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PTSD

PTSD – It Doesn’t Discriminate!

PTSD – It Doesn’t Discriminate!

PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or now known as PTSS – Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome has always been something associated with the armed forces, that is where you would hear about it the most. In our men and women returning from war, from all the awful things they had to endure, makes sense right?

If we look at what PTSD or PTSS stands for there is no where in there that it says anything about who does or doesn’t suffer from it, not like it is labelled PTSDM – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Military.  It is really just a societal belief that those that have gone to war are most likely going to suffer from it due to the experiences they have endured.

But PTSD Does Not Discriminate, it doesn’t care what your job is or even your experience it just comes from a time where your brain has been overwhelmed by an experience and a trauma capsule is formed to protect you.

I learned this of course in my studies and working as a Counsellor and EFT Practitioner who happens to specialise in Trauma, but most recently PTSD snuck up on me personally.

My daughter was diagnosed with Epilepsy in 2015, with her first tonic clonic seizure in December 2014, I remember bringing her home from the hospital and her lying on my lap and thinking to myself it is my responsibility to keep her safe and alive.  For three years I was on high alert never far from her and if she was at school my phone was glued to my hand, I was on call 24-7.

PTSD

 

I remember going to the gym and participating in cycle class and my phone would sit on the bike and between songs I would always stop to check it, to make sure I hadn’t missed a call from school.

During that time I also had to monitor her at night time for any seizure activity on instruction from the doctor, on our first appointment with her neurologist I remember him saying “You are aware she can die in her sleep, right?”  My husband and I were like a deer in the headlights, um no we weren’t aware of that.  So commenced nightly monitoring and no restful sleep for me.

We finally found a great combination of anti-seizure medication for her a couple of years ago and her seizures settled for the most part, still having some but nothing like they were in the beginning.  So I was able to start to stand down a little, not be on such high alert, able to breathe a little easier.

Fast forward to a couple months ago where her neurologist wanted to wean her off one of her medications, slowly we reduced her medication and this week she was completely off the medication and then whammo the seizures returned with a vengeance.

It hit me really hard, so many tears and breakdowns, I was feeling so worried and of course as a mum to a kid with epilepsy that makes sense right?  I could have easily just left it at that, she is having seizures it’s fair enough to be upset and worried.  But as I looked around both at her and my husband, they were not having the same reaction, they were still upbeat, coping reasonably well.

PTSD

So I had to look deeper at my reaction, why was I feeling this way?  Why was I responding differently?  What were these breakdowns really about?

In steps my PTSD, this experience was reminding me of a time where she was experiencing so many seizures, they were out of control.  So not only was I dealing with what was right in front of me in my present reality, I was also burdened with the past experiences.

It was time to heal what I had experienced previously so I could then deal with just what was happening in the present, without the burden of the past events.  Thankfully I knew exactly how to do that, EFT was and is my saviour, providing me with the emotional freedom I needed to continue to be able to cope with her Epilepsy.

I allowed the memories to come through showing me what parts of me, experiences and events I needed to start to heal.  The first one was as I mentioned earlier in this article, the time when we came home from hospital and she was laying on me and I made the promise to always keep her safe.

I tapped on that promise, on that heavy burden I had been carrying to keep her safe and alive.  Bit by bit, memory by memory and layer by layer I healed and released all that was burdening me and causing the decrease of my ability to cope in the present moment.

I am still a work in progress and as every memory surfaces I will heal and release, not forcing anything or having a timeline but knowing I have the perfect tool to help me to heal my PTSD.

If you can take anything away from this article and my personal experience, I want you to know that each of us can only deal with so much at any one time and if life is overwhelming you or you are finding your reactions feel unbalanced it is not because there is anything wrong with you but you have just dealt with too much for too long.


Please reach out to me if this article resonates with you, I would love to support you and help you to start to heal and release and achieve beautiful emotional freedom.

Nicole Ivens | Empath Counsellor

surrender

Surrender your Stranglehold on the Universe

“All we have is this moment, yesterday is gone and tomorrow is yet to arrive”

 

Surrender

The attempt and effort to control each moment is an exercise in futility, there are way too many forces at play at any given moment to have full control over anything.  As you do make this attempt instead of gaining the outcome you are looking for, you are in actual fact, cutting off the flow from the Universe.

 

Surrendering to each and every moment, releases anxiety and worry, in this moment you can breathe.  You can handle this moment!  Surrendering is letting go of control, relinquishing the idea that all you have is your own power that there is no-one else.

You can handle this moment! 

In a place of control you are cutting off the power of the universe, a stranglehold on your life and then wondering why it’s not working out how you envisioned.  It reminds me of a saying:

“If you love something, let it go and if it returns, it is yours forever”

surrender

Whilst surrendering and letting go is frightening, the immense relief you will feel is more than worth the moment of fear.  Remember as a child you didn’t have to worry how things happened,  you could rely on a bigger power – Your Parents.

It is no different now, there is a bigger infinite power at play – The Universe.  You just need to trust in her, like you trusted in your parents to never lead you astray.

When we are continuously worrying about things, whether it’s about what has been or what has yet to come, it’s like we are really putting a stranglehold on the Universe.  Not allowing it to flow through us because we are strangling it, strangling it with worry, strangling it with anxiety and strangling it with stress.

If we can surrender to the current moment, surrender to right now that is like us just releasing that stranglehold.  It is allowing us to really trust in the Universe, trusting that she knows what we need in each and every moment, trusting that she will provide for us in each and every moment, financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Providing us with everything we need in each and every moment, imagine living from that place, how different would your life look if you did that?  If you just surrendered, surrendered to each moment, not worrying about what has been, not worrying about what is yet to come, just surrender to NOW.

Having unwavering faith and unwavering trust, that everything you need is going to flow to you.  In actual fact what we have been doing by having the stranglehold is not allowing those things to flow to us, we are really putting a kink in it, making it extremely hard for information, guidance and physical items to flow through to us.

Just like when you put a kink in a hose, the water just stops flowing doesn’t it, there is no where for it to go, it certainly can’t flow through to the end of the hose.

surrender

 

All the Universe wants is to flow through you, your source is infinite, so you are infinite.  We are all connected, so if we can allow ourselves to be in the present moment to surrender to that, to lean in to that then things are going to flow with so much ease.  There won’t be that constriction, there won’t be that kink, it is just going to flow very easily.

“Have unwavering faith and unwavering trust, that everything you need is going to flow to you”

Take on the challenge of surrendering to each and every moment, letting go of the past and not worrying about the future.  How much will you surrender to the current moment?

To feel supported as you learn to live in this new way, our Mystical Membership is the perfect place for you to start to explore, Your Way and Your Path.  You can learn more here.

ask your angels ep35

Energy of the Week | Ask Your Angels Ep35

ASK YOUR ANGELS ~ EPISODE 35

Energy of the week for 30th March – 5th April 2020

Tune in to your Cosmic Team and Ask Your Angels what do I need?
Pick card 1, 2, 3 or 4.

 

ask your angels ep35

Your Guidance Revealed

ask your angels ep35

Card 1: Lost In Our Own Equations

Your guidance starts at 1:00 in the video below.

In our current times it is so easy to get stuck within your own mind and within your own thoughts, the angels are guiding they are very aware of all the anxiety that is within us and around us right now.  It is a prime time for anxiety right now and for those of you that have struggled with anxiety in the past, it may be surfacing now like never before because it is saying “see I told you so, I told you something would go wrong”.

So it is more important now to be implementing and using all the strategies I have shared with you over the episodes of Ask Your Angels, Journaling, meditation, EFT and grounding.  Right now I am showing up for each of you over on my Facebook page, Mon-Fri @8am AEST with my Calming Moment, giving you the opportunity to come out of your head and into your heart space.

Your angels like always are in a very supportive and cheerleader mode urging you to do all the things you know you need to do during this process and any challenging times you experience.  They have your back and are cheering you on from the sidelines “You Can Do It!”

Card 2: Lotus Rose

Your guidance starts at 3:10 in the video below.

A lotus rose grows and even thrives in the most difficult of circumstances, it actually grows in the mud and boy is that the energy we are currently residing in.  Like in card #1 there is so much anxiety around, everyone is experiencing at the very least a low grade anxiety and as an empath you are feeling and bathing in that energy.  The angels want to remind you just like the lotus rose, you too can grow and thrive through the mud, in actual fact the growth you experience right now will be so profound it will propel your soul forward 10 speed.

I have seen an example of this just this past week, with younger people aka millennial’s saying “we have never experienced anything like this before”.  Whilst true for them yes, its not true for us in the older generation, whilst we haven’t been through this exactly, we have all suffered challenging times.  So they have been plotting along with normal life, no mud to speak of and now they are struggling a little more than us due to their lack of experience and exposure.

They are certainly going to come out of this with a whole lot more resilience than they went into it with and the same with you, you are going to come out of this experience with amazing confidence knowing you can grow through anything, you can survive anything, because you just did.

Card 3: The Universe

Your guidance starts at 5:22 in the video below.

The universe has a message for you that she is healing and as she heals you heal too and the angels are saying this is happening for us, not to us.  I know in life it can certainly feel like things are happening to us and I understand that completely, but if you can have a shift in perspective you will start to see some of the benefits of right now.

Families are having more time to spend together (I know not always a good thing lol) but the rushing, the jam packed schedules, the filling our lives with things and experiences not for our highest good have been stripped from us.  We are all going to come out of this with a very different perspective of what we need and what we choose to fill our time with moving forward.

Have you seen the amazing footage of mother nature healing, animals coming back out and the amount of butterflies and dragonflies around.  All signs of healing, all signs of growing and all signs of transformation.

The angels are asking me to ask you “Can you see it?”

Card 4: Buddha Nature

Your guidance starts at 7:28 in the video below.

Come into the present moment, Buddha Nature is all about mindfulness and being in the current moment.  Following on from card #1 anxiety does not exist in the present moment, it is always in the future, worrying about what is going to happen, what is yet to come.

In this moment right here and right now, you are safe.  A great mantra to have with you in times of anxiety “My name is ……….. and right here and right now I am safe”.  It is only when you project into the future is your anxiety going to skyrocket, when you start to worry about tomorrow, what tomorrow will look like, how you will cope in tomorrows world, all future projected.

When you notice yourself doing this bring yourself back, a great way to do that is through grounding.  I have a great PDF I would love to send to you, if this is something you are struggling with.  Click below to download your copy.

Grounding Techniques

This week is providing you with amazing support to cope through our current global crisis, having your anxiety recognised and provided with ways to move through the high levels of stress and anxiety been felt across the world. 

If you are struggling right now and could really do with some extra support, I am here for you.  You can book your free strategy session here


You can also watch my Video to hear more about each card and the guidance I provided ~ click below

I would love to hear how the guidance resonates for you right now, comment right here on the blog.

You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel here….so you get notified each time I share new content.


 

Nicole Ivens | Gold Coast Counsellor

The Traits of an Empath

The Traits of an Empath

The Traits of an Empath

Have you ever wondered why you feel different to those around you?

Noticing that you experience the world in a different way, feel more sensitive to the energy of your environment and people around you, well you may in fact like me be an Empath.  I am going to take you through 27 different traits of an empath that will explain to you why you feel they way you do.

 

1. Knowing

Have you felt like you just know things without being told?  You just know something when you probably shouldn’t know it, and I feel this goes even deeper than intuition, it is just a real knowingness, deep in your core.  Coming from our ability to sense energy and being highly attuned.

2. Being in public places can be overwhelming

This is a big one for empaths, it can feel so overwhelming.  When you think about going shopping, attending sports event or concert, you feel all the energies coming at you at once.  This can feel so overwhelming and confusing, as  you have so many different energies and emotions coming at you.  You may find yourself feeling extremely tired and exhausted after only a short time in the space of other people and energy.

3. Feeling the emotions of others

You feel how other people are feeling and this can lead to confusion once again because it can be hard to determine and differentiate between your own feelings and those of other people that you are picking up.  You are absorbing the emotions of others and thinking that they belong to you, so think about a time where you have really noticed your mood change for no apparent reason.  This is due to you absorbing the emotion of another person and taking it on as your own.

4. Watching violence on TV

This one affects me as an Empath on quite a deep level.  Have you noticed when you are watching TV, it may be the news or just a drama, thriller or horror movie and start to feel the affects of what the actor is experiencing.  This is another sign that you are an Empath, as you are literally soaking up the emotions of the person on the TV be that real or fiction.

The traits of an empath

5. You know when someone is being dishonest

As an empath you are like a human lie-detector, you just know when someone isn’t being truthful with you, whether its a white lie or a big whopper they are trying to pull over on you.  This can be a challenging one especially in relationships, is this something that you have noticed?

6. Picking up physical symptoms off others

You may notice when you are around other people all of a sudden you notice a physical ailment, such as a headache or stomach pain or any physical pain really.  This is you absorbing the energy off others and taking on their physical pain.  This is one to be aware of and learning how to release that energy aka physical pain back to its owner.

7. Digestive disorders and lower back problems

As we pick up the energy of emotions of others, it can really cause you to suffer with these issues due to your system being weakened.  Lower back problems are connected to you being ungrounded and that’s why as an empath its super important to have a routine of keeping yourself grounded, allowing you to cope with the energies and emotions coming at you from others.

8. Always advocating for other people, especially those in need.

Empaths can sense those in need, zone in on those who are in need of your support and protection.  It really comes from our strong compassion and we can’t help but step in and help and advocate for them.

9. Others will tell you their life story

You may have noticed that people just open up to you really easily, even strangers, you may be at the supermarket and next thing you know the cashier is telling you their life story and you now probably know way more about them than you needed to.  We tend to become a dumping ground for others problems, as we are very compassionate and with our open hearts people just feel comfortable off loading on us.

10. Feeling tired and exhausted all the time

Feeling fatigue constantly comes from taking on the energy of others all the time, as an empath you are like a sponge, just soaking up all the energy around you.  This is why its so important to take time for yourself, away from others, having that quiet time and that is ok.

11. Addictive Personality

To cope with absorbing the energy of others we turn to a drug of sorts to help protect us against the pain we are experiencing, especially when we don’t know what it is they we are protecting against.  The addiction may be food (my drug of choice), alcohol, drugs or even shopping (which can be a double edged sword with shopping equaling people), each of these distracts you and protects you from all the energy and emotions coming at you.  Good news is once you learn about being a empath and learn the coping skills you can become reformed on your drug of choice, such as emotional eating for me.  I am now a recovering emotional eater.

12. Healing and Holistic Therapies resonate with you on a deep level

You may feel you radiate towards energy healing in different shapes and forms, this is all part of your path as an empath being drawn to and resonating with healing modalities that are going to support your gift as an empath.  For me I was very drawn and resonated with the Law of Attraction, oracle cards and Emotional Freedom Techniques.  What do you feel drawn to or resonate with?

13. Creative Flair

Empaths tend to express themselves in a creative way and even more than that it is an important outlet for the energy they have absorbed, as I was talking about in trait #11, this is a more healthy way of releasing energies and emotions from others.  I know sometimes when I say creative, people feel like no I am not creative at all, but the fact is, we all are in one way or another.  You have the obvious creative paths like dancing, singing, painting etc but then there are other not so obvious ways such as thinking in more creative ways about a problem, re-organising your space (empaths love this).

14. A love of nature and animals

Nature is a real solace for empaths, it is where we go to balance, ground and rejuvenate our energy.  You may notice you just feel so calm when you are in nature and whilst you’re there notice animals are attracted to you.

15. Need for alone time and solitude

As an empath it is so important to have your down time, you may notice if you don’t get alone time you start to feel exhausted, overwhelmed, confused and lost.  Taking time out is #1 important task for an empath.

16. Get bored very easily

You may notice you get bored very easily if you are not doing something that really stimulates you.  When an empath becomes un-stimulated that is when you may find yourself daydreaming or doodling and really not paying attention, not the best thing at work or school.

17. Find it hard to do things you don’t enjoy

I have noticed this one within myself, its a real struggle to do things I don’t enjoy and one of those things is small talk.  It just really doesn’t do it for me and feels like a waste of time and energy.  Have you noticed that within yourself?  Bring me a deep conversation and I’m all in, just don’t talk to me about the weather.

18. Truth is so important, a real deep core value

As empaths truth is so important, honesty for me is a top deep core value, I don’t cope well with people that are not being truthful.  As in an earlier trait #5 we know when people are being dishonest and this explains why we find this so difficult.

19. Always on the search for more knowledge, wisdom and answers

An empath is always on the search for answers and if they are not given a good explanation they have to keep searching until they feel comfortable with the answer or it resonates with them on a deep level.   As I mentioned in an earlier trait #1 when an empath has a knowingness they will search for confirmation on what they know to be true.

20. Adventure and travel is an empaths soul food

Travel, freedom and adventure is so important as an empath, we need to have a lifestyle that allows this to happen on a regular basis otherwise it can start to feel like in trait #15 no alone time, a sense of overwhelm, exhaustion and a bit like a trapped animal that wants to roam free.

21. A dislike of clutter

This is something that empaths really can’t handle, clutter, we need to have a nice clean, organised and crisp space that is cleansed of any negative energy.  I know for me I am always de-cluttering and re-organising our home and I just love that feeling when our space is clear of clutter and cleansed of any negative and stuck energy.

22. A love of daydreaming

Does this sound like you?  Finding yourself off with the fairies, daydreaming the time away.  Yes me too, my husband used to call it “she’s zoned out again”, this is a great sign that you are an empath, a love of daydreaming.

23. Great listener

As empaths our sensitivity makes us great listeners, we don’t just hear the words, but we notice the body language and of course sense the energy behind the words.  Making us great listeners and explains trait #9 why others tell us their life stories.

24. Struggle to cope with narcissism

This is something that unfortunately empaths have to deal with quite a lot, as people that have narcissistic tendencies actually seek out those that are empaths.  Yet empaths detest narcissism, so it can be a real challenge to deal with these people when they are craving you and you just want them to get out of your space and take their narcissistic energy with them.

25. Antique furniture is a no-go

Like in many of the traits above where I have talked about the absorbing of energy, this is no different, we tend to not like antique or pre-owned furniture because we feel what the previous owner was feeling when they were in contact with the furniture.  For me I also avoid library books for the same reason otherwise I am flooded with the energy and emotions of the previous reader/s.

26. Sense the energy of food

Have you noticed some foods affect your body in strange ways?  This can be a sign that you are an empath and picking up on the energy and emotion of the animal, especially if it is a meat product.  Pay attention to this and make adjustments if needed.

27. Appearing moody, shy or disconnected

Like I mentioned earlier in trait #22 my husband thinking I was zoning out, this is how we can come across due to different reasons, maybe we are daydreaming or maybe we are distancing ourselves as a form of self-protection and this can come across as us being in a bad mood, or shy or sometimes even arrogant.  A cross we bear as an empath and trying to have a balance between protecting ourselves and still being available for others.

Well done on getting to the end of our 27 traits you are an Empath!  So how many did you resonate with?  I would love to hear, you can comment below.


Nicole Ivens | Nurtured Empath Academy


 

Rhythm of your breath

Can the Rhythm of your Breath Hold the Answers?

As you go about your day notice the inhale and the exhale of your breath in your body, notice how it happens automatically to your own rhythm.  No two persons breath rhythm is the same, some breathe deeper, some shallower, some faster and some slower.

As you start to notice your breath rhythm, really get to know it, what does it feel like on the in breath? what does it feel like on the out breath?  Noticing your whole body’s response, as you do this you will then know at times where you are out of rhythm and as you are out of rhythm, it is a sign you are out of alignment with the Universe.

Come back to your breath, always come back to your breath, it is your connection to YOU, connect to your light, connection to the Universe and connection to Source.

It sounds so simple but the first thing, we do as we enter our earthly vessel is take a breath and the last thing we do before we leave our early vessel is take our last BREATH!

The flow of life is as simple as the in and out breath as long as you go with the flow and stay in the flow, life will seem easy.  Simple, flowing and rhythmic.

Nature follows this process in each and every moment, take the ocean for example; notice a wave at the beach, you don’t see it holding back what is natural to it, it ebbs and flows, in and out and back and forth.  It doesn’t hold back, comparing itself to the wave next to it or hiding its natural beauty in fear it is not good enough, it just shines its natural gift of flowing in and out.

The same for you, why step out of your rhythm with life, breathing in and out with life, no holding back what is natural and what is divinely yours.  It is only when you step out of this rhythm, that life becomes hard, like pushing a rock up a hill.  When you rely on only your earthly vessel’s power you are limiting your potential.

Within the rhythm of life you are connected to source and source is infinite making you infinite, your possibilities are infinite.  As you flow with life, life flows with you.

Like a river flowing downstream, you flow downstream, as it turns you turn, as it stops, you stop always knowing it will flow again. Just like you know the sun will rise again, so will you.

The flow is inside of you, this beautiful current, flowing, ebbing and flowing, in and out.  Dance with life and life will dance with you. 

I offer private 1-1 sessions either in person locally on the Gold Coast or Online Worldwide, click here to book your initial call.

Stress Busters For Mums

In my opinion there is one role we choose to take on as women and it is the most difficult, yet the most profound, growth provoking and fulfilling.  You got it, our role as a mother, one day all of a sudden we are responsible for this little human, with no guidelines and no rule book or manual to speak of.

Can you imagine starting a new job and being thrown in the deep end with no instructions, help or flotation devices to speak of.  Just wouldn’t happen right, hello HR we have a problem.

So of course mums experience different levels of stress throughout their child’s life, I’m just learning now with teenagers, one nearly 18, it doesn’t get better, or worry less, it’s just different.

“The older they get, the bigger the age number, the bigger the problems”

Stress Busters for Mums

 

So let’s look at some strategies aka Stress Busters For Mums to help you through some of those stressful periods as a Mum.

  1. Breathe

Breath work is very powerful in lowering your stress levels, helping you to self-regulate your emotions and then respond in a more calm manner.  Ensuring you are breathing deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Note: Shallow breathing will cause your anxiety to spike, in turn making your stress levels worse.

2. No comparing

STOP comparing yourself to other women and other mothers, even your own.  You are not them and they are not you, also they don’t have your children, they don’t know your children like you do.  You know what your children need, comparing yourself to others is only going to bring more misery and possibly trigger you in ways of self-worth and self-confidence.  You are doing your very best and that is Enough!

3. Adult Time Out

You need some time-out, time to just breathe (see strategy #1), to tend to your needs without being pulled in a thousand different directions.  Time out for you will be different for time out for me or any other woman, you do you and let others do them.  If you could take an “Adult Time Out”, what would that look like for you?

Taking a time out is not neglecting your children or your role as a mum, you are doing it for them not to them.  A calm and relaxed mum is way more fruitful for your children than an exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed mum.

4. Emotion Regulation

You are human despite you proving otherwise with your amazing skills at being in a million places at once and being everything to everyone.  So yes you have needs and you have emotions that need tending to, emotion regulation is going to help you to feel calm within the chaos that is life as a mum.  Along with the first three strategies this is important in keeping you grounded and allowing you to cope with life’s hard knocks.

EFT or Tapping is a great modality to be using to help you self-regulate (you can teach it to your kids too), its easy to learn and very effective at lowering both yours and your children’s stress levels.  In my mind a calm mum is a calm child and a calm child is a calm mum.  Check out the video below where I take you through a quick process of what EFT or Tapping is and how you can use it in your life.

 

 

I hope you enjoy trying out these stress busters for mums, I would love to hear how they work for you, comment below.  Any questions about any of these strategies, comment below or contact me here.

Nicole Ivens Holistic Counselling

I work locally with offices in Burleigh Heads & Robina and also online worldwide.  I support soulful women to cope with the ups and downs of life, releasing negative experiences and processing the grief that comes along with integrating change and embracing your new normal.   Book your free call here.

How To Conquer Fear

FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real

Fear is a big topic and one that we all deal with, the acronym for Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real, but BOY does it feel real in that moment.

When fear is rising in you, no matter what it is you are trying to do, it can really feel like your life is in danger.  Your EGO likes to keep you in your comfort zone and how does it do that?  By making your feel fearful, frightened of making change, those great thoughts of “what could go wrong?” or “who do you think you are?”.

Three Ways to Conquer Fear in your Life

1. Take Away Its Power

When fear is rising in you, it has great power, keeping you stuck and not moving forward.  So you need to take away its power, to do that you are going to take pen to paper.  {sidenote: not on the computer or your phone}  I want you to get out a notebook or piece of paper and you are going to write out all those thoughts and fears that are rising in you, as you do that it takes away its power.

When your thoughts are free to roam around  your head, they gain great momentum.  As you remove them, by writing them down, you take away the power they have over you.  Just like a rock rolling down a hill, it just gets faster and faster until you remove it from the hill, then it just comes to a STOP.

2. Supporting Evidence

What evidence is there that this thought or fear is true?  You are going to become an investigator/scientist, looking for the evidence that this fear you are experiencing is even real, does it have anything substantial backing it up.  Chances are you are not going to find much evidence if any to support this fear and thoughts associated with it, remembering F.E.A.R ~ False Evidence Appearing Real.

3. Flip the Script

Look back over your life and recognise times where you have pushed past your fear and accomplished your goals anyway, what courage and bravery that takes.  To say yes FEAR I see you but I choose to do this anyway, you get to make a choice either allowing FEAR to stop you or using it like a launching pad.

You know all those successful people you look up to, guess what they too have FEAR.  Nothing big they ever do is done without FEAR, they just make a conscious choice to not allow FEAR to stop them, using it as their driving force, their launching pad and you can do that too.

Watch this video for more guidance on Conquering Your Fear

 

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel here so you are notified each time I share new content
Comment below and let me know your thoughts on incorporating these techniques as part of your tool box.

Nicole Ivens

I offer 1-1 online soul coaching to support you in mind, body and spirit.  You can book your complimentary discovery session here.

 

 

Tap Away Your Child’s Anxiety

Does your child or children suffer with symptoms of Anxiety?

As a sufferer of anxiety as a young child myself and raising two teenage girls who have also experienced symptoms of Anxiety, I know the pressure this puts on you as a parent and your family as a whole.  Childhood anxiety has two sides to the coin, one side is your stress as a parent in dealing with your child’s anxiety symptoms and behaviour and the other side is supporting your child to cope with the anxious symptoms and feelings.

Recently, I have come to realise that not all parents are able to recognise the signs of anxiety because that has not been their experience growing up or in their adult lived experience.  Luckily for me and my girls because of my exposure to anxiety, I can recognise it in a second and felt called to educate parents on what to look for in their child and of course tips on how to cope with it as well.

Anxiety can come in many forms and the important thing here is to understand the distinction between a child just acting out and one who is suffering from anxiety and their behaviour is completely out of their hands and not something they are doing on purpose.

What can anxiety look like?

Perfectionism – a child needing everything to be perfect and in order
Fear of trying new things – this could be a new activity or simply a new food
Worrying about events in the future
Not wanting you as their parent to leave them
Needing to know what is going to happen and when it is going to happen – who is picking me up from school today?
Fear of Failure – For example: Tests and exams at school
Overthinking is a big sign of anxiety – if you notice your child just can’t stop thinking and worrying and analysing – their big questions will be what if this happens? what if that happens?
Sleeping problems

Now not all anxiety is bad, it is completely natural for your child to feel anxious when they are starting something new, meeting new people etc.  When anxiety becomes a problem is when it starts to affect both your child’s life and is causing you stress as their parent.

Anxiety happens when a part of your child’s brain called the ‘Amygdala’ senses a threat of some kind and sends a signal that your child is in some kind of danger and they need to protect themselves.  This is where the flight, fight or freeze response comes in, they show up in the following ways:

Flight – running away and hiding in the room or not wanting to attend something
Fight – may show up like tantrums or unusual outbursts
Freeze – they may just stop and not be able to move or tell you what is wrong

So, how can you help your child if you have recognised they are suffering from anxiety symptoms?  Following I am going to teach a quick technique so you can both help your child and reduce your stress all at the same time.

  1. Tapping – EFT or Tapping is a stress reduction technique and works to quiet that part of the brain that is sending the signal of danger.  It is a very quick and effective technique that is self-applied using acupressure points on your upper body.

 

 

If you would like to learn more about this wonderful quick and effective technique, I am running a Stress Management Workshop for Parents and one of the modules is on Childhood Anxiety.  Click here to book your spot.

 

Childhood Anxiety

The Signs And Symptoms Of Childhood Anxiety

I had an interesting experience this past week, I was attending an awards ceremony for my youngest daughter, Grace aged 13.  As always the ceremony starts with the Principal Address, he usually talks about the achievements of the kids and how proud he is of all they have achieved for Term 1.

However, this time he started out with what he wanted to achieve and that was 93% attendance record, the school was currently sitting at 87%.  In my mind I was thinking for such a big school that is a pretty good record, it was then that he really grabbed my attention, he used a buzz word “Anxiety” and stated it as the main reason for kids not attending school.

My ears did prick up because I had my business brain on, thinking YES I can help support parents and kids with this.  Well I sure didn’t see or expect what was to come next, his solution to a child’s anxiety left me feeling very dismayed.  He made a suggestion to the kids that all they need to do is become more organised and arrive at school early, so then they are not rushing around and will be the first in class, feeling safe and ready for the day.

What do you think about this approach?  Would this work for your child?

Now there are definitely different levels and types of anxiety and I certainly understand what he was saying in regards to how the kids feel when they are running late and rushed to get to class on time.  But is that really in the child’s complete control, I know for my kids, and I will be honest if they are late it is usually my fault.

This experience really got me thinking and wondered how many people are there that really don’t understand anxiety and what role are they playing in our child’s life and how are they contributing to the wellbeing of each of our children.   Now I know for me I recognise anxiety instantly, 1. I have personal experience 2. I am a trained professional and this led me to today’s blog and wanting to share how you can recognise anxiety in your child.

As I mentioned earlier there are different types of Anxiety, for example some of the common types I see with my clients are: Separation Anxiety, Generalised Anxiety and Situational Anxiety.

  • Separation Anxiety is as the name describes and is more common in younger children, but can also be seen in older children as well just depending on what the child has experienced and is currently coping with.
  • Generalised Anxiety is used to describe anxiety that doesn’t pertain to one certain event, experience or time.  You may have described your child as “An anxious child”.
  • Situational Anxiety is used to describe anxiety that pertains to a certain event or experience, such as tests or exams.  I see this in both younger and older children, for example younger children surrounding doctor or dentist visits and older kids exams at school.

Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of anxiety, let’s look at some of the signs and symptoms to look for in your child.

  • Complaining of stomach pains and no other signs of illness
  • Sweaty palms
  • Withdrawn behaviour, not wanting to participate in activities they would of in the past
  • Talking about all the bad things that may happen (classic anxious behaviour)
  • Crying and hiding behind you (specific to younger children with separation anxiety)
  • Not wanting to go to school and no real reason that you can determine
  • Lashing out at their siblings for reasons that in the past may not have bothered them
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Grades at school lowering compared to previous reports

These are just a few of the signs and symptoms that your child may exhibit when they are feeling anxious.  Can you recognise any that you have seen in your child?

I know how distressing it can be dealing with anxiety in your children, I am a mum to two teenage girls who both suffer from anxiety.  Having the tools and strategies you need as a parent can really help to lower this feeling of dis-empowerment and distress and I find an individual approach is best.

If you are needing support and guidance to help with your anxious child, I offer in-house counselling in person and online.  Book your session here.

Living with stress

A Guide to Living with Stress

Let’s start with the acronym for Stress:

STRESS = Situations That Release Emergency Signals or Stimuli

Stress is something we all experience in our lives be that us as adults or our children and sometimes our children are the source of our own stress.

So how do you live with stress in your life without allowing it to be detrimental to your health and inner peace?

It really comes down to having a plan in place and go to strategies that you can use in the moment to reduce and cope with your feelings of stress, either big or small.

In times of high stress I have always found the following quote a great reminder of the control I have in each and every situation.

The situations that appear in our life are not always in our control, but how we react to it, now that is where our power lies.  There are always going to be times in your life where everything goes belly up and your response to it is going to be the catalyst to what happens next.

This is especially important when dealing with our children, when they are acting in ways that cause us stress, it is because they are experiencing their own level of stress, so our reaction to it is paramount to again what happens next.

I am sure you are seeing a pattern here:

Situation > Response > What Happens Next

As you can see our response is the middle ground here which is a very important place to be and as such just as important to have the strategies available to you to gauge your response in each situation.

5 Strategies to Living with Stress

  1. Calm Tone of Voice – This is imperative for how you speak to yourself during times of stress and your children.  This will allow you to calm yourself and those around you, aka your children.
  2. Deep Breathing – Your breath is the biggest natural asset that you have, using it to calm your mind in times of stress will allow you to think in a logical way.  Use 4>4>4 method, breathe in for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 4 and exhale for a count of 4.
  3. Smiling – Utilising another natural asset your smile, this will help to relax your muscles, notice more positive options and lower your blood pressure
  4. Stay in the present moment – Ground your energy through using this statement “I am Nicole; I am 42 years old, this is the present and not the past; I am safe here, today is Thursday”  Using this statement with your personal information will bring you back into the present moment where you are safe.
  5. Gratitude Practice – Each day write down one thing you are grateful for and put it in a box and then on days of stress reading these entries will help to lower your stress levels.  Another great thing to do as a family is read these entries on World Gratitude Day – 21st September.

Using these simple strategies in your daily life will help you and your children to start to self-regulate and live with stress in a way that doesn’t affect your health or inner peace.

Learn more about Nicole http://www.nicoleivens.com/about