Tag Archives: anxiety

Mel Collie | Don’t reach for the stars…

Mel Collie | Don’t reach for the stars…

Stop it now, stop thinking you can each for the stars

Theres a huge explosion I’m witnessing on social media telling you that you can do it, you can be have and do more.

And you can..but theres a right way, and a wrong way, and I feel that many of us are in overwhelm and feeling stuck because we are doing it the wrong way.

I’m seeing a few people who are spiralling into feelings of despair and unworthiness, overwhelm and unhappiness..because they believe that their lives are unworthy

Thats a huge problem, because, in my humble opinion, no ones life is unworthy

We are all equal

You have a right to be on the planet as much as anyone else does, what you choose to do with the years you breathe are totally up to you, its your decision.

It is not a waste of your time if you feel you have no passion to do big things and achieve great stuff..who actually determines what great stuff is and why do we still deal with labels, putting ourselves into boxes and closing the lid?

Look at human beings who talk about buddhism.. for example

They are only talking about kindness towards each other – they aren’t bank managers, they aren’t CEO of Harrods, they aren’t running a newspaper, they aren’t CEO of a popular shop or brand, they don’t swear by eating clean and doing 100 sit ups for flat abs… yet they smile and are content..

They too may have wondered what they are going to do when they grow up

Like you, they may have been tempted to work in an organisation, in an office

….Well, ok maybe not, but you see where I’m going with this….

When I’m on holiday, its the local people who make the place, the people standing behind the counter serving you the coffee, the people in the street standing around chatting, the people sitting outside the cafes playing chess, the people mingling and just living, just being, in their ordinary lives, they are the characters.

You don’t have to reach for the stars if you don’t want to

You can just be

If you feel that just being isn’t not enough for you, well, the noise of social media can drown out your passion, until you just follow the crowd feeling alone and lost without a sense of purpose, because you may just be spending your time comparing yourself to others, even if you don’t mean to your life may seem to pale in comparison to others achievements..

…remember though, the life on Facebook and Twitter etc is usually fake, not many people take off their mask when they are on social media, they are great at being keyboard warriors, hiding behind the laptop, but to actually stand up and be real, that takes courage…

What to do about it then? You could spend some time being silent, away from the noise, closing the laptop, spending 15 – 30 minutes a day in a quiet breathing space, this can be as simple as taking the dog for a walk, having a bath, reading a book, going for a swim, knitting, sewing, walking, climbing, running, helping others.

Helping others give us a huge amount of peace

Its simple, it takes up our time, which is why many people don’t do it

Helping others is why you are here, to serve.

Its selfish, because it gives back to you in so many ways

So, go and help others, expect nothing in return, do it for yourself, reap the rewards, it may not be financial, but financial reward isn’t always a sign of success, what you feel in your heart though…well..thats a different matter..

Mel

x

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie | Can You Relax Away The Belly Fat?

Mel Collie | Can You Relax Away The Belly Fat?

Did you know, theres a hormone called Cortisol that increases in our bodies when we are more anxious, worried, stresesd, sleep less?  Did you know that stressing when you are eating is like eating with a bowl of soup laden with cortisol?

That means, if you are on a diet, and restrictive eating, and hating it , you are more than likely to find that results are slow coming, that belly fat isnt budging.

How can you lower those cortisol levels? Try these 2 simple ways…

 

1. Relax (I know, you dont have time and relaxing is for wimps…)

A couple of years ago, I went through a relationship break up and  wanted to go away for a while. I chose to jump in at the deep end , going on a beginners weekend silent meditation retreat in Devon at Gaia House that a friend recommended.

It was bliss….just what I needed.

Fear puts us off doing so many things doesn’t it? For me, the silence aspect meant I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I quite liked that! Especially as you were sharing a room with 2 other people, if I didn’t like them I didn’t have to be nice all weekend…as we were all being quiet, and all there with the same aim. meditation doesnt have to be like that though, it can be choosing to do something you love every day, like taking 10 – 20 minutes to go for a walk, play a musical instrument, have a bath, read a chapter of a book, have a nap, go for a massage.

2. Eat. Take your time eating …it can take time to prepare meals (the prep time is also like a meditation, calming, social, methodical), but it can take a few moments to demolish, watching the TV, looking at a lap top, texting , driving. .not noticing the food we’ve just eaten.  Instead, take 20 minutes and chew the food really slowly. Look at the food on the plate, notice the colours, the textures, when you chew notice the flavours, the spices, the textures.

 

Choose simplicity : )

By taking time to calm down, to find how you would like to meditate you give yourself permission to be just you for a moment, you can pick up your worries and stressors afterwards if you feel like you cant live without them and need them.

That is your choice. We all have a choice what to pick up and what to put down.

Some choose to meditate quietly every day for 15 – 60 minutes, morning  and evening, some feel they can’t start their day without this routine or the day becomes a tangled mess.

No, don’t you think that they started their routine somewhere. They didn’t jump in at 60 minutes of silence and just have a clear mind.

They probably don’t ever achieve a clear mind, it’s always jumping about.

It takes practice, and practice always stays at just that, practice, you don’t want to reach perfection, as no ones perfect, maybe in your mind you think that other people are because you see yourself as not quite there yet and judge yourself.

You don’t want to be perfect.

(Get used to that thought….)

You just want to released from what isn’t serving you right now, the baggage you carry everyday thats weighing you down and making your life not as amazing as you would love it to be, as you can make it be.

So, start slow and small, just one step, with the mindful eating, watching yourself, watching your habits.

We all learned how to drive in a car park or a quiet side road, not on a busy Motorway on a  Monday morning, That would have put you off and the Insurance company would have had heart failure : )

Take time to focus on something as simple as your breathing during the day, at your break times at work.

Notice how you feel.

Notice how you are just here in the present moment, not the past, not the future, just now.

Notice that you are not lacking a thing.

Notice how you don’t have to acquire anything.

Notice that you are already right here where you need to be.

Notice that if your mind wanders that it is OK

As soon as you notice it has wandered, you are back here in the present moment, and you can address it and focus on your breathing again, simples!

Theres no judgement, there’s no telling off, there’s no shouting and feeling you are wrong, there’s just you and your breath.

Enjoy your stillness and calm.

Mel

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie | 3 ways to cope with stress levels this Christmas

Mel Collie | 3 ways to cope with stress levels this Christmas

The words stress and Christmas are hard to write in the same sentence, unless is “stress free”  or  “reduce stress”. You know deep down that Christmas is supposed to be joyful time of celebration and remembering friends and family, helping others, yet each year we place an unmanageable amount of stress on ourselves… why is that and how can we help ourselves reduce or at least cope with it?

Heres my 3 ways, I hope at least one of them helps you out this year.

1. Stress is ultimately a reaction to our thoughts, that means we have thoughts that arent in line with what we want or who we are deep down. Our anxieties about what others expect from us are from our thoughts . We are worried about not having enough food on the table, the right food that looks and tastes good, worried about not spending enough on presents, worried about not being a Scrooge, worried about appearances, being judged for our decisions, worried about money. We are all the same with our worries and concerns.  Recognising that its our own thoughts we have from beliefs we have from our upbringing or from peers that create such stresses. Step back and look at what it is you are anxious about this Christmas. Is it the same as last year? How did that go? Did you hate every minute of it? Is that true? Is it really true? How would this year be different without that thought. Without those thoughts of “It wont be good enough, I dont have enough, I cant do enough, they will not like me, they will judge me, I have to buy this or they wont speak to me again.”

How do you know thats all true? Really, do you know it to be true?

Where would you be without all those words in your mind?

Now for he hard bit … turn it all around…maybe YOU wont like you if you don’t do all that stuff, maybe you will feel like you have let yourself down, maybe you are doing all of this because its the way you believe it should be, maybe its not “them” who create your worry, maybe its YOU beliefs and values you hold so dear that are stressing you. Take a few moments to look inside your mind and your beliefs and values.

Are YOU important to you?

2. A great calming influence is a nice cup of tea..but wait a sec, not just a cup of Typhoo….I mean a hormonal calming tea, one that really does do what it says on the tin. Tulsi Tea is made from a plant in India called Holy Basil. So if you want some holy stuff around you this Christmas, drink some Holy Basil. It calms your innermost critic. Helps you calm and reduce Cortisol, so drink it from about 12.00 – 8pm when Cortisol should naturally be dropping, but our “modern” lifestyle of lights on when dark and working late, means it stays unnaturally high. Help your body help your demands of it.

Heres some more information on the benefits of Tulsi: http://organicindia.mercola.com/tulsi-tea.aspx

3. Rhodiola – yes, another herb! I’m such a hippy! I am one of those “must get on with it” people, always rusching about and doing something, but to my own personal detriment, and especially my healths. Many times I’ve been run down, especially when I worked in London, working from 6am to 9 pm most days. When I left the “rat race” to live somewhere beautiful, away from concrete blocks of flats and loads of shops (Croydon – though the parks are lovely!) I ended up in Cornwall, originally hailing from Brighton, I love being by the sea, I feel less claustrophobic having all that open space of just looking out and seeing sea, not seeing houses.

But, you get used to life around you (in other words, you bring the same stresses with you because they are in your own head)  and it wasnt long that I was doing more stuff and stressing about a mortgage and a house and starting up a business teaching Pilates. When I went on a course to study the Endocrine System, Nutrition and Fitness, I practiced what I was preaching and changed my diet of white bread, pasta and cheese to a diet of eggs, greens, chicken, stir frys, water (I didnt drink any, now it 2 – 3 litres a day) herbal teas instead of coffee  (Tulsi Tea of course!) and a supplement called Rhodiola. In a bottle with a pipette, dropping a few of this herb solution into water in the morning, and I was calm and could cope with the day. Its a bit like Tulsi Tea I suppose. It helps your mood, helps cope with depression, alleviates mental fatigue. Your health food shop will sell it.

 

There you go, just 3 little miracle workers for you. But theres one more thats totally free,and you do it everyday, and that is sleep, good quality sleep. Your natural clock wants to slow down and rest when it gets dark, and wake up when it gets light, its all it knows. The same runs true for plants and flowers, animals and funghi.

Our life now tells us to be awake longer and sleep less, with more electrical stuff in our rooms like a TV and mobile, affecting sleep, we have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Heres a few tips to help you as they helped me, i was rubbish at falling asleep, took me at least an hour to get to sleep, no matter what time I went to bed , regularly waking during the night.

1. Sleep in the darkest room you can – get a blackout blind if there is a street light outside annoying you. Turn off the TV from the wall. Turn the digital clock around so the glow isn’t affecting you.

2. Move the Mobile. Put your phone outside you room or turn it off. If you use it for an alarm you will still hear it if its outside your bedroom door. If thats not possible, buy a proper alarm clock and turn off your mobile, its radiation waves affect your sleep patterns.

3. Don’t drink caffeine after 12.00, it stays in your body for a very long time, affecting your sleep rhythm and your bodies natural ability to heal itself. Get on the Tulsi Tea!

4. Unwind, or are you thinking that checking facebook or emals before you sleep will help you relax? You really arent missing anything, so dont check your messages after 9.30pm, the light from the laptop/mobile will stimulate your brain into thinking its time to wake up. Have a hot bath, light those candles, relax. Kids have a bedtime routine, why dont you?

 

Its down to you to make this time of year one that you will enjoy, its no one elses responsibility, they are way to busy rushing around the shops to think about you, be awrae of that if you worry about what others will think of you, what they think of you is truly none of your business, in a warm and kind way, that means, that its none of your business because they have their own worries, the same as yours, and if they do judge you, it will be for a fleeting moment, not for the whole day or longer. their judgements are outward reflections of their inward troubles.  When I watch a programme like Jeremy Kyle, for example, I see a complaining person who inside, doesnt like themselves, not the other person they are shouting at, but who hasnt seen themselves for the beautiful person they really are, I see a confused person.

A person who you think judges you, has their own problems to deal with being kind to themselves. A person who I think is judging me, I feel sorry for, because they are not liking themselves very much, you never get attacked by a person who is more successful than you.  I no longer worry about what they think of me, I used to, used to be a people pleaser, always worries about what others thought of me, tried to be liked by everyone, but thats not going to always be the case. Look after yourself first. Always. Fit your own oxygen mask before fitting others.

Be healthy and enjoy looking after yourself, its not a selfish act, well, it is in a way, but , no one else cares about your health, well-being and future days on the planet than your own self. So, believe in yourself, take one small step towards loving yourself from within, because when you do, you are then going to be there 100% for others who you wolld love to help out and then share your story on how you combat stress this Christmas, and well into the new year too.

Your wellbeing is for life, not just for Christmas.

Mel

x

www.melcollie.com

www.melcolliewellness.co.uk

www.melcollie.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Mel Collie | Bloated?

Mel Collie | Bloated?

Most of us nowadays are stressed and rushing around, eating food on the go, not chewing our food well, feeling bloated and tired, anxious and depressed with obesity on the increase too…. can we help ourselves by starting with the simple things, by looking at how we eat.

When we are constantly day after day stressed and anxious, spinning many plates, eating on the run, doing many things all at once, your sympathetic nervous system (fight and flight) is in dominance , which leads to IBS, digestive issues, skin disorders,sleep issues, anxieties, low calcium absorption, low uptake of minerals in the food you eat, low selenium, increased bacterial infections increase, feelings of overwhelm, reaching for bad food choices.

Stress slows down the digestive system, the parasympathetic(rest and digest)  nervous system never gets a chance, it shuts down, affecting digestion and our ability to rest.

Do you actually schedule a time for breakfast, lunch and dinner, do you really make time for yourself to take time out of your stressful routine when it comes to meal times? or do you grab a sandwich and eat it in the car, walking down the street, or skipping lunch and snacking at your desk in the afternoon?

When you eat your food, chew it well, without the TV on, in a calming and peaceful happy environment, away from the computer/i-pad, away from social media and the noise of the TV and the distraction of the mobile.  This might seem impossible sometimes if the kids are driving you crazy, but, with some patience, meals at the table with no mobiles or tvs on is possible, mobiles and TV’s just  distract you and mean you chew less and dont even notice the food being eaten, which in turn can lead to you feeling more hungry and eating more food.

Just this simple thing can make a massive difference to your digestion, your health and wellness. You will find you sleep better, your good digestive bacteria increases, constipation decreases, increases the chances of your gut healing, helps your mood and decreases anxieties as theres a connection from the brain to the gut.

Also, a benefit to your digestive system is to eat fats – we tend to think fats are bad for us and we will get fat if we eat fats, but ..fat helps your brain, Omega 3 is brilliant, fish for example, or a really good quality fish oil, avocados are a good source of fats too. Omega 6 fats need to be kept lower, we dont need as much Omega 6 as we do Omega 3. So keep the overall eating of nuts to a handful a day, and change from sunflower/rapeseed/canola oil to coconut oil or olive oil or ghee.

When your digestion is your priority, your whole self benefits. The mood hormone, Seratonin, is produced in your gut, 80% of it, but not when your digestion isnt working well.

1. Eat slowly, your mouth helps your gut, digestion starts in the mouth, not the stomach.

2. Enjoy your mood as you eat your food, smile, laugh, eat with people you like to spend time with.

3. Lower grains/bread and dairy consumption, gluten and dairy (milk/cake/biscuits/cheese) can all aggravate the gut absorption of minerals, and increase anxieties and depression.

4. Take time out to eat your meals, slow down, eating is your time, not work time.

Love the good fats. Love your belly without the bloat.

 

Mel Collie

x

www.melcollie.com

www.melcollie.co.uk

Mel Collie | Anxiety & Stress

Mel Collie | Anxious & Stuck? Breathe…

Mel Collie | Anxious & Stuck? Breathe…

 

Isnt it annoying when someone tells you to just relax…especially when you are stressed, busy, feel anxious, cant seem to find a way out of the circles you rush around in

Whats going on and how can you help yourself?

Lets have a look deep inside your system, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which controls the functions to maintain life. The ANS has 3 systems, two of which I will discuss here , that cannot work at the same time, its one or the other, and as these systems can be out of balance which can affect your stress levels, breathing, mindset, digestion, immune system, inflammation, anxiety..

So lets first look at the PNS:

PNS – that stands for your Parasympathetic Nervous System.
This is your rest and rebuild system. One of its jobs are to be responsible for your digestion and repair of your body and elimination of waste and toxins. To help it, relaxation, de stress, healthy eating, quiet times.

SNS – that stands for your Sympathetic Nervous System
This is also known as your fight or flight system. It prepares your body to fight or flee, run from a threat or danger.

Are they out of balance?

When the SNS is dominant you will probably be feeling anxious, stressed, drinking caffeine and eating processed foods and sugar. Maybe over training at the gym and not recovering or resting. The SNS requres delivery of the blood to the muscles which means that it takes it away from your centre,from the digestion. Thats why they recommend you dont exercise after eating . If this happens, one symptom you may have will be constipation as the digestion will be poor.

SNS dominance can also show up as you waking up feeling as though you havent slept well, sweating at night, feeling anxious, stress from financial issues, over-eating (especially processed foods that fail to nourish you with minerals and vitamins) , lack of sex or passion in your relationship through either your reduced desire (Too busy, too tired?) or you move towards the other end of the scale and have too much sex but with little connection with your partner- or who ever you are with.

We can suffer from many of the all at once cant we..feeling tired, worried about the mortgage, worried about deadlines at work, drinking a lot of coffee to stay awake, reaching for toast and sandwiches and pasta for quick and easy solutions for food, no time for sex, shallow breathing, bad digestion, constant colds and inflammation, feeling anxious…its not hard to see that many of us can be stuck in a dominant Sympathetic Nervous System.

So, what can you do about it?

1. Exercise. But the right kind. Find relaxing exercise like Yoga or Pilates, going for walks in the woods or on the beach, Tai Chi, reduce time in the gym. If you find that training hard is getting you nowhere, no results, try and change your routine for exercise thats not as harsh on your system. You might not like it, but you will begin to see results. This is what they mean when they tell you to listen to your body. Listen, then act. The more your ignore your bodies cries for help, the more it will persist.

2. Breathing . Focus on deep breathing, slowly, from the diaphragm and not from dominating your breathing from the chest

3. Nutrition. Choosing fruits and vegetables over pasta, bread, sugar, ready meals. Eat great fresh food 5 or 6 times a week, have one day off, see what happens. You may need to eat well 7 days a week to move a little more to your PNS system.

4. Meditate. Quieten the mind from the negativity and the chatter in your head which can lead to stress, negativity, taking on too much, reducing your self worth so never saying “No” to work which will increase your workload and stress. Meditation will help you remain calm and focused. Use it like a dentist or doctors appointment – never miss a session, even if its for a minute.

5. Quiet Time – quiet time at the end of the day reading a book, having a bath, turn off the TV (the News can be stressful..) talk to your partner, have a cuddle.

6. Care for yourself. Take care of yourself with regular massage. Find someone local who can offer you a special deal – buy 5 get one free for example, as an incentive to keep you going. The aromatherapy oils , the touch you feel, all help relax and reduce stress in the mind as well as the body, boosts the immune system, increase wellness and vitality through relaxation.

We are all different, what works for one wont work for another.

If you recognise that you are SNS dominant, make a couple of changes, thats all, just start by picking one for 7 days to adopt, if it all seems overwhelming at first, then take time to see what happens, what changes.

Some of us may only require a couple of small changes, others may require more, one size doesnt fit all, you find what works for you.

Enjoy creating your own sunshine.

Mel Collie
x

References: Paul Check – July 2013 newsletter. Paul Check – How to Eat Move & Be Healthy.
Byron Robinson. The Abdominal & Pelvic Brain (free to download and read http://archive.org/stream/abdominalandpel00robigoog#page/n2/mode/2up)
Deepak Chopra – Super Brain
Norman Doidge – The Brain that Changes itself