So excited for the holidays! So often we hear this and say this at this time of year.
We New Zealanders have all our goodies at once – Christmas and New Year celebrations, time off work, and long, hot summer days to relax.
This all can be eagerly anticipated, and amazing, but for many of us it can be overwhelming.
It is not only the potentially extra financial burden (extra catering for cherished relatives coming to stay, Christmas presents (have I got the right one? Will he like it? He wants the more expensive model, 50% more than I had budgeted, but should I get it anyway?), and also social pressure – racing round to have lunch/ dinner/ coffee/ drinks with a friend whom we haven’t seen all year but absolutely must see before Dec 25th. The malls are busy & crowded and suddenly there is not enough time to get ready. And so on!
So this time of joy & celebration can bring on anxiety or even panic attacks for up to 75% of us according to a poll. A full-blown anxiety attack can often be mistaken for a heart attack, another factor to send stress levels soaring. If you feel that you are having a heart attack however, never hesitate to call 111.
There are many ways to address anxiety, no two people are alike.
For some, a good 5km run is just the thing to defuse & let off steam
For others, medication can help more than anything.
Here are some tips to help navigate through the Christmas holidays.
Stand up and move to another room. If you can’t find a space to be alone in, go outside, or into a bathroom or an unused bedroom. Distance yourself physically from whoever is angering you or upsetting you.
Sit down if you can and centre your breathing. Deep breaths - 4 seconds inhale, 4 seconds hold, & exhale fully for 7 seconds.
Don’t return to the group until you have calmed your breathing and you feel ready.
If it is too difficult for you to leave the room, stop engaging, & play the countdown game. Here’s how it goes:
R. Recognise when a strong emotion is present. Anxiety is not a weakness, a mental failing or childish. It is a scientific, physiological stress response that your body is experiencing in reaction to an uncomfortable or potentially threatening environment.
A. Allow it to be there. Fighting anxiety produces anxiety. Let your palms sweat, or whatever your physical manifestation of anxiety is. Don’t disagree with you body about what’s happening.
I. Investigate the feeling. Are you hurt by a certain comment? Outraged at ideological differences? Find out why you’re having the reaction you’re having
N. Non-identify with the feeling. Tell yourself that the feeling is not YOU. It is not yourself, your permanent state of being. It is a feeling. Acknowledging that can help take power away from the story the feeling is telling your brain.
If you think you may be prone to anxiety attacks over the Christmas holidays and would like to take something to balance you out, there are herbal combinations that may be helpful for you; if you would like to discuss one, please call Marion at Holden Healthcare and make an appointment before Friday 20th December.
The office is closed from Fri 20 Dec to Mon 20th January 2020; if you start to experience anxiety during this time, please try the tips above. If the anxiety persists into the New Year, please make an appointment to see me from Monday 20th January onwards.
Registered Naturopath, Medical Herbalist & Nutritionist
From my own very long journey back to health from chronic fatigue, depression and many other ailments, plus working with hundreds of women, I have noticed there are certain habits, traits, beliefs or patterns which will halt progress in its tracks. Here they are…
This is one of the biggest misnomers that people looking for a solution will have: expecting healing to happen overnight, or even in a few weeks.
Why is it unrealistic to think this?
Because in 99% of cases, illness takes years to build up in the body, even before symptoms are noticed, and expecting an overnight change, without making the necessary changes within ourselves we need to make, is the biggest mind trick ever. In every client I have yet worked with, the actual ‘set up’ happens within the first 10 years of life, but it is not apparent at this time.
Partly this expectation is fueled by our healthcare system which does offer ‘quick fixes’ in the form of medication or surgery. For example, anti-depressants can take effect in a few days or weeks, allowing us to continue on with our daily life as before, without ever asking the question ‘why am I ill in the first place?’ Blood pressure pills can balance our blood pressure in days, but if we don’t explore why the pressure is out of balance in the first place, we are just placing the proverbial plaster on the wound.
The problem with this is, unless we discover and address what created the symptoms, the real problem is not being addressed, and symptoms are merely being masked, and will usually re-occur in some other form sooner or later.
Advertising also fuels this misnomer. How many ads have you watched telling you that if you have the flu or a strained back ‘just take xyz medication’ and you can get on with your day as if nothing has happened? No! If your body is sending you symptoms, it is asking you to take stock of what is going on in your life to understand what has brought it into this state of ‘dis-ease’. If you have the flu, the natural intelligence of your body is telling you it needs to rest and repair. Your body is not a machine and it deserves your care and respect! If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, your body is telling you to stop and re-assess your whole life, and how you are ‘doing’ life. Every symptom has a message which is waiting to be interpreted, and this must be done.
So expecting your body to self-repair overnight or in one session is simply unrealistic, and this must be understood and accepted. Then the real work of healing (which means ‘to become whole’) can begin.
Often we can think that one therapy will be the one-stop-shop solution.
In my experience as a practitioner working with many clients, this is less likely to be the case. For my personal experience, I had to test and implement a number of methods to get results.
Whilst some people can hit on one therapy which will be the one ‘miracle cure’, the percentage of people this happens to is much less, and in my personal experience I would say about 5% of people are this fortunate. For the other 95%, we are going to have to use more than one approach.
Why is this?
Because finding and addressing the real root cause of illness, and all the many potential contributing factors, is not that simple. There may be physical factors, emotional reasons, belief and thinking factors, dietary issues, geopathic stress, environmental issues, toxic issues, people issues, genetic or epigenetic issues, lifestyle and habit factors which need to be addressed. The list is long.
Many therapies are developed to focus on one particular issue, and may be perfect for that, and brilliant at addressing that one particular issue, but just like expecting ‘one religion to fit all’, it is unrealistic to expect that a therapy will address all causes.
So for example supplements can help with nutritional deficiencies, but they will not address the trauma and stress of dealing with an abusive partner which is creating the ‘dis-ease’ in the digestive system in the first place.
Plus what works for one person will not necessarily work for another! Which is why it is so important to follow our ‘gut’ feeling to find what ‘feels‘ right for us, and why healing is a journey of self-discovery. We must be prepared that we may need to use multiple approaches and that this will not happen overnight.
In my experience, getting well from a chronic illness is a cumulative process, where finding and implementing different strategies will eventually, sooner or later, help us to reach our goal of wellness.
This is a very common expectation, especially if we have been ill for a long time. Of course we want to be well again, but putting time deadlines on the body does not work at all. In fact, it slows down progress because it puts our body under pressure to achieve a result it cannot achieve without right understanding of what has caused the problem, and right rectification of that problem.
A much better question to ask is ‘what is it I need to learn or change in my life in order to bring my body back into balance? What is it I need to do to stop damaging my body‘. Once we discover this, and implement it, and once our super intelligent body sees that we mean for real to live our life in a healthier way, and we have proven that we are no longer going to ‘damage’ it with negative beliefs, behaviours and actions, it will bring itself back into health. It doesn’t want to be unwell any more than you do, but it will keep you unwell if there are still lessons to be learned.
While it is true, useful and sometimes very necessary that we receive emergency treatment, medication or surgery, we must look at the bigger picture. We must understand that our body is a self-healing mechanism that can and will self-heal given the right circumstances.
The more we understand this, the more self-responsibility we can start to take for our health. We become more aware of what it is that WE are doing to create or perpetuate illness. Then we can start to make necessary changes and get a different result. As the saying goes ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result‘.
Initially it may feel scary to feel that we play such a huge role in our health, but ultimately when we take back our power and become self-masterful, it is a highly satisfying and empowering experience.
When a client comes to me and says ‘I’ve tried everything’ my first question will be to get a specific list of what ‘everything’ means. Usually I find although it may seem like a long list to the person, it is not nearly ‘everything’. Usually the number will be somewhere between 5 and 20 therapies.
Having tried and tested nearly 200 therapies myself, and trained professionally in 20, I know that I am also nowhere near to ‘trying everything’! There are an abundance of health modalities in the world today, and the more countries and cultures you experience, the more health approaches you will discover. On my journey to discover solutions to my illness, I travelled to Egypt, Mexico, USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatamala, UK, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and more and discovered some truly unique therapies!
So whether you have tried 5 or 50 therapies, why is it that thinking we have ‘tried everything’ will prevent our progress? Well, for 3 core reasons:
Similar to ‘I’ve tried everything’, the thought that we already know the answer will block our ability to see and hear new possibilities. We must keep our mind open to new information.
We must also let go of what we think we know and develop ‘beginners’ mind’.
As ancient Masters say “You cannot fill a cup that is already full. Empty the cup first”.
Even if you think you already know it, let go of the urge to think or say this when receiving advice from an expert, because they may just say something which could change your life. Which brings me to the last point…
Now this piece of information is probably one the BIGGEST mindset changes that blows people’s minds if this is the first time they have heard it!
Physical symptoms are less likely, than more likely, to be caused by something that has nothing to do with any physical! Of course this goes against the grain of much of our ‘education’.
For me it was the missing piece of the puzzle: for years I tried physical therapies, never realizing that what was going on my mind and emotions was affecting my body. But as you will discover, everything we feel and think changes our chemistry, and chemistry is what makes our cells; when we feel and experience good-feeling thoughts and emotions, this will have a beneficial impact on our cells. When we feel and experience negativity and negative emotions, this will lead our cells to experience something completely different. This is why learning to keep ourselves ’emotionally clear’ is necessary for health, as well as happiness.
Whether we like it or not, we all have our ‘blind sides’ where we cannot see our ‘stuff’. The interesting thing is, other people can see our stuff!
I remember the day I realized I was super stressed: one day I just became aware that I was really, really stressed, and that I needed to do something about it for the good of my health. The funny thing was, as I saw this, I knew I had been this way for years, but until that moment I had not ‘re-cognized’ it consciously. Upon having the recognition, I then saw that everyone else had been seeing it, but not me!
As human beings we are simply ‘not aware of what we are not aware of’, until we become aware. This is the key to healing most illnesses and unhappiness: becoming aware of what we were previously unaware of, and then having new choices.
As the saying goes, we can never see ‘the dark side of the moon’, and so it is with human consciousness. We need help to see our blind side, and this is why a coach is so invaluable and can save you years of pain and thousands of dollars in wasted effort.
Recovering from chronic illness is not easy. It can often bring us to our knees, but there is a reason for it, and lessons to be learned, and a gift in the journey. We must be prepared to put in the work, to persevere, to commit to ourselves no matter what.
As one of my first teachers said “healing is a journey of transformation: when you heal you change and are never the same again”. True healing requires that we transform and transcend our previous self. This is going to require change on all levels: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. Often illness is a sign we have gone off track, and it is a way of bringing us back on track.
Illness is never random, it always has a message, a story, a meaning. It is our body trying to tell us something, because our natural state is to be healthy, so if we are experiencing anything but this, it means we need to do and learn whatever it is to return to our natural state of health, which is possible.
In the words of Winston Churchill, “never, never, never give up”.
Kim Knight is a health and empowerment coach who helps women ‘who do too much but value themselves too little’ to take back control of their life.www.kimknighthealth.com
by Kim Knight, Health and Empowerment Coach for Women
(Part 1 of 2 in a free series on bullying)
Bullying can appear in many shapes and forms, and in all walks of life: it can happen at school or university, at work or at home.
But why is it people become bullies?
Why is it we tolerate being treated unfairly?
And how do we put a stop to it?
These are all questions we need to ask if we find our self either a ‘victim’ or ‘persecutor’ on the bullying spectrum.
Being bullied is a serious issue with serious consequences, even leading to debilitating health conditions and major unhappiness if not addressed and resolved.
According to the ‘Karpman Drama triangle’, we can often find ourselves in one of 3 places in our relationships with others: we may be the ‘victim’ at the mercy of our ‘perpetrator’, or we may find our self the ‘rescuer’ trying to keep the peace between the victim and perpetrator.
None of these roles are inherently healthy, and we need to learn instead to emotionally empower ourselves out of dysfunctional, co-dependent behaviours, and create clear physical, emotional and energetic boundaries with others.
To do that we need to understand:
(a) if we are the victim, why we keep ourselves powerless, and how to take our power back, and
(b) if we are the persecutor, how to stop treating others unfairly.
This requires introspection to understand where the cause of the problem really stems from:
Over the past 11 years of working in clinic with people who find themselves in abusive or dysfunctional relationships, the pattern has become clear:
We become and re-enact what we have unconsciously observed and learned at a young age, usually by the age of 7 years.
And we do this in an unconscious effort to protect ourselves, either emotionally, or physically, or both.
If we look at what leads to becoming the ‘victim’, we will often find at a young age we were in some way disempowered, which led us to falsely concluding we do not have the right to stand up for ourselves, put ourselves first or allow ourself to feel our feelings. And so we hold everything inside, including all the pain and emotional hurt we have experienced, and allow others to walk all over us.
If we look at why people become bullies, we often find the cause is the same. These people also received 'unfair treatment from others', were punished, abused, critisized, bullied, judged, hurt and more. However, rather than ‘introverting’, these people instead protect themselves emotionally by ‘extroverting’ into dominating or aggressive behaviour.
The reasons and causes for all of this need to be explored in detail in order to change the limiting beliefs, behaviours and negative consequences which have resulted from the original trauma.
The ramifications of being bullied are HUGE:
If we become the victim, we will allow others to walk all over us and treat us unfairly. We give our power away, never speak up for ourselves, hold all our true feelings and thoughts inside. The hidden consequence of this is we build up anger, frustration and resentment inside until it literally turns into physical pain. How and why this happens is always clearly explained in any Mickel Therapy training you may take, whether that be 1-1 with a therapist, or one of my online programs. But suffice it to say that many people turning up with conditions of chronic fatigue, ME, fibromylgia, irritable bowel syndrome and more have a history of being bullied and not knowing how to stand up for themselves. The exercises taught in Mickel Therapy address these issues directly, turning them around 180 degrees, so that people become empowered and assertive without guilt or fear.
If we turn into the bully, we will treat others unfairly, but in so doing isolate ourselves as we build an armoured wall around our hearts to unconsciously prevent more pain coming in. We 'dump' all our repressed anger and pain on others, which not only damages others, but also hurts ourself, even if we are not aware of it.
Either way, the underlying reason for the need to become a victim or perpetrator is the same: to protect ourselves from feeling emotional pain long-held inside, to protect from ‘feeling bad, not good enough, rejected or unworthy’.
There is only one way out for either player: to become aware of the initial setup, to make peace with the trauma and pain from the past, and to change behaviour in the present.
Bullies need to learn they no longer need to dominate others to have their needs met, and victims need to learn how to create clear boundaries around unfair treatment without feeling afraid to do so.
You can check out the range of online programs and private coaching options on Kim's Mickel Therapy website.
All programs will show you how to become assertives and take back your power, and there are a range of programs to suit all budgets and personal needs.
Some of the programs address assertiveness and bullying, whilst other programs also address the physical consequences of illness that result from not standing up for ourselves.
In her talk at the Green Living Show, Auckland July 2016, multi-award nominated self-love and self-empowerment coach Kim Knight will be sharing just how to do this by using the Mickel Therapy ‘Boundary Key’.
To learn how Kim may be able to help you identify and resolve the cause of your stress, pain or fatigue contact Kim at kimknighthealth.com
If you would like to apply to work with Kim, the first step is to fill in this form here.
Over the years I have learnt there are essentially two types of guilt:
True (healthy) guilt... and false (unhealthy) guilt.
Let’s look at both of them.
This is the type of guilt we feel when we have genuinely done something wrong.
For example, we come home in a grumpy mood and take it out on our kids or husband by growling at them, leaving both us and them feeling pretty crap.
Or when we are on the phone to our phone company, and having gone through 20 different menus and having been on hold for 30 minutes, we finally get to speak to an operator and dump our frustration and anger on the innocent person on the other end of the phone (this has been one of my personal favourites in the past, I’m happy to say I’m much better at handling this now).
So what happens inside us when we do this?
We experience remorse. We feel bad and uncomfortable inside. We experience a sort of unease which just won’t go away unless.... we apologize.
This will often require feeling vulnerable and ‘swallowing our pride’.
So why is it we feel such discomfort and remorse when we inadvertently hurt others?
Because we have an inbuilt mechanism, which we could call a ‘treat people nice and be treated nice’ thermometer, which knows that if either we overstep other people’s boundaries, or have our boundaries overstepped, it feels bad.
This is good feedback to let us know either we have done something which we need to make amends for, or someone has done something to us which has overstepped our boundaries.
The only solution, if it is our 'fault', even though it can make us squirm, is to apologize, and then the body will literally breathe a sigh of relief and relax.
Have you noticed that?... when you make amends?... how GOOD it feels? How good and proud you feel about yourself, how the energy inside you just shifts, balances, harmonizes?
So try practising apologizing or making amends if you are not already, it’s the best feeling in the world.
False guilt is when we feel guilty and we haven’t actually done something wrong.
This is actually a much more common sort of guilt!
For example, you have an uber busy schedule for the day, and you had planned to meet your mother for coffee, but you just know that something has to give in your day to take down the stress levels, and you know intuitively that rescheduling coffee is the wisest thing to do.
So you call your mother, apologizing profusely, and say you need to reschedule. Your body immediately relaxes inside because it knows you have done the right thing for it not to have to experience an overloaded stress feeling all day. Let’s say your mother says OK, but you know she is disappointed. Then your mind starts going into overdrive, and guilt seeps in fast, the mind going into overdrive with all the rationalizations (‘rational lies’) as to why you really shouldn’t put yourself first, and why you really should go and have coffee with your mother, even though you know it would stress you to the max.
This is false (unhealthy) guilt.
It’s the guilt that creeps in when you do what you need to for you by putting yourself first, by making yourself a priority, and then you feel bad about it.
Dig deeper, and you will find one core theme at the bottom of false guilt: not feeling worthy enough about yourself to make yourself a priority.
This lack of self worth is set up at an early age, by the age of 7 usually. It sits in the unconscious, silently running our behaviour with others, and it has to be dealt with if we want to stop feeling guilty for looking after ourselves properly.
Lack of self worth will lead us to all sorts of unhealthy behaviours such as never saying no to others, seeking approval from partners, bosses, children, friends.... driving ourselves to exhaustion by overdoing it, never communicating how we honestly feel. It’s a killer.
So next time you feel guilty, ask yourself “have I genuinely done something I need to apologize for? Do I have a squirmy feeling in my heart area (the barometer for true guilt) that will only be cleared if I apologize?” If the answers is yes, then apologize!
I now make it a conscious habit to apologize for true guilt. It’s sometimes difficult to do, but the rewards for myself and the other person are worth it, it feels SOOOO good!
And if the answer is ‘no, I haven’t done something I genuinely need to apologize for’, then breathe, and feel that feeling of guilt, and underneath the true feeling of unworthiness. Acknowledge it. Accept the truth of it. And put yourself first anyway.
Gradually over time, as you re-acclimatize yourself to making yourself a priority in your life, and your self worth grows, the guilt will lessen and eventually disappear. This takes time, it’s not an overnight fix, but as Rachel Hunger said in that old shampoo ad of the 90’s “It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen”.
Kim Knight is a health and personal transformation coach specializing in medication-free solutions for stress, emotional overwhelm, anxiety, chronic pain and exhaustion.
One of the modalities she uses to teach people how to create clear boundaries, put themselves first and learn healthy communication is Mickel Therapy.
To learn how Kim may be able to help you identify and resolve the cause of your stress, pain or fatigue contact Kim at kimknighthealth.com
If you would like to apply to work with Kim, the first step is to fill in this form here.
The importance of our emotions can not be underestimated. When we have a deeper understanding of how they affect us, we can use them to help in our healing and creating a better life for ourselves. In addition, no treatise on the subject of the emotions would be complete with out understanding the power of our minds in affecting our emotional reality. (more…)