bouncing back

How to Keep Going when you Feel Like Giving up

Pic snapped by Saskia Nelson of  Hey Saturday

Pic snapped by Saskia Nelson of Hey Saturday

I didn’t actually plan to write this post but it’s something that’s been on my mind lately. If you’ve been through the trenches of a breakup, heartbreak, health struggle, career breakdown situation or just feeling like life is throwing you one sh** brick after another, you’ll know how hard it is to get back on the horse of positivity and keep going.

(Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a post just about ‘staying positive’ ;) )

The reason why I wanted to write this, is because I totally get it. I was there throughout a previous breakup and it’s something I’ve experienced in my life recently, in a different way. Most people find me through my work in heartbreak; mainly breakups, but heartbreak can come in so many forms. It can also manifest physically in a multitude of ways. 

You may have read a few of my older posts around my health challenges. As this blog is for the purpose of helping you, I won’t go into the nitty gritty of all the details but to keep it brief and offer some context, the ‘health heartbreak’ as I’ll call it, went on for some time and keeping on going, remaining ‘positive’ and finding a way up was a challenge to say the least!

As mentioned, I don’t want this post to be all about me but I just want you to know that I’m coming at this from the ‘I get it, I’m with you’ perspective. 

So whether you’re going through a breakup, a health struggle or any kind of heartbreak that's completely unique to you, I wanted to share some coping techniques that I implemented and still continue to, that might be of use to you too.

1) Be grateful

I know, you’ll have probably heard this one a zillion times over but there’s a reason why you hear gratitude being spoken about so much. It’s POWERFUL. If there’s an instant way to defuse those feel bad vibes, it’s gratitude, and even if it doesn’t directly change your situation, it changes your perspective. 

I love this quote by Roy. T Bennett -:

Great things happen to those who don't stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.” 

Being grateful shifts you from a dwelling, passive and stagnant mode into a receptive one. Being in the here and now and catching that glimmer of light through the darkness. From there you're open to new ideas, hope and inspiration. Whatever you’re going through, it’s not about discrediting it or trivialising it. Breakups are rough. Heartbreak can be agony; physically and emotionally. But you will ALWAYS have something to be grateful for. It could be something tiny such as a beautiful colour you spot in your home, a song on the radio, a call you had with a friend yesterday. The more things you list, the more you will find. 

 2) Look to others as examples

This is all about finding evidence that ‘if they can do it, I can too!’ Whenever I feel like giving up or resigning myself to always feeling this way, I find examples of other people who have come from a similar place as I have and are thriving. I’ve done this with my health and I did it when I was going through my last breakup. 

You’ll often learn that for those people, it was also a process, but seeing them a few steps ahead of you or even miles ahead, can give you the fuel you need to know it’s possible for you too. As humans, we’re all really made of the same stuff. Yes, our genetics are different, our DNA is different, our backgrounds and social conditioning are different. But ultimately, we all have the same potential regardless of academic intelligence, appearance, wealth or background. When it comes down to it, heartbreak is the ultimate equaliser, shakes us all to our core and mindset trumps everything. So look to others as a way to remind yourself that if they can, you can!

3) Rewire and reprogram your brain

Something that I’ve been studying intensely over the past 6 months is how (and why) to rewire your brain. Honestly, it’s mind blowing!

What this means is learning how to identify and change your internal and subconscious beliefs to heal. Say you just can’t seem to get over your ex despite doing everything in your power. Yup, you’ve read all the books and all the articles and nothing seems to help.

Even though on a conscious level you want for the pain to be over more than anything, deep down, some of the beliefs you could be experiencing might include not feeling good enough to be alone or in new relationship, being scared of your identity without your ex, not wanting to let go of your ex or being afraid of change. 

With health, it could be not believing you’re worthy of having perfect health, being scared of what would happen if you were healthy, feeling unsafe in the world, being afraid to speak your truth, not believing that you’re capable of taking care of yourself…..

Ultimately the process of rewiring is individual and allows you to tap into those deep rooted and often insidious reasons that are keeping you stuck - usually they’re a little ‘WTF?!’ and enlightening to discover! It’s then about calming down your limbic system to get into a parasympathetic state as opposed to a fight or flight one to then begin to rewire those old patterns and turn them into new ones that will support getting over your ex, getting back to perfect health or whatever situation you’re looking to bounce back from. 

This process includes a highly repetitive blend of elements such as affirmation, visualisation and action. I’m going to do a separate post on this though - let me know any specifics you’d like me to cover. Honestly, this one is a game changer!

4) Just DO something

Feelings of depression tend to go hand in hand with heartbreak. Of course, there are different degrees of depression and if you do feel concerned about how you’re feeling or struggling, I really encourage you to seek support from a licensed and fully qualified therapist/expert or doctor who can offer the right tools to help you. Having that kind of support can be incredibly powerful. But right now, let’s talk about feelings of depression.

I’m not going to lie, over the past year when I was really going through it, I sometimes spent days in bed feeling emotionally numb. I isolated myself and felt like the days were on Groundhog Day repeat. It sucks. Depression is the worst kind of emotion because it’s passive. There’s no energy behind it. 

Nothing is impossible but it can be very tricky to go from feeling depressed to absolutely elated in a short space of time. No amount of affirmations can make your subconscious believe it! But aiming just a few rungs up the emotional ladder is more do-able. Even moving from depression to frustration or anger is an amazing step, because those emotions have energy behind them. You can DO something with them. 

To ignite that emotion climb it requires you to create energy within your body. Do jumping jacks, go for a walk, cook, clean, call a friend, do something which makes you feel like you’re ‘doing’ something. Movement is a great one. A brilliant definition of emotion is ‘energy in motion’. My personal new favourite is to put on a great tune and dance like a lunatic and let everything I’m feeling move through my body. I listened to a Tim Ferris podcast with Aubrey Marcus recently and Aubrey was talking about his ecstatic dance ritual to extract lower emotional feelings out of the body. 

It’s amazing how when we resign ourselves to staying stagnant, we embody that physically and emotionally. We feel tired. We feel worse inside. But just a little movement or environment change can be all we need in that moment to shift and get an extra rung up the emotion ladder. 

 5) Be the inspirer you need

Imagine that your younger, childlike self is feeling how you’re feeling. Going through this experience. What would you do or say to them to help them through? To keep them feeling inspired, safe and nurtured? When I thought of the younger me going through what I was dealing with, it immediately shifted me from victim mode to ‘right, let’s do this!’ because I want to take care of her. I’d hate to think of my 7-year-old vulnerable self feeling unsafe in the world and in her body. So by giving her that reassurance that everything is ok, it gives me that too. By taking care of her, I take care of me. It helps me access an innate kind of wisdom where nothing can stand in the way of my healing - for my 35-year-old self right now and for my 7-year-old self. 

Just know that whatever heartbreak you’re going through, it will pass. Feel it, be ok with it, know that it’s a human experience, know that like a captain steering a ship sometimes you have to adapt and go left, sometimes you have to go right; it isn’t a linear path. Do what you can to keep yourself moving forward a tiny step every single day. That’s all it takes.

Plus, you have your bounce back celebration to keep you going and look forward to! I'm a huge believer in celebrating all the wins and getting through heartbreak is one to be celebrated big time! To help you do that, I’ve just added a really exciting new service to my offerings! I’ll be doing a separate post on that next week but you can read all about it here - events are something I LOVE to plan and it brings me no greater joy than to help clients and friends plan their own bounce back celebrations!

I hope you enjoyed this post and would love to hear your thoughts on your bounce back methods!

Laura x

 

 

Why we Should PLAY More!

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Adulthood. It’s gets so SERIOUS doesn’t it?! Yes, with growing up comes responsibility and obligations, but we tend to get so bogged down with it all that we cast aside or just plain forget childhood curiosity. PLAYING for the sake of playing! No end goal in mind aside to have an adventure, laugh and delve into the wonder of the imagination. 

From my previous posts, you’ll know that anxiety and stress management is something I have been challenged by for a large proportion of my life. When I think back to the times I’ve been most creative, happy, enjoyed brilliant relationships, ‘successful’ and just ‘on fire’ (in a good way!), it’s been the times when fun was a big part of my world. 

As I child I was chronically shy and anxious. But I remember my childhood being one of happy times because I had a lot of fun! I immersed myself in books and then acted them out in my back garden. Leaping off my slide adorned with my red cardigan as a cape pretending to be Supergirl (how badass was she though?!), walking into the Secret Garden or going on adventures in Narnia meeting Aslan.

When I got slightly older, building dens and swings with my friend in the woods, cycling around the area where we lived for hours on end, setting up ‘shops’, washing cars for extra pocket money, falling into rivers (shallow ones!), spending every moment we could of the summer holidays outside in the sunshine. It was bliss! 

All these things were so much fun and soothed those times where I did fall into my anxiety and chronic shyness. They also made me less anxious because I was just being......myself. 

My imagination was potent and I didn’t lose that ability to tap into it as an adult. I don’t exactly pretend I’m Supergirl any more (who am I kidding?!) but secretly I still think it would be fun ;)

When I reflect over my times as an adult too, my happiest memories are those when I have tons of fun, when I’m out connecting with people, traveling, seeing new places, getting outside, trying new things out, being creative, letting my imagination run wild! It’s my fuel!

I still maintain all the ‘adult’ responsibilities like seeing clients (which I don’t even think of as work!), meeting deadlines, paying bills, doing the more ‘mundane’ day-to-day things, but one thing I’ve committed to introducing into my life is to see every bit of it as an adventure.

After spending many years unhappy (you can read more about my story in my last post), I am well and truly onboard with the idea that LIFE IS TOO SHORT not to let go and have fun!

If we’re going to get scientific, there are many studies out there that have showed that when people incorporate more ‘play’ into their life, they become more productive at work or in their business, wealthier, happier, in better relationships, confident, harness an improved sense of self-worth and are less anxious.

When you have fun and let go, it brings out this inner childlike spirit that doesn’t have any adult ego attached. 

When I’ve made this suggestion of having more fun to my clients, it’s amazing the changes that happen with that alone. Just doing something for the sheer hell of it and not worrying about what people will think or what the end ‘goal’ is. 

I couldn’t really run my business without taking time to play! I wouldn’t have any inspiration to write, create videos, podcasts, work with clients and more importantly, do this in a way that actually makes an impact.  

My natural nature is definitely one where I'm shy at my core, but I’m also really fun and have a dry and sometimes quirky sense of humour! I love to laugh! I’m serious when it’s necessary, I’m highly sensitive and compassionate, but just doing something silly or fun gets me out of my own head where it can be so easy to get comfy, dwell and ruminate. You know what I mean, right?! 

If you are a more serious person, it’s not about trying to change that either. Fun and play can be anything that makes you feel good - where you feel free and like your true self. For one person, play can be about having a random dance party whilst they’re waiting for the train (I’ve done that before!), for another it can be going for a walk and listening to some music. For someone else it can be going and trying a new type of class or event that is completely different to anything else they do in their life. It can be simple, free or cheap and easy to work into your ‘adult’ schedule.  

Everyone’s idea of fun is totally unique and that’s brilliant! The point that I want to convey here, is that you have to give yourself the time and PERMISSION to let loose in a way that feels good and nourishing for you. Don’t be afraid to be silly! Trust me, it makes the world a better place to live in. It’s not a waste of time - it will add more to your life than you can ever imagine.

There is so much negativity on this earth and we can’t be naive to that or ignore it, but there is also so much beauty and good within it. Playing and having fun helps us to really see that and live it. It helps to at least bring in some balance during those personal times when sh** does hit the fan too. 

It also helps us to stop scrolling on our phones, wishing we had the lives of someone we don’t even know and triggering inner and quite frankly, gross feelings of inadequacy. Getting out into the real world and actually living in it, connecting, talking instead of emailing and having experiences…that’s where the true wealth of life resides. Not in competing with something that we don’t even know is authentic. 

Letting go, allows you to be your most authentic self. No one on instagram, your ex or someone you constantly compare yourself to matters in the way they did when you’re in that place. You just don’t have time for it!

This is why I’m so passionate about bringing the element of fun into the way I coach people. The impact it creates is truly transformational and I’ve experienced that myself of course, too. 

It was my 35th birthday yesterday and my main intention was to bring in even more fun and play into my world. A good one, right?! So I’m right here on this journey with you!

I’d love for you to let me know in the comments what that is for you! 

Love,

Laura xx

The Power of Small: Why Bigger Isn't Always Better

Something I’ve noticed so much with myself and with clients I work with, is the power of small. I know, it sounds very unsexy because we all want huge transformation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about exponential change and transformation, but despite being able to take huge action on something we want to change, you can’t quite hack your emotions in the same way. Sometimes you can’t physically hack your body in this way either.

I’ve experienced so much frustration with my health over the last year. For months I was trying to take these big leaps - working out hard to prove to myself I ‘could’, attempting to eat things, which I knew I’d become intolerant to because I wanted to feel ‘normal’. The intention was good but what happened was feeling utterly exhausted and ruined the day after working out and feeling unwell due to eating foods my body couldn’t tolerate.

When you’re going through a breakup, you want to feel better and back to your old self. Whilst you will get that in the long-term, you have to take small, incremental steps to get there. You can’t just leap forwards to ‘better’ or ‘normal’. (Um, if you can, please tell me how!)

If you find yourself self-sabotaging in this way, then I have a few tips for you that should help.

Say we’re measuring how you feel on a scale of 1 - 10 (sorry - I hate to use scales as much as I do spreadsheets but this is the best way I can illustrate this!) with 1 being the worst you could possibly feel and 10 being vibrant, exhilarated, full of energy and the best you could feel, where would you sit?

Ok, so whatever that number is, what would it take to get you to a 0.5 above that? What small things could you introduce into your day, self-care practice if you have one (which I strongly recommend!) or mindset? What would need to happen?

Next I want you to write down these things and how they would make you feel by doing them. How would things change for you? I know that a 0.5 isn’t hugely measurable but what’s important, is that your brain can comprehend feeling this way because it isn’t 10,000 miles from where you are now. Jumping from a 3 to a 7 - yeah that sounds awesome but your subconscious brain is just going to call BS on it. It won’t believe it’s possible because so much would have to change in such a short space of time. Your emotions need to adjust. You know you’ll get to that 7 in time because I bet you’ve got there before from a 3. You can already trust that. But taking a small step up the scale isn’t going to make you self-sabotage in the same way that leaping to that 7 could.

I recently had a session with a client who did this and his 0.5 up the scale was coming home from work, opening the windows to let some fresh air in and tidying up the house instead of coming home from work and sleeping. Doesn’t sound radical but for him that meant his doing the everyday things that represented his ‘normal’ and feeling content. Removing the stagnant atmosphere in the house.

The actions aren’t hugely exhilarating but they’re far more appealing to him than what he’s doing right now. They remind him of the person he wants to be again and by doing these small things, he can feel like he’s becoming that person instead of just waiting for it.

The idea, is that you do this consistently to keep moving up the scale and what you’ll probably find is that you can start to take bigger leaps. I’ve done this with my health and it’s really worked. Instead of going all gung-ho with my workouts, I’ve started with yoga, walking and some resistance work. I don’t break a sweat or feel like I’ve had an immense workout but I feel better because I can keep some level of consistency. I’m sticking to foods I know work for me and trying new things every so often to see how I react. Emotionally I do the same thing because that side of me got a good kicking too throughout the whole experience.

If you’re going through heartbreak, you can do this too of course (as my client I’ve mentioned did). It works really well. What would that 0.5 look like? What would it feel like? What would you do to get there? Go from a 3 to a 3.5 and in the next few days after you’ve gotten used to that, what would you need to do to get to a 4? And so on.

See how you go with this - I really hope you find it helpful!

I’ve been fairly quiet on the blog for the past month! At LY HQ there’s been so much good stuff going on. My new website with all my new coaching programs around bouncing back, transformation and creating a drama free life (because we all want that, right?!) will be going live in a few short weeks and I’m putting together some events and private workshops, which will be listed on there too. I’m buzzing about being able to help you all in a MUCH bigger way as I’ll be honest - it’s my mission. My why.

As for the Let’s Talk Heartbreak podcast, I’m going to be relaunching and rebranding that too come the summer. Breakups will still be something I cover but it will be much more focused on the idea of bouncing back and transformation with broader subjects. Will keep you all posted!

On a personal level I've just moved into a new place and I couldn't be more excited! There's something about this time of year that feels so fresh - out with the old, in with the new as they say :)

As always, please reach out to me if you need to or to find out about how to work with me on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com

Love,

Laura x