There’s a bear out there…

Written by Bridget on . Posted in Food and Health Education

This week I read a really great post about the out of character behaviours, feelings & reactions many of us are currently expressing & experiencing.

Hands up if you’re feeling a little out of sorts? 🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏽‍♂️🙋🏼

Thinking, saying or doing things you don’t usually?
Drinking a bit more?🍷
Finding it hard to get motivated or feel clear-headed?🤦🏽
Crying randomly? 😢
Lashing out more than usual?🤬
Scrolling endlessly on socials?📱
Comfort eating? 🍩
Feeling overwhelmed? Struggling to sleep? 😴
Flippy or upset tummy?
Racing heart?
Acting inappropriately?😨
Getting into arguments?
Having very strong opinions of things you wouldn’t normally bother about?

Good news- you’re human!

Everything we’re experiencing is due to our very clever built in survival mechanism.
We are currently in an emotionally heightened climate.
We are saturated in & surrounded by fear, worry, anxiety.

Even if we’re not scared of “the virus”, we’re scared of the massive changes & effects of it
We’re worried about the repercussions, our future, the future of our children
So much is going on in our minds & all around us.

Even if consciously we feel ok, our behaviours & physical symptoms may tell otherwise.

In the face of a threat, our amygdala activates.
It’s what kept us from being eaten by lions or tigers & what enables us to do superhuman things like lift cars when our loved ones are involved.

Right now your brain FEELS & SENSES that there is “a bear out there”🐻
So it is on alert.
Kicking in to ensure you survive.
Hello fight, flight, freeze mode-  aka – the stress response.

You are gearing up for battle or escape- your body is being flooded with adrenaline & cortisol.
Your senses are heightened- your heart rate increases, your breathing shallows, your muscles are ready for action
Whether you are personally scared or worried or not, you are picking up on the collective feeling & your body will be feeling it.

Take time to check in & notice your breathing & places of tension in your body
All of these responses are wonderful in immediate life threatening situations.
But what we’re facing now is a long term, chronic threat
Something we must adapt & adjust to for the LONG TERM.

So we must train the brain & body that “we are safe”
“In this moment we are safe”
Staying stuck in what I call “fear gear” inhibits our ability to make decisions, take in information & think rationally

It also hinders our innate ability to produce serotonin, dopamine & oxytocin- all of our feel good neurotransmitters
It strains our immune system & makes our body more susceptible to illness
It interferes with digestion& all of our important “maintenance” activities

Right now it’s more important than ever that we hop back over into the drivers side of our brain & body.
We can do this a number of ways…

I will outline a few here-

1. Take some time to feel into your body. Be present. Breathe. When you’re feeling a little more calm, scan your body. Notice areas of tension or tightness. Give them your attention. Breathe into them. Notice if there are any colours, shapes, memories or messages that come to mind when observing this part of your body. Keep breathing deeply & consciously. I find having my hands on my body helpful & calming (apparently it’s a Japanese method known as Jin Shin). Just giving your attention & awareness & breath can dissipate tension, however sometimes more will be needed – this is when we can use tapping or journaling or yoga

2. Notice your “mind focus”. I tell my clients to take a snapshot of their thoughts. Be curious about these. And consider – are they helpful? True? Are they feeding how you want to feel? In any moment we can change our “train of thought” to get ourselves back on the “right path”. To send the msg to the brain & body we are safe. The brain doesn’t know any different to what YOU tell it. Choose the most helpful thought you can resonate with right now. Repeat it over & over as a mantra. For me, “In this moment I am safe” helps, or “I am strong, healthy & resilient”

3. Once you’ve addressed the mind, it’s time to connect with the body– but really you can start with the body or mind- just be sure to address & connect both elements. The best way to get into the body is to just notice your breathing. Just observe it without trying to change it. When you do this, it often begins to regulate itself. Notice it entering & leaving your nostrils. Whether you are breathing into your chest or tummy.

4. Then ground. Notice your body sinking into & connecting with whatever surface it’s in contact with. If you’re standing imagine roots coming out of your feet. Feel how connected to the earth you are. If you are sitting- feel how solid the chair or couch you are in feels. Allow your body to sink into & be supported by that surface.

5. Then check in with how you’re feeling. Name it. Stressed? Anxious? Afraid? Angry? Just naming it begins to shift it.

6. Now- it’s time to stretch & move the body. Stretch your arms out & up above your head. Reach from side to side. Roll your shoulders. Shake out your arms & hands. Move your hips from side to side & back to front& all around. Then pick up your legs like you’re riding a bike. Alternate between one then the other. Then kick your feet as if kicking a ball. Roll your ankles.

7. Then check back in from the top. Thoughts? Feelings? Tension?

You can repeat this process as many times as you need.
It’s brilliant for reconnecting your “right mind” & body.

I created a video on the process here- MATES Instant CALM technique – Get out of STRESS rapidly; relax and relieve tension; destress

This is just ONE way you can support your body & mind to come back to calm during this time- & always

There are many others!

Don’t forget about social connection- reach out- get a Zoom call happening with your friends & loved ones! 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

Laugh!! Laughter really IS the best medicine! Over the coming days I will share with you the science of laughter and how it heals & fortifies our mind-body wellbeing 🤣🤣🙌🏻

✅Sunshine the great healer- mentally, emotionally & physically! Give yourself a dose every.single.day!

✅Relax your body with baths or meditation or yin yoga or essential oil body scrubs & rubs- dance!

✅Stop the scrolling!! Limit your consumption of all sources of “news” & information right now! Only get the bare essential updates from the authorities you trust, then step away for the next 24hrs. Be where you are IRL (in real life!) practice PRESENCE. It is so calming to the body & mind!

✅Be aware of escape or numbing practices that are getting out of balance. It’s ok to have a drink here & there (if you can drink moderately!); watch some Netflix; read enjoyable books. But when/if these things become out of balance or “escapes” rather than merely “enjoy in balance”, then notice the effects and choose again ☺️☺️

✅Most of all be kind & loving to yourself & others. We’re all going through this difficult time. We’re all having moments of struggle & overwhelm. Cut yourself & everyone else some slack.

I hope this helps ladies & gents.

Let me know if you have questions, or need help!

I am here.

I am available for 1:1 C.A.L.M Counselling Sessions no matter where you are! These sessions are intended to create a space for you to express, explore and release whatever is going on for you. We work on understanding and unravelling and also building up a toolbox of skills, tools and resources you can use to navigate life and situations that may be causing you stress, anxiety, fear, upset, anger, etc. 

Email me to schedule a time- I am currently opening 5 spaces a week for super low cost dedicated counselling sessions. 

[email protected]

Also remember that I have opened a FREE group on Facebook with a FREE 90 minute workshop, 5 Day Challenge, Resources and Action Plan. I am checking in there every single day! It’s a truly uplifting, empowering and optimistic space! Come and join us!

All my love,

BridgetJane

Dietitian~Counsellor~Eating Psychology Coach

Newleafnutrition.com.au

 

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If you’re feeling stressed and scared right now, read this

Written by Bridget on . Posted in Food and Health Education, Words of Wisdom

I’m not sure how you have been feeling over the past 48-72hours but yesterday I realised that I was really scared.

I had been so focussed on staying calm, being positive and showing up as a source of grounded-ness for others I hadn’t even given myself time and space to process how I was feeling.

I realised yesterday I was so afraid. Afraid of how this virus could affect my loved ones, and vulnerable members of our community. Afraid of the pending economical implications. Afraid of having to face the reality of my wedding not going ahead. Afraid of the uncertainty of how this is going to unfold.

Yes I was apparently calm and contained, yet beneath the surface fear was infiltrating my being. Without acknowledging this, listening to it, expressing it and processing it, it began to dictate my thoughts and feelings.

I realised something was up when I reacted disproportionately to comments being made by other thought leaders about this being an exciting time. I was outraged. And I couldn’t let it go!

How could anyone possibly describe this time as EXCITING when people are losing loved ones, livelihoods are being threatened and our very way of life is shifting rapidly? I found it insensitive and unthinkable to consider this time right now as exciting.

However, I knew there was something here for me to learn as I was so TRIGGERED and my entire sense of being became consumed with this outrage and exasperation.

SO I reflected. I worked out. I meditated. I walked in nature.

And it HIT ME. I was scared.

DUH. More than natural and normal at this time!

It’s all well and good to think positive, stay calm and do the inner work, however it’s also important to always acknowledge how you feel and ALLOW those emotions to express what they need to express.

Once I stopped, took a moment to acknowledge how I felt and wrote it all down, I felt immediately lighter and clearer. I felt relief.

Ahhhhh. There is it. I am scared.

Ok. Of course. We’re all scared on some level.

And so today, I want to offer you some tools and resources you can access and use to help yourself through this uncertain time if you too are feeling stressed and scared. 

The FIRST thing I can offer you- as I unconsciously made this mistake myself- is to LIMIT your consumption of the news and updates and social scrolling.

Go to a source you trust for an update. Consciously consume that. Then consciously choose 1 or 2 spaces, places or people you resonate with and listen to or read their words of wisdom. Then, LEAVE.

Right now we need to LIMIT the input of information as I can tell you, there is a CRAZY amount of conflicting info swirling around and all it will do is make you more confused and stressed. 

TRUST YOURSELF.

At the very core of it, you are an animal. You have instincts. Trust your inner self right now for guidance on how to be feeling, and which actions to be taking.

The challenging thing is that you are an animal with awareness and a brain and a mind that selectively filters information, according to your beliefs and experiences. You have an ability to THINK and ANALYSE, and if left unattended this faculty can get very out of control.

More than ever, we need to be creating time and space to stop consuming all of the outside information and to get in touch with our inner sources of information- our own inner intelligence. You will know when you tune into your inner intelligence, exactly what to do and how to feel.

I had been guilty over the 24 hours prior to my little breakdown, of allowing outside information to determine how I felt.

It hadn’t influenced my behaviour necessarily, but it had determined how I was feeling.

When I took time to disconnect from all of the outer information and connect with my inner self, my inner being, my inner intelligence, my inner animal, I was calm.

I was peaceful.

I was grateful.

I was good, and all of the hysteria and panic was not there.

And it was so nice.

It IS so nice when I go there.

Lately my meditation has been the most DELIGHTFUL space to be and the space where I feel MOST myself.

When I do align myself back to my inner state of being and trusting my inner authority, then when I go out into the community, I have good interactions with people.

I am calm, I am friendly. I am open. I am kind.

And I receive that back, and it feels really good.

It feels really good to have these positive and empathetic interactions with people where there’s this unsaid kind of understanding that we’re in this together. And that feels really good.

So I would encourage you, if you are feeling stressed and scared, that is a sign to rebalance

To go within. To recalibrate where your information sources are coming from and to take some time to disconnect, create some stillness and calm within yourself.

You might go and have a bath with some essential oils, maybe some Epsom salts.

Maybe put on some good old music and rock it out and shake your body, and shake out the stress and the frustration and fear.

Maybe listen to a meditation -or practice your own form of meditation- whatever that might be.

Maybe journal out how you’re feeling.

It’s really important at this time that you honour how you’re feeling. That you acknowledge how you’re feeling. To create time and space to go within yourself so that you can support yourself, and be there for yourself to work through it.

Right now it’s more important than ever that we are trusting our inner authority, our inner intelligence.

Our higher selves, because everybody is been influenced by all sorts of information right now.

And not all of it is necessarily a helpful influence.

I’ve seen so many different theories going around at the moment about what is happening in our world and when I get lost in all of that I make myself crazy.

NO ONE KNOWS exactly what is going on, or how it’s all going to unfold. NO ONE.

All I know right now, is that when I connect inside, when I take time out, and breathe and create some space, I feel good.

It’s all good.

I will never say that right now is a positive or exciting time.

It is a time of change, of great change. As in, the size of it is significant.

We can do positive things with this time, we can respond positively. We can step up as leaders in our community. We can put kindness, compassion, love, at the forefront of our behaviours and state of being.

We can go deeper with this whole sense of being in this together, and of our shared humanity.

There are opportunities at the moment for really good things to come out of a very difficult space.

And if anyone is struggling, if you are scared or afraid or stressed or worried or anxious, I am here for you.

I get it. As I’ve shared I’ve had these waves myself and I’m just so grateful that I have spent the last two and a half decades fortifying my health and my well being- not just physically, also mentally and emotionally.

I have so many tools practices and resources that I can lean on in these times and also people in my world- beautiful friendships that I have grown over the past few decades; spaces I’ve invested in with my mentor and my mastermind group; places and spaces, I can go and lean on when I need to.

Some thought leaders that I do follow and really do appreciate their perspective and advice at these times include:

-Gabrielle Bernstein

-Marie Forleo

-Deepak Chopra

Each of these people have provided really grounded and wholesome advice at this time and I have felt calm and rebalanced by consciously consuming their content.

Please remember though, as I said, you have access to your very own wisdom, intelligence and guidance – always. And although other people can help us stay grounded and calm, ultimately we will do best to learn to go within and hear ourselves.

I just wanted to connect with you all, let you know that I’m human and that I’m here for you.

I’m going through all the feels as well, and I’m leaning HEAVILY on my tools and resources that I’ve built up over the past few decades.

Our fear, stress and worry is all legitimate, it’s all natural and normal given what’s going on.

And we will be of best service to ourselves, and others if we remember that when we’re feeling really stressed and strung out, that is the time to really DISCONNECT and go within.

It’s more important than ever to recognise when we’re out of balance, and that we need to go within ourselves to restore that balance. To get our information from our inner space, our inner intelligence, our inner selves.

I hope that is helpful, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or just want to share how you’re feeling.

Lots of love.

PS- right now is a GREAT time to work on and fortify the FOUNDATIONS of your wellbeing.

I am hosting a FREE workshop on Monday 23rd March at 3pm QLD time on The FUNdamentals of Wellbeing.

Food is just ONE of these FUNdamentals. Come and let me share with you what I have learned over two & a half decades of living a healthy lifestyle and over one & a half decades of working with people of ALL backgrounds.

Empower yourself.

There is so much you CAN do right now to strengthen & support your most valuable resource- your health.

There is a limit of 50 spaces for this workshop so that I can personally answer any questions and interact with you as much as possible.

The link is here 

 

BridgetJane

Dietitian~Counsellor~Eating Psychology Coach

Newleafnutrition.com.au