeting to attend, or lots of emails to catch up on. We all have deadlines, but you cannot change that. Stop thinking that you can. Simply focus (as best you can) on the outcome, and let life takes it course. Try to remain focused!

 

  • Keep a healthy diet- Drinking coffee first thing may be nice, but it scatters your thought, messes with your internal thermostat, and before you know it, even the slightest noise is distracting. Try to drink more water, not caffeine, and don’t forget the fruit (don’t forget the chapter on foods and drinks, which will complement this nicely). When you have a break, try to relax and do the opposite that you were doing during work time, that is to say, give a chance for your mind to recuperate. If you can find a private place (like a car), try and meditate. This alone will work wonders (I’ll show you how you can do this later).

 

  • Make sure you have plenty of sleep- I know from personal experience, that when you barely have 7 hours of sleep, you feel groggy at work. The result? Poor productivity at work, and a bad mood. Do this for a long period of your life, and suddenly your subconscious is re-trained (and not for the better!). You can become depressed (even chronicly) and be, in extreme cases, suicidal (and trust me, I’ve been there).

  Get your sleep! Once you feel (at least) remotely refreshed, you’ve just improved your day by 50% (and that’s big, by the way). It will allow you to Concentrate, be more focused, get less distracted, and (if you avoid the morning coffee rush, and stick to water) be more healthier.  

  • Try and share a good laugh, when a joke comes your way- This will help lift up your mood, allowing you to concentrate and get the task done quicker.

  But how exactly do you prioritise?   There are many different ways. The one that I do is to simply to the table approach. stress10

  1. Place down all of the tasks on the left hand side
  2. On the right, mark from A to C which level of priority it has. A is very important and C is not that important…can be done later.
  3. Look at the A’s, and do those first, making sure that the B tasks are done afterwords.

    There is another variation of this, where you do a cross. stress9

  1. On the left hand side, you label, ‘High Importance’, on the right hand side, ‘Little Importance’.
  2. Below the table, you put, ‘done now’, on the right, ‘done asap’.

  Of course, these are two fairly simple exercises, that many courses and books cover.   But I thought these two will at the very least, get you on your way in prioritising tasks.   The stress reduction strategy   This is one that I came across, and thought it would be fitting to include it here. The trick is to look at the 2 C’s. Either change the situation, or change your reaction. You can change your reaction, by either trying to adapt to the stimulant/ what is causing the stress, or accepting the stimulant/ what is causing the stress. You can change the situation, by either trying to avoid the stimulant/what is causing the stress, or by trying to alter the stimulant/what is causing the stress. Lets look at each one in particular, to see how they fit into reducing stress.   Part 1: Adapting to the stimulant/what is causing the stress  

  • Try to look at the bigger picture/ broader view- This goes a long way, and you’ll be surprised that understanding the bigger picture can help change your perspective, which in the long run will reduce the stress.

 

  • Try to alter your own personal standards- we all want to be perfectionists, but we don’t live in a perfect world, and no event is perfect either. Don’t set your standards too high, and set out to achieve perfection. Something always happens that will knock you down. Learn to be happy and at peace when things don’t appear to go your way, and learn to accept the old cliché, ‘it’s good enough’.

 

  • Try to re-frame the picture of the problem in your mind- Don’t forget, it’s not the event that is stressing you out, it’s the meaning you are giving the event. Try to remain positive, and learn to adapt this as your attitude. Despite what cynics say, being positive does more help than harm (and you’ll start to feel good in the process;-).

 

  • Try to be grateful/learn gratitude- This is a hard one, I know. Being grateful when you have a client screaming at you, or being made to look like a fool by a colleague is no easy task. But surprisingly, gratitude (when done properly) has a great side effect at reducing your stress levels. Try, when you have 5 seconds of breathing space, to be really grateful for what you have. You should (if done properly) have a healing type of energy spring up, which should cool you down. You’ll be surprised at the results;-)

  Part 2: Accepting the stimulant/ what is causing the stress  

  • Try the art of forgiveness- We live in a judgemental world, don’t we? The problem is, love is unconditional, so is the world, and guess what, so is our life. Things will happen that is negative and positive in our life, whether we like it or not! The trick is therefore to learn forgiveness, and accept that nobody is perfect and that we all make mistakes, and sometimes there is ignorance around. How do you forgive? Let go of the event that caused your negative feelings. Just let it go. This will also let go of some if not all anger/ resentment and will allow you (if done properly) to feel more better and ultimately, more healthier (negativity has been proven to cause illnesses, and rage can shut down the immune system, which fights illnesses and disease, for up to to 4 hours…food for thought;-).

 

  • Try and share your feelings with someone you trust- This is why therapy can work very well, or having that nice long chat with a friend over the phone. The thing is, we use so much instant messaging and texting, that we forget the benefits of good ol’ fashioned socializing. Talking about your feelings lifts you up (and trust me, you will feel better afterwards). Just one word of caution: Don’t feel embarrassed about it;-)

 

  • Don’t forget, what doesn’t take you out, makes you stronger- It’s such an old cliche, I know, but it is so true. Try to look at the upside of everything, and you will begin to realise that you are stronger than you give yourself credit for. Don’t forget, your higher consciousness will always give you challenges for you to overcome. You may ask why? Is your soul cruel? No! It’s simple…to help you feel empowered. Dissolving a fear based situation, using love, is the most empowering thing you will feel. Don’t believe me, try it! Do an action that normally scares you slightly (always start small, of course) and using love (because love heals and is the opposite to fear) do the action and walk away. You will feel empowered (and strangely powerful;-).

 

  • Don’t attempt to control the stuff that you cannot control- Sports psychologists know this all too well, and convey this to top athletes. Only control what you can control, not attempt to control anything else (leave that to nature). Just do the best you can. Focus and concentrate on the stuff that only you can do, and (politely) ignore the rest. Why worry about something, and waste your precious energy over something that you cannot change? That’s crazy!!! Instead, focus on what you can change, and be at peace that you have done the best thing you can! (of course, it goes without saying, don’t do anything irresponsible/illegal).

  Now lets look at the 2nd C, which was changing your situation!   Part 3 – Avoiding the stimulant/what is causing the stress  

  • Look at your action list, and analyze it- Look at your appointments, schedules, and tasks. Like the priority tactic above, look at the ones that are the, ‘should do now’ versus the, ‘can do later’. Prioritise critically.

 

  • Take control of where you work- It sound obvious, but if simple things like the news stresses you out, turn off the TV! If you are in the car, for example, and the traffic gets particularly bad, go another way (even if it is longer, but of course take the time into consideration).

 

  • Learn how to say the, ‘No’ word- this one is tricky, especially for those people who love to feel like they are helpful all the time, but just saying, ‘No’ (politely of course) is one of the great simple things in getting things done and avoiding stress, because you are able to reduce your workload.

 

  • Learn to avoid the hot button conversations- Again sounds obvious, but if you know someone is going to turn into an angry politician due to a certain topic, avoid the topic altogether! This is another easy way to stop stress. Of course, these topics may flare out of nowhere, despite your best efforts, so remain calm and do deep breathing/ be in the, ‘now’ as much as possible if that happens.

  And consequently…  

  • Learn to avoid people who stress you out, period!- Doesn’t matter if it is family (that’s a big one, I know!) friends (although I would like to think that your friends shouldn’t stress you out) or your boss (who probably does it all the time). Of course, when it comes to work, you have no choice but to see your boss for meetings, and informal work related discussions. But limit the time as much as possible. You could save yourself a headache!

  Part 4- Altering the stimulant/ what is causing the stress  

  • Manage your personal time better- Poor or ineffective time management skills really make stress at an all time high! When you have loads of work to do, you’re behind, and if you have had a poor nights sleep, you really know it! Your stress levels go through the roof, you are unable to concentrate and results in poor productivity. If you plan ahead (starting with your sleep) you will ensure a better day, a more organised time, better focus and improved productivity.

 

  • Express how you feel, rather then keeping your feelings inside yourself- Bottling up your feelings towards someone that is causing you stress isn’t the best way to handle stress, and could lead to lack of focus and a potential argument. Always try to speak to someone in a respectful and careful way, to try to find a productive and constructive solution, rather than bottling up your feelings. Otherwise, the situation will keep taking place, and you’ve fallen further behind in your workload!

 

  • Be able to negotiate or compromise a situation- Negotiating a situation is one of the few qualities that is under-rated in social and work skills, and can work wonders in keeping your stress levels low! If you are able to alter your behaviour, because someone is willing to alter theirs to keep the peace, this will ensure a more productive outcome to both of your goals.

  But at the risk of contradicting…  

  • Be more firm/assertive- Learn to face your problems straight away by taking issues or problems head on. Don’t delay! Try to perceive them ahead of time and avoid them, or work around it. You will start to feel like you’re in control, with a better chance of reducing your stress levels.

  Hopefully that will give you a good foundation on how to use good time management tips to help reduce stress. Time management is such a big topic, enough to feel many books, but I wanted to give you some quick and simple ways of being able to be more productive. But what do you think? What is your best way of managing time? Let me know in the box below

 

Emotional Intelligence: Why It is Important And The 5 Steps To Increase It!

This is a subject that is not always discussed when it comes to stress reduction, and yet if you do wish to control your stress and anxiety levels, you will need to learn it.

But what is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to to be aware of your emotions, manipulate them from negative to positive and analyze them in yourself and other people, so you know when you are stressed, being negative and how to recognize this in other people.

This has numerous benefits, from being able to stay focused to building rapport with your team player or workers, to even resolving conflict and reducing stress in the long run.

There are 4 steps of Emotional Intelligence

 

  • Step 1: Being aware/perceiving your emotions- You need to be aware of your own emotions. It sounds easy, but you try it next time you get depressed or angry. Easier said than done, right? You need to be aware of your emotional state, moment to moment (if needs be) and be aware of how your emotions relate to your thoughts and your behaviors.

 

  • Step 2: Managing your emotional state- This is the ability to control your emotions, so that you can change behaviors, impulsive feelings, and learn to change with ever changing circumstances.

 

  • Step 3: Learn to understand emotions- This is vital to creating rapport with other people, making friends, or learning to read non-verbal clues and body language. It also means to understand the situation better, so for e.g, if you speak to your dad, and he is angry, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is your fault. It could be that he was late for work, or got caught up in a traffic jam, or didn’t sleep well.

 

  • Step 4: Learn how to control you emotions to develop prosperous relationships- The need to understand our emotions and what can trigger them, in ourselves and other people, is a priceless commodity. We can then begin to understand what is really going on around us, and the power games that are used. But on the positive side, we can develop harmonious relationships, communicate effectively, inspire people and work towards our goals more effectively.

 

So why is being emotionally aware so important?

It is said that if you are in control (to some degree) of your emotions, you are more able to be successful in the long run than, say, somebody who is academically brilliant.

How many of us have heard stories of individuals who have a high IQ, yet crumble when it comes to doing exams.

How many of us have seen a soccer player put a penalty away easily when the team are cruising 4-0 on an average game, yet blazes one over the bar if it is the deciding penalty that will secure them a place in the final?

We have seen it time and time again, being clever is simply not good enough!

You have to be smart as well, emotionally, as well as academically!

And being emotionally intelligent is the best way to do that.

It affects:

 

  • Health- It goes without saying (and I’ve had personal experience of this) that if you can’t manage your emotions, you are more susceptible to stress. Period! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about keeping negative feelings inside of yourself. That causes more harm than good. You need to express your feelings (in a non-destructive way, obviously) or you can make yourself ill! But not being emotionally aware will make you feel depressed, stressed and can cause all sorts of bodily breakdowns, like weakening the immune system to raising your blood pressure.

 

  • Mental well-being- It also goes without saying, that if you cannot manage your emotions and suffer from stress, this will impact your mental health. This may lead you to have mood swings, suffer a burnout (please see the next chapter for the burnout) and can leave you isolated and lonely as you do not communicate and connect very easily, so you begin losing friends and cut out relationships.

 

  • You work life- Being able to manage your emotions and communicate effectively with other people, including building rapport with other co workers, colleagues and managers, will mean better work relationships, being able to inspire and better resolution of inevitable work conflicts. You will be seen as being able to be a great communicator, which will increase productivity and team morale.

 

Increasing your Emotional Intelligence is a 5 step plan, and when these steps are mastered, not only will you feel better about yourself and being around other people, you will also become more healthier and more focused in your life.

 

  1. Reduce your stress levels

 

  1. Being aware of your emotions and how to manage them

 

  1. Being able to connect with other people using non verbal clues and other body language

 

  1. The art of using humour to help resolve conflict and inevitable challenges

 

  1. Learning how to use this all to resolve conflicts in a positive way and with confidence

 

Mastering the above 5 will help you to become more of an emotionally manageable person, and you will be able to develop rapport, increase your emotional awareness, and feel more better.But what do you think? Let me know in the box below.

Lets look at each one…

 

  1. Reduce Your stress levels. You need to be aware of when you are stressed, how you feel, what parts of the body are affected (for example, a tight chest or contracted throat), what triggered the stress levels, and what tends to help relieve the stress. This can either be something that can quieten you down, or something that can be stimulating. Everybody is different and therefore has different ways of dealing with stress.

    If you are introverted, withdrawn or depressed, you will tend to react more effectively to activities that stimulate you.

    Likewise, if you get angry or agitated, activities that quieten you down will be your best bet.

  2. Being aware of your emotions and how to manage them. Having a moment to moment awareness of your emotions is a priceless commodity, and you will be able to quickly identify which things help you be positive, and likewise the stuff that makes you negative. But like I said before, when I talk about managing your emotions, I’m not talking about suppressing them. You need to release them in a healthy way, in order for you to begin the healing process.

    Meditation and being in the, ‘now’ is a great way of releasing negativity, as all negativity is that of the EGO and not of the soul (I’ll talk more about that in a later chapter).

    Conversely, if you are very angry, it may be worthwhile to buy a punch bag, and when you get home, punch some wind (or join a gym to work it off).

    Learning to release your negative emotions in a safe and constructive way is a great way to reclaim your peace of mind, as well as resolve and improve relationships.

 

  1. Being able to connect with other people using non verbal clues and other body language. Non verbal communication makes up for about 70% of all of the total conversation. So it makes sense to try to master the non verbal clues, such as breathing, facial expressions, and tone (to name a few).Reading about NLP and body language will also be of extreme help.

    As always, to be a great communicator and rapport developer, try to remain eye contact, and keep your breathing at the same pace as theirs (unless they are breathing really quickly, that is).

    These small tips helps you to develop a good relationship, and you will be surprised at how this helps with the overall goal.

 

  1. The art of using humour to help resolve conflict and inevitable challenges. ‘There’s nowt wrong with a good belly laugh’. Many of you will have heard someone say this (or something similar) and for good reason. Laughter is probably in my opinion, one of the most underrated ways of not only reducing stress and keeping your head clear, but also to diffuse a bad situation.

    But I said, ‘art’ in the title, and for good reason.

    There is a small knack. You can laugh at the wrong time, so a fair judgement of the situation is needed here.

    But a small quick does of humour can help resolve differences in opinion, while a big belly laugh in the privacy of your own company, trying to see the, ‘funny side’ of a bad situation, can help you go through hardships in life.

    I know, this may sound impossible to do at first, but you do get into it.

    And after all, why not? Why should you let your inner peace be spoiled and ruined due to an exterior circumstance.

    Laughing helps clear the mind so you can be less rigid and stiff in your thinking, allowing more creative ways to solve a problem to emerge, see the positive side of it (if one exists, of course) and will help get your nervous system back into balance.

    Do not underestimate the power of a good laugh!

 

  1. Learning how to use this all to resolve conflicts in a positive way and with confidence. Lets be honest, although we all want harmonious and peaceful relationships, battles and disagreements are bound to happen. Why? Because everybody has a difference in opinion, and nearly everybody (apart from a small minority) is right.

    So there is bound to be some hard talking around. This is where grounding yourself, and being in the, ‘now’ helps.

    You help clear your mind of negativity and previous mental baggage (judgements, preconceived notions and beliefs, etc) and this will result in a more effective and peaceful outcome.

    But don’t forget, if you simply cannot see the other persons point of view, you can always agree to disagree, or at the very worst, forgive.

    This will keep the constructive aspect of the argument still strong, without it spilling over and causing too much hurt. Forgiveness helps you restore peace of mind, keeps you focused, reduces stress and restores broken friendships and relationships.

And how do you forgive? Just let go;-).

But what do you think? Let me know in the box below.

 

This Uncanny Technique Will Reduce Stress Within 5 Minutes!

What if there was a tool that could eliminate practically many of the physical ailments that we suffer from?

What if there was a tool that could help erase phobias in minutes, help people stop their suffering, and help them get back to good health?

What if there was a simple exercise that one could do that could help eliminate most of the problems in as little as 5 minutes?

Would you want to hear about it?

 

I bet you would!

 

The thing is, Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT for short has been around since the early 1990’s and was developed by Gary Craig.

And EFT is fastly becoming one of the safest and quickest forms of self-healing, due to the interlink between the mind and body. Simply put, if the mind is in poor shape, so will the body, and vice versa.

So what has this got to do with EFT, and ultimately, reducing stress and anxiety?

 

Well, if we can help the bodies electrical system, we can in turn, help our mind.

 

You see, EFT is actually a version of acupuncture, which comes from Chinese medicine between 2000-4000 years ago. The Chinese believed that the body had meridian points, a system within the body that distributes the life energy, or Qi.

Now, in a previous article about sleep and stress relief, I mentioned that the body has a non-physical counterpart as well, and this non-physical counterpart would contain around 7 main Vortices or Chakras.

Well, consider the meridians as the system that transports the life energy given by the Chakra to around other areas of the body. (Simply put, the chakras are the main contact points for the Qi to trickle in when we are sleeping, nourishing the main organs, where as the meridians are a network that allow the Qi to other areas of the body and other organs).

 

The two, in fact, work with each other.

 

So to get back on track, the Chinese believed that the body had meridian points, and by sending shocks to these points (originally, needles) you would be able to nurture and re-balance these energy imbalances However, acupuncture was used to help physical problems, not emotional ones.

Fast forward to 1962, and Dr G Goodhead had read a book on acupuncture by the President of the Acupuncture Society in the UK. He got excited about the possibilities about the potential, and having studied acupuncture he developed Applied Kinesiology (which uses testing of muscles to establish the appropriate cure or treatment).

Instead of using needles, he discovered that he could add manual pressure on the acupuncture points, or, ‘tapping’ them.

This work was developed further around the 1970’s by an Australian Psychiatrist called J. Diamond M.D. when he created a variation of it called, ‘Behavioral Kinesiology’, but including affirmations, or ‘statements’ when the acupuncture points were contacted and was used to treat emotional problems.

But this was only to turn into EFT when a further step was required. It required a structure in order for this treatment to help psychological problems, and Dr R Callahan, who specialized in anxiety disorders, created this structure.

In the 1980’s, he learned about Applied Kinesiology and learned about the bodies meridian system. He used the combination of tapping, while focusing on the psychological issues at hand. But after an event involving one of his patients called, ‘Mary’ (who had a phobia of water) he made a surprising discovery.

Gary Craig heard about this discovery and developed this tapping method even further, to distinguish it from the methods used by Dr Callahan. He has been teaching his methods since the early 1990’s and called it EFT.

 

Fast forward a few decades, and EFT is now being used by many health practitioners across the world to help people with physical and emotional issues.

 

Yet, despite the obvious fact that EFT works, and is helping people everyday to help physical ailments as well as psychological ones, why don’t we all use it?

 

  • One of the biggest reasons is that we simply don’t know where to start! None of us have perfect lives, and as a result, we have not just one issue, but several. So naturally, the question seems to be, ‘Where do I begin?’

 

The easiest way to answer this is to honestly ask yourself what the biggest stressful thing that is currently facing you right now, and start from there. Think of a thing that you know is going to send your stress levels souring, such as attending a job interview, or going on a date. Anything that you know is going to cause that heartbeat of yours to go higher than usual.

 

  • Another problem to EFT is that while we know what we don’t want, sometimes (not everytime) we don’t always know what we want. So we do the negative affirmations (which will be explained later) but sometimes forget their positive counterparts.

 

This creates the tendency to think of all the negative situations in your life, without using EFT in an exciting way in creating a better life for yourself, including ways to developing your psychology to allow you to strive towards your goals and dreams. Put simply, we do the bad stuff first, to create a form of self-healing, but forget that the same tool could help us realize our full potential!

 

  • Another problem is that some critics say that EFT could be new-age rubbish, saying that it is nothing more than a psychological placebo effect! (although this would surely indicate that age old law of mind over matter, for if you think you can become well, and you did become well, if it isn’t the acupressure that was directly responsible, your mind is!).

 

Some critics say that EFT, due to not enough scientific evidence, is nothing more than a patients belief system kicking into gear (although this wouldn’t quite fully explain why some physical ailments would be healed) and as a result, has no premise in the main medical establishment or industry, and is nothing more than just an extra cog in the new-age industry.

Personally, I’ve tried EFT for several years (although admittedly on and off, for various personal reasons) and I can testament to the effectiveness of this, ‘tool’.

For starters, I used it to help rid my nerves of an impending job interview, as well as using it (very recently) to reduce my OCD by up to 60% (which I know doesn’t sound much, but that’s most of my bad feelings gone, and my OCD ritual time reduced, allowing me to have more time to go to bed and meditate and image stream;-)

Is this really just mind over matter, once again confirming my belief (and some experience) that your mind does indeed create your reality (forming the basis of the law of attraction, a subject for another article) or is there really a meridian system that allows the distribution of Qi from the Chakras to help nourish the organs and the body including the psychological aspects of your being, to be essentially, ‘reset’ when you do nothing more than just, ‘tap it’ thereby inducing a mini, ‘shock’ allowing you to reset the energy disturbance, the very protocol which EFT is based on?

But then this would ponder another question: Is our feelings, emotions and thoughts nothing more than electrical activity taking place in our body, and as such, we can harness this electrical energy for positive effect, thereby allowing us to some degree, to manipulate our own body, manipulate our own thoughts and as a result (surely) manipulate our reality?

I must confess, even though I’v done as much research as possible in writing this article, I don’t have the answers (I wish at times I did!). However, I do know a few things:

Clearly, we have some form of running electrical activity in our body. This is measured by an EEG, (Electroencephalogram) which shows the electrical activity of the brain, and we know that during meditation, this electrical activity substantially varies, between Beta, Alpha and Theta (or, if you are really good at it, Gamma, and Delta) .

 

This alone can help increase the flood of Qi into your chakras, allowing you to feel refreshed.

 

But what if it is true that by tapping into this running electrical activity, we can indeed help the healing of some physical and psychological ailments, just be doing a simple exercise like tapping on some parts of your face and your chest, while saying out loud some simple statements?

Using a scan procedure called, Functional MRI (fMRI), which measures signal changes in the brain due to changing of the neural activity, scientists can demonstrate that stimulating points on the skin not only can change brain neural activity, but also can de-activate parts of the brain that is activated when we experience fear and pain.

 

Research has also shown that EFT can reduce Cortisol, the stress hormone, by as much as 24%, and can reduce stress by as much as 90% in more general cases.

 

EFT has been know to help help reduce (and in some cases, eliminate) the following ailments:

 

  • Performance Anxiety

 

  • Self Esteem Issues

 

  • Relationship problems

 

  • Trauma/PTSD

 

  • Addictions

 

  • Childrens Issues

 

  • Pain Management

 

  • Depression

 

  • Rage/Anger

 

  • Learning and Study Issues

 

  • Sleep/Insomnia issues

 

  • Allergies

 

  • Animal Issues

 

  • Weight loss or eating disorders

 

  • Fears and phobias

 

  • Anxiety/Stress

 

So what exactly do you do?

 

First things first, we need to know the most pressing psychological issue in your life, and work from there!

 

We need to know the thing that stresses you out, or at the very least, makes you feel very uncomfortable just thinking about it.

Once you have the emotional memory (or your perceived threat, i.e. something you are scared of that could happen in the future) ask yourself: How intense is it, on a scale of 1 to 10. This gives you a nice reference point which you can come back later, to see if you have made any progress.

Also ask yourself if it is a dumb or sharp feeling, as well as where the feeling is located (i.e. around the throat, or stomach area, or perhaps your heart feels clamped.).

Doing this protocol, we get to analyze more effectively the type of feeling we are trying to dislodge (and hopefully eliminate). We need to have some form of measurement guide, so we can effectively see how well (or not so well in some cases ) we are doing.

 

If done correctly, in most instances, the feeling should begin to reduce, as one tries EFT and practices more and more.

 

Note of warning. Although EFT has been deemed a fast way of self-healing, the people who have the greatest successes are the ones who do it more than once (or more than 5 minutes). It is said that doing EFT is like peeling the layers of an onion. You peel of one layer, only to discover that a deeper memory is there, so we need to tap that away, only to discover that another subconscious memory is lurking behind that, and so on. People who tap for a good hour are more likely to have more success that the people who tap for just a few minutes. But, of course, each to their own.

Once we have established and analyzed the feeling (to the best of our ability) we need to create a setup point.

stress7To do this, we simply tap our right hand (for the right handers out there) at the karate chop point, and say out loud the issue, ending in, ‘I deeply and completely, love and accept myself’

For example:

‘Even though I am stressed out about this job interview, I deeply and completely love and accept myself’

This is an affirmation, and affirmations are used in EFT to help with the re-framing process in the subconscious. Affirmations need to be said out loud while tapping the parts of your body (and ideally with desire) to help with your subconscious reconditioning.

 

Do this 3 times

 

This is called the setup, and is used to prevent Psychological Reversal, which can happen when a part of ourselves wants to change, but another part, either energetic or subconscious, doesn’t want to have that change.

After you’ve done this, we then start tapping the area above the bridge of the nose at the side of the eyebrow, called the Bladder Meridian.

You can either tap with one hand, or you can use both hands. You are essentially tapping the area where your eyebrows meet. This is a meridian end point, and by tapping, you are sending mini shock-waves to try to balance any energy imbalances in your body, that was caused when you thought of an unpleasant emotion or feeling.

 

Tap this around 7 times, saying out loud, ‘This feeling’

 

The next meridian end point is to the side of the eyes, and corresponds to the Gall Bladder meridian.

 

Tap this about 7 times, saying out loud, ‘This feeling’

 

The next end point is under the eye called the Stomach Meridian (where bags under your eyes are formed, if that helps). Tap that around 7 times, saying out loud, ‘This feeling’

The next end point is the spot just below your nose and above your mouth, the place where your mouth tends to curve downwards slightly, and is called the Governing Vessel. Tap that about 7 times, saying out loud, ‘This feeling’

The next meridian end point is the place below your mouth and above your chin. The spot where your skin goes inwards and is called the Central Vessel. Tap this about 7 times, saying out loud, ‘this feeling’

The next point is the patch or area just under your collar bone. This is called the Sore spot, and is the Neurolymphatic point. Tap that using one or both hands, saying out loud, ‘This feeling’

The following point is the place just about 4 inches under your armpit, and is called the Spleen Meridian. Tap this about 7 times, again saying out loud, ‘This feeling’

Then go to the top of your head, also called the Governing Vessel, and tap that about 7 times, saying, ‘This feeling’

Then we repeat this process, but with the fingers, as they also include meridian points. The first one is the thumb, called the Lung Meridian. Tap just right next to the nail, about 7 times, and say out loud, ‘This feeling’

The index finger is called the Large Intestine Meridian. Again, tap about 7 times right next to the nail, saying out loud, ‘This feeling’.

The middle finger, or Heart Protector is next, and you need to tap next to the nail again, about 7 times, saying, ‘This feeling’.

You miss the next finger, and go straight to the Little finger, called the Heart Meridian. Tap this around 7 times, again near the nail, saying out loud, ‘This feeling’.

Take a deep breath, try to get the feeling back, and see how it feels by now. Sometimes it’s still there, sometimes it’s been reduced. In some cases, it may even have gone (although that’s rare on the first occasion).

Try to bring the image in your mind back, or the feeling, and again feel how intense it is. Going by the initial protocol, which should be able to establish whether the feeling is still profound, if it has shifted position (i.e. gone somewhere else in the body) and (more importantly) whether there has been any positive effect caused by the tapping.

In most cases, the feeling/emotion will still be there, so what you do is to tap in the area between the little finger and the ring finger behind the knuckles (that triangular part between the bones, roughly 15 mm behind the knuckles).

It’s called the Gamut point, and will replace the karate chop point for the setup. Like before, say your problem out loud, but include the ending statement, ‘I love and accept myself).

Repeat as before, starting with the main part of the body, and finishing with your fingers.

Some techniques say that you can change the wording of your statements to fit your particular problem, so instead of saying, ‘this feeling’ you could say alter your statements to address the issues directly, and ask for help instead (e.g. while tapping your chin, you could say, ‘Being in a bar is no longer socially stressful’ and then tap on the part below your collar bone saying, ‘I love being around people’).

Change the wording where needed, and experiment. It’s perfectly safe.

If you say something out loud, and the feeling intensifies, it could mean that you’re saying it inaccurately, so test, experiment, and change where appropriate. Difficult it may be for some people, but try to have fun with this.

Although some people believe EFT is nothing more than a clever NLP trick to reduce (or collapse) a mental anchor that is created when a negative event takes place (i.e that is stimulas = response), it is generally regarded as a great, free tool to help not only overcome stressful and anxiety ridden circumstances, but also many other psychological and some physical ailments.

I personally have used EFT to help reduce my OCD, ‘routine’. I was able to reduce it and go to bed earlier (although admittedly, it took me several attempts. But then , I’ve had this OCD for many, many years).

This is still an incredibly fast form of self-healing, and many more people are using it to richly empower their lives and break through many barriers.

Although there is still some scientific research needed to see it it can, indeed’ heal other physical ailments (only some ailments can be reduced with EFT, although the symptoms of autism, interestingly, has been reported as being reduced in encouraging degrees using EFT on a child. You can read about it here).

EFT is fast becoming more and more popular as a treatment to help nearly all psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression.

Of course, it doesn’t work for everyone, and in future articles, I will talk about other therapies, such as IST and PSTEC…so stay tuned.

But what do you think of EFT? Has it worked for you? Please let me know below, I would love to hear of your experiences.

 

How To Reduce Stress With Meditation In 5 Easy Ways!

It is the one thing that can help you reduce stress and anxiety in the moment, without the need to take medication or do exercise.

Yet despite this, meditation is still not fully understood as to the benefits of reducing stress, anxiety and depression, despite science proving that meditation helps the brain to reduce Cortisol, which is the stress hormone

So why is that we still don’t meditate when we know we should?

 

1. Time– The main reason is that we simply don’t have the time to meditate. We lead such busy schedules, that time really is the essence. We have work commitments, family commitments, and don’t forget, we have our social life. For some people, medication and counseling is the best way to resolve any stress and depression issues. We would rather take pills, than take the healthy option and help still the mind

 

2. We don’t know how to– And this is yet another main reason why we don’t meditate. Simply put, we have per-concieved notions in what meditation looks like. I remember talking a bout is at work once, and I got looks and jokes about doing a certain famous yoga pose. But that is a posture, not the actual meditative act itself. Meditation is about the mind, or the ego, not about doing a certain difficult position.

Don’t get me wrong, if you can do a position, that’s great (and thank goodness we have yoga to teach us that) but if it is a choice between fighting to stay in position for a beginner, or just doing anything that makes you comfortable, I choose the latter any day of the week!

 

3. There is a fear factor– Strange but true, some people are actually turned off by the idea. Maybe it is the time element, or that doing a certain yoga pose, but mention the word meditation to some people, and the idea fills their mind with dread

Which is ironic, when you consider what meditation actually is. It is ultimately the act of connecting yourself to your source (I won’t mention the word god or soul, as some people reading this will emphatically deny that god or soul has nothing to do with meditation, but as I always say, ‘each to their own’)

And why do we need to re-establish the connection to source? So we remember who we really are. We are not the, ‘identification with a thought’ or what some people call, ‘the ego’. We are the pure consciousness behind, ‘the ego’. The realm of the all that is, omnipotent, omnipresence and omniscience. Now that’s a mouthful;-)

 

4. How long should it be?– Some people are not sure how long they should meditate. This is understandable, as there is no concrete fact that says that to be at optimum meditation standard (if there is any such a label) one has to meditate for 2 hours flat in the morning, and 2 hours late.

For me, I’ve known myself to have a quick 5 minute dose in the morning (when I’m in bed) and do 5 minutes in the evening (also in bed) before going to sleep. Or you can do 1 hour at the beginning of the day, and 1 hour at the end of the day.

You see, there is no set standard for how long you need to meditate All you need is to still the mind, and do that for at least a couple of minutes if you are busy, or if you have time on your hands, an hour before and an hour later. It’s completely your call, and you are in control.

Of course, it does go without saying, that the more you do, the more you will benefit. With more and more practice, you get better, have more peace, and get better at concentrating at doing things.

And don’t forget, you can always set the stopwatch, so that if you are wanting to do just 10 minutes in the morning, your buzzer will go off giving you the cue that your meditation session is over. Again, it’s up to you!

 

5. Boredom– Meditation, if you don’t know what you are doing, is not the most riveting and mind stimulating exercise in the world, isn’t it.

I mean, let’s get real here! The job of meditation is to essentially reduce (and in some cases, switch off) your conscious thoughts.

This, of course, goes against everything we have been taught as a kid as well as what society dictates. We are bombarded with hundreds of data from all sources, advertisements, opinions and imagery. In the 21st century, we have been subconsciously trained that it is not ok to, ‘still’ the mind. If anything, we need to have an opinion, and a big one!

But the funny thing is, once you know what to do, (or in some cases, ‘be’) meditation is a brilliant way to reduce the internal chatter, regain focus, and on top of all that, be at peace and love. We will talk about the easiest (in my opinion) ways to meditate, but for know, just know this. I would rather feel a deep peace than watch a melodramatic soap, any day of the week!

 

6. Unable to switch the ego off– This is another famous reason why some people won’t meditate. Although similar to point 2, for some people, they can get into a pose, but have no idea on the actual act of slowing (and stopping) the mind. But don’t worry, switching your attention (and I’ve just given half of the secret away there;-) is what this article is all about!

It’s not the difficult, has multiple benefits, and after even a tiny bit of practice, you begin to notice an obvious mental difference. And once you know the knack of switching your attention, you can begin to meditate virtually anywhere The choices are practically unlimited!

So, if you can find a way to make time for just 15 minutes a day to still the mind, you will be automatically ahead of most people, who still firmly believe that materialism and happiness is outside of yourself, rather that within.

But what exactly are the benefits apart from the obvious relaxational mental state, thereby reducing stress and anxiety in the moment, of practicing meditation?

Before we describe the benefits, as we are on the topic of stress and anxiety reductions, lets look a the very thing we are trying to control, and that is the brain.

stress6

Your brain is made up of 4 parts: The Lateral Prefontal Cortex, The Medial Prefrontal Cortex, The Amygdala and The Insula.

Let’s look at each one…

 

  • The Lateral Prefrontal Cortex: The logical you!

 

It’s the part of you that views things in a more rational, balanced and ultimately logical way. It involves process that are to do with over-riding the automatic behaviors/habits, modulating your emotional responses which could take place from the, ‘fear’ aspect of the brain (which we will talk about in moment) and reduces your ability to take things personal. Essentially, this aspect of your brain, ‘assesses’ and analyzes stuff.

 

  • The Medial Prefrontal Cortex: The, ‘Ego’ you!

 

This is the part that individuates things in your favor, as in, see’s the you (or the, ‘I’ if you will) in the experiences. This part of the brain is involved with things like day-dreaming, being self-reflective, feeling empathy with other people or the public, and engaging in social conventions or situations.

This part also has two further sections: The first is The Ventromedial Medial Prefrontal Cortex, including the processing of things that are similar to you, including other people, and is the part that can take things too personally, and can, as a result, cause negativity, such as anxiety, depression, stuff that causes you to worry, etc.

The second is The Dorsomedial Prefrontal Cortex, which is involved in the stuff that is dissimilar to you, including (more importantly) showing empathy towards people that are not like us!

 

  • The Amygdala: The, ‘Fearful’ you!

 

This is basically the part of the brain that creates the alarm and is responsible for the good old fashioned fight-or-flight response, and other initial emotional responses.

 

  • The Insula: The, ‘I Have Bodily Sensations’ you!

 

Ok, not a great title, I know, but it does sum up pretty much what this aspect of your brain is all about. Essentially the part of your brain involved with bodily sensations, such as your gut feelings, and your experiences.

When you meditate, the connection between the Dorsomedial Prefrontal Cortex (the processing of stuff that is not familiar to you, including showing empathy towards other people) and the Insula aspect of your brain (The Sensations part of you, including your gut feelings) is increased, so you feel more compassion and empathy/understanding towards the situation at hand, as well as the people you meet.

This allows us to tolerate and forgive more or the situations that would otherwise cause us anxiety and stress, and allows us to self-heal.

You also break down the strong connections between the The Medial Prefrontal Cortex (and more importantly, the Ventromedial Medial Prefrontal Cortex which can take things too personally).

This helps reduce your anxiety and your stress levels, and as a results, gives you greater clarity of mind, thanks to the default increased connection of your Lateral Prefrontal Cortex, or the logical you, as well as increasing the connections with your Insula and your Amygdala (but because of the breakdown of your Ventromedial Medial Prefrontal Cortex, you have a more logical, rational approach towards a, ‘fearful’ situation, so your, ‘fight-or-flight’ automatic response is reduced greatly).

So, know we know why meditation is not only helpful to the brain, but also crucial to its processing ability.

But what are the other aspects towards meditation, as well as the obvious reduction of short term and long term stress and anxiety?

 

  • It can make you get better grades, due to an increase in cognitive functioning, including better attentions skills, reduction of exam anxiety and a reduction of ADHD

 

  • It helps protect the brain and reduce mental illness, by helping to increase Myelin (protective tissue) and axonal density (signaling connections).

 

  • Helps reduce loneliness, especially between the elderly.

 

  • Increases the enjoyment of music, due to increased concentration.

 

  • Helps reduce the catching of the cold, by reducing the risk of catching respiratory infections and allows the reduction of the length of time and severity of experiencing the symptoms .

 

  • Helps increase the brain matter density, especially for meditators who meditate for long periods of time.

 

  • Mindfulness meditating reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which leads us to…

 

  • Having a better night sleep.

 

So how do you practice (and get good at) mindfulness meditation?

 

Below are techniques I sometimes use. They do look simple, but trust me…they work!

 

1stexercise

 

This can be done, sitting down or standing up, and will literally take about 10 seconds to do (once you get good at it) and is amazingly effective in allowing a peaceful state of mind to return to you.

All you do is this.

Next time you get stressed, think of the thoughts analytically.

Now focus on the gaps between the words in your thoughts.

Focus on the gaps.

If another thought comes, let it come, and focus on any gap in that thought instead!

After a few moments, you will feel, ‘present’.

Now, you could be asking, what does feeling, ‘present’, feel like?

 

The best way I can describe it (and I’m sure people will describe different sensations) is that a wonderful calm feeling of relaxing, healing peace takes over!

Your negativity goes, and you are, (temporarily at least) in a state of peace and sometimes bliss (again, I’ve done this exercise myself, so I know it works!).

You are able to have a clear head, and you can refocus much more easily on the task at hand.

 

2nd exercise

 

What if you find it difficult to analyze your own thoughts?

Simple.

We’ll listen to the ambient noise instead!

Just listen to the background noise, whether it is in the office, or outside.

Focus (again, for a short while) on the ambient noise, and you will feel a deep peace flood into your stomach area (what you are actually doing, is opening up your solar plexus vortex, commonly known as a, ‘chakra).

Again, this technique will force you into the, ‘now’, and will force you to have a relaxing, healing peace envelop your body and mind, reducing stress in an (almost) instant!

 

3rd exercise

 

This is another great exercise, which not only helps you be in the present moment, but also increases your levels of observation.

Look out in front of you, and gaze (so you don’t stare too hard and hurt your eyes, or give yourself a headache).

Try, without directly looking at it, to observe the space above the stare, and then the space below the stare.

Then, after a few minutes, try to observe the space to the left of the stare, and then to the right.

After a few moments, you should feel yourself being, ‘present’ and you will have entered the, ‘now’.

This particular technique is great when you are walking, and are too busy to listen to the ambient noise to notice being in the, ‘now’.

You will also feel like you are more mentally clear and sharp!

 

4th exercise

 

This is a technique which you can do while sitting down or laying down.

It’s particularly useful if you are talking with someone, or you are actively engaging your mind to a slightly monotonous task.

What we are going to do here, is to notice the bodily sensations.

Start of by noticing your bones, and your muscles.

Try and feel them inside of your body.

Then try and feel your organs, and finally, your breathing.

Feel the breath of air going in and out of your lungs.

After a few moments, you should start to feel a peace, and will begin to get more, ‘present’.

I’ve been able to feel ecstasy doing this, while listening to a client, and having a small cold.

I’ve literally, ‘felt’ my inner body into bliss (although it didn’t last for long, to be honest).

This will help you if you have to listen to something fairly important, but you know doesn’t require complete mental concentration.

 

5th exercise

 

Another great way of being present, is by using a simple breathing technique.

All you have to do, is to simply lay down and watch your breaths.

Don’t try and control your breathing, just sit down (or lay down) and observe your breathing.

Just observe how you breath in, and how you breath out, and feel the breath going into your lungs.

After a few moments of observing your breathing and feeling it go into your body, you will begin to feel very present and your ego chatter will be vastly reduced.

Why?

Similar to the above exercises, by simply focusing on your breathing, you are essentially moving your attention from your mind to a physical sensation on your body.

It is the attention being directed away from your thoughts, to your body which is causing you to be in the, ‘now’.

Put simply, it is your attention that we are trying to control.

Your attention is quicker than your thought process (that is why you can think of new things very quickly).

Control your attention, and you control your thinking.

Control your thinking, and you control your stress levels, and your life!

 

Why does this work?

When you are in the, ‘now’, or the present moment, you temporarily shut off the main part of your, ‘ego’ (the one responsible for the problem) and you connect to the highest part of your consciousness.

The part that is full of creativity, exists outside the space-time continuum and the part that is unconditionally loving and healing.

This allows the negativity and the stress to dissolve away (quite literally) and allows you to re-gain clarity of mind!

So, is meditation the ultimate cure for stress? It’s really hard to prove otherwise, isn’t it!

But what do you think? Let me know in the box below

 

 

Want To Eat Your Way To Stress Relief? Here Are 13 Ways To Do It!

It’s a familiar story. You come home feeling tired and anxious. It’s been a long day. You walk in, dreary, wanting to crash on the couch. You put the TV on, and watch some late comedy show. But you’re not laughing. Life feels bad, and your sick of your boss.

Suddenly, an idea pops into your head, and you go to the cupboard Inside you find some chocolate and some coke. You munch that chocolate down, and you feel a bit better, but the comedy on the TV still isn’t there, so you go to the fridge and find that gorgeous tasty chocolate chip pudding.

You scoff that down, and now you feel great!

The world seems a better place. The tension in your shoulder are gone, and that headache from the meeting that you have just come from is now disappearing. And guess what, the guy on the TV isn’t that bad. You find him mildly amusing, and start laughing at his jokes.

You know you have to go back to work tomorrow to finish the presentation, and you’re dreading it, worried that it might turn into a disaster. But that is a long way off at the moment. That is for another day…

And you slump further into your couch, because you know that the world seems a safer place.

Screw the diet you are on, you’re here on this planet to have fun…

This is a story that is played out in real life in some peoples homes, and while we could do with practicing meditation or doing some exercise, diet is equally an important ingredient in reducing our stress and anxiety skills. Or to put it another way, it is another cog in helping you cope better with your stress and anxiety symptoms, and should not be ignored.

But the reality is, there are still many of us who still use junk food as a coping mechanism to try to eliminate stress in our lives, and while we know it isn’t good for us, we would rather have a short term gain, rather than a ling term solution.

Why?

Because it’s easier, and doesn’t involve much mental effort. And I’ve been there. There have been times when I’ve been involved in a job, where the stress starts to build up. What I should’ve done is to take a 5 min timeout, or hymn a nice loving tune to myself to relieve the symptoms by dissolving the anchor (or even go to my car/go to the toilets, and do some quick EFT. Please see this article about EFT and stress).

Instead, what I actually do is take the easy option, which does my body (and in turn, my mind) no good, and eat some chocolate…several in fact…to help me take my mind off something.

Emotional eating, as it’s called, is the quick and easy way to reduce stress and anxiety, in the moment.

However, the problem with emotional eating, is that it stops the anxiety for a brief moment. The problem doesn’t go away, and can lead you to keep on eating, just to feel better.

The differences of emotional hunger and normal hunger are shown below:

Normal Eating

Emotional Eating

Normal hunger doesn’t make you feel bad when you eat

Emotional eating can trigger the feelings of guilt, shame and feeling powerless to do anything about it

Being physically hunger gives you options. Most foods are appealing

When you are emotionally hungry, you want to eat specific types of food

Physical hunger will always come on slowly

Emotional hunger always comes quickly, and nearly always over a trigger

Physical hunger is stopped when you are full up

Emotional hunger isn’t finished when your stomach is full

You can keep being physically hungry for a while. It can wait

Emotional hunger feels like it has to be instantly satisfied

This can sometimes be a recurring issues, but for some people, it’s a big problem.

Diet and stress go hand in hand, just as much as meditation and stress, and exercise and stress. Diet is no different!

Yet, how do we make the switch between eating chocolate and sugars (which makes the body work hard, and as a result, induce more stress) to eating nuts and fruit?

  • One of the easiest ways of doing it is to find out what is triggering this emotional easting habit. How do we do that? By being conscious, to the best of our ability, on our emotional state, and adjust accordingly if the state starts to get bad. Just monitoring our emotional state will help increase our emotional intelligence, and will also alert us if we are feeling down or bad enough to result in emotional eating.

  • Another way we can do it is to stop for 5 mins before we rush off to the canteen, or to the fridge, or cupboard. Emotional eating tends to be a quick, sudden sensation. Putting it off, although requires at times high amounts of self discipline, is a great way of trying to distract yourself so you are made more conscious of what you are doing, and as a result try alternative therapies inside. Try squeezing a stress ball, or eating some healthy nuts (which can be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety).

Can’t do 5 mins as it seems to much? Try a couple instead. That should be enough to get you to stop thinking about that chocolate bar and soda, and start thinking (boring though it may sound) on the water (which is great, strangely, for reducing stress in the body) and nuts.

  • Another way you can stop the quick rush to the dining room, is to create a quick relief schedule of tips and techniques you can do when the going gets tough. You can step outside and go into the privacy of your car if you wish to do a quick session of EFT, or you can meditate instead for a few minutes (and yes, you can do that!). Try and create a list of techniques that you know will work for you, and adhere to them on a daily basis. If you job allows you to, try and go for a brisk 5 min walk, or if you are at your desk, hymn your favorite tune. The trick here is to substitute that bit of junk food for a more healthier, favorable version. Try buying some Gogi berries, and slowly munch those. Whatever it takes to get rid of that sudden need to dash to the fridge.

  • Don’t forget, get your sleep! In an article about sleep and stress reduction, I talked about the importance of sleep on allowing you to de-stress, think more clearly and have a sharper mental edge. When it comes to diet, sleep is also a vital ingredient. It is no accident that when we haven’t had much sleep or we are sleepy, we want to have a chocolate bar or some sweets to give us that extra energy, rather than having an apple or an orange.

Don’t forget that your body has two hormones, which regulate the normal feelings of fullness and hunger. Leptin gives the brain signals when we are full, and Ghrelin tells the brain when we are hungry.

The thing is, when we have little sleep, your Ghrelin levels go up and your Leptin levels go down. This basically means you want to eat more, and you don’t feel satisfied when you do.

Getting your quality sleep helps reduce your stress levels significantly, as well as allowing you to have more natural energy which can indirectly increase your will power to stop emotional eating.

You will feel more refreshed, more mentally focused, and rather than going for the chocolate bar in the canteen, will go for an apple at break time instead. And your body will thank you for it!

stress16So you find a way to control your urges, then what? To be successful at substantially reducing your stress and anxiety in the long run, you need to create a proper diet to help keep your stress levels to an all time low.

The foods and drinks listed below will contribute (to some degree) to keeping a healthy body, which will help your mental faculties and reduce stress and anxiety in the moderate and long run.

Incorporate some of the foods and drinks below, while exercising, meditating, and getting your required sleep, and your stress and anxiety levels should start to be reduced almost immediately.

 

  • Breakfast Cereal- Cereals are plenty in essential minerals and Vitamins. They can be a great source of stress beating B Vitamins, Vitamin C, Folic acid and Fibre.

 

  • Fish have a high dose of B Vitamins, in particular the stress reducers B6 and B12. It is said that a B12 deficiency can lead to depression.

 

  • Almonds are a great way to reduce stress- These nuts are packed with Vitamin B2 (which is Riboflavin), Vitamin E, Zinc and Magnesium. Magnesium and Riboflavin are used in the production of Serotonin which helps relieve the stress and regulate your mood. Zinc has been shown to help fight against some of the negative forms of stress, while Vitamin E is an antioxidant that kills the free radicals that correlates to heart disease and stress. As they are high in fat, however, it is recommended to have just a small handful to eat.

 

  • Broccoli and Spinach- Full of stress relieving B Vitamins, and has the extra benefit of containing Folic acid. Folic acid helps relieve anxiety attacks, stress and depression, and is also high in fibre. Spinach has a high dose of Vitamin C and Magnesium, which helps the regulation of your cortisol levels and helps increase your mood and well-being

 

  • Chicken and Turkey- High source of amino acid L-Tryptophan which calms and helps the mind by allowing the release of Serotonin. Turkey is a good source of Protein, which helps promote the stable blood sugar levels and, as a result, reduce stress.

 

  • Cottage Cheese and Cantaloupe– Cantaloupe is a high source of Vitamins C, which is a stress reducer. Don’t forget, continuous stress depletes Vitamin C in the adrenal glands, so you need to keep a high level of it. Also helps regulate your heartbeats and helps increase the oxygen supply to the brain. Cottage Cheese has high source of Vitamin B12 and B2, Calcium and Protein, which will reduce the anxiety.

 

  • Blueberries- Very high in Vitamin C and E, Magnesium, Manganese and antioxidants and therefore helps reduce cortisol levels. Its also low in calories and a high source in Fibre.

 

  • Whole Grain Rice or Pasta- Brown rice contains Folic acid and B Vitamins, which helps reduce anxiety and stress. They are also high in Carbohydrates, which means that they boost your serotonin levels. Complex Carbohydrates are digested more slowly and will make you feel more fuller and more happier for a longer period of time.

 

  • Nuts- High source in Serotonin boosting L-Tryptophan and full of B Vitamins, Vitamin E, Zinc, Magnesium, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The Magnesium and B Vitamins regulate mood and relieve stress by giving a boost to Serotonin, Magnesium in particular helps with avoiding headaches and fatigue, while Zinc has been shown to fight of some of the negative effects of stress. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps destroy the free radicals relating to stress and heart disease

 

  • Oranges- High levels of Vitamin C, which is important as distress destroys your Vitamin C levels and your body doesn’t replenish Vitamin C naturally. It also boosts the immune system, lowers your level of cortisol and is also an antioxidant, which helps monitor those free radicals and repairs the body.

 

  • Dried apricots- High in the mineral Magnesium, which is a stress reducer. Magnesium is essential for healthy cells and helps relax your muscles. Also a good source in Vitamin C which helps promote your immune system.

 

  • Flaxseed oil- Helps the brain functions and improves mood swings as it promotes Omega 3 Fatty acids.

 

  • Asparagus- Contains Folic acid and Vitamin B, which helps increase the production of Serotonin, which is used to help soothe your mood levels.

 

For drink:

 

  • Drinking Chamomile tea is a gentle relaxant that acts like a nerve tonic and promotes healthy sleeping.

 

  • Herbal Tea– Catnip, Lemon balm, Skullcap, Passionflower, Hops, or Valerian. Pick up raw herbs from a herb seller and steep in hot water at your desired strength.

 

  • Honey infused tea- Dried herbs infused with honey for 2 weeks. Mix 1 tablespoon of the tea/honey mixture with hot water, milk, or hot coconut milk. This will help you to relax and de-stress.

 

  • Green tea- Contains L-Theanine, which is an amino acid that helps soothes you and boosts your general mood. Try to go for decaffeinated tea, so the L-Theanine is at its strongest.

 

  • Water- Don’t forget, our bodies are made up by mostly water, so when you drink water you are helping out your organs, which when dehydrated, can cause you stress. Having just half a litre dehydrated of water in your body may increase your Cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone. Therefore, keeping your body in a hydrated state will help keep your stress levels to a minimum.

 

  • Milk- High in anti-oxidants, Vitamins B12 and B2, Calcium and Protein. Your blood pressure is actually lowered, thanks to the protein Lactium and the potassium can help relieve the muscle spasms that can be triggered due to feeling stressed and tense. This is why having a warm glass before going to bed helps with insomnia.

 

Foods and drinks to avoid:

 

  • Try to eliminate Coffee, Tea and other caffeinated drinks- Go for black tea instead, which contains flavonoids that help block the signals that produces the, ‘fight-or-flight’ response in your nervous system.

 

  • Refined sugar- Stripped of nutrients, but the fluctuations they cause in the blood sugar and insulin levels leads to poor levels of concentration and being irritable.

 

  • High sodium foods- Liquid is attracted to Sodium like a magnet, so when you ingest more sodium, you keep more liquid which works your heart more, increases your blood pressure and can lead to water retention, bloating, and puffiness. This drains your energy and increases your stress levels.

 

  • Sweets and Candy- Contains high amounts of sugar, which although gives an initial boost of energy, creates a crash afterwards. Due to the overwhelming fatigue it brings, can make your mood irritable.

 

  • Crisp/ Potato Chips- Contains high amounts of Salts which retains water and makes you dehydrated. Fast food, and French Fries are high in Fat and Salt. The grease causes digestion problems.

 

  • Junk food in general- Due to poor nutritional content, are stress inducing. If the body doesn’t get enough of the necessary nutrients, its ability at being able to handle stress are lowered.

 

  • Caffeine- Popularly used as a stimulant. Stimulates the nervous system, which can lead to an increase in heartbeats and blood pressure. Also irritates your digestive system. Increased caffeine also interferes with the sleep cycles and trigger dehydration, takes your energy away and can cause headaches.

 

  • Alcohol- Stimulates the production of the same hormones the body creates when under stress. The two in fact can feed of each other: alcohol can lengthen the feelings of tension that is brought on by stress and the stress reduces the nice effects of alcohol and can give you more of a craving.

 

So there you go. Hopefully you’ll be able to take this list away, and create a suitable diet that you can use to reduce your stress and anxiety to an all time minimum.

But what do you think. I would love to hear your thoughts, in the box below;-)

 

Not Getting Enough Sleep Due To Your Stress? Here Is a Simple Guide To Sleep Like A Baby!

Its a familiar story… you’re tired, and you come home. You try to finish all of your tasks for the evening, but you’re not sure if your boss is happy with that presentation you’ve just made, or the number of emails that you have managed to reply to…and you’re scared that you are going to lose your job! Your heart beats faster…your anxious and your tired.

It’s been like this for several weeks, but guess what, it’s now taking it’s toll. Your partner is moody at you, as you seem completely disinterested, and you’re scared that you are loosing your sanity and you’ll go broke.

You watch TV, feeling more and more tired, but for some reason, unable to get to bed. You finally trudge up the stairs, and limp to the bathroom, your mind still racing full of thoughts, like ants running around inside your brain. You look at your self in the mirror, and you know you look like a mess, but you dare not admit it to your partner.

You get undressed, and you get into bed. It’s already extremely late, and you’ve got to get up early tomorrow!

Your mind is still racing, and your sick of it!

This tired feeling numbs your senses, and you feel like you’re a zombie. As you turn the light of, you know that you’ll get 5 hours tops (and that’s if your lucky!). You lie in bed, initially staring at the ceiling, then at the moonlit curtains that’s casting a shadow over the dresser. You’re scared! You need this job, or else

You close you eyes and try to sleep, but no such luck. Your heart is beating faster than normal, and you feel achy around your heart. Your head feels like it is extremely hungover, like you’ve just been out in town. It feels like a big heavy doorknob that’s sitting on your shoulders Your mind gets dreamy, and very blurry…

You wake up, exhausted, eyesight not fully sharp. You stumble out of bed, and almost fall to the floor, head feels dead. Within the next hour, you will force some cereal down your throat, and drive to work, hoping to keep the bad feelings of dread to an all time low, and figuring another way to survive another day…

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It’s the same old story for the millions of people who get stressed each day and loose sleep over it

It’s estimated that over 40% of people are stressed at work, while over 25% claiming to be super stressed. And that’s not all, it’s also estimated that people having time of work due to stress is costing the US economy over $299 billion yearly!

Yet, the cruel irony, is that for many of us who get stressed, we tend to skip on the very thing that can reduce it.

It’s a vicious cycle. Your stressed, so you try to get some sleep. But of course, that’s easier said then done, and you can’t focus. If you are paranoid, or have OCD, you will (of course) do your routine more than once, in an effort that some dreadful thing won’t happen. This naturally keeps the mind busy, making it even more difficult to relax.

You go to bed (eventually) only to discover that your imagination has suddenly gone into 5th gear. You close your eyes, but you’re nervous about tomorrow (assuming it’s not already tomorrow that is) and you look at the alarm clock. When you do wake up, you’re extremely tired, desperately wanting another couple of hours at the very least (but knowing you’re not going to get it).

And then you have to go to a job, which is mentally and emotionally draining, and you get stressed. You come home, and the cycle repeats itself

Stress causes lack of sleep, which causes more stress, which causes more lack of sleep, which causes more stress…

…and so on.

Do this for a long period of time, and you begin to mentally injure yourself!

You see, we need between 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep each night, as lack of sleep can cause

  1. Reduction in cognitive functioning. It impairs:
  • Alertness
  • Attention
  • Reasoning
  • Concentration
  • Problem solving abilities
  • Makes it extremely difficult to learn something more effeciently
  • You won’t remeber easily what was learned in the previous day, as sleep helps the consolidation of the memories in your mind. Simply put, you won’t remember much!

2. Accidents

It has been noted, that sleep deprivation has caused some of the biggest accidents in recent history. The 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island and the 1986 nuclear meltown at Chernobyl. Drowsiness does slow reaction time, similar to drink driving. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) estimates that fatigue causes around 100’000 vehicle crashes and around 1’550 crash related deaths per year in the US.

3. Reduced sleep increases your risk of:

 

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Diabetes
  • A stroke

 

4. Sleep deprivation can impair your own judgement

Getting regular loss of sleep decreases your ability to make accurate judgements of a situation or event, thereby causing you to make inaccurate assements and not act wisely, including whether or not you are getting enough sleep.

5. Lack of sleep can increase a risk of death.

Found in the, ‘Whitehall II Study’, Researchers from Britain looked at around 10’000 British Civil Servants over 2 decades, for sleep loss, and found out that the servants who had reduced their sleep from 7 hours to around 5 hours (or fewer) almost doubled their risk of death from different sources.

6. Loosing your sleep can make you gain weight

According to a study conducted in 2004, the people who slept for less than 6 hours a day were 30% more likely to suffer from obesity than those who slept between 7-9 hours. Not only that, but there is a link between sleep and the peptides that regulate the appetite. Shortened sleep is strongly associated with a decrease in Leptin and an increase in Ghrelin, Leptin being a protein hormone that has a key role in regulating appetite and Ghrelin being a hunger-stimulating peptide.

7. Reduced sleep actually ages your skin!

Too much reduced sleep leads to fine lines, lacklustre skin, and dark circles under the eyes. When you don’t get your sleep, your body produces more of the stress hormone, Cortisol. This breaks down the protein that keeps your skin nicely smooth and elastic, Collagen. Reduced sleep also reduces the release of the Human Growth Hormone, which help promote growth when we are young. As we get older, it helps increase thickened skin, muscle mass and strengthens bone.

8. Reduced sleep makes you depressed

Sleep disorders and reduced or ineffective sleep patterns all contribute to the symptoms of depression. In a poll conducted in 2005, people who were medically diagnosed with anxiety or depression were far more likely to be sleeping less than 6 hours a night.

9. Reduced sleep can kill your sex drive

Yes, it’s now official, lack of sleep reduces your sexual libido. Having less energy, increased tension (probably due to stress and anxiety) and feeling extremely tired or fatigued are most to blame.

10. Reduced sleep reduces your immune system

This is the same system that helps fight off colds and illnesses, and having a poor sleep schedule really helps in increasing your chance in catching a cold.

I could relate to some of this. Having suffered from OCD, paranoia and stress, I regularly got around 5 hours if I was lucky. You literally walk around in work, wanting to put your head on the desk.

I couldn’t concentrate, had mood swings, and got depressed and stressed way too easily.

You see, we lead such busy lives, we have commitments, families to take care off, and getting a good night sleep seems like the furthest thing on your mind.

Or it could be the opposite. Getting a good night sleep is something that you are desperate to achieve. But for some reason, you simply can’t get it.

You have tried everything, from hypnotherapy to sleeping pills. And if you’re not careful, you’re going to turn into an insomniac.

Yet due to the nature of technology, we believe we can do so much more, in the same amount of time.

This causes breakdowns of relationships, family issues, and puts a burden on your job. Ask any stressed out person, life simply isn’t fun, and your not fun to be around!

But why is sleep that important to reducing your stress levels, and getting you life back?

It’s because what sleep does, which is vitally important to your well being

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Sleep reduces stress by revitalizing your body when you are dreaming, as well as:

  • Increasing more plasticity (connections between the nerve cells)
  • Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleeping enhances your emotional memory
  • Increases learning skills, and decision making processes
  • Cognitive functioning is increased during a healthy sleep

 

And cognitive functioning is a big one, because it’s the one that allows you to function more sharply!

So you see, not only does getting your quality sleep matter, it’s more important than you think

Don’t forget, your sleep goes through stages. Non- REM sleep (REM- Rapid Eye Movement) and then REM sleep (each cycle lasting around 90 minutes).

Stage 1- The transition to sleep – Takes roughly 5 minutes, eyes move slowly under the eyelids and your muscle activity slows down- brainwave electrical activity around light alpha (alpha between 8-13hz)

Stage 2- Light Sleep – Takes roughly 10 to 25 minutes and is when your eyes stop moving, your body temperature decreases, and your heart rate slows – brainwave activity around theta to deep alpha (theta between 4-7hz)

Stage 3- Deep Sleep – If you are spiritual, this part would be when you lose your sense of self, or you have achieved connection to the universal source. If you were to be awakened, you would feel very groggy, and dis-oriented. The blood flow is directed from your brain to your muscles, allowing the restoration of your physical energy. Brainwave state, 0.5 to 3hz (delta)

Stage 4 – REM sleep – Normally between 70-90 minutes after falling asleep, you enter REM sleep. It’s called REM because your eyes dart back and forth, and you are dreaming. Due to having a sense of self, you actually go back up to theta. It is this state where your legs and arms are paralyzed and and your heart beats and blood pressure increases, while your breathing shallows. Images are very vivid (well, you are dreaming after all!)

It’s stage 3 that is the crucial one. When you are in deep sleep, HGH is released, and you feel more refreshed. The only way to get more stage 3 deep sleep, is to start going to bed early i.e. spend more time in bed!

You will feel more refreshed, think more clearly, but most of all, feel alive!

But spiritualists also see sleep in a different light.

We have non-physical contact points, between the non-physical and the physical (the non-physical being part of the multi-verse). When we are asleep, life energy or Qi, trickles through these contact points, or votices. These votices are your chakras, and it is the chakras when you are sleeping that ultimately govern how refreshed you feel when you wake up.

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Your chakras allow the Qi to nourish your vital organs, including your brain. This is why meditating is so important if you wish to have a quick dose of energy during the day. Just 10 minutes of meditation done during your lunch hour will helps re-energize you, as meditation can help open and all life energy to give you a burst of energy (I’ve done this successfully while sitting in my car, engine turned off).

However, your chakras are not the only reason why getting your sleep is vital in reducing your stress and anxiety levels for the short, to long run

A protein called the Circadian Rhythm is also important. This is essentially your internal body clock, and is responsible in stopping you having a good nights rest, especially if you are doing shift work in your job.

Simply put, the body requires routine.

If you go to bed at different times during the week, your circadian rhythm will be out of sync, and as a result, your deep sleep will suffer.

So not only are your chakras passing the vital life energy to your body, but your internal body clock is also happy, as well as your Human Growth Hormone helping you out while your in REM sleep, by:

  • Building stronger bones
  • Improving your sleep patterns
  • Increases the synthesis of new protein tissue, helping muscles repair or recovery
  • Helps improve the quality of your heart and Kidneys
  • And (of course) produces more energy.

 

So as you can see, the Human Growth Hormone plays an important role in the development of your emotional and physical well-being, as well as physical healing.

But this does beg a question, how does one get sleep when one is super stressed?

The trick here is to (somehow) relax the mind.

You’ve got to break the cycle somehow. The best way is to relax the mind to a degree that you can nod off.

In a moment, I’ll talk about quick ways you can relax the mind when you are stressed at work, but for now, let’s look at some quick ways to help calm the mind enough for you to get to bed and get (at the very least) your 7.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep (and that’s loads, by the way).

  1. Have a warm relaxing lavender bath
  1. De-clutter your bedroom
  1. Stop mind engaging activities 1 hour before going to bed
  1. Take up the art of mindfulness meditation
  1. Have a warm glass of milk before going to bed
  1. Avoid caffeine after 3pm
  1. Turn the clock the other way, so you don’t get distracted by the time
  1. Read Heart Warming stories
  1. Listen to a Delta Entrainement CD (I recommend the ARVARI, as they guide you to Delta extremely well)
  2.  And it goes without saying, but a nice air-cooled, comfy bed (and pillow) goes a long way!

 

But sometimes, you simply cannot get that restful sleep that you need, then what?

Believe it or not, there are tactics that you can use to get (some) refreshing energy to not only get you through your tough day in the office, but also get your mind remotely sharp.

  1. Learn to meditate in a private place, like your car

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Just doing this for 10-15 minutes, either at break time or lunch, will help you feel some energy from your non-physical self. Try this as a quick test

 

  • Do deep belly breathing for a minute

 

  • Now listen to the breathing intently. Feel it and pay it attention when it enters your body and when it leaves

 

  • Now close your eyes, and keep your attention on your breathing.

 

  • Focus your attention for as long as possible, and you should find that a healing peace will flood your stomach area. You will feel very present, and you will have opened, or balanced your solar plexus chakra (the one responsible for personal willpower, ironically;-)

 

This will be enough to calm your mind down, so you can relax. If you can also balance this with feeling love flow and permeate your body, you will be able to feel re-energize and allow the Qi to make you slightly more refreshed and alert, as well as being able to de-stress you.

To feel love, try this:

 

  • Again, take some deep belly breaths for about a minute. This will help calm and slow down the mind (controlling your breathing helps control the mind)

 

  • Now, imagine hugging somebody you deeply love and admire. This could be your boyfriend/girlfriend, sister/brother, husband/wife, you get the picture;-)

 

  • Really try to imagine hugging them in your favorite place (this is your imagination, so choose any place you like)

 

If done correctly, you should feel love emanate from your heart chakra, and permeate your body. This will be a very unconditional, healing form of love, and you will start to begin dissolving any current psychological or emotional issues you have (true love always heals;-).

Try using your imagination to, ‘guide’ this love around your body. It should be pretty easy to do.

Using this with being present in the 1st exercise will not only help your mind stop racing, but will relax you, help you de-stress, re-energise you and give you a clear head. You can try this in your car (with the engine turned off, obviously) for about 10 minutes, and feel the difference..

2. Have a 15 minute Delta power-nap

If you do have a racing mind, and being in the present moment is simply too difficult, try buying a 15 delta power-nap mp3, and listen to it when you are in the car (again, engine turned off;-)

You can get some great mp3’s that really help your brain reach near the delta state, and will allow you to de-tune fairly easily, and a power nap increases the cognitive function up to 40%. You can get a 10 min mp3 to a 35 min one here (I use a 15 min myself).

3. Learn how to feel the love while in the workplace

You can try this one you’ve mastered the above exercise, but this time, while inside doing your job. It’s surprisingly easy to do once you get the hang of it, and when you let it spread through your body when you are sitting down, will help de-stress you in the moment and re-energise you.

4. Keep drinking the water

Not really a tactic, but I thought I must include it on this list, as not drinking enough water throughout the day will dehydrate your body, making the stress worst! So keep drinking the water, and avoid the caffeine. This alone will work wonders, and you will keep your organs ticking over

Lack of sleep and stress, when combined, make a deadly duo. But you can get your sleep, and as a result, your life back. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know below. I would love to hear from you;-)