Uncategorized

Green Ribbon Month

May was Green Ribbon month and though it’s in its fifth year, very few of my clients had heard about it when they saw the poster on my door. Green Ribbon Month was organised by See Change, the National Stigma Reduction Partnership. It is a campaign to get people talking openly about mental health.

Experiencing a mental health problem is part of the ups and downs of life and can happen to any of us. Silence around mental health stops people seeking help and makes the experience of being unwell much harder. It doesn’t have to be this way.

We don’t need to be experts to start talking about mental health. Sometimes the most helpful thing we can do is to let someone know that we are there for them and simply listen.
•Talk, but listen too: Simply being there will mean a lot.
•Take your lead from the person: As a first step, ask them how best you can help.
•Avoid the clichés: Phrases like ‘Cheer up’, ‘I’m sure it’ll pass’ and ‘Pull yourself together’ definitely won’t help – Being open minded, non-judgemental and listening will.
•Keep in touch: There are lots of small ways of showing support – Send a text or just ask someone how they are doing.
•Don’t just talk about mental health: Just be yourself, chat about everyday things as well.
•Visit http://www.greenribbon.ie

For more information contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on 30 May 2017

Advertisements
Standard
Uncategorized

Relaxation: More Than A Treat (Part Three)

Relaxation is defined as “the state of being free from tension and anxiety”. Just like life provides us with plenty of opportunities to be wound up on a daily basis, regular and effective relaxation is needed to unwind. We wouldn’t expect to stay clean by washing ourselves once a year, so how do we expect to stay relaxed by paying little attention to how we are relaxing?

The health benefits of relaxation for the mind are very real. When we have been busy, stressed or anxious for a long period of time the body gets used to being busy, stressed and anxious. What happens to the body and when this happens? Busy, stressed and anxious causes tension in the mind. Tension gives the message of fear, that something awful is about to happen. This alerts the sympathetic nervous system that imminent danger or a threat is about to happen.

The snag is that we’re busy every day! How often do you take a minute during the day to just stop and think and do nothing? We don’t! Developing time and appreciation for effective relaxation changes that busy and stressed and anxious to busy, and calm and patient. By activating the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, we learn to take a different approach to life, an approach that makes life more peaceful and more enjoyable!

For more information contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on 23 May 2017

Standard
Uncategorized

Relaxation: More Than A Treat (Part Two)

Busyness or stress can cause many effects on our mental health. The symptoms of the negative effects of busyness and stress include an inability to remember or concentrate, poor judgment, anxiety and constant worrying. The effects of busyness or stress can also be seen with depression or general unhappiness, irritability, anger, or feeling overwhelmed.

When people start feeling any of the above symptoms on an on-going basis, they often feel lonely and isolated. The may start eating more or less, or sleeping too much or too little as a coping mechanism. Some people start to withdraw from others or start procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities to cope. Others use alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax.

Learning to relax effectively is one part of dealing with the effects of busyness and stress on mental health. When we practice awareness and notice how we’re feeling or behaving, we can choose to do something that stops symptoms in their tracks. This can be a walk, exercise or connecting with people. Something that activates the parasympathetic nervous systems relaxation response is even better, like massage, reiki, reflexology, gentle yoga or listening to a guided meditation CD.

Take your first steps to relaxation by noticing what’s happening and deciding to take action. Learn to recognise, through trial and error, what you need at a particular time. It takes practice to build up a self-care tool-kit to manage mental health. It’s well worth it!

For more information contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on 16 May 2017

Standard
Uncategorized

Relaxation: More Than A Treat (Part One)

Relaxation is often seen as a treat or a luxury. Yet, the health benefits make relaxation so much more than this. Over the coming weeks, I will be writing about the effects of busyness and stress on mental health and why relaxation is more than just a treat.

When we’re busy or managing difficult situations, our body switches on the stress response. When the stress response is switched on, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action. Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time, and enhance your focus—preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand.

Our body and mind can’t distinguish between a life and death situation or stress and normal everyday busyness. It reacts in the same way. Through effective relaxation we activate the relaxation response. The relaxation response brings our body back into balance. Effective relaxation techniques make us feel we’ve had an incredible night sleep in 30 or 60 minutes. Our heart beats more gently, muscles relax, blood pressure lowers, breath becomes slower and our senses relax. We give our overloaded body’s a chance to rest effectively so we can keep going. It’s like recharging a battery to full power again.

For more information contact Tracy at Relax From Stress Holistic Centre, Castlebar on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on 9 May 2017

Standard
Uncategorized

Changing and Growing

As we move into May, we see growth all around us. How have you changed since January? How have you grown?

Change and growth are two things that are guaranteed in life, and yet they are things we try our best to avoid. We try to control our feelings, mind, and body so we can feel certain and sure. We sometimes try to control other situations and even other people just for a sense of security.

One of the biggest challenges is to lean into the discomfort of change. This is where the magic happens. This is where we look fear and anxiety in the eye and say no to them. By leaning into the discomfort of the vulnerability and courage needed to change, we bring about the life we want.

When we are growing and our lives are changing, here are a few tips to help you mind your mind through change.

1. Keep a gratitude journal. Make a list of people, events, blessing and lessons you are thankful for.
2. Find a way to stay grounded through change. Being grounded helps to lessen fear and anxiety. Ways to stay grounded include massage, reiki, yoga, meditation, walks in nature, exercise, healthy food.
3. Connect with other people for support, for a laugh, and for someone to talk things out with.

Mind your mind with Indian Head Massage, Reiki and Kundalini Yoga by contacting Tracy on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraphy newspaper on 2 May 2017.

Standard