Acorn Health Blog

A Guide To Positive Self-TalkGeneral Health & Wellbeing

Posted by Sally-Anne Fri, October 20, 2017 01:27PM

By Sally-Anne Marler - Creative Arts Facilitator & Happiness Coach

We often underestimate the power of self-talk and how it can adversely effect our actions, behaviours, beliefs and shape our thoughts. We all mumble things to ourselves, think things that are quite self-critical, scold ourselves when we forget something or for not doing or saying something. What we don't realise is the damage that this does to our confidence and self-esteem and how it can soon start to become habitual and expected.
Blog imageThe first step in remedying this is to become aware of it. Once you've done that you can then start to challenge anything you are saying to yourself that might be hurtful, judgmental or critical. For some - you may be able to identify where this voice comes from - it could be a parent figure or just something you started to do when you were younger, a coping mechanism for example if you were being picked on or singled out with your friends or at school. Once you have done that, try to challenge it in a way that is gentle but assertive. A counter responsive act to neutralise your initial thought! Below are a few examples you can try...
Blog imageLastly, think of yourself in the same way you would a good friend or a loving family member and ask yourself would you speak to them that way? The answer will undoubtedly be no, you wouldn't. So why talk to yourself that way. You deserve better, you are better, you are now and will always be a work in progress just like everyone else. Give yourself and show yourself a little compassion, a little kindness along with a dollop of patience and love. How we speak to ourselves will have a direct influence on how we work with others, approach opportunities and shape our perspectives on day to day living. Start where you are. Start with you.

I offer 1:1 coaching helping you place the focus back onto you, working positively with you so you start to notice your strengths and identify better with your likes, passions and sense of purpose and meaning. I offer a free 20 minute consultation and work creatively with you using journals to help this process. To find out more get in touch or book your free consultation.

Boost Your Body In MinutesGeneral Health & Wellbeing

Posted by Sally-Anne Fri, October 13, 2017 03:12PM

By Helen Duffy, Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist

As a Nutritional Therapist, I regularly talk with my clients about making something become part of their daily habit. One of the most simple, yet it can have some pretty impressive effects on our health, is starting each day with a simple tonic. This means that before you eat or drink anything else, yes even that most important first cup of tea or coffee, you have a simple tonic drink.

Blog imageThe tonic drink that I most commonly recommend to my clients is warm water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey and cinnamon. All of the ingredients have their own important qualities and together they can help to boost your immune system, balance your blood sugars, expel toxins from your liver, kick-start your digestion and support your kidneys. Not bad from a pleasant tasting morning drink ready in a couple of minutes!

The key to success with this tonic is the quality of the ingredients so I always recommend using the best that you can find, so that means organic whenever possible and in the case of the honey and apple cider vinegar, they need to be raw so that the active ingredients are still present and haven't been processed away. Look for 'raw' on the label when you buy them. The apple cider vinegar may also say something like 'contains the mother', which is another way of saying that the active culture is still present which is exactly what you want to get the benefits of.

If you're struggling to find these ingredients in your supermarket there are some good online shops, like www.buywholefoodsonline.co.uk or of course, Amazon.

To make your morning Lemon Water Elixir you will need:

½ lemon squeezed

1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4-1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)

½ tsp honey

¼ tsp cinnamon

Mix the ingredients together and add to a cup of warm water. Keep stirring as you drink so the ingredients do not settle to the bottom.

Try this as part of your morning routine for at least a week to begin to see the benefits.

Helen Duffy

Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist

helen.duffy@northstarnutrition.co.uk



5 Steps To Beat The Procrastination MonsterWorkshops & Classes

Posted by Sally-Anne Thu, June 22, 2017 12:11PM

By Sally-Anne Marler Creative Arts Therapist, Facilitator & Coach

We all get hit with this little monster from time to time. He's very clever and comes in many guises and tricks us into being okay about not doing what we really want! We forget what we really want because it all feels too big or scary and so we remain stuck in habitual patterns and routines that don't support our goals, dreams or aspirations. It's not all bad, when you look at why we do this we begin to understand it forms part of our fight or flight response, and we are just trying to keep ourselves 'safe'. But our definition of what is safe, is very different to what it meant years ago. As we are not all running from a saber tooth tiger these days, most of our fear comes from our minds, not an actual physical threat. It's the 'unknown' that tends to entice the procrastination monster out from hiding and can often be triggered by the prospect of change. But this is living, without it, we are simply existing.

Blog imageI look back now and realise I became best buddies with the procrastination monster for the best part of 20 years or so and know first hand how it might start off quite innocent, believing you're doing the right thing and playing it safe but you end up feeling immense frustration, isolation and disorganisation.

Here are my top 5 tips to overcoming the procrastination monster:-

1. Focus only on one or two tasks at a time and ask yourself “what can I do now?” This will take the pressure off yourself and stop feelings of overwhelm. You might not get everything you wanted done, but you will get something done and lift that feeling of being stuck. Procrastination invites itself in when we feel overwhelmed with 'too much to do' so simplify your day and see one thing through at a time.

2. Meet up with supportive friends and family IN PERSON.
Talk over any problems, concerns or anxiety that you are experiencing with them that fuel the procrastination monster! Be as open and as honest as you can. Once you've done this, the fear you felt about it will start to diminish because it's strength comes from you trying to hide it or not discussing it with anyone. Once it's all out in the open you will feel much better.

3. What you don't do influences your brain, thoughts and actions just as much as what you do do. This was a big eye-opener for me and I realised the more I resisted something the more anxious I became about doing it and I started to believe eventually that I couldn't do it, no matter how seemingly small it was. This is because the brain interprets this 'non action' to mean you actually can't do it. Start making a list of the things you feel you can't do, then write in front of each one I CAN DO... and read it over several times or say it out loud, then do one of the tasks.

4. Tell yourself daily that you're worth it, you're worth it, you're worth it. Why do we struggle to do things for ourselves but can easily do things for others? This conflict of interest usually comes from not feeling worthy enough and assuming our needs are not as important as the needs of others. You must absolutely believe with your whole heart that you are worthy of love, happiness, success and fulfilment and that it is not selfish of you to want these things or prioritise these things. You are worth it!

5. Be flexible and bring your awareness to the moment. Your goals are a process so acknowledge that, you don't need everything to be done right now. Remember what you've already done and achieved and be mindful of what you're working towards but don't get too consumed with it. It's what you're doing now that counts. Procrastination loves to take you away from living in the moment and slap you right bang into chaotic thoughts of 'not done' things from the future to make you feel small.

If you'd like to understand more about this you can book yourself onto a Mindset Motivator or Mindset Activator workshop, coming soon at Acorn! Click here for more information.







STRESS: the Sledgehammer and the Drip-DripGeneral Health & Wellbeing

Posted by Sally-Anne Tue, May 30, 2017 12:14PM

By Eileen Strong Therapeutic Massage & Holistic Complementary Therapist

“STRESS” is a much easier word to say than it is to define. But it’s something we have all experienced at some time in our lives to some degree. In this post, I’m going to talk about two types of stress-trigger. Helping people identify and understand their specific, key stressors is, I believe, the first step to feeling more empowered and becoming stress-free.

What is stress?

Blog imageStress comes from the pressures that we feel in life, and how we react to them. It is quite normal to feel anxious and become stressed when facing something that upsets the normal balance of day to day life.

When we feel healthy and happy, and our life force energy is strong and vibrant, our resilience to stress is much higher than after we’ve been ill, for example, or if we’ve experienced a series of stressful events close together that have had a knock-on effect and deteriorated our energy and vitality.

Our thought patterns, perceptions and life experiences also shape our responses to stressful situations. People who tend to think negatively are often more prone to suffering from stress than people who have a sunnier outlook. But all of us experience stress. It’s a part of life.

So how stressed are you?

Here is a short list of some symptoms you might experience when you are stressed for any length of time.

* Obsessive thinking

* Behaviour changes - aggression, withdrawal

* Digestive upsets – bloating, constipation, diarrhoea

* Headaches, impaired memory

* Muscular tension and pain, neck shoulder and low back pain, cramps, muscle spasms

* Palpitations, chest pain, high blood pressure

* Anxiety, loss of humour, depression, negative thoughts,

* Inability to concentrate and difficulty making decisions

* Weaker immune system and being more susceptible to illness

If symptoms are present, I will always ask you when they first started as this information is very meaningful and relevant in identifying your key stress triggers.

So what might a key stress trigger be for you?

The Sledgehammer Trigger:- this is a stress trigger that comes completely out of the blue at you and hits you hard, like a sledgehammer. It is unexpected, dramatic, leaves you feeling isolated, with no strategy to deal with. In that moment, your brain takes a full snapshot of the entire event as you see it, and your “fight or flight” response is triggered. Now you are STRESSED. Examples: a scary medical diagnosis, a redundancy notice, or a deeply hurtful comment.

The Drip-Drip-Reminder Trigger:- this is a stress trigger that happens any time you get a conscious OR subconscious REMINDER of your Sledge-hammer trigger. Remember, your brain took a snapshot of that entire event and recorded everything you noticed in that one dramatic moment. So when anything comes up to remind you of that situation, through your own thoughts, environment, or situations that make you feel angry, nervous, frustrated, or anxious, your fight or flight response gets triggered. For example: seeing a doctor in a white coat reminds you of the doctor who gave you that scary diagnosis and triggers a mind-body stress response.

You might not be consciously aware of what the trigger is. You just might notice the symptoms or feel panicky and anxious.

So what can you do to help?

Let's not forget that your body’s response to stress is part of an intelligent, highly sophisticated process designed to keep you safe from danger. If our primitive cave-dwelling ancestors had not been so equipped, then they wouldn't have survived at all, and would we be here to tell their tale?

And stress – like many other things in our lives – has to be managed. To do this effectively, we need to understand what makes us stressed, learn alternative ways to deal with it, and support ourselves in the healing and recovery process on 6 levels; mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental. Of all these areas, lets just take a look today at ways to support your body.

Helping your body repair and re-balance:-

Nutrition - Poor diet can lower your resilience to stress (e.g. low levels of Vit B12, depleted Magnesium levels). Book a consultation at Acorn with our Naturopathic Nutritionist Helen Duffy for expert advice.

Medication- Be aware that certain drugs can contribute to symptoms of stress and anxiety, including caffeine, nicotine, cold remedies, thyroid medications. You may be able to explore more natural alternatives.

Exercise – Even 20 minutes brisk walking a day can make a difference. It’s an instant calm-me-down when you’re feeling tense, and boosts the body’s feel-good chemicals. Walk, swim, do sport, cycle, dance. Whatever you can manage. As often as you can.

Sleep – between the hours of approx 8 pm and 8 am your body is busy repairing, renewing and re-balancing itself. This is why symptoms can sometimes feel stronger at night. So give yourself plenty of rest. If you feel tired, listen to your body and try to rest. If you are not sleeping well, contact me for my free Deep Sleep information sheet for more practical tips on this subject.

Therapies - alternative and complementary therapies are wonderful for relaxation and re-balancing on all levels of being. Try massage therapy, Indian Head Massage, reflexology, Hopi Ear Candles. Talk therapies such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Hypnotherapy are also wonderful approaches to support you in making positive life changes and developing greater mental resilience. Visit the Acorn Booking Page to see whats on offer.

Relaxation – set aside some quality 'Me Time' at least once a week, if not on a daily basis (soak in the bath, reading a book, a country walk etc). Meditation and Mindfulness techniques can help too. Get in touch with Acorn to check the dates of our next classes.

Blog imageI hope you found this post of interest. If you are experiencing stress-related symptoms, and would like to learn more about identifying and managing your key stressors, I’d be delighted to hear from you. I offer a 6 part stress management program that may be of interest to you, and also offer 1-2-1 sessions in relaxation and talk therapies.

You can book a FREE no-obligation consultation with me via the Acorn website, or contact me direct: Contact Eileen Strong: Tel/Text 07745 409059.