meditation

Wars of the Mind; How to Effectively Overcome Anxiety Part Three

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we looked at the thinking traps that can lead us astray and contribute towards our anxiety. This week we explore the healthy lifestyle changes we can make which serve to reduce our anxiety.

 

Lifestyle Choices to Reduce the Effects of Anxiety

 

Offer your anxiety understanding

 

The first critical step to counteract your anxiety is somewhat counter intuitive and comes from teachings in self-compassion. Surprisingly, in order to overcome anxiety and ‘win the war’ you must first accept its presence in your life and recognize it is your minds way of trying to protect you against a perceived threat or coming to any type of harm. Once you appreciate this you can have a greater level of compassion and understanding towards your anxiety rather than resisting it which often only causes your symptoms to increase. Remember, in psychology, what you resist, persists!

 

Exercise

 

Like most things, anxiety is profoundly affected by exercise. Just five minutes of continuous exercise has been found to reduce the effects of anxiety, so just think what half an hour could do. If you are averse to high impact exercise psychologist studies have found that a ten minute walk could be as effective as a forty-five minute workout and relieve symptoms for up to several hours. Furthermore, if you exercise regularly the effects of anxiety can reduce long term. To explore how to incorporate exercise into your life on a regular basis please read my article titled ‘New Year, New You’.

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Relaxation Questionnaire

One of the easiest ways to do a life audit is to just ask yourself ten questions for each area of your life and then give yourself a score to find out how to rate yourself.

 

Below I’ve outlined ten questions for the relaxation life area so you can easily assess where you’re currently at – simply give yourself a score out of ten for each question with one being awful and ten being excellent, with no room for improvement.

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How to Avoid Living by Default and Design Your Ideal Life Part Three

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we explored the areas of work, finances and time and productivity in our life audit. This week we look at body and health, hobbies and interests and relaxation.

 

4) Body and Health

 

One of the first things I did was to accept that I was not happy with my weight or health. I scored myself at a three out of ten in this area.

 

After brainstorming different ways to improve my health I went on a detox and gave up drinking. For my body I decided to eat healthier and went to a dieting club and lost weight.  As my health became more important to me I started running and created a goal to complete a 5k charity race which I ran this past year.

 

For more on creating meaningful goals following your life audit, I strongly recommend reading ‘How to turn your dreams into reality’ and, should you wish to look at diet and exercise in more depth, read ‘New Year, New Life – How to Exercise Your Way to Well Being’.

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New ‘Best Resources’ Page Featuring The Webs Most Exceptional Psychology Resources

 

H All,

 

Here at Accessible Psychology I like to make things, well, accessible, so I have taken it upon myself to source the most exceptional psychology resources from all over the web and share them with you in one place, right here on my ‘Best Resources’ page. These resources are highly recommended by all top therapists. How do I know you say? Well, a therapist from none other than The Priory recommended them as the very best!

 

I like to think I have catered for everything so if you would like to become more assertive try the ‘Assert Yourself’ CBT InfoPax by CCI. Feel like you would like to have higher self-esteem? Try ‘Improving Self-Esteem’, also by CCI. Want more happiness? There’s a guidebook from Action for Happiness called ‘Ten Keys To Happier Living’ you can download right here at Accessible Psychology!

 

Should you have a therapist don’t worry there is something on my page for you too. I’ve featured a comprehensive selection of worksheets by Psychology Tools covering all sorts of thought records and diaries – there are even worksheets on anger, forgiveness and sleep. You can save, print and fill out all of the worksheets provided and then share them with your therapist. I’ve also included a fantastic online service by MindQuire where you can record and graph your depression, stress and anxiety levels and share the findings with your therapist.

 

For those of you wishing to integrate more mindfulness into your life, try Headspace – an online site and app with a massive encyclopaedia of meditation courses, all designed to help make meditation accessible, relevant and beneficial to the masses.

 

Please let me know which resources you like best and how they have helped you, I’d absolutely love to hear from you.

 

Enjoy everyone!

 

x X x Jenny Leigh x X x

Fantastic New CD’s Now Featured on ‘Further Reading (and Listening)’ Page!

Hi All,

 

Check out the fabulous new CD’s on my ‘Further Reading (and Listening)’ page! Whether you are struggling to move on after a separation or the loss of a loved one, you want a mindfulness meditation CD which all of the top therapists recommend, or you want to use the law of attraction to manifest more success in your life, you can find something on our page that’s just right for you.

Simply scroll to the bottom of the site to view ‘Recommended Books and CD’s’ where you can select the CD’s by genre, or go to our ‘Further Reading (and Listening)’ page and select page 4 to browse through our new selection of CD’s.

 

Enjoy!

How to stop operating on auto-pilot and live for the moment; Part Three

If after practising these mindfulness exercises you find you would like to integrate mindfulness into your weekly routine, you can explore the field of mindfulness further by purchasing a more in-depth CD. One of the best audio CD’s available is from Jon Kabat-Zinn, whose teachings have led to the Western worlds recognition of mindfulness as a beneficial practice in helping patients to cope with stress, anxiety, pain and depression. As an introduction, his ‘Guided Mindfulness Meditation’ series is excellent, with each exercise typically lasting forty-five minutes. Each CD in the series comes with a full programme that helps you to structure your mindful practise and is designed to assist you in integrating mindfulness into your life.

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How to stop operating on auto-pilot and live for the moment; Part Two

Last week we looked at the vast array of benefits mindfulness brings. Now you can try these simple and quick mindful exercises as your very own introduction into mindfulness:

 

The Three Minute Breathing Space

 

Sit in an upright position with a straight posture. Breath in and out slowly, your belly rising on the in-breath. Examine your body sensations from your toes to your head. What emotions are present? What thoughts are you aware of?

 

Return your focus to your breathing. Feel your stomach rise slowly on the in-breath and fall on the out breath.

 

Become aware of the entirety of your body and the sensations within it whilst slowly inhaling and exhaling.

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How to stop operating on auto-pilot and live for the moment; Part One

According to the Office for National Statistics last year one in five UK citizens rated their anxiety levels as being at six or more out of ten. In today’s world, where calls and emails flood our phones, appointments are crammed into tight schedules and our workplace constantly micro-manages us, it is natural to feel as if we are going through the motions when we go about our day. However, when I think back to my happiest memories they all have one thing in common. In each and every one I was completely immersed in the moment. I was fully absorbed to the point that I lost all self-consciousness. Without even thinking I was left utterly engaged in the here and now. Just to be clear, these weren’t childhood memories but they did have a childlike quality to them, because I was so consumed, it was as if I was experiencing things for the very first time.

 

Whilst at one of the worlds best facilities in 2009, I was introduced to something called mindfulness. Mindfulness is a form of meditation which has gained great medical recognition and is designed to cultivate an experience of living in the moment. However, to stop there would be to sell mindfulness short.

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