2020 Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Resilience

Anxiety Creeping In? 6 Quick Ways To Deal With It

When life gets frantic and we feel anxiety creeping in, it can paralyse us and make even the simplest decisions really hard.

We can procrastinate like crazy and that actually makes us feel more anxious!

We can feel this anxiety throughout our body, our shoulders get tense, our breathing shallow and we just want to get this thing SORTED RIGHT NOW GODDAMMIT!

Here are my top strategies for instant anxiety reduction for when you are feeling stressed out about making a decision:


  • Know you always have a choice. There is nothing you HAVE to do other than breathe, everything after that is a choice. They may be hard choices granted but you have choice nevertheless. I try to be grateful that I am living somewhere in the world where as a woman I have complete control and choice in my life, not everyone is so lucky.
  • Hit pause. Breathe. Stop and Breathe. Breath through your nose only, breathe right down to your belly for a count of 4, then out through the nose for a count of 4. Repeat for 6 full breaths and then refocus on the task at hand from a calmer place.
  • Is it a problem or a fact that’s making you anxious? If it’s a problem then there IS a solution, take your time, step back and Figure. It Out. If there is no solution, well, then it’s not a problem that you have, honey, it is a fact. So accept it, however tough it make be, and move on. Focus where you can make a difference not where you can’t.
  • Walk away.  If a solution isn’t readily presenting itself then walk away and engage in a right brain activity. Painting, exercise, baking.  Your subconcious will then have the space it needs to help you come up with an anxiety reducing solution. The time I need yoga or a run most is EXACTLY when I think I don’t have time for it. So be brave and go for the counterintuitive option and create the space you need to decompress and gain perspective back. When you reengage your left brain you will often find the solution has presented itself.
  • When anxiety strikes repeat the following mantra to yourself, as you breath in, and again as you breathe out. Nice and slow. 6 full breaths. “ I have everything I need, and all is well”. Now doesn’t that feel better?
  • Ask yourself “Will this thing matter 10 years from now?” The answer 99% of the time is “Hell No”, so choose not to sweat the small stuff.


Ahhhhhh….now doesn’t that feel better?


Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Stop Judging Me, please!

Few things can be more paralysing in life than worrying about what other people are thinking about us, our lives, our choices, our plans, our appearance and so on. It’s one of the biggest energy suckers out there, not to mention the cause of many sleepless nights. None of us likes to be thought badly of. It’s unsettling and upsetting. How can we dial down how concerned we are with other people judging us?


  1. Quit The Mind Reading. A suprisingly large amount of the time we are worrying about what we think they think about us. Not what has been demonstrably said to us in clear terms. We think they are thinking something but we actually have no hard evidence for it at all. “What we think they think” really doesn’t work that well as a strategy for the simple reason we can be spectacularly bad mind readers. Spectacularly bad. We can make up all sorts of stories about what someone else is thinking about us, and be so off the mark it’s unbelievable. That’s all self-created stress and drama! Quit the mind reading and know you will deal with what’s real, when – and crucially if – it’s real. Until then, no fault, no foul, worry is not required.


  1. You can’t actually control what others think of you. All you can control is what YOU think of you, and actually that’s far more important. Now – isn’t that empowering! The thoughts they think are property of them, in their heads – so leave them alone. Focus your attention where you can make a difference: to the thoughts in YOUR head. Try listing 3 ways you are proud of yourself, or 3 ways you are a good friend or daughter, or the last 3 great presentations you delivered. Take your focus to what you can control: your thoughts, actions and communication. As a very wise unattributed person once said – “I’m responsible for what I say, not for what you understand”. Bring your intent to communicating with clarity, compassion and consistency and drop trying to control others judgement. Ironically when we come from this energetically cleaner place we will usually generate a better response from those around us as we are not trying to manipulate their reaction to us.


  1. It’s all just an opinion anyway. You don’t need to overgeneralise it. So someone might demonstrably disagree with you. That’s okay. That’s allowed! We don’t all have to agree all the time, and you don’t need to overgeneralise and extrapolate it out to mean that they don’t like you or you are not a good person. We can disagree on something but not make it mean something about us. Also good to know that when it comes to opinions on our life that our opinion trumps all others anyway.


At the end of the day, you don’t need to be perfect to be accepted by others. So, maybe you are being judged and found wanting. So what? None of us are perfect, we are all a work in progress. And also, highly likely that judgement likely says a whole heap more about them then it does about you!

So stay in your own lane.

Keep your mental focus on what you can control and where it really matters.

Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress

Worry Ye Not

Our worries often seem so real, it’s as if they have happened already.

The client is going to cancel.

The kid is going to hurt himself on that swing.

The car’s going to break down.

You’ll never get a park.

The money will run out.

The boss is going to shout.

The anxiety we feel about these things as we sit watching the children play, or in a tense boardroom, or on the way to our destination in town; we can feel as anxious as if these things are already real. It feels bad. We feel worried and concerned. And how many times does the thing we have worried about NOT happen in reality? All. The. Time. A huge amount of stress for nothing.

Don't worry about things that probably won't happenHere’s the thing. When you get on a plane to a sunny tropical destination, do you know how the plane stays up in the air? Like, really? Hats off if you have a first in aeronautical engineering, but I am willing to bet 99% of us don’t really know. Could you actually explain it? Nah! You just know the plane stays up, and that’s more than good enough. You trust in the process. You can’t see it, or define it, but you know it’s all happening and the flight is going to make it to Club Tropicana. Or how about when you get home from work and flick the telly on. Do you know how the electricity works? Like, really? Could you actually explain it? Draw me a diagram? No, you just know it does, and that’s more than good enough. You trust in the process. You can’t see it, or define it, but you know it’s all happening. And it does.

All day, every day we are putting our trust in things we can’t see.

We can’t define. We are trusting in intangibles. We have a huge amount of faith in stuff we can’t see, and we can’t explain. It’s an awesome capacity, really helpful. It helps us to glide through life, get things done, stay calm, take stuff for granted. It can be a very positive force for good.

Endless worrying is like using this force in reverse. By worrying about some future event that may or may not happen, we are asking ourselves to once again have faith in something we can’t see, but something that makes us actively anxious guaranteed.

Feeling relaxed or feeling anxious a lot of the time comes down to the ability to believe something unseen. It comes down to faith versus fear, essentially. Faith in the fact something good is going to happen (the plane stays up; the telly makes noise and pictures) or fear that something bad will (the client walks away; there will never be a park in this rain). Either way, you have to believe in something you can’t see: faith or fear. Fear or faith.

We can choose to believe in an unseen outcome that’s good and relaxing or one that’s not so good and anxiety inducing. It’s a choice, not a certainty. Trust and faith require us to believe we are big enough, brave enough, strong enough to handle it, whatever the outcome. Which you ARE. Worry is a fear of events unseen. It robs us of joy in the present and actually makes us less able to handle what comes up.

If we are going to believe in something we can’t see or know for sure, choose faith over fear every time.
Dream and Goals Emotional Honesty Live Happy Inspiration Love the Skin You're In

The F Word

No, not that one. The other one. The one that upsets us a whole lot more. The one that really brings us to our knees. Uhuh. You’ve got it – failure. Nothing strikes fear into our hearts quite like it. No-one likes to fail, and most of us will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it.

Winning is good. Clearly. Hurrah! But, we rarely win all the time. Through lack of application or resources. Bad luck. Someone else being….shhhhh…Better Than Us. Not working hard enough. Circumstances beyond our control. Someone else not playing fair. It stands to reason that sometimes we are going to fail during this long and rich journey we call life – so maybe we should get a little better at it?

The F wordFear of Failure can loom so large that we stop playing the game all together – which is actually the ultimate tragedy. Isn’t that the greatest failure of them all? To be so fearful of failing that we make our life smaller, live in ever decreasing circles to keep ourselves safe and avoid it? Benjamin Franklin opined that there was nothing certain in this world save death or taxes. I think we can add failure to that list. Applying an emotional tourniquet to our life in order that we prevent future failure is not a winning strategy, it’s a strategy of lessening ourselves. Of spiritual and emotional cowardice.


Failure is one of the greatest growth experiences there is.

It can be an experience gifted to help us expand our world view. It’s an opportunity to pause, to ask what can I learn here? Why might this have happened in my life, now? What do I not want to repeat here?

The most important question of them all for me is: “What does this mean I want?” Really, really WANT? Nothing, n-o-t-h-i-n-g, throws what you truly want into clearer, sharper relief better than failing. You only need to have a failed marriage to a lying cheat to know that you want, more than anything, an honest man with a good heart and integrity above all other qualifications. You only need to get turned down at the final two of the third interview to know how much you really REALLY want to leave your current job when it was so close you could taste it. Your efforts will be redoubled with the clarity.

There is a silver lining to failure if we look hard enough. Some failure in life is inevitable for pretty much all of us. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the road. It can be the springboard to the next great thing. Or – it can be the failure that defines us and causes us to play small in that arena ever after. Too scared to love again. Or to reach higher professionally. Or to risk again. It seems to me we can either transcend our failure, or we can let it define us.

Harry Potter author J K Rowling famously and wisely said”

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I built the rest of my life”.

Just so. Failure really isn’t a taboo word, it’s an inevitable part of a full life well lived. After all it’s not about what knocked us down, so much as how much courage and grace we have to get back up. Getting fired or getting dumped just could be the solid foundation on which you build the rest of your life.

Live Happy Inspiration Uncategorized

How Do You Get More Love And Fun In Your Life?

Tweet: How Do You Get More Love And Fun In Your Life? @FlexHappy
I have a challenge for you today.

I want you to have MORE of what you want in your life.

Whatever that may be.

More love. More friendship. More health. More fun. More ease. More abundance. More challenge.

Whatever it is you want – it’s more than okay to want it – but it’s even better to actually GET IT.


Often however we can find that we are “ticking along” in a bit of a rut – at home, at work, in our relationships, in our living space, our body and health.

We will often put this lack of progress down to “not enough time” or “too busy”. Which actually just keeps us stuck.

The main reason we get stuck is because it’s very easy to end up with so many open doors in our life that our energy, time and attention is dissipated all over the place – leaving no time to progress the new areas we want to grow.

There is only so much time, energy and attention to go round.


So to get more of what you want I want you to CLOSE SOME DOORS TODAY.


I want you to close some doors so that you can make space for some new stuff in your life, that serves you and that takes you where you want to go.

Close the door on a relationship that is no longer serving you.

Close the door on an obligation that you wish you had never agreed to.

Close the door on looking in the mirror and hating on yourself.

Close the door on going the extra mile for someone or something where there is no reciprocity and you feel resentful.

Close the door on something that was once important but it’s time, for you, is done.


By doing this you will open up the space for what you NOW want in your life to enter.


You will have the time, energy and focus to move past “ticking along’ and to actively focus on improving your hearts desire.

If you want more love. More friendship. More health. More fun. More ease. More abundance. More challenge. You need to make SPACE for it.

Space in your head. Your life. Your heart. Your diary.


Make space for the good stuff.

Close some doors today. You know which ones.

Louise Thompson, wellbeing coach

Live Happy Inspiration

The Secret No-one Tells You To “Letting Go”

Letting GoIt’s healthy to “Let Go”, we are told.

It’s healthy to let go of past hurt. Resentment. A Broken Heart. Pain. Anger. Grief. Being Used. Being Abused. Lied to. Abandoned. Betrayed. Whatever your particular flavour of hurt.

“Just Let Go – you will feel better” they say.

And we know that is true.

That if we could let go of that tight ball of pain that lies so heavy in our heart, that would be just awesome. Thanks so much for the advice.

So, we want to Let Go. We do. We know it will be The Way Forward.

So we want to. Oh boy, do we want to.

But. How do we do it? How do we Let Go? And, what if we can’t? What if we just can’t find a way to Let Go. What then?

The reality is “Letting Go” sounds very appealing, and is very easy to say, but it can be oh so hard to actually do in practice.

Here’s the thing.

Sometimes…you just might not be ready to Let Go. It’s too hard because you are just Not Ready Yet.

And that’s okay.

So – what’s the answer when Letting Go is too hard? Or it’s too soon?

I think it is this:

Instead of asking yourself what you want to Let Go Of, park that for now. Instead ask yourself this:

“What do I want to Let In right now?

What would make life sweeter? More relaxed? More fun?

What do I want to Let In that would help me feel more connected? More valued? More loved?

What could I Let In that would make life easier? More effortless? More delicious?

What do I want to Let In that would lift my spirits? What do I want to Let In that would make my heart lift, even a little?

Do I want to Let In more joy? More clients? More money? More time to move my body? More boy’s poker nights? More clutter free surfaces in my home? More clothes than make me feel amazing? More friendships that feel truly connected? More laughter? More lightness? Honesty? Trust? Integrity? Love?

What do I want to Let In to my life?

Park up for a while on what you want to Let Go of. It’s okay to put it in the Too Hard Basket for a bit. Turn your focus over entirely to what you want to Let In instead.

Define it.

Sit with it.

Make a list of it.

Talk about it.

Move towards it.

Start figuring out ways to Let That Stuff In.

Express gratitude as it shows up.

Notice and praise the little stuff that gets Let In.

Whoop and holler a hell yeah for the big and fabulous stuff you Let In.

The new friendship. The laughter over a wine. The amazing new boots. The painting your kid drew. The fresh air on a crisp winters day. The hard but honest conversation that built trust and understanding.

Let that stuff IN.

Decide what it is and Let It In.

Let It In, and smile and keep your focus on it. The stuff you wanted to arrive.

And Let It In some more.

And Let It In some more.

And then?

And then, cast your mind back to That Thing, that Big Ugly Painful Thing you were wrestling to Let Go of a while back. You will find while you have loosened your grip on it (by putting your energy into what you want to Let In instead) – well that thing, whilst you haven’t been looking…it has gently and inperceptably started to Let Go of you. It’s releasing you more every single time you let more of the good stuff in.

Freedom beckons.

Let It In.

Louise Thompson, wellbeing coach

Love the Skin You're In

How To Love Your Body

Tweet: How to love your body @FlexHappy #wellbeingHere’s a statement I really want you to consider.

Hating your body will never get you as far as loving it will.

We are surrounded by messages of “not thin enough!!!!” and “too thin!!!!” – the line between which seems increasingly thin itself if the women’s weekly magazine market is anything to go by.

This media soup we swim in of body image transmission is a tricky sea to navigate.

It encourages a continual mental dialogue of comparisonitus.

It’s pretty much totally unhelpful, because we are always going to come off worst on something when we are comparing ourselves to a myriad of images of people 20 years younger who have access to a full time personal chef and personal trainer, and who have also been liberally photoshopped.

We can’t compete. Obviously! WE KNOW THAT. Right?

Like I know you know that. I know you know you can’t compete with a photoshopped image of Jessica Alba in a bikini.

I know that. You know that.

Logically we are all totally on the same page there.

And yet? And yet, in our heads we do.

The restless whispers of “not enough”.

Not thin enough
Not toned enough
Not eating well enough
Not exercising enough
Not stylish enough
Not dewy and fresh enough
God, it goes on and on.

This creates a poisonous mental dialogue – I know we don’t say this stuff out loud – but believe me we are saying it silently in our minds.

Well…that’s okay, right? No one can hear that?

Actually yes – someone IS listening to that stream of destructive Smack Talk in our heads.

We are.

Our body is listening, and hearing every pejorative word we think.

And it does exactly what we would do if we had, say, a personal trainer who attempted to motivate us by shouting the following at us repeatedly:

“You are SO FAT. Why are you even bothering? Nothing you do makes a DIFFERENCE. You are old. Looking really old today actually. And your ass looks massive…repeat to fade…”.

Now – would that make you WANT to go work out?


What do you expect from a personal trainer?

“Attaagirl. You are doing so well. You’ve gotta start somewhere baby, you are doing GREAT!”

Would that make you want to go work out?


Think of it another way. Would you talk to your beloved pet, or treasured child in the way you talk to your body?

“Fido/Bella, I hate you. You are ugly. And fat. And useless. I hate you for being the way you are”


Not nice – right?

We can do WAY better than that.

Remember that the most important person who influences how your body responds is listening when you Talk Smack in your head about it.

And that’s YOU.

Keep your self-talk loving. Keep your self-talk gentle and encouraging. Keep it light. Keep it positive. Talk lovingly and compassionately.

Talk to yourself like you would a treasured child or pet.

You might just be amazed at how you respond when the comparisonitus judgey self-hating body talk is exchanged for a stream of encouraging, loving positivity. You body might well just surprise you too.

Hating your body will never get you as far as loving it will.

Louise Thompson, wellbeing coach

Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress

4 Questions To Ask Yourself Next Time You Feel Anxiety and Stress

Stress Meter Showing Panic Attack From Stress Or WorryWe all get anxious and het up from time to time. Life is life and every now and again it’s going to throw a curve ball in our direction. What is interesting however is just how damn easy it is to keep ourselves trapped in a loop of worry and stress.

To cut through anxiety it is really helpful to ground yourself with the following four questions, they will cut through the fog of worry in an instant and help you get the focus and clarity to you need to deal with whatever life has dealt you.

My Four Anxiety Killing Questions:

Anxiety Killing Question #1: What is real NOW?

I had a gorgeous client who I will call Marianne. Marianne had done great work to overcome her Adrenal Fatigue through my High Energy Happiness programme and was loving being fully engaged in creative a vital life she loved. It was a joy to see her blossoming as her body, career and home-life transformed. All was going beautifully…until…spanner in the works. Her husband, who had hated his job for a long time, quit his job. Just like that. No other job to go to. Just couldn’t stand one more day.

This threw Marianne into a major, and I mean MAJOR, spin. “What if he can’t get another job? There are so few opportunities round here?” (they live in very rural NZ) “Then I’ll have to work extra shifts and I have just sorted out my health and then I’ll get sick again….and we won’t be able to afford the rent on the house…we’ll have to move…downsize…we were already stretched…this is going to bankrupt us….what about the children’s schools? …oh god oh god oh god…” and so on.

Here is the source of Marianne’s anxiety. She was focused on a whole heap of stuff that HADN’T happened yet. She was focused on a whole heap of stuff she had NO EVIDENCE FOR.

“Tell me” I asked “has Gary ever not paid the rent before? Do you have evidence for a time that Gary has ever not supported his family? Have you ever seen Gary shirk his responsibilities as a father and a husband and a provider?” Marianne replied no to all three. Okay, so the evidence we have is that…he will figure this out, because HE ALWAYS HAS DONE IN THE PAST. Always. That’s your evidence.

What is real NOW? You have a roof over your head. The children are fine and taken care of. You have a responsible and dependable man who always figures stuff out. You have food on the table and rent in the bank for the next weeks and month. Right now what is real is that you are fine.

Marianne’s stress instantly dissipated. When she focused on what was real NOW, everything was fine. She was a woman, in her kitchen, with food on the table and a loving husband who always delivered.

It’s important to back yourself that you CAN handle what life throws at you. But there is no need to stress out about it BEFORE it is actually REAL. All those worries were unreal, a figment of her imagination at that point. They were causing great stress. Stay in what is REAL in the NOW and your anxiety will reduce tenfold.

Anxiety Killing Question #2: Is it a problem or is it a fact?

Anxiety busting question number 2. I wrote an article about this in The New Zealand Herald – it’s right here. Basically to reduce anxiety you need to ask yourself if it is a problem or a fact that you are stressed about. If you have a problem, well, by very definition that means there is a solution. Figure. It. Out. Find the solution. Get on with it.

If there is no solution – well you don’t have a problem honey, you have a fact. And there is no point worrying and wrestling with a fact. It’s not going to change it. All that worry, anxiety and stress about a fact is wasted energy. The only course of action is to stop fighting it, and accept it. Tough? Yes. Anxiety reducing. Also…yes. Stop the fight. Acceptance not Anxiety.

Anxiety Killing Question #3: Is this my business?

Going back to the example of Marianne and her husband quitting his job, this was a great anxiety reducing question for her to ask herself. “Who’s business is it for him to get another job and bring money into the household?” His. Okay. And is he fully aware of this responsibility? Yep. Okay. So what result do you get from nagging him in a stressed stream of consciousness day in day out. “It really winds him up, makes us both even more stressed”.

Okay. So, new approach: it’s HIS business. Trust him to own it. Support him but don’t own it for him. You are worrying about something that is down to him: his job. So let it be his business. Support him, but let him own it.

“Honey, I trust you. I know you know what you are doing and you will sort out a new job soon. You have always been an amazing provider for this family. I will support you as we get through this together. I love and trust you to resolve this situation”.

Marianne dropped the worry that it was somehow HER responsibility to sort out his job. OF COURSE that IS DEEPLY stressful because you CAN’T own that for someone else! She let him step up, stopped nagging, and supported him as he made he way forward in confidence. He had a new job by the week’s end.

You can drop your anxiety by bringing your attention back to what is YOUR business. What is your responsibility? What is NOT? In this case to be a loving and supportive spouse. Not to take over her husbands responsibilities for him.

Anxiety Killing Question #4: How do I want to feel right now?

When the shit hits the fan we will deal with it far better from a place of empowerment and strength. We want to feel powerful and strong, not weak, trapped, under-confident. The good news is you get to choose how you feel. You can say to yourself “What if he can’t get another job? There are so few opportunities round here? …Then I’ll have to work extra shifts and I have just sorted out my health and then I’ll get sick again….and we won’t be able to afford the rent on the house…we’ll have to move…downsize…we were already stretched…this is going to bankrupt us….what about the children’s schools? …oh god oh god oh god…” which is going to make you feel anxious, worried, strapped and stressed.

Or you can choose to think “Right now we are fine. We are just in transition. We are very resourceful and I trust in my own abilities to handle whatever comes up. We will be fine because we are resilient and good at handling life’s inevitable curveballs. I’ve got this.” Feel strong, confident, full of choice and power.

So there you have it. The key to reducing anxiety and stress: ask yourself one or more of these four powerful questions. They will cut through worry and get everything back into perspective, pronto.

Louise Thompson

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