The Art of Achieving Good Mental Health

We all know how important it is to follow a regular fitness routine in order to stay fit and healthy. But what about our mental health? Isn’t it equally important to stay emotionally balanced? What are you doing to achieve good mental health? It can be as simple as having a regular relaxation routine, a gratitude list, make time for a 5-minute breathing or tapping exercise or being mindful of your mind’s focus. Remember: energy flows where attention goes. Make time to count your blessings and focus on what makes you happy.

For many of you, this winter lockdown period has been difficult. In fact, for me too. With so many messages of fear and anxiety in the media, stories of hartship and chaos in the world, it can almost feel like good mental health and inner peace is a luxury or a privilege that only some people have. It’s easy to feel like that, but there is a lot you can do to help yourself.

If you’ve worked with me in the past, you know that I offer effective solutions to help you achieve emotional balance and good mental health. You can check out my freebies and resources.

Remember to use my free relaxation recording on a regular basis (which you received a little while ago). It will help you stay relaxed and calm. If you like more variety, need a reminder of the 7/11 breathing or fancy a tapping video, then check out my products and special offers.

My goal is to help you feel balanced, safe, strong and perhaps even as light and carefree as a feather floating around in the air, without any emotional burden or stress. Isn’t that the dream?

Perhaps you’re interested in a 1-2-1 session. I offer them online and from 12th April (hopefully) face-to-face again. As I live in Eastbourne now, I’m only offering sessions in Brighton on Mondays and Tuesdays or anytime online.

Also, from April my prices are going up. Everything is becoming more expensive and I have been in the same price range for over 7 years now! However, any sessions booked and paid for until end of March will still be at the old price (£70 for one session or £180 for 3 sessions) even if they are taking place in April or May, so ACT NOW and BOOK YOUR SESSION. Just send a quick email to sandy@emotionalbalance.co.uk and we’ll sort out a day and time that’s convenient for you. And as a bonus, I’ll throw in a free download worth up to £15 from my online shop, so that’s a free audio recording or a free tapping video. This offer is only valid if booked and paid by 31st March. The actual sessions can be in April or May.

If you know anyone who you feel would benefit from working with me, feel free to forward my blog post or contact details to them. 

It is crucial to take care of yourself and work on your emotional balance and mental health, because it is your greatest asset!
Contact me sandy@emotionalbalance.co.uk to make sure you get your session(s) at the old rate and your free download. I look forward to hearing from you.

Take care. Happy Monday vibes, love and light,

Sandy x

How to get out of the lockdown blues

Yet another lockdown has been announced and I can almost hear all the many desperate voices saying “Oh no, not again!” Even though I expected this announcement, I admit that I noticed an immediate blow to my mood, a sinking feeling, worries coming up regarding my business, my clients and loved ones and I just needed a day or so to gather my thoughts and process upcoming feelings.

I’ve recently noticed that I’m not my usual happy self and feel a bit out of balance, so now I’m making an extra effort to look after myself, my mental health and emotional balance. Luckily, I’ve got all the knowledge and tools to help myself and others and have, in fact, been teaching them for years. Now, that I’m feeling much better, I thought I’d share a few tips that helped me to get out of the lockdown blues! Perhaps this will help you too!
Try my alphabetic ABCDEFGHIJ approach! Here is the short version of my favourite ten tips:

1. Acceptance is the key! Denial, distraction or ignoring a situation and especially our feelings towards it is not going to help. My motto is ”accept what you can’t change and change what you can’t accept!”. So, I can’t change this lockdown but I CAN change how I feel about it. After allowing myself a bit of time to accept, acknowledge and feel the feeling, I then move on, tap or dance it away.

2. Deep focused breathing is one of the best ways to regain calmness and balance. I love 7-11 breathing and heart-centred breathing. These wonderful exercises certainly help me feel better whenever I’m not at ease. If you’re not familiar with them, then just take a few minutes and focus on your breath, perhaps count to five or six with each in- and outbreath and observe the movement of your body. Most negative feelings put us into fight or flight, which means we can’t think clearly and might tend to catastrophise. Yet calm deep breathing takes us out of this cycle, helps us relax and get our positive brain power back. Do this regularly or whenever you feel anxious, sad or stressed.

3. Reach out and connect to others. A sense of connection is an innate basic need that we all have because we are social beings. This is not the time to crawl into a cave and wait until this is all over. You’re not alone and not meant to be. Let us all reach out to one another, talk to our loved ones, set up video calling, a WhatsApp group and share precious moments even if it’s in a socially distant or digital way.

4. Dance all your worries away! Nothing lifts my mood as much as putting on some of my favourite music and dance around my living room, normally only when I’m alone. I know it sounds crazy and it might take a few minutes to get into it but try it and perhaps get the whole family involved. I have friends who’d make a zoom party out of this.

5. Use EFT tapping! I love using EFT to tap on any negative feelings and released them. So, I label the feeling, focus on where it sits in my body, I measure its intensity on a scale from 1-10 to get clarity and then I say out loud “Even though this situation makes me feel …., I accept how I feel right now” and I tap through the points until I feel better.

6. Have some fun! I know it’s hard when you’re feeling a bit down but think of the things you enjoyed as a child. Be creative, use your imagination! It could be as simple as dressing up as someone else, find your old skipping rope, make a collage, watch your favourite film, eat your favourite food, bake a cake, write a story, dye your hair, repot your plants, dance in your living room…. The list is endless!

7. Focus on gratitude and count your blessings! If you get caught up in negative thinking, just say “stop!” Thoughts can spiral but we have the power to intervene. We can choose our thoughts consciously. By counting your blessings or naming at least five things you’re grateful for, you can shift your thinking from negative to positive. Start a gratitude list and add more items every day, put it on your fridge or above your desk and read it often to remind yourself of all the good things in your life.

8. Have a hug! The lack of human touch can have such a negative impact on our mental health. I know we need to accept the social distancing rules but if you have people in your household or social bubble, make sure you hug them and receive one in return, provided it feels safe! If it doesn’t hug yourself, hug a cushion or a teddy bear and close your eyes while imagining it’s a loved one or offer to take a neighbours dog out for a walk and pet the dog and play with him.

9. Use your imagination! Our minds are more powerful than we know. We can conjure up positive and negative images which then affect our mood. So why not use the lockdown to engage in some daydreaming or imagine a few wonderful scenarios that will make you happy. The aim is to feel good!

10. Do more of what brings you joy. This is in line with number six above. We can’t change the past, we don’t know what the future will bring, we just have this moment right now, so why not conjure up a few moments of joy, even if it’s just sharing your favourite anecdotes or jokes with someone or your diary.

Just to let you know, I’m at your service and love to help and inspire others. I’m available for online sessions and have a number of online products available. Feel free to get in touch.

Lots of love,

Sandy x

Understanding and managing chronic pain

According to the NHS and the British Pain Society, almost half (43%) of the population in the UK suffer from chronic pain, that’s about 28 million people! This year (2020) is likely to see a rise in numbers, due to changes in circumstances since Covid, like working from home, self-isolating, lack of exercise and reduction in pain service provision.

Having suffered from chronic pain myself for several years in the past, this topic is important and personal and one of the reasons I changed profession to become a holistic health practitioner after having found alleviation and healing from my condition. In this article, I’d like to help you understand why we may suffer from chronic pain, what factors influences the pain level and explain how to manage and alleviate it.

Let’s start by trying to understand why we experience pain. Pain is a symptom which the body uses to communicate with us, telling us something is not right. Pain is feedback, similar to the engine light in your car signalling something is wrong. Acute pain should never be ignored and if treated appropriately in most cases, long term pain can be avoided. Yet what if you are already suffering from chronic pain and doctors can’t help?

My view is that chronic pain happens for a reason, often subconscious psychological reasons that we are not aware of, yet if we can find them, deal with them and make a conscious shift, we may find that the pain changes too, becomes more bearable, manageable and even starts healing. The body usually has a natural ability to heal itself. If you cut your finger, you heal the wound, put a plaster on and it heals. If you break a bone and stabilize the body part, the bone grows back together. People recover from accidents, surgery, falls, injuries, etc. So, in my view, if you’re suffering from chronic pain it means, there’s something holding the condition in place, either physical or psychological.

One factor is that, the body can change and adapt. While most of our physical bodies naturally strive for health, they can only heal themselves if they’re given the opportunity to do so. Stress puts the body in fight or flight mode, where the main concern is survival. It’s a natural biological response which we’ve inherited from our ancestors. Therefore, constant stress can prevent the body from healing as it only feels ‘safe enough’ to heal and recuperate when we’re calm and relaxed. To allow the body to heal, watch your stress level!

In addition, sometimes one problem can cause another, such as when someone has sprained their ancle or hurt their knee, they put more weight on the healthy one which might then also start hurting if this continues for long enough. The body will change and adapt to any circumstances, doing the best it can to lower pressure and find balance. So be mindful of how you’re using your body.

Pain is subjective, some people can tolerate more than others. Ever wondered why that is? A number of factors influence how we experience pain: our beliefs play a role, past (pain) experiences, our current stress level or even how we see ourselves. Did you know that your current stress level will influence the degree of pain you feel? Stress triggers a number of physical reactions, such as increased blood flow which means more blood also flows through the painful body part, increasing the sensation of pain. Therefore, another effective way to manage your pain level is to learn to relax. There’s a wide variety of relaxation methods available, so why not try to find one that suits you? I’m happy to give you my FREE guided relaxtion visualisation. It’s a 10 minute audio relaxation to help you feel more balanced https://www.emotionalbalance.co.uk/freebies/

Yet another effective way to manage your pain is to befriend your body and listen to the communication it is offering. As mentioned above pain is feedback. Many see their body as their enemy “Why is my body doing this to me?” Try a new approach, take time to listen, go inside and search for reasons and emotions behind the pain. Once you understand the message, your body might not need to “shout so loud” anymore. Send positive thoughts and mental messages to your body. It’s doing the best it can given the position it is in. Give yourself of painful body part a hug, apply an appropriate lotion, heat or cold pack, breath into the pain and practice acceptance rather than resistance. Resistance fuels stress, acceptance allows healing. Create the best conditions to allow your body and mind to heal.

There’s plenty more to be said about this topic. If you’re suffering from chronic pain and would like to learn more about how to manage it, you’re invited to join my next live 2-hour workshop on 17th October in Brighton! Numbers are limited, so make sure you book your place asap! To find out more:

https://www.emotionalbalance.co.uk/event/releasechronicpain/

To book your place, send an email with your name and telephone number to sandy@emotionalbalance.co.uk

I hope you found this article informative and helpful. If you know anyone who suffers from chronic pain, feel free to share it with them. My mission is to help as many people as possible as I know from personal experience how limiting life with chronic pain can be.

Sending love, light and healing.

Sandy

Need more me time!

I don’t know about you but to me it feels that life is getting busier and busier.

Technology is supposed to make things easier and faster, right? Yet I personally feel it provides more pressure (at times), e.g. being constantly available, texting, following and responding to friends’ posts and blogs on social media, being present online so that our friends can follow us, not to mention the pressure to do well at work, for our kids to do well at school and so on. I feel that some of my friendships only exist online. We hardly have time for face-to-face conversations anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media (I’ve got this blog after all) I just don’t like it when it takes over and prevents us from switching off. The temptation is there, in every free minute, to check emails, new posts, pictures and videos online. Does this sound familiar? Well, I want to do something about this. I need more me time and have a feeling others do too. I need more emotional balance and a proper time-out from the fast moving busyness of this world.

time-out-tuesday22thnov

So I’ve started this new evening group. Time out Tuesday – Find your emotional balance and I’d like to invite you to join us, not online, but in person (if you are in South East England that is, Brighton&Hove area to be specific). My aim is to create a safe space for people to relax. We’ll do some exercises, like breathing, gratitude and guided visualisations to let go of stress and worries and find more balance. Feel free to share this information with anyone who you think might be interested. Thanks. See you on Tuesday!