Archive

for January, 2019

How to quieten the mind

Posted on January 10, 2019 in Uncategorized - 0

Do you ever feel like a little rat running on a wheel? Or is your mind like a circus with so much going on, you don’t even know what to cast your eye on. You are not alone; the constant noise and pace of our modern world causes many of us to feel stressed and overwhelmed, often impacting sleep and overall wellbeing. It can be difficult to quieten your mind but not impossible if you prioritise it, and as the New Year rolls around, what better time make a fresh start.

Here’s a few ways you can drown out the noise and quieten your mind in 2019.

  1. Just Breathe.

Deep, deliberate breathing promotes calm behaviour, encourages focus and with the right technique will help you relax and prepare for the task at hand. Combined with a mantra, something like ‘I am prepared, I am focused, I will do my best’, deep breathing can help you feel more in control. By breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, more oxygen will be circulated to the muscles and brain, thereby improving concentration and reducing stress. Check out the ‘Compassionate Initiate’ on Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/jamesn-kirby/sets/compassionate-mind-training

  1. Prioritise Exercise

We all know the benefits exercise brings, but it can sometimes seem like yet another thing to add to your busy to do list. The key to incorporating exercise into your daily regime, is choose a physical activity that you actually enjoy. Just a technology free walk in the great outdoors can be soothing for the soul and give you time to think things through.

  1. Practice Yoga or Meditation

It’s not for everyone but Yoga, has proven benefits to mind and body. According to Washington DC based Sleep Foundation, a lack of physical activity as well as stress and too much screen time are the leading causes of sleep disturbance. Combining physical activity and meditation through yoga, is for many people a very effective way to help the mind and body relax. The meditative effects of yoga on the body are very similar to the process of falling asleep, whereby the heartbeat and brain waves become slower.

  1. Turn up the tunes

Music has been clinically proven to help regulate our emotions and so when feeling stressed, overwhelmed or even a little sad, playing the right tune will help alter how you are feeling. Creating a ‘quieten your mind’ playlist can be a great way to chill out and destress.

  1. Pat your pooch

The benefits of animal therapy are clinically recognised worldwide, used for psychological conditions like Posttraumatic Stress Disorders, as well as Anxiety and Spectrum Disorders. Simply sitting, patting or walking your protective and loyal pet, who loves you unconditionally, can lower stress levels.

  1. Take a break from technology

Our ability to completely switch ‘swipe’ off from the world has set a new-age challenge, with many of us so addicted to our phones that the idea of switching it off or leaving it at home is totally absurd. In fact, so absurd that for many people, particularly amongst the younger generation, it causes a great deal of stress to be without one’s phone. But all of the noise and distraction of technology can make it very difficult to be present and even harder to quieten the mind. Try allocating some screen free time into your day and see if you feel calmer.

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In 2019…I will get more sleep

Posted on January 8, 2019 in Uncategorized - 0

Kathryn Smith, Psychology Consultants

Is getting more sleep one of your New Year resolutions? If so, well done for prioritising your health, with sleep being the absolute pillar, impacting your physical, emotional and mental health. But perhaps you need to reframe your thinking and rather than aim for more sleep, aim for better sleep. Remember, not all sleep is created equal. Often people quantify good sleep by hours spent asleep, when the quality of sleep is far more important.

So how many hours of sleep do we need? The American Academy of Sleep Medicine states working adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. However, this varies between people and can be gauged by how you are feeling during the day. In fact, it is your activity, thinking and behaviour during the day, that is pivotal to how you will sleep at night. Worrying about sleep, is the absolute worst thing you can do for sleep. Ample physical activity, a healthy diet and screen free evenings are all good friends of sleep.

If you are finding ongoing sleeplessness is affecting your health and wellbeing, talking to a Clinical Psychologist can be helpful in developing practical long-term strategies to manage insomnia. The use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to treat insomnia has proven effective in that it takes a holistic approach looking at social, emotional and environmental aspects of a person’s life to unfold what is causing the sleep problem.

Clinical Psychologist Kathryn Smith and Psychiatrist Dr Curt Gray have been effectively treating insomnia with CBT through their long-standing group programme, Towards Better Sleep. Unlike sleep medication, CBT is not a quick fix and takes time to work, which is why the programme spans across 6 weeks, focusing on education, behavioural techniques, correcting faulty thinking and relaxation strategies.

A group setting has proven an effective setting to treat people with sleep problems, allowing participants to share their experiences and learn from one another in a more cost-effective way.

The next Towards Better Sleep programme commences on 14th February 2019 from our Morningside practice. For more information or to register your interest in the programme, visit www.towardsbettersleep.com.au or email tbs@psychologyconsultants.com.au

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Battling with your return to work?

Posted on January 6, 2019 in Uncategorized - 0

Dr Stan Steindl has some helpful ways to make the back to work transition a little bit easier.

1. Cut yourself some slack. Ease back into your first week with slightly shorter hours and a less demanding workload, where possible. Be kind to yourself. Imagine your own kids and the way they find going back to school hard, and support yourself a little bit like you might support them.

2. Take time to plan and set goals for the year, both personal and work. This is a real opportunity to stop and think about what you want this year to be like. I’m not really referring to New Year resolutions. More just giving yourself a chance to think about your goals and identifying what you want to get out of the year.

3. Look after your health – exercise regularly, eat well, Look after your sleep and drink lots of water. This is a new beginning, and there is a bit of a long road ahead, so getting into routines and habits early with balanced lifestyle can help to sustain the work ahead and make it more enjoyable.

4. Make a plan for the weekend, something to look forward to. In fact, have a think about other recreation or holiday plans for the coming months. Having little things to look forward to along the way can be very helpful.

 

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