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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

Overcoming Your Fear of Dogs

Overcoming Your Fear of Dogs

Long ago, in NYC, I had a beautiful, gentle Great Dane. Now and then I would encounter a mother and her 3 or 4 year old daughter in the lift when Calypso and I were going out for one of our daily walks.

The first few encounters the little girl would reach out to pet Calypso, her mother would quickly pull her back. In due course the little girl would recoil in fear when she encountered us in the lift.

She had learned to share her mother’s fear of my lovely dog.

The good news is that what can be learned can be unlearned.

 
The first step to unlearning a fear of dogs (or any fear for that matter) is an increased awareness of out habitual assumptions and images in the presence if the feared dog. Working with these responses on a multi-sensory, imaginary level, followed by controlled exposure can successfully resolve such fear and allow you the deep pleasure a dog can offer.

Some people need to begin by looking at picture or videos of people playing with the type of dog they fear. When these bo longer elicit a fearful response, controlled exposure can then be done.

 
In the presence initially of a small dog (or dogs, as in a shelter or on an Adoption Day) progressing to larger breeds. Such an approach can go a long way to resolving the fear, even with people who have been bitten as children and retain an automatic sense of fear in the presence of a similar sized dog, or all dogs.
 
Some puppies have been mistreated by their owners or foster ‘parents’ and have learned to cautious or fearful of people,
 
So it is quite possible that in overcoming your fear you may be helping a dog overcome their fear of humans.
 
Treat a dog kindly and you will be rewarded with the unconditional devotion and loyalty a dog is capable of giving and receiving,

Your comments are most welcome,

Dr Melanie Bryan
www.mindmatters.hk

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!

Recognising and Addressing Stress in the Workplace

Stress-in-the-Workplace

 

​Today stress is increasingly chronic and unremitting, eroding our health, productivity and coping strategies.

Hong Kong, being one of the world’s most stressful cities can make work environments a virtual pressure cooker.

Recognising the signs and causes of stress as they interrelate in our personal, professional and corporate lives is essential.

The toll on businesses runs from reduced productivity, absenteeism, and spiraling replacement and medical costs to the impact on the bottom line from erroneous executive decisions.

Dr. Melanie Bryan’s workshop ‘Addressing Stress in the Workplace’ will equip you to identify and resolve many of the sources of stress and offer essential guidelines to becoming healthier, happier, & more effective human beings.

Dr. Melanie Bryan consults to corporations in Asia equipping HR and department managers to tackle this rising trend which impacts increasingly on wellbeing, productivity and the corporate bottom line.

A preview of her workshop presentation may be viewed upon request.

For a no obligation on the benefits and cost of delivering this workshop please contact Dr Melanie.

Caught in the Middle, Children and Divorce

Parental conflict is hard on children at any time, all the more so when their parents are separating or divorcing. And when the former spouses are unable to establish a cooperative, responsible co-parenting relationship with each other following the divorce, the negative impact on their children is compounded.

The good news however, is that separation and divorce need not be a catastrophic experience for children. A majority learn to adjust to the initial disruption of their family without many psychological and social scars and become well-functioning adults. Contributing factors to a child’s positive adjustment to separation and divorce, especially during the first year, are strongly associated with the degree of parental conflict to which a child has been exposed. Many studies have documented a correlation between parental conflict, it’s duration and resolution and a child’s stress levels, as well as post-divorce adjustment. When both the residential and non-residential parents are aware of the potentially harmful impact of exposing their conflicts to their children, they endeavor to shield them from such disputes. In the heat of separation and divorce demands, protecting children from emotional distress and frustrations requires parents to be able to work with their own emotions and those of their children, seek support from family and trusted friends, and/or a qualified therapist or divorce coach while pursuing healthy outlets. Creating a stable home life during this time of upheaval benefits everyone concerned.

When parental conflict becomes intense and frequent, the stress on the children mounts as well. Some parents have difficulty establishing boundaries between themselves and their children, so the children may often overhear or are witness to parental anger and aggression around ongoing conflicts. Especially when the disagreements concern them, emotional and behavioral difficulties in the children are likely to develop. Conversely, when parents model healthy conflict resolution for their children, through negotiation and compromise, it can enhance their social skills.

Not all expressions of conflict are overt however. Parents who model withdrawal or discourage open dialogue with their children around the separation and divorce issues are encouraging unhealthy internalization of their negative feelings. Better to encourage children to feel safe asking their questions and receiving answers that are clear and concise, without blaming or making harsh judgments or snide remarks about the other parent. Denigrating a parent puts a child smack in the middle of a loyalty conflict that children find extremely distressing.

Other examples of being caught in the middle include having to carry messages between parents, feeling disloyal by being pressured to answer questions about the other parent’s behavior, or hearing derogatory comments about the other parent.

Parents who are not able to separate their emotional needs from their childrens needs, cannot protect them from their own hurt and agitation. Rather than focusing on the child’s needs, such parents may confide in their children or turn to a particular child for comfort. This is known as parentification and places a tremendous burden on a child.

Moderate levels of instrumental parentification such as cooking meals, looking after their siblings or doing housework can teach a child responsibility, while moderate levels of emotional parentification such as comforting siblings, can teach a child empathy. High levels of parentification demands are associated with adjustment problems. For girls from high-conflict divorced families both types of parentification are associated with girls’ depressed and anxious behaviors; for boys, high levels of emotional parentification by fathers are associated with sons’ depression. (Heatherington).

There is a strong association between children’s mental health and parental conflict, even when children do not display awareness of the conflict. When a child is alienated from a parent or exposed to contentious child custody litigation or visitation battles or other failed parenting responsibilities, emotional and behavioral problems such as anxiety or depression, aggressiveness, or poor impulse control are likely to surface or increase.

Children often feel responsible for their parents separation and conflict and may try to intervene in the conflict. Ineffective parenting will increase their stress, which may be reflected in signs of guilt, sadness, manipulation, declining academic performance and problems with friends, phobias or compulsive behavior.

Helping parents help their children adjust to divorce includes guiding parents to move beyond their anger, reduce their parental conflicts and triangulation of the children to develop agreement on rules and predictable expectations that minimize stress on their children, develop more effective parenting skills and foster a healthy connection between family members during divorce, and a positive adaptation to the relational changes post-divorce. Such cooperative parenting also encourages healthy self-esteem and effective communication skills not only in their children but in their parents as well.

Possible Stress Reactions in Children* Age: Signs of Stress Birth to 3 Regression, separation anxieties, eating and sleeping problems, tantrums, aggression, possessiveness, withdrawal. Preschool Irritability, “too good behavior,” aggression, need for physical contact, sadness, self-blame, fear of abandonment and loss of parental love. Ages 6 to 12 Sadness, fear of abandonment, guilt, anger, fantasizing reconciliation. Adolescent Open hostility at parents, acting-out behavior, school difficulties, aggression or withdrawal, difficulty with peers, dependency on others. *Adapted from Kersey, k. (1986) Helping your child handle stress. Washington, D.C.: Acropolis. Heatherton, E.M. (1999) (Ed.), Coping with divorce, single parenting and remarriage.