Category Archives: Anxiety

Feel Better Friday video: What’s your ‘happy place’?

I realise that not everyone would be delighted to be on a pretty cold beach with choppy seas and bracing winds but imagine your OWN happy places…

Where have you felt completely yourself, at ease, peaceful, happy and joyful?

Maybe you remember specific moments (use all your senses to make it as vivid as possible) or maybe you need to – for now – imagine such a moment. When I started doing this, it was floating face down in the sea, far away from any land.

I still love a few Disturbing Position face down floats after my swims but I need to be careful to move into underwater handstand to avoid alarming other swimmers. In that out in the middle of the ocean version (I rarely sea swim too far out of my depth in real life in case I get swept away), I could float face down for as long as I wanted to hold my breath, totally at peace.

Some people like to imagine a hammock on a sandy beach with the sun warming them. Others, a hot mug of tea on a favourite sofa…

The world is your lobster and you don’t have to just pick one.

What is your ‘happy place’? How do you feel after spending just a few moments imagining yourself there?

How can you anchor it in the present? Maybe you have photos or other reminders you can use to help yourself make it feel as real as possible?

Feel free to share below.

love,

Eve

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My piece on Productive Struggle (Rapport, January 2018)

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Another piece featuring Rainbow MagnifiCat (the picture is not of her but of another adorable feline).

You can click this link to read the whole piece Business 57 Benefits of Productive Struggle 14

Which struggles do you look back on and see as most productive in your life so far?

What might help you better support your clients (and loved ones) through – from a distance – in the future?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

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Join my free #30dayeftchallenge and boost your self-care

I had the plague (‘flu) over Christmas and New Year and lost the will to take even the most basic self-care steps for days as I wasn’t up to it.

Have been well again for nearly a week and am doing regular Happy Dances at having energy and being able to do things. This renewed appreciation of life has also coincided with my effort to tap daily – I’ve meditated and done (at least a little) yoga daily since 2013 but would normally only tap on myself when feeling pretty dire.

And every time, I’d be amazed at how quickly it helps! There’s something so powerful about VOICING our upsets, even just to ourselves. Then, the concentration of tapping specific points helps stop rumination, getting us back into our bodies and the present moment. And, of course, the fact that we’re working with meridians, tapping acupressure points, means we’re releasing blocked energy.

It might take a minute or two or, if something’s especially upsetting, much longer. But by doing it daily, I’m noticing how much happier I am feeling in general. It’s helping me get out of my own way and be more open to opportunities.

By creating this simple challenge, we’ll tap daily and share #day1 (or whatever day it is for you) and #30dayeftchallenge and, if you want #pain #niggles #anger #grudges #stress #anxiety #worry #block #cranky #gratitudes #sleep #whateveritisyouvetappedonwithoutsharingmorethanfeelsgoodforyou

To give you an example of how I’ll be sharing, today’s tweet will be as simple as:

#30dayeftchallenge #eft #day1 I launched this challenge today and hope you’ll join me – today, I tapped around #health What did you tap on?

I’ll be sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and hope this will grow so please share with anyone you think might benefit.

EFT is a transformative (and simple, and free) tool. I qualified in 2006 and became an advanced practitioner a few years ago. I included some tips around it in my book, 365 Ways to Feel Better and you can access a free video below if you don’t already know how to tap or want a reminder.

I’ll also be answering questions on my social media pages so please connect with me there as anything you’re unsure about is likely to help others, too.

For facebook, my book group (with extra support for people reading the book) is accessible HERE

You can also like my page HERE if you’d like regular updates

I’m on Twitter @wellbeingeve

Instagram @evemenezescunningham

You can find out more about some of the research around EFT, my approach and access a couple of interviews I did about EFT in general and for trauma for BACP’s trauma conference a few years ago HERE

Hope you find tapping as helpful as I have!

It can be as simple or complex as you want to make it – I’ve shared instructions to the Short Cut for simplicity but a quick Google will bring up loads of resources.  I include EFT as part of some of my coaching if that’s of interest – I’ll also be tagging other EFT practitioners in case they’re more local to you and you want to work face to face.

It’s also worth checking out the Tapping World Summit (HERE) and registering for this free event with loads of big names (created by Nick and Jess Ortner). The world can be your lobster!

Feel share to comment below as well as on social media. I’ll be answering as many questions as possible.

love,

Eve

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My yoga feature in Happiful magazine (published June 2017)

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I still have quite the backlog re features I’m meaning to upload to my blog… Here’s one from a few weeks ago (available online this week).

You can click HERE to read it.

If you were to do just one yoga pose each day (not forever but for now), what would it be?

What benefits does it offer you?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

 

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My and others’ tips to curb worry in Tesco magazine (published June 2017)

In the 13 years since I first set up as a coach, complementary therapist and freelance journalist, my work has been featured in a wide range of titles national and international.

But I’ve never had so many people sound genuinely impressed as this month,  when my book got a little mention (along with a couple of my tips) in Tesco magazine.

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After a few people had commented (this has very rarely happened to me), I picked up my copy today and here it is, in case you’d like to read it.

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Thanks again, Helen Foster, for including me in it.

What helps YOU reduce worry?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

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Wishing you had more patience? Some of my tips in Standard Issue (7/2/17)

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Thanks for including me in this piece on being more patient, Natalie Trice. I am endlessly working on building my own patience muscles.

What do we want? Patience! When do we want it? NOW!

You can click here to read it.

When do you notice yourself feeling most rushed?

What helps you relax a little more and allow more time for yourself and whatever you are doing?

Feel free to share below.

love,

Eve

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The importance of self-care when dealing with people impacted by narcissitic wounding

Parts of this post may be triggering and upsetting but I’m taking that risk because I hope it will be helpful.

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Seasoned White House reporters have been shocked* after being told that what they’ve seen with their own eyes is not true at Sean Spicer’s first press statement yesterday.

I work with a lot of adult survivors of narcissistically** wounded parents. As babies and infants (throughout our lives but especially then), we need to be seen. To be loved and accepted and cherished for who we are. To be allowed to feel however we feel. Even when we’re furious.

When we’ve been seen as we are (often through therapy as an adult) and have learned to integrate our own feelings and know it’s OK to feel however we feel, we’re in a much better position to empathise with others. To, as Obama said in an interview with Oprah long before he ran for President, ‘Disagree without being disagreeable.’

Yet, to varying degrees, we’ve grown up having certain aspects of our personalities celebrated while others have been punished or ignored. The recent pink/blue merchandising (cutting out a most of the rainbow and attempting to force boys and girls to conform to gender stereotypes) is an element of this. Black and white. Boy or girl. Good or bad. Republican or Democrat. Brexit or Remain.

When a parent (or President) has a high level of narcissistic wounding, his or her needs always come much higher than the children’s (or population’s). Ultimately, many of these adult survivors, as a result of systematically having their needs denied and suppressed, often believe they don’t have a right to exist.

When certain parts of our personality*** are celebrated and others denied, it can lead to us (naturally) feeling unseen in our wholeness. In varying degrees, this can lead to narcissistic wounding. If we weren’t seen and allowed to be as we were, we’re incapable of seeing others as they are.

Watching a powerful press corp being treated like naughty children who need to be disciplined can be triggering. Trump’s team, with his ‘running war with the media’ is attempting to tell the press they don’t have a right to exist.

I regularly recommend Elan Golomb’s book, Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in their Struggle for Self, as she explains (using many personal examples) how the residual effects (including self-loathing),  can be overcome. No matter how grandiose a person struggling with narcissistic wounding might appear, there’s a very fragile core which doesn’t feel good enough.

The new President of the United States of America is a self-confessed sexual predator.

We saw the tape (apologies for the language but this is the President’s own language) where he said:

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His ‘stalking’ of Hillary Clinton, literally following her around the stage like he was going to do something during one of the DEBATES was chilling to watch (although she took it in her stride and handled it with grace).

We’ve seen the tape where he mocked the disabled reporter and all of his denials that he did this even thought we’ve seen the tape.

We’ve heard his outrageous allegations about people from various ethnic groups and his endorsements by the KKK. He’s said he’s not racist then appointed an Alt-Right (neo Nazi rebranded) publisher as his Chief of Staff.

Just as the narcissistic parent blames the child for the abuse because s/he made him/her do it, the President, while campaigning, blamed the government for not having tighter tax laws that would stop him exploiting a loop hole and not paying taxes for years.

And I’m not even mentioning all the evidence of hacking and electoral interference by a foreign government. Again, his tactic has been to deny it.

 As an adult (with an online ‘echo chamber’ although I attempt to be open to as many opinions as possible, just not tolerating hate speech of any kind), this is crazymaking: It was termed ‘gaslighting’ after the films (Diana Wynard in the 1940 original and Ingrid Bergman – pictured above – in the better known 1944 remake) about the abusive husband who slowly (with the help of some of his staff) convinces his wife she’s going mad.

For a child, it can be horrific to experience that sense of being ‘crazy’, ‘insane’, ‘stupid’ or ‘wrong’ because the adult you’re supposed to trust to raise you is telling you something you know isn’t right. It’s abusive.

Even adults who’ve had (as if there’s such a thing) ‘normal’ upbringings can be affected when, say, a partner uses such tactics and they lose their sense of self.

Many adults are being triggered by the news on a regular basis, straight back into that suddenly not knowing if the sky’s up or down.

Brene Brown’s amazing work around shame and vulnerability, and the need to embrace them – however uncomfortable – if we want to live wholeheartedly, can help.

We can watch some of the inspiring speeches from yesterday’s marches. (You might want to get started with Gloria Steinem, Ashley Judd, Alicia Keys, Scarlett Johanson, America Ferrera, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Madonna).

We can connect with people, discerning safe people to share our vulnerabilities with so we can support each other rather than feel exploited by sharing with people who’ll use them against us.

As we connect and support each other, we can then reach out (as Obama advised) and attempt to talk to people who feel differently – not to dismiss their feelings but to attempt to hear and understand. I’m not talking about condoning hate speech and worse but attempting to connect with the best in people even when we’re flummoxed by certain decisions.

As always, you know what’s best for you. 

I really hope that enough of these reporters can stay grounded enough to keep calling out the lies, investigating properly, fact checking and not giving up.

What helps you stay grounded and in your truth no matter what someone else (who may, or may not have a high level of narcissistic wounding) is trying to convince you of?

Feel free to share below.

love,

Eve

*again – it seems, for them and for us at home, as if we all keep thinking we’ve seen it all and then something else happens and we’re knocked for six again

**Psychosynthesis, a transpersonal psychology, is very much about looking at what – no matter how challenging the issue – might be trying to emerge at a soul level. We’re all on a spectrum in terms of narcissitic wounding

***There was a scene in the documentary about Trump’s background where he introduced his then toddler son as ‘smart’, ‘vicious’ and ‘violent’ as if the latter two were good things. Melania and others at the Hollywood Star of Fame ceremony being filmed all laughed like it wasn’t something to worry about. I really hope he has people in his life who seem him for all of who he is and who will nurture and support him as he grows up in this enormous spotlight

**** While I’m quite outspoken about my politics, I respect others’ choices as long as they’re not hurting anyone. In those cases, I feel I have a duty to attempt to speak up (as compassionately as possible). I hope that yesterday was just a warm up and that we’ll all (the marches were led by women but all genders were welcome) do what we can to support each other and fight to prevent the progress that’s been made being undone

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My (and others’) tips on using yoga to boost mood in Surrey Occasions (published October 2016)

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Click here to read it

Thanks Karen Glaser for including my tips on using yoga for anxiety and depression.

What helps you feel better naturally (this is NOT about not taking prescribed medication or getting medical help and advice from your GP – complementary not alternative)?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

 

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My Weekly Summer Health special – mental health feature (published 4/8/16)

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If you struggle with anxiety, post traumatic stress, depression, OCD or any other mental health issues, what helps you be extra kind to yourself?

You can read the full piece by clicking the links below. I used to be able to easily create one pdf from several pages but this skill has (temporarily, hopefully) eluded me today.

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Hope you find it helpful.

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve x

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What to dooooooo? Working with our shadows

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What can we do to avoid historian’s predictions of Holocaust-like-history repeating itself? As individuals? How can we tap into the loving, expansive, inclusive, generous parts of ourselves and humanity instead of giving into fear and loathing?

Yes, there are petitions and demonstrations.

But what about the rest of our lives? The gazillions of thoughts and beliefs we rarely even notice but which contribute to our experience and the way we relate to others?

Apart from sending Metta to places we feel helpless around, we can take a look at our own shadow stuff.

I read an interesting piece by Deepak Chopra today on Donald Trump being a manifestation of America’s shadow.

We all have our shadow aspects and they’re not easy to recognise when we’re caught up in them.

Just as we all have the potential to do amazing things with our one, precious life, we could find ourselves in unimaginable circumstances and be capable of the worst, least imaginable acts.

When we notice them, we can integrate them by owning what we’ve been repressing in ourselves and projecting onto the other.

Something we can all do is pause before posting or speaking or lashing out in any way.

Notice where our shadow might be in that moment.

Who are we most angry with right now?

What does he or she represent to us?

What hidden aspects of ourselves resonates with what they’re doing?

How does it feel to own that feeling? To acknowledge that at some point, we’ve all felt homicidal?

Again, I’m not at all advocating acting on such feelings. Oddly, making this more conscious means we’re less likely to act out aggressively. 

It can be scary.

I’m a pacifist by nature. I wish we could all just get along. We’re all the same. Where we were born had nothing to do with us. Hippie, peace, love, blah…

Years ago, I learned that trying to send peace and love to people who were annoying me was, frankly, beyond me. I think Metta’s wonderful but even that varies day to day. This was years ago and I eventually realised that owning the fury, the rage, the anger and the despair was freeing.

Obviously, I’m not talking about acting on any of this. But recognising however we’re feeling and letting that be OK actually enables the feelings to move through us more quickly than when we try to deny them.

So writing this, thinking about certain politicians and their seemingly bullyish ways, I can either judge them and pretend it’s all about them or be open to acknowledging that bully part of myself.

The part that I don’t want to acknowledge I have yet that I realise of course I do, otherwise it wouldn’t upset me so much to see it in others.

Once I’ve done this, I can better see how I am connected to, for example, a politician. Or someone who votes differently to me. Or a terrorist. Or a serial killer. Or someone who puts his or her feet on the seats on public transport. Or child or animal abuser. Or any number of people I don’t want to think I have anything in common with.

As with everything, it’s a practice. But the more I do this, the less likely I am to add fuel to the emotional fires of the world right now with mean, small minded, unpleasant posts (I’m deleting A Lot).

Embracing our shadows not only helps us integrate and be more whole ourselves but we’re better able to reach out to others with compassion and kindness.

And this depends on us embracing our shadows (rather than beating ourselves up for not being saints, having said shadows).

Who are you most angry with right now? Who do you hate?

How does it feel to own that hatred and fury in yourself? (If a lot is coming up, you might want to work with a therapist – use all available support.)

Personally speaking, just through drafting this post, I’m feeling something closer to empathy for certain politicians than I’ve previously been able to feel.

How about you?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve x

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