Category Archives: Overcome overwhelm & anxiety

Overcome anxiety and overwhelm. Understand what’s going in your body and mind and learn techniques to help you through.

Stress and the Body: the importance of attachment

Brain networks: the stress connection in health and disease{Guest post by Patricia Worby, PhD, Trauma Therapist who is teaching The Stress Connection in Health and Disease event with me on 11 November.}

Humans are creatures of attachment. It overrides even the desire for life. This is biologically important so that we can be taken care of.

A human child especially is vulnerable to loss of attachment because they are born almost entirely helpless and need attachment to survive; our brains are very immature.

The quality of that attachment is significant for further brain development outside the womb and is something that actually changes the brain of the child when it is withheld; a developmental stage is often not completed properly, with the emotional brain (limbic system in the centre of the brain) failing to develop with a sense of safety at its core.
Read more…

Sensitive to seasonal changes? Try this

Fellow highly sensitives… you might well be feeling a bit odd and off-kilter this week – what with the change in season and the full moon yesterday!

I know that, as much as I love it, in early autumn I can feel a bit discombobulated – happy and joyful one minute, bone-tired the next…

If you’re feeling it too then, like me, you’ll benefit from daily GROUNDING – to feel rooted, safe and still.

Try this – it only takes a few minutes. Read more…

Retrain your brain with a mantra

Monkey mind: use a mantra instead
What message is your chattering monkey mind giving you?

Do you have a little voice in your head giving you a running commentary on everything you do, say, think or feel? A negative mantra that you keep repeating?

I reckon that the answer is “yes”.

Because we all do.

We all have a voice in our head running a commentary on ourselves, our lives and other people.

An inner critic judging what we do or say, replaying situations over and over again looking at what we “should” have said or done, analysing every waking moment and action we take or fretting over what we think we should do or ruminating over what might happen.

But instead of being at the mercy of your noisy mind, wouldn’t it be great if you could consciously change the words your mind’s inner voice uses? Read more…

How grounded are you?

Are you grounded, or floating like a balloon?
Are you grounded, or floating like a balloon?

How grounded are you? How easily do you feel knocked off balance by the ups and downs of life?

If your answers are along the lines of “not very” and “easily” then you need to develop your roots!

And if, like me, you’re highly sensitive you’re going to be picking up on everyone else’s energy and their ups and downs, which, added to your own can lead to storms of emotions up-rooting you on a daily basis {…ah I love a good tree metaphor}.

But what do I mean by grounded?

It’s as simple as feeling your bum on the chair seat and your feet on the ground.

Feeling present. Noticing the sounds around you; the temperature of the air on your skin; the quality of light.

Really being with and listening to the person in front of you.

It’s being HERE, now. Read more…

Feeling disconnected & confused? Try this

Disconnected wires: reconnect to yourself through meditationDo you ever get that  feeling? When you kind of feel disconnected from yourself?

A weird sense of discombobulation where clarity feels a long way away and you can’t make the simplest decision. Thoughts and options churn around in your mind and you end up feeling totally confused.

I do.

I just did!

I was trying to think about what to write for this week’s blog.

And I felt blocked.

I had one idea, then another. Then a kind of fuzzy resistance and churning thoughts of “Oh I don’t know. Who reads this blog anyway? I’m running out of time this morning. What should I do? Should I write about something to promote an upcoming event or just write from the heart?”.

{That last question answered itself by the way. When I catch myself coming from a place of “should” v coming from the heart … well, the heart always wins!} Read more…

Be kind to tension

be kind to yourself - release tensionWhere do you hold tension?

We all have a place where we feel it most.

It might be in your back; your jaw; your shoulders. It might be in clenched fists or tightness in the chest or throat or perennially clenched buttocks!

Maybe it’s become so habitual you don’t even realize you’re constantly holding a part of you tense.

For me it’s in my shoulders, throat and often my jaw.

Our busy, fretful, planning, judging, rarely-present minds create this chronic tension in our bodies.

So, it’s time to come out of your head and into your body.

Listen to your body and it will show you its wisdom.

And it’s definitely worth listening because often the whispers of tension will become shouts of pain or illness if we ignore them.

But, a word of caution. Read more…

The mindful way through stress and anxiety

Choppy waters - let mindfulness calm you
The waves of life can crash against us

When your head is full of thoughts. When you’re worried or scared. When you’re tired and just can’t be bothered any more. When you’re tense. When you’re in pain. When you’re so overwhelmed that you think you’re just going to go into melt-down. When burnout feels around the corner.

It can feel impossible to know what to do.

But there is something you can always do to help yourself. To reconnect back to yourself. To self-soothe.  To come back from the brink.

I know because I’ve experienced all of these myself.  The tension, overwhelm, exhaustion and whizzing mind.

They still sometimes creep up on me, but now I know what to do to stop them in their tracks and recover my equilibrium.

I take these 3 simple but powerful steps. Give them a try and see how they work for you. Read more…

5 little words which may change your life

Mindful or Mind-Full?Ah, the human mind. It’s such a powerful tool.

But it does love to flit around and judge.  Wanting this, not wanting that. Pulling and pushing. Attachment and aversion.

All too often never quite satisfied with what we have here and now.

It’s all rather tiring isn’t it?

The mind pulls us out of this moment and stops us enjoying the people we are with, or the quiet-time we’re allowing ourselves, or the simple pleasures of sights and sounds around us which can bring us joy and enrich our lives. Read more…

Are fear and anxiety a natural response to life?

Brain
Our highly sophisticated brain is always scanning for dangers in our environment

Now, there’s a claim. Fear and anxiety are a natural reaction to being alive?  Blimey, that doesn’t sound very positive does it?!

But if we delve a little deeper into this idea it makes a lot of sense – and empowers us to take control of how we react to life’s challenges.

It’s about the human being’s survival instinct.  Ancient (wo)man had to be on a constant state of alert to the very real dangers around them – being hunted by animals, attacked by other tribes, being on the lookout for poisonous berries, and venomous insects in their environment.

As our bodies are vulnerable (we don’t have sharp teeth or claws to attack, our skin doesn’t have protective covering of scales or fur) human beings have always had to use their mind to develop ways to protect us or defend ourselves.

Over thousands of years our brains have evolved into a highly sophisticated tool which is on a constant state of alertness. But over these thousands and thousands of years the threats to our existence have very much changed. Read more…

Yoga Antidotes to Anxiety

Tree hugging in Bath
Trees calm me down!

Anxiety. Those worried thoughts; the general feeling of unease; the feeling that your nerves are on edge. Apprehension. Agitation.

Do you feel it? I know I am prone to it.

Now, I have a hunch that those of us who tend to experience anxiety are highly sensitive.

Anxiety is our nervous system’s response to the excess of external stimuli in our environment: our fight / flight / freeze response keeps getting revved by the information overload of our busy lives and pushy culture and we wind up feeling anxious.

So the good news is, there’s nothing wrong with you. I am PASSIONATE about this. If you experience anxiety you don’t need to be medicated. You don’t have to beat yourself up. You don’t have to tell yourself – or listen to others telling you – there’s something wrong with you.

Explore the fact that you might simply be sensitive. Read more…