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10 Ways to Cope with Anxiety and Stress

We all have things that trigger feelings of anxiety and stress. Some are small and insignificant, such as being stuck in traffic, and others are life disrupters that turn our world upside down. The one thing that’s certain is that trying to avoid those things that stress us is like trying to walk in between the raindrops in a thunderstorm.

The world we live in is only getting more complex. We are surrounded by choices. From the close to 100,000 drink combinations at Starbucks to the 27 apps on a typical smart phone. At times it seems that our ability to innovate has exceeded our ability to cope with innovation. It’s simply overwhelming.

Its’ no wonder that prescriptions for anti-anxiety meds have increased by 50% in the last 20 years.

Mobile technology isn’t helping any of this.

  • 50 percent of us check our e-mail or text messages before getting out of bed in the morning.
  • 60 percent of us sleep with our mobile devices in or near our bed (up to 79 percent for those under age fifty).
  • 30 percent of millennials actually sleep with their smart phone “in” their bed.
  • We spend on average of 5.5 hours on mobile devices daily, however 40 percent of 22-32 year-olds spend more than 13 thirteen hours a day on their mobile device!

It’s all pointing to the inevitable conclusion that we live in a world whose complexity, uncertainty, and volatility is increasing faster than our ability to cope. When the context of change exceeds your ability to cope it creates stress.

Since we’re clearly not going to slow down the overall rate of change in the world, there are only two ways to reduce stress. You either have to avoid the triggers or learn to better cope with them. Notice that I didn’t say you had to adapt to the change. The greatest myth we perpetrate in modern society is that we have a mandate to adapt and accept every change. While that sounds very progressive, it can actually create even more stress because now you are not only anxious about the change but you’re also setting a high bar that you have to hurdle by adapting to something your body and mind really do not like, which in turn creates even more stress.

The fact is that not all change is good change that contributes value and quality to our lives. Take my earlier example of driving in traffic. If I could show you a way to get to your destination that is faster, more pleasant, more scenic, and which contributes something positive to your life wouldn’t you choose that over adapting to the traffic?

Although we don’t like to admit it, that’s the way most stress works. We choose to stay in stressful situations because we actually adapt to the presence of stress and accept it as normal. That only makes stress a permanent part of your life. Chronic stress is not normal. It damages your body, dulls your mind, and depresses you emotionally. And then all of these in turn make it even harder to cope with the triggers that create the stress.

So how do you reduce stress? Here are 10 ways to start both eliminating the triggers of stress and anxiety and coping with those that you have no control over.

1) Get off of Social Media

I know, I’ve started with one of the hardest and most difficult stressors to eliminate. With smartphones we are tethered to social media like tagged wildlife. Worse yet, studies have shown that social media triggers addictive and obsessive responses in the brain. But it’s not just what social media does to your brain but also what it does to your workload. Eliminating social media is exceptionally effective at reducing the stress of not having enough time. We spend nearly 2 hours each day on social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter, and exponentially more right now. What would your day feel like if you had two extra hours to do things that you really needed to do? Well, guess what? You just got those two hours. It’s up to you how you use them.

2) Take a Break

Small breaks every 15 minutes have been shown to have a tremendously positive effect on productivity and well being. The key here is to avoid falling into the trap of believing that simply bumping up against an obstacle repeatedly will cause it to give way. In many cases that’s only going to increase your stress and frustration. Imagine your car being stuck in deep snow while you just keep spinning your wheels and digging deeper and deeper into the snow making it harder and harder to get out. Instead take a step back. Clear your mind. And then revisit whatever it is you’re dealing with from a new perspective.

3) Talk it Out

Depending on what type of personality you are this may appear to be very natural or very painful. This of us who like to retreat into the confines of our own mind believe that we can somehow will our way out of just about anything by focusing hard enough without interruption. In fact the worst thing in the world you can do to me when I’m stuck and stressed is to try and talk to me. My instinct is to shut you down faster than I’d swat away an annoying fly. Yet, conversation is one of the most therapeutic forms of problem solving. Keep in mind that I’m not suggesting someone else has the answer, but that your talking it out will help you find an answer. Although I’ll admit to being the last one to take my own advice on this, I can attest that as a holistic practitioner I’ve never ceased to be amazed at how people usually figure out their own problems with nothing more than encouragement and a bit of objective perspective.

4) Take a Walk/ Workout

Cliche, right? Perhaps, but walking actually release the feel good cocktail of endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin which stimulates you brain and causes you to feel better about yourself and your situation. Again, the challenge is that we want to believe we can “deal” with the stressor and we see walking away as a loss, when the greater loss is in spending much more time than is needed or warranted trying to “figure it out.”

5) Read

This is another one of those activities that we often see as distracting us from the task at hand. Yet, I’ve found that few things stimulate my ability to think through a problem more than the simple act of reading. Sometimes I’ll stumble across a nugget of wisdom that is tangentially or even directly applicable to my challenge at hand. But most times it’s just a way to get my mind to divert from a train of thought that has been holding it hostage. We don’t want to admit how easily we can become near sighted and lose peripheral vision necessary to think creatively.

6) Write, But Don’t Judge

This is one of my favorites. Our brains are muscles. They work best when we exercise them. But they also need time to recover and rebuild. I’m convinced that moderate amounts of acute stress are a good thing. If you’re a small business owner it’s just part of your life. Yet, the periods of recovery in between the stress are critically important. One way to give your brain time to recover is to write, I’m not talking about writing anything deeply meaningful or, for that matter, even remotely interesting. Instead, my suggestion is to simply write with no judgement about what you’re writing or how you are writing it. When you’re done writing just toss it in folder of random thoughts and streams of consciousness. It’s no different than going to the gym to workout. You’re not doing anything permanent. You’re not building a stone wall when you lift weights. You’re not going anywhere on that treadmill, or exercise bike. But you do it because it has a long term impact on you. Same with writing. Just do it for 5-15 minutes — no judgment, no proofing–and see how much sharper you are

7) Take a Nap

“And just when am I supposed to do that?” you’re asking. Well, that is exactly the problem. Most of us do not get enough sleep to begin with. Short power naps are one way to improve that. According to WebMD, “Research shows longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity. Slow-wave sleep — napping for approximately 30 to 60 minutes — is good for decision-making skills, such as memorizing vocabulary or recalling directions. Getting rapid eye movement or REM sleep, usually 60 to 90 minutes of napping, plays a key role in making new connections in the brain and solving creative problems.” Yes, I know, the guilt of daytime napping is a hard one to cope with, which may contribute its own form of stress. Then again, if you haven’t tried it you may be very pleasantly surprised at its benefits.

8) Meditate

People fall into two categories, those who meditate and those who haven’t yet. Once you do it’s amazing how drawn you will be to it whenever stress shows up. I’m not going to give you a meditation method here. You need to study it and develop your own approach to meditation What I will share is something a good friend once told me. Meditating is not about trying not to think, instead it’s about allowing your mind to wander where it will while you observe calmly and without judgment. All I can say is, try it.

9) Listen to Music

In the age of mobility it seems as though each of our lives has a soundtrack. It’s a good thing and it can help reduce stress significantly. A group of neuroscientists at Mindlab International in the U.K have come across a piece of music that they claim reduces overall anxiety by 65 percent and reduces physiological responses to anxiety by 35 percent. I’ve often found music, in general, to be a wonderful way to help my mind get into a sort of creative zone where ideas flow smoothly and that same feel-good brain cocktail gets released. After all, who among us hasn’t been caught coping with rush hour traffic by performing a bit of carpool karaoke?

10) Stop Asking “What if?”

Lastly, it’s one thing to deal with the stress of the present without adding to it the stress of the past. While there are many episodes in each of our lives that we carry forward, the worst sort of stress is the “what if” games we pay about the past. I’m going to be very blunt here. The only reason to second guess the past is because you are unhappy with where you are now. If that wasn’t the case there would be no reason to questions how you got here. So, if that’s the case what you really need to focus on is your situation right now, right here. Do that and the what if games come to an end. Don’t do it and I will guarantee you one thing. Several months or several years down the road you will say “what if” about today as well!

Will the ten ways I’ve described eliminate your stress? No. Some degree of stress is a normal response to the world we live in. If you weren’t periodically stressed you also would likely not feel much of anything else. We need the occasional thunderstorm in our lives. Most of us just don’t want to live in a perpetual monsoon.

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April Newsletter

We hope you all had a wonderful Easter and enjoyed the chocolate feast. If you need some detox and relaxation, you know where we are. We have so much on this April & May, I’m bursting to tell you.

It’s exam season coming up, which can be a pressurised time for both those taking exams and family members supporting them! We know, it’s like you are taking the exams too! We have lots of support to offer during much needed rest breaks, from message, reiki, reflexology to acupuncture. All available to nurture your body and soul and have you bouncing back to the study desk.

To our wonderful clients who made March a joy to be holistic therapists, we look forward to welcoming you back in April. To those who have yet to visit us, we look forward to welcoming you to your new holistic home.

For all you therapists out there who have taken a career break and want to re hone your skills, we have refresher workshops in reflexology and massage coming up in April.

So until the next time.
See you soon

Claire xx

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It’ time to look after yourself

One of my favorite parts of New Years is throwing away the old calendar and getting to start anew. All the hopes, dreams, and fantasies of a new life seem so tangible at New Years, don’t they?

Well, have I got news for you.

According to a survey by Reuters only a measly 3% of people actually follow through with their big New Year’s resolutions. And psychologists believe that this failure to follow through on bold and brilliant New Year’s resolutions by 97% of us can actually lead to diminished self esteem and lack of motivation in the months to come.

Does this mean that the remaining 97% of us who threw ideas in the till for positive change are all losers who cannot commit to anything? Absolutely not! 

One of the reasons I ceased making resolutions is quite simply because I don’t believe that there is one specific day so enlightened that you can change your entire world in the blink of an eye. I don’t believe that putting all your eggs in the New Year’s basket is necessarily the best way to make changes in your life. Truth is, you can blow in the winds of change any day of week, any month of the year, any hour of the day – if you so choose.

I DO believe that New Years should be a time of reflection. What was the last year like for me? What are the things I did right? What are the things I did wrong? Where is there room for improvement and positive change? What are some of the things I would like to continue to do? What am I proud of, and what do I wish I could change? Am I living the best life possible, and if not – what are three simple changes I could make to head in that direction?

To me, the New Year is about taking inventory and making a plan. Not just a firm resolution which you are certain to break; that you will never again sink your teeth into a sugary donut, or guzzle down an ice-cold Coca Cola on a hot summer day – but a plan that you will eat two less donuts per week, and only enjoy one soda every other day.

Why set yourself up to fail? The last thing you want to do is to feel like a deflated balloon.

Instead, start slowly by asking yourself the questions above. Write down your answers and take baby steps toward achieving your goals. The expression “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” rings true when it comes to the beginning of the New Year – and nothing in your life should be all or nothing. If it is, chances are you are setting yourself up to feel guilty or bad down the road.

So in light of this we are sharing everything we have on offer for you at the centre, we have drop in classes if you feel like you can’t commit to one of our full time classes and we have weekend workshops that I am sure you will find is calling out to you.
Just follow the links below for our workshops and classes and start with baby steps on the right path for you.
www.riverholistic.ie/classes
www.riverholistic.ie/workshops

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October Newsletter

The trees are in their autumn beauty, The woodland paths are dry, Under the October twilight the water Mirrors a still sky.

William Butler Yeats

River Holistic October Newsletter

Wow… this has to be one of my favorite months.  It’s a time for change and beauty, which is so fitting for us here at River Holistic.  We have transformed our centre into a beautiful tranquil space just for you.  We closed our doors for a week at the beginning of September to let our new chapter here at the Centre unfold.  We can’t wait for you to come in and experience the transformation.
We will be holding an open evening next month, so you can come in and meet the amazing team of therapists and teachers who I have the honour of calling my Holistic Family.  If you are interested in getting an exclusive invite to this then please give us a call and we will put your name down on the VIP list.  All will be revealed soon.
As always, I am so grateful to everyone for making this Centre the tranquil space it is today.
Look forward to seeing you all real soon,
Claire
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Stress Test: How stressed are you?

Stress test:

How stressed are you?

If you are used to experiencing stress then the chances are you don’t  realise the effect it’s having on you.  Use this simple test to see if you are all stressed out.

Sometimes it’s very difficult to work out whether you are suffering from the effects of stress.  If you experience the symptoms frequently enough then you’ll eventually convince yourself that all these are normal feelings, which is dangerous because you will be less likely to deal with them if you don’t see them as harmful.

Monitoring your stress:

A good way to gauge your personal stress levels is to take the test below.  If your results prove positive, however, then the last thing you should do is stress about it!  Now you realise what you’re suffering from you can now works out a plan to address the problem and look forward to a stress-free lifestyle.

Here are some initial tips on how to maintain stress-free living:

  • Manage your time better
  • Improve your communication skills so that you can express what you feel
  • Learn to say “NO”

Do you know how stressed you are?

Take this quick stress test, and check your scores below.

Responses

1: Never        2: Sometimes      3: Often      4: Always

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember this is not to increase your stress levels.  This exercise is to make you aware of what you are coping with and what you need to work on.

We have many therapies and classes either here at the centre of if you can find them somewhere close to you, do.

Some Stress relievers can be:

Mindfulness and or Meditation:

By meditating, you focus your mind on one relaxing thought for a period of time.  You can focus on your own breathing, an object such as a candle flame, a sound you make or a pleasant you conjure in your mind.  Sit or lie in a quiet place in order to meditate properly.

We have a vast array of different modalities that incorporate meditation and mindfulness techniques:

Mindful Yoga  Mindfulness Meditation Yoga Nidra Kundalini Yoga Breathwork Workshops Zen Drumming Circles SoundBaths Dru Yoga Yin Yoga

For further information on timetables just click on CLASSES or WORKSHOPS to find out more.

We have a multi-disciplinary team here at River Holistic Centre to suit everyone’s stress levels these include talk therapies such as Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy, and hands on therapies such as Reflexology, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Bio Energy, Massage, Aromatherapy, Reiki, Osteopathy.  This is but a few of what we have to offerat the centre to get the full list of therapies available click here: THERAPIES.

Remember we all need a bit of stress in our lives, it is what gives us the drive and determination to achieve the success we all deserve.  As long as you are in control of your stress then you are on the winning side.

Please don’t hesitate in contact us at the centre and let us help you find the right path to becoming stress free.

Claire (slightly stressed but in control)

 

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August Newsletter

Hello August

Hope everyone is enjoying the Summer so far.  July was one of our busiest months to date, so thank you to all our new clients and students who we have loved getting to know and as always are trusted regulars for brightening up the centre.
So what’s new with us………
For the rest of August most of our classes have drop in spaces available, which is perfect way to find the right class for when the September terms begin.
So if you haven’t tried Yoga, Meditation, Pilate’s or OSHO Active Meditation before; why not try out all of our styles and find your new favorite passion.
We have welcomed some amazing new teachers, trainers and therapists since our last update with you, so below you will find out a bit more about them and how they can help you.
Until the next installment; I will say thank you, be good, be kind and just be you.
xxxx
Claire

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July Newsletter

Hello July

The sun is definitely shining in River Holistic………..July is all about getting your chill on here at the Centre.  With the schools now closed for the summer you may be wondering what can you do for yourself once the little ones have gone off to camp during the mornings or when they have headed off to dreamland in the evening.

Well we may have the perfect classes and treatments for you.  Lets face it, the summer months can be a bit draining for all of us mams and dads, between working with taking time off, trying to keep the kids occupied and well not quite having your own space, let us help you with that.

We have the honour of welcoming some amazing new teachers to the River Room, their classes which include pregnancy yoga, pilates, yoga for sports, kundalini yoga, hatha yoga and Vinyasa yoga.
Sure if you have no idea idea about which style may suit you, they have drop in spaces available throughout the summer for you to try before you buy.
Below you will find out more details of who these teachers are and what their classes can add to your life.
So until we meet again, I hope you’re happy, I wish you well and just keep swimming.
Claire

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Exercise and Postnatal Depression

Would-be moms, take note: Exercise reduces postnatal depression in new mommies

Exercises like stretching, breathing, aerobics, pilates and yoga can reduce risk of postnatal depression among new mothers, says a new study.

Exercise is beneficial for pregnant women and, as it turns out, for new mothers as well. Practising stretching, breathing, aerobic activities, pilates and yoga during and post-pregnancy reduces the risk of postnatal depression, suggests a study. According to researchers, women who exercised displayed fewer signs of depression following the birth of a child.

They tracked the mental health of almost 1,000 mothers, who were offered exercise interventions during and after pregnancy. Researcher Celia Alvarez-Bueno, from the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain, said that the negative consequences of postpartum depression not only affect the mother but also the child, who can suffer poor emotional and cognitive development.

Symptoms of postpartum depression can include anxiety attacks, insecurity, irritability, fatigue, guilt, fear of harming the baby and a reluctance to breastfeed. The symptoms start within four weeks of delivery and are considered severe when they last for more than two weeks, according to the researchers.

 

Alvarez-Bueno stated that it is important to test the most effective strategies to prevent this disorder or mitigate the consequences. The team analysed data from 12 trials of exercise interventions during or after pregnancy between 1990 and 2016. The studies included a total of 932 women and all examined them for their severity of postpartum depression. The exercises used in the various studies included stretching and breathing, walking programs, aerobic activity, pilates and yoga.

Compared to women who did not exercise, the researchers found those who did had fewer depression symptom during the postpartum period. The findings indicated that exercise after pregnancy also reduced depression among the women who did not had diagnosable symptoms. The research is published in the journal Birth.

For further information on our pre and post-natal classes just click here >>>>>>>>>

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June Newsletter

Hello June

 

How excited are we at River Holistic………..June has most certainly arrived in all it’s glory. It feels like a re-birth for our amazing clinic. We are going to open the doors to our new space, The River Room, which means the arrival of new therapists and lots of new classes to choose from. Don’t fret, we still have all of our existing amazing therapists onsite to help make this your holistic home.

If you are in the holiday frame of mind, why not relax and unwind with Dee’s full holistic facial special offer. If you are looking for some headspace, we have kundalini yoga and sound yoga starting in June. Have you got a health concern you have been ignoring, why not book in with Emma to see how acupuncture can help you. I can go on, we have homeopathy, holistic massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy. We have therapies to suit your every need, why not just give us a call and we can can help you out.

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April Newsletter

Welcome to the April edition of our Newsletter.

Hello,

We hope you all had a wonderful Easter and enjoyed the chocolate feast. If you need some detox and relaxation, you know where we are. We have so much on this April & May, I’m bursting to tell you.

It’s exam season coming up, which can be a pressurised time for both those taking exams and family members supporting them! We know, it’s like you are taking the exams too! We have lots of support to offer during much needed rest breaks, from message, reiki, reflexology to acupuncture. All available to nurture your body and soul and have you bouncing back to the study desk.

To our wonderful clients who made March a joy to be holistic therapists, we look forward to welcoming you back in April. To those who have yet to visit us, we look forward to welcoming you to your new holistic home.

For all you therapists out there who have taken a career break and want to re hone your skills, we have refresher workshops in reflexology and massage coming up in April and May.

So until the next time.
See you soon

Claire xx

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