Mental Health Awareness Week

The healing vibes of nature

It’s mental health awareness week and this year’s topic is connecting with nature. I’m sure you’ve already discovered the healing vibes of nature. Isn’t it wonderful to become still and just observe? Isn’t it soothing to explore the great outdoors, notice the colours, flowers, scents, the magical creatures and harmony that this wonderful universe offers us so freely? I love walking, hiking, being mindful and watch my surroundings with the curiosity of a child. It keeps my heart singing, keeps my mind and body in balance and provdes a tremendous amount of peace
So this is just a gentle reminder to keep looking up at the sky, smell the flowers, watch the birds, appreciate the sunsets or grow your own piece (peace) of nature on your window sill or patio.

How is your emotional balance? Are you still using the tools that have helped you in the past? Do you keep practising self-care and make sure you don’t get out of balance? If you’ve worked with me, you know I’m a massive fan of energy psychology which not only has changed my own life completely but also the lives of many of the amazing people I’ve had the privilege to work with. Perhaps I’ve even touched your life? I know first-hand that even after some amazing breakthroughs, we can get caught up in daily life and forget the blessings we’ve received, maybe even fall back into old patterns. That’s ok for a while as long as you recognize it and make a mental note to make time for progress and growth. We’re not meant to stay stagnant. Here’s my little nudge for you to remember to take care of yourself. Stop and do a breathing exercise, do some light EFT tapping, listen to a guided visualisation. Your body, mind and soul will appreciate it. Let me know if I can help in any way.

Have you created your protective bubble yet?

Now that shops have opened and we can be out and about again, we need to energetically protect ourselves. We’re not used to being around lots of people anymore after a whole year of on-and-off lockdown. Some people might feel overwhelmed by the queues and the amount of people and noise everywhere. If we don’t protect ourselves, we can absorb the energy of others and end up feeling drained. 

So here is the tip of the day: visualise yourself being strong and balanced, like a tree and then create a protective energetic bubble or shield around you. Fill it with strength, calmness, patience, joy or whatever you need for the day and have it act as a layer of invisible protection around you. It’s amazing the difference this makes. I’ve noticed people keeping their distance automatically because of my bubble, I get more smiles and friendliness as this matches my own energy and angry or frustrated people seem to magically get out of my way or at least their energy doesn’t affect me and my day. It’s a wonderful tool to use.

If you’re unsure how to go about creating your inner balance energy and protective bubble, check out my guided morning meditation, which is on offer at the moment, only £5! It’s only on offer until Sunday, then it goes back up to £12. I recommend listening to it every morning before you leave the house or even still in bed. What a great way to start the day!

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I’m back and open for business! I’m finally allowed to see you personally again and I can’t wait to work and connect with you, when you’re ready. If you’re based in Brighton, I’m now only offering face-to-face sessions on Mondays and Tuesday and online anytime.

If you or a loved one could do with some support, feel free to get in touch. I also offer a free 15min phone consultationJust reply to this email and we’ll sort out a day and time that’s convenient for you or text me: 07951024580.
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. 

It is so important to take care of yourself and work on your
emotional balance and mental health, 
because it is your greatest asset 
and very much influences your physical health too! That’s what this new field Psychoneuroimmunology or simply the body-mind connection al all about.

Take care. Happy Tuesday vibes, love and light,

Sandy x

sandy@emotionalbalance.co.uk
sandyinbrighton@gmail.com
www.emotionalbalance.co.uk
www.bodymindhealing.co.uk

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

Exciting news!

Hi, I’ve got an announcement: I’ve got a brand-new website and NEW DIGITAL PRODUCTS! During the last few months, I’ve been very busy creating my new website www.emotionalbalance.co.uk/ and new downloadable online materials. For years I’ve been dedicated to help people find healing and emotional balance and now you can create your own toolbox with the methods you like best and use them anytime and as often as you like.Yay! Perhaps exactly what is needed in terms of self-care in these uncertain times.
I have brand-new individual downloads which include relaxation audios and EFT tapping videos, check out all my new products here www.emotionalbalance.co.uk/shop/
I’ll make more over the next few months, so the catalogue will be growing.

In addition, I’ve created two packages which include a bundle of videos, audios and worksheets. They are called ‘Boost your motivation’ and ‘Improve your sleep’ both of which are run as a private Facebook social learning group, where the materials can be accessed and downloaded. More materials will come soon! If you know anyone who could benefit from more motivation or better sleep or any of the individual downloads, please let them know about these unique new empowering self-help products of alternative tools and energy psychology.

My biggest and best project so far, is my EMOTIONAL BALANCE ONLINE COURSE aimed at helping clients to make profound changes. This online course gives you all the information, tools and exercises to learn how to find and keep your balance and develop powerful strategies and daily routines to become a better and calmer version of yourself. It is the equivalent of at least 6 sessions with me and contains a comprehensive set of materials to empower you to help yourself with alternative tools and energy psychology. Everything has been pre-recorded so you can work through it in your own time. Find out more here: www.emotionalbalance.co.uk/product/emotional-balance-online-course/

You can have a look at all my new products here: www.emotionalbalance.co.uk/shop/ Perhaps now is a good time to look after yourself a bit more and get back into balance. We all deserve happiness.

Wishing you a lovely rest of the day and week. I do hope you’re well or on your way to a speedy recovery. If there’s anything I can do to help you on that journey, please let me know. Love and Light.
Sandy

Gratitude

There’s no question that these are strange times and life as we knew it has changed. Change can be scary, especially when it affects our sense of safety and control and leaves us with uncertainty about the future. This can really get us out of balance and that’s normal and nothing to be ashamed of. It’s especially important now to look after ourselves, acknowledge our feelings and thoughts but make sure we don’t get carried away with them. EFT tapping is a great tool to deal with any uncomfortable feelings. If you’re unfamiliar with EFT, just try one of my breathing exercises. Take a few really deep breaths and count to 5 or 6 while you breathe in and again to 5 or 6 while you breathe out. That’s a great little shortcut to help your nervous system to calm down.

Once calmer, I recommend to count your blessings. Seriously, make a list and write down at least 7-10 things that you’re grateful for. That read that list every day and add to it. We can’t be anxious and grateful at the same time, so choose your focus. Look at gratitude. There’s always something to be grateful for, even if it’s just the weather, the fact that you have shelter and food in the fridge or great past memories.

Gratitude is powerful and when applied on a regular basis, you’ll soon find more things to be grateful for and gradually train your mind to focus on the positive things in your life. It’ll make a great difference in how you feel. Have fun with it. Take care. Thanks for you reading.

Sandy x

Am I really depressed, or could I just be an introvert?

In a world where the majority of people (apparently two thirds) are extroverts, there are certain unspoken expectations of how to fit in and how to ‘be normal’. For example, we should see friends and family regularly, always go out when asked, engage in active hobbies and continuous professional development, support good causes, be successful, do exciting things and ideally let the world know about it by posting pictures and status updates on social media.

For extroverts this might not be a problem as many of them like being around others and don’t usually mind the general busyness and noise of modern life whereas introverts, on the other hand do! Working all day, commuting and the feeling that we then should also fill our leisure time with exciting things, tasks and people can be overwhelming, although I guess to a certain extent that is true for everyone. Perhaps extroverts just generally cope better with being busy, having full schedules and long to-do-lists and somehow still seem to find the energy to have a great social life too.

Introverts may just need more time alone, they may not want to be out and about all the time,  communicate with everyone constantly about what’s going on in their life or simply do lots of different things. They like to retreat, have time to think and process events of the day, need peace and quiet to balance out all the noises, pressures and expectations they encountered. And that is totally okay! We’re all different and both introverts AND extroverts are needed and valuable.

Introverts might get fed the feeling that something is wrong with them, if they need a break from it all every now and then. Questions might pop up around them like “Where have you been?” “Why aren’t you coming out with us?” “You’re so quiet, is everything ok?” “Did you get my text?.” etc. The unspoken label ‘depression’ may occasionally float around but are people who need some alone time and don’t feel up for talks, events and gatherings really depressed?

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m neither downplaying depression nor am I suggesting that introvert people come across as depressed. It’s just that in my experience as a holistic health practitioner I’ve come across a number of clients who diagnosed themselves and thought they had some sort of mild depression, many of whom turned out to ‘just’ be introverts with no mental health problem whatsoever. So, I thought I’d write about it as I guess it can be quite a relief for anyone doubting themselves.

You don’t have to bend over backwards to fit in. It’s okay to be who you are, it’s okay to miss out on an evening with friends, it’s okay to stay in and take time out for yourself. In fact, if you feel you need it, it’s necessary! It’s important to respect our own needs and if alone time is what we need, then let’s take it. It helps to recharge our batteries and only if we look after ourselves, can we also look after others, plus if you have kids, you set a great example in showing them the importance of self-care.

Now, I’m not advocating to become a hermit. If someone is losing interest and enjoyment, feels in a depressed mood for an extended period of time, experiences increased fatigue or loss of energy, has disturbed appetite and/or sleep problems and engages in pessimistic views of the future, there might be an element of depression and getting support would be advisable. The IDC-10 (meaning: international classification of diseases 10th edition) is often used as a model for diagnosis and can be helpful. I’ve worked with a lot of clients to help them get out of their ‘down period’ and there’s lots of wonderful tools to help with that, such as Solution-focused psychotherapy and hypnotherapy and EFT.

Yet simply being introspective, reflective and observing, enjoying a bit of alone time, having quiet hobbies, not joining every social event or being a bit under the weather every now and then does not mean depression! These are qualities of introverts and it’s important to respect them in order NOT to get depressed in the future because by not getting our emotional needs met, we are more prone to mental health problems. So, take a break to daydream if you need to. Take time out for yourself and please respect others who do the same. What about you? Has this blog post been helpful? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? I look forward to reading your comments. Thanks.

How to embrace your emotions

Feelings, especially on the negative spectrum, can be overwhelming, distracting, even numbing. Often, we just don’t have time to deal with them, so we turn to food, drinks, TV, work, etc. Moreover, society has taught us to swallow and smile and pretend everything is ok, but repressing our emotions can lead to further problems. Emotions have energy behind them and they can build up and cause problems later.

For example, we might get to the point when we just can’t take it anymore and explode, which affects the people around us and often leads to tensions and regret. Sometimes even physical problems can manifest as a result of unexpressed emotions. Repressing anything (or anyone) does never work in the long run as it builds up pressure and tension. What would happen to a pressure cooker without a valve to release the steam?

Now, so how can I become more aware of my emotions and learn to release them in a safe way? Well, the first step is to connect to our body, notice how it feels and acknowledge those feelings. Some people like writing down what bothers them, work off anger in the gym or tell a friend about it. Personally, I’m a big fan of breathing techniques, which help to let go of the energy behind the emotion. For instance, focus on a particular feeling (or a person that triggers a negative feeling) and breathe it out (long and slowly), then imagine breathing in (long and slowly) something positive, such as the energy of peace, forgiveness, calmness, etc. Then with the outbreath, let go of the old negative emotion, followed by breathing in the positive. Visualise it, connect to it and focus on it for several minutes. Notice how much better you feel after 5 minutes, not to mention that the additional oxygen helps you think more clearly.

A second very effective technique for deep emotional healing is EFT tapping. EFT is a nice blend of ancient wisdom like traditional Chinese medicine and modern psychology. We tap on certain meridian points which are part of our energy system while focusing on the particular distress and verbalising it, this helps shifting and releasing the energy of it. If you’re new to EFT, perhaps work with a practitioner or join a group.

If you’re out or at work and unable to “escape” to try out these techniques or you’re not ready to face it just yet, then perhaps try a different approach. Find something funny on the internet and laugh it off. Laughter releases tensions and endorphins and is a great quick fix if needed.

Or be mindful and shift your focus to the little things in life that bring us joy and pleasure, such as sunshine, a cup of coffee, a smile, green traffic lights, having friends, a hug, cuddle a pillow, person or pet. Well you get the idea. This is however, just a temporary fix. Sooner or later you might have to face your feelings and let off steam in a safe way. After all, we are all human beings and feelings are part of our deepest humanity.

Have a great day. Love, light and angel blessings.
Sandy

How to find happiness

How are you feeling right now? Just stop for a minute and notice how you feel! Connect to your body and your mind….Do it right now….

Awareness is the first step towards change. Too often we’re on autopilot and don’t even notice what’s going on inside of us. By tuning into our body and feelings, we gain awareness. Notice how you feel, name the feeling, name the thought and the emotion behind it. Become aware, watch, observe, become present. Change your focus from outwards to inwards. When we ignore that inner whisper too long, it becomes a scream but by listening and noticing we can turn the volume back down again.

focus your attention
Did you know that you always have a choice? You can choose to pick a thought that makes you feel good. Try it right now. Dwell on a happy memory for a moment or imagine a happy fulfilling future. Keep it positive, inspiring and allow yourself to smile. Focus your attention on calmness, peace and happiness. Feel it from the inside out. Once you’ve done that for a moment, tune into your feelings again. Feeling better? Great! If something/someone upsets you, distract yourself with some positive thoughts, go for a walk and appreciate what you see. You can’t be calm and angry at the same time. The choice is yours. If that doesn’t work, maybe try some EFT tapping to release any negative feelings or whatever works for you. If someone said to you, would you rather be happy or unhappy, what would you say? Well, you’ve got a choice! You can focus your attention and you can choose a thought or a feeling. I, for sure, choose to be happy. Come and join me  ….*singing* ’If you’re happy and you know it….’

Happy summer holidays. I’m still around if you’re intested in a session. Wishing you a wonderful day filled with positive attention, love and happiness.

Sandy

How to conquer fear

Experiencing a bit of fear every now and then is a healthy response aimed to keep us safe. Learning something new can make us uncomfortable at first as it takes us out of our comfort zone. Doing new things makes life more interesting though and leads to growth. Courage is the best antidote to fear. Rather than focusing on what might go wrong, take a reality check. 90% of the things we worry about never happen, so why not focus on all the things that might go right? Think how great you will feel once you’ve conquered your fear? How will life be different? Who would be the first person to notice those changes? Focusing on a positive outcome increases the likelihood of positive things happening. Be your own best friend and give yourself a mental pep talk or imagine what a supportive person in your life would say to encourage you to conquer your fear.

fear-vs-courage

Did you know that you can choose your thoughts? So choose the ones that help you, not ones that drag you down. Easier said than done? Well, here’s a short cut: stop thinking for a moment and focus on positive FEELINGS! Who do you love most in life? What does this love feel like? Stay with that feeling for a couple of minutes and watch the changes in your body. Another great way to conquer fear is to focus on your breathing! Breathe in slowly while counting to 6, then let go of the air slowly while counting to 6. Repeat several times and ‘watch’ the breath moving in and out of your body. Notice your chest and belly expand, perhaps put your hands on your body to feel this movement. These two simple techniques help to become present and to focus on the here and now. They work wonders before important meetings, job interviews, presentations or to calm down fearful worries.

fear into action

Some people may need healing on a deeper level, for example to overcome trauma, phobias or panic attacks. EFT tapping and Hypnotherapy are powerful tools to conquer these issues. These and other modalities are offered by a variety of practitioners (myself included). I’ve seen the most amazing changes in my clients. Don’t let your fear imprison you, set yourself free and start enjoying life. Turn your fear into action. Like Winston Churchill said: ‘Courage is a decision’. Take your power back now!

courage is a decision

I’d love to hear if you’ve found this post helpful and look forward to reading your comments.

All the best,

Sandy

How to make 2017 your best year yet -part III moving beyond limitations

Hello again. I hope you’ve had enough time to work on your SMART goal action plan (as described in part I) and to observe your potential excuses and limiting beliefs (mentioned in part II) that stop you from 100% following that plan and achieving your goal. Now, as promised, I’ll outline how to overcome those challenges to bring about the necessary changes to make this YOUR best year yet! Of course, not everybody has limiting beliefs that prevents them from reaching their goals. If you don’t and the action plan is working out for you, great! Keep going! The type of goal may also play a role, for example, a small goal might not bring up any resistance, while a big life-changing goal is more likely to be (self-)sabotaged, on an unconscious level of course. Nobody would purposefully get in their own way. Our unconscious mind is usually trying to keep us safe and if the new goal requires us to stand out, to make changes and take risks, a bit of resistance may come up, especially if we had some bad experiences in the past, and who hasn’t?

life purpose

Let’s now have a look at how to move beyond these limitations. Both EFT and Hypnosis are effective ways to overcome these (along with many other modalities that also work, these are just the ones I use and find extremely effective).

Now, take out your answers from the questions in part II  below. These reveal your hidden barriers which can be tackled with EFT tapping. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique and is a unique modality to release negative emotions, such as fear or anxiety which often come up when thinking of reaching a powerful goal. So, read out your goal aloud and then tune into your body to see how it makes you feel. If any fear or anxiety comes up (or anything else that is not pure enthusiasm) then we’ve got something to work on. Rate the intensity of that feeling on a scale from 1-10 and see where it sits in your body, whether it has a form, shape or colour. For some people it could be something like a ‘tennis-ball sized black knot of anxiety in my stomach’. The more precise the description, the better EFT works, so please take a moment to really tune into that feeling and write down the number and details.

tapping points

Now, let’s get started. You can refer to the picture with the tapping points, if you don’t know them already or read the EFT page  first for more information about EFT. We usually start with the so-called set-up statement which aims to tune you in as well as to acknowledge the feelings. Only if you can accept how you currently feel, you are able to shift this emotion.

Set-up: Tap on the outside of your hand and say: ‘Even though I have this …[add your description] I accept how I feel and I’m ok.’ Repeat this a couple of times and make sure you focus on FEELING that emotion in your body while tapping.
Tapping points: Start tapping slightly on the top of your head and repeat the so-called reminder phrase, e.g. ‘this tennis-ball sized black knot of anxiety in my stomach’. Then move on to the eyebrow point and repeat the statement. Again focus on the feelings and watch out for any changes. Tap through all the points while repeating the phrase or adapt it if the feeling changes. Also keep looking at your written goal to make sure you target the feelings related to this goal and not any other feelings that are currently in your energy system.

After one or two rounds of tapping through all the points, measure the intensity on the scale again and see whether the colour, size, shape or location have changed. If so, you could do a second set-up statement, for example: ‘Even though I STILL have SOME of this ….[add your description]…I accept how I feel and I’m open to letting it go.’ Then tap through the points as described above. Continue until the number is very low or zero. Then look at the next question in part II and tackle those feelings in exactly the same way.

If any memories happen to come up, keep those in your mind while tapping; imagine telling a friend what happened in that memory and tap until you can ‘tell’ the story without any negative emotions occuring. This helps clearing negative experiences from the past which may prevent us from reaching our goals. The whole process can take a while, so make sure you set enough time aside. It is important to be thorough and tap out all of this potential resistance. Remember if you overcome the resistance you will be unstoppable! It’s worth it, believe me! If you feel unsure, how to proceed or feel there’s too much coming up or you feel a bit overwhelmed with emotions, keep tapping until you calm down, then consider working with a qualified EFT practitioner who can help you shift quickly and safely.

This is just a very simple introduction to EFT, there’s much more to it. Feel free to get in touch if you need any further information or assistance. I’m a qualified advanced EFT practitioner and trainer.

In my next blog post, I’ll tell you a bit more about how to use hypnosis and visualisations to achieve your goals, yet first move beyond your limitations, fears and doubts.

If this has been helpful, please leave a comment or get in touch if you’re interested in a session. I work in Brighton & Hove, East Sussex but also via Skype.

Best of luck with making this your best year yet! Let me know how you get on.

powerful mind