Tune in. Tips & Tricks for Dispelling Stress
Posted by Nicola Elliott
Suzy Reading, NEOM’s Psychologist (mum, yoga teacher and health coach) talks the “S” word. How some is good for you and how (if we “top up our cup”) we can be better equipped to face the bad
...Including drinking a fresh hot cuppa, the importance of a digital detox, saying no, and simply just doing it in the midst of the chaos!
Q Let's talk stress. Is stress a mindset?
A Stress has physical, mental and emotional manifestations but it’s also a function of our mindset - the lens through which we interpret life and events... Having a healthy energy bank balance (just like your car needs petrol, we need to make sure we have enough resources to get by and fuel ourselves by topping up our wellbeing) and stress slides off your shoulders more easily. In fact you don’t even interpret things as stress as often, they can become challenges. If you're fatigued, low in the energy bank, life constantly needles you!
Q Is some stress good for us? How do we know if we have good stress or bad stress?
A Some stress is essential for growing and evolution. Not all stress is bad, in fact I would go as far to say there is no point trying to eliminate ALL your stress because it’s actually a necessary part of life - even things we long for involve some stress - getting married, that promotion at work, buying a house, planning a holiday, having kids... How about thinking - am I having fun here? The answer will be a pretty good indicator of identifying stress and if it’s the good or bad kind.
Q Do think it's on the rise?
A Yes! but so is awareness of need for self-care and taking small steps each day to ensure we look after our wellbeing too!
Q How can we reveal our own tension triggers?A Keep checking in. With your head, heart and body. Ask yourself, ‘what do I need’? Your body’s always giving you signals, and they’re different for everyone. A tension headache might be your body’s way of saying you’ve got too much going on while, for others, that extra glass of wine tells them that they're struggling to wind down. Get to know your trigger, and response and know when to take action. By getting smart about your own body, you can nip the cycle in the bud – before it feels out of your control. And think, at what cost do you plough on?
Q What are the first small steps you recommend to clients who are overwhelmed with stress?
A Small steps - what I call micro moments of nourishment. Here I would start with some rest, relaxation and breathing. We first need to soothe the parasympathetic nervous system to mediate stress hormones and heal.
Q What are your tips for dealing with stress every day? Before the board meeting.... the transition from work to home for mums?
A My top three self-care tonics are affirmations, scent and appreciation and the reason why I love them is that they are all instantaneous, effortless and damn effective! You can harness the therapeutic power of each of them ANYWHERE, ANYTIME! I quite often roll them into one moment. I love that affirmations provide a distraction from less helpful mental chatter and I have a long list I turn to that anchor my mind, from ‘I soften into this moment’, to ‘I have all the time I need’. Consider how you’d like to feel and create your own statement. Pair it with a scent you love and you can soothe, invigorate and uplift in a moment. Neom Home Mist works an absolute trick for these moments at home or the hand balms when I’m on the go. They encourage me to be in the moment, to take a break from constant striving and to drink in a few deep, restorative breaths. Appreciation is a fabulous mood alchemist, whether it is appreciating a few sips of good coffee, sinking into the sensations of a cuddle with my little one and zooming in on something I find captivating about him or just feeling appreciation for this roof above my head.
Q Do you believe looking after mind and body to be answer. Name one thing we can do for our minds to dispel stress and one for our body which work together?
A I believe we need to nourish ourselves head, heart and body and really there is no separation between them. Use a stress management coping tool for the mind and it creates a physical relaxation, you work with the breath and it softens the body and promotes a calm mind.
Q Any favourite books to help change our view of stress?
A I am working on mine right now - watch this space - it will be ready at the end of the year. BUT others are… Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington, the How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky, and Adrenal Fatigue by James Wilson.