Kristina

Why Tap?

Although Energy psychology and particularly the techniques of EFT and TFT, are gaining more and more media attention, meridian tapping seems like an odd, suspect, “out there” therapy to most people who come across it for the first time.  Let’s face it, it is still considered strange by many converts who have benefited hugely from using the techniques. After all, it makes no sense to tap on your body in particular places to bring about changes in states of mind and symptoms!

Before the maturing of neuroscience there was no acceptable hypothesis of how acupoint tapping works, even though the effectiveness of acupuncture has long been established in the West. But now, there is an increasing body of credible literature which not only demonstrates significant positive effects of meridian tapping but also explains through brain imaging and neurotransmitter profiles, what happens when we do so.

And now for the science: Richard C Kevin PhD describes EFT as, “A physical intervention for regulating electrical signals on energy fields with mental involvement in feelings, cognition or behaviour that is a target for change.” Studies have shown that tapping reduces midbrain hyperarousal and suggest that the link between a conditioned stimulus and the fear response can be eradicated, so modulating anxiety and traumatic memories. It has been shown that opiods, serotonin and GABA are produced and cortisol is regulated when we tap.  These neurochemical changes in turn reduce pain, slow the heart rate, decrease anxiety and regulate the autonomic nervous system.

So why wouldn’t you tap?  As Gary Craig says, “Try it on everything”, and perhaps, one day, maybe soon, you won’t be considered odd for doing so!

Warm Regards,
Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed

Stress Relief

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

William James

STRESSED? PHONE HOME!

Stress is part of all our daily lives and it is estimated that six million days of sick leave in the UK are related to stress  each year.  Recently researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison looked at the effects that contact with mothers can have on the stress levels of their daughters.  The sample was fairly small and the age of the daughters between 7 and 12 but the study showed that in all cases contact with mum before and after the stressful experience resulted in a significant drop in cortisol (stress hormone) levels and elevated levels of oxytocin (feel good hormones) in the daughters.  There was no difference in the results between the girls who had experienced physical maternal contact and those whose mothers had been at the end of a phone.  Of course, not everyone has had a strong, secure, nurturing relationship with their mother, but we think that the results should remind us that contact with a significant person in our life who can share the stresses of the day can, and often does, have a beneficial effect – our frayed nerves are calmed and we feel better.

So here are a couple of visualisations to help calm your system when in need and for those tappers amongst you, choose from the phrases below that resonate with your stress producing triggers.

After some deep breathing into the stomach –

Make a film of the stressful situation and play it on an imaginary TV screen, make sure that you are holding the remote.  Now play with it in any way you like.  For example, you can:

Change the action so that the scene plays out exactly as you want it to.

You can remove the sound, especially if what was said was particularly upsetting.

Make it black and white

Shrink the screen so that you can only just see the action.

Make certain characters tiny in comparison to the rest or make them into cartoon characters.

Run it backwards.

Mix up the frames so that the sequence goes

Finally click your fingers so that the whole thing disappears.

AND/OR

Imagine picking up the phone and calling someone (real or imaginary) to offload your troubles.  Hear their soothing and comforting voice; feel their love and support; listen to them telling you exactly what you want to hear – continue until you feel comforted and supported.

EFT

If you feel panicky – tap continuously on all points.

If your habit is to put a negative spin on things, try to stop these thoughts mid-stream and look for thoughts that make you feel better.

Say each phrase 3 times whilst tapping on the karate chop and use  the phrases underlined as your reminder whilst tapping on all the points.

Even though I don’t want to (add the description of what you don’t want to do) I accept myself and choose to (either say “No” or say “achieve something positive and beneficial)

*Use this if you are a “people pleaser” and frequently agree to doing things you don’t want to do

Even though I’m stressed because the plan has been changed and the goalposts shifted I profoundly love and accept myself and now choose to be flexible and at ease.

Even though I feel overwhelmed, I deeply and completely accept myself and I now choose to put my focus on what is most needed.

Even though s/he hurt my feelings I deeply and completely accept myself and I now choose to find creative ways to feel good about myself.

Even though I’m stressed and I can’t face up to (your description) I deeply and completely accept myself and I now choose to meet my challenges confidently and calmly.

Even though I’ve got no control, I deeply and completely love and accept myself and choose to recognise my own power and focus on what I want.

Warm Regards,

Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance- Formed

“I’m RIGHT: They’re WRONG”

We have been thinking back to previous Christmas times and some of the common themes we hear from clients at this time or year.  Many are anxious about the holiday season because of family reunions and the potential for arguments and tension.

There was a survey just before Christmas last year claiming that families argue for an average of 7 hours over Christmas and the first argument will be early on Christmas Day, 9.55am to be precise!

We know that the media is full of advice about how to make the holiday season enjoyable each year and we’re adding our voices to that deafening choir, but hopefully you will find ours brief, easy to remember and easy to implement.

Ban the words BLAME and FAULT from your home, vocabulary and consciousness.

It’s not worth your being RIGHT if others feel diminished, worthless or stupid because in your eyes they are WRONG.

If any thought, comment or situation makes you feel anxious or angry – ask “Am I making too much of this?” and the answer will almost always be – “Most probably!”

Remember to take care of yourself over the holiday by taking a few minutes each day to breathe deeply, relax and have good thoughts either dreaming of desires or focusing on things for which you feel grateful or BOTH.

If you are a Tapper – The emotions around any unpleasantness can easily and quickly be calmed.  Try tapping on the nail bed of your fingers with your thumb if you are with others and don’t want to draw attention to yourself.

And finally,

May we wish all our clients and friends a very, very happy and peaceful Christmas and an inspirational, abundant and fulfilling New Year!

Warm Regards,

Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed

Improve your day with one small step

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;

an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill

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Our “Plastic” Brains

Stressed? Anxious? Feeling down? Or do you just want to feel even more positive than you already do?

Discoveries in neuroscience over the past 30 years have taught us that we don’t need to be stuck in a downward spiral of negative thoughts which dump stress chemicals in our brain often leading to stress, anxiety and depression.  We now know that our brains change and grow by creating neural networks and these neural networks are formed and developed by what we choose to give our attention to.

Everybody has negative thoughts and as long as we don’t dwell on them no harm results. But because our brains work by learned associations, a thought that comes into our head will trigger an associated thought. If these thoughts are uncomfortable thoughts we get more and more down.

The good news is – we can control our thoughts. It may take time to change entrenched negative thinking and some patterns are easier to change than others, however, the techniques are certainly fairly simple.

Start by being aware of your thinking patterns and if your habit is to think negatively then divert yourself with more pleasant thoughts.  You need to prepare in advance.  You could substitute a wonderful holiday experience or think about something, or somebody, that makes you laugh.  Singing a song in your head can work. Why not out loud if circumstances permit?  Anything to divert your attention away from distressing thoughts.

It really helps to try not to spend time going over and over things that upset or bother you and concentrate on things that make you feel good and happy.

EFT

If you need some extra help, try tapping on the statements below. The reminder phrases are underlined.

Even though I can’t help obsessing about ……………………… I choose to focus on thoughts that make me feel good.

Even though I feel stuck with negative thoughts and feelings, I choose to believe that I can give my attention to things that give me pleasure.

Even though I spend so much time thinking about painful memories, I now choose to think about the things for which I am grateful.

Warm Regards,

Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed

The Power Of The Pen

IMG_4219 It is important to know that you have processes to help you cope on days when you feel that things are just not going your way and that you can’t get away from your worries and anxiety. We wrote an article some time ago entitled “Brain Dump” a name we took from Gillie Botton who has written widely about the process of writing down your fears, doubts and anxieties as a way of unloading them and achieving psychological distance from them. It is a powerful technique and neuroscientist Mark Walderman suggests a quick variation which goes under the name of “Crap Board”. The association is the same as Botton’s, CRAP is an acronym for Conflicts, Resistances, Anxieties and Problems. Walderman advises us to:

1) Write all of the CRAP on a piece of paper…
2) Then sit back. Take a deep breath and gaze at it.

Now the prefrontal cortex isn’t so activated with the burden of remembering all of this, so you feel less scattered and anxious. It is a quick and simple technique which is grounded in neuroscience.

You can also write your way to success and happiness.
In his book ‘Words Can Change Your Brain” co-authored with Andrew Newberg, Walderman sites studies that show that by writing down three things that you do well each day you can increase your sense of well-being and happiness dramatically and the effects won’t fade away in the short term. It seems that reflecting on what we do well can generate months of psychological improvement. Walkman writes, “It’s not just your imagination that primes the brain for success. Writing deepens the impact by affecting different language centres of the brain thereby creating more permanent changes in how you think.” He recommends not only the nightly recording of successes, but repeating the exercise anytime you feel frustrated in your work, your relationships, your life.

Warm Regards,

Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed

Five Ways to Re-train your brain to stop needless worrying

With our newsletter we are keen to pass on self-help techniques that our readers can use to find relief and enhance their lives. Here are five tried and tested ways to retrain your brain to let go of constant worry. If you are worrying unproductively, we hope that there is something here for you.

Chronic worrying is a learned, conditioned behaviour which many suffer from. It seems there is at least one worrier in every family. Have you heard, “Who will worry if I don’t?” or “Somebody needs to worry!” said. These thoughts are not uncommon, many equate worry with  being a responsible adult. We tell ourselves that we worry because we appreciate the seriousness of a situation and through worry we can sort out  problems. Worrying can have a use if it makes us take action, however, going over and over a problem in our head doesn’t solve anything and we end up overwhelmed and exhausted.

Here are some techniques that can help to break this pattern:

Live in the Present Moment: Worrying keeps you from enjoying the present and the practice of mindfulness (being conscious in the present moment without thoughts about the past or future) if practiced regularly, is recommended for reducing all types of stress. In order to do this decide on a time of day when you will analyse and explore your worries and postpone your worrying until then. If you need to ,write down your worries and then forget them knowing that you will deal with them later.

Try to spend more time doing things you love – This will certainly focus you in the present. If you can make more time for physical activities your attention will be on your body an not on the self-talk in your head.

Be conscious of your thoughts and separate yourself from them.  Challenge your thoughts, and then look for thoughts that are less worrying and that make you feel a little better.

Don’t fight with yourself over your worries “What you resist, persists!”  Just accept them for what they are – pessimistic projections into the future.  Many say that by worrying they prevent unpleasant surprises. Well worrying doesn’t really prepare you for what happens and it often leaves you with depleted resources to cope.

Make a mind movie  of what you are worrying about. Watch it from the back of the cinema, see it in colour and hear the soundtrack. Notice how you feel. Then move yourself further and further away from the screen. Turn down the soundtrack and fade the colours. Reduce all the sensory input so that the movie is difficult to see and hear and thus difficult to feel negative about. Do this until you can’t access the movie and you don’t care anyway.

Now make a mind movie of what you would like to happen (you may need to practise this if you are used to creating Doom and Disaster Movies about the future). Add pleasing detail, listen to the encouraging things people are saying, make the colours vivid, see the faces smiling.  Notice how you feel. Exaggerate and embellish until you feel really, really good.

Run this movie whenever you find yourself slipping into your old habit of worry.

And, of course, SIT AND TAP (this is number 6!) – just tap whilst worrying.  It will calm down the central nervous system and return you to a state of balance.

Warm Regards,

Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed

Happy Days

IMG_3613On Saturday 20th March the International Day of Happiness was celebrated with various activities in many countries.  You may have missed it altogether or the media coverage possibly entered the peripheries of your awareness or  you may even have been involved in an awareness raising event yourself.

In 2011 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution which recognised “happiness as a fundamental goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that  promotes the happiness and well-being of all people.” The UN wants us to remember that it is family and friends and emotional well-being that actually makes us happy not material possessions and that we should share what makes us happy with everyone else.

This day was first celebrated in 2013 when we were encouraged to reach out and connect with the people around us.  A year later, Pharrell Williams was invited to partner the UN Foundation to celebrate during the success of his global hit “Happy”. Fans were encouraged to post YouTube videos of themselves demonstrating their happiness to Pharrell’s track.  The message of the 2nd Happiness Day was  “Life is too short not to be happy.”  This year International Day of Happiness website, lists Ten Keys to Happier Living under the acronym GREAT DREAM:.  Giving, Relating, Exercising, Appreciating, Trying Out, Direction, Resilience, Emotion, Acceptance, Meaning.  Once again we are asked to make “more positive connections with others”.  The Independent acknowledged the Day by listing the Best Jokes Ever (Possibly) and there were inspirational quotations, positive messages and playlists of happy songs elsewhere in the media.

Happiness is important to us all.  We want it for ourselves, our families, our friends; we want a happier world. The field of Positive Psychology observes that happiness can be cultivated by focusing on the strengths and traits we possess such as kindness, originality, humour, optimism and generosity.

Here are a couple of exercises that can make you happier now.

Do something kind for someone else.  We know that this makes us feel good.  It is also contagious. Studies show that it creates a ripple outwards inspiring others to be kind.

Smile (Fake it until you feel it) Smiling stimulates the brain’s reward mechanisms, reduces stress in body and mind and helps to generate more positive emotions.

What’s not to like?

http://www.dayofhappiness.net/#happiness

Warm Regards,
Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed