I have been surprised a few times in the past couple of weeks when clients have said something along the lines of “I think I believe in Mindfulness.” This got me thinking because it is not something I considered that you either believed in or didn’t, like fairies or Santa Clause.

To me it is just something that exists, like thinking, it is after all really about what you are thinking, where your attention is, so not something to be believed or disbelieved. Interestingly as a hypnotherapist I would probably say the same about hypnosis, but that’s for another blog!

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Having just returned from a week in Brighton doing my Youth Mindfulness teacher training, I am returning back to my everyday life with a mind full of wonder, information and ideas, as to how I can share all I have learnt with those who would benefit from knowing it. The challenge here is that I think EVERYONE would benefit from experiencing it!

As a Life Coach, Counsellor and Hypnotherapist I have always used solution focussed techniques to resolve the issues of others, and along the way, my own challenges too. So I was amazed and surprised at how deeply affected and blown away I was by experiencing the benefits of doing Mindfulness, and the practice of meditation. This gentle method of self-awareness and acceptance has shown me that sometimes the solution is to do less rather than more.

I went on this course with the intention of learning to teach children how to use mindfulness as a method of understanding and managing difficult emotions, and to learn how to use it to build calm, kindness, resilience and happiness. But what I actually learnt was all the above and so much more…

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stress, anxiety, workplace wellness, sick leave, resilience,

Many Companies and employers have realised the benefit of providing staff with access to counselling when they need a bit of extra help managing emotionally, either with work pressures or with events in their personal lives. This service is definitely beneficial for both staff and employers, but at what point does the employee get access to this service, they often have to admit to their boss that they are not coping, or it gets to a point where the boss or other staff members notice that their colleague is struggling.

As a therapist I often get clients who have reached the point where they are unable to cope, and are signed off sick with stress or anxiety. Some of these clients had the opportunity to access help through their workplace, but they would have had to ask for it. They didn’t ask because it is tough to admit you are not coping, and to all the many signs and symptoms that come with stress and anxiety. They often fear it will have a negative impact on the way their employers or colleagues view their capabilities, as they are likely to be questioning their own abilities as stress and anxiety bring a lack of focus, poor memory, mistakes and slower productivity. Consequently their confidence and self-esteem take a downturn and they spiral downwards into an even worse place, sometimes depression.

Some will have gone the medical path with symptoms of headaches, gastric problems, insomnia, palpitations and more, as we ourselves do not always recognise the wider symptoms of stress. Others were hoping each day would be a little better, until they hit a point of breakdown, often resulting in panic, tears and meltdown sometimes in front of their workmates.

So what are the implications of someone getting to this point?

One of the biggest implication is that work is now associated with all these awful physical and emotional feelings. Have you ever eaten or drunk something and been ill afterwards? The next time you see, smell, taste or even hear about that food, you are likely to get a very clear memory of that experience, by feeling unwell.

This is part of our survival mechanism as it protects us by creating an aversion to something that could be dangerous to our health, which is completely relevant when the perceived danger maybe poisonous. This unfortunately is the same mechanism that is likely to kick in relating to work. Logically we know work is not dangerous, but because of the strength of the emotional and physical impact of reaching that high level of stress, our brain sees it as something to be avoided at all cost.

So what is the answer?

It is important of course that the root cause of the problems are addressed, but how different could this scenario have been if there had been a programme of stress management or emotional education in place as part of all employees well-being?

When we have skills to recognise and manage stress we are more attuned to noticing the warning signs, as well as successfully intervening early on to ensure issues are addressed, before they have a big impact on our emotional or physical well-being. Beyond this, when all employees are taught skills in everyday calmness, confidence, positivity and emotional awareness then the working environment becomes not only more supportive and pleasurable, but more productive and efficient.

This has wide reaching benefits for the employers and employees, as in the same way the brain creates aversions to dangers, it creates desire for the positive. What would it do for your business if your employees felt happy and excited to go to work each day? What would it do for your employees to feel calm, confident and capable in the workplace?

Prevention is better than cure on all levels. If you would like to know more about workshops, emotional well-being training programmes or one to one care for your staff or workplace then please contact me Alexa Warner at www.positivitylifecoaching.co.uk/contact/


Do You Prioritise Your Emotional Health?

Read my blog on 7 reasons why we do not seem to grasp that looking after our emotional health is as important, if not more so​ than looking after our Physical health.

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7 reasons why we do not put the same amount of time, energy and money into our emotional health as we do into our physical health?

emotional well-being mental health

When it comes to our physical health we seem to have no problem understanding the concept of looking after our bodies to remain healthy. We understand the relationship between the foods that we eat and how that will affect our weight, out heart health and even the strength of our bones and the efficiency of our immune system.

We as a nation are more than happy to pay large amounts of money to gyms, exercise classes, slimming clubs and even purchase millions of books and DVD’s to help us achieve our health and weight goals, even though many do no more than purchase these products or occasionally use them.

So why when it comes to our emotional health do we not give it the same level of respect or nurturing? Why is it commonplace to not do anything to address our stress levels until we reach a point where we can no longer function as we would like in our day to day lives? When we do reach a point of meltdown, of insomnia of overwhelm the first point of call is often the doctors for a prescription of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication or sleeping pills so we can carry on doing all the things we were doing before that made us sick.

When you read this it may seem obvious that this is not a logical way to behave as Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.”

The impact of stress or mental illness on the quality of lives, relationships, careers, finances and some of you may find this surprising; our physical health is greater than being overweight or unfit. Yes being stressed and anxious is a significant contributor to many of the same health conditions as being physically unfit, and more. Auto immune disease, cancer, diabetes, heart health and pain are just a few of the delights that come with chronic stress and emotional illness.

So here is the big question, why do we not rate looking after our emotional health as high if not higher on our priorities as our physical health?

I could write many pages on this but in my opinion these are the key areas;

1. There are no Government campaigns that publicise to the masses how and why they can ensure they stay emotionally well.

2. The NHS does not have the resources to educate people on this and if the Government had a campaign to ask your GP for stress reduction techniques the GPs would be overwhelmed and the first in the very long queue.

3. It is not visually obvious so if we are suffering we can suffer in relative silence.

4. The seeping it under the carpet tactic; It is still a taboo subject despite the more recent attention from the like of The Royal Family and others in the public eye we are a long way from the American culture of discussing who our therapist is.

5. There are no national advertising campaigns from private providers of mental health care as we are mostly independent therapists who are financially strapped! Can you imagine how well I’d do if I could advertise like slimming world….hmmm maybe I have missed a trick here? But again this would only work if people saw the purpose of learning and practicing emotional wellness.

6. We think things will get better and we will be able to cope if we just keep going.

7. There is another article to be written here, but simply when we are emotionally well especially if we have always been this way, it doesn’t enter our heads to do something to keep it this way. When we are struggling the nature of the way the brain works means that we are not in a resourceful state to say early on, time to join a brain gym…again there aren’t any…another fabulous business idea I better go and create!

If you would like more details on how you can look after your emotional health and well-being then contact me to book a free no obligation consultation​