Tag Archives: fear

Mel Collie| 2 ways on Monday morning to embrace stress

Mel Collie| 2 ways on Monday morning to embrace stress

Earlier this week, a client was stressing about her Monday mornings

The build up starts on Sunday night though, an atmosphere of wanting to enjoy the last night of family and “me” time before rushing around on Monday morning.

Me too! I’m with you here, and I’ve been there.

2 things you can right now, without actually having to use up any precious time, because you are busy, right?

1. Embrace the stress. I know many gurus will tell you how to combat stress (I’ve done it loads of times) but stress keeps on coming back. We battle it, it comes back, we fight it, it comes back.

Stress, anxiety, fear, insecurity… is just this – thoughts that you are worrying about that haven’t happened yet. Its ok to feel stress, anxiety fear..whatever you name those feelings, its ok, we all get those feelings. How you deal with it – notice it, notice your breathe for a moment.

Just noticing your breathing slows down the “aaaauuugghhhh” feeling in your brain, but theres no time to discuss the science bit right now! As Nike say…just do it 🙂

2. Theres only 1 person who can create these feelings – thats you, that means theres only you who can deal with it, take it away, thats you. Taking responsibility for your thoughts in your head is hard, but worthwhile.

Ask yourself , when you get the next fearful thought ” is it true?”

 

So

 

Breathe

Ask if its true when you next have those thoughts

 

You then let go of becoming a victim

You begin to see what you actually want

You suddenly have the clarity to act on what you want to do, be, have.

You accept what is.

I read this yesterday..When you realize that every stressful moment you experience is a gift that points you to your freedom, life becomes very kind.

So go to work with a different view to everyone else around you today, stop fighting the stress, and accept it.

Mel

x

Ever read the book “The Tiger who Came To tea?” Invite the Tiger in like the little girl did, and it wasn’t as bad as we all thought it would be. the Tiger isn’t that bad after all. Its all preconceived ideas , thoughts from past conditioning.

The Tiger is the stress.

Invite the Tiger in.

 

 

Mel Collie | Three ways to overcome Fear

Mel Collie | Three ways to overcome Fear

 

Earlier this year I sold my 4 bed 200 year old house, which I loved, but after a split in a  relationship, it was time to sell the house, which was far too big for me, and downsize, have less money worries and more time for me. So here I am, a few months later, working less hours, even though I’m fortunate to absolutely love what I do, I dont have to work every morning and every evening and worry about paying a rather large mortgage.

The time came that even though I now teach only a couple of Pilates classes a week, I needed a challenge for me.

So after checking out a few charity websites, I decided on a trekking challenge. My bloke mentioned the 3 peaks challenge which sounded like fun, and a great way to see those 3 peaks, the views, and get fit at the same time, we drew up a training programme which meant I would be walking, a lot .every day (currently at week 3 of training and walking about 6 miles a day, ( 10 miles today though) and circuit training for extra stamina using weights and interval training .

Now, I am the same as you, and have my doubts and when the fears creep in, I can easily convince myself that it isn’t important, I can slow the training down, in fact I can do it and not train at all, but you know what?

I’m training, not just for this challenge, but for future trekking challenges I want to do, like an Icelandic and a Sahara desert trek 🙂

Its interesting when you have a deadline each day to see how hard you can push yourself and if you do listen to that negative voice in your head telling you to stop, telling you to go no further, telling you that you are crazy and its nicer to sit at home and be comfortable.

well, yes it is 🙂

But , thats listening to the voice of the fear of failure, the voice that tells you that others will judge you a failure if you cant do something, even if you fail once, that it, you are a failure at everything.

What a load of rubbish

Its those who fail, pick themselves up and go again that are the ones who are the strongest, those who have had the struggles are the ones most qualified to help others.

Many times we ask ourselves – can I do this? What if I fail? What will people think of me?

Heres what I think:

1.Accept that you will fail and that fear of failure is normal, everyone has it, even the most successful people will have the “what if ” brain chatter.

2.Fear will stop you from doing what you want to do, fear that others will ridicule you, make fun of you, laugh at you when really they also face the same fears you do, they too fear all those things like you do, but you are listening to the loud voice that tells you not to make a fool of yourself , and you play it small, missing out on stuff you want to do or showing everyone who you really are, your unique characteristics .

3. Fear is the only thing to fear. It is circular, it comes back that there is nothing to fear but fear itself, its your brains way of trying to keep you alive, these responses are evolutionary from a time you could get killed by just walking outside – animals with big sabre teeth, poisonous berries , other cave men wanting to kill and steal our meat etc – we now live in a  time where those responses aren’t necessary – fear and hate are hooked together,   we’ve been bought up in a warm cosy house, TV, food in the fridge, cosy bed, food in the supermarkets,  and so the fears become twisted, fear of spiders for example, your brain has to have something to exercise its fight flight response, fear is a realisation, its just that, if you realise you are afraid of something you are no longer afraid of it, the thought is irrational.

Once you realise a fear is unfounded, it should be banished forever. Its not an irrational thought, its the most rational thing, the modern fears are unfounded, thats the difference.

Life is easy and not as dangerous as it used to be, the brain, a product of millions of years of evolutionary process to purely keep us alive (fight or flight) cant just shut down, so we look for things to be frightened of.

This will manifest in worries and fears of how we look, what others will think of us, fears our brain makes up to keep its software running and current.

Ask yourself :

Is my fear rational?

Is it a product of my flight/fight mind?

Can I realise it ?

The people who don’t feel fear can be seen as just daydreamers.

Zen.Fear is the absence of Zen.

Once you realise that, there is no going back

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

Mel Collie | fear and your back

Mel Collie | fear and your back

Back pain can be a direct result of anxieties, fear, worry , stress, a sign that we are always on the go, with stuff to do, places to go, families to organise, deadlines to achieve, dinner to cook, etc etc …and on top of all that, we get bills in the post , a stressful phone call , worry about the kids…all the things that just come along in everyday life, stress can create fear, which then becomes a response from the brain to the muscles.

Back pain is prevalent in many of the worlds population. The 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study estimated that low back pain is among the top 10 diseases.

Here in the UK,  low back pain was identified as the most common cause of disability in
young adults, with more than 100 million workdays lost per year. In the U.S. an estimated 149 million work days are lost every year because of low back pain

The condition is most common in Western Europe, followed by North Africa and the Middle East, and was lowest in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Why is that? Can we do something about it?

Well, our brain controls the muscles and whats happening in our central nervous system. When we feel fear, the front of the body contracts, shoulders round, abdominals contract, head juts forward.

When the body responds to fear and stress, it flexes, as if its trying to protect itself from oncoming danger. The same response our reflexes would have if we were walking down the stress and heard a loud noise, like a car backfiring or a door being slammed shut, our head juts forward, the shoulders round, the jaw tightens, the fists clench, eyes close, abdominals tighten up as the body flexes forward the thighs rotate inward and hamstrings contract.

The whole body is connected in our responses.

Constant contraction of the lower back muscles in a response to the Green Light Reflex, isnt because you have weak abs, its because your back is responding to your brain , its repeated over and over again throughout your life, it becomes a habit.

Learning how to deep breathe slowly into the belly is a good place to begin, this is a novelty for many of us, as we are so used to shallow breathing due to our rounded contracted posture, our diaphragm is affected by the position we hold, as are the lungs, we then tend to use the small neck and shoulder muscles to help us breathe, in turn, this also contributes to neck and shoulder pain.

Yet many of us shun the simple task of learning how to breathe correctly because, well, its just so simple it cant possibly work, surely we should be doing loads of sit ups to make our abs flat so we can have a stronger back?

Well,not really, most sit ups, even though its not a bad exercise, are done using the neck muscles to stabilise the body, hence many get a sore neck when they do sit ups, the very same neck muscles we use to breathe with…do you see where Im going with this?

Ok, so for you, if you have lower back pain the the moment, these 2 following moves are very simple,

Simple exercise for you to do for back pain,  : Lie on your back with hands under your lower back, the 5 vertebrae are opposite your navel.

Breathe out and flatten your lower back into your hands, breathe in and slowly arch the back off your hands. Repeat 5 times slowly, no less than 30 seconds, so dont rush it, the plan is that your brain feels the movement.

Then, still on your back, place the hands behind the head. Lift the head, as you flatten the back into the floor. Lower the head as you arch the back, exactly as you did in the first movement, but this time you are now using your head as well, co coordinating the head movement with the pelvis movement, feeling the movement, sensing the muscles being used.

Practice these 2 simple moves daily, practice them just after you wake up, again at night, think of these simple moves as an investment into your future of your back health. Theres 5 more simply effective movements that follow this, watch this space for videos to follow on a couple more.

They will help you notice tight muscles in the back, help release them, allow the length of the muscles to return to normal, allow the blood pressure to flow through the fibres, helping muscular strength, flexibility and repair. You are changing your body by teaching your brain.

 

Melanie Collie

mel.collie@live.co.uk

www.melcollie.com

www.melcollie.co.uk

Pilates & Posture Sessions in Portreath, Cornwall.

Kinetic Chain Assessor Level 4

 

 

 

 

Mel Collie | Fear

Mel Collie | Fear

A couple of weeks ago,I listened to my fear.. I attempted an abseil down a 18 foot wall, which isnt easy when you are a few months away from being 50, never abseiled before, and when you are standing on the edge of that wall, you can add your height to that figure of 18 foot, as you are standing on the edge…you feel the fear…

Ready to abseil...
Ready to abseil…

I didnt do it first time, it too 3 days to get me over that edge…3 days of listening to gentle persuasion, confidence building words , and a lot of patience.

On the morning of the 3rd day, I backed out twice in the space of an hour…

….me, managing to be in the harness, roped up, standing on the edge of the wall, leaning back into the harness and unable to move my feet, unable to place the feet flat on the descent because I just couldnt lean back into it enough to allow to rope to be fed out…

You are in charge

You are in charge of not allowing the system to go slack, the rops remains taught between you and the belayer…that means sitting back into the harness, theres nothing behind you, just air, you are suspended in mid air, and its flaming well scary.

But, so they tell me, thats where the buzz is…

I think the words that helped my just do it, were that you are in control of you, its easy to fall into the trap of listening to your mind telling you this isnt safe, of course its telling you that, its your fight or flight response kicking in, and its strong, its just looking out for you and wants you to live. I was listening.

Once I could step back from that and understand that it was the fight flight response and the hardest bit was to lean back and move the feet.

But  when I did, the descent was so easy, I loved it..

However, a few days later I tried it again, a bit higher, on a rock on the beach, this was still scary, but I did it first time, and a second time too straight afterwards, but when I did it the second time, I climbed up to the top, and felt so scared again I cursed saying I wanted to do it again..but I did it, just didnt enjoy the feeling of the space around me.

So today, we went to as rock weve been to before, where Ive just done a little bit of scrambling about on the rocks. The abseil we were planning was less height, but was open, and a long way up, the height was in half of the whole abseil descent as theres a ledge to land on, so it didnt seem to bad. However….I could do it. I felt too …exposed..

Roche Rock Abseiling

I managed to get the harness on and even stand on the ledge, but couldnt lean back, I just could do it, we were up there for about 40 minutes, I tried again after a break, but still couldnt lean back and descent, it was so open, the wind was blowing and I was listening to my fear, and it won…this time.

Yes I was cross with myself and had a little tear as well, disappointed with the outcome, but looking back now, I was glad I attempted it. I tried. It hasn’t put me off, and I will try again, it will be tough,it isnt easy, it will only challenge you every time.

Heres to the next one then…maybe I need a drink..

 

Mel

x