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.

3 mindful steps to relieve anxiety & stress

A mindful life: channel peace with yoga, mindfulness and meditationBusy mind. Tired body. Feeling unfocused and sometimes overwhelmed. Sound familiar? Approach life in a mindful way to be here now and feel more at peace.

Our busy lifestyles and overstimulating environment mean that we’re always on the go and there’s always something to do – there’s precious little time just to slow down and be.

There’s a saying often used in yoga: Where your attention goes your energy flows.

If your attention is flitting around all over the place between past, present & future; getting lost in the past; fretting about the future; or judging and wanting to change what’s going on now,  then your energy is going to feel diffuse and scattered – no wonder you’re tired and feeling confused!

But you don’t have to feel lost and out of control. 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…

4 steps to less stress and more peace

Steps to less stress and more peaceDo you ever feel at the mercy of the stress-filled myriad of thoughts rushing through your mind?

There’s so much stuff rambling around your brain it tires you out! You can’t seem to find an off-switch – but desperately wish you could…

You’d love to feel more peaceful, more positive and more present in your life, so you can enjoy simple pleasures and time with family and friends without that constant feeling of fretting and foreboding which all too easily overshadows your daily life.

Yes? Well, all these things I’ve mentioned above have been my experience too – you’re not alone! The vast majority of my yoga & meditation students come to me because they want to quieten their busy minds.

And if, like me, you’re highly sensitive, then you feel it all more intensely and your inner landscape can often feel unsafe and overwhelming. Read more…

Life in the slow lane: why I’m standing up for slowness!

Stella Tomlinson Yoga and meditation Southampton, Hampshire“Oh she’s got so much energy!” “Ooh I don’t know how she does it all!” “Gosh, I wish I had her energy!”

How many times have you said that or heard that and felt a pang of envy or a kick of inadequacy in comparison?

I know I have.

Some people seem to pack their lives full of activities and achievements. They have a hundred plates spinning at any given time. They are popular and always smiling. Their home is immaculate.

“Oh crap, I wish I was like that… Why do I feel like I need a nap some afternoons? Am I wasting time watching the birds or pootling in the garden or curling up to read?”

It’s all too easy to let that thought into your mind and it festers and you get stuck in comparisonitis.

I’ve been there – can easily still go there.

But then I take a moment to reflect.

Why do we glorify being busy?

Why is appearing to have so much energy and be doing all the things something we envy?

I have a different perspective on this I’d like to share… Read more…

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 17 March 2018.}

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…