What we eat builds the foundations of our health, and yet so many of us have such a complicated relationship with food. If you are willing to work on that relationship, you can develop a healthier attitude and learn to listen to your body’s natural cues.
Having an awareness of what you eat, the beliefs you hold around food and thinking about what you are putting into your body can help to promote healthy habits that encourage both mental and physical wellness. Controlling your eating and making healthy choices doesn’t have to mean bland, you can feel excited about food changes and not restricted.
With the festive season just around the corner, why not bring a little conscious cooking into your kitchen. See the real benefit that incorporating herbs and spices into your food can make, such as food being more exciting/flavoursome without added calories as well as being a great substitute for salt, sugar and saturated fat.
Why not try some of the following herbs and spices in your cooking:
If possible try to use herbs in their fresh form and if cooking add when the food is almost finished cooking to retain the flavour and aroma.
*Please be mindful of any allergies you may have when selecting herbs and spices.
#consciouscooking #herbalremedies #herbalist #homemade #kitchenguide
As Winter draws in the nights get longer, the days get colder and all around us parts of the natural world go into hibernation. Nothing says snuggle down under the duvet and grab a quick forty winks more than a grey winters afternoon, but as nature around us slows down and takes time to regenerate we continue to push ourselves to take on an even busier, fast paced, intensive schedule particularly during the month of December.
This is the time of year when it is reported that stress levels jump, depression spikes and day to day health declines and while a Winter's nap wont solve all your problems it will give you that all important window of time to focus on your own self care and wellbeing in amongst the rush of the season.
Napping may not be something that you will be able to squeeze into everyday, but when the opportunity does arise allow yourself permission to take hold of the moment. Not only will a quick snooze leave you feeling reengergised and refreshed but it will also help reduce stress and increase your feelings of emotional wellness.
GETTING THE TIMING RIGHT
When setting your timer for napping there are two ideal time lengths. The first is 30 minutes as this is just the right amount of time to allow you to grab a quick replenish without entering deep sleep (which is hard and no fun to wake out of). The second is 90 minutes and this is roughly the length of a full sleep cycle meaning you will enter REM sleep and wake up feeling bright and refreshed.
BEFORE YOU START
Find yourself a restful space where you can position your body in such a way that it is comfortable and when relaxed you will be able to drift off to sleep. You may want to use pillows, a snuggly blanket or even a hot water bottle to up the cosy vibes.
For many of us sleeping in the middle of the day may not feel like the most natural of things and it is important to relax your mind into the moment as it is not uncommon for your brain to resist the unusal change to your daily routine.
If you are struggling to find your way to the land of nod there are a couple of ways you could ease yourself into a sense of calm :
1. Focus on your breathing, hold your attention on your inhaling and exhaling. Breathe in for the count of 5, hold for the count of 4 and breathe out for the count of 10. Repeat this process for around fives minutes to allow the chatter of your mind to fade away.
2. Starting with your fingers and toes and slowly moving up the body do a couple of slow, gentle stretches. You should stay lying or sitting down, whichever is the more comfortable position for your upcoming nap.
3. Thoughts, ideas and feelings will creep into your head as you prepare yourself to nap, but it is important to not try and blank them out as this may result in a resistance that makes it hard to relax into sleep. Instead acknowledge these thoughts and then move on, not holding on to anything for a prolonged amount of time before returning all your attention to the inhaling and exhaling of your breathing.
After not too long you should have settled down to enjoy a quick winters nap.
#wintersnap #sleeptherapy #hypnotherapy #hygge
When it comes to Christmas in November there are definitely two types of people: those that are already talking trees, favourite christmas movies and all things festive and those that will be sticking their fingers in their ears and shaking their heads with a ‘too early’ anytime a christmas song is played before December the 1st.
As we already know Christmas is a whole lot more than what you find under the tree on Christmas morning but there is also a deeper level to the holidays beyond the twinkling fairy lights that meet the eye.
This Christmas season take the time to close your eyes, inhale a deep breath and allow yourself to enjoy the nostalgic and familiar scents that remind us that it is beginning to smell a lot like Christmas. Research has discovered that not only does this time of year tend to smell amazing but these smells could actually be beneficial to your mind and body.
So if you are already a Christmas fanatic you can start enjoying the festivities and these unknown benefits on a whole new level and if you are finding it too early to bring out the tinsel, you can just block out the baubles and simply breathe.
THE CHRISTMAS TREE
There is nothing quite like the smell of a real life Christmas tree. If you ever get the chance head out to the woods or even just have a wander around your local christmas tree farm and breathe in their sweet, earthy aroma. Scientists in Japan have revealed that this nostalgic scent of the season may also be good for your health. They discovered that the smell of pine needles can be beneficial in combating anxiety, stress and depression. Just breathing in their scent can improve your mood and overall feeling of wellbeing.
This spice packs a festive punch and not only does it smell as if Christmas has just exploded inside your nose but studys have also discovered that it can help improve brain performance and memory. Research has found that just catching a whiff of Cinnamon can impact cognitive processing and increase attentional processes, visual-motor response speed and working memory, which could come in handy when trying to get through a Christmas to-do list as long as Santa’s.
A FESTIVE ORANGE
From dried orange garlands and clove studded orange pomanders to the traditional orange found in the toe of your stocking. Not only do oranges around the home look incredibly festive but the citrusy aroma has been shown to boost energy levels and increase alertness. It is also a great scent for creating a sense of composure and studies have found that a little sniff of orange can do wonders for helping to keep people calm under pressure. Perfect for when you need to navigate those hustling, bustling Christmas crowds.
#christmas #hypnotherapy #festivefun #emotionalwellbeing
We’re all about natural health here at TITC and while creating our ‘Menopause Empowerment’ course (click here to register your interest), we came across some interesting facts about Pumpkin seeds.
Did you know that Pumpkin seeds can help enhance your mood, renew your skin and reduce menopause symptoms? A woman can lose zinc through hot flushes and night sweats and you guessed it, these amazing little seeds are high in zinc. It helps our immune systems to stay strong as well as keep skin healthy and produce sex hormones which during the menopause are decreasing. Pumpkin seeds are also high in protein and provide omega -7 that helps to prevent dryness of the skin, including vaginal dryness. Pumpkin seeds are definitely a great snack for anyone looking to improve their heart health, skin, immune system and sleep.
We suggest eating a handful of organic seeds as a healthy snack or if you’re carving pumpkins this Halloween, why not roast the seeds scooped out. Simply wash the seeds and remove any flesh fibres from the pumpkin, spread over a baking tray, pour a little olive oil over them and then sprinkle with your flavouring so sea salt, Italian herbs, cinnamon or even chilli flakes. Then mix all together and then bake at 170 celsius for around 15 minutes or until the seeds are lightly golden brown. Leave to cool and then store in an airtight container for snacking on later!
#pumpkinseeds #foodforthought #naturalremedies #womenshealth
Balance in life comes from knowing where you are now and where you want to go.
However, persistent negative self-talk can stop you achieving the goals you have in life. Developing an awareness of your own thoughts can help you create the life you want.
Find a quiet place, where you won’t be disturbed and try the following exercise.
For further help with creating positive self-talk, why not try our affirmation video.
#affirmations #mindset #positive-thinking #selfreflection
Autumn is the season of change. So take a leaf out of nature's book and seize the opportunity this October to establish new patterns, behaviours and actions in your own life.
Life is made up of a series of moments, experiences and social interactions. As we pass between these situations we are often exposed to ideas, suggestions and guidance that if we were to pay closer attention to, would actually provide beneficial direction for change within our lives and behaviour. However, our ability to accept and consider these ideas all depend on us approaching them with an open mind. Too often we see outside advice as a form of criticism on us as a person (because lets be honest if we are partaking in certain behaviour we usually don't see initial problems for ourselves). Therefore, step one in achieving successful change is to try and see new suggestions with a calm and open mindset. Allow yourself to consider different options and choices without acting defensively (one way to do this would be to consider the scenario from the perspective of someone else, or to imagine the guidance you would give to a friend). Keeping yourself open to the idea of change is the first step towards being able to actually achieve it.
This takes us to one of the most important steps in achieving a change in your mindset or behaviour.Throughout our lives many of us will often consider taking steps towards new actions but we don't set aside the time to really focus on what we want to achieve, Take some time out of your busy life, find a quiet undisturbed place to reflect and allow your mind to really focus on the change you want to see. Ask yourself, why, when, and what you want to change and how you propose to achieve this. In reality this step can take varying degrees of time depending on the individual but the key thing to remember is that you want to change your idea of change into a belief for change. For example you may want to decrease/stop smoking and have the idea ( 'stopping smoking is important') but after deep consideration of the above questions surrounding your reasons for change you will transform this idea into a belief ( 'I need to stop smoking'). Change is achieved by finding a belief that you find motivating.
Okay, it's go time. Here is the stage for action. After we have fully considered our options, decided what we want and achieved our own motivating beliefs as to what change we want to see and how we are going to achieve it, now is the time to start the journey. Think of this as your road trip prepping time. You wouldn't start out on a long car drive without making sure you were properly prepared and getting ready for a life or behaviour change is exactly the same. This is the time to begin readying yourself for the work ahead. For some this may take the form of physical action such as removing items from day to day life that are associated with behaviour you wish to stop (such as cigarettes or junk food) or incorporating new positive things that will assist in the planned change (such as joining a gym). Mental prep work such as quit/start dates are also a great way to start gaining momentum and building determination towards achieving your goal.
Here we go... it's time to start doing and make the change you want to see. Practice makes progress and progress builds motivation. Motivation fuels further action and action leads to results. Now is the time to put into place everything you have been thinking about. The key to achieving change at this stage is mindset. Keep focused on the belief you have already decided upon and allow yourself to regularly reflect on where you want to go and what you want to do. Take steps everyday in the direction that you want to go, sometimes these will be large physical steps and sometimes this will just mean taking time out to refocus your mind.
You have started on the path to change and so far so good but here comes the very most important stage in this transformation and that is maintaining the change you wish to see. You have successfully achieved a great start but what you need to work on now is how you are going to continue meeting your goals. One of the most important things to consider in achieving this is to realise that the strategies you put in place at the start of your change will need to continue to grow and develop alongside your new lifestyle or actions. Here comes the information again that you need to continue checking in with yourself, how you feel, what you want and why you are initiating this change. As you move further down the road towards your idea of change becoming a daily way of life, you need to address how this new version of reality affects you and those around you. Acknowledge your success and allow this to reinforce your beliefs and reinvigorate your motivation. By keeping your mindset focused and positive you will allow yourself the best opportunity for continued growth and persistent change.
#change #newstart #hypnosis #liveyourbestlife
As the last of the summer days fade away and are replaced by the tumbling of golden leaves from the trees, it can only mean one thing… Autumn is coming. For many the idea of Autumn conjures up cosy images of crackling fires, snuggly scarfs and pumpkin spice, but for just as many the season doesn’t feel quite so comforting.
Along with those chilly Autumn winds a lot of people are also getting hit with what is known as ‘Autumn Anxiety’.
The term was coined by Welsh Therapist Gillian Scully back in 2005 and gives a name to the increased levels of generalized anxiety that many people are experiencing as we wave goodbye to summer.
Surprisingly many people have still not heard the term, but they may be more familiar with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a similar condition which affects an estimated 10 million people a year and can lead to depressive symptoms in the winter months. Those that suffer with SAD and also those that are Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) are among the most common people to experience the symptoms of Autumn Anxiety, but they are by no means alone. Anxiety does not discriminate and even those that do not generally suffer from it throughout the rest of the year have been known to experience increased spikes in unrest and nervousness as Autumn kicks in.
There are so many reasons as to why someone may be experiencing Autumn Anxiety but one of the most common is the sense of uncontrolled transition. I mean we only have to look outside our windows in the Autumn months to see the world itself starts to change before our very eyes. Where only weeks ago stood a bright green, leafy tree, there now stands a balding, branch exposed, rust coloured replacement.
But it doesn’t stop there… ever since we were children, Autumn has been the season of new beginnings. The start of the new school year and the introduction of new commitments after the causal vibes of summer days can be an unpleasant shift in gears. For some these were great times, but for others this continued pattern of transition year upon year has created a reoccuring sense of anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed.
On top of this Autumn is the start of the shortened day. The effect of this, due to limited or decreased exposure to sunlight in the years darker months (just like during the Winter months with SAD) can lead to low levels of vitamin d and a reduction in the body’s melatonin and serotonin levels. This can leave many suffering with a biological condition that has very similar symptoms to depression and during the Autumn months, increased levels of anxiety.
Seasonal allergies also have their part to play. Studies have shown that allergy symptoms related to low and high pollen seasons can be linked to higher anxiety and depression levels. This may have something to do with the fact that as allergies attack the immune system the body has to fight back and the physical effects of this can impact on how you feel mentally.
Autumn Anxiety exists but so do different tips and techniques for how to try and cope with it. So here we go…
First off, if seasonal allergies ring a bell then get that remedied as soon as possible. If you can actively sooth the physical reaction, that is one less thing contributing to the pyschological effects of the season.
Get yourself outside. This will help combat the effects of shortened days because you will be giving yourself the best opportunity to take advantage of that fleeting Autumn Sun. While it may seem comforting to stay indoors and nest as the days turn colder, this can sometimes add to feelings of isolation and increased anxiety as you stay locked away on your own. Taking the time to venture outside and going on a brisk Autumnal walk will allow you to get those dopamine levels up with a little bit of light exercise, and will also give you the time to focus on your breathing.
Breathing is a great way to focus the mind and actually help boost you mood and alleviate levels of anxiety. While out walking allow yourself to calm your mind, clear it of all thoughts and worries and focus solely on your breathing as you inhale and exhale. Take deep breaths from your diaphragm as this has a soothing effect on the body and in turn on the mind.
Lastly just make sure you are treating yourself to that little bit of self care that we all need. Take it easy on yourself, allow yourself the time to unwind and relax. Great ways to do this would be to limit time on electronic devices (try and cut down on that blue light exposure), reduce your caffeine intake and most importantly set aside time to make sure you are getting enough of the sleep, rest and support that you deserve.
While these tips are great for helping to encourage feelings of relaxation and provide ways to decompress after a hectic and stressful day, if you are experiencing an overwhelming sense of stress and anxiety that is beginning to impact your day to day life it may be beneficial to find someone that can offer you professional advice on dealing with these feelings.
#autumnanxiety #autumn #emotionalhealth #anxiety #hypnosis
Every month we will be delivering little snippets of therapy news alongside seasonal tips and tricks for the the mind and body, exclusively for our newsletter tribe. So why not get comfy, take some time out from your busy day and enjoy a catch up chatter with us. Take a seat on our therapy couch and allow yourself to breathe, escape and grow.