Stuckness.. Negativity.. Acceptance.. And Changing The Energy..

Stuckness..  Negativity..  Acceptance..  And Changing The Energy.. 

What can you do when, whatever you try, you seem to be getting nowhere?  You are beating yourself up because you are overweight, you are out of work, you have no money coming in, you have bills to pay, you can’t afford stuff for your kids, you have health problems, your partner has problems too..  or you are all alone..  You may be using alcohol to blank out from your worries.. or medications or drugs..  but you know that is not a good solution, but however much you try, you just can’t seem to break out of the “habit”..  You feel that life is just passing you by..  You may feel you are “past your prime” in life..  You’re just never going to get anywhere..  You are stuck.

And you seem to have been stuck forever..  You have tried numerous ways of attacking the problem, but nothing seems to get you out of your stuckness.  You have asked other people for help, you have tried all the methods you know have worked for others, you have tried all the methods that used to work for you in the past..  But nothing is working now..  You are frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted, totally fed up with making the effort, totally fed up with living like this..  But you can’t give up..  But nothing you do seems to make a difference.  You’ve heard the term “just keep going”, things will get better eventually, just keep the faith, keep trying, it will work out in the end..  But it has been going on for so long…  You are not sure if you have anything left in you to keep trying anymore..  And you are not even sure anymore what it is you are trying to do, or what you need to keep trying to do..  You’ve lost the plot..  You had dreams, but they all seem impossible now, pie-in-the-sky, so far away..  it all seems futile..  You can’t remember the last time you felt good.. about yourself.. or your life..  You just want to sleep..  or go hit the bottle and blot it all out..

Your brain hurts with constantly going round and round, trying to figure out how to solve the problem..  You keep trying to think of other options, other methods of attack, other opportunities, other ideas, other roads, other directions..  You are just so exhausted and frustrated and totally fed up with it all..  You know you are not lazy..  You know you are intelligent, resourceful, creative, hard-working..  You know you have skills, talents, qualifications, and lots of things you can offer the world..  But you just can’t seem to figure out a way to get out there and make use of all this positive stuff you have..  Why can’t you solve the problem?!  You’ve tried lots of different things..  But you just seemed to come up against constant obstacles, closed doors, resistance, rejection..  You are totally discouraged, have lost all confidence in yourself, and you’ve lost all faith in the world in general.. 

You know that there are lots of other people in the world who are much worse off than you – whether due to culture, religion, geographical location, economy, politics, poverty, lack of opportunity, lack of education, lack of food/warmth/home/work, war, terrorism, famine, earthquakes, floods, drought, tsunamis, hurricanes, and so on..  You should be grateful for what you have – food, warmth, clothes, friends, technology, whatever..  But you just can’t..  The word “gratitude” just irritates you..  You just can’t connect with it, you can’t feel it..  You’ve heard of the “law of attraction”, that you get back what you put out..  So is it all your own fault?!  So you beat yourself up again for being a whingeing, whineing, moaning minnie..  Why don’t you just get off your ass and do something?!  But what?  You feel as though you have tried everything you can think of, but you just seem to go round in circles..  or you get nowhere at all..  You’re stuck.  There must be another way, another approach, some other route or method you haven’t thought of yet..  Your brain hurts..

So what do you do?  Accept?  So what is acceptance?  Is it giving up?  You can’t do that.  What about acknowledgement?  What about “going with the flow”?  What about stopping resisting?  Letting go?  Trusting the universe?  What does all this mean?  You’re not sure you know what all this means.  How can you “go with the flow” when you are stuck?

Releasing and letting go of negative energy (thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs, and so on).  You feel sure it’s something to do with this.  But how do you do that? 

Small steps..  Small efforts..  Repetitive small efforts..  Small changes..  Persistent, consistent changes..  That last bit sounds too much to be able to do, to keep up..  Let’s go back to small steps and small efforts..  and repeating them whenever you feel you can.  You’re still not sure how you let go of negative energy etc..  The negative stuff is part of your daily life, your daily routine, your unconscious habits..  Well, if we can’t start with releasing the negative stuff just yet, how about trying to introduce a few positive things first..  Maybe if you do that, and keep doing it, little by little, the positive energy will start to push out the negative stuff..  What little positive things can you do?  Well, do one or two things that make you feel a bit better.  Do your hair, do your make-up, brush your teeth, have a shave, have a relaxing bath, wear something pretty or smart.  Play some music you like, watch a movie you love, or a comedy show.  Tidy up, do the laundry, do the dishes, make the bed.  File some papers that need filing.  Tidy your clothes away.  Take a walk.  Feel the sun/rain/wind on your face.  Watch the birds outside, listen to the breeze rustling the trees, look up at the sky.  Read a book.  Phone/skype/email/text a friend.  Arrange to meet up with a friend/ someone who makes you feel good.  (NB. Avoid negative/ critical/ unsupportive/ unsympathetic people!)  Meditate/listen to a guided visualisation.  Attend a workshop/lecture.  Join a class or club.  Go to the gym.  Do some yoga/tai chi.  Go for a run/jog/swim/bike-ride.  Drive somewhere nice in the car or travel somewhere on the train/bus.  Visit the seaside.. or a river, garden, meadow, lake, mountain.. whatever..  Draw, paint, write poetry.  Write a blog or write in your journal/diary.  Be creative in the kitchen.  Stroke the cat.  Take the dog for a walk.  Play with your kids.  And be present with all of these moments and experiences.  Be “mindful” of them.  Savour any good feelings..  and commit them to your bank of good memories and experiences..

Look at old photos of good times..  places and people and experiences that evoke happy memories.  Remember back to good times and places and people and experiences..  Daydream and relive some of these happy times if you can..  just for a little while..

And acknowledge..  that you are taking small positive steps, doing small positive things..  Congratulate yourself.  And accept..  Accept yourself for what and who you are at the present moment, and for where you are at the present time.  Accept that you are doing the best you can at the present time.  Sometimes that is the very best we can do..  and the only thing we can do..  Be kind to yourself.  Be patient with yourself.  Little by little, know that the energy is changing..  that you are helping to change the energy..  adding a little positive here and there..  and little by little replacing and releasing the negative..

Amanda Jackson-Russell, BSc (Hons), PhD (Neuroscience), Clinical & Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapist, Emotional Therapist, EFT Practitioner, Stress Management Consultant/ Relaxation Skills Trainer, Meditation & Mindfulness Instructor, Reiki Master, Spiritual/Energy Healing Facilitator, Healer Member of NFSH, Medical/Health Writer & Editor. AJR Hypnotherapy Surrey and Energessence Natural Healing. Epsom, Ewell, Ashtead, Leatherhead, and surrounding areas, Surrey, England.

How Does Relaxation Training Differ from Doing Relaxation in a Yoga Class?

If you have ever attended even just the occasional yoga class, you may have experienced the wonderful “other-worldly” feeling of deep relaxation at the end of a class, where you have become almost completely unaware of your body any more and have just felt as though you were floating and your mind was totally dissociated from any daily concerns or “to-do” lists – either that, or you fell asleep! – as attested to by the light snoring sounds often discerned at the end of such classes! Either way, you probably felt as though you just wanted to stay there and never come back – which is what many people say as they get up to leave a class. Unless you regularly practise relaxation techniques, meditation or self-hypnosis, you may never before have experienced such a deeply relaxed state (termed the “relaxation response” by Harvard doctor, Herbert Benson, M.D., back in the 1970s).

Practising yoga, Tai Chi, meditation and related practices can be wonderful methods of experiencing relaxation, and can help train us to elicit the “relaxation response” more easily. When we are doing the practices, we feel great – relaxed, focused, mindful (in the present moment). However, one problem can be that we attend a class, maybe once or twice a week, and feel great during the class – but the minute we leave, we are back to our rushing around, our mental “to-do” lists, our daily worries, fears, anxieties, planning, emails, texts, voicemails, etc..  and our poor body and mind have to wait until the next time we go to class to get a break! We can end up “compartmentalising” our experience of relaxation, instead of learning how to integrate it into our daily lives, so that we can tune in and switch down to a more relaxed and beneficial way of operating more and more of the time. And that lack of integration into our lives can have a great toll on our physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing, our productivity, and our quality of life in general.

That’s where Relaxation Training (or Applied Relaxation) comes in. We can learn to operate our lives in a more relaxed way more of the time. And this can make us more productive, happier and healthier, by increasing our mental and emotional resilience, boosting our immune system, increasing our ability to experience joy (“light-heartedness”), switching off “disease” genes, and reducing our susceptibility to (or enhancing our recovery from) stress-related illnesses such as high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and so on.

Relaxation Skills Training involves a number of stages, and I’ll describe these in more detail in a later blog entry, along with the wider benefits. But basically the stages are: 1) experience deep relaxation; 2) practise eliciting this state; 3) learn to elicit relaxation “on cue”; 4) imagine facing anxiety/stress situations – usually in hypnosis – while practising your relaxation skills; 5) use your relaxation skills in “real-world” situations; 6) your relaxation skills become integrated into your everyday life.

If you’d like to find out more about relaxation skills training or hypnotherapy, or if you have any other questions, please contact me at AJR Hypnotherapy Surrey by email or phone (see top right of this page). Amanda Jackson-Russell: clinical and cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapist; stress management consultant; relaxation, meditation and mindfulness instructor; researcher, editor and writer.


What is Mindfulness? Introduction to Mindfulness for Positive Wellbeing

So what is “mindfulness”? Well, it’s the current “catch-phrase” of the medical, health, psychology and stress management communities since they have “discovered”, in recent years, it’s enormous benefits to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing (this, despite the fact that it has been practised in a variety of forms by numerous cultures throughout the world for centuries, if not millennia..). I’ll be talking in more depth about mindfulness, and other forms of meditative practices, in future blog posts. However, as an introduction to the principles, I believe the following, published online by “Thought For Today” back in April 2012 (, gives a straight-forward, no-nonsense, uncomplicated description:

“Most of us are of sound mind, but many of us have trouble maintaining a note of harmony and peace. Most of us know how to think, but few of us are able to control our thoughts. We all have the capacity to be creative, to imagine new ideas, but few of us are able to do it together and co-create in harmony with each other. We could all do with some mental training so that we may use the most powerful energy in the universe, the mind, which is always at our instant disposal. We can begin with mindfulness. It’s a simple way to gently help our mind go where it is best to go, do what is the best thing to do. It begins by simply being fully aware of what you are doing. Mostly we are not fully aware, as our minds wander into the past and then into possible futures. We spend most of our time watching others and so rarely fully focus on what we are actually doing ourselves. Next time you sit down to a meal, watch yourself. Be aware of only what you are eating. Every time your mind wants to wander, bring it gently and lovingly back to the action and sensation of eating. Then do the same when cleaning, when writing, when working. The more you do it, the stronger and more focused and more rational will be your concentration, the more natural will be your actions, the more peaceful you will feel, and the more relaxed you will be, no matter what you are doing.”

If you would like to leave a comment (below) about your experiences and practices of mindfulness, and how it has benefited you (or not!), I would be delighted to hear from you. Alternatively, if you are interested in learning meditation, mindfulness, relaxation or self-hypnosis skills, please contact me by phone or email (above right).