Overwhelm can grab hold and give you a big squeeze at this time of year. I’m seeing and feeling it’s effects on many clients as well as myself.
In today’s world we are bombarded with infinite distractions, choices and responsibilities. Perfect conditions for overwhelm – where you get crazily future focused, over-thinking and fearful, letting go of where you are right now. You’re left feeling dis-empowered, disconnected and exhausted.
What happens to you – fight, flight or freeze? Or a you a mix of all 3?
“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.” – Timber Hawkeye
What can you do about overwhelm?
Overwhelm is more about how you choose to respond to the world rather than the actual events. Managing your time and energy are crucial elements and keeping a big picture perspective.
Here are symptoms of overwhelm:
- Feeling anxious
- Nerves are shot
- Have no inner space
- It’s hard to breathe
- Constantly feeling stressed and tense
- You’re irritable
- There’s no fun in your life
- You’re feeling constant pressure
- Procrastination and indecision
Awareness is essential to finding YOUR antidote to overwhelm. So many people unconsciously live in an overwhelmed, anxious and stressed state. Take the time to check in now by stepping your mind back into your body then scan from head to toe like a glass of water emptying – “how do I feel?”, “how does my body feel?”
Here’s what you can do to shift overwhelm –
Have the courage to stop what you’re doing, step back and get a big picture perspective. Do this by shutting your eyes, deep breathing and checking in with your body – how do I feel? Opt out for chill time – 15 minutes, an hour, a day or a weekend to reset.
Overwhelm is literally your head being full of complicated thoughts. Let’s aim for simplicity and spaciousness. Ask yourself, how could I make my life simpler? Brainstorm possibilities.
3. Know your priorities
What’s most important to you? What do you value? How do you want to live on a day-to-day basis? How do you want to spend your precious time and energy? The answers will give you focused flow, which will feel so much easier.
4. Value yourself
Needing to constantly produce, perform and prove can be a sign of low self-esteem. You turn yourself into a human doing to get external appreciation and approval. Are you over-doing and over-committing? Check in – why am I doing what I’m doing?
When you value yourself, you are approving and appreciating yourself from the inside out.
5. Tune into what you want to feel
Refocus your attention and intention on how you want to feel most of the time. Is it balanced, free, kind, playful? What are your words? Now aim towards living it. Aim for progress over perfection.
6. Let go or limit things
Notice where you’re spending most of your time. What’s draining your time and energy? What are you able to delegate or let go of? A good way of uncovering these things is to journal nightly to uncover your overwhelm triggers.
Paradoxically by creating more discipline in your life, you have a greater sense of inner freedom.
7. Commit to less
Are you over-committing your time and energy? Are you setting unrealistic goals? Are you a people pleaser? Is it time to say thanks but no thanks more often?
8. Re-imagine a new schedule
Ok, it’s time to create a new schedule that keeps you out of overwhelm. If your happiness and health were a priority, what would your day look like? What time would you go to bed and wake? What morning routine would you have? How would you set up your day to thrive? What self nurturing elements would you include regularly?
Overwhelm is a very uncomfortable place to live. Know that it is only a perspective shift away and you have a choice in every moment. Is it time you chose, checked in, scheduled and made time for a new way? Start somewhere and improve over time.
“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.” – Tyler Knott Gregson
Wishing you a soul nourishing week.
PS. If self care has been missing from your schedule? Please value yourself and make time. Click here to book in with Emily Pettigrew, a Self Care & Relaxation Specialist for 1 hour Divine Massage (only $70) or Nurture Package or purchase a soul-nourishing bath soak online.
Your brain is running your life whether you are Awake or Asleep.
Sleep isn’t a luxury and the brain has a big ‘To Do’ list to achieve during your sleeping hours.
“The brain is actually very active during sleep doing important things. It’s not just resting, and if you don’t get sleep you don’t function on a number of levels the way you should.”…says Dr. Caitlin Tynan Doyle, Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center.
Skimping on zzz’s compromises a wide range of functions including…
- mood regulation
- immunity/the risk of getting sick
- cellular regeneration
- premature aging
- weight gain & obesity
- thinking and memory
- hormonal balance
- sex drive
- anxiety and depression
- and obviously fatigue and insomnia
Our whole body and brain can get thrown off kilter when our sleep is not optimal.
For 30% of the population, insomnia is a debilitating condition affecting every aspect of life.
About 50% of people lose sleep due to worrying and anxiety. We all know that feeling of something “weighing” on our mind. It can be hard to switch off and slow our train of thought to relax the brain and get to sleep.
Many employees say they actually call in sick or even doze off at work after their anxiety kept them up all night.
So what can be done?
To explain what can be done, it is important to understand that everything is a pattern in the brain.
These patterns, called “Neural Maps” determine the way we feel and think such as with Anxiety as well as our behaviours and physical functions such as in Sleep.
When anxiety is the cause of insomnia, it’s best to treat a patient for the anxiety, changing both the pattern or “Neural Map” as well as addressing the initial underlying cause of the worrying.
Even though sleep is a natural function, it can sometimes get out of balance.
Our brains produce Melatonin and Serotonin and regulate their balance.
When the sun goes down, Melatonin levels go up which makes us sleepy. When the sun comes up our brain naturally produces Serotonin which makes us feel alert and switched on.
Serotonin incidentally is our a happy hormone and is the primary element in depression medications.
Whether it’s due to irregular hours, worries, hormonal changes or other stressors in our lives, once the sleep pattern in the brain gets out of balance it needs to be reset and a new pattern of sleep established.
This can be done through clinical hypnotherapy which resets the sleep pattern and neural map in the brain.
I treat many people, both women and men, every week for sleep oriented issues.
However women are twice as likely as men to be hit by insomnia… finding it hard to get to sleep and stay asleep, every week.
The good news is, if your brain created the problem it can also be influenced to create the solution.
In hypnotherapy we reintroduce healthy sleep patterns by creating a ‘Sleep Protocol’. This is list of individualized triggers that the brain associates with going into a deep sleep.
It’s like a series of reminders that move the mind towards the brain wave pattern that occurs when we are deeply asleep. This brain wave pattern is called Delta.
There are 5 types of brain waves.
Gamma and Beta are both high brain waves associated with alertness, learning and communication.
Alpha and Theta are lower brain waves associated with relaxation and creative thinking.
Finally, Delta brain waves occur while we are in deep sleep.
Once the brain is retrained to move into Delta, normal sleep patterns are re-established.
I always make patients a digital voice recording of the hypnotherapy on their own phone. They can use this at bedtime to strengthen the sleep pattern.
I’ve had a number of patients who after successfully changing their sleep patterns, still use their recordings years later if they have had a late night and need to get to sleep quickly! It’s a great tool and is free as part of the consultation.
Your Brain Is Running Your Life Whether You’re Awake Or Asleep
Your brain made the pattern so, it can make something different.
Every pattern is susceptible to change.
So if you’re ready for a change and a better sleep, book in to see…
Perri at Mt Eliza Wellbeing Sanctuary by calling 9787 2111 or email any queries to email@example.com
You better believe it! There’s a strong link between gut health and happiness.
As you’re juggle life’s challenges big and small, while keeping all the balls of family, work, relationships and your health all balanced in the air. You may have overlooked an essential piece of your overall well being and happiness – your microbiome.
Did you know you have more bacteria in your body than cells in your body?
Scary isn’t it!! Well, these bacteria live in your gut, in your mouth, on your skin, in fact all over. Now they can be your friend or foe depending on the balance. You ideally want loads of the good guys that help to make your nutrients, decrease inflammation, help to digest your food and enable you to feel happy, energised and clear headed.
A healthy gut microbiome controls your ability to deal with stress, and that starts in your gut. If you have messed-up digestion, you’ll have a diminished ability to deal with stressful situations. And without the ability to release stress and get to a happy mind space, you end up building a higher and higher threshold for stress.
Your gut health is about way more than just digestion.
Let’s find out how gut health and happiness are linked.
Creates healthy immune system.
Did you know 80 percent of your immune system is in your gut? Right where the bulk of your microbiome lives. So protecting your gut barrier, crowding out and killing bad bacteria and infections and allergies all help your immune system play it’s A game.
What does this mean for you? Well, when your immune system is humming along, protecting you from bad guys and welcoming friends in, you can put the pedal to the metal and go after your dreams. Fewer sick days and more time to enjoy life and be productive.
Natural energy boost.
I’m sure no one would say no to more real energy – it’s the fuel of life. Helping you to blitz through jam-packed schedules, endless deadlines, and often having little time to relax in today’s on-the-go culture. So, many people rely on caffeine and energy drinks to stay ahead of the game. Did you know your good gut bacteria can help you maintain your day-to-day energy levels naturally? No sugar and caffeine required.
How does it work? Well your microbiome helps to break down and digest all the food you eat so you can up take the nutrients you need to feel great. It also produces energy boosting B vitamins and keeps your blood sugar balanced, so no more mid-afternoon humps.
Your good bacteria cranks up your sleep quality so you are recharged and at your best producing and regulating important neurotransmitters and amino acids, like serotonin and tryptophan.
Helps you find and maintain your ideal weight.
Not being at your ideal weight can affect your energy levels, your mood, your hormones, your cognitive function, and even your immunity.
Where does your microbiome fit in? Well, it supports your metabolism and a healthy weight by producing enzymes that help digest food and absorb nutrients. So, no more overeating yet being malnourished, wavering blood sugar levels so you’re constantly searching for that next sugar fix and plenty of hormones that tell your brain when you’re full.
If you can get to that weight that is perfect for your frame, you’ll be on track to enjoying all the benefits of a performance-ready body and mind that are ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
Sharpens your focus.
Say goodbye to brain fog. Think of all the energy you’ll save when your clarity is dialled up. Did you know your gut is your second brain?
You see your microbiome communicates with your brain via the vagus nerve, where good bacteria send mind-boosting chemicals and messages to the brain that improve your memory and cognitive function.
A gut that doesn’t have billions of good bacteria can get out of balance and overrun with yeast and bad bacteria, producing chemicals and by-products that are toxic to the brain—leading to brain fog and memory problems.
This is also where your warrior gut barrier is so important. If you don’t have enough of the good guys standing guard, the barrier can become “leaky” and allow toxins into your bloodstream that negatively affect your brain. Focusing on the health of your gut microbiome can help ensure that your brain is getting all the communication it needs to support you.
Boosts and balances your mood
Your gut and brain are inextricably linked, so a disruption in either one has the capacity to seriously affect the other. Your gut bacteria produces more than 90% of all the serotonin, the “happy” chemical that plays a role in everything from mood and appetite to sleep in your body. Your gut microbiome also lowers cortisol (the “stress” hormone) levels, turns down anxiety, decreases depression and lowers inflammation that can cause loads of emotional and physical health challenges.
When it comes to living your happiest life, staying positive may just be the key to realizing all your goals. A healthy population of good gut bacteria will keep your mood balanced and high.
Your skin can be the first sign that your gut isn’t going well – breakouts, infection, dullness. When your gut is absorbing nutrients—thanks to your good bacteria—and getting rid of toxins and chemicals, your whole body is better for it and your skin glows it!
When fungus, yeast, and bad bacteria overrun your microbiome, it leads to chronic, systemwide inflammation that shows up as acne, redness, irritation, dry patches, fine lines, and even premature aging.
Your skin also has its own unique microbiome that plays a huge role in a healthy complexion. Not only do good bacteria in your dermal layers discourage the growth of nasty bacteria that can cause problems, but they produce substances like hyaluronic acid that plumps and moisturizes skin, and ceramide that strengthens and firms the skin barrier.
Healthy skin and a glowing complexion really do start from the inside out!
Did you know that your mouth has a microbiome as well? Beneficial bacteria in your oral cavity are your immune system’s first line of defence and have an enormous effect on the health of your teeth, gums, and even your breath. Harmful bacteria often cause tooth cavities and gum disease that can affect your radiant smile.
Research shows that smiling can improve your mood, lower your stress response, increase your productivity, and make you more creative—and make you seem more approachable and trustworthy to others. Now that’s a win-win!
One of the biggest issues with having an unhealthy gut is that it leads to leaky gut syndrome, which in turn leads to toxins entering the circulatory system and eventually the brain. This causes lower levels of happiness, mood disorders, and disease.
Need help getting your microbiome in tip top shape? Click here to book online.
Hoping this article helped you understand your body a little better. Know anyone who would benefit from it as well, please pass it on.
Loads of gut health and happiness, Julie xo
We all have techniques we depend on to lift our spirits when we’re feeling down about ourselves or our lives.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~Louise L. Hay
A while back I realized something about my spirit lifting practices that I’d found most effective – some were outward facing and others inward facing.
Now, outward facing or external validation is when you lift your mood through appreciation or approval from other people. Whereas inward facing or internal validation is when you accept your own feelings in a non-judgmental and loving way and then let them go.
It’s not about ‘getting OVER things’ rather moving through them, which involves acceptance, processing and integrating. It can be tough but always worth it! I call it the breakdown before the breakthrough.
My aha moment was that internal validation is a core foundation of self love and self care.
How do you lift your spirits? Is it outward facing or inward facing or a mix of both?
Getting help from others is only one part of the equation. We also need to be able to validate, support, and help ourselves.
As a healer, you create a space for healing but the person has to walk the journey.
With this in mind, I’ve come up with a few ideas to create a little more balance in my support system, making myself a more central part of it.
If you’re also looking to increase your capacity to lift your spirits so you can depend less on validation from others, you may find these ideas helpful:
1. Get in the habit of asking yourself, “What do I need right now?”
I’ve got better at this through practice. It can feel clunky at first.
I schedule in practice “what do I need right now?” time every night between 9pm and 10pm. And I so look forward to it! It builds an internal validation muscle that’s strong so you can apply it in your life any time.
If you’re feeling down, or down on yourself, ask yourself: “What does my body need? What does my mind need? What does my spirit need?” Or otherwise expressed: What will make you feel better, more stable, healthier, and more balanced?
You may find that you need to nurture yourself with a relaxing mineral salt bath, practice deep breathing or meditation to clear your head, journal to express and process your feelings or drink a relaxing herbal tea.
This is what the act of validating yourself looks like. Whenever you address your needs, you reinforce to yourself that they are important, regardless of whatever you did or didn’t do previously.
It is a sign of strength and what you are willing to do for yourself.
2. Make a “you” section in your daily gratitude journal.
Gratitude journals help you recognise and celebrate all the good things in your day. Take 5-10 minutes each evening to appreciate and give yourself some credit.
Note down the things you’ve done well, the choices you’ve made that you’re proud of, the progress you’ve made, and even the things that required no action at all—for example, the time you gave yourself to simply be.
When you regularly praise yourself, self-validation becomes a habit you can depend on when you need it the most.
3. Before seeking external validation, ask yourself, “What do I hope that person tells me?” Then tell it to yourself.
Odds are, you aren’t always looking for someone’s advice or opinion when you come to them with a painful story. You’re looking for them to confirm you didn’t do anything wrong—or if you did, that you’re not a bad person for it.
Essentially, you’re looking for someone else to see the best in you and believe in you. Give yourself what you’re seeking from them before making that call. Then by all means, make it if you want to.
The goal isn’t to stop reaching out to others. It’s to be there for yourself.
The words you want to hear from someone else will be far more powerful if you fully believe what they’re saying.
4. Recognize when you’re judging your feelings.
If you’re in the habit of feeling bad about feeling down or insecure, or generally having emotional reactions to emotions, you will inevitably end up feeling stuck and helpless.
Get in the habit of telling yourself, “I have a right to feel how I feel.” This will help you understand your feelings and work through them much more easily, because you won’t be so deeply embedded in negativity about yourself.
Once you’ve accepted your feelings, you’ll then be free to seek support for the actual problem—not you self-judgment about having to deal with it.
5. Let the adult version of you talk to your inner child.
Many of us didn’t receive the type of love, support, and kindness we needed growing up, and this may have taught us to treat ourselves harshly and critically.
When you’re looking for that warm, fuzzy feeling that emerges when someone you trust tells you, “Everything is going to be okay,” imagine yourself saying it to your younger self.
Picture that little kid who tried so hard, meant no harm, and just wanted to be loved and cherished. This will likely help in deflating your self-criticism and fill you a genuine sense of compassion for yourself.
Once again, this doesn’t need to be an alternative to seeking compassion from others; it just provides a secure foundation from which you’ll be better able to receive that.
Do you have any techniques for lifting your spirits that validate yourself?
Now, it’s time to convert words into action and set you up for success!
Let’s start with Step 1: “What do I need right now?”
To turn on the self care juices I asked Crystal at Ecology Skincare to put together a self-care package for YOU.
So, here we have it….
Replenishing Mineral Salts (packed with magnesium and trace elements) to relax, detox, calm and soothe your beautiful body while you’re having a bath or foot bath.
As a BONUS, you’ll also receive –
- Guided relaxation audio – That you can use while you’re soaking in your bath or footbath to help you relax and unwind …even further. It’s like a super boost to your self-care timeout
- Guided 3 minute breathing space audio
- Stick notes pack – Put them on your bathroom mirror,your fridge, computer …or anywhere as a physical reminder to take time out for yourself
I’d love 500g bag I’d love 1kg bag
If there’s someone you know, who might need a little help to lift their spirits, please share to spread the love.
May your spirit soar, love Julie xo
Our mind works on different levels to make and maintain change.
Sometimes we use the metaphor of putting on “Different Hats” in different areas of our life. We may have heard the saying “I need to put on my thinking cap”, or “I’ve got my business hat on now”.
This metaphor can also be equated to the different levels of our mind.
It’s helpful to know that different levels of our mind control different areas of function, thinking, behavior, feeling and very importantly… our ability to make, change or keep patterns.
To understand more let’s look at the different Levels of the Mind… the Unconscious, Subconscious and Conscious.
The deepest level is what we know as the “Unconscious” mind. We might call this the “Beenie Brain“.
The unconscious mind runs our automated functions; just to name a few:
- heart rate
- blood pressure
- eye movements
It’s like wearing a Beenie we hardly even notice… it’s just there!
The next level is what we know as the “Subconscious” mind. We could think of this as the “Fascinator Brain”.
It’s like those fancy fascinators you see ladies wearing at the races. There’s quite a bit going on, it’s more imaginative with lots more bells and whistles!
The subconscious mind is creative and does not differentiate between reality and imagination.
So when a pattern is suggested through life experience or in hypnosis the brain is more likely to simply accept it. The subconscious mind is where patterns are made.
Patterns may be unhelpful such as –
- poor sleep
Or helpful and desirable like –
- performance at school/ work
- riding a bike
- speaking a language
Once a pattern has been created it is stored in the “Conscious” mind.
This is like the Serious Hat we wear to a work function or business event.
It’s all business, no frills…because the “Conscious“ mind is our version of “Reality“.
The conscious mind is really important because it keeps our patterns going. This is why a persons version of reality can seem very set.
This is great if patterns are helpful. For example, a strong belief in your own values, resilience or the people you love.
But sometimes we hold onto unhelpful patterns. Even when somebody presents a logical argument, we may cling on to what we believe is reality to us.
For example, you can tell someone who has aerophobia, (i.e. a fear of flying) all the safety statistics and rational reasons why flying is a safe and wonderful way to travel. But it doesn’t change the belief they hold as reality, that it is frightening, dangerous and potentially life threatening.
We can talk to them til we’re blue in the face! And in traditional psychology we often do talk with patients until we’re blue in the face….because we are talking with their conscious mind.
They are learning about their triggers, patterns of feeling, thinking, behaving and functioning which is ok, but often the “problem” pattern itself isn’t changing.
The conscious mind is not great at changing patterns it’s only great at holding them as our version of reality.
Patterns are made and changed in the subconscious. So if you want a new pattern the subconscious is the place to create it.
This is where clinical hypnotherapy with an experienced therapist is a powerful tool. It accesses the subconscious mind and its patterns at the level where they are created.
Remember…Your Brain Is Running Your Life. It is your brain that has created these patterns and so, it is also capable of creating something different.
The subconscious mind is the Pattern Maker and the Pattern Breaker.
Every pattern is susceptible to change, you just have to have the right HAT on!
So if you’re ready for a change grab your Hat and Book In to see…
Perri at Mt Eliza Wellbeing Sanctuary by calling 9787 2111 or email any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Perri Curtis, Clinical Hypnotherapy-Psychology, Wellbeing Sanctuary, Wooralla Dr & Bundara Cres, Mt Eliza 03 9787 2111
I love sharing other resources that may help you on your journey through life. So, if you liked what you’ve read and feel it can help someone you know please share it around. It may just help someone you know get unstuck.
Us humans are such complicated beings, it’s no wonder we become overwhelmed and confused when we think we are doing something right, yet the results show the opposite.
The Wellness Wheel, have you heard of it?
Do you know its benefits?
How can it help you?
There are many variations of this tool and let me tell you it’s definitely an invaluable method to help you manage your everyday struggles and to gain an understanding of different areas of your life.