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Healing Centre

Blagdon, Bristol
North Somerset

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Stress Management - a Modern Healing Technique

Reclaim your calm, your health and your sense of humour



Woman snowed under with work Where does stress come from? Stress is a product of the mind.
The stress you feel in your body is merely a reflection of the stress going on in your mind. That which is inside, manifests outside.

Some people think that the mind is the brain, but technically this is incorrect, and neither is it some other part or function of the body. The mind is that element of yourself that enables you to be aware of the world around you and your experiences in that world, to think, and to feel the effects of your thoughts in your body. The brain is just the physical object in your skull that can be seen with the eyes and that can be photographed or operated on during a surgical procedure.

The mind, on the other hand, is not a physical object you can touch. The mind is intangible, consisting mainly of thoughts, reasoning, perceptions, ideas, awareness, concepts, memories and your vision of your immediate future. It is creative, logical, scheming, imaginative and calculating, and it gets bored very easily. Although completely non-material and non-physical in nature, the mind is a great melting pot of everything you have experienced throughout your life.

So when we feel stressed, our mind is reacting to an external stimuli, or a thought of its own creation. The states of mind that disturb our inner peace, such as anger, guilt, shame, jealousy and love are all states that are generated in the mind, that have a deleterious effect on the host carrying the thoughts, except for love of course, but even that can be painful when it is misdirected. Woman looking stressed

Equally, we may conclude that our suffering is caused by other people when there is contributing evidence; poor housing, lack of food or money, job insecurity, or by conditions in society, but in reality it all comes from our own jumbled-up states of mind.

The essential point to remember when trying to understand the mind is that liberation from stress cannot be found outside the mind. You need to change the state of the mind (mainly toward a state of relaxation and silence), so that your body can feel an inner peace, joy and happiness.

I wouldn't advocate running away to the wilderness to achieve that, although I'm sure a lot of peple have tried, but to meditate toward an inner peaceful harmony with the self. If the mind is peaceful, or at peace (these are not really the same thing), it is possible, to a large extent, to be free from worries and mental discomfort and to experience true happiness. On the other hand, when the mind is not at peace, it becomes very difficult to be happy and even more difficult not to feel sad or depressed, even if we are living in the very best social and environmental conditions. So the purpose of simple and gentle meditation is to allow our mind the opportunity to experience calm and peacefulness.

This sounds like we must spend our lives meditating, but that is an exaggeration. Meditation is a form of training, just like learning to drive a car or making a cake. If we train our minds in the art of meditation, it will gradually become more and more peaceful, and we will experience a richer form of happiness with longer periods between episodes of stress and anxiety.

Eventually this will become your dominant state and you will be able to stay happy for a long time into adversity or experiences beyond your control. And you will maintain this effortlessly even in the most difficult circumstances.

So, should I be seeking to only have good things happen in my life?
If only that were possible (sigh). No, you cannot control the mind. The mind is like a cork on the sea, carried back and forth by the waves. You cannot only have good things happen to you. Man under pressure at his desk

Sometimes I ask the question; Do you like surprises? The person will immediately smile or think of something nice, and say; Of course, I like surprises. But it's not true! Surprises come in good ways and bad ways. All of us like good surprises, but not many would like the surprise of having a fender-bender at a set of traffic lights. But that's equally surprising, isn't it? It's just a bad surprise.

So we'll say we like good experiences instead. If things go well, our mind is happy, but if they go badly, it immediately becomes unhappy. A new relationship, a new house, good friends, great job, you know, all those things you become attached to during your lifetime. Are they going to make you happy or sad? Well, happy to start with, but ultimately sad because relationships grow old, houses need maintenance, good friends can be lost by a single word, and companies lay people off all the time. So the source of your happiness is now the source of your pain.

The point here is that by training the mind to remain clear and free to choose you can create a response that doesn't oscillate between extremes of joy and happiness and sadness and desperation.

So where does stress come from?
  • Most major stress comes from the family environment
  • Between 40-50% of people describe their job as stressful.
  • Work-related stress is especially relevant from directors right down to the shop floor Hand squeezing a stress ball
  • Ill-health
  • Bullying at work or school
  • Feeling out of control or powerless
  • Abuse - from any source
  • Insecurity
  • Long periods away from home or family
  • Poor diet or lack of exercise
  • Chemical imbalance
  • Conflict - imagined or real
  • Unreasonable expectation
  • EVERYWHERE else!! Which is why we need to manage it effectively
What's the quickest way to reduce my stress?
Primary Number One Answer: By removing yourself from the cause of your stress. I will clarify that by saying, whenever possible, because unfortunately, it's not always possible. So what you do then is remove yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually as far away as you can.

12 Quick Ways to Reduce or Eliminate Stress
Here are twelve quick things you can do to eliminate stress in your life. For the vast majority of people, one or two of these will go a long way to improving their stress levels. But, if you find that after you have practiced some or all of these de-stress techniques, and nothing has improved, then perhaps I could encourage you to make an appointment and let us together find you a solution.

If you don't already know, let's find the drivers for your stresses and see what you can do to make the necessary changes for the better. It might be an emotional issue from the past dictating how you respond to stimuli right now, or it may be something seemingly beyond your control you can't cope with. Stress will not help you solve it, but de-stressing might just give you enough clarity of mind for you to send all your resources in to do battle with the problem instead of being side swiped by your stress and anxiety and worry. Okay, let's get started:
  1. Laughter. Laughter is one of the greatest stress busting exercises you can do. It doesn't even have to be funny. Have you noticed how if you hear someone else laughing you want to go and find out what all the fun is about. Laughter is like a magnet, once experienced, you just want more and more of it. Watch your favourite comedy show and have a good laugh. Put on the DVD of your favourite comedian. If you can't do that, just laugh artificially. Make the sound
  2. Decide to forgive yourself and forgive someone else. I discovered several years ago in my practice that most stress is caused by dysfunctional relationships and the bitterness, blame and hurt that grows from not getting what you want out of a relationship. Bear in mind it takes two to tango, so start by forgiving yourself, and then follow that up by forgiving the other party. You'll be surprised how regularly wiping the slate clean on both sides has a positive effect on stress levels in relationships.
  3. Go for a walk. Walking drives blood around the body and therefore oxygen. Breathe some fresh air and change your scenery for natural colours, grass, trees, flowers, sky, clouds.
  4. Go for a jog or a run. Only joking!! Jogging's not for everyone (including me). If you walk and you're still stressed, or are a regular walker anyway, then upping the pace will have the desired effect.
  5. Love someone. Touching someone, kissing someone, holding someone, loving someone is a great way to keep stress away. Togetherness is the antidote to isolation and loneliness, a common source of stress, depression and anxiety.
  6. Drink water. Drink water, cold, warm, hot, it doesn't matter, and you may add a few drops of lemon juice. Coffee doesn't count!! Neither does tea, coke, sugary drinks, fruit juices or alcohol. Hydration of the body is really important because of body chemistry. Two women happily chatting
  7. Make a cup of tea. This is not a contradiction to the previous one. If you are otherwise well hydrated, then tea, alone or with others can be a good de-stressor. Choose proper tea or a berry/leaf flavour tea, or even mint tea, whichever you like best.
  8. Go into the light. This is a bit like going for a walk, but if you are stuck inside, sit by a bright window and soak up the light. If you look toward the sun to get the full frontal sunlight, close your eyes and/or cover them with your palms.
  9. Open a window. You will feel at your best when you are closest to nature, but an open window can connect you to fresh air, noise, breeze, coolness and different smells.
  10. Powernap. A short nap at lunchtime or in the afternoon will give you a huge boost, like recharging your batteries.
  11. Read. Getting involved in someone else's life is a good way to distract you from your own. Even a temporary distraction is a good way to deflect stress.
  12. Listen to music. Soft relaxing music is gentle on the mind and soft to the stressful. If you only like head-banging noise, then just have an honest look to see if that is part of your problem.
Here is a discovery statement about stress:
Stress is automatic, it will come and find you wherever you hide; you don't have to go looking for it, even though many do. Conversely, YOU do have to create your own relaxation. You have to be proactive in managing your stress and be constantly on the lookout for ways to notice and deflect stress before it takes hold. Stress is like a daisy; it sneaks up on us and we think it looks fine and pretty and won't hurt us, but boy it's got deep roots, and once established is a devil to get rid of.

Not all stress is bad! But there is enough unwarranted stress around to make you think that good stress doesn't exist.. When you come wear loose fitting clothes so you can be comfortable, and as relaxed as possible. If you have any questions, it's best to ask them when you make the appointment, but if you're anything like me, things pop into your head after you put the phone down, and so you can bring up any points or wonders you need answering before we start. I have soft background music to play for you, but if you have your own particular favourite, please bring that (I'm not sure the Stones or Iron Maiden will work too well, but who am I to judge?) I hope you have found this information useful and feel encouraged to give my stress management therapy a try. Please contact me if you want to find out about appointments and prices. I look forward to welcoming you soon. Phil.

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All These Areas Are Within Easy Reach of The Haven Healing Centre, Blagdon, Bristol
Abbots Leigh - Ashwick - Avonmouth - Axbridge - Babington - Backwell - Badgworth - Bagley - Banwell - Barrow Gurney - Bason Bridge - Bath - Beckington - Berrow - Biddisham - Bishop Sutton - Bitton - Blackford - Blagdon - Bleadon - Bleadney - Bradford-on-Avon - Brean - Brent Knoll - Bristol - Burnham-on-Sea - Burrington - Butcombe - Cameley - Catcott - Chantry - Chapel Allerton - Cheddar - Chelwood - Chew Magna - Chew Stoke - Chilcompton - Churchill - Clapton - Claverham - Claverton - Cleeve - Clevedon - Clutton - Cocklake - Coleford - Compton Bishop - Compton Dando - Compton Martin - Congresbury - Coxley - Cranmore - Cross - Downhead - Draycott - Dundry - Dunkerton - East Brent - East Harptree - East Huntspill - Easton-in-Gordano - Edithmead - Emborough - Englishcombe - Evercreech - Failand - Farmborough - Farrington Gurney - Felton - Flax Bourton - Freshford - Frome - Glastonbury - Godney - Green Ore - Gurney Slade - Highbridge - Highbury - High Littleton - Hinton Blewett - Hutton - Inglesbatch - Kelston - Kenn - Kewstoke - Keynsham - Kilmersdon - Kingston Seymour - Langford - Litton - Locking - Long Ashton - Lower Weare - Loxton - Lympsham - Mark - Marksbury - Mells - Midsomer Norton - Monkton Combe - Nailsea - Nempnett Thrubwell - Nettlebridge - Newbury - Oldmixon - Paulton - Peasedown - Pensford - Pilton - Portishead - Prestleigh - Priddy - Priston - Pucklechurch - Pudlow - Puxton - Queen Charlton - Radstock - Redhill - Rickford - Ridgehill - Rodney Stoke - Rooks Bridge - Rowberrow - Saltford - Sandford - Shapwick - Shepton Mallet - Shipham - Sidcot - Somerton - Stanton Drew - Star - Staverton - St Georges - Stoke St Michael - Ston Easton - Stone Bridge - Stowey - Street - Temple Cloud - Tickenham - Timsbury - Trowbridge - Ubley - Weare - Wedmore - Wellow - Wells - West Harptree - West Horrington - Weston-Super-Mare - West Pennard - Whatley - Whitchurch - Winford - Winscombe - Wookey - Wraxall - Wrington - Yatton
To book your Stress Management Session at a convenient time, call: 01761 462722

Important Note: DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

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