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Wellbeing and Mental Health

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Mental Health Awareness Month 2022

Mental Health Awareness Month is observed worldwide each October. Hibernia College held a wellness session for students on Wednesday, 12 October, hosted by Róisín Kelly, a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) certified confidence and wellbeing life coach. We followed up with Róisín to learn more about her tips and techniques around wellness, mental health and resilience.

Róisín is an NLP Life Coach with a background in beauty and holistic therapy, who specialises in style, wellbeing and confidence coaching. She trained as an NLP life coach after her own positive coaching experience enabled her to take control of her life in a positive way.

On Wednesday, Róisín expertly guided our students towards an understanding of mental health awareness, how to watch out for triggers and techniques to use when feeling overwhelmed. To conclude the session, she led students through a meditation and body scan.

What is mental health awareness and why does it matter?

There are still misconceptions and stigma surrounding mental health issues, and people are living with issues in silence. There is help out there for those who need it and treatment for their conditions. Mental health awareness is a necessary and foundational conversation for changing to a more proactive model of mental health.

Can you expand on your approach to mental health awareness?

I am an NLP coach and my approach to mental health awareness is to educate and provide techniques to equip clients to feel more in control of and more positive about their daily lives. My approach is more holistic/wellbeing-based; I understand the mind-body connection and the importance of visualisation, manifestation, internal dialogue and grounding techniques.

From my own experience with a coach, I’ve learned there is no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to our mental health. There is so much out there now to help us become more in tune with ourselves and to be able to push through those darker days. But it is up to us to create change — we must want to.

Never before has there been so many free tools out there to help with our wellbeing. Perceiving things differently, being kinder to ourselves and reframing are all ways to help improve how we see things and in turn, how we feel. A lot of my work and sessions also comes from my intuition and from my own experiences of feeling ‘not enough’, stuck and limited. Life doesn’t have to feel like an uphill struggle. In my opinion, we deserve to feel love, contentment and happiness. We just need to believe we deserve it.

What is Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) all about?

NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic programming. It’s a method of influencing our brain’s behaviour through the use of language and other types of communication to re-code the way our brain responds to stimuli and enjoy new, appropriate behaviours. NLP uses perceptual, behavioral and communication techniques to make it easier for people to change their thoughts and actions. NLP is also based on the idea that we experience the world through our senses and that they translate sensory information into thought processes both conscious and unconscious. The thoughts that we have activate the neurological system that affects our behaviour and emotions.

There are different NLP techniques such as: 

  • Anchoring: turning sensory experiences into triggers for certain emotional states
  • Swish pattern: changing patterns of behavior or thought to a desired outcome instead of an undesired outcome 
  • Rapport: tuning in to the client by matching or mirroring their physical behaviors to improve communication and response through empathy

With the power of NLP, you can:  

  • Change your emotional state quickly and easily
  • Overcome fears and phobias
  • Transform habits
  • Heal emotional pain from the past
  • Communicate easily and effectively 

What are some techniques a person can use when feeling overwhelmed?

There are so many techniques to turn to when feeling overwhelmed such as breathing, mindfulness, meditation and emotional freedom techniques (EFT) to name a few. Breathing exercises can reduce stress by increasing oxygen, which reduces blood pressure, slows the heart and releases any tension held in the abdomen, which then calms the mind. When we practise mindfulness, we are in the moment not in the past or the future, but the now! This helps us be calm and slow down. Meditation lets us discover our thoughts and allow, sit with and let go of them, helping us make peace and slow down with the focus of a mantra or our breath.

EFT is an amazing technique that I use regularly and have found amazing results with. It is based on Chinese medicine. By gently tapping on nine meridian points while focusing on the pain or emotional stress you are feeling and want to address, you are able to restore your body’s energy and bring it into balance.

What other tips to maintain positive wellbeing can you share with our wider community?

Talk with either a coach, counsellor or therapist who is trained or qualified. We see the importance of exercising or going to the gym; working on our minds is equally important. To be able to share and release how we are feeling is such a relief you will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders when you are able to share. If you feel the connection isn’t there or the vibe isn’t right with who you have decided to talk to, look again and don’t give up. Remember, we click with certain people, and for you to trust that person, you need to feel comfortable.

Journalling is a great way to express how you are feeling without sharing it with someone. Lots of my clients have felt great comfort in my programme’s journalling, and it’s a great release plus it helps them identify triggers that perhaps cause them to feel low, angry, frustrated or happy. When they identify the triggers, they can work on creating change. Journalling and setting goals are also great ways to focus on what you want and not what you don’t want. Having dreams or goals is important to help you grow as a person and to challenge your limiting beliefs.

Feeling fulfilled and having purpose — when we do things we enjoy, we feel good. Think, is there anything you have always wanted to do like pottery? Play tennis? Join a drama club? Life gets busy, and we can sometimes forget what makes us happy and fulfilled. It’s also a great way to get out there and meet new like-minded people and improve our confidence. The happier and more positive we are as people will allow that contentment and fulfilled feeling to flow into other areas of our lives such as family, friends and work.

Creating daily wellness rituals. A ritual is a set series of actions that you perform regularly. Unlike routines such as brushing your teeth, rituals are meaningful acts you do with intent. Rituals embody what matters to you by putting your values into practice providing structure, renewal, change and time out for self-care.

Thank you for all these great tips, Róisín! Hibernia College students are also encouraged to turn to our Student Support team, and our employees are encouraged to explore our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) with Spectrum.Life.

We wish you all a well October.

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