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

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 create a positive mindset

Energy flows where attention goes!

What does this mean? It means you can influence the way you feel by changing your focus. We’ve all been emotionally moved by a film or movie and have laughed or cried despite knowing that the story isn’t real but we put our attention to the storyline and it touched us. So basically, we observed or think about something and as a result our mind produced an appropriate feeling. It pretty much happens on a subconscious level and there’s nothing wrong with it. But knowing that what we observe or think about, influences how we feel, means we can use this to our advantage. Energy flows where attention goes, so we put your attention to something, and our energy responds accordingly. So if I choose to dwell on a situation that makes me sad or angry, I feel sad or angry and if I choose to change my focus and think about something positive, a happy memory or someone I love, my feelings follow suit. And if I watch the news, quite often I feel bad or worried afterwards but if I choose to watch something heart-warming or funny, I feel better. I also love daydreaming and conjuing up happy memories, that certainly changes how I feel. My top tip today is to pay attention to your thoughts and watch what you watch!

Did you know, that you can create your own anchor of inspiration and positivity by choosing a very uplifting memory and remember it vividly several times a day. We can’t be stressed and happy at the same time. By changing your focus, you change your energy level. Use happy memories to lift you up or daydream about happy future memories. If you need help finding more happiness and balance in your life, please get in touch sandy@emotionalbalance.co.uk or sandy@bodymindhealing.co.uk

I hope you’ve found this helpful. Happy daydreaming.
Take care.
Sandy

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

An alternative to New Year’s resolutions

How about a new approach to New Year’s resolutions? Let’s be honest, most of us don’t follow through anyway, right? After a few weeks the discipline wavers and we’re back to where we started. If you’re an exception, great! Congrats then keep going and see this suggestion as an add-on. If you’re not good at sticking to your NY’s resolutions, then let’s just not do them this year.

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

So here’s a different idea (which I started a few years ago):
Why not start with an empty jar and collect happy moment memories, success stories or pictures of events and positive changes happening in 2021?

Recipe:
Take one empty bottle or jar, have a few pieces of paper or post-it notes and a pen ready. Set an reminder on your phone or in your calendar to record at least two or three things every week or reflect each Sunday on what to record. No worries if it’s less than that, the idea is to keep counting and recording your blessings.

We could even record things like the end of lockdown, the joy of being allowed to see friends again, the pleasures of shopping or keep a record of how you’ve improved your home, your skills or hobbies, write down your favourite jokes or heart-warming moments when you felt moved or perhaps record an pleasant walk in nature with a picture, a beautiful sunset, a home-cooked meal that you enjoyed, a time when you laughed until your tummy hurt, a special gift you received, a zoom-party or joyful phone call with a friend. The list is endless.

Then at New Year’s Eve 2021, take out the bottle or jar and read all the notes on the happy moments of the year. If you do this with your family, have everyone pick their top three! Feel free to amend this recipe to suit your needs.

The point is to recognise and record happy moments throughout the year and then reflect on them at the end of the year. Do this and watch how your life will change over time. We all got so much more to be grateful for than we perhaps realise. Accept the challenge!

Photo by Oleg Zaicev from Pexels

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

How to overcome fear

Experiencing a bit of fear every now and then is a healthy response aimed to keep us safe. In Corona times right now, fear can be a natural response as it just doesn’t feel safe for some of us to go outside and meet others. But staying inside the whole time and hiding away from the world is not a solution. After all, we are social beings and need a certain amount of connection to others. We also benefit from fresh air, regular walks and sunshine. So what to do? Courage is the best antidote to fear while of course sticking to the guidelines, keeping your distance and perhaps wearing a mask. 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? Focus on the benefits of conquering your fear, whatever it might be. Get out of your comfort zone and find a glimpse of happiness in uncertainty.

Think how great you will fear once you’ve conquered your fear! How will life be different? 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.

If you need to calm your nerves first, here’s a quick and easy tool: 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.

Some people may need healing on a deeper level, for example to overcome trauma, phobias or panic attacks. Holistic approaches like energy psychology are powerful tools to conquer these issues. 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: ‘Fear is a reaction, courage is a decision’.

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