Feelings of being nervous, stressed or frustrated can pop up at any time and this quick and simple excercise is a great way to reconnect to your breathing, refocus you mind and re-establish a level of calm within yourself. . . .
Visualise your breathing as a circle.
Imagine each individual breath following the line of this shape as it flows around your body.
As you do this allow your mind to focus on the process of your breathing. Inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Thoughts and feelings will enter your mind, acknowledge these emotions and notions and then return your attention to your body as you breathe in and out.
As you inhale, visualise the circle. Breathe in through your nose for the count of 4 for the first half of the circle and breathe out through your mouth for the count of four for the second half.
Repeat the process of inhaling and exhaling around your circle.
Breathing in for four...1...2...3...4
and out for four...1...2...3...4.
With the completion of each circle your feelings of nerves and frustration should begin to clear. Allow this practice to re-establish a sense of calm within your mind and body, before returning to your day.
If feelings of anxiety, stress or frustration are negatively impacting your day to day life on a regular basis please contact Nicole, reach out to friends, family or a mental health professional in your local area.
#hypnotherapy #calming #meditation #breathing #emotionalwellness
When you head to bed at night you have all the best intentions in the world of jumping up when your alarm goes off the next morning and springing into a new day but fast forward a few hours and as the first beep of your wake up call sounds your hand is instantly heading for the snooze button. An extra five or ten minutes in bed seems harmless enough but are there actually consequences to indulging in a little snooze time?
It turns out that as much as some of us may try to resist it, we humans work best when sticking to regular routines and habits. One of the most effective ways to manage your sleep and therefore your energy, productivity and focus is to get control of your snoozing habits. When we wake up and go to bed at the same time everyday our bodies can begin to establish patterns. With sleep these patterns can help to regulate our internal clocks and encourage us to wake up at a set time each day and start to feel sleepy at a set point each night. By doing this it can become easier to fall asleep and wake up in the morning but the snooze button is the destroyer of routine. By letting yourself drift back to sleep for even just half an hour your internal clock is completely thrown off and your body is left feeling confused and out of sync. Extra time in bed on a Sunday morning may feel amazing in the moment but when your body doesn't know when to get sleepy on Sunday night and you are still lying awake into the wee hours of Monday morning its not going to seem such a great idea.
You may not always be feeling super refreshed and ready to go when that alarm hits but an extra five minutes is not going to solve your problems as snoozing actually increases these feelings of lethargy. It turns out that if you are already tired an extra few minutes of snooze grabbed sleep could be the worst thing for you. By allowing ourselves to roll over and try to sneak an extra forty winks we may unknowingly be falling back into the beginning of our sleep cycle. This is the part of the cycle where our body releases hormones that encourage levels of deep sleep, which is great if you have the whole night ahead of you but disastrous if you only have five minutes. Being woken up from this sleep state will leave your body feeling unrested and can completely undo all the hours of sleep you have had as your brain now feels overly tired and as if it has slept badly all night.
Fortunately, there could be a snooze button compromise. There will always be those that advocate jumping from your bed as soon as the alarm rings but thats not always the best idea. Sometimes when our alarms go off our bodies really aren't at the ideal state for a short sharp wake up call. If you are jolted awake during a deep phase of sleep your brain can be left feeling disorientated and in need of a few minutes to gently compose itself. There is also evidence to show that if we are woken too early (thanks to late bedtimes) our core body temperature has not yet begun to rise for the day and it can leave us desperately craving the cosy warmth of our beds.
However, this is still no reason to head back to sleep, instead give our Snooze Stopper Challenge a go and give your morning the best start possible.
Instead of allowing your ten minute snooze to disrupt your day take the time to set your morning off in a positive way. So hit snooze and let's get started...
Lie on your back, eyes closed and with your arms resting by your sides
Take controlled breaths, inhaling through your nose and out through you mouth
Focus your mind on visualising your day ahead - what you will achieve, what are you looking forward to, what can you learn?
Start to stretch your body, pointing from the tips of your toes to the ends of your fingers as you raise your arms above your head
Slowly stretch and release in time to the rhythm of your breathing as you focus on your body's inhaling and exhaling
As the alarm marks the end of your snooze time gently open you eyes and choose a positive affirmation and repeat it to yourself as you climb out of bed and start your day...
I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness
#sleepissues #snooze #riseandshine #morningroutines
Whether it's a case of you left, they left, or you both left, a break up is never easy. Give yourself time immediately afterwards to try and process the changes in your life. Regardless of the current circumstances this person was a major part of your world and the human shaped hole they have left in your reality is going to take some time to heal.
Tears and missing the relationship you once shared is perfectly normal. Allow yourself to cry, to feel hurt and apprehensive. You need to express and let go of these feelings to begin to heal and fully move on from this break up.
Sometimes finding the words to express how you are really feeling (especially during the early stages) can feel almost impossible. It can become easy to feel overwhelmed by the constantly shifting emotions that you are experiencing. If this is the case now could be the time to start writing it out in a break up journal.
Studies have proven that expressive writing can improve physical and psychological health and help to make sense of confusing emotions. Take a moment and allow yourself the time to work through your inner thoughts. Resist the urge to monitor your words and instead let your mind run freely. We know this can be easier said than done so we have put together a list of break up journal prompts to get you going.
This activity is not intended to be used as a means to dwell on what you no longer have but instead it is a chance to look consciously at yourself, the qualities you hold, what you have learned from your experiences and where you see your life moving forward to in the future.
If you are seriously struggling with your emotions and are unable to cope with life post break up we would suggest having a chat with someone experienced in these issues.
#relationships #breakup #journalling #writingtherapy
Love is all around us but with the pressures of everyday life it can become all too easy to lose focus on the positive feelings of happiness it can bring into our lives. As the daily grind wears away at us we can start to take for granted the amazing gift that is sharing and receiving love with those that mean the most.
When we talk about love we are not just referring to the romantic kind. Love comes in so many different shapes and sizes, it means something different to each and every one of us and even when you think you can't find it, you only need to stop and look around to see that love is present in every part of our lives. You just need to be willing to take the time to notice.
That is why we have put together a list of 20 Love Affirmations for every love in your life. They include affirmations for all aspects of love from family to self-love and from the romantic to finding your own version of love in the everyday. So take five minutes, clear your mind and repeat the affirmations below out loud, focusing on each word as you say it. Repeat daily and refocus your consciousness to allow yourself to welcome love back into your life.
If you would like a bit more detail on what exactly an affirmation is, how they work and what they can be used for we wrote a whole post about them here.
20 LOVE AFFIRMATIONS
It’s a little early I know but who am I to deny a little Christmas magic to seep into my work and home while we prepare for the arrival of the festive season. After all it’s been a chilly weekend… my excuse for finding me curled up in front of the roaring wood burner this Sunday evening watching Miracle on 34th Street, immersed in the magic of what is Richard Attenborough’s heart warming performance as Santa Claus.
So what should you do if your child is frightened of Santa Claus?
First of all stop and step back… really try to look at the situation from their perspective. For young children who are still developing an understanding of imagination and reality there is very little to compare this to, it is a common fear in children between the ages of 2-7 years. Santa as an omnipresent being is everywhere and sees everything. Let’s not forget the famous song ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’
Children are presented with a stranger in a red suit who is all seeing, all knowing… someone they can’t hide from! So it’s understandable that some children will find it all a little overwhelming and upsetting to start. Don’t give up on your dream of taking your child to see Santa and letting them relive the magic you once experienced. Most children outgrow those early fears of Santa but until they do, here are a few tips to help you through the festive period:
Don’t Force Them
If you know your child is afraid don’t use bribes or threats. It’s true… that perfect photographic shot is within reach, just a few gentle nudges forward. The question is at what cost? It’s important not to push your child until they are ready, or you run the risk of potentially causing psychological harm and further emotional stress.
Acknowledge Their Fear
Remember this is about putting your perspective to one side and seeing the situation from theirs. A grotto can be noisy, crowded and even the “Ho, Ho, Ho..” from Santa can be unsettling. Never mind the beard, suit, gloves and the fact you are asking them to sit on the lap of a stranger! Every child is unique and so are their fears.
It’s important to reassure them that it’s safe and everything is ok. Stranger anxiety develops in children around 6 months and is a natural and normal part of development. However, it’s also important to maintain a safe approach when it comes to strangers. Perhaps introducing the concept that they only talk to Santa when a trusted adult is with them.
Take it Slow
Talk about Santa, read stories about him and show them pictures. Visit Santa’s workshop/grotto a few times and allow your child to observe Santa from a distance that they are comfortable with, perhaps even wave to him and gradually move closer. This will enable them to become familiar with him and intrigued. If they have older siblings why not encourage them to watch while they visit with Santa. If/when they decide to get closer, don’t feel it necessary to force them to sit on Santa’s lap if you feel this is distressing them. Instead, encourage them to stand next to Santa and talk to him from a distance they are comfortable with.
Be patient and resist the urge to tell them Santa is not real. It’s likely this fear will dissipate on its own, so why not use the time to build your child’s trust.
Finally… if your child is still distressed, don’t force them to see Santa. Wait and try again next year!
#fearofsanta #childphobias #dundee #standrews #scotland #christmas
There's always room for one more on our Therapy couch... so whether you join us daily, weekly or just when you have time to stop by we hope that our therapy chatter allows you to take time out in your busy life, to unplug from your everyday stressors and simply breathe, listen and change!