Author Archive for Lisa Bardell - Therapist, Healer & Coach – Page 2

So you want to be a better leader?

How many of you wish you could spark that magical something to ramp up your leadership style, your career potential or your profile credentials?

Have you been sent on, or enrolled in countless leadership style ‘How To’ type programmes or courses – only to realise you pretty much know the theory anyway?

We can all draw up a list of qualities we believe a good leader must show. In fact many of us could probably write the basic content of a ‘How To’ type workshop ourselves…..BUT something gets in the way doesn’t it? Some deep subconscious clutter, picked up over years of conditioning, comparing and criticism just seems to run the show every now and again and take us off the track of being the sort of leader we think we want to be, should be or need to be

leaders small

Over the past 2 years, since leaving my corporate career to re-design my own life to be more fulfilling, more flexible and more fun, I followed my early passion for Psychology to become a full time Performance Coach. I’ve been working one to one with CEO’s, entrepreneurs, business owners and senior directors to help them perform better in their roles, create more success, and enjoy their lives and relationships more fully.

What I already knew about leadership ( from leading in my own senior director roles ) and what I have learned since from working with other leaders in a coaching capacity, is that there really is just one zone, just one single element to learn and to implement – and from that all those other qualities and attributes just flow freely…..MENTAL CLARITY

Mental Clarity

The ability to access that inner state of Mental Clarity, at will, on demand and ongoing is the ultimate formula for ‘Serenity & Success’.

This is how it works – from a state of ongoing and entrained Mental Clarity, I promise that you simply cannot help but to demonstrate the following ‘deep drivers’ of Leadership:

  • Authenticity
  • Direction
  • Resilience
  • Intuition
  • Wisdom
  • Creativity
  • Presence
  • Connection

And low and behold, a natural by-product of these deep drivers can’t help but flow into these familiar ‘Leadership Attributes’ we are sent to learn ‘How To’ mimic on those courses and programmes:

  • Agility
  • Good Decisions
  • Strategy
  • Innovation
  • Problem Solving
  • Influence
  • Strong Relationships
  • Integrity
  • Passion
  • Purpose
  • Vision

The difference is, from an inner platform of Mental Clarity, we are doing it for real. We can stop thinking about ‘how’ we are supposed to do it, and just get in to our own authentic flow.

Subconscious Clutter

That old subconscious veil of clutter, confusion and doubt was secretly all driven by fear – albeit subtle in some cases – but fear all the same. Muddling through a medley of ‘resistance to what is’ and ‘attachment to what should be’ can be draining, and it certainly gets in the way of inspiring and authentic leadership and of a sense of inner ‘Serenity & Success’.

Serenity & Success Coaching

If you would like to work with me one to one on your performance, your leadership potential or anything else that is getting in the way or you living to your full potential, you can contact me directly.

If you’re interested in attending one of my ‘Serenity & Success Coaching Workshops’ there are Manchester and London dates coming up, all details and ticket links can be found below:

Lisa Bardell is a Performance Master Coach, NLP Master, Accredited Mind CALM Meditation Coach and a Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist working with private clients One to One from her clinics in Cheshire and Central London, and through Corporate Coaching Programmes with businesses in Manchester and London. Her regular schedule of EVENTS, WORKSHOPS & RETREATS can be found on: LISABARDELLCOACHINGLtd.eventbrite.co.uk

 

The Mechanics of Meditation – How it changes your Brain and your Life…

How many of you have nothing but a passing curiosity about meditation, or are actively resistant to the very idea of it?

Are you wondering what all the fuss is about? Why on earth are cross party reviews considering funding modern meditation training for schools, front line health workers, prison workers, and even prisoners? Why are CEO’s, entrepreneurs and business leaders taking to modern meditation techniques to help them perform at their peak in business, and reach their full potential?

Well, it’s not just about ‘relaxing’ and sitting still for a while. There’s a proper science to meditation, which literally re-wires your brain for improved success, wellbeing and emotional resilience – on a scale you most probably can’t even imagine if you have yet to dip your toe in to mastering your own mind.

I think it was Osho who said so wisely…

“Your mind can be a beautiful servant. Or a dangerous master”

mechanics of meditation

The chances are, if you have not yet learnt mind mastery in the way meditation allows you to, you may well be at the whim of your mind. It’s probably using and abusing you. At the very least it will be tricking you and limiting you, in ways which are so insidious and familiar, you will have just accepted them as your lot.

To cover all the key findings of Neuroscience, and how meditation changes your brain is unrealistic for this blog post, as there are thousands of studies to comb through. However I will just focus on a couple of key areas, which I hope will make sense and resonate.

Scientists working in the field of meditation, researching it’s effect on the brain now even have their own name – ‘Contemplative Neuroscientists’ – and the magical piece of equipment they use to measure neural activity and changes in grey matter, connectivity and functionality is the MRI scanner. Neural Plasticity is the term used to describe the well established fact that the brain is able to ‘collapse’ and destabilise old connections and patterns, and to wire together new ones. Although establishing new neural connections both within an area of the brain, and between areas, sounds rather sci-fi, the good news is, it’s actually remarkably easy to achieve with the right techniques.

Default vs Awareness

There is an area in the middle of the brain called the Posterior Cingulate Cortex, this can be thought of as our ‘default network’ which ( unless we have been taught meditation ) we drift into unconsciously most of the time – where we dwell on the past, ruminate, predict the future and get caught up in loops of thinking about our ‘self’, life, external circumstances, and how they might affect our ‘self’. We tell ourselves stories about our ‘identity’ – it’s the home of self referential thinking. Sometimes we can get so absorbed in thinking about our own lives we barely notice what is going on around us.

What meditation techniques teach, is to quiet this area of the brain down. When we do this, we experience ‘effortless awareness’, where we are fully aware of our selves, and our environment, without engaging in an internal dialogue about it, and what it ‘means’ to us. It is not just a form of concentration, but rather a quality of experience which is ‘non-clinging’. This state of awareness is associated with slower brain waves, it uses much less energy, and it returns us to the absorbed awareness we had as children when we were in rapid and expansive learning mode.

We may still be aware of thoughts when we are in this state, but we can learn to just notice them as they pass through, rather than jumping in to the seat of the emotional roller coaster with them. When we are engaged in self-referential thinking, we start ‘feeling the thinking’ and we produce a physiological and measurable response to it. This is how we create chronic stress for ourselves – without meditation most of us have no mastery over our self-referential thinking, and we unconsciously trigger off the ‘Physiological Stress Response’ with our own thoughts about our selves and our lives.

What researchers have discovered, is that the common element of drifting into ‘thinking’ which causes Anxiety and Stress is ‘judgement’ – as opposed to just noticing. Meditation techniques allow you, through increased awareness, to consciously notice thoughts, even thoughts about stressful events, without producing a ‘Physiological Fear Response’. So meditation is actually not about stopping your thoughts completely, instead the benefits come from forming a different relationship to your thoughts, and reducing their emotional charge. The result is having mastery and choice over which thoughts you engage with and think about.

As well as feeling good for the meditator, this also conserves a lot of bodily energy, because it is no longer being sapped by the most exhausting and labour intensive of all brain functions – unnecessary and unproductive thinking – this previously wasted energy can be directed back into the active processes of healing and repair in the body, and allowing the immune system to keep us vibrant and healthy as designed – rather than literally just muddling through in survival mode!

Shrinking the Fear Centre

Within about 8 weeks of taking up a regular meditation practice, it has been shown through research that the Amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for setting off the ‘Physiological Fear Response’ actually shrinks. So rather than it acting like a pumped up, over-exercised muscle which becomes genius at stressing you out over the slightest little thing – it shrinks and calms down allowing you to feel calm, peaceful, safe, secure and able to get on with life and perform to your full potential.

Reclaim your Attention

With the ability not to drift into stress producing thinking, or to get overly distracted by the (often pointless) self-referential thinking, we learn to reclaim our attention and to master our minds. Another main benefit of this is that we can be much more focussed and highly productive, and we listen much less to than annoying inner critic who tells us it might all go wrong / that we are not clever enough / pretty enough / confident enough etc….

Live in Flow

Stress acts like a switch. It switches off our clever, resourceful, creative thinking, and instead switches on emotional and reactive thinking. When we are free from those old stress hormones coursing through our systems ( even the ones we didn’t realize were there ) this opens up our experience to living much more in flow, accessing our best creativity, problem solving and intuition. Life and opportunities can begin to come to us more easily, instead of living with a sense of constant striving and effort, achieving becomes easier and more natural. Sometimes there is less to do than you think….

If you would like to learn a simple and highly effective technique for yourself, I have developed a practical program based on modern Applied Psychology and Mind-Body Science, called SHINE – ‘A Daily Meditation, Relaxation & Self-Coaching Technique’ which teaches you to access and nurture the optimal Brain – Heart – Body state of Psychophysiological Coherence for improved Health, Happiness & Success – SHINE was statistically validated in January 2016 through a standardised trial protocol with 40 people, for its effectiveness and positive results on health, emotional wellbeing, mental wellbeing, stress management and improving productivity. 

To book the SHINE Meditation Online Program – click here: BUY HERE

To book your FREE slot to ‘test drive’ my new book ‘Shine Brighter – 7 Easy Steps to Less Stress and More Success’ and the accompanying Theta Wave Hypnosis Audio Program, mail me on info@lisabardellcoaching.co.uk telling me a little about why you would like to be considered and I’ll get back to you by September.

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Lisa Bardell BSc ( Hons ) Psych, Dip NLP Coach Clin Hyp – is an Executive Coach, Author of ‘Shine Brighter’, Creator of the statistically validated SHINE Meditation & Coaching Online Program,  NLP Master, Accredited Meditation Coach and a Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist working with private clients One to One from her practices in Cheshire and Central London, and through Corporate Coaching Programs with businesses in Manchester and London. Her regular schedule of EVENTS, WORKSHOPS & RETREATS can be found on: LISABARDELLCOACHINGLtd.eventbrite.co.uk .To view more information on all services click website link: LisaBardellCoaching.co.uk

Some science on Emotion and your Brain

brain articleHave you ever pondered what the science is behind the barely tangible, but extremely familiar daily experience of feeling emotions? Sometimes we feel these formless waves of inner communication so strongly that they seem to run the show. As a therapist I’m fascinated by the science of emotions.

 

In a recent article by Rick Hanson PhD, he shares some interesting information on the major brain regions that support our processing and experience of emotions. I’m going to give you a whistle stop tour of your brain, and the areas within it which influence our moods and feelings.

 

Our conscious experience of emotion is just the top layer of icing on a much bigger cake. It rests on many layers of neurological activity such as the firing of very complex and intertwining neural circuits and the tidal flows of neurotransmitters and hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.

 

So let’s look at the brain regions and their role in our emotional experience.

 

  • Hippocampus – This region helps store the contexts, especially visual-spatial ones, for important experiences, such as the smell of a predator or the look of an angry expression. It is necessary for forming personal memories of events, and is unfortunately damaged over time by the cortisol released by chronic stress, especially, high or even traumatic levels of stress. If you needed another good reason to resolve your stresses, and to take up meditation, then here you have it.
  • Amygdala – Connected to the hippocampus by the neural equivalent of a four-lane superhighway, this small, almond shaped region is particularly involved in the processing of information about threats. The subjective awareness of threat comes from the feeling of the experience when it is unpleasant. When the amygdala perceives a threat – whether an external stimulus like a car hurtling towards us at speed, or an internal one, such as suddenly remembering we are on a tight project deadline – the amygdala sends a jolt of alarm to the hypothalamus and other brain regions. It also triggers the ventral tegmentum, in the brain stem, to send dopamine to other areas of the brain, in order to sensitize them to the “red flag” information streaming through.
  • Hypothalamus – This is the major switchboard of the brain, involved in the regulation of basic bodily drives such as thirst and hunger. When it gets a “red flag” signal from the amygdala, it communicates to the pituitary gland to kick start the adrenals to release epinephrine and other stress hormones, to get the body ready for immediate Fight or Flight action, known as the Fight or Flight Response or the Stress Response. This very same activation of the Stress Response occurs not just when a wild tiger chases us through the woods, but also in a chronic and ongoing way to our ‘imagined’ threats and everyday stresses, like when our boss reprimands us, our deadlines get tight, or when we respond to internal mental events such as pain or anger etc.
  • Prefrontal Cortex This region is involved in anticipating the future, making plans, organizing action, monitoring results, changing plans, and settling conflicts between different goals. These are called the Executive Functions. Where emotion is concerned, the Prefrontal Cortex helps us to foresee the emotional rewards (or penalties) of different courses of action. It also inhibits emotional reactions. Many more nerve fibers head down from the Prefrontal Cortex to the Limbic System circuitry than in the other direction. The left side of the Prefrontal Cortex plays a special role in controlling negative emotion and aggression. For example, stroke victims whose left Prefrontal Cortex is damaged tend to become more irritable, distraught, and hostile. Activation of the left Prefrontal Cortex is associated with positive emotions, which, has been proven to be stimulated by long term meditation practice. Once again, just in case you needed any further motivation to meditate, you have it right here!
  • Anterior Cingulate Cortex – This sits in the middle of the brain, centrally located for communication with the Prefrontal Cortex and the Limbic System. It monitors conflicts between different potential objects of attention, for example ‘Should I notice the flowers in these bushes or that snake slithering toward me?’,  ‘Should I listen to my wife’s story or focus on this TV show?’. It flags these conflicts for resolution by the frontal lobes. Therefore, it lights up when we attend to emotionally relevant stimuli, or sustain our attention to important feelings – inside ourselves and other people – in the face of competing stimuli. In action, this would help us to read and sense emotions in others, instead of perhaps getting lured off track by their words which might attempt to contradict their true emotion.
  • Nucleus Accumbens – In conditions of emotional arousal, especially fear-related, the accumbens receives a major wake-up call of dopamine, which primes it to receive information coming from the amygdala and other regions. Consequently, the accumbens sends more intense signals to the brain relay station for the motor systems, which results in heightened behavioral activity. This system works for both negative and positive feelings. For example, the accumbens would light up if an addict were to see their drug or drink of choice.
  • Insula – The insula is involved in picking up the inner sensations of the body, the changes which come with different emotional states. It is the brain region which unlocks the deeper layers of your emotional life, and it is also key to empathy, to being able to sense the primary emotions in others, such as fear, pain, or disgust.

As a therapist and meditation coach I love to understand a little more about the inner mechanics of neural patterns, those very patterns, connections and brain regions which we are able to change for the better with effective therapy and meditation practices.

Neural plasticity is the term which is used by neuroscientists to describe the ever changing inner structure of connections and connectivity within the brain. The good news is, that your brain is not a genetically pre-determined lump of matter. It is plastic, and with the right guidance, interventions and practice, it can change in a way which results in more positive emotions, improved resilience, less stress, better concentration and quicker learning.

Lisa Bardell is a Performance Coach, NLP Master Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Modern Meditation Coach running private clinics in the heart of the City of London ( Liverpool St ) and Cheshire, and Corporate Coaching Programmes for businesses in Manchester and London. Lisa leads regular Coaching Workshops and Retreats, tickets and details can be found in the Eventbrite link:

– LisaBardellCoachingLtd.eventbrite.co.uk

LisaBardellCoaching.co.uk

LisaBardellCoaching.co.uk/Meditation

LisaBardellCoaching.co.uk/Events

LisaBardellCoaching.co.uk/Retreats

2017… Planning with pleasure. Goals for goddesses…

If you want to  plan for pleasure you have to plan with pleasure. Welcome to my guide to goals for goddesses… 

 

goals

It will soon be time to wish you all a Happy New Year. You might already be thinking about the year ahead. Maybe you will want to remedy the excesses of Christmas, maybe you want to get fit and stay in shape for the whole year, maybe you’re ready for a lifestyle overhaul, or maybe you want something completely new? – a big change in your life, your income or your career?

Whatever you would like to plan, to action and to enjoy for the New Year and beyond, here are some of my Top Tips for setting, sticking to and achieving your goals for the future, instead of falling half heartedly off track before Spring has even sprung.

You can apply and adapt this strategy to any area of your life, and you can also use it for regular reviews to fine tune your goals and plans on a monthly basis.

#Review 2016

Before starting anything new, it’s always a good idea to review what came before, just the same way you would start your new year business strategy with a review of the previous year’s performance, you can adopt this approach for yourself too.

1/ Begin by Celebrating Your Successes – yes take a moment ( or an hour ) to pat yourself on the back for what went well, where you performed well, where you achieved what you set out to, or where you acted resourcefully in the face of challenges.

One very useful and interesting fact about our brains and emotions, is that when we remember events from the past, and really associate and connect into the feelings, we actually produce the biochemistry of those positive emotions all over again – the brain does not know the difference! – all the neurological pathways of chemical and electrical messages get sent around our whole bodies once more. Connecting in to positive emotional states is always useful!

2/ Next step is to Acknowledge What Didn’t Work – without getting stuck into lamenting mistakes and mishaps! – do this succinctly to allow you to move on to point 3

3/ Now Reflect on what Lessons you have Learnt from the above. Note what you will take forward and use for the future.

4/ Let the rest GO! Yes just set a clear intention to let it go, the least useful thing you can do is to hang on to old emotional clutter. When you carry frustration and resentment forward with you, it shows. And more importantly you unwittingly send it out as an unspoken message. Every emotional state has a vibrational quality to it, and you will be broadcasting out your message, whether you intend to or not! ( if you don’t want to take my word for it, refer to Albert Einstein – more on that later! )

#Start with a Dream

Getting creative is important. When I work with my clients on specific goals, projects or problem solving, I walk them through the ‘Disney Strategy’ ( I won’t cover this in full here ). Walt Disney was a man who knew the power of dreaming, and conjuring up ideas…so much so he built it in to his business strategy. In fact he put so much emphasis on creativity he spent whole days or even weeks intentionally immersed in a creative, fluid mindset which he ensured was unhindered by being too practical, logistical or problem focussed.

So I would encourage you to do the same, here are the rules to adding ‘Dreaming Time’ in to your goal setting success strategy:

1/ Only dreams and ideas are allowed – schedule in your ‘Dreaming Time’, and when you have set the time aside, this time is only for IDEAS. Do not start criticising them, or checking them for practicalities at this stage. Just let the ideas flow, and make a note of them.

2/ Ask yourself this – ‘If I could guarantee it would work out, what would I do?’ – this question can help you start the flow and be more imaginative.

3/ Relax – we are at our most creative in relaxed and slow brainwave states – our brains are constantly sending out electric waves of information to other parts of our brain,  to our bodies, and to the space around ( including other people ). Brain wave frequencies affect out thoughts. The busy brainwave state that we are in most of the time is called Beta, it is fast, analytical and logical – the opposite of what we need for creative thinking! To help us be at our most fluid and inspirational, we need to slow down. You can easily do this by setting an intention to relax, slowing down your breathing, and engaging your peripheral vision.

#Reality Check– get practical, draw on all your previous experiences of ‘making things happen’ and seeing projects through to the end, and decide what your goals or intentions for the year will be.

#Be Specific – the more specific you are the better, this will help with all of the following steps. So you will be wanting, dates, colours, locations, people and all manner of details ready for your goal. It’s important. Make it real and make it personal to you.

#Understand the Power of the Inner Experience

Step in to the future, to already having achieved your goal. Now notice how you feel inside from having done it already. Notice your external environment, people, settings, notice how you look, and really get in touch with your inner experience of this, feeling how good it feels. Your brain will be forming neural connections for you, which will already be aligning you with this future by helping you to form a sort of ‘perceptual filter’ through which to take in messages. Most important of all is this inner experience of emotion.
This will be some sort of positive feeling; maybe pride, satisfaction, contentment, happiness, joy, confidence. Whatever it is, really make a note of it because this is what you are going to be motivated TOWARDS. Using this emotion will help you to express what you WANT in POSITIVE language. Most of the time, left to our own devices, we talk about our goals and futures by telling ourselves and others about what we DON’T want or about some PROBLEM we are trying to solve…..eg, get out of debt, stop feeling anxious, get away from an ex, move on from a bullying boss etc.

When we express ourselves in this language we are setting off all those neural pathways in our brains and bodies associated with the problem, and we are also triggering our emotional response to that problem too eg, fear, frustration, anger, sadness. OK it may be a diluted response, but still we are sending it to every cell of our bodies, and because emotions have a molecular structure, they also have a vibration. If we vibrate negative emotion we attract it back in, just like a human tuning fork, we resonate with other negative vibrations. Now this might all sound a little ‘woo woo’, but actually it’s science, back to my previous mention of Albert Einstein, who put it like this:

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy, this is physics.”

So there you have it. Connect with the POSITIVE EMOTION that reaching your goal will bring you. And immerse yourself in that emotion as often as you can.

Put another way, if you are feeling sad, lonely, fearful and desperate to reach your goal – all you will send out energetically is that negative emotion, and it is highly unlikely you will align yourself with your positive future.

As Albert puts it, you have to match the frequency of what you want FIRST, in order to achieve more of it. THIS IS THE DIFFERENCE WHICH MAKES THE DIFFERENCE TO YOUR SUCCESS STRATEGY, and it’s the key to all Coaching & Therapy.

You have to begin feeling good, OK and positive BEFORE you reach your goal, and each step of the way as you take your actions to reach your goal.

If you are relying on reaching your goal as your only way to feel OK, you will find the path to success much slower and bumpier ( this is where professional help can come in very handy, as some people do need to work through their negative emotion before they can really begin to make progress )

#Say it out Loud – summarise the specifics of your goal, and how you WANT TO FEEL – and say it out loud. When we use language and speak ( out loud, or in your head ) we light up specific neural pathways in our brains, the more positive neural pathways we light up in connection to what we want, the more solid the foundations we are laying, and the more familiar our brains become with what we want, and the more branches of other positive pathways are likely to spread out across our brains.

The good news is that our brains are plastic, the term ‘neural plasticity’ explains how new neural connections are made as our brains learn. With the right information and intentions, we can feed our brains, we can mold and shape them in new directions, away from old stuck patterns and into new territory.

#Write it Down – same principle, different pathways – writing down information lights up different areas of the brain.

#Build a Dream Board – get visual – same principle, different pathways – visualising lights up different areas of the brain, and is one of the most powerful ways to fire together new neurons in the brain, so that they wire together. Putting lots of images and key words together in a board can help you to keep reminding yourself of the visual information and connecting up with your goal in a way which will change your brain.

#Chunk it Down – to reduce a potential sense of overwhelm that can come from having lots to do, chunk down your steps into bite size and achievable chunks which are set against REALISTIC timescales. The last thing you want to do is be beating yourself up for not having enough time! Diarise what you are doing, it can help to use a colourful, wall planner which again appeals to the very powerful visual senses which are equally useful when planning as they are when imagining.

#Find an Accountability Partner – tell someone else your plans, and ask them to hold you accountable, to check in on you. Give them key dates when you will be doing certain things and give them permission to chase you on where you are up to. Accountability makes us much more likely to meet our deadlines. We only have to compare our productivity and focus at work with our bosses and line managers with the way we are at home to know that!

#Be Flexible – I’m all for having a strategy, for formalising steps and actions and being specific about goals and outcomes. However, in the spirit of connecting up with positive emotion, of matching the frequency of what we want ( back to Albert ) and of communicating useful energy to our selves, our cells, to others, and to the universe at large – I would encourage a sense of fluidity and flexibility in every approach.

Firstly, if you are not working with a professional coach or therapist – setting rigid goals and action plans can tend to pile on the pressure and have you stressed out, tired and stumbling around in clouds of brain fog. Fact: Stress fogs your brain and switches off your clever, creative and resourceful functioning!

So remember, it’s all about ‘Progress NOT Perfection’. Always find time and ways to de-stress to cultivate your most powerful inner platform to succeed.

Secondly, through staying fluid and flexible, we might actually find we start to get drawn towards another, even more brilliant and suitable route than the one we had planned. When we stay relaxed open and positive we can begin to attract and engineer all kinds of amazing opportunities, possibly quite different to what we had in mind at the start of they year.

I hope you enjoy the process, and your year ahead, and make a note to be to be kind to yourself along the way. You now understand both the power of positive emotion, the huge part it plays in successful living AND you appreciate the mechanics of how those toxic negative emotions really will slow your success down!

To view a FREE VIDEO INTRODUCTION to a ‘Daily Meditation, Relaxation & Self Coaching Programme’ called SHINE, to help you succeed and thrive in your year ahead – click here: SHINE FREE VIDEO

Lisa Bardell is an Executive Coach, Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Accredited Meditation Coach and Creator of SHINE Meditation. She runs private Coaching Practices in Central London and Cheshire, Corporate Coaching Programmes for businesses in Manchester and London, regular Meditation Workshops in the UK and Transformational Retreats in Ibiza and Bordeaux. More information can be found on her website: LisaBardellCoaching.co.uk

 

What predicts a successful life?

What is a successful and satisfying life?

We all have our own opinions on what makes someone’s life look like a success from where we see it. But there is a simple definition of a successful life which I like to use, because many people who look like they have it all, are still not happy, not satisfied and do no feel good enough or successful on the inside ( in fact a lot of the time this inner sense of lack is what keeps driving some people to achieve more ). So let’s keep it simple:

  • “A successful life is one which is ENJOYED by the person who lives it”

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How do we get to ENJOY our lives?

Good question – this is something I work on all the time with clients, many of them extremely ‘successful’ yet deeply unhappy.

One of the UK’s foremost ‘happiness’ experts, Professor Richard Layard and his team, have been asking themselves the same question. What factors lead some people to a predisposition to feel happy, satisfied with their lot, and to enjoy an inner sense of success as an adult?

After investigating the factors in a person’s life that can best predict whether they will lead satisfied lives, a team headed by, has come up with an answer that may prove controversial. Any parents reading this may want to take note.

Layard and his colleagues at the Wellbeing research programme at the London School of Economics conclude that a child’s emotional health is far more important to their satisfaction levels as an adult than other factors, such as if they achieve academic success when young, or wealth when older. The authors explain that evaluating the quality of a child’s emotional health is based on analysing a range of internal factors in a person’s early life, including whether they endured unhappiness, sleeplessness, eating disorders, bedwetting, fearfulness or tiredness.

The academics claim that their study, What Predicts a Successful Life? A Life-course Model of Well-being, published in the latest edition of the Economic Journal, offers “a completely new perspective on which factors contribute most to a satisfying life”. The study claims to challenge “the basic assumption of educational policy in recent years – that academic achievement matters more than anything else”. This claim appears to be an implicit criticism of former education secretary Michael Gove, who instructed schools not to focus on “peripheral” issues such as children’s moral, social and cultural development in favour of academic excellence. Gove’s successor, Nicky Morgan, has pledged to reverse this approach.

Many people have assumed income is the most important factor in an adult’s life satisfaction. But the academics say their data makes clear this is far less important than emotional health – both in a child and in an adult. “Income only explains about 1% of the variation in life satisfaction among people in the UK – one sixth of the fraction explained by emotional health,” they note.

Money really can’t buy you happiness…

The findings might be controversial, giving some measurable evidence that education and income are among the least important determinants of adult success, as measured by life satisfaction!

It’s interesting and welcome ( in my opinion ) that the economics of happiness or wellbeing is now a growing and respected discipline within economics that is starting to influence politicians.

David Cameron has even reportedly stated: “It’s time we admitted that there’s more to life than money and it’s time we focused not just on GDP but on GWB – general well-being.”

Imagine the effect of a nation of much more content as satisfied people….I wonder how much less we would spend trying to make ourselves look better, feel better or escape our stresses?….

Neither can academic achievement!

The report boldly concludes:

  • “We find that the intellectual performance of a child is the least important childhood predictor of life-satisfaction as an adult.”

Well the good news is, if your childhood has already happened, and if your adulthood has been plagued by feeling unhappy, fearful, dissatisfied or stuck – the brain is very good at re-wiring, with the right guidance, no matter what your background or childhood history. All is not lost!

Read my client testimonials here:

http://lisabardellcoaching.co.uk/success-stories/

Learn Mind Calm Modern Meditation with me, for Serenity and Success:

http://lisabardellcoaching.co.uk/meditation/

There’s more to Weight Loss than Willpower…

Weight Loss Secrets

What is the key to successful and sustainable weight loss? Most of my clients who want to work with me to lose weight, to change their eating habits, or to resolve a relationship with food which feels completely out of control, ask for more willpower. That is what they believe they truly need, and a good dose of extra willpower will sort out all their food, eating and therefore weight issues. So is that it? Is weight gain, over-eating and bingeing all a simple matter of being weak willed? Well, there is more to it than that. Willpower – or resisting that which is it hard to say NO to –  is NOT the only focus during therapy courses to help with weight loss, or to remedy poor eating habits. Willpower is only ever a temporary strategy which fatigues like a muscle…

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Let’s look at the bigger picture when it comes to really working successfully with clients who want to lose weight, and keep it off. Enlisting the help of a hypnotherapist can be the difference that really makes the difference for many clients, after years of weight gain, and very limited success at losing weight which then just seems to pile back on faster than ever. If you are reading because this resonates with you, it’s likely that some of the below will be familiar:

  • A sense of ongoing struggle to lose weight and keep it off.
  • Food cravings, constant thoughts of food, diet, figure.
  • Overeating, not controlling portions, not knowing when you are full, or eating when you know you are full.
  • Eating to feel better in times of stress or emotional strain, using food as a treat or reward.
  • No energy or motivation to exercise.
  • Poor body image – feeling unattractive, withdrawn, depressed about your weight.
  • Feeling stressed and managing a stressful life, juggling and keeping people happy.

The effect of stress

Firstly let’s look at the role of stress and negative emotion in weight gain. The talk of stress has become part of everyday life for many of us. There are many ways to work on managing stress, and resolving negative emotions, but this is particularly important in relation to clients who struggle to lose weight and keep it off, because stress effects the physiology of our whole body and plays havoc with our metabolism and appetite. The effect of stress on our systems creates all the wrong conditions for weight loss and emotional well-being. In fact instead it leads us to hold on to calories or gain weight. The more stressed you are about your life, relationships or your work, the more difficult it will be to lose weight, and the more negative emotion you will need to ‘soothe and comfort’ with food. Ironically the more stressed and upset you are about your weight and your body, the more you are likely to hold on to weight and slow your metabolism down.

The stress hormone cortisol causes fatigue in the adrenal glands, which is likely to lead to

  • Cravings.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Irregular appetite.
  • Fatigue and poor sleep.
  • Slow metabolism.
  • Weight gain around the middle and abdomen.

When working with my clients who want to lose weight and change a dysfunctional relationship with food, we always work on resolving the stress and the negative emotion FIRST. The first port of call for all clieats is to help them feel OK, positive and resourceful,  just as they are. The more a client depends and ‘needs’ weight loss or any change in their body or their lives, as their ONLY way to feel good – the more they get locked into patterns of downward spiralling emotion and despair, which is painful and fuels the very problems they are trying to fix. 

Some people choose to comfort or soothe pain with alcohol, some choose exercise, some gambling, some sex or sexual attention, some spend lots of money, some book facials, treatments or spa weekends. We all tend to have our own range of go-to strategies to pick us up when we feel down – with clients who binge or overeat, food has become their strategy.

The science of weight loss therapy

Neural-plasticity is the term we use to explain the brain’s natural ability to change and make new connections and pathways. It explains how people are able to make extraordinary changes in the way they think, feel and behave after therapy.

If we allow the brain to be in a different, specific state, it learns that state, and finds it much easier to get back to it again through the pathways which have already been created.

Hypnosis, NLP and EFT collapse any old neural pathways in the brain which are behind the old thoughts, feelings and behaviour patterns towards food, eating and health. In turn through specific techniques and skilful language patterns, the skilled therapist will guide each client to form new pathways and patterns in the brain which are in line with all the changes they want, the changes that are going to make a sustainable difference to their weight, health and emotional comfort.

Willpower and the brain

During client sessions I focus on the three components of willpower, which correspond with three different areas of the brain within the pre-frontal cortex, which is found just behind the forehead.

  • Right side – “I WON’T” – This area is responsible for our ability to stop doing something, which is not useful or in line with our goals. You can fill in the gaps here with your own story!
  • Left side – “I WILL” – This area is responsible for our ability to find motivation to do something, stick at it, stay on track even when it gets a bit tough, boring or inconvenient. I will leave these examples to your imagination…( who mentioned ‘treadmill’?)
  • Underneath – “I WANT” – This area is responsible for our ability to have a really clear idea of what we want, what the point is, the bigger picture, why our goals are so important to us. This area keeps us in touch with remembering what we care about most…Health. Comfort. Vitality. Longevity. Wardrobe options. Feeling great about ourselves and our bodies! This is a very important area to work on.

With all of these lines of communication in the brain strengthened both inside and between each specific area, can you already see how that old idea of needing strong willpower becomes less of an issue?

With these brain changes in place, it naturally becomes easier to make good intentional choices.

Willpower implies that there is a constant and challenging struggle, that staying on track is going to be hard, a battle we must be strong to win. Is this what it’s all about? Thankfully not! Once the root cause issues are fully resolved, the old patterns and dependancies ( whatever they are ) just fall away, like a layer of skin ready to shed – like something which is no longer needed, which no longer fits.

Success and sustainable change is simply a matter of therapeutically re-wiring our unconscious patterns and neural pathways in a new and more useful way. A way that is aligned with the “I want”. That is what Hypnosis, NLP and EFT are so brilliant at helping with – getting into those deeper layers of the unconscious or subconscious programming, and influencing change where it is needed.

If you are undecided whether to invest in the help of an expert practitioner to tackle your goals, here are some great tips for you tackling it alone:

Before you begin taking action to lose weight, apply yourself to this exercise in full in preparation to do it more easily

  • Really identify what you want in detail, get in touch with it – The “I WANT”
  • Express that in positives, so it really is about what you want e.g., health, freedom to make healthy choices, fitness, comfort in my clothes, wardrobe and style choices, energy, focuS.
  • AVOID negative language, even if it is internal chatter, is activating the most unhelpful neural pathways in your brain for the job in hand. The power of words and language is immense, so choose it wisely to activate helpful neurology!
  • What will achieving your goals give you – in positives.
  • How will it feel – How will you look – What will people say to you – What will you be saying to yourself?
  • Have reminders of your goal around if that helps – photos, outfits, holidays, wedding dates – whatever makes it real and keeps it in your awareness
  • Buddy up and have support from others  – but keep the talk positive!
  • Plan and organize – shopping, schedules, recipes, Tupperware…think ahead so you create healthy choices for yourself and avoid getting hungry – that’s when the internal saboteur kicks in.
  • How do you need to be feeling, what states are most useful? Confident, focussed, motivated, calm, positive?
  • Choose a couple of useful emotional states and IMMERSE yourself in them, by remembering times when you felt like that before. See, hear, feel – get fully in touch with the emotion, and allow your brain to just naturally make these connections.
  • The brain doesn’t know the difference between imagining yourself in to a positive emotional state, or whether it arrived organically – YOUR BRAIN DOES NOT CARE!! It fires together all the confident, calm, positive neurons, and they then wire together – just like re-wiring your brain for success. Clever eh?

Some practical tips

  • Practice simple paced breathing before eating (or any time you want to relax)  or during cravings – If you focus your attention on taking deep slow breaths, and allow your out-breath to be longer than your in-breath ( in for the count of 5/6 out for the count of 7/8 ) The vagus nerve responds by putting the body into the ‘relaxation response’ which allows you better digestion, faster metabolic rate, better decision making to have your actions around food fully aligned with your goals.
  • Mindful eating  – Enjoy the sight and the smell of your food. Enjoy each mouthful slowly, savouring the taste and texture. Eat slowly, taking breaks to put your cutlery down, stay in touch with the signals from your gut which tell your brain you are full and satisfied.
  • Allow you brain and body time and space to ENJOY and take PLEASURE from food.

 

If you would like to read more about me, or my Specialist Weight Loss & Disordered Eating Therapy, the link below might be of interest. I work one to one from my private clinics in Cheshire and London, or over Skype.

http://lisabardellcoaching.co.uk/weight-loss/ 

5 Top Tips for a CALM Christmas…

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Christmas is just one month away, and with all the planning, preparation, shopping, wrapping and deadlines that will fly by.

We are supposed to love Christmas right? Good will to all men yes? Cosy family gatherings filled with love and warmth?…..

Hang on – reality check. Fact: Christmas is the most stressful time of year for many, and often leads to a toxic festive cocktail of fears, fatigue, guilt, comparison and self criticism…An emotional hangover. Not to mention the need for a harsh New Year regime to remedy all those perceived wrongs, shortfalls and excesses.

So here is my guide, or to be more accurate, here is my suggested approach with 5 Top Tips to help you cultivate the best inner environment to make space for some festive joy and Christmas sparkle.

#Gratitude

We focus so much of our thinking, time and energy on to what / who we DON’T like, what we DON’T want, what we DON’T have and what we CAN’T do – Negative mental activity. And this is a major cause of stress, dissatisfaction and a busy mind which just will not slow down or switch off.

So SWITCH your focus, RE-DIRECT your attention to what you are grateful for, and appreciative of. Instead of comparing yourself and your circumstances unfavourably, CHOOSE to nurture and cherish what is good. There is always something to be grateful for. Wake up each morning and fairly early in your routine write 3 things that you are grateful for that day….A car which gets you from A to B – A friend who listens – A warm cardi on a cold day – A smile from a family member – 2 legs which carry you around – A hot shower – A beautifully wrapped pressie – A hot meal on the table……..Anything, large or small.

#Love

For centuries we thought our brain was the body’s command centre, but recent research suggests that the heart has much more influence than we thought. For example, did you know that your heart connects and communicates with other organs not only through blood circulation but also through an electromagnetic field? The heart’s electromagnetic field is 60 times more powerful than the brain’s.

The Institute of Heartmath are a group of dedicated scientists who are researching the heart, and it’s role in emotional and physical wellbeing. Their research has shown that our hearts can help us overcome depression, anxiety, insomnia and many other physical and mental illnesses. And interestingly, we can connect to other human beings by the frequencies sent through our hearts!

  • Direct your attention in to your heart centre ( just like if I asked you to direct your attention to your right foot, you would suddenly be more aware of your right foot, even though it had been there all along )
  • From here, imagine someone you love or who is dear to you, it could be a pet or a person ( just get a sense of them, you don’t have to actually fully visualize them, as some people are not so visual – it is the INTENTION of imagining the person which is the most important. It might help to close your eyes )
  • Allow yourself to notice your sense of connection to that person whilst keeping your attention in your heart centre. Almost like you are observing them from your heart
  • Send your loving intention to them, imagine you can radiate your love for them outwards from your heart
  • Envelop them in this love, and as you do this, notice if this love has a colour
  • Notice what you can be aware of in the other person as they absorb all the love. How do they look?

This tip can help us to produce the feel good hormone Oxytocin, which makes us feel connected and calm and is a great antidote to stress. Oxytocin also opens up our blood capillaries, which reduces blood pressure and inflammation in the body, and in turn boosts the immune system ( ref: David Hamilton PhD’s book ‘Why Kindness is Good For You’ ). Do this daily.

You can also do this with eyes open when you are actually with a person, it can help to strengthen bonds and a mutual sense of connection. It can also help us to accept and be less judgemental if there is something that person does or says which annoys us. In fact, over the festive period, if you anticipate someone will stress you out, you can practice this exercise in advance and it will subtly but powerfully adjust your energetic communication towards them for the better.

#Meditation

Spend 5-10 minutes twice a day practicing this simple meditation to help you still your mind, master your attention and calm your nervous system

  • Direct your attention into your heart centre
  • As you breathe imagine that each breath is coming directly in to your heart centre, and out of it as you breathe out
  • Breathe in fully and slowly
  • Breathe out fully with a long, slow out breath
  • Stay focused on your breathing, you can even make a count of one, each time you finish an out breath
  • If you lose your focus or your mind drifts off into activity again, simply start over again and return your attention to your heart centre and to your breathing
  • Your mind will wander, that’s fine and normal, so there’s no need to berate yourself or get frustrated, just keeping gently returning your focus
  • It is like a mini ‘training programme’ for your attention – each time it wanders off and you have realized, you just guide it back. A little like puppy training for your mind. Gentle guidance

#BeKindToYourself

Become aware of your self-talk. By being more aware and waking up to our inner dialogue, we can become conscious OF what we used to be unconscious TO! We may discover we talk to ourselves in a way we would be ashamed of talking to someone else!!

“What we are aware of we can control. What we are not yet aware of can control us” – Anthony De Mello

  • Take on the role of your own mentor or coach, someone who loves and unconditionally supports you. Maybe a little like how you would be with a younger brother or sister
  • Catch yourself talking or commenting in an unsupportive way and STOP
  • Direct your attention to your heart centre, practice a little slow breathing into your heart centre
  • Allow the coach / mentor / supporter to speak. Be gentle, encouraging and kind

Resolving stress and choosing a calm response is simply about breaking some old patterns, and collapsing down the old neurological pathways which used to run that stress pattern for you unconsciously. With a little intention and commitment this is surprisingly easy, and with regularity and awareness it acts like a re-wiring of the brain, with the new wiring being more supportive and calming.

Be kind to yourself every day as often as you can, when you realize you were about to criticize yourself, compare yourself unfavourably or beat yourself up.

#ChangeChannel

In the same way as we can re-wire old neurological pathways of negative self talk, we can actually learn to have fingertip control of our emotional state. A bit like having a magic remote control, we can change channel and choose which emotional programme we want.

  • Immerse yourself in an emotional state from the past, from a memory – let’s say a time when you were calm, or confident or happy. Really take in the moment through your senses as if it’ s happening right now.
  • Notice what you can see, hear and feel
  • Set an anchor point on your body, maybe squeezing finger and thumb together, or touching your thumb inside the palm of your hand
  • Use this anchor point when you are in the calmest, or most powerful parts of the memory, in the sensations in your body – you will know when that is. Don’t try to figure out how to do it right, just allow your imagination to do what it is designed to do
  • Your brain will make neural connections, it will learn this state of calm or confidence, it does not differentiate between a real event or an imagined one. Neurons in the brain will fire together, and will then wire together ( re-wire ) regardless of whether this event really happened or not. Clever eh?
  • Practice, practice, practice – getting in to these useful imagined states. Practice squeezing your fingers or palm in the same place as you immerse yourself. Within a short space of time, just like Pavlov’s famous dogs who were ‘conditioned’ to salivate at the sound of a bell. You can recreate your useful state just from the squeezing, it sets off a neurological short-cut, just like a button on the remote. Fingertip control!

This will allow you to sail through Christmas, to navigate through New Year with ease. You can choose your emotional state, and any time you need a little boost, a little more calm or confidence, you just get out your remote control, squeeze the buttons and you can simply flood your neurology, and your physiology with more of what you want.

Remember, Christmas is really just your life under the microscope – relationships – deadlines – expectations – money – organization – lifestyle – self  talk……

If you adopt my CALM approach for LIFE, not for just for Christmas, who knows what Christmases of the future may hold….?

Reach me on http://lisabardellcoaching.co.uk/

Read more blog posts on http://lisabardellcoaching.co.uk/blog/

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Suspend your judgement…

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Sometimes not getting what you think you want is a wonderful stroke of luck…

We have all had those times of reflection, when we have looked back on times or events which were upsetting and stressful, times when things appeared not to be going our way, going ‘wrong’ or out of control –  and yet with the benefit of hindsight and with the passage of time – we realise that event, those circumstances, that exact ‘disappointment’ was exactly what needed to happen.

In fact it was, in the grand scheme of things it was the major transition point with a huge learning for life, or it lead to a new path, a big change, or something wonderful further down the line.

This has been the case for me personally in many big areas of my life and it has taught me to go with the ebb and flow of life, to surrender to what is, without getting stuck, paralysed, and totally stressed out – resisting life as it unfolds and dwelling on what could have been – there is inevitably something much better, more truthful and more fulfilling, just around the corner no matter how big the set-back seems!

With relationships there was a man I thought was perfect, really wanted to be with. It didn’t even get started – and yet knowing what I know now, with further observation, he was totally unsuitable and treats his current partner terribly. What a lucky escape!

Financially, a very big let down, a large sum which was owed to me for work I did, taught me the value of money after years of earning a fortune in a corporate role, and quite frankly taking cash for granted. It reminded me of what is really important in life, and guided me into creating a simple life which works beautifully.

With work, the same role which owed me those funds, felt like the perfect job at the time – yet the fact that it didn’t happen the way I thought I wanted it to, created the BIGGEST, most freeing shift in my life, taking me on a new path to the most fulfilling way of earning a living I could ever have imagined. And SO much more! I’m eternally grateful it went as ‘wrong’ as it did. That perceived ‘wrong’ was so RIGHT.

So if we can simply suspend our judgements…

We free ourselves up to

  • trusting the flow of life
  • embracing the twists and turns
  • stopping the resistance to ‘what is’
  • looking forward to that point in the future, where we look back and realise everything is exactly as it should be…

Ask yourself what you are resisting, what you are judging about your life at this moment, and play with the possibility of suspending your judgement. Let it go. Create some space between your stimulus or life event, and as the famous neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl said – you get to CHOOSE your response to it.

 

 

 

Build your wings on the way down…The power of intention

Sometimes in life we just have to jump and build our wings on the way down….

What does this mean? Well we can get stuck in a rut, or even frozen by ‘analysis paralysis’ when we put off making a decision, taking action, making changes or moving on…..And WHY do we do this? We convince ourselves that the perfect moment, circumstances or environment will be just around the corner, and THEN we will make our move.

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If this is a regular pattern for you, the chances are you won’t ever take the actions and you will get locked into a cycle of waiting for the right moment, only for it to pass you by altogether.

The power of intention

There’s a lot to be said for making a commitment, for sending a CLEAR intention out into the universe….In my experience if you boldly go, the universe catches you and throws some support your way to boot.

Once you are broadcasting out the energy of what you want, once you are radiating out what you want to be, you do actually start aligning yourself with that future – consciously and unconsciously – you begin to get stuff done, take opportunities, create opportunities and notice what can help you by seeing the world through a slightly different filter.

David Hamilton PhD is an ex lead scientist from AstraZeneca, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, he spent years creating drugs for cancer and heart disease, and he became intrigued by the ‘placebo effect’ – the power of subconscious belief to produce healing in the body through administering an inert sugar pill in drug trials. David then left to research mind-body science and become an author and world famous speaker. He has written a brilliant book called ‘Is Your Life Mapped Out’, which explores and explains the quantum physics theories of energy and information, and the sophisticated ways which we communicate with others, with our environment and the universe at large. There is science to the Power of Intention!

So, if there’s something you’re sitting on or dithering over…Just do it. Take action. Jump and allow the universe to catch you!

WWW.LISABARDELLCOACHING.CO.UK

Rumination causes Stress, Anxiety & Depression – It’s official!

The UK’s biggest ever online test into stress

The BBC’s Lab UK and the University of Liverpool, have revealed that rumination is the biggest predictor of the most common mental health problems in the country.

It’s official! Dwelling on the past and predicting the future can predispose you to Stress, Anxiety and Depression.

rumination

The BBC News Magazine online, reported the study last year. Whilst psychologists agree that a little self-reflection can be a good thing, it has now been shown that when introspection goes awry and thoughts get stuck on repeat, playing over and over in the mind it leads to emotional and mental health issues of all kinds.

The new research has demonstrated the scale of negative impact which the ruminating thinking style carries.

Psychological response

The ground-breaking study, published in the journal ‘PLOS ONE’, suggests that brooding too much on negative events is the biggest predictor of depression and anxiety and determines the level of stress people experience. The research even suggests a person’s psychological response is a more important factor than what has actually happened to them.

A total of 32,827 people from 172 countries took part in the online stress test devised by the BBC’s Lab UK and psychologists at the University of Liverpool, making it the biggest study of its kind ever undertaken in the UK.

Peter Kinderman, who led the study and is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Liverpool says “We found that people who didn’t ruminate or blame themselves for their difficulties had much lower levels of depression and anxiety, even if they’d experienced many negative events in their lives”.

“Dwelling on negative thoughts and self blame have previously been recognised as important when it comes to mental health, but not to the extent this study has shown. The findings suggest both are crucial psychological pathways to depression and anxiety.”

Life events

Traumatic life events, such as abuse or childhood bullying, were the biggest cause of anxiety and depression when dwelled upon. But importantly, these events in themselves do not cause depression and anxiety. The influence that these events bear on future mental health and emotional issues, is in leading a person to ruminate on what has happened.

These findings show us how psychological response styles in themselves are causal and integral to the development of problems or later diagnoses, and that people do not merely become ill and then show changes in their psychology as a result.

Is there something we can do to stop rumination?

Indeed there is….

Meditation is a simple practice, which teaches us mastery over our own attention. If we ruminate and over-think, we are unconsciously giving all of our attention to our minds. In brain terms the area of activity is in the Posterior Cinglate Cortex – which is like our ‘self-referential’ thinking default network.

Unbeknown to most of us, our brains can easily be trained, in fact totally re-wired, to quiet down this area of the brain, in order that we can experience ‘effortless awareness’. Our minds can be the most brilliant tool, but sometimes we can end up getting used and abused BY our minds. Meditation helps us to train our attention and reclaim our power over our attention and our thoughts.

Scientific research into people who meditate discovered there were dramatic physiological changes versus non-meditators. MRI scanning has allowed science to look at the brain in a way which was not possible previously. Modern research has looked at how meditation changes the structure of the brain, something which it has always done since it’s origins, but which had not been measured until the last decade.

What goes on in the brain?

The amygdala is the part of the brain which produces the Stress Response. Recent research by neuroscientist Dr Sarah Lazar, Assistant Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, and associate researcher in Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, has shown that with regular meditation, the amygdala gets ‘turned down’ and shrinks, it gets quieter in a way which is consistent with decreased arousal and greater feelings of peace.

What’s interesting is that in the study the external life of the participants had not changed at all, it was simply their response to their external ‘stressors’ which changed. Reducing stress and anxiety need not be about changing your life, it is about changing your relationship to your life.

Mind Calm Meditation

If you would like to learn Mind Calm Meditation with me, get in touch. It is a simple, modern and highly effective technique created by best selling author, acclaimed meditation teacher and award winning trainer Sandy C. Newbigging. I have been trained personally by Sandy to teach this method and I offer it as one to one coaching or in group workshops.

Take a look at these pages of my website for all of the information you will need. Or book onto one of my UK Mind Calm ‘Serenity & Success Workshops’ – These ever more popular events have been selling out all over the UK since June 2014, with a growing audience and word of mouth spreading the tangible, achievable and LIFE CHANGING benefits which clients experience within a matter of weeks of being taught this transformational technique. READ MORE OR BOOK HERE:

LisaBardellCoaching.co.uk/Events – LisaBardellCoaching.co.uk/CorporateLisaBardellCoaching.co.uk/Meditation 

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