6 steps to stay positive

NOW is the time to see the opportunities that 2020 has brought. Yes the evenings are darker and the media is full of doom. I could go on… But we have a choice to focus on the challenges or potential. Proactive actions, thoughts and people lift our spirit and positivity.

Here are some simple steps which will help create good vibes. Aim for success, Choose something that you can do without too much effort. Add, or change as needed.

1.  MAINTAIN/BOOST YOUR MOOD

  • Use a lamp that imitates natural sunlight.
  • Take regular exercise, walk daily, practice yoga/qigong
  • Eat healthily with natural foods*
  • Create a routine – it gives a sense of control

2.  FOCUS ON WHAT’S GOING WELL

  • Every morning and every night take a few minutes to focus on 5 things that you have in your life right now. Food? water? A job/income? A home? Friends? Etc.
  • Each day share with a partner, friend, colleague at least one positive thing about your day.
  • Minimise exposure to negative input, tv, social media etc. choose feel-good programs and connections
  • When you focus on positive events and gratitude you will notice more positive events, people and ideas and your energy will become lighter.

3.  MAKE YOUR HOME A SANCTUARY

You can’t control what’s going on in the world, you can control how your home looks and feels.(children, partners, parents permitting LOL!). Find a space that works for you, perhaps a mobile one is the best option, simply roll out a mat. There are no rules.

  • Clear clutter
  • Rearrange, ornaments, pictures, cushions, furniture as appropriate. Experiment to create a feel-good energy
  • Place positive images and photos where you spend most time
  • Add colours that evoke joy, happiness and positivity for you. This could be with cushions, decor, plants.
  • Open the windows every day to bring in fresh air and energy

4.  PHONE A FRIEND

  • Reach out to a friend, by phone, online, over the fence. Depending how you are feeling, you may choose a positive friend where the conversation is likely to include laughter or someone who is alone and may need support. Receiving support is mood enhancing. Asking how someone else is will take you away from your own suffering for a while.

5.  STOP BEING HARD ON YOURSELF

You are doing the best you can with what you’ve got. Watch out for negative self-talk and judgement. It’s ok to feel however you feel. Accepting this is the first step to change.

6.  MAKE YOUR WELL-BEING A PRIORITY

Invest in yourself. This was a challenge for me in the early days. Now I realise that it must be my highest priority. The purpose of life is to unravel my history and story, bringing me to a place of equilibrium and wholeness. And the best possible way to be of service to others is by sorting myself out! It is a lifelong commitment.

NEXT STEPS 
If you would like support in groups or 1 to 1 sessions, I am here to help. Together things become achievable, change happens. I have come through dark  days and you can too.

Here are 5 key insights I have learned over the years.

☯  Everything that has happened is ok.
☯  We all have our own life path.
☯  Life isn’t meant to be a Disney movie.
☯  Challenges are here to catalyse positive change.
☯  There is no right way or only way.

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1 TO 1 sessions week days/occasional weekends.

If you have any questions please email me or call 07795 517157.

Love Suzan

*You may want to invest in personalised advice with a BANT therapist, such as Jo, who you may know from yoga. consult your GP if you experience SAD, Seasonal affective disorder, chronic depression/anxiety

**If you will benefit from the classes, are committed to attend regularly and have a genuine financial issue please donate what you can – this will be confidential. Please respect this policy and keep for those who really need it.

From Suffering to Bliss – a yoga journey for self-healing

When I notice I am suffering or struggling, I check in to see what is happening, what I am not getting or what wants to change.

How are you with change and uncertainly?

For many years I resisted and resented undesired change. It was painful and not something I had planned. I did all I could to avoid it! I would get busy, grumpy, or resentful. So many more important things to do!  Or times there were long periods in inertia, resentment and feeling trapped. All completely subconscious.

Finding yoga and spiritual development gave me the tools to reflect and broaden my understanding. I came to understand that there was something bigger at play. My ego is not in control. The pain drove me to change. The result exactly what I needed.  The pain led to change. I was being guided to a better place.

The act of regularly showing up on the mat is a huge opportunity to be present with what is, to feel those things that are so easy to avoid. I found yoga postures a way into reflective practices. They also gave me time to get to know my body, and feel! Some tightness wouldn’t shift no matter how many classes I did. It was in healing and personal development that they moved. I was then able to explore and access deeper wisdom in the yoga classes.

I studied a whole lot and understood at a cognitive level. Over time I was really able to understand. This was when I felt the knowing and understanding physically and at a more subtle, energetic level.

Now I feel and know with my physical body and beyond that change and the suffering it often brings are the one certainty in life! It is not wrong or a punishment, rather a catalyst to take us to a new, more evolved place. The idea is to move through the suffering rather than get stuck. Now it’s not easy or quick but the reality of life.

Life continues to bring me opportunities to leap forward and I find the support and connection of my practice means the process is easier and quicker. And I still notice sub-conscious activities taking me the scenic route! Ultimately it will take as long as is needed.

Yoga for change and reducing suffering

Are you ready for change? Looking for support navigating change? Trying to understand and make sense of uncertainty.

Email me to book a free 20 minute consultation to see how working together can support you.

From Overwhelm to Calm in 5 Minutes

  • Stop feelings of overwhelm, irritation and powerlessness
  • Activate your rest and digest system
  • See clearly
  • Become empowered

Try this 5 minute breathing practice (5 minutes and 22 seconds)

Why?
Focused breathing is powerfully transformative.  It allows the nervous system to settle, the mind and body to calm and harmony to be restored.

When?
Daily – there are 1440 minutes in a day.  If you don’t manage daily do as often as possible.  In an emergency take 3 conscious deep breaths wherever you are.

What people say

“When I am stuck in traffic I use the breathing practice and the stress vanishes”. Lynne

“Dear Suzan   Just to say many thanks for the breathing programme.  My blood pressure readings are down, so no visits to the doctor for 3 months and no increase in medication.  I also feel a lot calmer and don’t get those feelings of panic which were very unpleasant.
yours with many thanks”. Betty E

“I was progressing with my Scuba diver training last weekend was struggling to maintain a level easy breath and as a result using far too much air. So 40 feet below the surface the following day I was thinking about concentrating on my yoga breath whilst trying to master the skills of diving, it worked!” Guy K

“I wanted to let you know I enjoyed the classes and used the breathing techniques throughout the pregnancy and during labour which was a huge help, so thank you” Clare P

If you would like to work deeper with breath and movement I have a range of online yoga groups and private sessions to support your specific needs and availability.  Email me.

Focused breathing will support you whatever is going on in your life – stress, the blues, living with change and uncertainty. Give yourself the gift of 5 minutes a day for a month and let me know the results.  I would love to hear from you.

Please email me  with any feedback or questions.

lungs-breathe

In an emergency just 3 conscious breaths will change the way you feel.

The Benefits of Therapeutic Yoga

The appropriate practice of yoga unifies all aspects of the system.  It works on many levels and can be adapted to suit a wide range of needs.  The key is REGULAR practice – The more regularly you practice the sooner you will see results

Physical – improves:

• Posture
• Breath length which helps with lung function
• Balance – helps prevent falls
• Improve or maintain mobility
• Improve or maintain strength and flexibility
• Improve or maintain bone density
• Rehabilitation, can reduce pain including chronic pain, especially effective for reducing low back pain
• Energy levels
• Sense of well-being
• Digestion/elimination

Reduces:
• Heart rate
• Muscle tension
• Flight/flight syndrome
• Blood pressure
• Stillness and pain

Cognitive – improves:

• Concentration
• Focus
• Mental clarity
• Memory
• Staying present
• Dexterity
• Co-ordination
• Reaction times

Emotional – improves

• Mood
• Resilience
• Awareness
• Anger control
• Mind-body connection

Reduces:
• Stress
• Anxiety
• Trauma
• Fear

Social

• Reduces sense of isolation
• Group support
• Make new friends
• Improves confidence

The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council states that “Yoga can help with a wide range of disorders and stress related problems. Including back and joint issues; breathing disorders; issues during PMS, pregnancy and menopause; emotional issues such as anxiety, depression; injuries, surgery and illness. It may also enhance the quality of life for patients with chronic diseases”.

I am currently working with clients experiencing fibromyalgia, MS, ME, cancer, arthritis, back/neck pain, stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, IBS, osteoarthritis, & crohns disease

Yoga therapy can be used alongside conventional medicine and other complementary therapies.

back pain forward bend semi suppine chair twist

Yoga Therapy

Yoga Therapy – Viniyoga approach

Yoga therapy is a holistic therapy to optimise our health and well being on a physical, energetic, mental/emotional and spiritual level.   Often when thinking of yoga it is the physical aspect and perhaps breathing that comes to mind, however, yoga incorporates a wide variety of tools, as well as postures and breathing these include: diet & life style advice, meditation, relaxation, affirmations and visualisation; personal ritual, mantra, chanting and study of yoga texts which date back thousands of years.

 Yoga postures are adapted to suit individual needs rather than forcing the body into various positions.  This can help develop strength, flexibility, ease and balance in the body; reduce weakness and structural pain according to need.  Moving in time with the breath helps spinal movement; it can ease spinal compression and lengthen the spine increasing range of movement and comfort.  This emphasis on the spine has a positive effect on the nervous system, it helps calm the mind and reduce anxiety which is further developed with seated breathing practices, meditation, chanting etc

What is involved?

Yoga therapy involves taking an active part in your own healing process.  The therapist devises a practice, taking into account physical, energetic, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs interests, lifestyle and living arrangements.  To gain maximum benefit, you are encouraged to practice at home on a regular basis.  It does not need to be as long as a group class, just 20-30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week will be very beneficial.  In acute cases you may be given a shorter practice to do twice daily.

How quickly does it work?

Positive results are often seen within a few weeks, sometimes within days, the key is regular practice. The more regularly you practice the sooner you will see results.

What conditions can Yoga therapy help?

The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council states that “Yoga can help with a wide range of disorders and stress related problems.  Including back and joint issues; breathing disorders; issues during PMS, pregnancy and menopause; emotional issues such as anxiety, depression; injuries, surgery and illness.  It may also enhance the quality of life for patients with chronic diseases”.

I am currently working with fibromyalgia, MS, ME, COPT. scoliosis, PTSD, cancer, arthritis, back/neck pain, stress, & anxiety.

Yoga therapy can be used along with conventional medicine and other complementary therapies.

Further information

https://www.suzanjoywells.co.uk/2014/01/the-benefits-of-therapeutic-yoga/

 

https://www.suzanjoywells.co.uk/2014/01/yoga-therapy-sessions/

http://www.pranamaya.com/blog/special-features/qa-gary-kraftsow-on-yoga-therapy-and-your-mood/http://www.cnhc.org.uk/

http://www.viniyoga.com/about/what-is-viniyoga

http://www.viniyoga.com/about/what-is-yoga-therapy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwK7AAo7VxI

http://www.viniyoga.com/_blog/American_Viniyoga_Institute_-_Blog/post/Viniyoga_for_Low_Back_Pain_New_Study_Results_Released/

Stress and anxiety

What is stress?

Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. In emergency situations, stress can give you extra strength to avoid accident or injury. In manageable amounts stress helps you stay focused and energetic, however, too much or chronic stress may cause problems to your health, relationships, and quality of life.

Effect of stress

affects of stress on the body

Effects of stress and anxiety on the body

Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system which triggers the “fight-or-flight” response. The Mayo clinic describes the effect of stress below

“When you encounter perceived threats — a large dog barks at you during your morning walk, for instance — your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.

Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation and fear.”

When the threat is over the parasympathetic nervous system becomes active and the body comes back to homeostasis balance (rest and digest).

Excessive/chronic stress
Just as when you have a nightmare the body reacts as if the event was happening, the body doesn’t distinguish between physical and psychological threats. When you are under permanent stress, the fight or flight response which is designed for short term emergencies is constantly in operation and the symptoms of stress become an accepted part of your life. This can cause many health problems including disrupted sleep, raised blood pressure, obesity, suppressed immune system, and increased risk of heart attack, stroke, anxiety and depression.

Causes of stress
Any thought or event that puts a lot of demands on you whether it is positive or negative may cause stress and each of us responds to these events differently. Stressors may include: –

Major life changes
Work
Relationship issues
Financial problems
Being too busy
Family

Reducing stress

Identify what is stressful to you
Become aware of your response
Change or avoid situation if possible
If you can’t change the situation you can change your response
Let go, when you are away from the stressful situation focus on positive, relaxing things
Practice yoga, tai chi, relaxation, breathing, meditation

For further information please contact Suzan

Ways to reduce stress

 

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