Calm focus…

 

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Want to feel ready to give it your best shot in the next 2-6 weeks?

Want to harness the feelings of the very normal ‘fight and flight response’ and focus these into the most successful behaviours for you?

A session with a coach or therapist who can help you recognise these feelings for what they are and redirect them to work for you, not sabotage your well being.

If you are struggling at the moment with these feelings, you’re not alone.

Many teens around the country are struggling with anxiety about their revision, their performance and their future. This is a modern day tragedy.

Despite the growing awareness and public services trying to keep pace with the need to address this, many of our young people are simply not able to access the help they need in a timely fashion.

A session which explores your concerns and gives you techniques to feel calmer and more able to focus could make a big difference. This could involve being more in the moment, or mindful of the ‘here and now’, and using visualisation strategies. Practicing beforehand and using these skills leading up to, and during, the exam could make all the difference to how you feel and perform.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss your concerns.

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Exam stress!!

 

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Its that time of year again!!

Teenagers all over the country are beginning to feel the pressure…

poor motivation?

dis-organisation?

apathy?

erratic moods?

impending sense of panic?

anxiety?

As parents of a possibly uncommunicative, yet stressed teenager, where the young person may have great difficulty expressing their concerns can be a challenging time for the whole family.

Knowing where to go to seek support can be tricky.

If the teenager is demonstrating anxiety and depression symptoms, where they appear to be not coping with erratic emotions, have significant changes in eating and sleeping habits or are expressing feelings of low mood, particularly suicidal thoughts, then a Gp consultation is necessary.

For many teenagers it can be much more subtle than this and who may improve the situation can be less obvious.

The schools and colleges are getting better at offering sessions on tips and strategies which enhance the students planning for revision, so they feel better prepared and more able to cope with the pressures.

With the multiple demands on teenagers this preparation is getting harder to focus on.

This relies on your teenager not being too hormonal, influenced by their peers which has often been the case, but enhanced by the massive influence from social media. This constant distraction of messages, apps and the internet is pervasive and often difficult to manage alongside their rapidly developing brains. As many study skills need to be accessed on line it is increasingly difficult to avoid the pull of the internet.

Personal discipline is crucial, so addiction to the phone can interfere with this, as can a fear of failure, making starting difficult, or building performance anxiety may be driving the lack of engagement with their studies.

Accessing resources to improve the teenagers ability to remain calm, focus and commit to performing in the way that does them justice is hugely beneficial.

Having a session with a therapist who offers NLP techniques to promote these skills, ideally enhanced by hypnosis but not essential, can help the teenager to set the intention and take the steps towards achieving more focus.

Contact me if you want to explore this conversation further, sometimes recognising what is happening for the student is the first step.

 

Reduce anxiety by deep breathing

One of the most common tools I teach teens and adult clients is belly breathing. It is one of the most successful tools when treating anxiety and fear. This trick can calm you down quickly and can be used ANYWHERE, which is what I love about it. Belly breathing is also known as deep breathing. […]

via Belly Breathing — Dayna Sykes, LPC-S, MHSP

Coming of age

My oldest child has become a young adult!!

Does it make me feel old?  A little…

Am I sad about it…

not really!?

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The last few years whilst she has been preparing for being more independant, have been a bit of a balancing act. I have still wanted to guide her as a parent, and will continue to do so,  but in a lesser role no doubt. There has been lots of challenge and disagreement!

As a parent of a teenager the conflict has been between me trying ‘not to know best’ and being available for discssions around tricky issues.

As teenagers they need to be able to explore who they are, look to their peers, try things out, challenge themselves, learn lots, make mistakes and run to the parent/s when things go wrong!

Their communication is all over the place from disengagement to outright rudenesss, with good moments in between.

It is a challenge to be steadily reasonable yourself when they are rejecting everything you open your mouth to say and can seem like a huge attack on you as a person.  You are “old” and “out of touch” and “don’t know anything” and are laughable – some of this is somewhat true, but can be very difficult to hear out of the mouth of babes. From the one you cradled, protected and nutured over the past 15 years or so and seems not that long ago. I know I’m getting sentimental now…

Parents need to keep adult enough, ensure they have their own interests and support systems to be strong and supportive during this phase. Having your own peers to share issues, laugh and keep perspective with is important.You are also a role model for your young person and how you deal with the stresses and strains of life is teaching those observing what the choices for lifestyle are. If you are struggling with any of these, seek help and support for yourself!

If you can keep communication channels open enough, you are doing well. You should be their sounding base at times and it is essential you set boundaries but are available for discussion if necessary, to unpick what is reasonable.

It may not feel like they trust anything you say much of the time but moments of difficulty will highlight this to you. Teens face huge pressures to look good, perform well academically and be social. Issues with low mood and anxiety have never been higher for our young people. Social media is the way of communicating so being involved and informing yourself, with your teens where possible, so what they are accessing is understood is essential. Friendships are of course a huge feature of this period and should be encouraged ideally with some interaction from parents so you are aware of their activities. Educate yourself on the dangers and the impact of social media and other teen issues on health and wellbeing. Awareness aids communication skills and being able to discuss more difficult subjects.

Schools and colleges are striving to keep pace with current issues as they arise and communicating with them and other relevant organisations, working together to support your teenager, can be reassuring in an ever changing environment. Keeping your teen engaged with learning and other activities available to them will promote their sense of belonging and reduce anti social activities. So having an open mind and being aware of opportunities to develop and support them is key.

So many issues to consider and I’m sure I’ve forgotten some…

I’m sure on embracing adulthood my daughter will continue to have problematic moments which at times I will find wearing. However…

Now I do feel more able to say – you’re a young adult, what do you think?

This has pushed some of the responsibility for more difficult decisions back to her and enabled a two way conversation with more balance.

It is a huge relief!!

Why Losing Control Can Make You Happier – Mindful

imageWork on lessening your need to seek control over others via Why Losing Control Can Make You Happier – Mindful

This explains a lot of the power balance when trying to manage teenagers!

As a parent I continue to work on stepping back a little…

Set boundaries, but keep communication open and encourage negociation and discussion. LOL!

Teenage tantrums

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Can you remember when life was all cute and cuddly!!

This seems like a long time ago now…………..it was a different more hands on and a physically demanding phase of life, but it was comforting and cosy.

Others warned of the challenges of teenagers – but nothing really prepare you!

They grunt

They withdraw into their rooms

They take everything as a criticism

Nothing is done around the house without a huff and a puff

They want money all the time

They want lifts to lots of different places – hopefully

or maybe they are constantly on a gadget!!

They are messy

Unreasonable

….and yet quite needy!!

Frustrating to say the least.

What about homework, peer groups, motivation, boy/girlfriends, alcohol, body image, sexting, drugs, sex, music (not rock ‘n roll), grooming – at least 2 types, choices, independance, parties, curfews,  part time jobs, a career? future, Uni?, study, health, safety, freedom, bullying, social media, wifi, kindness, money, driving, family relationships and responsibilities…

I’m sure there are lots of things I’ve missed. It’s endless and draining and emotional, and at times tedious and confusing, as a parent……………let alone the young person!!

Anxiety is a big concern around this period, for the teenager who is negociating their growth and exposure to new concepts both emotionally and psychologically, let alone the physical and hormonal challenges. This brings insecurity, social anxiety and risk taking behaviours possibly all at once! It can also be tricky to negociate for the parents, with a return to sleepless nights, but for a whole range of reasons.

It will all be worth it, I keep hoping…….. but all seems a bit thankless at times. 

This is all preparation for when the stroppers step away from their home base and become their own person. Your job will be done! The input that has taken years of your energies will be either embraced or rejected and you can no longer easily influence.

Every phase of parenthood has its challenges and some parents will deal with certain phases better than others. Teenagers can cause you to feel rejected, powerless and stressed as you try to support their challanges.

Remind yourself this is a necessary seperation and rejection of your values, ideas and beliefs for them to be able to grow up into independant people.

As a parent apart from supporting them and trying to keep in communication with them to guide them as needed and certainly when it is asked for….

To keep yourself positive you need :-

  – support from your partner, friends or close family member – an empathetic person who can hear you, but not judge you when you need to unload!

– time for yourself, to develop your own interests and remind yourself of your strengths and abilities

seek out information and resources that can guide you and give you strategies to make the teenage years as smooth running as possible

– friendship with others with teenagers so you can swap tips or ideas or just giggle and let off steam at the ridiculousness of some of the challenges

– focus on your own goals and direction for when you will have more time available for career moves or new skills

-time out for you, to relax and be able to face the challenges

space to explore how you feel about the uncertainty of the future and what the opportunities are!

Not everyone has the right contacts to meet their needs and keep you positive. Or you lack direction, feel overwhelmed or isolated?

Meditaion and Self hypnosis can be transforming tools to help self manage these feelings for both the teenager and the adult. Talking to a Integrated Hypnotherapist can help you identify what needs to change and how to use these resources so you can move forward.

Some time for relaxation and refocus is a start!

Quiet time….just be!

A busy household – part time intense job, teenagers, step-teenagers, animals, music, driving, stress, older active mum, working away husband, friends, learning and running a household. Quiet time I ask?

Essential…if you are going to keep your mind calm, your body functioning and your mental health in one piece.We all know this on some level but it is trying to fit it in.

So we need to develop strategies to make it happen.

Find a peaceful place – where you don’t have to overthink of anything, time for you to focus on the here and now. Focus on you! Even if only for 10-15 minutes each day:-

Walk the dog

Sit in the park

Plan a relaxing bubble bath

Walk through countryside

Reading a book or magasine

Gardening

Play sport or exercise class

Sing

Painting

These are some of the things I have tried .Whatever allows you to have that feeling of tuning out or ‘flow’ , where your mind switches off and you can just be. Be in the moment.

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With people demanding of your time and energy for much of the day, you need and deserve this time and space to replenish your energy levels.

If this is difficult for you, I know I have been there, plan to make it a priority 🙂

What I can offer?

Initially we can discuss what you wish to make changes to. This can be done by telephone or email and can take a little time to unpick. I can explore what you wish to work on, discuss the options and make a plan to address your concerns. This consultation is free and necessary for both of us to establish how we can work together.

My particular interests are:-

Anxiety, confidence, phobias, pain management, weight loss, stop smoking, presentation skills, stress management, performance and sleep.

I specialise in weight management, particularly weight loss and can offer a Virtual gastric band. Also eating disorders, habits, pain control, stress management, exam nerves and confidence in relationships.

I can work with adults, teenagers and children.