Thank you all for coming along last week to celebrate the 6th anniversary of our community programme! Since its humble beginnings in 2011, the Hove StressBusters programme has grown in ways we couldn’t possibly have anticipated… and all thanks to the wonderful wellbeing practitioners and audiences who continue to enrich it with their inexhaustible energy, knowledge, skills and inquistive minds, and who are the heart and soul of our community. It was great to take stock of the different things we’ve done over the last 12 months and to present all the ongoing activities.
What we’ve been up to…
During her introductory talk, our Programme Director Dr Jelena Goranovic explained the ideas that led to the creation of Hove StressBusters. Presenting an overview of all the different talks and demonstrations that the group organised over the last 12 months, ranging from Nutritional Therapy, Body Stress Release and Coaching, to Sedona Method, Family Constellations and Laughter Yoga, was a compelling way to illustrate the eclectic nature of the programme.
As a communication platform for mainstream and alternative wellbeing practitioners, Hove StressBusters strive to present as many diverse approaches as possible, both the scientifically based and validated techniques, and those that have not yet undergone extensive controlled research. The programme’s main mission is to enable people to understand the main ideas behind different approaches, the similarities and differences between various theoretical viewpoints, and to discover those wellbeing approaches that work best for them personally.
Big news this year is that Hove StressBusters have joined forces with the Carers Card scheme operated by the Amaze charity and Brighton & Hove City Council! Since August, Card holders are entitled to the same benefits as StressBusters Card holders: a 10% discount on all events in the Hove StressBusters programme (or concessionary rate, whichever is cheaper), as well as 10% off any classes, workshops, courses or one to one sessions with any of the therapists listed in our StressBusters Directory. Please help us spread the word to reach the people in our community who need stress-busting the most: those who care for a child or an adult with disabilities.
Diary of an Ex-Insomniac
Our special guest this evening was Nicki Gillard, author of the honest, insightful and humorous memoir ‘Diary of an Ex-Insomniac: Introducing the Insomnia Ditch-and-Switch’. In the engaging and honest talk, Nicki shared with us her years of struggle with insomnia and the ex-insomniac mind-set she eventually developed (the ‘Ditch-and-Switch’ method).
Just like we don’t really make ourselves breathe, we also don’t need to make ourselves sleep (or get to sleep, which is another linguistic trap that implies action on our part). Sleep is a natural bodily function and our body will do it when it’s ready. We can decide that we want to rest and that’s absolutely fine – whether or not this ends in sleep is beside the point…. we’ll sleep when we’re ready and stressing about it certainly won’t help! It all really comes down to labeling problems and ‘trying’ to do something instead of just letting the nature take its course. If we get into the insomniac mind-set, we perpetuate the vicious circle. This applies not just to sleep problems, but stress and life in general!
During the talk we also touched on several myths about sleep, including whether or not it’s necessary to sleep for a certain number of hours or whether we need to have uninterrupted sleep at all, instead of sleeping in blocks. Whatever our natural sleep pattern is like, we need to accept it and go with the flow – instead of lying in the dark and stressing about not being able to sleep, we might as well do something we enjoy, whether it’s lying in the dark and simply resting, or switching the light on and reading our favourite book. Just stop trying to sleep – it simply won’t work!
Following the publication of her book, Nicki is now dedicating her time to helping others find a way out of the insomniac mind-set. She has started running regular drop-in sessions in Rottingdean, to hear about people’s experiences of insomnia and stress, and to suggest how her approach might help – contact her for more information.
Tackling Stress from Different Angles
During the evening, we had a chance to experience three very different wellbeing approaches, each tackling stress from a different angle.
Shirley Archibald, EFT and Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner, demonstrated the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – a way of overcoming negative emotions as well as physical discomfort by tapping on body’s energy meridians.
Niko Goranovic, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Trainer and Performance Coach, entertained us with some party tricks and utilised a mix of NLP-based techniques to throw us all into a relaxing trance.
Finally, Helen Thatcher, a Vital Dance Movement instructor and Holding for Healing facilitator introduced the basic concepts behind Vital Dance approach and got us all moving and grooving (some ballet dancing in there too!) – a perfect way to end our birthday celebration!
These three stress-busting segments were the perfect way to illustrate that there are so many ways to achieve the same effect (manage stress), and that it’s all about exploring different approaches to discover the tools that work best for you.
Jelena finished off the evening by describing the various sections of Hove StressBusters community programme, which run in addition to the regular talk & demonstration events on the first Wednesday of every month. These include weekly Qigong class, regular monthly Family Constellations and Tension & Trauma Release Exercise (TRE®) workshops, as well as the upcoming Identity Constellations and Life Strategist workshops and the Improvisation Comedy course (see calendar for dates and details).
As a birthday present to our community, Hove StressBusters’ practitioners have once again compiled a list of SPECIAL OFFERS: check out the Hove StressBusters website for details and feel free to share with your friends (discounts are valid for bookings taken by 31st October).
This event was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our community programme and share its vision with a big and very diverse audience. Over the last six years, the programme has outgrown the boundaries of Hove and Brighton, and people as far as Worthing, Eastbourne and London have been coming to our events, eager to learn new stress-busting tools and share their enthusiasm, knowledge and views with like-minded individuals. Thanks to everyone who’s been supporting us along the way and we very much look forward to the year ahead!
For more information about our community stress management programme, visit www.hovestressbusters.co.uk .
If you are a wellbeing practitioner and you’d like to get involved in our programme, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.