Photos from today’s session at Finola’s Healing Concepts (Bodytalk) with the great John Veltheim! Another great day of Healing!
Veteran Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master Maureen Courtney of Breakthrough Retreats has recently published a series of articles in which she explains the importance of escaping everyday routines.
As Maureen explains…
“All of us have things we would love to change about ourselves, but many of us ignore these desires in the hope that they will somehow disappear in time. Rather than tackling those issues which are bothering us most, we become consumed by our day-to-day lives and begin to put personal development on the back-burners, allowing it to bow to the demands of work.
“In order to bring about lasting change it is important to tear yourself away from your daily routine. Although this can be achieved to an extent by making an effort to do something different during your lunch breaks or after work, the most effective way of tackling mental health issues is to escape the city altogether on a personal development retreat. By visiting a retreat, not only will you benefit from the peace and quiet of the countryside and the help and advice of various experts, you will also have time to identify, engage with and overcome those problems you had hidden away.
“Unlike weekly therapy sessions, a retreat will revolutionise your approach to life in a matter of days. Unfortunately, however, many of those who would benefit most from a bespoke health retreat are unaware that these retreats even exist, which is why I’ve written a series of articles on the subject. Anyone interested in exploring the articles can find them at www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk.”
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Maybe you’re on a phone interview for the perfect job opportunity, or maybe your in-laws are due to show up any minute.
To deal with these everyday stresses and anxieties, we often subconsciously pace back and forth with no destination or clear goal in mind. But what causes pacing, and can it help ease our mood?
“Pacing is a behavioural signal to tell yourself that you’re too overwhelmed,” Sunna Jung, Ph.D., a psychologist specializing in anxiety and trauma, tells Mashable. “It could be a signal trying to teach you about something that’s happening in your internal state, or it can be a form of distraction in the moment to calm yourself down.”
On a basic level, Jung believes pacing is a way to release muscular tension or discomfort. Your body is sending a signal to your brain that it’s uncomfortable: “Pay attention; something isn’t right.” When it comes to anxiety, pacing could be our mind and body’s attempt at relief.
While anxiety can range from temporary anxious feelings to a serious illness, it’s incredibly common. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. — 40 million American adults (18% of the population) suffer from anxiety. And although it’s highly treatable, only one-third receive treatment.
Pacing isn’t exclusive to anxiety either; it can be a symptom of depression (though, nearly half of those diagnosed with depression also live with an anxiety disorder, according to the ADAA), as well as ADHD and autism (as a repetitive body movement).
When it comes to everyday anxiety, pacing might help you stay calm and collected on that phone interview, concentrate more when making a decision and feeling more comfortable by the time your in-laws arrive.
But are there any drawbacks?
“When you’re in a state of distraction, and you’re staying away from the actual sensation or memory or thoughts you’re trying to keep at bay, it can place you in a state of constant anxiety without any kind of real resolution it can place you in a state of constant anxiety without any kind of real resolution,” Jung says.
Pacing is just one of several bodily reactions to stress and anxiety, like twitching or stomach discomfort. And while pacing is one of the most common, it might not help anything either, depending on your source of discomfort.
Jung’s patients spend more time in their heads, ruminating — which is similar to pacing in its repetitive nature. Pacing, she says, is not very harmful and common enough that her patients don’t talk about it much or do it in the room with her. Ruminating, on the other hand, can be harmful; spending too much time thinking about something, even when there’s no resolution, can make it worse.
That’s why, when we pace, we should be more mindful of what we do and think about.
“Notice each footfall as it hits the ground, and notice how the body is responding to it … That awareness, over time, brings you more stability and more self-regulation,” she says. Pacing isn’t something psychologists “prescribe,” of course, but “in that case, it really wouldn’t be pacing any longer. It would be a mindful way of taking steps, both metaphorically and physiologically. It would be a mindful way of taking steps, both metaphorically and physiologically, toward understanding the internal activities that are going on in that moment.”
Jung tells her patients to pay attention to the physicality of anxiety: heart rate, temperature, tightness in the chest, or tension in their shoulders and legs. But just as important is using external tools — things that will ground them. Plants and pets at home, a photograph or meaningful object at work, anything with a warm connection that allows them to feel more present to who they are.
“We all experience anxiety at different points in our lives, and it’s really how we respond to it that’s important,” Jung says. “That’s what’s going to get us through those difficult moments.”
Next time you find yourself pacing back and forth, try some of Jung’s tips — and you might just feel better, faster.
We all love to receive a Text Message right? People enjoy boost in happiness every time they receive text from friend or family member, an academic study has shown and Breakthrough Retreats reflects on why.
We have found an excellent article “that explains it all”. New research shows that both sending and receiving text messages can improve your mood if you are feeling stressed or lonely.
Text messaging may be blamed for contributing to illiteracy (u = You, ur = Your, You’re) but the study indicates there are clear mental health benefits.
Psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, found people suffering from depression reported feeling more connected and cared for when they receive text messages.
One patient told study author Professor Adrian Aguilera:
“When I was in a difficult situation and I received a message, I felt much better. I felt cared for and supported. My mood even improved.”
Now researchers believe that everyone – not just people diagnosed with depression – experiences an up-lift in their mood when they receive or respond to a text message from a friend or family member.
We at Breakthrough Retreats ensure that we keep in contact with clients before, during and after their retreat and often via text messaging. It has proved a very valuable and versatile communication tool – And now we know why!
The research that we have been reading about began in 2010 when Prof Aguilera developed a customised “short message service (SMS)” programme in which his patients were sent Text Messages prompting them to think and reply about their moods and responses to positive and negative daily interactions.
The results have been published in the journal Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.
Prof Aguilera said:
“We are harnessing a technology that people use in their everyday lives to improve mental health in low-income, under-served communities.”
Of the 2,277 adult mobile phone users surveyed, the most active senders and receivers of text messages were on low incomes and did not complete secondary school.
Prof Aguilera came up with the texting idea when he realised that many of his patients had difficulty applying the skills they learned in therapy to their daily lives, possibly because of the many stresses they routinely faced.
They could not afford laptops, electronic tablets or smart phones, but most had a basic cellular phone and a prepaid monthly plan.
“The people I wanted to impact directly didn’t have as much access to computers and the Internet,”
Prof Aguilera said.
“So I thought about using mobile phones to send text messages to remind them to practice the skills covered in therapy sessions.”
The feedback from patients offers new insight into the human need for regular contact or check-ins for mental health professionals, even if only through automated technology,
Prof Aguilera said. While the text-messaging sessions are designed to last only a certain number of weeks, about 75 percent of the patients requested that they continue receiving the messages. When the program stopped for a week due to technical problems, some really noticed the difference. ”
So there you have it. It you want to make someone’s day, then send them a Text Message – Who will be your chosen person? Let us know!