Lift your mood….the natural way!!

 

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put together.” – John Burroughs

Many of us experience stress, anxiety and depression from time to time but for some of us our low or anxious mood stays with us longer than we would like them to.  Building  strategies into your daily life to combat these moods will help you feel better about yourself and others.

One really easy, effective and cheap strategy to beat your low or anxious feelings are to go outside and let nature heal and nurture you. When I’m feeling I need a boost to my mood I know that taking my dog out for a walk will often be enough to lift me and help me feel more positive.

Hooch Card 2
Hooch

But, I hear you cry, I don’t have a dog!! Never mind, there are plenty of other ways to boost your mood, enjoy nature and the outside world. Continue reading and discover how being in and around nature can benefit you.

 

Nature is a wonderful thing

Surrounding yourself in nature is a great way to ground yourself in the present. It’s doesn’t matter what the season, be it summer, spring, winter or autumn or whether we’re having a heatwave or downpour, where in the world you are, what you’re doing or how you are feeling – being in a natural environment can be so beneficial to your mental health.

Grass

Nature – is an amazing mood booster

Nature can:

  • Improve your mental health
  • Benefit you when you’re trying to combat the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Help you feel more positive about your life

 

Still and peaceful v invigorating and uplifting

Being in the stillness of your natural surroundings can help you pause, take a breath and help you remember there’s more to life than the worries that constantly plague you.

Being close to the sea when the waves are crashing against the beach in stormy weather can be invigorating and uplifting. This can feel like the wind is blowing your troubles away.

Improve your mood and lift your spirits

Walking in nature provides gentle exercise, and the benefits of exercise are very well known to lift your spirit. Being in the open air with the warmth of the sun on your face and body will increase your intake of Vitamin D (also known as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’) which also helps improve your mood and don’t forget that any exercise taken in the fresh air whether it’s walking, running or cycling is free – what’s not to like about that!!

Whenever your life feels bleak and grey, seeing the vibrant colours of the flora and fauna found in an outside space is also a wonderful reminder of growth and new life which reminds us that life and nature never stands still – watching the seasons come and go tells us there is always new hope and that everything can, and will change.

It’s not just about what you see – use all your sensesBird

How about listening to the symphony of birdsong that surrounds you. From a tuneful sparrow, blackbird or robin through to a squawking seagull –  their songs are a much more preferable soundtrack than your ruminating thoughts, which if not kept in check can bring your mood crashing down.

Brush your hands through some tall grasses and feel the sensation as it passes through your hands or breathe in the fragrance of a freshly mowed lawn, flowers or a forest of pine trees.

pick your own

Don’t forget taste – visit a ‘pick your own’ farm and tasting the produce directly from the earth or sit with a picnic in your garden or in the park or how about a BBQ. Food often tastes so much better when eaten outside!!

Above all, take your time to appreciate the nature around you – it will help reduce your stress and anxiety and lift your mood. So whether you live in a city centre, on the coast or in the countryside, there’s always a green or natural space that you can visit to increase your connection with nature.

5 simple ways to increase your connection with nature:

  • Go for a walk in the woods, on the beach, to your local park…anywhere that has green or natural spaces. If you’re feeling lonely or isolated, joiningWalking a local walking group will also open up opportunities to talk and make new friends whilst taking in and enjoying the scenery.
  • If possible, visit a quiet viewpoint and sit for a while. What can you see? What can you hear? If you use all your senses you may notice new things that you have may have previously missed
  • Visit gardens or garden centres simply to enjoy the displays of the colourful blooms and benefit from the wonderful scents that fill the air.
  • Spend time in your garden –  play with your children or grandchildren, weed the borders, sit with a cup of tea, read, write, listen to music or the Archers, watch your clothes drying on the washing line. It doesn’t matter what you do but do whatever relaxes and chills you.
  • Get to know your wildlife – whether that’s birds, plants, animals or fish. Being able to recognise and name the wildlife around you by their appearance, sounds and fragrances can only enhance your outside experiences.

You don’t have a garden? Then bring the outside inside

If you don’t have access to a garden or you find it difficult to go outside, there are still plenty of ways to connect with nature and bring the outside in:

  • Houseplants provide just the same mental-health benefits as plants that grow outside and they help purify air inside your home
  • Tulips 2vase of cut flowers immediately bring colour and fragrance to your home and arranging them has the added benefit of being a wonderful mindful activity
  • Planting a window box filled with colourful flowers or even salad vegetables can be both pleasing to the eye and rewarding
  • Sitting by a window, being close to natural light and having a view of the outside can be as good as being outside. Why not keep a pair of binoculars on the window sill to look for birds, bees and butterflies?
  • Set up bird-feeders within sight of your window – the birds, and possibly other animals, will visit your garden and keep you company throughout the day
  • Help bring a sense of calm to your living space by decorating in natural colours and adding the odd botanical print here and there.

Make time – just 10 minutes a day

There is a million and one ways to enjoy nature and the outside world, far more than I can even think of, and you will have your own favourite things to do.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that just 10 minutes spent outside in a natural environment will contribute to your physical wellbeing – it will reduce your blood pressure, heart rate and tension and will have a positive effect on your mood for the rest of the day. So even if you’re short of time, it will really benefit your mood to make time for a 10 minute break and make the most of the natural world around you.

Daffodils

“For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash up
on that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”

William Wordsworth, Daffodils

Do you need some help reducing your feelings of stress, anxiety or depression?

Therapy Room.jpg
Garden Therapy Room
Garden
Walk through to the Therapy Room

This is where I work and where I  help people reduce their feelings of stress, anxiety and depression – it’s very peaceful and a perfect space to explore your thoughts and feelings.

 

 

If you would like help to reduce your stress, anxiety or depression and boost your mood please click this link –  Home

Or contact me now – click here Contact

 

Sadness – How to Manage Your Sadness

Sadness.png

Are you feeling sad? I can help you……please read on.

Sadness is a human emotion that we all feel during our lives at some time of another.

We feel sadness when experience something that causes upset or pain – such as following a bereavement, after an argument, watching a weepy film or missing out on a special occasion and those feelings are natural and normal but the depth of the sadness felt can vary enormously, so the death of a loved one is likely to feel very different than reading a sad book.

Just seeing an injured animal, a sad child or just the state of the world at the moment can bring on feelings of sadness for me.

Sadness is normal – it’s important that you notice and acknowledge your feelings without any judgement. Don’t apologise for your feelings but accept them for what they are. ‘I feel sad because……’ and that is ok.

Sadness is generally a temporary state and your mood may lift quite naturally but there may be occasions when sadness is deep and embedded and you may need some strategies to lift yourself out of your period of sadness.

How to manage sadness

  • Have a good cry – there are some studies that suggest that crying releases endorphins in the body, so have a good cry and instantly feel better. It’s not silly, crying can do you the world of good.
  • Exercise – releases endorphins in your body and being active can really lift your mood. Going for a walk, doing a few lengths of the swimming pool, attending an exercise class or getting stuck into some vigorous housework can help you feel better.
  • Smile – even if you don’t feel like it, smiling may help you feel more positive and boost your mood.
  • Self-care – look after yourself, a walk in the country, watching a box set, seeing friends, nice warm bath can reduce your feelings of sadness and help improve and maintain your feelings of wellbeing.
  • Keep busy – distracting yourself can help overcome your feelings of sadness.

There are many ways you can manage your sadness but you should never ignore or dismiss any feelings that you experience. They are your feelings, they are important and they should be acknowledged by yourself and others.

Are having difficulties with feeling sad?  I can help you.

I work with people helping them to overcome sadness and feel better about themselves.  If you are experiencing sadness and would like to have some help please contact me now by clicking this link –  Home

Or to contact me now – click here Contact

 

Happy New Year – welcome to 2019!!

Wishes

CLOSE YOUR EYES AND MAKE A WISH – IT MIGHT JUST COME TRUE

We’ve all done it at some time in our lives, picked a dandelion and as you blow the seeds away in to the distance, you close your eyes and made a wish……but shhhh, don’t tell anyone or it won’t come true!!

Nobody really knows why we do that but it seems that humans have been wishing on dandelions for a very, very long time – we never seem to tire of making wishes and believing that someday, just one day, it might just come true.

A WEED OR FLOWER IN THE WRONG PLACE?

Dandelions are lovely but they are complex plants – tough, beautiful, colourful and delicate all at the same time and without dandelions the world would be a lesser place.  Most people call them weeds of course and some gardeners do their best to eradicate them from their gardens. They are tough and will grow almost anywhere, in the best manicured lawns through to the side of the busiest and polluted motorway.

As soon as the tough little blooms are ready they produce those beautiful delicate seed heads With a little help from mother nature, and us humans making our wishes, potentially hundreds of new plants are distributed throughout all corners of our cities, towns and countryside.

So the next time you see dandelion in your lawn, take another look, really look at it and if you feel the need to make a wish….just close your eyes, make a wish and blow…..but remember, shhhh, it’s a secret wish so don’t tell anyone.

WHAT WOULD YOU WISH FOR TODAY?

January is a time of new beginnings and wishing for the future.  So if I had a dandelion especially for you – what would you wish for today?

Do you need some help focussing on what you can achieve in 2019?

I work with people helping them focus on life, work and relationship issues.  If you would like to have some help to get focussed on what you can achieve in 2019 contact me now by clicking this link –  Home

Or to contact me now – click here Contact

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Kindness Day

worldkindnessday-e1468859781986

WORLD KINDNESS DAY – TUESDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2018

What are you going to do today to spread the kindness?

Today is World Kindness Day so let’s make the world a better place and be kind to each other.

The world is already full of kind people but sometimes life gets so busy and we forget that the simplest acts of kindness can make an amazing difference to people’s lives. Just saying ‘good morning’ to someone who’s feeling lonely is a start and that costs absolutely nothing!!

What can you do?

It’s really doesn’t take much to be kind, here’s a few things you could do but to be honest, there are so many different ways to show acts of kindness, so just go wild and make up you’re own!!

  • Smile at someone on the bus/train/traffic jam
  • When you’re buying your coffee why not treat the person in the queue behind you and pay for their drink
  • Pay compliments to your colleagues
  • Send a message to a friend just to say you’re thinking of them
  • Take some flowers home for your significant other
  • Say hello to your neighbour

You have the power to make someone’s day better and make your own day better at the same time – and how can that be wrong….? well it can’t be wrong can it…..

So, don’t wait for someone to be kind to you, take a deep breath and be kind to someone else and start the ball rolling.

HAPPY WORLD KINDNESS DAY!!!

 

For details about Marian Stapley Counselling click here: Home

To contact Marian click here: Contact

 

 

Surviving Christmas

Surviving Xmas 2

WILL YOUR RELATIONSHIP SURVIVE THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS?

The clocks have changed, Halloween and Bonfire Night have gone, the heating’s on and Christmas time is nearly upon us one again – where does the time go?

Relationships – Break ups & Break downs

A relationship breakdown at any time is an emotional roller coaster for both parties and the financial implications to ending a relationship can be huge. So breaking up is not something that should be made in the heat of the moment, when emotions are at an all-time high.

As many families are unwrapping their Christmas gifts, enjoying their over filled platefuls of Festive lunch, having one or two sherry’s more than maybe they should and snoozing in front of the Queen’s speech, there will inevitably be those couples who are having a tricky time, bickering, rowing, giving each other the silent treatment and cold shoulder, avoiding each other, just trying to get through the day, wishing they (or their partner) were somewhere else.Xmas bells

‘Divorce Monday’  

It is expected that in excess of 40,000 people across the UK will start divorce proceeding in January which is why the first Monday in January has become known as ‘Divorce Monday’. This highlights the intense pressure and high expectations that some couples can be under, dealing with feelings that have been simmering under the surface for a while but then bubble up to boiling point during the Christmas and New Year holiday.

Not just for the married…..

Of course, it’s not just married couples that suffer this kind of emotional stress – Christmas can be a particularly stressful time for relationships of any kind. Whether married, living together or just dating, whether you’ve been together for decades or just met at the Christmas office party, a relationship breakdown can very painful. Continue reading “Surviving Christmas”