How hypnotherapy and mindfulness can help anxiety and stress
If you feel anxious, then learning how to calm and soothe the brain and body with some simple relaxation exercises can really help. Mindfulness practises, whereby you bring your full attention to an activity and enjoy it without judgement, also help you to feel more in control and have a sense of flow.
1. Begin with breathing
When you wake in the morning, take a few deeper breaths, breathe into your belly for a count of 5 and then enjoy a lovely long exhale for a count of 9. This will refresh you and give you a moment to relish the new day while taking charge of the pace of your day.
2. Notice your thoughts
When you wake up, do you begin by rattling through all the jobs you have to get done that day? Do you think about how you are going to do them? Will your jaw be clenched or will you be excited by the prospect of the sense of achievement you will get? See if you can notice how you talk to yourself, would you talk to your best friend like that?!
3. Digital free-time
Many people reach for their phones and check emails before they even get out of bed. This sucks you back into the busyness of life before your feet have touched the floor. Try ignoring your emails and messages until you have got up and eaten your breakfast slowly (see next tip!). Then make a conscious decision to begin your working day and settle down with the digital world.
4. Eat Slowly
Mindfulness encourages you to simplify and do one thing at a time with your full attention. A great place to practise this is at mealtimes. When you slow down, you can smell and taste the food and get so much more pleasure from it. You might notice textures and feel fuller more quickly as you tune it to your tummy telling you when it feels comfortable.
5. Be kind to your body
In my mindfulness sessions we always do some stretches. Taking time each morning to stretch helps to warm up your body for the day. If you work at a computer then it makes sense to lean back and roll your shoulders and stretch out your neck and arm muscles on a regular basis. Enjoyable exercise every day relieves stress too.
6. Imagine the best
Are you very good at imagining the worst case scenario in any new plan? Get good at imagining it all going well. If you can direct a disaster movie in your head with ease, challenge yourself to create a feel-good movie with a happy ending instead.
7. Soak up the positive, let go of the negative
Do you dwell on the negatives and drag them into your future with you? Science shows us that this habit just stresses you out. Consciously try to drop the old unhelpful ideas and make time to really absorb good experiences.