Tag Archives: anxiety

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 (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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Some benefits of Chair pose

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You can come into Chair from Mountain pose or from standing with your feet hip distance apart, both feet facing forwards. Inhale and raise both arms overhead. Exhaling, bend your knees and bend your upper body forward.

Hold for up to 3 minutes (it will get easier with practice) and notice your breath. When ready to come out of it, inhale and straighten your knees. Exhale and release your arms.

Wonderful for panic attacks (hold for 3 minutes then rest before holding it for 3 minutes, resting and holding it for a final 3 minutes (if you want to do more, that’s fine but your thighs may protest at first)).

Again, this is something you can do almost anywhere as well as during your yoga practice. Stressed at work? Pop to the loo and do a quick Chair pose!

It’s really hard to remember what was stressing us out when we feel our thighs. Keeping our focus on bringing our breath down, as if from the belly, as well as maintaining that longer, calming exhalation means it rarely takes the prescribed 3 minutes of holding Chair to conquer panic attacks.

Added bonus? Grounding through the soles of the feet (you might want to imagine breathing in the earth’s grounding energy, too, inhaling it up and exhaling it back out again) while reaching for the heavens reminds us that the more grounded we can remain in our lives, the higher we can reach, the more we can achieve.

What are your favourite things about Chair pose?

Challenges?

What helps you most when anxiety strikes?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve x

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IF YOU’RE NEW TO YOGA AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THESE POSES, GO TO A YOGA THERAPIST OR INSTRUCTOR. IF YOU’RE NEW TO EXERCISE, CONSULT YOUR GP BEFOREHAND. ALWAYS HONOUR YOUR BODY’S OWN WISDOM

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Mindful breathing (aka conscious breathing)

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My new year blog resolution is to do a new yoga blog each week. In each, I’ll introduce a different asana (pose), pranayama (breathwork), meditation or relaxation.

Because my background is in mental and emotional health and wellbeing (you can find out more here), I’ll be focusing on these benefits.

And I’m going to start with the most important (to me) element of yoga: The breath. I started going to yoga classes about 15 years ago but it was only when I started training as a yoga therapist and instructor that I finally understood the importance of conscious breathing and co-ordinating our movements with the breath.

Sun Salutations and other asanas were transformed for me when I learned to use the breath (as oppose to the pretending I’d been doing all those years).

Yet tuning into your own movement and breath can be especially hard to do in classes – the instructor’s instructions will be unlikely to match your natural speed and everyone in the class – even in my tiniest classes – will have different breath rates so practicing on your own can be especially helpful.

For anyone who’s new to yoga, being told when to inhale and exhale as well as where to put various limbs and what to look at may feel completely overwhelming and it’s completely natural to overlook the breath.

And yet mindful (sometimes called conscious) breathing has so many benefits. Today, I’m going to encourage you to notice your breath just as you sit (or if it’s more comfortable, stand or lie down).

In the weeks ahead, I’ll encourage you to continue to be aware of the breath and it will become easier. Having said that, we’re human beings. Our minds are going to wander. And this is one of the beauties of being mindful of our breath. It’s always there to come back to. We don’t need any props.

Sometimes, we’ll stay focused on it throughout our practice. Other days, we’ll have to concentrate really hard on co-ordinating our movements with the breath.

While the latter can feel frustrating, in terms of brain activity, it’s actually a good thing as we’re cultivating the mind, strengthening the prefrontal cortex and this will help with emotional regulation, decision making and concentration.

When it’s harder, we have to be that much more mindful! And it’s a great gauge for how you might be feeling on any given day. Just as with the poses, we’re more flexible / stronger / have more stamina on different days, our capacity to concentrate varies when we’re stressed or have a lot on our minds.

And, of course, spending just a few minutes coming into the present moment and using the breath as an anchor to aid mindfulness will help us better deal with all those things awaiting our attention when we step off our yoga mats and into our day ahead.

For today, once you’ve made yourself comfortable, aim to have the spine as straight as feels comfortable. Some people like to imagine a cord pulling them up through the crown of their heads. If this is an image that supports you in sitting straight and comfortably, feel free to use it.

Start by noticing where you’re breathing from at the moment. The top of the lungs? Middle of the lungs? Lower lungs?

If you’re able to breathe more deeply, as if from the lower lungs (sometimes known as diaphragmatic breathing), it will help you calm your whole system by pausing the stress response. You’ll also be better able to absorb more oxygen.

How does that feel? Some people find it easy, when breathing consciously, to shift this. Others struggle. Just notice whatever is the case for you in this moment. This isn’t about judging ourselves, just being curious and kind. Beating ourselves up won’t help us relax.

Now notice the ratio of your inhalation to exhalation. Are they balanced? Is the inhale longer? Or the exhale?

A longer inhalation can be great for energising our whole systems but, in this 24/7 world we live in, with our stress responses being triggered so often, we rarely need to do so. Instead, we can consciously calm our systems by having a deliberately longer exhalation. If you like to count, maybe in for 1 and out for 2. Or in for 2 and out for 4. Work with figures that support your natural breath.

A balanced breath balances the system and the brain but, again, it is more balancing longer term, to calm the system during our meditative / yoga practice.

How does it feel to consciously elongate your exhalation for a few moments? (You can do it for longer if you want). And it might be that even at home, alone, suddenly questioning the way you breathe might be making you stressed and anxious about something you’ve done naturally your whole life.

Breathing mindfully like this for three minutes or longer, can help activate the Relaxation Response, the body’s natural antidote to the more frequently triggered Fight/Flight Response (both identified in the same Harvard lab, decades apart, the Relaxation Response by Dr Herbert Benson and Flight / Flight by Walter Cannon).

We’re alive and this is wonderful. It’s also a great reminder, for those times when our inner critics tell us we’re doing whatever (in this case breathing) ‘wrong’, that we’re still alive so it’s all good.

It’s just worth remembering that when we choose to breathe more consciously, we’re calming and potentially even retraining the autonomic nervous system (ANS), supporting our heart health, immune function, easing stress and anxiety and allowing the body’s natural healing capacities to kick in.

I encourage you to build up. You may want to time a minute and count your complete breaths (an inhalation and exhalation equalling one complete breath) so you can fit a minute of conscious breathing / mindful breathing in throughout your day whenever it feels good (without having to set timers or complicate things).

And, of course, building up will bring you additional benefits.

What did you notice about your breath today?

Were you breathing more from the lower lungs, middle of the lungs or top of the lungs?

How did it feel when you chose (if you chose – you may have been perfectly comfortable breathing from the top of your lungs and chose to continue!) to breathe more deeply?

Did it help relax you?

How about your inhalation and exhalation?

Were they equal?

Was the inhale longer?

Or the exhale?

If you chose to consciously calm your system through your breath, did the longer exhalation help you today?

Did counting help or did you prefer a more intuitive approach?

Feel free to comment below.

And you can find out more about my classes here and my work with individuals here.

Love,

Eve x

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Are you ready to say Adios to anxiety? (holistic workshop in Witham – 4 people maximum)

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You’ll learn how to use body, breath, mind and soul to support yourself when experiencing anxiety / panic attacks as well as longer term ways to work with it, learn from it and even, potentially, use that awful anxiety as a catalyst to make positive changes in your life.

Hope to see you there (get in touch if you have any questions).

Metta,

Eve

x

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8 ‘sleeps’ until Christmas… How’s YOUR sleep? Still space on Tuesday’s ‘better sleep’ yoga class

Image courtesy of graur codrin / freedigitalphotos.net
Image courtesy of graur codrin / freedigitalphotos.net

Whether it’s excitement, stress or something else that’s keeping you up at night, you might enjoy my Better Sleep yoga classes on Tuesday evenings (7.30-9pm). This special sequence will help you improve your sleep quality and feel more awake when you want to be.

I still have some availability for my class on Tuesday 23rd. Do get in touch (eve@feelbettereveryday.co.uk) if you’d like to find out more or to book your place.

Metta,

Eve

x

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My (and others’) tips for supporting a friend with anxiety and panic attacks for The Site

Click here to read Anne Wollenberg’s feature.

You can find out more about my anxiety services here and do get in touch if you’d like some support.

Metta,

Eve
x

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