Leave stress behind

Here’s how:

When we are anxious or stressed, our whole system ramps up its alert mode, and we find it difficult if not impossible to relax. We respond by being busy and distracting ourselves, which is fine until we want to go to sleep, when, as soon as we put our head on the pillow – or when we wake up in the middle of the night – all the things we have tried to avoid thinking about come back to us in full force, and we don’t have the energy to stop them.

We think that if we stop being busy we will instead be faced with the things we are worrying about. 

Two things here:

  • It is certainly not good to ruminate on the things that are worrying – letting them go round and round in our heads without getting anywhere. This can increase our worry and make us feel even more stressed because we now have something we can’t solve but we can’t stop trying to solve either – that’s hard work!
  • It is not actually helpful to ignore the worry either, because it’s like a bubble in wallpaper – it will only come back somewhere else.

But how do you deal with it without it becoming overwhelming?

You can tackle the worries head on, and rationally. But you’ve already tried that, I guess. Here are  two good ways out of the worry trap that are a bit more gentle:

  • Instead of concentrating on the thing you are worried about, look at the part of you inside that is doing the worrying: what does that look like? Not the worry, frustration, anger, anxiety – but the part that gets triggered into those things. Maybe a tight, tangled ball, or maybe a small worried child. Ann Wieser Cornell suggests you could try saying Hello to that part of you that is worried. If you say Hello to someone, even if you don’t know them, they will probably look back at you. If you say hello to the something in you that is worried (not to the worry but the part of you that holds it) you may find it feels better: suddenly, it’s not alone.  
  • Find the silence. You may be wary of silence, because you think it creates a space to let in all the things you worry about. But the silence is like deep-sea diving. The surface of the sea can be choppy, with crashing waves and floating debris, but beneath the surface, you are in calm water. You can learn to go through the place in you where you worry about various things, and into a different, deeper place where it is much more calm.

As with anything worthwhile, both of these take practice. If you think I can help, call me on

07795 324575

and book a session (with no further obligation) to see what you think. 

You can also join me online in a reflective reading and silent meditation – details here

Anxiety

Feeling stressed and anxious is nature’s survival mechanism. If you think about it, an animal wandering around in the wild without worry is likely to be a dead animal pretty soon.

In our normal, peaceful environment, humans’ hyper-sensitive stress mechanism does not need to be activated very often, and works properly without us noticing it much; but sometimes it gets out of hand and stays on a permanent ‘on’ setting, seemingly without a ‘real’ cause.

Then, instead of it giving us the adrenalin boost we need to hit the ground running with something specific that is happening to us now, it gives us a constant background anxiety that causes us to worry about and anticipate events that could happen in the future. But as we can’t actually deal with them until they happen, this anxious energy just stays around in the system, and that is not a nice feeling. The future is not in our direct control, so that causes us to worry even more. It’s is a vicious cycle

If you suffer from over-anxiety, the good news is that you can learn to respond differently.

For help with anxiety, stress or worry, please call me on 07795 324575, or use my contact form

Going with the ebb and flow

Today’s “Finding Silence” meditation (Free online meditation sessions) was about the sense of the ebb and flow of time and how our natural response is to try and control it. James Roose-Evans says, ‘We have to learn how to co-operate with time and destiny, allowing life to shape us rather than trying to shape life to our own ends…Wisdom is to be found by living in harmony with the flow of things rather than trying to control events’

There is an ebb and flow to the universe; an ebb and flow to the life of the planet earth; an ebb and flow to the seasons, days, hours, minutes; an ebb and flow to the life of mankind, an ebb and flow to my own life. Can I work and live with that flow, rather than trying to control it or stop it?

The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time to speak and a time to be silent; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for peace and a time for war; a time to embrace and a time not to embrace.

Here in the Coronavirus pandemic, it is a time not to embrace!  And in lockdown, how do I live co-operatively with this part of the ebb and flow of it? Can I allow life to shape me? And the answer is, I’m learning, every day, and it is happening, every day. 

If you are struggling with this lockdown time, and find it isn’t easy to adapt to the time, don’t suffer in silence.

Contact me for a chat to see how I can help.

Focusing: A Way In – Saturday 21st September

Places are filling up nicely for my next workshop: ‘Focusing: A Way In’, on 21st September.

But is not too late to book your place

I am very excited about the day and all that I want to share and explore with you about this wonderful way of working with the whole person.

I draw on the work of Eugene Gendlin, Carl Rogers and Ann Weiser Cornell

  • Discover how to help clients notice and hold in the moment their felt sense of something – and stay with that process.
  • Help them to untangle from the thing that troubles them the emotional state that arises in response – and be with that.
  • Above all, help them move into the place within themselves where they can be with all of this – with self-care and compassion rather than self-judgment.

More details and booking information 

or contact me
by phone

07795 324575

email: (please type without spaces)

elizabethjhalls @ gmail.com

Cost:

£50 including lunch and refreshments

Timing

9.30 am coffee/registration, finish 4.00 pm

Venue

The Breast Cancer Haven building, 37 St Owen’s Street, Hereford HR 1 2JB

Plenty of nearby parking.

CPD attendance certificates available (6 hours)

 

 

A Way In

Inviting all counsellors and psychotherapists
to explore with me how a Focusing-oriented approach can transform client work.

My next workshop is in Hereford on 21st September 2019.

Focusing: A Way In

Would you like to:

  • enable clientsto engage more compassionately with themselves?
  • gently holdand enable those moments in therapy when clients connect to their own inner process?
  • facilitate inner reconciliationwhen clients’ emotional states are in tension with one another?
  • be yourselfmore fully Present to all aspects of your clients’ being in the moment?
  • trust and engagewith the client’s own embodied, implied movement towards healing?
  • recognizeand work with different parts of the client’s embodied self to help them  be acknowledged, feel safe, and to change?

This is exciting and beautiful work!

I hope you can join me.

Click the image for further information and to book your place now –

or contact me by phone

07795 324575

0r email:

elizabethjhalls @ gmail.com

Cost: £50 including lunch and refreshments (£45 early bird before 12th August).

0930 coffee/registration for 10.00-4.00 workshop

 

 

How good are you?

words text scrabble blocks
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

I have a list of words, I’ve recently discovered, that I like to think fit my personality. It’s quite long. Here is the start of it:

Good, kind, powerful, strong, intelligent, spiritual, generous, funny, interesting, brave, selfless, refined, right, calm….

You get the picture?

If I’m honest, it’s quite hard to maintain this all the time!

Unfortunately, I’ve also discovered that I have a second list. It’s not what I like to think fits me, but it is what I have the potential to be and am at times. It’s also long. It starts like this:

Bad, unkind, vulnerable, weak, stupid, materialistic, mean, dull, boring, timid, selfish, crass, wrong, angry…

You get that picture too?

The good news is, I don’t actually have to choose between List A and List B. They’re both part of what I am as a human being – surprise, surprise! How hard is it for us to accept that!

What a relief to be able to look at the second list and say, ‘Yes, I’m all of this, too’ – just not all the time.   And to say, ‘Yes, I can be the stuff in the first list – just not all the time.’ It’s enough to accept that I’m a work in progress.

Accepting the ‘shadow’ side of myself gives me a more honest and authentic place on which to stand and relate to myself and others.  I can relax from the fear of ‘getting it wrong’. Of course I’ll get it wrong. But this isn’t a fixed state to be judged by – just part of the flow. So when I look in the inner mirror, I don’t have to ‘breathe in’, metaphorically. I can say hello to my own self, just as I am, and start from there.

brown tabby cat peeking beside wall
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So I just invite you to let yourself off the hook from being perfect, and whatever it means to be ‘right’, and just be content to be human. It’s a very good, honest starting point for being more at ease with yourself and others. Good things follow!

Counselling room in Kington

New Premises in Kington

I am delighted to have opened my new counselling premises in Kington this month (October 2016). My new rooms are fully accessible for people with mobility difficulties (unless you have a very large motorised wheelchair, in which case please contact me beforehand to check with me). The rooms are quiet and discreet, warm and comfortable. My thanks to The Garth Care Services, who own the premises, for their help and encouragement in getting this facility set up.

If there other counsellors or therapists in the area who might be interested in using these premises, please contact me using the form on this website.