We often don’t even realise we’re stressed until after the event, and we look back and wonder how we survived! But many people are living in constant stress, juggling too many things, their minds over-crowded with ‘stuff’. Every App designed to make our life easier just seems to add to the burden providing yet another source of nagging throughout the day.
I’m no stranger to stress having experienced what are considered to be some of life’s biggest stressors during a five year period in the late 90s (bereavement, divorce, working away from home, high pressure working environment). This culminated in a diagnosis of cancer which was my wake-up call to sort out my life. I can’t say it happened overnight; I made some pretty big changes in diet and lifestyle fairly quickly and over the past fifteen years I’ve discovered and studied other aspects of stress-transformation which have helped me immensely in my life.
My aim in working with people is to empower them to take control of their own lives. PPT members will know how much you can change your life through improved diet and focused exercise, and it’s really no different with your mind. You can change the way you feel about what you may believe to be the insurmountable stress-factors in your life, and when you do, the effect is profound and resonates through every aspect of your world.
There are lots of ways to do this. I love Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping (witnessed a few months being used by Steve MacDonald in Coronation Street!) which I’ve used to deal with some old, deep memories to amazing effect. It’s pretty easy to learn the tapping points and there are lots of examples on YouTube but I recommend working with a practitioner to get deep lasting benefits. Probably one of the most profound additions I made to my life about six years was daily meditation.
Now I know you are about to close the page, thinking “I’ve tried meditation and I just can’t do it.” Well stay with me for a little longer.
I’m guessing that you may not be able to run a marathon, or play a complex piece on the piano (unless you are a marathon runner or pianist). But if you trained or practiced, within a few weeks you would probably be able to run 10k or play at least a simple piece on the piano. Meditation is no different – it requires practice on a regular basis and some days it goes better than other, just like anything else. The object is NOT to clear your mind of all thoughts, but rather to find the peace in spite of those thoughts until they just lurk around the edges.
If you’ve been a PPT client for a while you may remember last year Maxine offered to be set a monthly challenge. My challenge to her was to meditate each day and she did it. Now there’s no denying that Maxine is one of the busiest people I know, so I reckon if she can find fifteen minutes in her day then most of us can (after all, how much time do you waste on social media, or fiddling around with emails, or watching TV).
THE MEDITATION CHALLENGE
So if you’re ready for a meditation challenge, here’s what I suggest you do.
- Get on line and find some short-ish (5 to 15 minutes) guided meditations to download. You need to like the voice and the music. You can choose a selection of different times so you can choose the one most appropriate for your day.
- Allocate time each day when you’re going to do it. If you commute by public transport you have the perfect opportunity, but please don’t try it whilst driving (there are breathing techniques which are very de-stressing which you can do whilst in the car).
- A perfect time is first thing in the morning or last thing at night, and you can meditate whilst lying in bed (after my first week of meditating I loved it so much I would get up 15 minutes earlier to meditate, and the strange thing was I found I had more time in my day). In fact the brain state just before falling asleep or when you first wake up (without an alarm) is close to a meditative state
- Don’t worry if your brain is busy; just focus on the words or music you hear and on your breathing. Each day will become easier.
- No one is judging you. Your sole aim is to have space and time for yourself and with daily practise you will become better than you used to be.
- Consider finding a local meditation group (likely to be called Mindfulness Meditation) to join. Meditating in a group setting is a different experience.
After a couple of weeks you might notice some differences in your life. You may find that things that previously stressed you no longer affect you. You may also notice that you are more creative and have new ideas that you were always too busy to allow to manifest before. People may tell you that you look well, which is always a bonus. And you may notice that you feel more joyful, and observe the little things that make the world a better place.
DE-STRESS IN LUXURY
From 16th to 20th May, Mary-Jane is running four days of intensive de-stressing at a luxury location in Arundel, West Sussex. This will be a transformational experience for those who attend. You can secure your place with a deposit of just £260 and PPT clients booking by 15th March (subject to availability) will also benefit from a one to one de-stressing session which will deepen their experience. This is usually charged at £60 but the value is limitless.
This is an opportunity not to be missed. You can find out more at www.healthylivingretreats.co.uk
Mary-Jane Sharratt is a homeopath, allergy therapist and Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner based at The Perrymount Clinic in Haywards Heath. For more details about Mary-Jane and what she offers, visit:
01444 410944/07787 570086