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+852 2575 7707 drmelanie@mindmatters.hk

Free to Fly Again. OMG!

Free to Fly Again. OMG!

After 18 months of being on guard, keeping your distance, monitoring the threat of the unseen viral enemy and privileging life lived in secure surroundings, now this!

Your friends and colleagues are thrilled at the prospect of being sky high again.
Not you.

For all the disruptions blown in with the demands of Covid 19 threats, the anxiety, uncertainty, living remotely, the need to fly was blissfully not an issue.  Now it is, again.

After 18 months of being safely grounded, a few shots and you’re good to go – takeoff looms…. Instead of being thrilled, you’re drenched in sweat – that all too familiar dread and apprehension, OMG, I’ve got to fly!

Some Coping Tips:

Step back into the present with a few long, slow quieting breaths, breathing out longer than you breathe in.  Count each in and out breath.

Focus on what you can control rather than what you fear.

  • The positive reasons / opportunities for your trip
  • What you hope to accomplish, experience, whom you will meet, etc.
  • Select your preferred seat early on, as well as your special meal
  • Download:  comedy shows, musicals, music, or documentaries that engage you.
  • Speak to the pilot or the head flight attendant for reassurance.

Remember, change, particularly unexpected and unpredictable change, predictably generate uncertainty.  These Covid 19 months upended your life in countless ways.  You coped and learned to cope differently and with flexibility.

You are a more resilient and resourceful person than you were pre-Covid.
Remember this.

A few weeks before your flight, download the WakingUp.com app by Sam Harris (there is a 30 day free trial).  Each 10 minute mindfulness segment will guide you, over 28 days, to a deep appreciation of how your mind works.  It is remarkable and invaluable.

Consider booking in for a session or two with me.

I can teach you how to cope effectively using hypnosis, self-hypnosis, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) which are excellent tools for resolving fears and generating beneficial change.

You’ll be flying in plane comfort in no time.

Dr Melanie Bryan
Short Term-Therapy & Hypnosis w/ Long-term Results

Have questions or wish to make an appointment ? Contact Dr Melanie

COPING WITH UNCERTAINTY – A Suggestion

Uncertainty

Much has been written about the discomfort of uncertainty accompanied by its worry, stress and anxiety and it’s effects on so many areas of our lives.

For most of us worldwide our lives feel like we are stuck on pause, waiting to return to the illusion of the predictable and the freedom to move about and make plans.

It can feel like we are in quarantine, even if not officially, with challenges at every turn personally and relation-ally. Being alone together is stressful. Navigating the bumpy terrain of closeness and distance, needs and expectations, can be a strain. All the more so with children at home demanding engagement plus space constraints. Add the demands of working at home, social isolation and the ever present fear of a viral infection can exhaust our personal strengths.

Feeling emotionally overwhelmed, tempers are likely to flare easily, it’s consequences lingering, often painfully. Focusing on fearful thoughts can interfere with our ability to relax into the present moment and enjoy even the simple pleasure of a cup of coffee.

With so much uncertainty coping effectively can plummet, with little sense of control and no end in sight.

Although it may have felt that way, your future, through today, was never as predictable as you may have assumed. Instead it is the product of complex causes and conditions, and the often unrecognized power of serendipity – “the potential for random and unexpected events to wreck even the best laid plans.”

The one place uncertainty does not exist is in the present moment. Step into it. Scan your body for sources of stress and pain. Breath slowly into each such area and simply recognize and allow each experience of discomfort to communicate its needs to you. The body keeps the score. Maintain a curious, open mind as you do this exercise, “that’s interesting”. Lying on your back while propping your feet up against the wall for 5 min. as you do this is particularly calming.

Flexibility is a key here. Flexibility can aid in cushioning the impact of the unexpected by expecting the unexpected as much as possible, controlling what you can while appreciating all can continue to change rapidly. That is the value of having plans B, C & D. Just in case plan A gets sideswiped by the unexpected.

Reflect back on this time when so many of your cherished freedoms were curtailed by the virus. Reflect back on how you used your time during the lockup?

Do you feel a sense of satisfaction that you used your free time well, or did you while away the hours watching Netflix and reading far too much news?

There is a difference between being busy and being productive. A sense of accomplishment accompanies being productive, and it pays dividends going forward.

If you felt some regret when you looked back, then consider how to focus some of your current time now in ways that honor your interests and abilities and give you a sense of accomplishment when you reflect back from your future now to today.

In the midst of so many physical, financial and psychological threats, give yourself the gift of presents of mind, focus on what you can change, and deeply enjoy your coffee.

Dr Melanie Bryan
13 April 2020

Building Confidence

Building confidence

Many clients think if they were more confident their career potential would improve greatly and their personal and social life would be far more satisfying and fun.

This may well be true as they would feel far better about themselves and therefore extend themselves more across a variety of situations.

My solution for building confidence is not difficult but also not comfortable; be willing to make mistakes.

Think about it. Whatever you do well now, there was a time when you didn’t. But you persisted until you became confident at it.

If it is something you learned as a child, you were free of exactly the self-conscious concepts that are undoubtably holding you back now.
•Perhaps you are holding some of these commonly held beliefs about making mistakes:
•Mistakes means failing and must be avoided.
•Making mistakes means I am stupid; others will think I am stupid; they will laugh at me
•Making mistakes means I am really a closet idiot, no matter what my position
•I will feel bad about it and must beat myself up for a long time
•I had a bad experience in the past and must protect myself

Actually, a mistake is merely an opportunity to do (whatever) differently next time. Mistakes grow you, shaping your character as you meet challenges with persistence.

When the fearful voice in your head starts playing old tapes about your ‘limitations’, hindering you from focusing away from yourself and onto the present moments activity, change the voice to Donald Duck and get on with the task at hand.

Really, the more mistakes you, the more you will learn, and the more confident you will become.

I hope this has been helpful to you.

Your comments or questions are most welcome.

What is the difference between positive stress and negative stress?

Answer: Interpretation

Really, the ‘stressful’ situation, interaction or occurrence does not come with evaluation or judgment written on it; we supply that.

How we view or evaluate a circumstance triggers a cascade of mental, emotional and physiological responses that influence how we react on multiple levels in the short and medium term.

When we take our rapid interpretations as truth in the universe, we forfeit choices in how we could react if we didn’t respond so quickly. It would be helpful to consider our initial thoughts and feeling responses as a ‘speed bump’, reminding us to slow down and reconsider how else we could react. This does take practice, but is so worth the effort.

We are more likely to accept ‘positive’ stress when it is associated with an outcome we value, such as landing a new job, studying for a difficult exam, planning a wedding, having a baby, or relocating out of choice. Such stress is more likely to be viewed as normal and managed flexibly.

Conversely, we tend to evaluate undesirable outcomes, such as an unexpected job loss, illness, infidelity or divorce as highly undesirable ‘negative’ stress. In such circumstances if we focus only on the fearful, painful or depressing aspects of the situation, our negative beliefs are compounded.

Such types of interpretations leading to emotional stress lasting weeks or more can weaken the immune system, increase blood pressure, generate anxiety, depression and contribute to heart problems. Attributing such undesirable situations or outcomes to deficiencies in ourselves that are relatively fixed will intensify our negative beliefs and sense of powerlessness. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Many situations are indeed difficult and call for thoughtful consideration, emotional balance and creative responses. Accepting our knee-jerk interpretations can severely hamper such adaptive responses.

If you are having difficulty managing trying situations, do consider contacting me on +852 2575 7707 or via this link.

Melt Away Everyday Stress with Rainbow Mediation by Dr Melanie

Rainbow-Meditation

Meditation has significant mental and physical health benefits for both adults and kids.

Both in the corporate world and at schools, short meditations bring a more relaxed and focused state, with improved concentration and ability to cope throughout the day.

Research at Harvard has shown meditation can also increase levels of a key neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain, as well as growth hormone which repairs cells and tissue.

It has also been shown to lower the heart rate, boost immune function, lower blood pressure and inflammation, increase blood circulation to the body’s tissues, promote emotional balance, and induce a state of calmness.

This link is for PC only it will not work on a Mac.
To download the meditation for a PC click the following link in blue: rainbow_meditation_mindmatters
Then UNZIP the file, and follow the instructions given.

Mac video coming soon!

A Friend Is Not A Therapist

A-Friend-is-Not-a-Therapist

We are powerfully bound to our friends, as their leaving painfully reminds us. Following too many departures, we may be inclined to pull back from further efforts to establish significant friendships.

But denying yourself the companionship and intimacy a friendship offers can be more debilitating to body, mind and spirit then their leave-taking. Our friends are our safety net, acting as a counter when feeling sad, rejected, enraged or crazed. In study after study medical researchers are finding that people who have friends they can turn to for advice and assistance, have lower risks of depression and addictions, and a greater capacity to cope with radical changes and reversals in their lives. Regardless of the hidden agendas that may shadow a friendship, it cannot compare to the complexity of expectations and emotional baggage that are part and parcel of pair-bonding relationships. While adjusting to the idiosyncratic needs, habits, foibles and differences of one’s partner requires steady work, accepting the differences in friends takes little, if any, work.

We need our friends to be simply our friends, not our partners, which frees us to be more our spontaneous selves with them. Friends can also provide emotional support and respect and so can help to reaffirm our self-worth.

But friendship can also be a drag, taking on pathological elements that are emotionally and sometimes physically draining. It may be prudent to terminate a friendship when friends become overly clinging or dependent on you for emotional well-being. Also draining are the friends who seem to get themselves into a never-ending series of crises from which you feel you must rescue them. For friendships to be fulfilling, they should make you feel better, not worse.

A friend is not a therapist. Few friendships can survive the openly honest, often intense and always client-focused work that is the very heart of therapy. Therapy works in part because, unlike friendship, it is not mutual. Within the safety and confidentiality of the therapist’s office, a client is free to explore and reveal their most private selves without risk of judgement or rejection.

When a person is feeling too depressed or overwhelmed or work stressed and challenged to respond with the reciprocity required of friendship, the therapy relationship exists explicitly to support them through their turmoil and assist them in unearthing the sources of their own resources, abilities and potentials.