Tag Archives: stress

Surviving Christmas

j0098123Some tips to keep you sane and surviving Christmas!

The festive season more than any other time of year can mean more stress rather than more fun.  Now is the time to use some quick stress busting tips to keep you sane and bring back the joy of Christmas.

 People can feel stressed at any time of year but when you already have a busy schedule and enough stress in work, add in the Christmas merry-go-round and the pressure can reach breaking point.  Buying presents can stretch the budget way beyond the bounds of credibility, demands on time increase, and family gatherings can be a challenge.  If you are facing the holiday period alone that can feel very daunting and may bring a lot of sadness as you see those around you making family arrangements.

This year simplify your life with these surviving christmas tips and enjoy the season more:

  • Decide now that you are not going to get into debt (or increase your debt) over Christmas.  It really is the thought that counts and that starts with using your brain and the internet to decide on your choice of gifts.  Choosing a theme e.g books, films, music, slipper socks! Means that everyone gets a different gift but you only have to look and buy in one place and can stick to your budget.
  • Practice breathing exercises. Breathe deeply and easily, letting your shoulders, neck, and back relax and let go. You can do this wherever you are, sitting at your desk works well.
  • During the holidays the average person gains 5 pounds and then comes yet another New Years Resolution to lose them. Why do that to yourself. Eat less the day before you are going to a party or big meal. Do simple things to move more, like dancing to your favorite songs or parking further away from work or the shops.
  •  With friends, rather than buying gifts suggest that you spend time with each other instead. You could all go and see a film and have a break from the madness. You’ll save hours of trying to decide what they want, shopping, wrapping, etc.
  • Family gatherings are great if they are something you look forward to. However, if they tend to be a challenge, prepare emotionally ahead of time. Visualize yourself staying calm. Try to be detached, know that the party/day or whatever will come to an end and you may not see the family for a while.  Release the need to make judgements or get pulled into the judgements of others on you.  It helps to have a well developed sense of humour. 
  •  If you are planning and hosting a family event then consider reducing the amount of alcohol available as people are rarely at their best after a “skinful”.  Know that you deserve to have fun too so make sure you ask for and accept other peoples help.
  •  Plan ahead. Make a list of priorities and stay focused on them. Spend a few minutes at night deciding what is most important to get done the next day. Be reasonable in your expectations! Set boundaries for yourself. It is OK to say “no” to something you don’t want to do. Respect your own need for time.
  • If you are spending the holiday period alone then do not set yourself up for sadness.  It is easy to get into the “poor me” mindset (there are many who would envy you the peace and freedom).  Make this a special time for you.  Visualise and plan the treat you are giving yourself.  Get in some delightful foods, maybe some favourite films or books, pamper yourself.  Consider inviting someone to join you, you would be amazed how many people spend the holiday period alone.  Volunteers are usually in demand during this period and it can be very rewarding and sociable but only get involved if it is what you really want to do.
  • Remember that letting someone know you care is the greatest gift of all. This season, say I love you as much as possible to family and friends. Let people know why they are special to you. Then remember to love and appreciate yourself.
new year

Start the New Year right with a Life Healing Special!

Take the time at New Year to plan a fabulous year ahead and if you are feeling unsure about how to make that happen then join us on the “I don’t want another year like last year” March 2014  Life Healing Workshop and kick-start all aspects of your life, ensuring that 2014 will be unlike any other year you have had.

Quick Guide to Loving Yourself


Love yourself and others benefit too.

Love yourself and others benefit too.

Start putting yourself first. Know that in working on and healing yourself you will make life more wonderful not just for you but for everyone around you. Adopt the belief that you are a truly amazing individual, loving and lovable (even if you do not believe it at the outset). Start loving yourself! Think about all that you have achieved in your life. Just getting this far is an achievement. You have probably rarely given thought to just how much you have done, learned, overcome or coped with. Celebrate your successes and think about all that you are yet to achieve as a healthy, happy, amazing individual. Continue reading

Stress Reduction through Breathwork

hay47Stress reduction through breathwork has long used by meditators as a way to “inner peace”, health, and vitality, intentional breathing can be used as a calming technique and is also an excellent way to release stress and long held tension which may have been stored in the body as a result of mental, emotional or physical trauma. Conscious use of the breath is known by many names, “conscious Breath”, “intentional breathing”, “transformational breath” to name just a few… but essentially they are the same thing; the conscious use of breathing to develop a very deep and revealing state of inner consciousness.

Why Use Breathwork for Stress Reduction

Andrew Weil MD (author of 8 Weeks to Optimal Health) states that :”conscious breathing is the most important thing we can do for our health, regardless of exercise and diet”. We all have our own reality, what we believe about life, our role and how others will treat or respond to us. This is based on past experience. As a result of life events there can be times when we feel under threat (mentally, emotionally or physically), we may have experienced other peoples anger and fear as we grew up. This can change our natural breathing pattern – we can unconsciously start to suppress or hold our breath especially when we believe something bad is about to happen. At the same time as we are limiting our breathing we may be making a limiting decision about life or ourselves e.g “I am not worth loving”…”people hurt you if they love you”…..”I can’t do anything right”. These decisions keep us safe to ensure the same event will not happen again. Unfortunately, these personal laws, often made as a child without full understanding of what is going on, do not always create harmony in our lives. If we fail to resolve these traumatic events at the time, they can remain in the form of contracted energy (cellular memory). This in turn can result in stress, illness, depression, lack of joy, or aches and pains in the body. This is where breathwork can be particularly helpful in releasing this contracted energy.

Incorporated into the breathing session will be powerful positive affirmations to support you in the changes you wish to bring about and to aid the release.  Follow this link to find out about the next Breath Workshop. If you are interested you can read about my own first breathwork experience.

Is Breathwork Rebirthing?

No, although it is possible to have a re-birthing experience during this kind of Breathwork. Some years ago “Re-birthing” became very popular and fashionable as a therapy with the work of Leonard Orr. Since then many others have developed various techniques and it is no longer necessary to go through the re-birthing experience to enjoy the benefits from working on your breathing. Techniques like Healing or Conscious Breathwork allow an individual to choose issues they would like to work on and to take it at their own pace with the guidance of a practitioner. They have also brought in an element of spirituality for those wishing to work on this aspect of their lives.

Is there something I can try by myself? Even without attending workshops or Breath sessions you can become aware of your breathing patterns and how they change under differing circumstances. As a simple example; a friend of mine discovered that he holds his breath when concentrating on computer work. He had never really noticed this or the stress that it caused his body, now that he is aware of it, when he notices it coming on he just breathes steadily throughout his work, continuing to feed the body/brain with the oxygen it needs to operate effectively and in a more relaxed mode.

If you are used to meditating then you will be aware of how the breathing quietens and slows down when you are relaxed and meditating and the wonderful feeling of calm that comes from that. Just take the time right now to notice how your body is feeling, are there areas of tension? Are you breathing fully i.e down into the abdomen or just in your upper chest?

Use a guided meditation CD like the “Life Healing” chants & meditations, or “Heartfelt” CDs. Check out the health page for possible issues. If you are someone who enjoys instructional DVDs then there is a DVD entitled “Breathe” available form my online shop. Want to try a quick and simple exercises now click here.


Hypnotherapy Mind/Body Sessions or Downloads

healing-hypnosisHypnosis can be a useful tool.  Many have been put off by various stage and television hypnotists that seem to take control of peoples’ minds and make them look foolish.  The interesting thing is that we have all experienced hypnosis often without realising it.  For instance when you arrive at your destination having driven a long distance but you don’t remember having driven the last 10 – 20 minutes. The same can happen whilst watching television and you kind of zone out or seem incapable of turning off the TV and going to bed.  Many have zoned out whilst standing in a queue. Continue reading

Caregiver Stress Weakens Immune System

A study by scientists at Ohio State University suggests that caregiver stress weakens the immune system by affecting a critical pathway in the immune system in the long term. This results in chronic health problems like heart disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. They also found that reduced immunity brought on by caregiver stress continued even long after they ceased to be Carers. So Care-giving may have important implications for future health and costs of provision from a service perspective. Continue reading

Carers Workshop – Learning to Live & Care

Many people now find themselves in the position of caring for an elderly relative either within their own home or close by. Some are also caring for young children. Whilst care within a family can sound like the ideal provision, the stress and strains placed on the Carer are enormous and can result in various health and emotional problems. Having had personal and professional experience of Caring and Care Givers I have put together a two day workshop and follow up personal counseling session for each participant, details follow below but if you would like more background information and research go to How a Caregivers Immune System is weakened. Continue reading



Are you suffering from too much stress?

Researchers have found that stress hormones are associated with particular unhealthy emotions. These hormones affect systems and organs throughout the body. For example, stress related to hostility and anxiety can result in disruptions in heart and immune function. Similarly, depression and distress may diminish the body’s natural capacity to heal. In contrast, emotional expression that encourages openness and active coping with problems helps stabilize the immune system. Continue reading

Health and the Mind Body Link

The mind body link is the link between our emotions and our physical body.


Mind Body Link

Certain emotions have been linked to disease. So for example, if you tend to be angry or hostile you may be increasing your risk for coronary heart disease, obesity (particularly having excess fat around the waist), insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes), and abnormal cholesterol (specifically, high triglycerides and low HDL the good kind of cholesterol). Continue reading

I left my husband and two children …

Dear Gillian,

15 months ago I left my husband and two children.  My husband was a workaholic and I worked full time.  My husband discovered he had cancer it scared the life out of me, we moved house to lesson his load with work but nothing changed that was 3 years ago .  My children got older and I realised that my life was going by and I was living the stressful life that my husband lived, he neglected me by coming in late from work etc . Continue reading