exercise and mental health

Using exercise to boost our mental health

A healthy mind goes alongside a healthy body.  It may be an age old little saying, but the evidence that exercise can boost our mental health is growing all the time.

There is a brilliant article in The Guardian that explores the link between exercise and mental health problems like anxiety and depression.  One of the first questions I ask a client (along with “how is your sleep?) is:  “Do you exercise?”

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Do I need a psychotherapist, counsellor or coach?

Do I need a psychotherapist, a counsellor or a coach?

My official title is Psychotherapist.  But I also call myself a counsellor and a coach.  And a question I hear regularly is: “Do I need a psychotherapist, a counsellor or a coach?” For some the idea of “psychotherapy” is frightening.  It suggests mental illness.  Or that there are mental health issues that need to be resolved and that it will be a lengthy, emotionally painful process.  In my opinion, it does not need to be either.  I see many clients who are living with depression or the impact of terrible traumas.  But the style of psychotherapy I use aims to resolve these as quickly and as with as little emotional pain as possible.

But there are many others who give me a ring and come along to see me who are living healthy and, mostly, fulfilling lives.  Why have they asked to see me?

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teenagers stress school mental health wellbeing

It it time to listen to the teenagers

I was recently asked by Brighter Spaces in Islington to write a blog for them.  Having a strong background in education, I decided to follow a regular theme of mine:  stress and wellbeing difficulties in teenagers

Something is happening to our teenagers and we, the adults, need to start listening. I have a background in secondary schools as I have only recently left the classroom in order to follow my psychotherapy and counselling career on a full-time basis. Over my teaching career, I have seen a massive shift in what is troubling young people.  It is far too easy to lay the blame on social media.  Frankly, I am bored of hearing that as THE reason behind the difficulties our young people are having.  We need to look beyond that and ask ourselves:  what is really going on?

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self care mental health stress sleep

20 Habits of Self Care

If you are someone who is wondering what “self care” is or what you can do to take better care of yourself, I would suggest giving this book a read.  In this book, Karin explains and guides you through what it means to take care of yourself.  Our modern world can be tricky and yet she explains simple and practical strategies that you can start your new self care regime immediately.

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Post traumatic stress disorder PTSD understanding and recovery and treatment

Towards a better understanding of PTSD

If you are a loved one is struggling to understand or recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I can highly recommend you read this book.

Rosalind Townsend is a psychotherapist with a wealth of experience in helping those who have had to deal with trauma.  We used to think that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was something that only those in the military would have to deal with and it was first called “Shell Shock”.  Now, the definition is much more realistic and anyone who has experienced a major traumatic event such as rape, a terrorist attack, being mugged or living in an abusive relationship can fit the criteria

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stress busting techniques

Workplace Stress Part 3

In Part 2, I looked at factors that can cause stress in the workplace.  Now, I am going to focus on some stress busting techniques in the workplace.  I have written about stress and work life balance before.  But here are some reminders and some new tips that are aimed at keeping the stress levels as low as possible.

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work place stress and anxiety counselling

Workplace Stress Part 2

In Part 1, I explained our basic emotional needs and our innate resources.  I am now going to focus on major causes of workplace stress.

Firstly, it needs to be said that a bit of stress is good for us.  Helpful stress is what stretches us; makes us strive and learn new things and feel exhilarated.  Stretch normally happens when our needs are being met and our innate resources are being used and developed in a healthy way. It motivates us to perform at our best. But when that stress becomes overwhelming or constant and we never get the time to “rest and digest”, it becomes unhealthy and it can result in exhaustion or burnout.  And the result of that is often mental and / or physical ill health.

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work place stress counselling

Workplace Stress Part 1

In this first part of this series on Workplace Stress, I am going to explore the foundations of what we need in order to be emotionally and mentally healthy within the workplace.  Over the next few blogs, I am going to show you how to recognise and prevent stress in the workplace.

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keeping exam anxiety down counselling

Top tips for exam readiness part 3

Young people like you all over the country are busy revising for their upcoming GCSE and A Level exams. Anxiety and stress levels for you and your parents are rising. In order to make the most of these exams, it is important to keep an eye on your mental health and wellbeing. The next in the exam season series is going to focus on keeping the anxiety and stress levels as low as possible.

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the importance of taking a break at exam time

Take a break!

Recently, an article appeared in The Daily Mail in which it was claimed that because of the pressure of achieving top grades at GCSE or A Level, there are parents who are cancelling or postponing family holidays in the buildup to exam season.

As a teacher and counsellor, I think this is a really bad idea. What would be much better is to continue with the planned holiday but to help the child use the break in a constructive way as time away from home is good for the entire family. But the basic rule is: Establish a routine.

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stress and anxiety exam time

Top tips for exam readiness Part 2

Social Life: You need one. You cannot spend all day alone. Making time for meaningful face to face interaction (not on a screen) with your close friends will give you much needed down time and a shift in focus. But having chats with your classmates also allows you to gain perspective. You might realise you do actually know that complicated bit of Physics or you don’t know it quite as well as you thought you did and you need to revisit it.

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