Tag: Stress management

Creativity is so important

Art and Texture

When you get in touch with your right brain you can begin to connect with your innate creativity by letting the paintbrush or in the above example – palette knife, take you to where you want to go.

Don’t plan,  just let the process happen; let your intuition guide you. Put some paint on your palette and brush it on the canvas. Wonderful things happen. In the example above I was thrilled to see what had formed underneath when I scaped off a layer of paint to reveal colours I’d applied earlier. I love paining abstract so I’m not bound by trying to make it look like a photograph!

However sometimes I paint more representationally, though never like a photograph:

Camelias in Winter

I wrote before about creativity and I want to emphaise how important it is for your health and well-being and your ability to make changes in your life to do this. My link to creativity is through painting.

Challenge yourself this week by doing something new and creative: what will you do?

Coaching can enable you to release your creativity too and in that way your life can change in unexpected ways.




Making your lifestyle healthier

I enjoyed reading this blog post about how to have a healthy lifestyle:   http://www.healthylifestylesblog.co.uk/healthy-lifestyles/how-to-live-a-healthy-lifestyle/

The author emphasises the importance of eating well and exercising regularly as well as relaxing and taking time out for yourself.

Even though you probably know all of this you may not be doing it because you believe it isn’t possible given the circumstances of your life.  It might be the strength of your in-built beliefs which are stopping you from making the changes you would love to make. So  listen to the excuses you make and ask youreself if those statements are really true. You may be surprised to find that in fact they are not always true and if you begin to consider life with those beliefs turned around that you would be able then to make the progress you want and do things differently.

Make the choice to change direction with Coaching


Get your stress levels under control

By Susan Edmunds

Whether it’s caused by the demands of a full-on job, the struggle to balance family and work commitments or a one-off event such as moving house, stress is familiar to most people.

Good or bad, when you face pressure, your body’s instinct to defend itself kicks in. Stress is a natural response but if it goes on too long it can become a mental and physical problem. A lot of successful people say they are driven by stress – but how do you know when stress is changing from a positive, motivating force to a negative one?

Mary Grogan, of Change It Psychology, says psychologists refer to eustress (that results in increased productivity) versus distress (a long-term drain on your system).

“Eustress might be felt before an important performance – it can help us focus and perform well under pressure,” she says. “Typically stress becomes a problem when it is affecting one or more areas of your life; for example you might be tired and irritable most of the time, which affects those you live with, so there are more fights, and this has become a regular pattern. The optimal amount of stress differs for each of us so we need to define it individually and not compare it with others.”

The first step is to recognise you are stressed, and what you think might be causing it. Then work out what, if anything, is in your power to change. Can you break down a seemingly insurmountable problem into a series of more realistic ones, do more planning for an upcoming stressful event, resolve conflicts that are playing on your mind, increase the amount of exercise you do, or sleep and eat better?

Grogan says people should recognise the impact stress has on their lives and consider what it could be like in three or six months, if nothing changes.

“For most of us to change our behaviour, we need to recognise the current methods aren’t working and it’s worth spending time and energy figuring out methods that might be better,” she says. “For example if you’ve noticed your hours of work have crept up in recent months, and your ability to exercise, eat healthily, and catch up with friends and family has decreased, ask yourself how long you think that is sustainable.”

Once you know something has to happen, the next move is easier. If you know your job is causing your increased stress, for example, you can start making changes to fix it. Talk to your boss about limiting your overtime, or see if there are ways to make your workload more manageable.

But it can be easy to feel powerless if the thing causing most of your stress is out of your control. Grogan says this sort of stress can benefit from professional intervention: “Figure out which parts of a problem you might have to let go of. Remind yourself of the saying: ‘Grant me the ability to change the things I can, serenity to accept the things I can’t change, and the wisdom to know the difference’. You may need help coming to a point of acceptance with some thorny issues, such as people dying or being made redundant from your job.”

Keeping an eye on the way you feel throughout the day can help you keep on top of stress. “Awareness of your moment-by-moment daily experience is something we teach to prevent stress. You can do this by being aware of small things throughout the day that change your mood from feeling okay to feeling down/anxious/stressed/angry. Notice the thoughts, body sensations and feelings that accompany these changes so you don’t react, but respond effectively to whatever comes up.”

Diaphragmatic breathing – deep breathing that expands your abdomen rather than your chest when you inhale – is a good way to calm down when you feel your stress levels increasing. Change the way you think, too. Grogan says. “Challenging catastrophic thoughts can be useful. If you think ‘I will look like a fool doing this speech’, try telling yourself, ‘It’s natural to be a bit nervous and that can help performance. Most people won’t notice’.”

Combat stress

* Work out the source of the stress.

* Identify the aspects that you have control over and take action, however small.

* Eat well, sleep well and get more exercise.

* Focus on details and slow down.

* Consider professional help to get over stressful things that are beyond your control.
By Susan Edmunds
Copyright ©2011, APN Holdings NZ Limited

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