Holistic Centre for Body, Mind & Spirit

Time To Listen

SEPTEMBER 2011, THE JOURNAL MAGAZINE BY SONIA MANNING

How are you?

Too much to do and too little time? Head full of thoughts and ideas but lacking in focus? Are you constantly preoccupied or worrying? Or maybe you’re finding yourself getting cross at the smallest thing... perhaps you’re already looking forward to 6pm and that first glass of wine... or maybe you’ve been throwing back the painkillers for that headache that just won’t go away...

If you’ve been feeling any of the above – or any number of symptoms that you just can’t put your finger on – then you are suffering from stress. Your mind and body are desperately trying to tell you to deal with something. Stress comes from not acknowledging or being able to take action on your feelings, and unfortunately ignoring them - or not even being aware of them at all - will always make things worse.

What are you doing about it?

Many people come to see me knowing something is not quite right but can’t put their finger on what it is. They might have developed an odd habit, a frustrating compulsion, a bad back, a short temper, become overweight, suffering insomnia or simply be drowning in the thoughts that are buzzing around their head constantly and never seem to fall into order. Sometimes, it’s physical symptoms or even accidents that are an indication of your inner self trying to get the message across to you. It’s time to listen.

A lot of people, when they are in a certain frame of mind, turn to drink, drugs, food, shopping and so on. They’re not quite sure why, but are convinced it will make them feel better – and it might make them feel better for a very brief period, then they’ll feel even worse than before.

Perhaps it’s something else for you to look out for. Maybe you’re finding yourself losing your rag with your children all the time, or all too ready to yell at other road users when driving. Maybe you can’t stop yourself checking the gas is off or you need to run to the toilet all the time. Your stress may not even be externally obvious, it may be a more spiritual struggle for meaning and purpose. You may be feeling blocked or stuck in a rut. This is causing you frustration, doubt and feelings of emptiness.

Brian (not his real name), a successful businessman in his forties, came to me with the most powerful, debilitating headaches that were leaving him overwhelmed with pain and utterly unable to do anything.

Brian had been seeing medical professionals for years, and had experienced various interventions and heard numerous hypotheses but no treatment was working.

When Brian came through my door, I knew that stress and anxiety were behind it all. He ran a large company, travelled abroad extensively and was responsible for a lot of people and their livelihoods. These headaches were preventing him from doing his job properly, which was increasing his anxiety and so the vicious circle continued.

His emotional pain was manifesting itself as physical pain. What I had to do was release those thoughts that were trapped in his head and give him some respite from the constant pressure he was experiencing.

I spoke to Brian and we also worked closely with our acupuncturist to release the pressure. It took a little while – a year - but what a difference! The headaches have gone completely, the heavy frown has gone, he stands tall and moves freely and lightly. He is a different person.

So, what’s the first step? Well, you’re there now. You’re reading on because you are thinking about yourself and what all this means to you.

Your next step is to take action. You need to get back to the truth of who you genuinely are.



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If you're reading this, you've already taken an important step. You already know that you have questions that need answering, a curiosity to satisfy, difficulties to confront, maybe even a crisis to deal with.

With over 20 years' experience as a psychotherapist, executive business coach and counsellor, Sonia Manning leads a team of holistic therapists who can help you to overcome your difficulties and turn a crisis point into a turning point.