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+852 2575 7707 drmelanie@mindmatters.hk

Anxiety is not your Friend

 

But it is not your enemy either.

Anxiety is not your friend: It can stalk you in the background with a deep sense of unease that impairs concentration and productivity. Or, it can hijack you full on with a pounding heart, sweaty palms, shaking hands and weak limbs.

Your thinking becomes imbued with fear while your temper may flare unexpectedly.

Like a virus, anxiety infects you, your relationships and your ability to function effectively.

Anxiety can come upon you rapidly “out of the blue” or before or after a dreaded event.

When your life is so impacted, seeking relief is the goal.

Anxiety is not your enemy either:

Anxiety is like a smoke alarm in the brain, not the problem itself.

It is a signal, not the cause of your discomfort. A beeping within your emotional system sounding the alarm, there is a threat here, pay attention!

Working with individuals and couples and their unique situations, I help clients pay attention to their alarm signals and reclaim themselves from the noise of their anxiety and fear, no matter how it manifests in their lives.

Beyond techniques and tools, of which I employ many, I am a well-seasoned therapist with a deep regard for how much a person can feel they have lost while in the grip of anxiety, and the freedom they gain as they loosen that grip and then dispense with it in our work together.

Feel free to call me on: (852) 2575 7707 or WhatsApp: WhatsApp +85260507757
for a free 15 minute conversation.

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

Links for Dog & Cat Fans

Dr Melanie with Bandit

As the proud owner of a handsome Rottweiler mixed breed I adopted nearly 4 years ago, I wanted to share these links with you.

I found the slideshows very informative, and they seamlessly follow one after another.  Or you may use the links below each title.

1. The first is:   How Pets Can Improve Your Health
https:/pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-pets-improve-your-health

Of course a pet can lift your mood and ease depression, but it can also lower cholesterol, help your heart and boost fitness for example.

2. This is followed by Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Dogs & Cats
https://pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-surprising-things-about-dogs-and-cats

Did you know dogs can smell hypoglycemia and be trained to warn their owners its time for a snack.  That cats can love too much.  That dogs can learn an average of 150 words, some up to 250 words.  Cats kiss with their eyes.

Secondhand smoke increases the risk of at least 2 fatal cancers in cats.  Dogs with long noses may develop cancerous nasal tumors from living with a smoker and short nosed breeds are more prone to lung cancer.  (If you smoke I can help you quit in one to two sessions.)

3. Risky Mistakes Pet Owners Make
https://pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-mistakes-pet-owners-make

Leaving your dog alone too long, which can lead to separation anxiety and destructive habits.

Scolding pets for ‘accidents’ won’t work and causes emotional harm.

Giving milk to cats or forcing them to share a litter box.

Not having a disaster plan in case of fire, flooding or a typhoon.

4. Pet Treats: Dos & Don’ts
https://pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-pet-treats-dos-and-donts

Avocados, grapes, macadamia nuts, coffee, onions and chocolate can cause grave illness in dogs.

5. 20 Things You Can Learn From Your Pet.
https://pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-things-you-learn-from-your-pet

 6.  Lastly, Skin Problems in Dogs.  Much to learn about here.
https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/ss/slideshow-skin-problems-in-dogs

Hope you found this useful. Feel free to comment via WhatsApp 6050 7757
Have questions or wish to make an appointment ? Contact Dr Melanie

Free to Fly Again. OMG!

Free to Fly Again. OMG!

After years 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 years 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

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