How to stop fretting and start living the life you want

Most of us, at one time or another, have experienced symptoms of anxiety. We have fretted about an important meeting at work with a difficult colleague or manager, or anxiously waited on critical exam results. Maybe we have worried about the health of a loved one or a poorly pet. All of these situations can trigger sleepless nights, an upset tummy, a tight chest or a short temper, but thankfully often this experience is short-lived. Understandably, in these situations, many individuals become anguished and anxious, but these emotions and the accompanying physical symptoms will usually cease after the event that provoked the elevated stress has passed.

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Has lockdown affected your eating?

The stress of lockdown has for many, led to comfort-seeking and indulgence. Most people know that these strategies are unhelpful, and often have negative consequences emotionally and physically. There’s no getting away from the fact that there’s a limit to the things we can do to occupy or console ourselves when we can’t mix with friends or family. For some people it’s an exceptionally stressful time, while for others it’s a time to reconnect with loved ones and enjoy quality time. If you fall into the former category getting through this difficult period could be a real struggle.

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Don’t listen and don’t do this!

There are lots of rants on social media right now; don’t do this, do more of that, give to this cause, or that... There’s so much pressure to be doing something ‘useful’ during the lockdown. As a self-employed person forced into lockdown the prevailing message is that if you’re not pivoting your business or preparing to launch a new project you aren’t being productive. If you’re furloughed and you’re not learning a new language or making bread out of something weird you found at the back of your kitchen cupboard, you’re missing an opportunity. Show the wartime spirit and seize the moment people! Get creating, cleaning, re-designing your garden and continuing your business or job online while home-educating your children or caring for a loved one.

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Tips to reduce teeth grinding or jaw clenching

Do you wake up in the morning with a headache or a sore jaw? Perhaps your partner has commented that you grind your teeth while you’re sleeping. Maybe you’ve noticed that you’re clenching your jaw unconsciously during the day while you’re concentrating intently on something. Bruxism, or tooth grinding and jaw clenching is something that usually happens in the night while you’re sleeping, but in some cases, it also happens during the daytime. According to the Bruxism Association, bruxism affects about 10% of the population and usually occurs alongside other sleep-related disturbances such as snoring, sleep talking and obstructive sleep apnoea and that around 70% of sleep bruxism cases are stress or anxiety-related.

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What I have learned from my clients

Since becoming a therapist in 1995 I have continued to learn about my profession. I do this through reading, speaking with other therapists and attending Continuous Professional Development courses. I regularly attend conferences for hypnotherapists and psychotherapists and follow new research. I suppose you could say that I’ve aspired to become the best therapist that I can be so that I can serve my clients well.

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